Autodesk 3ds Max Indie

Access professional tools at an affordable price

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Build stunning worlds with 3ds Max Indie

Now, recent graduates, freelancers, hobbyists and 3D artists just starting out have a more affordable way to access 3ds Max®. If you're just out of school, an indie artist, or you just love to make awesome stuff in 3D, you could be eligible to subscribe to 3ds Max Indie®. Create like a pro at a price you can afford.

Are you eligible?

  • Your annual gross revenue from creative work must be less than $100,000 USD.
  • You may not use the license on any project valued over $100,000 USD.
  • Only one license subscription can be used per user or organization. 
  • Offer is available in these countries.

Note: This offer is subject to certain restrictions.

Please see our frequently asked questions (FAQs) for more details.

By clicking on the "Buy 3ds Max Indie" button below, I acknowledge that I meet the eligibility requirements needed to access 3ds Max Indie.

If you are found to be ineligible, Autodesk may suspend or terminate your 3ds Max Indie subscription.​

What you can do with 3ds Max Indie

Get started with 3ds Max Indie

Image courtesy of Fazal Ullah Khan Taemoor

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible to subscribe to 3ds Max Indie?

You are eligible to subscribe to 3ds Max Indie if you meet the following requirements. 

  • Users’/Organizations’ annual gross revenue from creative work must be less than max threshold for your country
  • You may not use the license on any project valued over $100,000 USD 
  • Only one (1) license can be used per user or organization 
  • Autodesk 3ds Max Indie is only eligible in the following countries
  • See below for additional eligibility requirements details

Where can I access 3ds Max Indie?

3ds Max Indie is available for purchase as a subscription online.

As a subscriber of 3ds Max Indie, do I have access to subscription benefits?

Yes, subscribers will have access to the benefits of an Autodesk subscription.

Is 3ds Max Indie a trimmed-down version of the software?

3ds Max Indie has the same features and functionality as the full software version of 3ds Max.

Is there a free trial version available for 3ds Max Indie?

There is no free-trial period available for 3ds Max Indie. However, a free trial version is available for 3ds Max.

Is 3ds Max Indie available globally?

3ds Max Indie is only available on all standard Autodesk e-store sites. Find a list here: 3ds Max Indie.

Can I subscribe to 3ds Max Indie on a monthly basis?

3ds Max Indie is only available as an annual subscription.

How is 3ds Max Indie different from the student version of 3ds Max?

Only qualified educational institutions and current students are eligible for a student license. The student license can only be used for learning, training, or research. 3ds Max Indie can be used for commercial, professional, or other for-profit purposes.

What happens at the end of my yearly subscription of 3ds Max Indie?

Similar to other Autodesk subscriptions, 3ds Max Indie will auto-renew at the end of the contract term except for the India and China estores where the subscription will need to be renewed manually as auto-renewal is not available. Learn more about managing auto-renewal settings here.

Can I use my 3ds Max Indie license for commercial purposes?

Unlike a Student license, the 3ds Max Indie is available for commercial purposes, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements (see question 1).

Does 3ds Max Indie include the Arnold renderer?

3ds Max Indie has all of the same features and capabilities as the full version, including the integrated Arnold renderer.

I am a freelancer and I’ve been contracted by a studio that makes over $100,000 USD in gross revenue. Can I use 3ds Max Indie?

If the contracting company has contracted you to deliver a specific digital product (such as a model or rendered frame) that is valued less than $100,000 USD, you may use 3ds Max Indie.


However, if that company has hired you for your time to work on a project, a full commercial license would have to be purchased for the duration that you are working on the project. 

I am working on an indie game that has not made any revenue yet. However, I’ve received funding of over $100,000 USD. Am I still eligible for 3ds Max Indie?

If your game has received funding over the threshold of $100,000 USD, you are not eligible for 3ds Max Indie and must use the full commercial versions of 3ds Max.

I am part of a small group of artists who are working on a side-project in addition to our main occupations. The income from our main occupations is over $100,000 USD each. We have not formed a legal entity in the context of our side project.  If the income from our side project is less than $100,000 USD, are we eligible for 3ds Max Indie?

If you have not formed a legal entity and the gross revenue from the side project is under $100,000 USD, you are each eligible for 3ds Max Indie.

I am a freelancer and working on a project that will eventually make over $100,000 USD, but it hasn’t reached that revenue yet. Can I still use 3ds Max Indie?

Yes, you can use 3ds Max Indie until your revenues reach $100,000 USD at which point you would switch to the full commercial version of 3ds Max.

See more FAQ

Additional eligibility requirements

Is there more details on the eligilbity requirements for 3ds Max Indie?

Autodesk 3ds Max Indie is intended to provide independent artists with a more affordable way to license 3ds Max on their commercial projects. However, it is not intended to be used by people or organizations that generate more than $100,000 USD* per year in revenues or on projects with budgets of over $100,000 USD.  


Note that if you are working-for-hire for an organization that generates more than $100,000 USD per year you cannot obtain a license to use 3ds Max Indie – whether you are a freelancer, a contractor a part-time or a full-time employee. In this case you must use a full subscription license. The company must either purchase a license for you or you may purchase one yourself (whether you charge it to the company you are working for or not). This is intended to prevent companies from avoiding paying Autodesk for the software license they use on their projects


This restriction applies when working-for-hire for an organization that makes over $100,000 USD per year. The restriction does not apply to the sale of digital goods to such organizations – as long as your total annual revenue from such sales does not exceed the $100,000 USD threshold.


Here are some example scenarios to help you better understand when and where you are eligible to use 3ds Max Indie:

  • You create and sell digital products and have been approached by a games company with annual revenues greater than $100,000 USD to provide them with an asset (whether off-the-shelf or custom built). You are paid a fixed price for the ‘product’ delivered. In this case if your revenues are less than $100,000 USD, so you can use 3ds Max Indie. Examples of assets can be 3D models, textures or even rendered images.
  • You are approached by an architectural company with revenues of over $100,000 USD to work as a freelancer creating a visualization for them. You are paid an hourly/daily/weekly rate till the project is done and the assets belong to the company – in this case you cannot use 3ds Max Indie.

The key distinction is whether what you are doing can be reasonably considered to be your own work or whether you are working for hire. If you are producing and selling your own intellectual property (IP) and make less than $100,000 USD/yr doing so, you qualify to use 3ds Max Indie. If you are working for hire for an organization that makes over $100,000 USD a year, even if you are making less, then you do not qualify to use 3ds Max Indie. We expect companies making more than $100,000/yr to pay for the full commercial licenses of the software they need (as well as the artists). 


*Note that this limit varies depending on the country of use.