RSS< Twitter< etc

Stoke MX Installation

Last edited on October 20, 2014

Stoke MX 2.0 is provided as a single installation package: 

  • Stoke MX 64 bit for 3ds Max 2013 through 2015.
  • No 32 bit version is provided, and no support for 3ds Max 2012 and earlier is possible due to incompatibility between the OpenVDB and 3ds Max multi-threading libraries. 

Stoke MX 1.0 was provided as two separate installation packages: 

  • Stoke MX 64 bit for 3ds Max 2010 through 2014
  • Stoke MX 32 bit for 3ds Max 2010 through 20133ds Max 2014 does not provide a 32 bit version and is thus not supported by the Stoke MX installer.  

Licensing

Stoke MX requires a license to operate. It does not provide a free evaluation mode, but you can request a 15 days full license to test all features by emailing sales@thinkboxsoftware.com.

The Stoke MX 2 product requires a workstation license to perform simulations on the local workstation.

Special Stoke MX 2.0 network simulation licenses are also available separately for users who would like to perform simulation on network machines controlled by Thinkbox Deadline. Note that Deadline provides a license-free mode which also supports two network render nodes, and Stoke MX includes tools for submitting simulation jobs to Deadline.

A Stoke MX 2 Bundle of one workstation license and two network simulation licenses is also available.

The Stoke MX 2 components that are not simulation-related, but can be used at render timeto create, load or convert data, including Stoke Field Loader, Stoke Field Texmap, Stoke Field Magma etc. will check for the existence of a valid workstation license on the license server, but will not check it out. This allows for unlimited rendering of Stoke particle or volumetric data as long as at least one floating workstation license has been purchased.

Like all other Thinkbox products, Stoke MX uses the FlexNet license manager. For details on the installation and operation of the license manager, please see this page.

 

Installation

Launch the Stoke MX installer.

The following dialog will appear and after some disk space checking, will enable the Next button.

Press the Next button to continue, or the Cancel button to exit the installation.

The following dialog will ask you to read and accept the End User License Agreement.

The Next button will only be enabled once you have agreed. 

If you don't agree, press the Cancel button to exit the installation.

If you agree, check the checkbox and press Next.

The following dialog shows you the components that will be installed. 

You can customize which plugins will be installed and the location where the files will be copied to.

In most cases, it is a good idea to leave the settings at their defaults.

Press Next to continue.

In the following dialog, you can select the version of 3ds Max installed on your computer according to the Windows Registry. Check the ones you want to add Stoke to.

Press Next to continue.

Press Install to continue.

You might be prompted about confirming the installation by the Windows defense mechanisms (e.g. UAC).

Wait for the installation to complete.

The following final screen will appear:

Press Finish to end the installation and launch 3ds Max to start using Stoke MX.

 

Installation Structure

The Stoke MX Installer copies all relevant files into a Stoke MX folder, usually in the Program Files folders of Windows (unless specified differently during the installation procedure).

The typical install location is C:\Program Files\Thinkbox\Stoke MX\

The following sub-folders are created within the main folder: 

  • C:\Program Files\Thinkbox\Stoke MX\3dsMax2013\ - contains the StokeStartup.ms and the StokeMX.DLO plugin file for 3ds Max 2013 and 3ds Max 2014.
  • C:\Program Files\Thinkbox\Stoke MX\3dsMax2015\ - contains the StokeStartup.ms and the StokeMX.DLO plugin file for 3ds Max 2015.
  • C:\Program Files\Thinkbox\Stoke MX\Icons\ - contains the 4 Stoke MacroScript icon files (image and alpha for 16 and 24 pixel icons), and the StokeUI.bmp defining the UI icons.
  • C:\Program Files\Thinkbox\Stoke MX\Scripts\ - contains the StokeUI.ms implementing the scripted Stoke plugin and the UI MacroScripts, the StokeSimulator.ms implementing the simulation logic, the StokePartitioning.ms implementing the local partitioning/Deadline submission tool, and the StokePartitionTasksOnDeadline.ms which is used by Deadline to process partitions on the network.

The only connection between 3ds Max and Stoke MX is an entry in the 3ds Max plugin.ini file which points at the corresponding plugin folder for the respective 3ds Max version (2013/2014, 2015).

In order to move the Stoke folder structure to a new location, all you need to do is move the complete Stoke MX\ folder with all its sub-folders listed above without changing the sub-folder structure. Then edit the plugin.ini entry of 3ds Max to point at the new location. This can be used to copy Stoke to network machines or put it in a centralized network location for all workstations and network nodes to access.

Customizing The 3ds Max User Interface

The two MacroScripts shipping with Stoke provide faster creation of Stoke objects in the scene and automatic population of their source lists based on the current selection, as well as the Stoke Partitioning tool which can be used to save partitions either locally or using Deadline.

These MacroScripts are not added automatically to the 3ds Max UI and require the following manual customization steps: 

  • Install Stoke.
  • Launch 3ds Max.
  • In the Main Menu, select Customize > Customize User Interface.
  • Select the Toolbars tab.
  • Press the New... button and enter Stoke as the name of the toolbar.
  • Select the Thinkbox category in the Category list.
  • Drag the "Create Stoke Object..." entry to the new toolbar.
  • Drag the "Stoke Partitioning" entry to the new toolbar.
  • Dock the toolbar anywhere you like.
  • Alternatively, use the Menus or Quads tabs and customize menus with the same Macros.