3ds Max 2012 and 3ds Max Design 2012 is available for download!

Posted by Ken Pimentel, 6 April 2011 8:00 pm

3ds Max 2012 is here!

Start your downloads, the release is now available to Subscription customers. If you don't know where to start, try to figure out who your subscription administrator is as you'll need to know this to login. Physical copies will start shipping April 8th to those that are getting boxes.

Beta Survey

Every release we ask our beta users what they think of the release. Here’s what 180 of them told us:

Overall stability:

We fixed about 400 legacy bugs (bugs that existed in 2011 or before). This was higher than we’ve done in previous releases. 92% of people felt the stability was average or above. 41% thought the stability was better or much better than other releases. Only 6% thought it was worse than prior releases.

Viewport responsiveness and performance:

If you look at the community survey we did, this was the number one feature people wanted to see improvements. Luckily, the release delivers for most people. 87% felt it was average or above and 62% felt it was better than prior releases. 12% felt it was worse – which is interesting because this feature had the most positives and the most negatives. There are situations where Nitrous shows some issues on some hardware – we’re aware of these and we are very busy with continuing to fix issues as we discover them. Nitrous is getting a lot of attention from us and we know how important it is to get everything to work as expected.


General application performance:

With the new Nitrous multi-threading architecture, various things are now feeling a little more “snappy” and this shows in the survey results where 93% thought it was average or above and 59% thought it was better than previous releases.

Workflow of features you need to use

We scored 87% average or above, and 41% felt it was better than prior releases. I think we have a lot more to do here, and the new Community feedback site is going to help us a lot here. http://autodesk.uservoice.com/forums/76763-publicsmallannoyingthings

User interface ease of use

88% felt it was average or better and we scored 41% better than prior releases. This is another area we identified in our XBR roadmap that needs attention. If you missed it, here it is again: http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/ken/xbr_webinar_results

Interoperability with the applications you need to work with

86% said it was average or above, 30% said it was better than prior releases. This scored the lowest improvement, which is a little odd in that we did a bunch of new “one step” workflows with Mudbox and MotionBuilder – but it just means that those weren’t the apps where customers wanted better interop. Our community survey suggests that it should be Adobe AE, Photoshop and Maya – which were generally the top responses.

XBR and U

So this was a big release for us in that we had to introduce a totally new viewport system, Nitrous or XBR:Graphics. This was one of the "untouchable" cores of 3ds Max and we've hopefully addressed a lot of performance issues while not breaking too much. Given the scale of what we did, it will be very promising if we emerge from this without and deep scratches. With this release, one of our biggest efforts is now mostly behind us, we've still got some big boulders to lift, but you should be able to see some direction what with MassFX and mRigids now in place too. We're not done by any means, but we might be able to say we're about half-way there. Maybe.



Posted 7 April 2011 8:41 pm

The procedural textures like noise, still looks different in viewport (nitrous) and in render, sorry but its realy shame :-(


Posted 7 April 2011 9:05 pm

Use 2D noises (Substance noises will render the same in viewport and rendering) instead of procedural 3d Noise, or build them using metaSL. Or use explicit mapping and map/unwrap your models and the noises will render correctly.

It is related to 3d mapping and the viewports. I am not sure if it is caused by the map viewport code, the viewport support for more 3d mapping, or a combination of both.


Jonathan de Blok

Posted 7 April 2011 9:12 pm

Congrats to you and the rest of the team! I've been playing with 2012 all afternoon and it rocks! Nitrous is awesome, interface is much faster, startup time is quicker, and you've got the icons done right at last Great job!

The only thing I don't like is the online help system, especially for maxscript, I can see the benifits but its way slower compared to the old offline version, is the offline included aswell?

larex: it does look the same if you set the noise to use the UVW map instead of the XYZ coords. It always has.


Posted 7 April 2011 9:27 pm

Sorry, but it is the new architecture and it should works like in render without old legacy problems... When i want generate particles from noise maps i must every time rerender screen to figureout how noise looks on a object and i thought it will be fixed in nitrous, like the guys told in webinar answers and questions forum, sorry guys but im not happy because if somebody want to do new architecture of viewport it should work as you expect, without any problems and not with the problems like it has in old viewport...


Posted 7 April 2011 9:30 pm

Jonathan, at some point there should be downloadable versions of the help (see Customize > Preferences > Help). But at this time the online documentation link from the 3ds Max support site still only has the 2011 help. I think we need to give them a few days for everything to go live.



Posted 7 April 2011 9:33 pm

larex, this is the first iteration of XBR Graphics, not the end solution. Progress and evolution takes time. Unfortunately at this time there is no way to know when things like 3D procedurals may be supported. Again if you build metaSL code it should work the same in both.

However, just FYI 3d procedurals can be very process intensive and could greatly effect viewport performance.



Posted 7 April 2011 9:43 pm

Great release, most of the issues i had with previous releases were really addressed! Only 2 disappointing things are that viewport still suffers significant performance and responsiveness loss when windows aero is active, and caddies drop my viewport FPS by 50% whenever they are active.

Other than that, hands down for a great release


Posted 8 April 2011 9:42 am

You write that 3D Max 2011 plugins will work with 3D max 2012 and they will not need a recompile.
That is obvioulsy wrong from my own experience.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 8 April 2011 10:53 am

re: plugins
They are not compatible, where did you read that they are? They require a recompile due to compiler update.


Posted 8 April 2011 12:35 pm

i read it in a pdf from adobe about compatibility between max 2001 and 2012.



Posted 8 April 2011 12:36 pm

ups of course i mean i read it in a pdf from autodesk...

Ken Pimentel

Posted 8 April 2011 12:39 pm

re: FAQ
Yes, unfortunately that slipped through our review. It is referring to 2011 release, not the 2012 release. Plug-ins are not compatible.


Posted 8 April 2011 1:12 pm

So... Ken, was it too hard to kill Reactor? I never thought I would miss it one day... lol....

Ken Pimentel

Posted 8 April 2011 1:27 pm

re: reactor
Yes, we removed it. We used CIP to establish that less than 3% of users were using it. MassFX and mRigids are the future - even though mRigids isn't 100% replacement for Reactor at this time.


Posted 9 April 2011 3:03 am

My God!!
I find a terrible bug in the skin modifier. sometimes it can't edit weight. sp1! sp1!!!!


Posted 9 April 2011 4:10 am

Where is the offline help, I dont really have speedy internet connection, and I hate it must online everytime I push help or maxscript reference, is that so hard compile in installer or include in installer, since its only take max 700 mb? I dont mind to have 700 mb extra on installer for help and maxscript reference.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 9 April 2011 11:10 am

re: help
You can download and install help locally. Instructions are in the help docs.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 9 April 2011 11:15 am

re: 2012 issues
Yes, we can ask the devs to take a look at forum posts. Please log problems here: http://www.autodesk.com/3dsmax-defectsubmission


Posted 9 April 2011 5:44 pm

Please, add max 2012 in drop down list Product Information ))



Posted 10 April 2011 8:47 am

im not talking only help (F1), another help like mental ray help, maxscript help, Why I cant get those this day in the big installation pack. whats the deal...if noob trying to use your software and dont know how to use it where he can learn to use it if he cant connect to internet....


Posted 10 April 2011 7:04 pm

Just downloaded 2012.

The Viewport is lightning fast. I can't believe it!

Really great job, autodesk!


Posted 11 April 2011 9:32 am

Make Mental Ray use legacy FG map container method. Make 1 light default lighting mode (backfaces displayed in black) working. Make "Display Selected with Edged Faces" hotkey mapping working. These 3 little things and 3ds Max 2012 will be the best release of 3ds Max ever, and i would dare to say the best release of any software in a whole CG history.


Posted 11 April 2011 12:59 pm

Hi, ken!
Is there interactions between cat and massfx ?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 11 April 2011 1:16 pm

re: rope
Rope can be simulated with cloth.

re: CAT and MassFX
I don't know that we've looked at that yet. We are talking about rag doll integration - hopefully that will be CAT-based

re: wishes:
Post your ideas and get them voted on: http://autodesk.uservoice.com/forums/76763-smallannoyingthings


Posted 11 April 2011 4:59 pm

very good news, thancks !


Posted 15 April 2011 10:51 am

well the first thing i noticed with max 2012 is that AD even managed to mess up the installer.
hardly any amateur shareware coder manages to screw a simple installer. honest it´s a bad joke.

why is it not possible to install max into a specified userpath?
why has the installer always append a "3D Max 2012 Design" to the path?

does it needs a very high IQ to imagine that your users MAY need a specific path for the application?

it worked with all versions before... now it doesn´t.

instead of making things better.... they are able to make even the smallest things a problem for their customers.

i spend more then half a working day installing and uninstalling max because of this.

im now waiting to install it again (for the 4 time) until someone gives me a clue how to instal max into "d:\3d max\".... and not "d:\3d max\3d max 2012 design\"

do i have to perform a magical belly dance or what?
i will.... even when i don´t had to for older 3D max versions.

it is a shame that AD has no real competition anymore and they can get away with every crap they pour on us customers.
sometimes i start to believe you guys sitting at AD doing a brainstorming and think about how you can make things worse for your customers. otherwise i have NO IDEA how AD manages to come up with such issues.


Ken Pimentel

Posted 15 April 2011 1:19 pm

re: install
This is the first I've heard that we changed our installer policy around customization of the path. I don't have an answer, but I'll have someone look into it.


Posted 15 April 2011 1:51 pm

i am not the only one who noticed this (it´s acad but the same issue):


"your observations are correct. there are various reason for this behaviour. one of them is to keep the installation process simple when it comes to bundled products; also it does help to install multiple language products side by side without user having to think about different directory for different language."

makes no sense to me. other companys face the same problem and can do it the right way.

we have setup our whole office to respect these paths and now such a mess.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 15 April 2011 4:22 pm

re: installer
I can confirm that it is a company-wide policy that is new for 2012. It was driven by the move to suites and the fact that allowing each product in a suite to install differently would create chaos to maintain/support. Are you saying that Adobe doesn't do this? I wonder how they solved the problem. Sorry for whatever problems this is creating for you, but it seems this isn't likely to be changed unless Autodesk reverses the policy.


Posted 15 April 2011 4:39 pm

so you tell me because AD is to lazy to code a proper solution, so that we can choose a TOP LEVEL directory structure, we have to change our directory structure for every new 3D Max release from now on?

goodbye subscription i say then!!!

you should get some some high school coding kid that gives your noob coders at AD a few lessons!!
ask your AD developers what the problem is when you let the user choose the name of the top directory.

or better don´t have 200 PR guys and 10 coder working on 3D Max.... instead hire 100 coder and stick with 5 PR guys.

what could be the big unsolvable problem when i have a directory "3D Max" instead of "3Ds Max 2012 Design"?

realy i have no words for this and how angry i am....

Ken Pimentel

Posted 15 April 2011 4:50 pm

re: install
I've asked that the experts get involved to respond because they might have suggestions that would minimize the impact of this change. I'm not the person to do it.


Posted 15 April 2011 4:55 pm

thanks.... even when i have no hope for a proper solution.

buy a new car and when it tells you "no you can´t drive that street our GPS doesn´t know it"... you will know how i feel.


Posted 15 April 2011 7:23 pm

curious... why do you have to absolutely keep the same program path? It's kinda odd and not the norm anyways? Does your workplace stop working entirely because Max is placed where it should be? Can you just notr install as normally and continue working?

I do understand the grief though...like ANY installer, it will ask if where you would like to put it, and even let you chnage the directory name. Yes, Adesk probably should have not broke what was already fixed?


Posted 15 April 2011 7:48 pm

i guess you work alone on projects timd1971?

because we have setup our whole infrastructure (local and network) the way that scripts, batchfiles, backup programs etc. etc. use this path. it´s so for years and years.

the path is in our own tools. if we install 3D max on a different place these tools will not find it.
some of these tools are 7 years old and the path is hardcoded.
as only we need these tools and we are always in a hurry to make a deadline we don´t have inlcuded a routine to setup paths in each of this tools. it was not necessary.... until 2012.

sure we could (will have too) change that and use placeholder variables (environment variables) for the path in the future. BUT changing this needs a lot of time and only leads to errors and problems.

and why? because AD decides that we can´t install 3d max into a folder we choose.


Posted 17 April 2011 5:45 am

and I hate about why AD not including all help file in the bundle too. shi**, those big installer is for nothing.


Posted 17 April 2011 4:57 pm

well nitrous looks promising on paper... but that´s it.

to many things kill the performance.
strange artefacts and issues with the viewport.

it´s maybe usefull for people who only do modelling in max.. like in the youtube videos they used to hype nitrous.

would we use it in production... no.


Posted 29 April 2011 9:06 pm

I have come across the same bug as lilix. When I open the weight tools in the skin modifier I can't weight any bones.


Posted 30 April 2011 6:55 am

This bug is known and a fix is already in the works. Should come with the announced Hotfix or Servicepack, whatever and whenever it will happen...

Add Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Please only report comments that are spam or abusive.