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3D modeling, shading, and texture mapping

3ds Max® software draws on a rich heritage to offer a proven 3D modeling, materials, and texturing toolset. With intuitive Graphite modeling, new OpenSubdiv support, enhanced ShaderFX, and powerful ProOptimizer technology, 3ds Max can help you create better assets in less time.

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    3D modeling and texturing

  • OpenSubdiv support New

    With new support for OpenSubdiv, first introduced in 3ds Max 2015 Extension 1, you can now represent subdivision surfaces using the OpenSubdiv libraries open-sourced by Pixar. The libraries incorporate technology from Microsoft Research, and are designed to take advantage of both parallel CPU and GPU architectures. The result is faster in-viewport performance for meshes with high subdivision levels.

  • Enhanced ShaderFX New

    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, including wavelines, voronoi, simplex noise, and brick. Create normal maps from 2D grayscale images with a new bump utility node. Quickly access shaders through the searchable node browser.

  • 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.

  • 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 viewport. Drill down into the inner workings of each basic node in the advanced mode.

  • 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.

  • Quad chamfer

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

  • Mesh and surface modeling

    Efficiently create parametric and organic objects with polygon, subdivision surface, and spline-based modeling features. Work with more than 100 advanced polygonal modeling and free-form 3D design tools in the Graphite modeling toolset. Control the number of faces or points in your object with ProOptimizer technology, and reduce the complexity of a selection by up to 75% without a loss of detail. Obtain clean mesh topology on Boolean operations with ProBooleans. 

  • Texture assignment and editing

    Perform creative texture mapping operations, such as tiling, mirroring, decal placement, blurring, spline mapping, pelt mapping, UV stretching, and relaxation. The Least Squares Conformal Mapping (LSCM) method enables you to minimize texture distortion. Bake each object’s material and lighting into new texture maps with the Render to Texture functionality. Use up to 99 UV sets for texture layering. Load vector graphics as texture maps for rendering at dynamic resolutions.

  • Shading and material design

    Get the look you want for your assets, with tools specifically designed to accelerate the shading and material design process. Extensive libraries of textures, images, and procedural maps in the Slate material editor enable you to design and edit complex shading hierarchies. Paint multiple layers onto any map in any material directly onto 3D objects with the intuitive Viewport Canvas toolset.

  • Vector map support

    Load vector graphics as texture maps and render them at dynamic resolutions. Zoom in as needed, and graphics remain crisp and clear. Create richer and more dynamic CAD illustrations with support for AutoCAD PAT Hatch Pattern files. Create textures that change over time, with PDF support that includes animated page transitions. Supports AI (Adobe Illustrator), SVG, and SVGZ formats.

  • Polygon, spline, and NURBS-based modeling

    Unleash your creativity with more than 100 advanced polygonal modeling and free-form 3D design tools in the Graphite modeling toolset and the powerful ProOptimizer. Efficiently create parametric and organic objects with polygon, spline, and NURBS-based modeling features. Articulate minute details and optimize meshes for both interactive manipulation and rendering using subdivision surfaces and polygon smoothing.