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Autodesk 3ds Max v2019.2

Review:

 

3D modeling, animation, and rendering software

3ds Max® 3D modeling and rendering software helps you create massive worlds in games, stunning scenes for design visualization, and engaging virtual reality experiences.


Highlights

Produce professional-quality 3D animations, renders, and models with 3ds Max® software. An efficient toolset helps you create better 3D content in less time.

Why 3ds Max?

Easy, Robust Modeling
Create, shape, and define a range of environments and detailed characters.

High-end Rendering
3ds Max works with most major renderers—including Arnold, V-Ray, Iray, and mental ray—to help create striking scenes and visuals.

Efficient 3D animation
Build imaginative characters and realistic scenes for games, architecture, and product design.

Flexible Interoperability
Revit, Inventor, and Fusion 360, as well as SketchUp, Unity, and Unreal, all work with 3ds Max


New in 3ds Max 2019

Arnold for 3ds Max
The MAXtoA plug-in is integrated into 3ds Max, giving you access to the latest Arnold features.

Fluid simulation
Create realistic liquid behaviors directly in 3ds Max.

Open Shading Language
Create Open Shading Language (OSL) maps, from simple math nodes all the way up to fully procedural textures.

Shape Boolean object
Create parametric Boolean operations on 2 or more splines for open or closed shapes using the familiar UI from 3D Booleans.


Features

3ds Max 2019 modeling and rendering software

Produce professional-quality 3D animations, renders, and models with 3ds Max® software. An efficient toolset helps you create better 3D and virtual reality (VR) content in less time.

3D animation and dynamics

  • 3ds Max Fluids - Create realistic liquid behaviors directly in 3ds Max.
  • Motion Paths - Manipulate animations directly in the viewport and get direct feedback when making adjustments in your scene.
  • Character animation and rigging tools - Create procedural animation and character rigging with CAT, Biped, and crowd animation tools.
  • General animation tools - Use keyframe and procedural animation tools. View and edit animation trajectories directly in the viewport.
  • Max Creation Graph controllers - Author animation controllers, using a new generation of animation tools that you can create, modify, package, and share.
  • Particle Flow effects - Create sophisticated particle effects such as water, fire, spray, and snow.
  • Simple simulation data import - Animate simulation data in CFD, CSV, or OpenVDB formats.
  • Geodesic Voxel and Heatmap skinning - Quickly and easily generate better skin weighting.

3D rendering

  • 3ds Max Interactive - Access integrated tools for creating VR visualizations without leaving your 3ds Max workspace.
  • Arnold for 3ds Max - The MAXtoA plug-in is integrated into 3ds Max, giving you access to Arnold’s latest features.
  • Physical Camera - Simulate real-life camera settings such as shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, exposure, and other options.
  • Improved ActiveShade rendering - Iterate quickly with interactive rendering.
  • Autodesk Raytracer Renderer (ART) - Create accurate images of architectural scenes.
  • New | Scene layout in VR - Edit scenes directly from within VR in 3ds Max Interactive, and see updates pushed back to 3ds Max in real time.
  • Rendering in A360 - Render in the cloud right from within 3ds Max.
  • Improved ActiveShade rendering - Iterate quickly with interactive rendering.
  •  

UI, workflow, and pipeline

  • Asset Library - Access 3D content on your local computer and network in a single view, making content instantly searchable.
  • Improved pipeline tools integration - Gain tighter integration with several pipeline tools with an extended and improved Python/.NET toolset.
  • Smart asset packaging - Create, share, and update portable assets that are flexible, connected, and react to changes in design data.
  • Modern UI and workspaces - Create your own custom workspaces with a more modern, responsive, high-DPI-ready user interface.
  • Scene Converter - Seamlessly move from one renderer to another.
  • New | CivilView workflow update - Vehicles created in CivilView now support the 3ds Max physical material, reducing conversion and simplifying rendering.
  • New | Autodesk Viewer workflow - Share models and review feedback online with the Autodesk Viewer directly from the 3ds Max interface
  • New | Updated project tools - Create new projects with greater folder structure flexibility, smarter project switching, and store custom data.

3D modeling, texturing, and effects

  • Spline workflows - Create and animate geometry in several intuitive ways with new and enhanced spline tools.
    Data Channel Modifier - Extract information directly from a model, which you can use to help inform other types of modifications.
  • Blended Box Map - Morph visible seams by blending as many as six materials applied to an object.
  • Mesh and surface modeling - Efficiently create parametric and organic objects with a polygon, subdivision surface, and spline-based modeling features.
  • Hair and Fur modifier - Manipulate hair and fur directly in viewports with a selection and styling tools, such as tools for cutting and brushing.
  • New | Open Shading Language support - Create OSL maps in the material editor from simple math nodes to procedural textures.
  • New | Shape Boolean - Create parametric Boolean operations on two or more splines with the familiar UI from 3D Booleans.
  • New | Procedural wood texture - Create a wood texture for a variety of wood types, growth rates, and finishes based on the wood texture from Fusion 360.

 

 

Operating System

Microsoft® Windows® 7 (SP1), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 Professional operating system

Hardware

  • CPU: 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor*
  • Graphics Hardware: Refer to Recommended Hardware wizard for a detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards
  • RAM: 4 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • Disk Space: 6 GB of free disk space for install
  • Pointing Device: Three-button mouse

* The Arnold renderer requires that the processor supports SSE4.1 (How to check if your processor supports SSE4.1)

Browser

Autodesk recommends the latest version of the following web browsers for access to online supplemental content:

  • Microsoft® Edge
  • Google Chrome™
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®
  • Mozilla® Firefox®
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Updates

What's new in 3ds Max 2019.2

Fluids update 

  • The new Fluid Loader is an object that makes it easy to load and manipulate fluid simulation data. With the Fluids Loader, users can load cached fluid simulations, adjust the transform of the sim, offset the playback, assign materials and render the sim.
  • We added support for rendering fluids data channels such as Vorticity, Density, Age, etc. with Arnold
  • You can adjust the meshing parameters for liquid and foam of a loader and the render settings such as data channels mentioned above. Even reuse simulations and control each playback independently.
  • When working with complex simulations, you may have many emitters, colliders, and motion fields. This can make iterating on fluid simulations cumbersome, so we have added the ability to disable and enable emitters, colliders, motion fields, etc. for faster, more finely controlled sims.

Open standards Alembic & OSL Improvements
Alembic support has been updated to version 1.7.5, with this comes with improvements to export and speed.

  • Alembic UV export is now compatible with Maya by default
  • Support for instances allows files to be much smaller while maintaining complexity and can dramatically improve export speed.
  • We have included a better tree-view arrangement and searching in the Alembic Inspector Window. 
  • The OSL editor now displays line numbers.
  • In the OSL editor, the “Compile” shortcut is changed from Ctrl+S to F7, and Ctrl+S is now the much more sensible “Save”.
  • The OSL editor now highlights matching brackets, e.g. if the cursor is on a left parenthesis, the matching right parenthesis is highlighted.

Arnold 5.2 Update
Arnold 5.2 delivers several usability and performance enhancements, plus significant new features to improve workflows. 

  • Texture Baking is now supported with the render-to-texture workflow.
  • Shade enhancements include a new Cell Noise shader and new Sheen function in the Standard Surface shader to render cloth-like microfiber materials or the peach fuzz.
  • RGB clamping in clamp shader can now be configured to either a scalar or color mode.
  • Edge detection can be controlled in Toon Shader using the STRING type user data, toon_id.
  • The stability and usability of the high-quality Noice denoiser has been improved.
  • GPU memory consumption of the fast NVIDIA OptiX denoiser has been greatly reduced.

New Subscription Benefits - Autodesk Drive
Autodesk Drive is a cloud storage solution that allows you to securely store, preview, and share  your 2D and 3D design data. It supports 60+ types of Autodesk and 3rd party files for viewing and organizing, preserving your local storage where you only download when you need to. More on Autodesk Drive Here

Community Updates
Autodesk is committed to responding quickly to 3ds Max user feedback. That’s why this release includes over 70 fixes, many of which were submitted by the 3ds Max user community at 3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com.

  • Track View and Scene Explorer panels are now windowed again.
  • Data Channel can now output vertex alpha.
  • Projects workflow, users can have more than 60 paths associated with a project.
  • New 3ds Max security tools set offer protection against the CRP and ALC 3rd party scripts.
  • Shared Views now export Autodesk materials and V-Ray Materials with textures.
  • Decimal separator now identified in Windows regional setting.
  • MaxScript operations on the Skin Modifier no longer require objects to be selected. 

 Check out the full release notes here!

 

What’s new in 3ds Max 2019.1 Update

Playing nice with Alembic files

As a standard exchange format, Alembic is used to interop across different DCCs. As such, we have made several improvements:

  • You can now inspect the contents of an Alembic file before adding it to your scene.
  • Alembic helper icons are resizable and can be toggled on or off.
  • 3ds Max Object properties are included in Alembic export and import.
  • Custom Attributes created in 3ds Max are now included in Alembic export and import.
  • We fixed an issue with Alembic content not being rendered with Arnold.
  • Alembic objects with duplicate hierarchy/names now have unique IDs.
  • NURBS import and export now behave predictably. Note that any scene splines will be automatically converted to NURBS when exporting.
  • ... and several stability fixes.

OSL performance improvements: It’s now easier to see what you’re working with

  • Improved rendering performance for complex OSL shaders, especially with Scanline Renderer.
  • Improved viewport representation of OSL shaders, with native support for over 80 of the included OSL shaders.
  • Most user-created procedural OSL shaders can now be viewed in the viewport.
  • Improved OSL Editor, including font customization.

Included updates from Arnold 5.1

  • Adaptive sampling gives users a streamlined way to tune images, reducing render times without jeopardizing final image quality.
  • The OptiX Denoiser based on NVIDIA AI technology is now integrated into Arnold and can be applied on the beauty pass without needing to create extra AOVs.
  • The Noice Denoiser can be run as a standalone tool or from a dedicated UI, exposed as a new tab in the rendering options.
  • The new Toon shader is included as part of a non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) solution.
  • Native Arnold ramp shaders are now available and are particularly useful when tonemapping the toon shader components.
  • The new native Alembic procedural provides maximum control and flexibility, helping to eliminate important production bottlenecks.
  • Message logging system: the target file for the Arnold messages can now be set directly from the rendering options.
  • Structured stats and profiling: render statistics and profiling info can now be output to json files.
  • Fisheye, cylindrical and spherical cameras are now available. The VR camera layout has been updated.

Scripting improvements

  • Python dictionaries now support any MaxScript value as keys.
  • Working with user-defined object properties through MaxScript now supports all value types correctly.
  • The maxVersion() MaxScript command now reports the full product version.
  • Converting a large object set from MaxScript (pymxs.runtime.objects) to a Python list is now instantaneous.

Generally making life easier

  • Switching between projects is now more manageable, with a new toolbar indicating project status, and the option to set your own defaults for switching.
  • Share your vision more easily — Shared Views now supports all bitmap types and most procedural textures.
  • Using a short MaxScript command (FBXExportSetParam “ExportAnimationOnly” true) allows you to export FBX animation data without needing to include geometry.

Bringing your ideas to life in 3ds Max 2019.1 Update

We are committed to responding quickly to 3ds Max user feedback. That’s why this release includes over 80 fixes, some of which were submitted by you – the 3ds Max user community – at 3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com.

A few highlights:

  • Archiving and scene file compression now supports large data sets (greater than 2GB)
  • Vault users can check large files in and out, and auto-login
  • Attaching large amounts of meshes is up to 7 times faster
  • Fixed an issue with boolean operations with multi-element meshes invalidating UV data

Full release notes | 3ds Max 2019.1

2019 Update Highlights

3ds Max® 2019 introduces new features that speed the creation of intricate 3D scenes, and faster workflows that make it easier to collaborate on and execute complex projects.

Simpler project and pipeline management

  • Structure project folders in a way that makes sense for your pipeline — and automatically switch between projects when opening a file from a different project.
  • Custom data can be stored within a 3ds Max scene file, and accessed without loading it into 3ds Max.
  • It’s now easier to share Alembic data between 3ds Max and other 3D tools, with support for UVs, layer names, material IDs, and vertex color.

Faster content creation and editing

  • Extensive support for Open Shading Language maps, including over 100 included shaders.
  • Advanced wood procedural textures, including maple, cherry, oak, pine, mahogany, and more.
  • With a new Shape Boolean object, users can perform Boolean operations parametrically on geometry created around splines.
  • Edit scenes directly in VR with 3ds Max Interactive.

More efficient collaboration

  • Sharing assets with reviewers and collaborators from 3ds Max is now simpler than ever: Assets can be shared to the online Autodesk Viewer directly from the 3ds Max interface, so reviewers don't need to install extra software or sign in to view the content.
  • Reviewers can view, markup, and take screenshots of content directly in-browser, and feedback can be reviewed from within 3ds Max.

Also in 3ds Max 2019

Autodesk is committed to responding quickly to 3ds Max user feedback. That’s why this release includes over 150 fixes, many that were submitted by the 3ds Max user community.
3ds Max 2019 also incorporates refinements to previously added features, including Max Fluids, VR workflows in 3ds Max Interactive, Max Batch, and Spline Tools.

See full release notes

2018.4 Update Highlights

3ds Max Interactive updates:

  • Physically-based lights. Use data from real-world lights to create a realistic distribution of light in your scene.
  • Clear coat is now more energy conserving, which reduces bloom when using a clear coat material.
  • A new shading environment property lets you disable default tone mapping, and extend tone mapping through a custom plugin.
  • Add frequently used assets or folders as favorites in the Asset Browser.
  • The Capture Frames tool now supports PNG format, plus additional codecs.
  • The Deployer supports bundling a project in a self-extracting zip file instead of creating an installer when you use the Deployer panel to create a standalone package of your project for Windows. See the Self Extracting Zip option in Package the project for Windows.
  • Updated Project Manager.
  • Scripters and programmers can now debug a project’s Lua code from the Visual Studio Code editor.
  • Complete 3ds Max Interactive documentation is now available within the 3ds Max Help.

Note: If you have existing projects created in previous versions of 3ds Max Interactive, refer to the Update requirements.

Fluid Simulation updates:

  • With the new Liquid Parameter Presets, you can quickly simulate such standard fluids as milk, honey, blood, and chocolate, as well as various types of oil. You can also use these presets as a starting point for your own custom simulations.
  • Use the Initial State feature to start a new simulation based off of the state of an existing simulation on a particular frame. This is useful when you want a fluid to be in full flow at the start of the simulation, for example when creating a waterfall or an open faucet.
  • You can now truncate a simulation, deleting all simulation files after a specified frame. Use this feature to further fine-tune a simulation while preserving earlier results.
  • With UV Projection, you can set a map channel to project UVs directly onto the liquid volume.
  • You can now export .prt files for liquid and/or foam directly from the context menu of a selected solver.

3ds Max Batch updates:

3ds Max Batch is now a stand-alone executable with many new options. See 3ds Max Batch for more information. Improvements include:

  • You can now pass the string and numeric data to the executing script from the command-line using the new -mxsString and -mxsValue arguments.
  • 3ds Max Batch now supports configurable verbosity levels and logs errors to the console and log files.
  • Scene files can now be loaded via the batch script, allowing for more automation options.
  • Additional MAXScript commands now allow scripts to specify custom exit codes and send custom messages to the log file.

Scene Converter update:

  • You can now easily remove missing legacy assets from scenes using the Scene Converter.
  • Select which missing assets you want to remove.
  • Dependencies are shown.
  • New options in MAXScript.

See full release notes.

2018.3 Update Highlights

Fluids:

  • Fluids allow you to create fluid simulations directly inside 3ds Max using Bifrost technology.
  • Read/create BIF files for direct interoperability with Maya.
  • Save/create presets based on viscosity, giving the illusion of different fluid types (honey, water, jelly, etc.).
  • Read/open VDB files.
  • Dynamically create meshes based on the simulation, which can be processed at the same time or independently.
  • Outputs mesh to Alembic so you can play anywhere Alembic is supported or has faster playback.

Motion Field:

  • The Motion Field space warp works with Fluids, 3ds Max's particle systems, and deforms meshes.
  • Combines multiple forces that would have had to be done separately previously, such as drag, wind, and gravity.
  • Ability to turn specific components on/off as needed.

New Arnold release:

  • See the Arnold (MAXtoA) release notes for detailed information.
  • Compatible with Fluids.
  • Update to Arnold 5.0.1.3
  • Polymeshes can be volume containers.
  • Global AOV shaders exposed.
  • Indirect AOV checkbox added to skydome light.
  • RGBA (beauty) AOV now allowed.
  • Indirect Sample Clamp and Indirect Specular Blue exposed in rendering options.
  • Iridescence (thin film) section added to the Standard Surface shader.
  • Normal Map shader exposes a strength parameter.
  • Coat built-in AOVs added.
  • Improved mesh light sampling.
  • Shaper quad and disk light spread.
  • Up to 2x faster BVH build.
  • Support for point cloud objects.
  • min_pixel_width added to the Arnold property modifier.
  • "Skip License Check" renamed "Render with Watermarks."
  • Scene information added as metadata when exported to .ass file.
  • OIO upgraded to 1.7.15.
  • OSL upgraded to 1.9.0.
  • New CLM license.

2018.2 Update Notes:

Highlights - What's New:

3ds Max Batch
3ds Max Batch allows you to perform MAXScript or Python automation in the background, as a standalone process or in parallel with the desktop application.
3ds Max Batch can be deployed on the cloud.

Freehand Spline
The Freehand Spline allows you to create hand-drawn splines directly in the viewport.

Spline Influence Modifier
The Spline Influence Modifier allows you to create a soft selection of spline knots based on their proximity to specified objects.

Spline Mirror Modifier
The Spline Mirror Modifier allows you to easily duplicate a spline along a specified axis.
Duplicates any present normals.

Spline Morph Modifier
The Spline Morph Modifier allows you to blend between different shapes.
Two methods available: progressive and blended.

Spline Overlap Modifier
The Spline Overlap Modifier detects self-overlapping splines and adjusts the displacement of the intersecting segments.

Spline Relax Modifier
The Spline Relax Modifier smooths out splines by relaxing knot positions and/or handles.

Optimize Spline Modifier
The Optimize Spline Modifier reduces the number of knots and adjusts their handles to optimally reproduce the original spline as closely as possible.

Influence Helper
The Influence Helper allows you to easily select vertices and apply proximity based falloffs to effects.

Enhancements and Changes:

PathDeform Modifier
The PathDeform modifier now works in object space and can also push the materials onto the geometry based on the materials applied to segments.

Normalize Spline Modifier
The Normalize Spline modifier now gives you more options to make your splines even out.

UVW Unwrap Modifier
The top UVW Unwrap Modifier defects submitted and nominated by the user community have been fixed in a continuing commitment to quality.

CAD based import
CAD based imports through ATF now have an average 30% reduction in conversion times.

Viewports
Complex scenes, such as a commercial airliner interior with hundreds of seats, can now be used and manipulated in the viewports.

New in 3ds Max 2018.1

3ds Max Interactive
Build immersive architectural visualizations with the combined power of 3ds Max and a virtual reality engine.

Smart asset packaging
Create, share, and update portable assets that are flexible, connected, and react to changes in design data.

Customizable workspaces
Match your UI to the way you think and work with a more responsive, modern, and customizable user experience.

Arnold 5 for 3ds Max
Version 1.0 of the MAXtoA plug-in is now integrated into 3ds Max, giving you access to Arnold's latest features.

What's new in Autodesk 3ds Max 2018

Arnold renderer:

  • The MAXtoA plugin includes Arnold version 5
  • Volumetric effects with OpenVDB support
  • Atmospheric effects
  • Procedural (proxy) objects allow scene interchange with other Arnold plugins
  • Extensive array of built-in Arnold professional shaders and materials
  • Supports 3rd party shaders compiled for Windows and Arnold 5
  • Easy Image-Based-Lighting workflow with separate Environment and Background capabilities
  • Arnold Properties modifier controls render time effects and options per-object
  • Arbitrary Output Variable (AOV) support for compositing and post-processing
  • Depth-of-Field, Motion Blur, and camera Shutter effects
  • New VR camera
  • New easier-to-use layered Standard Surface with Disney compatibility, replacing Arnold Standard Shader
  • New melanin-driven Standard Hair Shader with simpler parameters and artistic controls for more natural results
  • Supports Photometric lights for easy Revit interop. Full support of 3ds Max Physical material and legacy maps.
  • All-in-one Arnold light supports textured area lights, mesh lights, Skydome and Distant light sources.
  • New Portal mode for Quad and Skydome lights to improve sampling interior scenes.
  • New Roundness and Soft Edge options for Quad and Spot lights.
  • Scene Converter presets and scripts to upgrade legacy scenes.

User interface improvements:

  • QT5 framework with enhanced docking
  • Timeline tear-off
  • Ongoing Hi-DPI icon conversion (370 icons converted)
  • Tear-off menus
  • Faster switching between workspaces
  • Modular main toolbar.

MCG:

  • Easy Map adds the ability to map over an operator by connecting an array of values for graph simplicity
  • Live Type displays computes types in the editor as you work
  • MCG type resolver improved so you no longer need to add extra nodes to provide hints about the type system in MCG
  • Compiler significantly improved to better optimize graph expressions, particularly with functions
  • No longer need to unpack MCG graph and MCG now uses compounds from the package
  • Consumes graphs in package form (.mcg) by simply dragging in the viewport
  • Automatic tool input generation
  • More artist friendly operator/compound naming and categorization
  • New Node Properties window with better operator/compound descriptions
  • 78 new operators

Motion paths:

  • Previews the path of animated objects directly in the viewport. You can adjust motion paths using transforms, and convert them to and from splines

State sets:

  •     SlateSDK based UI gives you a more consistent look and functionality
  •     New node based render pass management

Enhancements and Changes

  • NVIDIA mental ray renderer - While still compatible with 3ds Max, NVIDIA's mental ray rendering software is no longer included with 3ds Max. See NVIDIA for more information.
  • Alembic - Visibility track support and shape suffix management has been added via MAXScript.
  • Chamfer modifier - Chamfering now supports quad intersection to control how corners are affected when multiple edges connect to the same vertex. Also applies to the Edit Poly Chamfer tool.

What's new in Autodesk 3ds Max 2017.1?

Blended Box Map

The Blended Box map allows you to project maps onto objects in a much simpler way than the traditional method requiring complex UV mapping. It is ideal for situations where you want to apply a box map across one more objects to map them from all sides, such as applying details like dirt or grime. Working similarly to box mapping, Blended Box map projects images from three 90° directions. You can project one, three, or 6 different maps for every side of the projection box. A key difference between the two mapping types is blending. Traditional box or cube mapping creates hard seams between the different UV projections, where Blended Box map gives you the ability to blend between the maps for a more seamless result.

Data Channel Modifier

The Data Channel modifier is a new tool for automating complex modelling operations. By piping mesh data through a series of controls known as operators, you can achieve a huge variety of effects that dynamically update as you make changes.

The Data Channel modifier can be useful for automating such tricky operations as blending materials based on different states, creating deformations based on an output, or dynamically copying data between channels for storage. In addition, data can be visualized directly in the viewport as gradients of color.

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