Scatter (UI)

Screenshot of the Scatter rollout.
Screenshot of the Scatter rollout.

Please read the below information to learn more about the plugin.

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The Scatter logo displays the SiNi version number and if there is an update available. The show checkbox when checked displays the plugin icon in the viewport. You can adjust the logo size if required.

Tip - Scatter plugin help

Clicking on the question mark in the header will open this help document page.

01. Statistics Rollup

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The Statistics Rollup gives live feedback on the scene polygon count.

02. Distribute Mesh Rollup

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Display Type

  • Force Display Type - check this box to force the display to the selection.
  • Select the display of objects dropdown - select from the list.
  • Point Cloud Vertices Percentage - defines the number of points.
  • Independent object display dropdown - select an object to isolate it from the list.
  • Object Count - select the number of renderable scattered objects.
  • Paint Count - select the number of renderable painted objects
  • S - click to apply random seed on the selected object.
  • Viewport Display Percentage - the percentage of total objects to display in the viewport.
  • Select All - selects all the Scatter objects.
  • Update Objects - updated the selected objects.
  • Update All - updates all the Scatter objects and refresh draws viewport.
Viewport display settings
Viewport display settings

Tip - Viewport display settings

For heavy scenes, with millions of polygons, we recommend setting this to Pyramid.

03. Distribute Objects Rollup

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The list view displays all objects added to Disperse.


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From left to right

  • Add objects - click to manually pick objects from the scene. Click to stop selecting.
  • Add by name - opens the 3ds Max scene explorer to pick objects.
  • Delete objects - select objects from the list and click to delete.
  • Replace objects - replaces the selected object from the list with another object in the scene. Pick to replace.
  • Percentage - adjust the percentage ratio of the selected object. For example 10% of the total count.

Object Management

Tip - double click objects for object management

When you double-click an object in the list the pop up appears. See below for details.

Scene optimation with external proxies
Scene optimation with external proxies
  • Rename - change the name to easily locate it in the list.
  • ProxSi conversion - Scatter allows you to convert objects into a proxy saved externally. This may be used to keep large scenes lightweight. Objects that are converted have a P symbol placed next to them in the list. To convert back into a Scatter object, open the Object Management and click on Export ProxSi to Object.

Random Transforms

Tick the checkbox to activate transforms. This will expose the right side column meaning you can input (lower) to (higher) numbers. Scatter will use these figures to randomly adjust each instance.

Seed - click seed to re-generate the transformation settings.

Tip - transformations

In the list panel - if All Objects is selected this will apply global settings to all objects in the list, ignoring their individual settings. Selected objects - if you select a single object, you can adjust independently its transforms.

Distribution Map

Select the distribution map from the dropdown. This will be used to layout the scattering pattern.


Set the objects collision distance. 

Animation Offset - disabled

At present, the animation settings are disabled meaning Scatter will ignore any animation information in the model. We aim to address this in time!

04. Painter Rollup

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See below for brush settings.

Painter Hot Keys

Control 1 - single brush. Control 2 - multi brush. Control 3 - erase brush. Control Alt - scales the brush size smaller. Control Shift - scales the brush size larger.

Select the objects you wish to include in your paintbrush. By default it paints all.

Brush - Single Objects

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Single objects brush

  • If no objects are selected in the list it will paint all within the brush size.
  • Brush Size - defines the brush size.
  • Collision Distance - define the collision distance.
  • Object Paint Percentage - defines the percentage of objects within the brush selection.
  • Paint on Self - tick the checkbox if you want to paint objects on themselves.

Brush - Multiple Objects

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Multiple objects brush

  • If no objects are selected in the list it will paint all within the brush size.
  • Brush Size - defines the brush size.
  • Collision Distance - define the collision distance.
  • Paint Amount - sets the density of objects.
  • Paint Falloff - (not active).
  • Object Paint Percentage - defines the percentage of objects within the brush selection.

Brush - Delete Objects

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Deletes Scatter objects from the scene.

  • If no objects are selected in the list it will erase all within the brush size.
  • Select a single object or selection set to erase selected only.
  • Brush size - defines the brush size.
  • Erase Chance - sets a percentage for culling objects.

05. Distribute Map Rollup

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Select, adjust, and create distribution maps for use in scattering objects.

  • Map preview - displays a thumbnail of the selected bitmap.
  • Dropdown - click on the dropdown to select from a selection of preset maps.
  • Bitmap button - click on the bitmap button to open the Material/Map Browser to select a custom map to load, or adjust the listed selected map.
  • Plus - click the (+) to add the custom map to the Distribute Objects - Distribute Maps list.
  • UV mapping - adjusts the UV tiling on the selected map. Click (+) to add it.
Creating custom bitmaps.
Creating custom bitmaps.

Tip - applying the selected distribution map

To add the map to Scatter distribution, select it using the dropdown in the Distributed Object rollup.

06. Colour and Texture Variation Rollup

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Apply variation to selected objects.

Tick checkbox to activate. Click on the Seed button to apply random seeding.

Variation count - Up to 500 colour variations.

Diffuse and texture colour adjustment sliders.

  • Hue shift - adds hue variation.
  • Saturation - adds saturation variation.
  • Brightness - adds brightness variations.
  • Contrast - adds contrast variations.
Colour and texture variation. Left - off. Right - on.
Colour and texture variation. Left - off. Right - on.

Tick checkbox for material name filtering. Texture Name - select the material name you want to apply to. Click the plus (+) to add.

Include/Exclude Select the option you prefer. For example on a tree, you may want to exclude the bark material.

07. Exclusion Splines Rollup

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Exclusion splines are used to mask out areas to exclude from the calculation. To use, click on the bottom right button to select the spline or splines you wish to use. To remove a spline, select it in the display box and click the delete button below.

08. Camera Clipping Rollup

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Tick enable to cull 3D geometry outside the camera field of view.

  • Active View Camera - use the active camera.
  • Selected Camera - click to select the camera. - Pick Camera - Pick the camera to use.
  • F.O.V Expansion - field of view expansion. Increasing this widens the cull point to includes objects that may cast shadows in the camera view. See the below image for reference.

Top - not active. Mid - active. Bot - expansion adjustment.
Top - not active. Mid - active. Bot - expansion adjustment.

09. Export Rollup

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Export options

  • Export normally - exports as an edit mesh.

Export to Multi Mesh This exports each 3D object as a collapsed (combined) single object.

Export to Single Objects This exports each 3D object as an individual object and creates instances. Full Mesh (greyed out) - By default, exporting is set to full display resolution.

  • Export as ProxSi - exports each 3D object in ProxSi proxy format. ProxSi
  • Export as V-Ray proxy - exports each 3D object in V-Ray proxy format.
  • Export as Corona proxy - exports each 3D object in Corona proxy format.

All proxy formats export and save instances.

If you select one of the proxy formats you have the option to select the display settings.






Bounding Box


Point cloud

Preview Edges

Preview Faces

Wireframe Box

Half mesh

Full mesh

Tip - rearrange the Scatter Rollups

Did you know you can rearrange the Rollups to your preferred workflow? Right-click on the dot grid in the top right corner of each Rollup and hold down to move or right-click to open the config tab.

Scatter Rollup config.
Scatter Rollup config.

Updated 19 Oct 2021
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