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3D animation software for designers

3ds Max® Design 3D animation software features enable architects, engineers, and designers to breathe life into their visualizations and create more convincing results. With powerful toolsets for modeling, animation, and rendering, 3ds Max Design helps you effectively communicate and sell your designs. 

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    3D animation & simulation

  • Dual Quaternion skinning** New

    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.

  • Populate enhancements New

    Get increased artistic control, better realism, and improved usability with the enhanced Populate crowd animation feature. 

  • Populate crowd generation

    Bring worlds to life in a few simple steps with this crowd animation feature set.

  • Exposure lighting simulation and analysis

    Simulate and analyze sun, sky, and artificial lighting in 3D architectural design with exposure lighting analysis technology.

  • General animation tools

    Create sophisticated animations using a comprehensive set of character rigging tools, and keyframe and procedural animation techniques.

  • Dynamics, effects, and simulation

    Create dynamics and effects with production-proven, high-performance toolsets.

    3D modeling & texturing

  • Point cloud support New

    Import, visualize, snap to, and render massive point cloud datasets to help create more precise models from real-world references.

  • Placement tools New

    Easily position and orient content relative to other content in your scene with new Placement tools.

  • Quad chamfer New

    Create a chamfered or beveled edge between two surfaces consisting of quads, rather than triangles, to help eliminate pinching.

  • Polygon, spline, and NURBS-based modeling

    Use this rich toolset for polygon, spline, subdivision surface, and NURBS-based modeling.

  • Painting, mapping, and materials

    Get a vast range of texture painting, mapping, and layering options, including the Slate material editor and Viewport Canvas painting toolset.

  • Vector map support

    Load vector graphics as texture maps and render them at dynamic resolutions.

    3D rendering

  • Improved ActiveShade rendering New

    Enjoy a faster ActiveShade preview rendering workflow that now supports mental ray.

  • Render pass system

    Easily segment scenes for downstream compositing.

  • Slate compositing editor

    Perform simple compositing operations directly within 3ds Max Design using the slate compositing editor.

    Viewport, cameras & shaders

  • Camera sequencer** New

    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.

  • Accelerated viewport performance New

    Enjoy faster navigation, selection, and viewport texture baking for greater interactivity.

  • ShaderFX visual shader editor New

    Easily create advanced HLSL viewport shaders, just as visualization specialists and programmers do when using game technology to present their designs.

  • Perspective matching tools

    Interactively match the camera view of a scene to the perspective of a photo background.

  • Nitrous high-performance and quality viewport

    Iterate faster and handle larger data sets interactively at high quality with the Nitrous accelerated graphics core.

  • 2D pan and zoom

    Pan and zoom the viewport as though it were a 2D image, without affecting the actual camera position.

    UI, workflow & pipeline

  • Design Workspace** New

    Inspired by our years of experience with Revit and Inventor software, the Design Workspace makes the main features of 3ds Max Design 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.

  • Easier Revit and SketchUp imports** New

    A tighter Revit integration makes importing models into 3ds Max Design 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 Design.

  • Template system** New

    New on-demand templates provide standardized startup configurations, which can accelerate your scene creation process. Share templates across teams and offices with easy import/export options. Create new templates or modify existing templates to tailor them to your workflows. Built-in settings for rendering, environments, lighting, and units offer more accurate project results.

  • Enhanced scene management New

    Manage complex scenes more easily with enhancements to Scene Explorers.

  • DirectConnect support

    Use the Autodesk DirectConnect family of translators to exchange industrial design data with engineers using CAD software.

  • AutoCAD and Revit interoperability

    Take advantage of more efficient data exchange with AutoCAD and Revit software.

  • Civil View feature set

    Turn complex civil design geometry into precise and compelling 3D design visualizations faster and more efficiently with the 3ds Max Design Civil View feature set.

  • After Effects/Photoshop interoperability

    Output renderings in a layered PSD format and enjoy two-way data exchange with Adobe After Effects software.