v2021.3 Autodesk 3ds Max


Autodesk 3ds Max

3D modeling, animation, and rendering software for games and design visualization


Model your vision down to the last detail

3ds Max offers a rich and flexible toolset to create premium designs with full artistic control.

  • Create massive worlds in games
  • Visualize high-quality architectural renderings
  • Model finely detailed interiors and objects
  • Bring characters and features to life with animation and VFX

Render high-quality scenes

Living space design visualization made with 3ds Max software

  • The built-in Arnold renderer provides a fully interactive experience and can handle your most complex characters and scenes.
  • Render previews while you work and iterate quickly
  • Save time with artist-friendly UI and intuitive controls
  • Produce high quality renders, faster

3ds Max 2021

Work faster and meet deadlines

Intricate gold and silver dragon ring in a blue brocade-lined ring box

  • 3ds Max lets you scale your workflow with automation, allowing you to spend more time on creativity.
  • Use 3ds Max as a compute engine to scale content production
  • Extend built-in workflows with accessible APIs
  • Accelerate manual steps to boost productivity

Autodesk 3ds Max 2021.3 Update Highlights

Last week, Autodesk released 3ds Max 3ds Max 2021.3, an update that includes new Retopology Tools. Below, a list of the highlights.

  • Autodesk Retopology Tools 1.0
  • Materials and Shaders Evolution
  • Brilliant Viewport
  • Arnold Renderer
  • Path Deform
  • Selection Methods
  • Spline Chamfer
  • Enhanced Subdivide and Remesh Algorithms
  • Render Settings
  • Script Execution
  • Security
  • Plugin Management

Autodesk 3ds Max 2021.3 is focused on modernization, performance, and fit & finish.

We have added new capabilities to the viewport, improved modeling efficiency for artists with enhancements to popular modifiers, and continued to make 3ds Max robust and secure with performance improvement and new security features.

Autodesk Retopology Tools 1.0

  • Retopology Modifier
    • Utilize the Retopology modifier to analyze the geometric mesh data below it on the modifier stack and reconstruct polygonal mesh data as clean quad-based topology. Various algorithms are provided to best suit the needs of your workflow.
  • ReForm Algorithm
    • ReForm is an automated retopology solution developed by Autodesk that generates new quad based geometry with uncompromising accuracy to follow the curvature and shape of the incoming mesh data.
    • Users can help guide the results of ReForm by utilizing existing mesh data such as smoothing groups, material ID boundaries, UV data, Boolean Seams, Normals, edge selection, or angle variance.
    • ReForm is perfect for almost any type of mesh data such as scanned, sculptural, generative, or modeled.
  • Quadriflow Algorithm
    • Quadriflow is an automated retopology quadragulation method that is somewhat slower than Instant Meshes but can produce better results that more closely follow the input topology than what Instant Meshes provides.
  • Instant Meshes
    • Instant Meshes is an automated retopology algorithm that can very quickly produce a new quad based topology that can approximately follow your input mesh data. It is best applied to scanned or sculptural data where you need a close approximation.
  • Mesh Clean Modifier
    • When importing mesh data into 3ds Max from other 3D application, this data can often be malformed and have a variety of problems that can not only affect the ability of the Retopology modifier (as it attempts to reconstruct your geometric mesh data) but can affect your ability to perform various actions in 3ds Max as well.
    • Utilizing the Mesh Cleaner modifier, you can quickly analyze and repair malformed mesh data.

In addition, this update includes several fixes. For full release notes, visit the Updates tab on the 3ds Max product page.

Autodesk Media and Entertainment CollectionAutodesk Media and Entertainment Collection

End-to-end creative tools for entertainment creation

The Media & Entertainment Collection lets animators, modelers, and visual effects artists access the tools they need to create compelling effects, believable 3D characters, and massive digital worlds. Move assets quickly between creative tools with one-click workflows. Includes Maya, 3ds Max, Motionbuilder, and Mudbox. In addition get Character Generator, Recap 360 Pro, Rendering in A360, and Cloud Storage.

Learn More

3ds Max modeling, rendering, and animation software

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

Modeling and texturing

3ds Max 2021

Spline workflows

Create and animate geometry in several intuitive ways with enhanced spline tools

3ds Max 2021

Open shading language support

Create or use pre-existing procedural OSL maps with any supported renderer.

3ds Max 2021

Chamfer modifier

Create best-in-class procedural edge modeling details with simple and precise tools.

Blended Box Map

Morph visible seams by simplifying the process of blending projected texture maps.

Material, texture, and color editor

Apply material finishes, change textures, and use vibrant colors to make your designs photorealistic.

Data Channel modifier

Automate complex modeling operations, which dynamically update as you make changes.

Mesh and surface modeling

Create parametric and organic objects with polygon, subdivision surface, and spline-based modeling features.

New Baking to texture

Streamlined, intuitive, and fully scriptable texture baking experience.

New Weighted normals modifier

Built-in weighted normal calculator that can be directly applied to 3D models allowing you to create precise designs.

Animation and Effects

3ds Max 2021

3ds Max Fluids

Create realistic liquid behaviors such as water, oil, lava as well as replicate gravity and collisions effects. (video: 13 sec.)

3ds Max 2021

Character animation and rigging tools

Create procedural animation and character rigging with CAT, biped, and crowd animation tools.

3ds Max 2021

General animation tools

Use keyframe and procedural animation tools and also view and edit animation trajectories directly in the viewport.

Motion Paths

Preview and adjust animation paths directly in the viewport.

Particle Flow effects

Create sophisticated particle effects such as water, fire, spray, and snow.

New plugins

Access hundreds of industry leading 3rd-party plugins from our extensive community.


3ds Max 2021

Improved viewport quality

As part of our OSL integration, you can display procedural maps created with OSL at 1:1 quality using Nitrous viewport.

3ds Max 2021

Arnold for 3ds Max

Use Arnold GPU Renderer to view scene changes in real-time, including lighting, materials, and camera.

3ds Max 2021Activeshade viewport

An interactive rendering experience that allows you to see your scene in a near-final rendering quality as you’re working.

Physical Camera

Simulate real-life camera settings such as shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, exposure, and more.

3ds Max Batch

Leverage the power of 3ds Max for automation by using 3ds Max as a true command-line tool.

Scene Converter

Seamlessly and consistently change materials, lights, cameras, renderers from one to another.

Workflow and Pipeline

Enhanced Improved pipeline tools integration

Smooth, high-quality experience with added flexibility of tear-off viewports.

Alembic support

Alembic Version 1.7 now supports instances, allowing files to be drastically smaller while maintaining their original complexity.

Modern UI and workspaces

Create your own custom workspaces with a more modern, responsive, high-DPI-ready user interface.

CivilView workflow

Automatically populate parametrically generated details such as animated vehicles to scale with your environment.

Autodesk Viewer workflow

Share models and review feedback online with the Autodesk Viewer directly from the 3ds Max interface.

Updated project tools

Create new projects with greater folder structure flexibility, smarter project switching, and store custom data.

Design visualization


Bring to life fine-tuned touches such as materials, lighting, and textures for photorealistic imagery.

Import capabilities

Import your CAD and BIM files and use it to create a general structure and enhance the details of your 3D design.

Physically-based lighting

Simulate artificial lighting sources to accurately portray how light and shadows will interact with your designs.

Interactive rendering

See and make changes in your scene in near-final rendering quality in the render frame window while you work.

High-quality imagery

Advanced tools give you the built-in rendering power to create the highest quality photo-real visualizations.

Transform technical to visual

Rich and powerful toolsets allow you to model premium architectural designs with artistic control.

Games and Entertainment

Powerful scene modeling

Easily model a place, person, or element with fast spline and poly modeling workflows.

Stunning characters

Create procedural animation and character rigging with CAT and biped tools.

Physically-based rendering

Quickly iterate and see near-final quality renders of your game assets right in the viewport.

Dynamic visual content

Add shading and lighting to game assets with powerful texture baking tools.

Customizable pipeline integration

Get tighter pipeline integration with support for Python 3.

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System requirements for Autodesk 3ds Max 2021


Operating systemSee Autodesk's Product Support Lifecycle for support information.
BrowserAutodesk recommends the latest version of the following web browsers for access to online supplemental content:
  • Microsoft® Edge
  • Google Chrome™
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®
  • Mozilla® Firefox®
Autodesk 3ds Max 2021 software is supported on the following 64-bit operating systems and at a minimum, requires a system with the following 64-bit hardware:


CPU64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor with SSE4.2 instruction set
Graphics Hardware Refer to 3ds Max Certified Hardware for a detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards
RAM4 GB of RAM minimum (8 GB or more recommended)
Disk Space9 GB of free disk space for install
Pointing Device Three-button mouse
Autodesk is not responsible for errors or failures of Autodesk software arising from the installation of updates, extensions or new releases issued by third-party hardware or software vendors for the certified software or hardware identified in this article (or for any other third-party software or hardware that you may use in connection with Autodesk products).

New in 3ds Max 2021.3

December 2, 2020

Fixed issues


  • Cloning keys over existing keys in the curve editor, timeline, mini curve editor, key info floaters, motion panel and dope sheet no longer creates incorrect tangents. MAXX-58984
  • Fixed a defect in the Skin modifier that permitted adding duplicate entries of the same bone into the system. This will prevent the problem in the future. Current scenes affected by this must still be manually cleaned. MAXX-52825
  • 3ds Max no longer crashes when you select Edit > Hold while in Motion Paths sub-object mode. MAXX-46764
  • MAXX:Animation, MAXX:Modeling
  • Resolved an issue with the Edit Poly modifier, introduced in 2021.1, where animated vertex component data would not play back properly. MAXX-58780


  • When exporting Blend material with a mask, textures are now correctly blended. MAXX-58708


  • Fixed issues causing undefined and repeated values when reading data from and Excel file using MAXScript’s OLE automation capabilities.
  • The OLEObject:range object’s outer limit is now inclusive. Example: To specify a range covering cells A1, A2, B1, and B2, the range “A1:B2” can be specified instead of “A1:C3.” MAXX-59505
    Fixed crash when loading Scene Explorer instances from scene file where instance had a null name.
  • Fixed issues with persisting the new name of a Scene Explorer instance. MAXX-58561


  • Fixed the empty wall material preview in Civil View Building Style Object Editor. MAXX-57116
  • Road markings display the colors and lines as configured in Civil View Road Marking Style Editor. MAXX-54840


  • Hide Unused Nodes now correctly hides unused input and output slots. MAXX-56592
  • Fixed a crash in Slate Material Editor when quickly deleting nodes. MAXX-57772


  • Improved robustness of dotnet.getType when handling paramters with invalid format for a class name. MAXX-58938
  • Fixed issue with MAXScript when wrapping a controller/dimensioning in a MAXControl, the code in some cases was improperly using an existing MAXControl value with different dimensioning. MAXX-60138


  • Improved the knot position output normalization/positioning on the Spline Chamfer through improved calculations. MAXX-60211
  • Adjusted the way the Chamfer and SplineChamfer spinners increase and decrease in value to be step instead of adaptive, bringing them in line with how other spinners in 3ds Max should work. MAXX-60002
  • Improved stability with the Spline Mirror modifier. MAXX-59846
  • Fixed a memory access crash that could occur when inserting normals into a face that is too small when the normals on the mesh are corrupt. This fix does not propagate to STP. MAXX-59735
  • Improved the results of Spline Chamfer with enhanced tangent length calculations and UI options. MAXX-59723
  • Improved the fillet results of Spline Chamfer to be similar to expectations from within the Edit Spline options. MAXX-59591
  • Updated the Bridge operation to provide improved mesh stability to look for and remove dead vertices to make the mesh safe once it has completed its action. Other poly actions in 3ds Max have also been enhanced to look for this same problem as well. MAXX-59457
  • Resolved an issue with the Path Deform modifier where using the Stretch spinner value could sometimes cause a crash. MAXX-59439
  • Improved stability with the Data Channel modifier when loading a preset by adjusting the handling of how the DCM adds and removes UI rollouts. MAXX-59352
  • Resolved a crash error that sometimes occured when updating the translation or rotation of the Slice gizmo. MAXX-59245
  • Improved how the Chamfer system handles zero area vertex chamfers, which can be created when the amount value is set too small, to provide improved stability. MAXX-59082
  • Smart Extrude end results has been enhanced to better reconstruct and stitch the end results and further minimize side polygons. MAXX-58997
  • Disabled the ability to set animated keyframe values on face components when using Smart Extrude, as adding and removing mesh data doesn’t work well with component data. MAXX-58961
  • Enhanced clearing component selection when using point to point selection. MAXX-58887
  • When performing an undo and then a redo of an operation that affect the explicit normals on a poly object, those normals are now properly restored at all times. MAXX-58836
  • Changes made to parameters on the base Freehand Spline object will now properly notifiy changes up the modifier stack. MAXX-58679
  • Use Pivot on Path Deform now maintains the object’s form as it traverses along the path and works with multiple elements on the incoming shape to maintain their form. MAXX-58273
  • Improved the output color result to be within a valid range (0 to 1) by performing improved calculations to calculate each color component. MAXX-57867
  • Resolved issues with how the Unwrap UVW modifier was saving data that might cause a crash if data (such as name selection sets) was deleted. MAXX-57042
  • Chamfer modifier amount values lower than 0.001 are now correctly respected in your scenes, values smaller than 0.001 are no longer rounded up to 0.001. MAXX-57034
  • When using Path Deform on a group of objects, the group’s spatial positioning relative to the other objects within the group is maintained, based on the incoming shape data. MAXX-56458
  • Improved performance of the Path Deform modifier by improving normalized spline and bezier interpolations and recoding Path Deform to be a deformer based modifier. MAXX-56247
  • Improved the calculations of Path Deform to maintain the objects form better when traversing along the path. MAXX-55750
  • Malformed Meshes (repeated vertices on same face) no longer result in the Slice and Symmetry modifiers locking up when moving or rotating the gizmo for these modifiers. MAXX-51723

MAXX:Modeling, MAXX:Performance

  • Enhanced processing and threading for specified and explicit normals with TriObject and PolyObjects; this can result in performance gains on various modifiers and deformers. MAXX-59052
  • Solved an error with how Vray handled materials, causing 3ds Max to crash when you opened the Edit UV window of the Unwrap UVW modifier. MAXX-57413


  • The Python version can now be set using the ADSK_3DSMAX_PYTHON_VERSION environment variable for 3dsmaxcmd.exe MAXX-60073


  • Baking normal maps with scanline no longer produces specular artifacts. MAXX-59733
  • Baking multiple UV tiles no longer bakes at the same time repeatedly. MAXX-59240
  • Baking self-projected normal maps no longer produces artifacts and noise. MAXX-59075
  • Baking with Arnold no longer applies unexpected filtering, resulting in a blurred result. MAXX-59072
  • The Enter key no longer commits unexpected changes in the Bake to Texture window. MAXX-58962
  • Save to the previous function no longer triggers unexpected warnings when the scene contains Bake to Texture data. MAXX-58132


  • Changing EV values in the camera’s properties will now update Activeshade in viewport renders as expected. MAXX-58415
  • Deleting a locked camera refreshes Render Setup UI and turns the Lock OFF. MAXX-56319
  • Added Sun Positioner in Create>Lights menu. The menus need to be reset to see the new entry if 3ds Max is updated. MAXX-55040
  • Time-dependent OSL animation will now update when the timeline is extended. MAXX-44752
  • Framing is now correct when rendering with ActiveShade in the viewport when Safe Frame is enabled and the image ratio is narrower than the viewport view. MAXX-57620
  • RenderMap() now supports 32bit as expected. MAXX-58589


LUT settings no longer reset when using PBR materials. MAXX-58438


  • Fixed corruption of 3dsMax.ini file with the GFX setup logic. MAXX-59549
  • DirectX material alpha now works as expected. MAXX-57633
  • Resizing the viewport when rendering with ActiveShade in the viewport no longer stops the render. MAXX-58888
  • Maximizing then restoring a viewport running ActiveShade will no longer cause a crash. MAXX-58904
  • Zoom Extents All now works as expected when one object is selected. MAXX-59091

Known issues and workarounds


  • Render times may be slow when using emissive materials to light a scene. MAXX-54969

What’s new in 3ds Max 2021.2

Fixed issues


  • Fixed a crash in a CAT Parent object when pressing the time warp button. MAXX-57295
  • Fixed the buttons to open Curve Editors for a CAT Layer displaying empty curve editors (no keys or curves). MAXX-57284
  • Playback performance degradation has been fixed when TrackView is open. MAXX-48640


  • SvfExporter no longer exports the wrong normal values for vertices in Shared View. MAXX-57925
  • The PBR material (Spec/Gloss) now generates standard material when exporting to SVF format. MAXX-57851


  • Mirrored or copied linked models are now imported through direct Revit import or Link Revit import. MAXX-57610


  • Corrected an issue where 3ds Max could crash when you tried to remove a vertex where each surrounding face was triangular on a model with specified normals. MAXX-58681
  • Chamfer amount will now correctly reset to its default value when you right-click on its spinners. MAXX-57689
  • Meshes that have negative vertex integer values and have unallocated map channel vertices will no longer crash the IMeshValidator. MAXX-57667
  • The Mesh commands of RemoveDegenerateFaces() and Mesh::RemoveIllegalFaces() have been updated to support multiple threads, enabling these actions to be performed much quicker on more dense data sets. MAXX-57665
  • After using the Cut tool, the dotted preview line denoting where your cut operation will take place is now properly removed from the viewport. MAXX-57359
  • We now perform enhanced explicit comparisons between the cached mesh and input mesh passed to determine if topology changes to faces or verticies should invalidate Unwrap UVW data above the stack. MAXX-56960
  • Spline Influence helpers will now be visible in the viewport if created through MAXScript. MAXX-56225
  • Fixed an error where you were not able to undo some spline operations through MAXScript. MAXX-52577


  • The exception triggered when using ‘quitMax()’ from the pymxs module to quit 3ds Max is now properly handled by the Python wrapper and the script execution is aborded to shutdown 3ds Max. MAXX-57459


  • Baking Metalness or Roughness maps with Arnold only considers map inputs, ignoring parameter values. MAXX-58195
  • Stability issue when using Bake to Texture when the Slate Material Editor is open was fixed. MAXX-58163
  • Performing multi-editing of the material output in Bake to Texture no longer leads to unwanted instanced material creation. MAXX-58108
  • Bake to Texture dialog now displays the Arnold_map_override Map Options when switching focus from another dialog. MAXX-57820
  • Canceling a texture baking process in Bake to Texture can sometimes save a partial bitmap to output path. MAXX-57119
  • Background Color is not used when baking with projections. MAXX-56982
  • Global Super Sampling settings are not taken into account when baking with a Physical Material or without a material assigned using Scanline renderer. MAXX-56762


  • Fixed support to UV channels over 32. MAXX-57439
  • Editing a PNG file outside of 3ds Max will no longer crash 3ds Max if the PNG is being used in a scene. If the PNG is very large, the texture may disappear from the viewport. If this happens, it needs to be manually reloaded using the Reload button in the Bitmap map. MAXX-56799
  • Improved zoom extents behavior for perspective viewports. MAXX-56742
  • Enabled the option to change instantly the value of Motion Capture Float Controller>MIDI Trigger: Note input>Speed parameter, on the arrival of a new MIDI note. MAXX-54921
  • Loading scenes with many deep OSL shading trees is no longer very slow. MAXX-53240
  • A warning is displayed when collecting materials from the scene in Slate Material Editor; the default number of materials in the scene that triggers the warning is 10. You can change the default number using the “Warn on Get All Scene Materials” flag in the SME.ini file, or set it to 0 to restore the legacy behavior. MAXX-47844


  • Files from older versions of 3ds Max will no longer have viewports set as User Defined. Note: There are still issues with files containing multiple viewport tabs. In this case, only the tab that was opened when saved will be correct. The others will still be set to User Defined. MAXX-56435
  • Files from 2021 used as templates will now have all their viewports set to Standard in all viewport tabs. However, templates from older versions of 3ds Max will still have unselected tabs with viewports set to User Defined. MAXX-56434
  • Saving and reopening scenes with multiple viewport tabs will now have all viewports set to Standard as expected. MAXX-56433

What’s new in 3ds Max 2021.1

Bake to Texture:

  • Output now supports multi-tile UV mapping (UDIM)
  • Animated map outputs are now supported as well as multiple animated frames
  • Various usability improvements.


  • The Fluid loader is now exposed so that object types such as particle systems can work with the data
  • The Velocity channel now reports correct information when not using meters as your default scene scale. This fix will enable motion blur in your renderer
  • PRT now supports a signed and unsigned integer values (via .ini change).

Interactive Extrusion and Inset:

  • Users can now utilize a Shift+Drag (left mouse button) with the Move transform tool to extrude polygon component selections when using an Editable Poly or an Edit Poly modifier
  • Shift+Drag with the Scale transform tool now performs an polygonal inset action on selected polygon component selections when using an Editable Poly or an Edit Poly modifier
  • Clone/Copy actions are now performed with Ctrl+Shift+Drag when using the Move transform tool on the polygon component on and Editable Poly or an Edit Poly modifier.

Viewport improvements:

  • Depth of field now affects the environment map
  • Vignetting scale is now the same value as defined in the camera
  • Matte/Shadows material now work in the viewport
  • Each view can now have its own exposure, white-balance and vignette settings.

Arnold renderer:

  • MAXtoA 4.0.4
  • AOV token system
  • Animation support for Alembic
  • Increased shader spinner accuracy
  • Bake to Texture support for projection of normals from high to low resolution, normals spaces, and Mikkt.

Enhancements and Changes

  • Installation – You can now install updates such as this one without installing 3ds Max 2021 first.
  • Weighed Normals Modifier – Now includes support for multi-threaded processing to enhance speed and performance when performing calculations as well as other stability improvements.
  • Explicit Normals Preservation for Mesh – Applying an Edit Mesh modifier no longer invalidates explicit normals, nor do the following actions: Attach, Detach to Object, Detach to Element, Clone to Object, Clone to Element, Detach as Clone to Element.
  • PBR material – Both PBR materials now support displacement.
  • Shared Views – Shared Views now supports Physical material.
  • SketchUp model importation – There is improved handling of internal edge visibility, improving the imported mesh quality, and SketchUp 2020 models are now supported.
  • Slate Material Editor – The Slate Material Editor now pans and zooms smoother and faster when using a 4k monitor. In addition, the Search field has been improved to perform global search through all materials and maps in the editor. For example, if you were searching for the Advanced Wood map and typed “wood,” the old search would not find it but now it will.
  • Render output size – HDTV resolution of 1280 x 720 is the new default output size.
  • UDIM display – When you work with UDIM, you are now able to view all textures in the viewport when using the Bitmap Lookup OSL shader, instead of just viewing one as when using the Multi-Tile map.
  • User Defined Defaults – Allows you to set your own default values for ParamBlock2 supported spinner, radial, checkbox, or input field through MAXScript calls.
  • Viewport – Depth of field now affects the environment map, the vignetting scale is now the same value as defined in the camera, Matte/Shadows materials now work in the viewport, and each viewport can now have their own exposure, white-balance and vignette settings.

What’s New in 3ds Max 2020.3

Over 55 user-reported defects fixed, including:

  • A user on the public forums identified issues with how SketchUp files were being imported when using 3ds Max 2020.2 Update. Issues were found with edge visibility and welding imported geometry.
  • A manufacturing customer reported that JT files were being misrepresented in the Scene Explorer compared with industry standards. After a thorough consultation, this has been fixed in a manner consistent with how other formats are imported.
  • Over a dozen defects were fixed for Chamfer that caused unexpected results, and that improve the overall stability.
  • The Transform Toolbox has been fixed so it now uses world units.
  • Several issues related to Unwrap UVW have been fixed, including:
    • Texture selection fixed when changing Material ID
    • Texture drop-down no longer loses all textures when reset
    • Select All and Inverse no longer selects hidden or frozen uvs
    • Zoom Extents Selected now zooms to the selected geometry as expected.
  • An incompatibility between MAXScript and Python due to case sensitivity, which caused some members of Python modules imported into MAXScript to be inaccessible, has been fixed.
  • PySide2 was updated 5.12.4 to match the version of Qt used by 3ds Max. This fix will resolve instability issues.
  • Physical cameras can no longer get into a state where they become unusable, making it impossible to see anything in the viewport.
  • Bitmap files used in an OSL map can now be edited outside of 3ds Max, as the file no longer locks.

What’s New in 3ds Max 2020.2 Update

Chamfer modifier improvements:

  • Updates include new corner mitering types Patch and Radial which provide higher-resolution quadrilateral intersections.
  • The Invert and Open options now work for all miter types.
  • The new vertex chamfering implementation respects any set segment count or depth.
  • New chamfer options are now available in Editable Poly: Uniform, End Bias, Radial Bias, Tension, and Depth

Importing SketchUp files:

  • A new importer allows any version of SketchUp files to be imported into 3ds Max, whereas the legacy importer can only import files up to SketchUp 2014.
  • Able to maintain compatibility with future versions.

Synchronize with Display Mode:

  • New viewport background mode
  • Automatically uses the Environment background.
  • If Environment background is black, displays a gradient background.
  • Some displays modes are exceptions.

Enhancements and Changes

Viewport backface culling is now respected when clicking to select elements in EditPoly and EditPoly modifier and open edges and vertices remain selectable unless Ignore Backfacing is enabled. Double-click selection is now supported in the PolySelect modifier. Additionally, scripting access for TextPlus “Set Value as Text” functionality now gives you greater control using TextPlus in MAXScript.

Animation and performance
Performance has been notably improved in creating keys, Trackview, Slate UI, and file reset.”Average weights” has been renamed to “Normalize weights.” List controller evaluation is now just as fast regardless of whether the “Average Weight” option (now “Normalize weights”) is on or off.

User interface
3ds Max now uses the decimal separator that you set in your Windows regional settings.

Image based lighting (IBL) is now automatic when an environment is added to the scene; you no longer need to add a skylight. The Physical material’s roughness parameter is now supported in the viewport’s Realistic mode. Shadows have been improved and are now supported in the default lighting mode.

3ds Max 2020.1 Feature Updates

You can now easily customize, merge, and visualize shortcuts keys with a new hotkey system and enhance your workspace experience by extending your viewports across various monitors.

Plus, building upon the feedback we received on the 2020 chamfer modifier updates, we have polished and provided an additional update to bring you a more predictable modeling tool.

View the full 3ds Max 2020.1 Release notes

What’s new in 3ds Max 2020

  • Create Animation Preview improvements
  • Chamfer modifier presets and save default settings
  • 14 new OSL shaders
  • Revit import new “Combine By” types
  • MAXtoA PFlow instance node
  • Copy+Pasted modifiers maintain their custom names
  • Validity intervals (animation is only calculated if there’s a change in object location)
  • Autobackup is more responsive to ESC request
  • Civil View textures update to render with Arnold
  • Change color of MAXScript listener window
  • 270+ 3rd party plugins launching around 3ds Max 2020

See full release notes

What’s New in 3ds Max 2019.3

Interactive ActiveShade Viewport:

With the new improvements to ActiveShade, you can now interact and render simultaneously in the same viewport.
The ActiveShade viewport mode extends your rendering workflow so you can now see the final result of your adjustments as you make them.

Revit Version Compatibility:

You no longer need to upgrade your file when importing a Revit 2018 file, provided you have 3ds Max 2018 and Revit Interoperability for 3ds Max installed.

Enhancements and Changes

  • Alembic interoperability with Maya Alembic support continues with improved interoperability with Autodesk Maya software. Custom Attributes from Maya are grouped to support attributes on transforms and shapes, and vertex color sets are now compatible with Maya import and export.
  • OSL Map (Open Shading Language) Improvements to the OSL source editor include improved bracket highlighting, syntax highlighting, and better docking ability. The viewport has also been enhanced to support OSL features such as node properties and improved Bump map support.
  • Revit Import Importing Autodesk Revit files is now twice as fast as before (depending on the dataset), lights imported from Revit (via FBX/RVT) now work and render correctly, and the Import dialog has been improved so it is easier to understand and use.
  • General improvements Over 100 existing issues have been fixed, many of which were originally submitted by the 3ds Max user community. See the Release Notes for details on customer-facing issues. Thank you for your input!

Fixed Issues in 3ds Max 2019.3 Update


  • Fixed an issue with AlembicExport where Material IDs would not export if all Material IDs for an object were the same. MAXX-46831
  • Custom attributes now import and export compatible with Maya. MAXX-45522
  • Fixed vertex colors that were incompatible with Maya and other DCCs. MAXX-45511
  • Fixed playback performance of Alembic transform objects. MAXX-43953
  • Alembic performance mode now respects Alembic file frame range. MAXX-41008
  • Fixed an issue with animated UVs getting corrupted. MAXX-29542
  • Fixed Alembic not able to use relative paths. MAXX-23058
  • MAXX:Animation
  • Fixed crash caused by long strings in Biped. MAXX-46030
  • Fixed crash when painting weights on the Skin Modifier with a TurboSmooth and “Show End Result” on. MAXX-45502
  • Fixed crash when using a long string in Biped save/load. MAXX-45461
  • Fixed skinOps.selectBone access violation when the skin is not selected. MAXX-45410
  • Fixed crash when copying/parting with Biped track tool. MAXX-44831
  • Fixed crash in TrackView when canceling after shift+dragging. MAXX-44814
  • Fixed crash with Particle Flow when converting a linked sub-operator from integer to complex. MAXX-44783
  • Fixed Motion Flow crash after closing the Biped Motion Flow Script window. MAXX-44731
  • TMCache is now properly caching. MAXX-43507
  • Fixed crash when renaming Layer Controller to clean animation layer while loading. MAXX-42783
  • “Select File to Export” in now translates properly into different languages. MAXX-41107
  • Tooltip for “Display Physical Meshes/Selected Objects Only” in MassFX Tools window now translates properly into different languages. MAXX-41106

MAXX:Animation, MAXX:ParticleFlow
Fixed an issue where Particle View would not display the Depot or node graph. The workaround is no longer needed. MAXX-37366

Fixed a crash with scripted Boolean operations. MAXX-45365

In Shared Views, texture maps on objects could be wrong if 3ds Max files contained images with the same name but a different folder path. Only the first one found was being used. MAXX-45036


  • Fixed issues with selection sets not filtering objects in the Exclude/Include dialog’s object list, and then crashing. MAXX-46223
  • Fixed crashes when typing in the Exclude/Include dialog’s “Scene Object” field if the scene contained geometry and light objects. MAXX-46222
  • Visual issues in localization of the 3ds Max Security Tools for French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese are fixed. MAXX-45467
  • Improved error reporting when attempting to render with the “max quick render” MAXScript command while the rendOutputFileName is not set. MAXX-45285
  • The File > Save Selected and its corresponding MAXScript counterpart saveNodes have been updated to ensure they also save all the nodes that influence the set of nodes being saved. MAXX-44922
  • Fixed a crash occurring when opening 3ds Max scene files while reading file custom properties on Windows 7. MAXX-44693


  • Fixed a crash when solving fluid scenes with loft objects. MAXX-45873
  • Fluids: Fixed a crash when clicking the Solver menu in a scene with no Fluids objects. MAXX-45601
  • Fluids MAXScript commands were not updating the UI. MAXX-45518
  • When loading the cache, the Cancel button now works all the time. MAXX-45055


  • Fixed an issue where some large exports (>20k poly count) to Collada would fail. MAXX-46543
  • Fixed an issue where non-reflective Autodesk materials converted to physical materials using the Scene Converter were turned into mirrors. MAXX-46417
  • Fixed multiple issues with lights, which were causing incorrect renderings in 3ds Max. The first was resulting in grossly over-scaled light source objects. The second was resulting in a black filter being applied to all light sources. MAXX-44182
  • Fixed an issue where some lights imported from Revit via FBX were rotated 90 degrees. MAXX-38734
  • Fixed an issue where some lights (rectangular and linear) imported from a Revit file were rotated 90 degrees. MAXX-38508


  • Improved robustness of handling group members, to make sure they can exist only as part of groups. MAXX-46307
  • Fixed improper reporting by the showInterface MAXScript command of floating point parameter range values. MAXX-46059
  • Improved robustness of MAXScript’s cfgMgr.getFloatArray() method when attempting to read string values. Improved robustness of MAXScript’s cfgMgr.getIntArray() method when attempting to read floating point values. MAXX-45745
  • Improved robustness of deleting nodes from within callbacks triggered on node deletions. MAXX-45015
  • Fixed issues with adding user defined properties through MAXScript being linked to property values. MAXX-45012
  • Fixed problem with Camera Tracker Utility not displaying. MAXX-43346
  • isDeleted and isValidObj MAXScript commands now work reliably for xref scene values. MAXX-38533


  • Fixed issue with Pick mode not working with Scene Explorer in some cases, such as with the Align tool. MAXX-46479
  • Fixed a crash when using Vertex Pain with multiple objects. MAXX-45767
  • Improved UI redraw speed for EditablePoly Edit panel when switching component modes. MAXX-45728

Fixed a problem with pyside2 error reporting (traceback) when passing in a functools.partial object into a slot for a QSignal. MAXX-45210


  • Added some logic to mitigate OSL related crashes during startup. MAXX-46867
  • Improvements were made to the OSL Editor, improving workflow and correcting some missing and incorrect syntax highlighting, as well as some cosmetic fixes to the “default shader” pre-populating the OSL

Map. MAXX-45476

  • The Candy shader no longer renders the plane Z=0 differently from a nonzero Z, causing artifacts on flat surfaces. However, it may now appear slightly different. MAXX-44914
  • When an OSL map is assigned to the bump slot of a physical material and any value of bump is less than 1, the object will appear almost transparent. MAXX-41312

MAXX:Rendering, MAXX:UI
Fixed crash when accessing render presets and using Effects dialog. MAXX-46249


When using an OSL Map, it would cause network rendering errors. MAXX-45619


  • Fixed a problem where arrays of C++ objects (template  class Array) with trivial constructors didn’t have their elements initialized. For example, creating an array of integers with a default value of 0 would leave the elements of the array un-initialized. MAXX-45616


  • Fixed crash related to State Sets dialog. MAXX-46250
  • Fixed crash when performing a reset on menu customization. MAXX-45915
  • Fixed crash when reassigning bitmap path containing invalid characters. MAXX-45884
  • Selection Lock toggle no longer loses visual icon cue/styling when opening Object Properties. MAXX-45351
  • Xref window is not being recognized as a Drag and Drop target for Xref workflows. MAXX-44557
  • Animation Layer toolbar was cropped when Windows scaling was set above 100%. MAXX-41013


  • Fixed a crash when closing Unwrap UVW editor with the Properties dialog open. MAXX-45574
  • In non-English versions of 3ds Max, the Unwrap UVW Editor Options dialog had overlapping checkboxes. MAXX-45570
  • Fixed a crash when using Peel with Unwrap UVW. MAXX-44669
  • Fixed backwards compatibility with older scenes using splines. MAXX-41939
  • Fixed an issue with Unwrap UVW when canceling texture picking. MAXX-41650
  • Fixed an issue with Unwrap UVW Editor getting stuck when canceling Select Texture dialog. MAXX-40752

Bump mapping in the viewport was not working with OSL maps with multiple outputs. This and various other bump mapping problems caused various artifacts in the viewports. MAXX-44227

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

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