Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2013 animation software delivers a powerful interactive rendering experience with ActiveShade support in the NVIDIA® iray® renderer; offers a new render pass system with integrated node-based compositing; and provides industry-leading interoperability with Adobe® After Effects® and Adobe® Photoshop® software. In addition, new motion graphics, 3D animation, and simulation tools empower artists to focus more of their energy on creative, rather than technical challenges, while flexible new customization options enable them to easily configure and switch between interfaces that are optimized for the way they work. Finally, enhanced interoperability with Autodesk® Maya® 2013 and Autodesk® MotionBuilder® 2013 animation software helps facilitate pipeline integration.
Features and Benefits
Adobe After Effects Interoperability
Media design and graphics artists whose creative toolsets include Adobe® After Effects® software can now enjoy a level of interoperability with 3ds Max that sets a higher standard for 2D/3D data exchange. The new Media Sync functionality provides two-way transfer of cameras, lights, null objects, plane objects/solids, footage (including footage layering), blend modes, opacity, and effects; with it, artists can iterate more effectively and reduce rework to complete projects in less time.
Enhanced Interoperability with Adobe Photoshop
Enjoy greater flexibility when finishing renderings in Adobe® Photoshop® software, with the new ability to output renderings in a layered PSD format that retains layer order, opacity, and blend modes (for example, multiply or screen).
Render Pass System
Scenes can now be more easily segmented for downstream compositing. Thanks to an entirely new render pass system, render elements can now be more efficiently created for Autodesk® Smoke® 2013 software, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop software, or certain other image compositing applications. A state recorder enables artists to capture, edit, and save the current state, while a visual interface shows how compositing and render elements are wired together to create the final result. Artists can more quickly set up and execute multiple render passes from a single file; individual passes can be modified without the need to re-render the whole scene, enhancing productivity.
Slate Compositing Editor
Perform simple compositing operations directly within 3ds Max with the new Slate Compositing Editor. The schematic node-based interface enables rendered layers and passes to be more easily wired together and combined with compositing nodes, for example: blends and color corrections; the resulting composite can then be sent to Adobe After Effects or Adobe Photoshop for further refinement.
ActiveShade Interactive iray Rendering
Experience an interactive creative process for finalizing renderings, with new ActiveShade support for the NVIDIA iray renderer. ActiveShade enables artists to iterate more effectively by providing an interactive rendering session that constantly updates as changes are made to cameras, lighting, materials, and geometry. By shortening the feedback loop, artists can more efficiently fine-tune their scene, making it faster and easier to achieve their intended look.
Artists can now enjoy a more integrated and accurate dynamic toolset, thanks to a wide range of enhancements and additions to the MassFX unified system of simulation solvers. Highlights are a new mCloth module that features tearable fabric and support for dynamic ragdoll hierarchies. In addition, improved constraints, better handling of pivot points, and enhanced UI readability help improve overall workflow.
Focus on Workflow
With the understanding that small things can make a big difference, 3ds Max 2013 includes a number of improvements: the ability to manipulate the camera when cutting polygons and during the creation process, enhancements to the skin modifier, and a modeless array dialog. Customers can suggest their own workflow improvements using the Small Annoying Things forum at 3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com.
Easily create and switch between a number of viewport layout configurations, in order to have efficient access to the views required for a particular task. Layouts can include both 3D and extended viewports. Selecting a different layout is as simple as clicking on its icon, or pressing a hotkey. Artists can share customized View Tabs with other users by saving and loading presets.
Artists can now adapt 3ds Max to their personal way of working by selecting from a choice of default or custom workspaces. Each workspace can have individual settings for menus, toolbars, ribbon, and viewport tab presets; in addition, selecting a new workspace can automatically execute a MAXScript. This enables users to more easily configure the workspace to suit their preferences or to fit the task at hand; as an example, an artist might configure one workspace for modeling, and a different one for animating.
Track View Retiming
Animators can now retime portions of animations to increase or decrease their speed. The retiming is achieved by changing the tangency of the existing animation curve; there is no requirement to have keyframes present in the portion to be retimed, and no extra keyframes are created in the resulting high-quality curve.
Autodesk® HumanIK® Interoperability with CAT
Animators can now convert 3ds Max CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) bipedal characters into characters that are compatible with the Autodesk® HumanIK® solver used in Autodesk® Maya® 2013 software and Autodesk® MotionBuilder® 2013 software in a single step. These portable characters enable animators to transfer existing character structure, definition, and animation between the software packages in order to take advantage of particular feature sets. Animation changes created in Maya or MotionBuilder can be updated back onto the original CAT character in 3ds Max, facilitating a round-trip workflow.
Other New Features
Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 software also has the following key features:
The iray renderer now offers support for motion blur, helping artists create more realistic images of moving elements. In addition, a large number of improvements to iray have been added: support for "no diffuse bump", the round corner effect, and more procedural maps; improved sky portals, glossy refractions, translucency, and IOR (index of refraction); faster exterior scene convergence; and the ability to handle larger output resolutions.
The Nitrous accelerated graphics core has received a number of enhancements. Artists will enjoy the increased drawing performance on large scenes, together with new support for image-based lighting, depth of field, accelerated particle flow display, and a new clay shader. In addition, the ability to change the bokeh shape via MAXScript, support for shadows in large scenes, and improved workflows for interior scenes extend the Nitrous functionality.
3ds Max 2013 introduces a new gPoly base object for increased animation playback performance with deforming meshes; in some cases, artists can see up to three times faster playback. gPoly delivers accelerated playback in cases where mesh deformation does not change topology.
Maya Navigation Style
Artists familiar with using Autodesk Maya software will appreciate the new Maya interaction mode that enables them to use the same mouse and key combinations in 3ds Max as they would in Maya to navigate viewports. The ability to use a unified style when working with both packages helps save time and reduce user frustration. In addition, the interaction modes are customizable according to personal preference.
Enhanced Interoperability with Autodesk® Revit® Architecture
Facilities working with both 3ds Max and with Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2013 software can now take advantage of a more efficient data exchange workflow. Revit files are now directly supported, enabling 3ds Max artists to select a data view of choice to load from within the Revit file.
New support for the Autodesk® DirectConnect family of translators enables 3ds Max 2013 users to exchange industrial design data with engineers using CAD (computer aided design) products: AutoCAD® software, Autodesk® Inventor® software, Autodesk® Alias® software, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks® and Catia® system, PTC Pro/ENGINEER®, Siemens PLM Software NX, JT™, and certain other applications. A wide range of file formats is supported; for certain of these a license is required.The data is imported as native solids Body objects that can be interactively retesselated as needed.
.NET Exposure of the 3ds Max SDK
The 3ds Max 2013 SDK (software development kit) offers improved exposure to .NET, making it accessible from .NET aware languages. Garbage collection and reflection are provided by the .NET framework and help accelerate software development. The built-in .NET libraries also help facilitate common tasks: building user interfaces; connecting to databases; parsing XML and text; numerical computation; and communicating over networks.