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3D modeling pipeline and workflow

See user interface innovations, productivity-enhancing workflows, and smarter ways of working with the data in your pipeline in 3ds Max® software. Work more efficiently to create better 3D content in less time.

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    UI, workflow & pipeline

  • Game exporter New


    Transfer data from 3ds Max (such as models, animation takes, character rigs, textures, materials, LODs, lights, and cameras) into game engines (such as Unity, Unreal Engine and Stingray). It’s made possible with FBX interchange technology.

  • Live link New


    Download Stingray to take advantage of a new live link between 3ds Max and the Stingray engine. Stingray offers a level of tool interaction that greatly reduces time spent in scene creation, iteration, and testing.

  • Better support for Stingray shaders New


    Gain better support for physically based shaders when working with Stingray through ShaderFX enhancements. Easily transfer materials created in ShaderFx into Stingray and enjoy visual consistency in both tools.

  • Integrated Creative Market 3D content store New


    Creative Market is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell assets to use in your projects. Now you can browse for high-quality 3D content directly from the 3ds Max interface.

  • Max Creation Graph New

    This new, node-based tool creation environment is a top request in User Voice, our forum in which customers suggest and vote on features. Extend 3ds Max with geometric objects and modifiers by creating graphs in a visual environment, similar to the Slate material editor. Choose from hundreds of node types (operators) that can be connected to create new tools and visual effects. Create new node types by saving graphs, called compounds, package and share new tools, and help other users expand their toolset.

  • XRef renovations New

    Collaboration across teams and throughout the production pipeline is now easier, thanks to new support for nondestructive animation workflows in XRef and improved stability. Externally reference objects to your scene and animate them or edit material on the XRef object in the source file without the need to merge the objects into the scene. Local scenes automatically inherit changes made in the source file.

  • Scene Explorer and Layer Manager improvements New

    Working with complex scenes is now easier thanks to increased performance and stability improvements in the Scene Explorer and Layer Manager.

  • Design Workspace New

    The Design Workspace makes the main features of 3ds Max more accessible, so you can work with confidence. Importing design data to create impressive visualizations is now easier than ever. Following a task-based logical system, the Design Workspace provides easy access to object placement, lighting, rendering, modeling, and texturing tools.

  • Easier Revit and SketchUp workflows New

    Import and file link Revit .RVT files into 3ds Max directly using a new, tighter Revit integration, first introduced in 3ds Max 2015 Extension 2. Bring Revit models into 3ds Max up to 10 times faster than before. The new integration provides enhanced features, such as improved instancing, additional BIM data, and multiple cameras. SketchUp users can now take their design further in 3ds Max by importing SketchUp 2015 files.

  • Template system New

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

  • Alembic support New

    View massive data sets in the Nitrous viewport, and transfer them more easily through your production pipeline with new Alembic support. Work with production-proven technology, and move complex data through a pipeline in a manageable form. The technology distills complex animated and simulated data into a non-procedural, application-independent set of baked geometric results.

  • Autodesk Translation Framework New

    Autodesk Translation Framework (ATF) simplifies data exchange of both Autodesk and third-party file formats, including SolidWorks. With the ability to import Inventor constraints and Joint Drive animation into 3ds Max as baked keyframes, you can create high-quality mechanical design animations without having to rig in 3ds Max.

  • Multitouch support New

    3ds Max 2016 features multitouch 3D navigation, which offers even more freedom when interacting with 3D content. The software supports the Wacom Intuos 5 touch tablet, Cintiq 24HD, and Cintiq Companion, as well as touch-enabled Windows 8 devices. These devices enable natural interactions with a pen in one hand, while the other hand simultaneously performs multifinger gestures to orbit, pan, zoom, or roll a scene.

  • Small user-requested features (SURFs) New

    Small changes can make a big difference in the everyday life of a 3ds Max user. We address up to 10 workflow obstacles identified as high priorities by customers in 3ds Max 2016. Among the user-requested features are a new Viewport Selection Preview, Cut Tool Improvements, and the ability to visualize hard and smooth edges. Request features and vote on current suggestions in the User Voice forum. 

  • Enhanced scene management

    Manage complex scenes more easily with enhancements to Scene Explorers. Organize data into nested layers to make it easier to work with large numbers of objects. Support for docking and Workspaces, along with customizable quad menus, enhance productivity.

  • Configurable user interface

    The user interface conforms to the way you work. For example, you can configure one workspace for modeling and another for animating, with different presets for menus, toolbars, ribbon, and viewport tabs in each. Easily create and switch between several tabbed viewport layout configurations to access to the views required for a particular task. Save time and maintain focus on the creative task at hand with the Caddy in-context UI for polygon modeling tools.

  • Flexible camera matching

    Interactively match the camera view of a scene to the perspective of a photo background, or use 2D pan and zoom for accurate line placement. Easily place a CG element into the context of a still-frame photographic background for print and advertising composites, and visualize how a CG element will look in a real-life setting to validate concepts.

  • Data transfer and pipeline integration

    Import data from many sources and smoothly transfer data across file iterations, software applications, users, and locations. Enjoy advanced interoperability with Photoshop software. Take advantage of 2-way transfer and synchronization of cameras, lights, null objects, plane objects/solids, footage, footage layering, blend modes, opacity, effects, and text objects with After Effects software.

  • Compositing integration

    Enhance your 3D rendered data and combine it with live-action footage using a choice of compositing options. Segment scenes into render elements for downstream compositing in Smoke, After Effects, Photoshop, or certain other image compositing applications. You can perform simple compositing operations directly within 3ds Max with the node-based interface Slate Compositing Editor.

  • Collaborative workflows with Containers

    Containers make it easier for multiple artists to contribute to the same scene. Reference containers created by others into a single scene, and layer local edits on top nondestructively. Improve scene performance and use less memory by temporarily unloading Containers from the viewport display while maintaining scene relationships for reloading. Override object properties for scene organization without affecting layer organization, similar to a nested layer workflow.

  • Comprehensive 3ds Max SDK

    Extend and customize virtually every aspect of 3ds Max with the SDK (software development kit). Access elements such as scene geometry, animation controllers, camera effects, and atmospherics. Create new scene components, control the behavior of existing components, and export scene data to custom data formats. The managed .NET plug-in loader makes it easier to develop plug-ins in C# or other .NET languages. Includes at least 200 sample plug-in projects.

  • Python scripting

    Extend and customize 3ds Max with the popular and easy-to-learn Python scripting language, and differentiate your 3ds Max capabilities with Python-based extensions. Integrate 3ds Max more easily into a Python-based pipeline. Execute Python scripts from MAXScript and the 3ds Max command line. Access a subset of the 3ds Max SDK (software development kit) from Python scripts, including the ability to evaluate MAXScript code.

  • Civil View feature set

    Turn complex civil design geometry into precise and compelling 3D design visualizations more quickly and efficiently with the Civil View feature set. With simple, style-driven functionality and an extensive library of parametric civil-oriented objects and materials, Civil View helps you achieve stunning results, even if you have little or no detailed knowledge of 3ds Max.

  • AutoCAD and Revit interoperability

    Take advantage of more efficient data exchange with AutoCAD and Revit software. Import Revit files (.RVT) directly into 3ds Max. Enjoy support for lights, daylight system, and exposure control in the importer for AutoCAD files.

  • DirectConnect support

    Use the Autodesk DirectConnect family of translators to exchange industrial design data with engineers using CAD software. Exchange data between AutoCAD, Inventor, Alias, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks and Catia system, PTC Pro/ENGINEER, Siemens PLM Software NX, JT, and certain other applications. For some systems, you must have the CAD product installed for it to work. 

Applications on the Autodesk Exchange application store may be subject to the Autodesk Exchange Apps – End User License Agreement.

This feature is exclusively available to current Maintenance Subscription or Desktop Subscription customers as part of Extension 1 for 3ds Max 2016 software, expected to be available on or after August 11, 2015.