Autodesk has introduced 3ds Max 2021, a new version of its 3D modeling, animation and rendering software. This latest release offers new tools designed to give 3D artists the ability to work across design visualization and media and entertainment with a fully scriptable baking experience, simpler install process, viewport and rendering improvements, and integrated Python 3 support, among other enhancements.
• New texture baking experience supports physically based rendering (PBR), overrides and OSL workflows and provides intuitive new tool set.
• Updated installer allows users to get up and running quickly and easily.
• Integrated support for Python 3 and an improved pymxs API that ensure developers and technical artists can better customize pipelines.
• Native integration with the Arnold Renderer V6.0 offers a high-end rendering experience out of the box, while included scripts efficiently convert V-Ray and Corona files to the Physical Material for added flexibility.
• Performance enhancements simplify the use of PBR workflows across renderers, including with realtime game engines; provide direct access to high-fidelity viewports; improve the OSL user experience; significantly accelerate file I/O; and enhance control over modeling with a new weighted normals modifier.
• Tool set advancements to SketchUp import, Substance, ProSound and FBX streamline the creation and movement of high-quality 3D assets.
• New plugin interop and improvements – from support for AMG and OSL shaders to scene converter extensions – allow for a broader range of plugins to easily hook into 3ds Max while also simplifying plugin development and installation.
Early 3ds Max 2021 adopter Eloi Andaluz Fullà, a freelance VFX artist on beta, reported, “The revamped viewport, IBL controls and persistent Ambient Occlusion speed up the client review process because I can easily share high-quality viewport images without having to wait for renders. The new bake to texture update is also a huge time-saver because we can easily modify multiple parameters at once, while other updates simplify day-to-day tasks.”
3ds Max 2021 is now available as a stand-alone subscription or with the Autodesk Media & Entertainment Collection.