3D modeling and rendering software for design visualization, games, and animation
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.
Take full artistic control with professional-quality 3D models
Create massive worlds in games, stunning scenes for design visualization, and engaging virtual reality experiences. Use 3ds Max® toolsets to shape and define detailed environments, objects, and characters. Model any person, place, or thing.
Create and render striking scenes with integrated Arnold renderer
3ds Max works with most major renderers to create high-end scenes and stunning visuals for design visualization and more. Experience interactive rendering from the interface, for accurate and detailed previews while you work.
Scale your workflow with automated processes in 3ds Max
3ds Max supports the needs of tight deadlines—so you spend more time being creative.
Use 3ds Max as a compute engine to scale content production
Extend built-in workflows with accessible APIs
Accelerate manual steps to boost productivity
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.
New in 3ds Max 2020
Faster playbacks speeds and more responsive application.
Chamfer modifier presets and save default settings
Our latest Chamfer Modifier updates in 3ds Max 2020 make it more efficient and predictable for modeling.
The new Fixed Weight Chamfer keeps a consistent chamfer width.
Weighted chamfer allow chamfer to be controlled on a per-edge basis with crease weights.
New presets allow to save favorite or set default settings.
Added Inset adds edge rings to chamfers for users who cannot use smoothing groups, such as models for game engines.
End Point Bias: Edges that don’t end at a corner terminate on the next parallel edge can bias between the near and far vertex.
Added Depth allows the profile of the chamfer to go from a depth of 1 (a sharp edge) to 0 (a straight edge), to -0.5 (an inverted curve)
Create Animation Preview improvements
The Create Animation Preview feature’s performance has been significantly improved in the latest 3ds Mas 2020 update and houses new functionalities that will speed up your workflow.
Creation on local drive is now up to 3 times faster
Allows AVI codec selection
Capture size greater than viewport dimensions supported
14 new OSL shaders
We have 14 new OSL shaders added into the latest 3ds Max 2020 release, bringing you more flexibility and customization for your rendering workflows.
Viewport display of OSL Maps has greatly improved.
OSL shaders are now automatically converted to viewport shaders.
The GPU driven “Quicksilver Hardware Renderer” now supports OSL Maps
Extended / Improved OSL Maps:
Bitmap Lookup: Now supports UDIM textures
Composite: Now supports blending modes
14 new OSL Maps including:
Color Key: Perform green-screening inside of 3ds Max
Color Space: Convert colors between, rgb, hsv, YIQ etc.
Halftone: Screen space dot pattern
Falloff: Get surface orientation to camera
Simple Gradient: Generate color gradients
Simple Tiles: Tile pattern generations with bump, corner roundness, and more.
Waveform: Animate effects in various patterns.
Weave: Can generate basket weave, cloth threads, or even carbon fiber patterns
Also including; UVW MatCap, Normal, Random Index by Number, Tri-tone, Threads and Toon Width
Revit import new “Combine By” types
Various improvements have been added to 3ds Max 2020 allow for faster data import, and better organized and easier to manage scenes.
Combine By options allows you to combine by material more selectively by choosing:
Combine by Revit Category and Revit Material
Combine by Revit Family Type and Revit Material
Filter dialogue now displays the number of nodes that will be created in the scene’s category or family type.
Import Revit 2017, 2018, and 2019 files into 2020 without the need to upgrade
*Revit Compatibility pack (for each supported version) needs to be installed on your machine for functionality.
IES lights imported from Revit are converted more accurately.
Daylight System Update; We removed reliance on Mental Ray, resulting in a better translation. We now leverage the physical sun and sky, where the translation is done automatically without interruption.
3D modeling, texturing, and effects
Spline workflows – Create and animate geometry in several intuitive ways with new and enhanced spline tools.
Open Shading Language support – Create OSL maps in the material editor from simple math nodes to procedural textures.
Blended Box Map – Morph visible seams by simplifying the process of blending projected texture maps.
Chamfer Modifier – Create best-in-class procedural modeling details that handles some of the most difficult tasks with ease.
Hair and Fur modifier – Manipulate hair and fur directly in viewports with selection and styling tools, such as tools for cutting and brushing.
Data Channel Modifier – Leverage vertex, edge, and face information to procedurally modify your models.
Shape Boolean – Create parametric Boolean operations on two or more splines with the familiar UI from 3D Booleans.
Mesh and surface modeling – Efficiently create parametric and organic objects with polygon, subdivision surface, and spline-based modeling features.
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.
Improved Viewport quality – As part of our OSL integration, you can display procedural maps created with OSL at 1:1 quality using Nitrous viewport.
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.
ActiveShade Viewport – Directly manipulate your scene content in your final ActiveShade render.
Autodesk Raytracer Renderer (ART) – Create accurate images of architectural scenes.
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.
UI, workflow, and pipeline
3ds Max Batch – Leverage the power of 3ds Max for automation by using 3ds Max as a true command-line tool.
Improved pipeline tools integration – Gain tighter integration with several pipeline tools with an extended and improved Python/.NET toolset.
Alembic support – The included Alembic inport inspector allows to you check a file before importing. With support for Alembic 1.7 instancing.
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.
CivilView workflow update – Vehicles created in CivilView now support the 3ds Max physical material, reducing conversion and simplifying rendering.
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.
Microsoft® Windows® 7 (SP1), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 Professional operating system
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Jesse Pitela shows how to make water splash with the basic liquid emitter in Chaos Group's Phoenix FD for 3ds Max. He has it set up to splash over half an orange, but you can splash water on anything you can conjure. This tutorial covers the 3ds Max version of Phoenix FD but there is also a version for Maya.
With the hot weather in the northern hemisphere this week, cook down mentally with this free lesson from Proteus VFX school on creating a procedural snow shader with Redshift and 3ds Max. Heck, you could make yourself a snow cone!
We get asked all the time if we think that VR and 360° immersive video is something that is just a novelty or if it is an important technology. Plus, I’ll go over some of the 360° VR tools available for your favorite NLEs, 3D programs, and more to help you get started in VR.
Learn how to make a miniature, low poly house using 3ds Max in this step by step tutorial by Jonathan Lam. This tutorial is great the for beginning 3ds max user as it covers creating simple 3D shapes and basic modeling techniques.
The visco elasticity solver in thinkingParticles for 3ds Max allows for the creation of viscous liquids like honey or oil, or any kind of thick fluids. Learn how to use the solver to create flowing honey in this tutorial.
Vikrant Dalai explains how to make a fireball with a smoke trail for use in your space war film, video game or dinosaur extinction recreation documentary.Vikrant says: "In this tutorial, I'll show you how I created this fireball with the help of 3ds Max and the FumeFX Plugin. There are different types of techniques we can use to make this effect in FumeFX - e.g. Simple Sources, Object Sources, Particle Sources, etc. But this time we will use a Simple Source. And for this purpose we are going to use three different Simple Sources, some standard lights (Target Spot & Omni), and the default Scanline Renderer."
Post by Vikrant Dalal at CGtuts+ - Create an smoky ghostlike character or object using Sitni Sati FumeFX for 3ds Max and Krakatoa. He finishes in After Effects. Project file with a sample character is included.