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3ds Max® 3D modeling software provides a comprehensive modeling, animation, simulation, and rendering solution for games, film, and motion graphics artists. 3ds Max delivers efficient new tools, accelerated performance, and streamlined workflows to help increase overall productivity for working with complex, high-resolution assets.

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3D animation

Camera sequencer
Tell great stories by creating high-quality animated visualizations, animatics, and cinematics more easily and with more camera control. You can cut between multiple cameras, trim, and reorder animated clips nondestructively—leaving the original data unchanged.

© Autodesk, 2015

Dual Quaternion skinnin
Create better skinned characters with more realistic deformations. Avoid “bowtie” or “candy-wrapper” effects in which the mesh loses volume as deformers are twisted or pivoted, most common in characters’ shoulders or wrists. This new option in the Skin modifier enables you to paint the amount of influence skinning has on a surface; use it where you need it, and taper off to linear skinning where you don’t.

© Autodesk, 2015

Character animation and rigging tools
Perform procedural animation and rigging with CAT, biped, and crowd animation functionality. Use the Skin modifier and CAT Muscle for smoother, more precise control of skeletal deformation. Rig complex mechanical assemblies and characters with custom skeletons using 3ds Max bones, inverse kinematics (IK) solvers, and customizable rigging tools. Wire 1-way and 2-way relationships between controllers to help create simplified 3D animation interfaces.

© Autodesk, 2015

General animation tools
Use a number of keyframe and procedural animation tools for almost any parameter in your scene. View and edit animation trajectories directly in the viewport. Implement custom animation controls by wiring UI elements, such as sliders and spinners, to an object’s animatable tracks, and control multiple attributes with a single slider. Use the Dopesheet to edit slide, move, and scale keys or sets of keys in both time and value.

© Autodesk, 2015

Animated deformers
Add life to creatures and simulate fluidic effects. Choose from Freeform, Affect Region, Bend, Displace, Lattice, Mirror, Noise, Physique, Push, Preserve, Relax, Ripple, Shell, Slice, Skew, Stretch, Spherify, Squeeze, Twist, Taper, Substitute, XForm, and Wave modifiers. World Space modifiers operate atop the modifier stack and bind objects to animated world conditions, such as surfaces, forces, fields, and deflections. Use animated deformers on particles, other geometry types.

3D modeling and texturing

© Autodesk, 2015

Enhanced ShaderFX

Get more shading options and better shader interoperability between 3ds Max, Maya, and Maya LT. Create a wider range of procedural materials with new node patterns: wavelines, voronoi, simplex noise, and brick. Create normal maps from 2D grayscale images with a new bump utility node. Searchable node browser helps you quickly access shaders.

© Autodesk, 2015

OpenSubdiv support
Efficiently represent subdivision surfaces using OpenSubdiv libraries, open-sourced by Pixar and incorporating technology from Microsoft Research. Visualize your model interactively without the need to render for a better WYSIWYG experience, greater productivity, and more accurate realization of creative intent. Parallel CPU and GPU architectures offer faster in-viewport performance for meshes with high subdivision levels.

© Autodesk, 2015

Point Cloud support
Import, visualize, snap to, and render massive point cloud data sets to create more precise models from real-world references. View point clouds in true color in the viewport, interactively adjust the extent of the cloud displayed, and create new geometry in context by snapping to point cloud vertices.

© Autodesk, 2015

ShaderFX
Easily create advanced HLSL viewport shaders with the ShaderFX real-time visual shader editor. Connect different nodes using an intuitive click-drag workflow. Select from a powerful array of floating-point values, mathematical operations, texture maps, normal maps, and color nodes. Visualize the resulting materials, even those with animated values, in real time in the 3ds Max viewport. Drill down into the inner workings of each basic node in the advanced mode

© Autodesk, 2015

Placement tools
Easily position and orient content relative to other content in your scene with new Placement tools. Take advantage of intuitive auto-parenting and aligning behaviors. Move objects along the surface of other meshes as though magnetically attracted. Quickly rotate objects as part of the same option.

3D rendering

© Autodesk, 2015

Improved ActiveShade rendering
A faster ActiveShade preview rendering workflow supports mental ray, NVIDIA iray, and scanline renderers. Watch the effects of changing lighting or materials interactively, to more easily refine your work. Get finer grain updates with more frequent captures of viewport navigation and switching, adjustments to light parameters, and certain other scene changes.

© Autodesk, 2015

Accelerated viewport performance
Increase interactivity with substantially faster navigation, selection, and viewport texture baking. See particular benefits with dense meshes and scenes with texture maps. Enable anti-aliasing with minimal impact on performance, so you can work quickly in a higher-fidelity environment.

© Autodesk, 2015

Stereo Camera
With the new Stereo Camera feature set, you can create stereoscopic camera rigs to author more engaging entertainment content and design visualizations.

Dynamics and effects

© Autodesk, 2015

Particle Flow
Create sophisticated, realistic effects such as water, fire, spray, and snow. Build customized Particle Flow tools by combining up to 25 different suboperators with the Advanced Data Manipulation toolset. Integrate Particle Flow setups with MassFX physics simulations, using mParticles.

© Autodesk, 2015

MassFX dynamic simulation solvers
The multi-threaded NVIDIA PhysX engine enables you to create compelling, dynamic rigid-body simulations directly in the 3ds Max viewport with mRigids. Apply the mRigids solver to skeletons for convincing ragdoll simulations. Create realistic clothing and fabric-like simulations with mCloth. Simulate natural and man-made forces, create and break particle bonds, and collide particles with each other and with other objects using mParticles.

© Autodesk, 2015

Hair and fur
Manipulate hair and fur directly in the viewports with selection and styling tools, such as tools for cutting, brushing, and clumping. Add kinks and frizz to hair and animate frequency and speed. Instance any source object as hair strands. Use Spline Deform to add splines to a set of hairs that can act as control guides; pose, key, or assign a dynamic target to hairs. Create realistic dynamic simulations that include collisions, gravity, stiffness, root holding, and dampening.

UI, workflow & pipeline

© Autodesk, 2015

Design Workspace
Inspired by our years of experience with Revit and Inventor software, the Design Workspace makes the main features of 3ds Max more accessible, so you can work with more confidence. Importing design data to create high-quality stills and animation is now easier than ever, thanks to efficient, task-based workflows. Easily access object placement, lighting, rendering, modeling, and texturing tools.

© Autodesk, 2015

Easier Revit and SketchUp imports
A tighter Revit integration makes importing models into 3ds Max faster and easier. In addition to the existing Revit File Link workflow, a new Revit importer enables you to import data up to 10 times more quickly and with much cleaner geometry. Import files from SketchUp 2014 to take your design further in 3ds Max.

3DS MaxRecent articles

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UVPackmaster 2: CUDA-Accelerated UV Packing Tool for 3ds Max

The developers of UVPackmaster 2 are happy to announce that their efficient and fully-featured UV packing solution is now also available as a plugin for 3ds Max.

Character Art: Tips, Tools, and General Workflow

Mikhail Buleyko discussed his career path in the CG-industry, shared insights into each step of the production, named his favorite software, and talked about future technology.

Working on a Realistic Goblin: Face & Armor Sculpting Workflows

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Ancient Temple Entrance: ZBrush to 3ds Max Workflow

Vincent Moubeche did a breakdown of his UE4 environment Ancient Temple Entrance modeled in ZBrush and 3ds Max and textured in Substance Painter and Quixel Mixer. 

NYC Apartment Block: UE4 Scene Breakdown

Joseph Burt talked in detail about his modular NYC Apartment Building scene covering all essential steps from working with modularity, UVs, and tiling textures to setting up a gloomy atmosphere in the engine.

Gothic Temple Environment Breakdown

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Viking Broly: 3D Character Breakdown

Antoine Destailleurs shared a step-by-step breakdown of his Viking version of Broly, a character from the Dragon Ball series, covering body sculpt in ZBrush, armor production UVing, texturing in Substance Painter, and render setup in Marmoset Toolbag.

Working on an Apocalyptic Helicopter with a Concept Art Technique

Igor Dolinskiy did a breakdown of his Helicopter project inspired by Mad Max that was modeled in 3ds Max and ZBrush, rendered in Octane, and overpainted in Photoshop.

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Autodesk 3DS Max