I replied to your email via email. Regarding trees, yes, probably just have to have a look around -- I don't personally know of a source for those. If you ask in the main Maxwell forum, rather than this one (specific to the Rhino plugin), you are likely to get more responses.
Jeremy I found a grass texture without displacement, but when I go to edit it in the texture editor none of the controls work to change the values. When I placed the texture on my ground plane the plane turned black. I am just going to send you 2 pictures to your email, one of the texture editor and one of the black plane. I will eventually create grass with the grass extension but first I want to see some realistic render times using a material from the Maxwell website.Thanks
A material may have any number of textures, but the texture editor can only show one at a time; as such, in order to edit a particular one, you need to left-click on the texture's button. Right-clicking the button opens or closes the texture editor, and left-clicking selects the texture in the texture editor; double left-clicking is a shortcut for selecting a new image file for the texture.

So, if you select a BSDF from the tree, to edit the Reflectance 0 texture, you would click the right-most button in the Reflectance 0 row; when there is no texture assigned, it has a black/gray checkerboard pattern, and when there is, it has a small thumbnail of the image.

Your extreme render time with the previous grass material was due to using on-the-fly displacement on a large plane -- it doesn't matter where the material comes from, if it does that, it is going to take a very long time, and regardless whether you find materials like that on the resources site, all I can say is that I'd never personally recommend creating grass that way. If it was up to me, I'd remove any material like that from the resources site.

Also, I'll say, the new "30-grass-textures" material you got looks pretty weird, too. I can't see how it is set up in your screenshot, since I can only see the top-level Material properties, but I see it has a coating. (a little later...) Ok, I found it on the resources site, and this material is indeed terrible; it makes no sense at all, and should definitely be removed. Here is a better one.

That said, please try this before downloading & using the other material; starting with the other "30-grass-textures" material:
  1. Right-click on Layer, choose Add BSDF.
  2. Click on the "basic" BSDF in the layers tree.
  3. Drag any one of the grass thumbnails you see along the right.
  4. Drag it over the new BSDF; the BSDF will be shown in the editor.
  5. Drag it over the Reflectance 0 texture button, and drop it.
  6. Right-click the "basic" BSDF and choose Remove BSDF.
  7. Right-click the BSDF > Reflectance 0 texture to open the texture editor
  8. Enable the Image Properties > Interp. checkbox.
  9. Set both of the texture Repeat values to 20
You will likely need to use a Repeat value other than 20, it depends on the size of the ground plane. The point of this is to show how you can quickly salvage a bad material and end up with something at least marginally useful (the texture in this particular material is not very good -- you'll see the pixels, which is why I had you enable texture interpolation in step (h) above).
Jeremy I will do this in the morning when I have a clear head. I took the grass you gave me the link to and scaled it by 20. When I placed it on the ground plane it looked right but in the render it looked large again. Why is this? I will send you a screenshot in a few minutes. Thanks for the great tutorials. I put a front window in the house hoping to lighten the scene. Should have included this before as there is a front window in the house in about the same place as where I put it. I am going to send you the 3ds file and you can play with it "if you want" to show me what is possible. How do I adjust my sun to flood the kitchen with light thru the large front window I put in. I changed the glass in the upper cupboards to the green glass found in the maxwell resources.
Jeremy, what are the highest iso settings and I/shutter settings one should use. How can I brighten my scene up?The kitchen window is on the west wall. The large living room window I added is on the east wall and gets the morning sun. If I add a 20 ft window on the north wall out of view of the camera will this brighten the scene appreciably? I can even add about a 10 ft window on the south wall. Or do you suggest I add some emitters? What would you do so I don't have to crank up the iso or I/shutter? Remember I am knew to Maxwell and Rendering. I am sending you an email with a picture of the rendering at 18 SL. In 9 hrs, hopefully the noise will be gone. I look forward to seeing what it will look like at SL 19 in 2.66 hrs. I will send you an update then. Then I will be up to check it at 6 am to check it 6 hrs later. Considering the specs of my computer, how long do you think I will have to render for, before the noise is acceptable? What SL level will that be? One last question. What does the benchmark actually indicate? Thanks
JD I took the 30 grass texture and modified it but have not tested it, because I am still rendering the kitchen scene with an extra east window. The kitchen scene is now at SL 22.09. I was thinking of rendering it until SL 25 to see what the results will be. It might take another 48 hrs. I then have a scene with windows on the north and south walls as well. Do you think the extra windows will allow enough ambient light to brighten up the kitchen? If they won't I was thinking of duplicating the glass in the upper cupboards, if possible swiveling these at a 45 degree angle to the ceiling, and making these emitters. Is this possible? Or should I use the glass in the upper cupboards as emitters. Can I make the glass emit light not only perpendicular to the glass but also at a 45 degree angle so it bounces off the ceiling? How much light would this throw from a dark green ceiling? I could also have emitters under the Island top where people sit...where the alcoves are and under the upper cupboards. Even a valence above the kitchen sink would permit an emitter. I just don't like pot lights in a tongue and groove ceiling or in the beams. Cheers!
I wouldn't personally render a scene like this much past SL 20 or so; there is a small bit of noise that will continue to clear, but it is already clear enough at that point for it to be a matter of taste.

As far as adding more windows, or adding emitters, this can also come down to taste, though it is usually not something purely optional, if the house is an actual design to be built. In which case, you can think of Maxwell more as a predictive tool. The question of camera exposure also hinges on this factor, since the more light you are able to put into the scene, the lower exposure it will require, and the more you will be able to see the interior and exterior, simultaneously. It just comes down to what you can do, while still keeping realism; it is no different in real-world photography, where you could choose to use so much artificial light that realism begins to be lost.

On the question of creating false emitters, indeed it is possible, but if you are free to alter the model as you like, I would always choose to do something realistic -- lighting in the cabinets, under- and/or above-upper lighting, and so forth. Either way, the answer to how much light it would throw is: exactly how much wattage you create. If the goal is getting appealing lighting without cans (or I assume, fixtures), I would approach it the same way you would (or will, if this is a house to be built) in real life. If you don't, you are leaving on the table that predictive power, which is a main reason for using Maxwell in the first place. It is not like a non-physical render, where you are just trying to make a pretty picture, rather, it is simulating the lighting in a space, with the only question being whether you'll create a realistic space.
I am re-rendering my kitchen scene and have black noise artifacts at SL 18. Will these disappear as I continue to render. I put emitters in my scene and my kitchen island is out of focus. Will that blur go away once I adjust my lights once I am done rendering? I will take the render to min. 23 SL and maybe 25.I will post in other software in the blenderartists forum and the rhino forum. Thanks

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