Populate:Terrain development status

I will use this page to inform about the development of Populate:Terrain.
Please post your bug reports / wishlists / suggestions to a comment below.


Priorities for next point release:

  • bug fixing

Priorities for next major release (2.0):

 User Feedback/Wishlist

  • Performance increase
  • Cancel button
  • Cap subdivs for preview
  • Freely rotatable grid
  • Height/Slope gradient texture generation

Known bugs


None…If you found one please leave a comment below.

  • Danielmn81

    downloaded the populate terrain script
    installed it to the root the 3d max
    but i dont know where to go now inside of max to open and use the script

    please help

    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      Did you download the setup.exe installer? After install it should be in the main menu: Tools -> Populate:Terrain…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D5VZG4UA5LMCLBRUP43VIKZFBM scoob

      I’m having the same issue in max 2012.  I installed the plugin with the exe and I don’t see it anywhere under the tools pull down menu.  I got the Installation Complete messeage that says “…you can start it now from the main menu: Tools -> Populate:Terrain” but it’s not there.

  • Tim

    I am interested in trying the terrain script but the download links don’t work

    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      Works from here…what message do you get?

  • Sivakanesh Sivasambu

    I’ve been looking for something like this for ever. 
    I’m trying this on a high poly terrain.  Keeps on getting Unknown System Error.On Windows 7 64-bit with 14GB RAM. MAX 2011.  Any ideas how I can get this to work? Thanks.

    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      With lower subdivs it works? I’m currently working on a new version that greatly improves performance with high subdivs…

  • Anonymous


    I tried the script on my HP z800 ( xeon quad-core, win7, 12gig ram, quadro 4000) and here’s what happening; I select the shape, press process and the progress bar goes to about 90% and then… nothing more.  The command line says -boolean completed- but the computer still computing. Tried with various setting and everytime I must kill MAX to stop the process with no result.  any cues ?

  • Anonymous

    All right.  Let it worked for about 15 min and got some result.  See attached images. 

    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      That’s one impressive terrain spline. Is it possible that you send me that file to office[at]populate3d .com , so I can look into it?

  • Anonymous

    The second file did not pass.  Here it is.

  • Lenshin

    Very good script. But it doesn’t work under Max 2008(((. Can you check it?

    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      Sorry, 2010 and higher only, for different technical reasons!

  • bero

    Script seems fantastic, now I hope I can get it to work on 2009 😉

  • Christopher Pettit

    Hey, anyway that it could use more than a single CPU? It doesn’t seem multi-threaded.

    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      Next version will be a lot faster. Im looking into multi threading, but it seems very hard to split geometric operations into multiple threads in 3ds max without crashing.

  • Asdf

    If it were multi-threaded I would be so happy. I have a 12 core machine and its only chugging away with 1 core….. 

  • Bruno Lopes


    Love the script and the new features, but like the new trimmer, how about a “split” function?

    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      tell me more about it :)

      • Bruno Lopes

        Instead of just trimming, that subtracts part of the geometry, splitting leaves the trimmed part in place :)

      • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

        Did you try the “invert” option? It should already be doing what you’re looking for, if I understand correctly.

      • Bruno Lopes

        yes it may work, but you have to duplicate the geometry, and apply de invert to one, and disable to invert to the other duplicate.

      • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

        Ah ok I understand…it will result in 2 objects…I will think about it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.daccache Charles Daccache


    AWESOME plugin… really very creative and unique… i use it a lot! :Dthank you soo much for your effort!

  • Ricardo Rivers.

    Hi, I’m trying to install the plugin over Max 9, but the plugin is located at Edit menu and give me an error: MAXScript MacroScript Error Exception — Syntax error: at bad, expected — In line: □

    • Ricardo Rivers.

      I think my trouble is related to the Max version. Is it possible to get older versions of the plugin for older Max versions?. Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.vartzbed Alexander Vartzbed

    hi, I love the plugin but I’m fighting with it! I have a HIGHLY detailed world map I’m trying to make into a sphere, but everytime i use your plugin on one of the Countries, they suddenly become VERY VERY simple! or sometimes even disappear completely .. is there a way, to keep the outline intact and only with with the face itself?

  • Branko Živković

    Hi Mark,
    Your script tool is a life saver.Very nice!
    Works great and smoothly.
    Autodesk is not optimized their Compound objects 15 years
    exept ProBoolien and ProCutter.
    Although there are possibilities to do different things,
    i think there are currently no a better tool for generating terrains.Cheers! 

  • Sebastien

    sometime when i do usual work in 3dsmax i get this error since i have installed your Script

    unknown property “lbl_status” in undefined

    • sebastien

      so ….. ?

    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      Hi, I fixed the “lbl_status” bug in v1.82!

  • Lisa

    Hi there,

    Every time I close 3ds max the Populate option disappears from the Tools menu, and I have to re-run the installation? Any ideas what might be causing this?


    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      are you running 3ds max with non-admin rights? do you have UAC enabled? it sounds like the configuration is write protected…

      2012/8/9 Disqus

  • Antony

    1st, great tool here^^ really wonderful yet simple to use.
    But i have the same problem with Lisa, everytime the 3ds max is closed, the populate option is gone from the tools menu. 
    I log in using the admin account, UAC disabled, running 3ds max 2012 64 bit, window 7 ultimate. 

    Any way i can fix this? thanks in advance.

    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      Can you try adding the menu entries manually? (See attached dialog). Maybe if you save the menu from the interface it “sticks”.

      • Antony

        thanks for the quick reply :)
        I really dont know what happened, but now the menu entries is sticking there without me doing anything lol. 
        Thanks for the solution, will try it later if the problem persist.

        Also, i dont know what it actually does, but that “lbl_status- undefined” message is sometimes appearing. I dont see any real problem though. I’m using version 1.8.2 btw.

        Keep up the good work Marc! Thanks again.

      • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

        Yeah I’m going to fix the lbl_status bug soon, it’s annoying but harmless.

      • Antony

        The bug is not really harmless, when you import the contour lines from AutoCAD, it become completely invisible.
        I managed to work around this by uninstalling Populate Terrain 1st, saving the contour line to .max, then reinstall and use the program. 

      • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

        I uploaded a new version 1.83, please see if it fixes it for you.

  • http://twitter.com/fjameswelch James Welch

    Great script, works really well but keep getting this message in max ‘lbl_status- undefined’ i’m using Max Design 2013. Anyway to stop this message?

  • Skea2

     Sorry, but I can not install v1.83 for 3ds max 2013 Design.When I run 3ds max after installing the plugin, I get the message:- Unknown system exceptionAnd MAXscript Listener wrote to me:- Error occurred during fileIn in # C: Users Victor AppData Local Autodesk 3dsMaxDesign 2013 – 64bit ENU temp populate-terrain_install.ms; line number: 22>> MAXScript Auto-load Script Error – D: Program Files Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2013 scripts startup populate-terrain_install.mzp Exception:- Unknown system exception <<

  • Nenad

    Thanks for a great script! One question, is it possible make an option to manually choose orientation of the created grid (edges)? Hope you understand me :)

    • Nenad

      Ah i should have read user wishlist first :/ My bad :)

  • william

    Thanks for this amazing tool! I’ve found that some topologies don’t get to work quite well with it while others fit easily, so I’d like to know how big may be the topology (triangle count) and which restrictions we need to focus on while using it? Thx in advance :)

  • Shashank Sherkar

    Is there a version available for poor souls like me who still use MAX9.0? If yes can you send a link to my email. (shashank_sherkar@rediffmail.com)

  • grasshopper

    Brilliant tool.. Thanks. 1 up for grid rotation!

  • Dhana

    Fantastic plugin. Solved all my 3d terrain problems. Thank you for the wonderful plugin.

  • Lisa

    for some reason, after installing the terrain plugin, it still doesn’t show up in max. i am using max 2014, can anyone tell me why it isn’t working? thanks.

  • duke

    Is there a chance of this becoming open source so I could turn it into a plugin? :)

  • mehdi

    HI. i have a freaky problem. i was working with your great pluging for some week and it worked perfectly but suddenly i have this !! :S
    i uninstall and reinstalled it but it’s the same. can you help plz .. it’s really emergency for me. thank you kindly

    • http://populate3d.com Marc Lorenz

      can you send me the .max file to: office@populate3d.com ?

      • mahdi


  • MX01 Computação Gráfica

    Fantastic plugin. Great Job! Thank you very much for the wonderful plugin !!! Best Regards from Brasil!

  • young

    thank you so much! ur a lifesaver

  • belly be

    Hi developper,
    would there be any chance that your marvelous plug-in will be updated for MAx design 2015?

  • MarkoR

    First, this is the great plugin and thank you for the effort.

    Is there a bug with framing sistem? As I made one framing sistem, I wanted to make another one. But, the first one disappear when I try to make the second one. I tried to convert the first Framing sistem to Editmech, to change the name, to remove the material but It’s happens all over again.

    Thank you

  • Richard

    HI – as Belle Be below – 2015 compatibility for 2.0 (or latest)? Cheers

  • Rakesh Kadam

    How to Create terrain using Counter lines in Populate-Terrain_v1.86

    For example refer link


    Pls help….

  • duke

    Have you given any more consideration to making this open source? There are a few issues with it that I could quite easily fix.

  • e

    please compile this to 3ds max 2015 :) :) :)

  • Igor


  • Eagle_No11

    Any clues why Norton antivirus would be rejecting installation of the terrain download. Dates on the exe download don’t match the date on the download page and the file has a “Sonar” threat signature.

  • Acadgatsu

    Hi Mr. Lorenz, I recently re-downloaded populate terrain on windows 10 and I get a Windows Defender prompt about malware trojan before it gets deleted. Is the currently available 1.86 .exe safe to use? Thank you.

  • Heike Schimansky

    Hi, the download link does not work. Is there a newer one somewhere?

  • James A. Salazar

    Descarguen con un navegador diferente a chrome. El chrome lo identifica como virus.

  • Dhafar Al-Edani

    Thank you for this great plug-in. I am new to 3D max and I don’t know where to fins the plug in within the 3D max nor how to lunch it. can you please give me directions? I am using max 2015

    thank you