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MaPZone: "The Most Powerful Texturing Tool Ever"

51

nodes.jpgMaPZone, a Windows-based procedural texture editor, makes the bold claim of being the "most powerful texturing tool ever". Well...they've certainly made the effort to live up to the claim. What do you think?

MaPZone is only intended to be used for producing high quality textures, and this is what it does best.

metal.jpg[It] is an authoring tool dedicated to procedural textures editing and management. It produces textures based on Allegorithmic's patented FXMaps technology, that can be later on rendered at runtime in any program using the ProFX2 library, saving a huge amount of disk space. It can also be used simply to export bitmap textures for generic uses.

...it is perfectly suited for creating all the maps (diffuse, specular, normal, etc.) that you will need to produce high quality shaders, both for real-time and offline rendering.

bloodwall.jpgThis means you will manipulate and assemble various patterns, filters and blending options to create your maps, as you're used to doing with bitmap approaches. With a procedural approach though, you can always go back and modify any of your previous actions.

Maps produced with MaPZone tile automatically, are resolution-independent and are stored in just a few bytes. Furthermore, maps of different channels (diffuse, specular, normal, etc.) fit perfectly together.

paintpeel.jpgOh, and you will never lose artistic control over production: MaPZone is the only procedural texturing tool to let you completely edit and manipulate your maps, whatever you're trying to do.

Best of all: MaPZone is completely free! We encourage you to use it for your personal and professional productions.

MaPZone is powerful, but there is a learning curve. So make sure you've checked the tutorials [in their]dedicated documentation section.

LINKS

51 Comments

  1. Also, everything (comments) here is a link to thier documentation page, making it very hard to comment. Please correct this.

    Thanks
    Cuby

  2. What, no Linux version? Since it's free, they might as well make it open source, and then make it cross-platform.

  3. Muki Key Oot on

    Tynach : Seems to be running okay in wine so far. :3
    (of course, I have a C2D E4300 so I dunno if the speed hit is significant)

    Also, there's a multitude of reasons not to make it GPL.... yet. (I like the Id approach, where a company sells an app closed until it's substancially profitable and then releases it to GPL when the next big thing they make comes long :3 )

  4. Its not all that free, the not so free version is for professionals.
    But yeah this is a great software, but takes skills to know how to use.

  5. Looks nice. I worry about this phrase in the license agreement, though:
    "Media Elements and Textures: The MaPZone software is provided with textures and/or other media elements. You may use, copy, reproduce and distribute the included textures in your projects either for personal, educational or commercial purpose. Allegorithmic shall retain all rights, including Copyrights of all Media elements provided with the Software. In any case, for any use of the Media elements provided by Allegorithmic and owned by Allegorithmic, Allegorithmic's property and rights shall be clearly mentioned in your project. Any breach to this requirement shall terminate this agreement."

    What exactly does that mean?

  6. Hmm... FxGen looks pretty cool actually. Only thing is I can't work out how to (or maybe it isn't implemented yet) export the result.

  7. @mikkel:
    I think it means that you can use it for free but you have to mention you used their tool. If you don't you violate their copyrights and you have to pay.

  8. @Mikkel:
    That is saying that the textures and examples that they include with the software may be used in any of your own works but, since they created those included examples, you have to give them credit if you decide to use them. If you don't use any of the samples included, you don't have to credit them in your work.

  9. drBouvierLeduc on

    Shouldn't they say "the most complicated texturing tool ever" ?
    Sorry I don't want to troll, but this editor seems painfully hard to use. (Or am I too lazy to learn a new workflow ?)

  10. Vassilios Boucer on

    Fxgen looks very promissing and its still in Development!
    its Open Source and it Works like in Werkkzeug TE3
    i mean(The UI and how you work with Blocks stacking!
    In Blender you have Great Procedural Textures and also very good Texture Plug Ins!
    Why not Integrate some missing FxGen Features in Blender in Combination with Blenders Procedurals Textures and Plug Ins and made a Powerfull Texture Editor inside Blender?
    Using the UV Editor for Previes and a Special "Texture Editor Window" like and next the Material and Composite Nodes Editor

    I read Jade Game Engine will Integrate FxGen!
    Blender is also a Game Engine why not Integrate FxGen into Blender?

    maybe in The Future as a SOC Project when FxGen has more Features and better!
    This is only a Idea!
    Yeah!
    Thats all!

  11. Javier Reyes Guzmà - Puerto Rico on

    There exist other program free like Wood Workshop (for making wood textures) and Genetica Viewer for view and render textures from the Genetica Textures Packs (there 3 packs with various textures all royalty-free) or textures make with Genetica 2.5 a shareware texture editor. All these free programs (except for Genetica 2.5 is shareware) stay on http://www.spiralgraphics.biz/products.htm. From these software I use Genetica Viewer and Genetica Textures Packs altogether with Blender.

  12. drBouvierLeduc,

    I agree - as much as I struggled with Blender early on, the layout of the UI and the basic operation is frustrating to say the least. The output though is great.

    I will have to check out the opensource alternative mentioned by dmh_mac - fxgen

  13. drBouvierLeduc, OBI_Ron:
    Hey, here's a thought! How about actually going through the tutorials they provide and looking at the uhhh...documentation? It really is not a difficult application to grasp once you've actually made an attempt to learn something about it instead of trying to intuit everything. (that is, if you're really interested) :P

    Patience...

  14. Master Hoshi on

    Lost me at "...Windows based..." Not everyone in the creative world uses Windows. Maybe most don't, who knows.

  15. I have been playing with MZ almost from day one of it's release and if you thought that blenders learning curve was hard then you better plan on spending a lot of time on this very powerful texture program.

    But if you download maps from some of there forms and place them into the MZ library located in your "C:\Program Files\Allegorithmic\MaPZone 2.5\Library" you can then use them and see how they were done also their are a few vids and if you start stop them you will also get an understanding of how MapZone works.

    Oh and like blender forums if you as a question you will get an answer.

    Matro

    Just another tool in the hands of the dreamer

  16. @Master Hoshi "... "…Windows based…" Not everyone in the creative world uses Windows...."

    And not everyone in the creative world uses Linux either. If Linux reached out to a broader audience, maybe more cool software would point that way.

    Example: Have your 4 year old compile his/her own kiddie software and submit bug trackers before they can use their stuff.

  17. Kernon,

    I didn't download the program in response to this article, it has been available free for a while. But your point is taken, if I were interested enough, I would learn. However, what drives interest in a particular piece of software (for the hobbiest - and I am one), is the availability of alternatives at a reasonable price. That is one reason why INMHO, people stick with Blender and overcome the learning curve. I will admit that the output of this software is excellent.

    I have gone thru the tutorials, and I may go thru them again. But I stand by what I said in my previous post.

    On the subject of free commercial software - do you think there will be any improvements going forward? It seems to me that once commercial software is offered for free, the company realizes that there would be little if any interest in anybody purchasing it.

    Spiral graphics offered wood workshop in an attempt to gain sales of Genetica.
    UGS offers a version of their 2D package in hopes to further interest in their 3D solutions.
    Dasault offers a free modeler
    In each of these cases, I am willing to bet that development comes to a near halt. After all these are for profit corporations expecting a return on their investment.

    I will look in to the open source alternative fxgen - whatever its current state, I think it is safe to say that development will continue.

  18. Too bad its not open source.. It would be great to intergrate a procedural tool like that into blender.

  19. Commodore Guff on

    S_Fusion, ever hear of Ubuntu?
    Regardless, OSX is pretty large in the computer graphics industry, as well.

  20. Damn, I'm so tired of the "closed"-mindedness of the "open" source community.

    Just about every time a tool or service is mentioned, the first "duty" seems to be to determine if it's open source (or some close variety) or not...will it pass the "sniff test"? Is it part of some BIG commercial conspiracy? Wait a minute, what does that line mean in their EULA, is it a trap? (E-e-e-emo, look out!)

    It's as if the validity of something is directly proportional to the degree to which someone is willing to offer that something for little or no cost to you. On and on and on it goes, where it will end no one knows...

    You do realize that without proprietary and commercial solutions there would be no open source community. Most open source software is inspired by the impetus created by commercial ventures. Be careful not to bite the hands that feed the open source community much of its inspiration.

    I know that this does not apply to everyone, but I'm beginning to think it's becoming a religion for some.

  21. This looks like an amazing texture editor- I could care less if it's open source or not, as long as the program can create what I need to create. 21 megs will take some time on my horrible connection though...

  22. " Damn, I'm so tired of the "closed"-mindedness of the "open" source community. "

    O come on kernon, you hang around this lot long enough to know that it's not "becoming" but reaching it's end.
    And I knew the 30 mails in my blenderNation filter where going to be about the word "free" in your article.
    I love those debates. If you don't then in the future maybe better use the word freeware. It discribes the gratis a little bit better than free (as in Mandela is free).

    @chuzzy:
    " Too bad its not open source.. It would be great to intergrate a procedural tool like that into blender. "
    Being opensource would not be a garantee that it would be intergrated... I would think the changes would be rather slim as this is probably written in c++.

    @Master Hoshi "Not everyone in the creative world uses Windows…."
    All the 3dStudioMax users use Mac? O wait no, they must be using Maya, that's been on Mac since...
    Well then again the adobe creative suite has been mac intel compatible for ages now...

    Then, MapZone itself:
    It's a good practice for node based editing,... I guess, for it being freeware. Understand this and the nodes in Maya, Shake, AfterEffects will be a piece of cake. Seems to me it's very usefull for game creators who want big maps created on the fly. I would go for photoshop and and handpainted textures myself since the biggest export seems to be 2048x2048, not really worth having a procedural in that resolution...

  23. I have had a word with the guys who built MaPZone and i got a message back saying they are seriously considering a version that will work on Linux and mac. Which is good to hear

  24. I finished downloading this yesterday- it's an amazing program! I find it really easy to dirty textures up. MapZone is also useful in conjunction with a raster program such as Photoshop.

  25. I tried MaPZone, did the blood spatter tutorial, and i think that it is a very good and very powerful program for creating textures. I have played around in gimp trying to do textures and even tried photoshop, but i like the procedural process the most. MaPZone does has a learning curve about as steep blender (not too hard to get used to. but different from other program you may have used) Not a good tool for beginners, as to create good textures the way you want them, means having an understanding of procedurals. I like it, and i am going to use it in my Blender projects! :-P

  26. Has any one else tried Filter Forge? I thought it was very similar. (it requires you have photoshop, btw) I'll give mapzone a try though since my filterforge trial will be running out soon, and I would rather not pay for it - though it is nice.

  27. it reminds me of an old and reasonably forgotten python script that used to be around... the gallery looks pretty cool but being a linux user also, I probably won't get around to trying this out using wine - still, might give it a go sometime...

    @Kernon:
    As an open source advocator myself, I feel similar to some of the other users on here - especially as open source software is less likely to die out unless it is replaced by something better unlike small buisnesses' commercial software that often dies out when they have either decided the profits were not worthwhile or that they're too busy with other things to bother about the software anymore... this does not always happen of course but generally, in the open source community, users would much prefer their software to remain open sourced where at all possible. this does not mean that they will not use closed source software but that the nature of such software goes against the principles of their consciences especially when used in an open source enviroment! (such as linux) in my view however, if people are that bothered about a given piece of software being closed source then they will replicate it and make a (possibly) better equivelent to rival it in the open source world anyway - after all, node based systems are not all that difficult to code - blender's nodes could easily be extended to encompass texture generation as well as it's existing material and compositing features. why not do it? it would merge in nicely with the rest of blender's functionallity and would probably be a very useful asset if it was so easily accessible whilst modeling/texturing the objects using blender anyway. actually, I believe somebody is thinking about working on such a feature but I'm not sure - I'd love to give it a go if I had the time and coding experience!

    -epat. :)

  28. Lorenzo Gatti on

    Filter Forge doesn't require photoshop or a similar host, it can operate as a standalone application (loading images and selections directly from files in common formats). It is, of course, expensive enough on its own.

  29. Simeon Higgs on

    It uses patented technologies, which explains why it's not open source. Also explains why I aint touching it.

  30. here we go again...why does the old open/closed source war always go up? i may not understand the fancy lingo, but i do understand that many users of open-source software are un-understandably snobbish and act all superior. fine, there may be an open alternative to what software i'm using, but have you even considered the fact that i LIKE the software i'm using? most people who use (almost) exclusively open-source software seem to think to use closed-source software, you need to be an idiot. i've got news for you: your negative attitude wins your beloved software no new users (or friends, except people such as yourself - who are horrible friends anyway). ever heard the saying that you win flies with honey, not vinegar? what use would blender (or indeed, any other software) be without users?
    developing software (like any creative process) takes time and energy (i should know - i've written a couple of small programs in my life). if someone creates something worth using and decides not to open-source it, should a bunch of people who have never done anything close to what they did be allowed to shoot them down? unfortunately, freedom of speech allows anyone to mouth off just about anything they like. if we had a system in place that you can only criticize when you've accomplished similar or more, most people who spout off would be shut up. and if you're so great, why don't you produce something someone else actually *wants* to use? whether or not someone open-sources their software, i think they should be applauded for accomplishing something.

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