3ds Max 2013 announced!

Posted by Ken Pimentel, 28 March 2012 8:00 pm

3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2013 Announced!

With this release, we tried to do something slightly different. Along with the bigger features, we tackled improving things that might seem small, but can be annoying or cause inefficiencies when you work. For example, we now allow you to move the viewport while creating various entities like arrays so you don’t stop creating, change your viewport, then begin again. Instead, you simply move the viewport while continuing to draw/create. These are old legacy issues, many of you are used to it, but it doesn’t mean it needs to remain that way. We tackled dozens of these workflow improvements and you’ll encounter them all over the product. This is one outcome of our 3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com effort from a year ago.

We also spent a lot of time fixing bugs and crashers. Over 400 legacy bugs were fixed (things that were in 3ds Max 2012 or earlier) and CAT got yet more attention with roughly 30 fixes by itself. We hope this attention to fixing things is something you all welcome. We have some news to share with you about our plans for introducing fixes faster, but that will have to wait a month or so.

Beta Survey results

I also thought it might help to let you know what the beta thinks of this release. They’ve been playing with something close to the final release, and about 200 of them answered our final survey. Remember, beta users get exposed to a lot of “raw code” and limited time (days) with the finished release, so they have a rougher experience than most. There are an equal number of beta users in the Entertainment side as the CAD side (which also mimics our userbase). Generally, they are very experienced users and spend a lot of hours using 3ds Max in their "other life".

Overall Stability

90% said it was average or above, 56% said it was above average. 93% felt that stability was the same or better than prior releases, 39% said it was better.

Viewport Performance

82% said it was average or above, 49% said it was above average. 88% said it was same/better than prior releases, 57% said it was better.

General App Performance

93% said it was average or above, 43% said it was above average. 93% said it was same/better than prior releases, 50% said it was better.

UI Ease of Use

88% said it was average or above, 51% said it was above average. 96% said it was same/better than prior releases, 43% said it was better.


93% said it was average or above, 62% said it was above average. 98% said it was same/better than prior releases, 51% said it was better.

What did beta users like the most?

These were things that the majority of beta users said were a good reason to upgrade. 

  • Nitrous particle speed improvements (check it out, you’ll see significant improvements here)
  • Nitrous IBL, DOF, Bokeh, Clay improvements
  • Tabbed viewport layout
  • MassFX Updates & mCloth
  • Workflow improvements (from 3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com)
  • After Effects Interop (State Sets)
  • Iray 2.0
  • Revit Interop Update
  • AutoCAD DWG improvements

Things to watch for

We are required to release to a fixed schedule, which means that some issues found late in the process are allowed to ship. So make sure you read the readme before you start using the release. We are aware of various performance issues that will affect some, but not all scenes and hardware configurations running Nitrous. The good news is that we have fixed the following issues, but they are not in the release. We are scheduling an update as we speak and I don’t expect it to take more than a month past the release to get into your hands.

  • Backface culled wireframe results in low performance
  • 4 viewports is slower than 1 viewport
  • Maximize/minimize viewport is very slow
  • Massive number of textures can cause lag (can be fixed by reducing default texture size)
  • Large shadowmap can cause low performance (can be fixed by reducing default shadowmap size)

Based on our beta experience, a minority of you will find some scenes running slower in 2013 than 2012 because of the above issues. We’re continuing to work with the beta team to resolve all outstanding performance issues. We want Nitrous to perform better than DX9 in all cases, not just the majority of cases. Nitrous continues to be a huge resource sink as we fine tune it and maximize what it can do for us.

Where's XBR?

In case you haven't been following the restructuring of 3ds Max (what we call, "XBR"), here's an update. As we've told you, year after year, XBR is executing in phases and we don't define when a particular phase will be complete. However, this release is notable for the following reasons:

XBR UI: Workspaces and Tabbed Views are the beginning of some changes. Workspaces are limited in what they can do because they require other changes to occur in our UI system first. UI continues to be a high priority to revamp. Definitely under renovation, but moving towards something more complete. 

XBR Simulation: A big step forwards with the unification of cloth, forces and rigid-bodies. We now have mCloth - which is a subset of our Cloth feature, but it works with MassFX rigid bodies. We have also integrated our traditional "forces" into the MassFX system. Again, the goal is to unify all our simulation pieces under a single roof to make it much easier to work with.

XBR Viewports: We've come a long way in quality and performance. We still have some gaps to close and problems to sort, but the trajectory is solid. This release was another big effort to try to do more in the viewport (IBL, DOF for example) and plan our move off DX9. A lot of structural efforts have been made, but we're not finished with this agenda yet.

We're planning a public webinar around XBR for mid April. Watch for the invite.

3ds Max vs 3ds Max Design

There are no new feature differences. 3ds Max doesn't have the Daylight Simulation tools or Civil View. 3ds Max Design doesn't ship with the SDK.

Plug-in Compatibility

Unfortunately, you can’t use 2012 plug-ins with 3ds Max 2013. The SDK is different from prior releases due to the move to Unicode (finally) in this release. This is an example of a massive sw engineering project we had to undertake to deal with legacy code. This was by far, the largest investment in touching all the code in 3ds Max since 64b. Unfortunately, most of you don’t care that we’re now Unicode, but it will make life a lot easier for everyone working with 3ds Max on a foreign OS or are using one of the 5 language versions 3ds Max comes in and are trying to share data. Don't forget, you still have a "save as 2010" feature in this release to maintain data compatibility with older pipelines.

More info 

Make sure you also check out the new product site on the AREA and the updated product page at Autodesk.com.

If you want to check out all our "Sneak Peaks" videos, go here.

If you want to stay in touch, check out our Facebook page.

Top Features and Benefits

These are a mix of things from the F&B document with some of my enhancements and it includes things that are noted as new in the docs, but are left off the F&B. Basically, this is the most comprehensive listing of changes that you'll find from Autodesk. As usual, some of these features were introduced with the Subscription Advantage Pack (SAP) in September, now, everyone else gets them. I've tried to identify where we've enhanced the SAP with a "SAP+".

Adobe After Effects Interoperability (SAP+)

Steve Forde, the Product Manager for Adobe After Effects was recently giving a presentation to our channel partners and he really brought home how important this new feature will be for AE users. There is nothing else like it in any other product. It gives you a bidirectional workflow allowing two different artists to work collaboaratively (it's common for there to be a 2D and a 3D user working together on a project) with updates happening in either end and everyone remaining in sync. Of course, it benefits you if you're working alone too as it ensures simple syncronization of your data.

Media design and graphics artists whose creative toolsets include Adobe® After Effects® software can now enjoy a level of interoperability with 3ds Max that sets a higher standard for 2D/3D data exchange. The new Media Sync functionality provides two-way transfer of cameras, lights, null objects, plane objects/solids, footage (including footage layering), blend modes, opacity, and effects; with it, artists can iterate more effectively and reduce rework to complete projects in less time.

Improvements since the Subscription Advantage Pack released in September, 2011 include:

  • Custom render element pathing.
  • Custom file type pathing including EXR. This tracks parameters for output file formats, as well as formats, and, in the case of EXR, includes render elements, gbuffers, bit depth, color channels, and more.
  • iray and Quicksilver render parameter tracking.
  • Better UI interaction through render-dialog refreshing.
  • Tracking of viewport layouts.
  • MAXScript exposure.
  • Object and solid scale tracking to After Effects.
  • Ability to copy state sets.
  • Tracking of V-Ray object properties.
  • Tracking of V-Ray cache.

If you're looking for more details on this feature, see my recent blog post here.

Enhanced Interoperability with Adobe Photoshop (SAP)

Enjoy greater flexibility when finishing renderings in Adobe® Photoshop® software, with the new ability to output renderings in a layered PSD format that retains layer order, opacity, and blend modes (for example, multiply or screen).

Render Pass System (SAP)

Scenes can now be more easily segmented for downstream compositing. Thanks to an entirely new render pass system, render elements can now be more efficiently created for Autodesk® Smoke® 2013 software, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop software, or certain other image compositing applications. A state recorder enables artists to capture, edit, and save the current state, while a visual interface shows how compositing and render elements are wired together to create the final result. Artists can more quickly set up and execute multiple render passes from a single file; individual passes can be modified without the need to re-render the whole scene, enhancing productivity.

Slate Compositing Editor (SAP)

Perform simple compositing operations directly within 3ds Max with the new Slate Compositing Editor. The schematic node-based interface enables rendered layers and passes to be more easily wired together and combined with compositing nodes, for example: blends and color corrections; the resulting composite can then be sent to Adobe After Effects or Adobe Photoshop for further refinement.

ActiveShade Interactive iray Rendering (SAP+)

Experience an interactive creative process for finalizing renderings, with new ActiveShade support for the NVIDIA iray renderer. ActiveShade enables artists to iterate more effectively by providing an interactive rendering session that constantly updates as changes are made to cameras, lighting, materials, and geometry. By shortening the feedback loop, artists can more efficiently fine-tune their scene, making it faster and easier to achieve their intended look.

MassFX Enhancements

Artists can now enjoy a more integrated and accurate dynamic toolset, thanks to a wide range of enhancements and additions to the MassFX unified system of simulation solvers. Highlights are a new mCloth module that features tearable fabric and support for dynamic ragdoll hierarchies. In addition, improved constraints, better handling of pivot points, and enhanced UI readability help improve overall workflow.

Focus on Workflow

With the understanding that small things can make a big difference, 3ds Max 2013 includes a number of improvements: the ability to manipulate the camera when cutting polygons and during the creation process, enhancements to the skin modifier, and a modeless array dialog. Customers can suggest their own workflow improvements using the Small Annoying Things forum at 3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com. Here's a list of the major ones we worked on, some of these are documented in this blog, some aren't. Here's a video that attempts to show them in action.

  • Enable view panning/zooming/rotating when cutting polygons and creating objects
  • Double click edge to select loop
  • Skin Bone list sorting
  • Image File Dialog remembers last image file type
  • Add file history to Import/Export UI
  • Move isolate toggle to tool bar
  • Open all dialogs in their last location
  • Hotkey view switching remembers last view
  • Modeless Array dialog
  • Gradient viewport background
  • Resizable CUI dialog
  • Preview animation fixed

Tabbed Layouts

Easily create and switch between a number of viewport layout configurations, in order to have efficient access to the views required for a particular task. Layouts can include both 3D and extended viewports. Selecting a different layout is as simple as clicking on its icon, or pressing a hotkey. Artists can share customized View Tabs with other users by saving and loading presets.

Customizable Workspaces

Artists can now adapt 3ds Max to their personal way of working by selecting from a choice of default or custom workspaces. Each workspace can have individual settings for menus, toolbars, ribbon, and viewport tab presets; in addition, selecting a new workspace can automatically execute a MAXScript. This enables users to more easily configure the workspace to suit their preferences or to fit the task at hand; as an example, an artist might configure one workspace for modeling, and a different one for animating.

Track View Retiming

Animators can now retime portions of animations to increase or decrease their speed. The retiming is achieved by changing the tangency of the existing animation curve; there is no requirement to have keyframes present in the portion to be retimed, and no extra keyframes are created in the resulting high-quality curve.

Autodesk® HumanIK® Interoperability with CAT

Animators can now convert 3ds Max CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) bipedal characters into characters that are compatible with the Autodesk® HumanIK® solver used in Autodesk® Maya® 2013 software and Autodesk® MotionBuilder® 2013 software in a single step. These portable characters enable animators to transfer existing character structure, definition, and animation between the software packages in order to take advantage of particular feature sets. Animation changes created in Maya or MotionBuilder can be updated back onto the original CAT character in 3ds Max, facilitating a round-trip workflow.

iray Enhancements

The iray renderer now offers support for motion blur, helping artists create more realistic images of moving elements. In addition, a large number of improvements to iray have been added: support for “no diffuse bump”, the round corner effect, and more procedural maps; improved sky portals, glossy refractions, translucency, and IOR (index of refraction); faster exterior scene convergence; and the ability to handle larger output resolutions.

Nitrous Enhancements

The Nitrous accelerated graphics core has received a number of enhancements. Artists will enjoy the increased drawing performance on large scenes, together with new support for image-based lighting, depth of field, accelerated particle flow display, and a new clay shader. In addition, the ability to change the bokeh shape via MAXScript, support for shadows in large scenes, and improved workflows for interior scenes extend the Nitrous functionality.

Really, that's the new 2013 viewport, that's not a rendering.


3ds Max 2013 introduces a new gPoly base object for increased animation playback performance with deforming meshes; in some cases, artists can see up to three times faster playback. gPoly delivers accelerated playback in cases where mesh deformation does not change topology.

We've introduced this as a platform for our XBR efforts. This is just a taste of what is possible.

Maya Navigation Style

Artists familiar with using Autodesk Maya software will appreciate the new Maya interaction mode that enables them to use the same mouse and key combinations in 3ds Max as they would in Maya to navigate viewports. The ability to use a unified style when working with both packages helps save time and reduce user frustration. In addition, the interaction modes are customizable according to personal preference.

Enhanced Interoperability with Autodesk® Revit® Architecture

Facilities working with both 3ds Max and with Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2013 software can now take advantage of a more efficient data exchange workflow. Revit files are now directly supported, enabling 3ds Max artists to select a data view of choice to load from within the Revit file.

DirectConnect Support

New support for the Autodesk® DirectConnect family of translators enables 3ds Max 2013 users to exchange industrial design data with engineers using CAD (computer aided design) products: AutoCAD® software, Autodesk® Inventor® software, Autodesk® Alias® software, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks® and Catia® system, PTC Pro/ENGINEER®, Siemens PLM Software NX, JT™, and certain other applications. A wide range of file formats is supported; for certain of these a license is required.The data is imported as native solids Body objects that can be interactively retesselated as needed.

.NET Exposure of the 3ds Max SDK

The 3ds Max 2013 SDK (software development kit) offers improved exposure to .NET, making it accessible from .NET aware languages. Garbage collection and reflection are provided by the .NET framework and help accelerate software development. The built-in .NET libraries also help facilitate common tasks: building user interfaces; connecting to databases; parsing XML and text; numerical computation; and communicating over networks.

Other features you might want to know about:

Introducing the Autodesk Animation Store

Included with Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 is the new Autodesk Animation Store, powered by Mixamo, where you can purchase hundreds of motion clips for your Biped or CAT characters. Now you can preview the motion clips on your characters in your scene prior to purchasing them.

QuickTime Support for 64bit

We have added support for Apple's QuickTime in the 64bit versions of 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design.

Hardware-based Picking

We have replaced our CPU-based object picking system with a new GPU-based picking system. This should tackle some of the “lag” issues people were seeing with complex scenes (lots of objects). The rest of our picking system didn't change, so if you have issues, it should only be object selection. 

Modeless Array Dialog

The Array dialog is now modeless, which means that you can navigate viewports while the dialog is open. For example, if the array exceeds the viewport boundaries, you can pan and zoom the viewport so the entire array is within view.

Egg Spline

The Egg spline lets you create splines that are shaped like a chicken egg. The Egg spline is provided in part to support the Autodesk Civil View Pipe Network feature. Civil View is available only with 3ds Max Design.

Autodesk Civil View for 3ds Max Design

Autodesk Civil View is provided with 3ds Max Design only. For 3ds Max Design 2013, Civil View is installed along with 3ds Max Design. You don't need to install it separately; however, to run it you must initialize it and then restart 3ds Max Design.

If you're interestsed in learning more about changes in Civil View, read Bruce's blog posting.

Hair And Fur

In Autodesk 3ds Max 2013Hair And Fur has been improved in a number of ways. Improvements include better viewport display, better efficiency with tile memory usage, new material options, and new Flyaway, Clumping, and Multi-Strand features.

Track View Makeover

To make the 3ds Max Track View animation editor conform more closely to suitemates such as Autodesk Maya, the menu layout has been redesigned, producing a more-compact interface.

Skin Modifier Improvement

For more efficient management of bones attached to a Skin modifier, you can now sort the list of bones in ascending or descending alphanumeric order. Searching the list also saves time by showing only matching entries, rather than simply highlighting matching entries in the list. See Parameters Rollout (Skin Modifier).


For Skylight objects you can assign Sky Color maps, including high dynamic range (HDR) maps, that provide illumination for all renderers. They also provide lighting levels and shadows for Nitrous viewports. Unlike releases prior to Autodesk 3ds Max 2013, Sky Color maps do not require the Light Tracer.

Gradient Background

Viewports can now have a vertical gradient as a background. This is the default for Perspective viewports. You can set custom colors for the gradient by using the Customize User Interface Colors panel. In addition, viewport background controls have been consolidated in a new Viewport Configuration dialog Background panel, with corresponding options on the Views menu and the Shading Viewport Label menu.

Slate Material Editor Improvements

The Slate Material Editor interface has been updated in a number of ways to improve usability. New features include enhanced right-click-menu functionality, the option to get a node view of materials applied to selected object, new material library options, and special highlighting of the node whose parameters are visible.

Render Setup Dialog

A new drop-down menu on the Render Setup dialog lets you choose among production, iterative, and ActiveShade rendering. The toggle for Network Rendering has also been moved to this menu.

mental ray Renderer

The version of mental ray provided with Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 has been upgraded to mental ray 3.10. 

Note: no new Particle Flow tools are in 3ds Max 2013

This is a test to see how many read to the bottom of the list! While we did announce a multi-year codevelopment agreement with Orbaz, it was too late to do anything with the 2013 release. We will be revealing details about the situation in the coming months, but for now, do not base your purchasing decisions around anything related to this. 


Sorb [Stefan]

Posted 27 March 2012 9:25 am

Thanks for pointing out what is SAP and what is SAP+ improved.

And I do read to the bottom of the list


Posted 27 March 2012 9:35 am

Whats wrong with the private videos?? Isn't it an official announce?


Posted 27 March 2012 9:44 am

No quad chamfer again? (((


Posted 27 March 2012 10:01 am

Nice, I'm really liking the transparency that Autodesk have assumed in this release.


Posted 27 March 2012 10:36 am

awesome update, look forward to cloth and sim stuff. and agree with malucow about the transparency with this release


Posted 27 March 2012 11:16 am

looks great!
humm.. the render window seams still in his prehistoric form, too bad...

Eugenio jr.

Posted 27 March 2012 12:03 pm

I'm still not sure what to think about this version. It's not bad by any means. And yet I can't help but feel greatly frustrated on quite a few missing points. The three major sources of frustration to me were:

1: Mental ray. The only time mental ray is actually mentioned is not only right at the end of the post, but saying: "mental ray has been upgraded to 3.10". So that's it? In a whole year, after that talk you hired Zap in the hopes to get a nice mental ray integration into max and all that, this is what we get? All I can say is a big WTF?!?! I demand a good justification on this.

2: No Dual Quaternion skinning or an "Auto Weights by Bone Heat". Max's stock skinning tools are from stone age and looks like will be like that for at least 6 months.

3: No Nitrous motion blur. I was quite sure we were going to get motion blur in this version since Maya got last year. Maybe it's possible with multipass but then rendertimes will be increase a lot too. I mean proper, realtime motion blur.

I still feel a bit disappointed about some other minor things, like I expected much more SATs to actually be on the final list, considering how many of them were under review at the 3dsmax customer feedback forums.

Anyway it's not necessarily bad, just as usual lacks some important stuff. Let's see how it feels in practice...


Jonathan de Blok

Posted 27 March 2012 12:29 pm


bill n

Posted 27 March 2012 12:45 pm

This looks like a very encouraging release, I think your efforts were definitely spent in the right areas. It sounds strange but the fixing of the Small Annoying Things may be the best thing about this release, and should not be underestimated. As soon as all of the plugins we use have been updated (I'm guessing 1 to 3 months) I look forward to getting stuck in.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 27 March 2012 12:54 pm

re: zap
He came to us very late in our process. He did fix a bunch of gamma issues, we didn't mention his help in moving us towards a fully linear workflow because they were mostly bug fixes or small adjustments. The reality is that we have a small rendering team and they work on Nitrous and iray too. Wish we had more resources.

re: skinning
We know we need to do more. This is a priority, just can't speak to timing.

re: mblur
Wish we had that too. Of course, Nitrous has superior lighting effects over Maya. Both are converging slowly.

We always lack "some important stuff" to some customers and workflows. We don't have the biggest team, so we have to spread ourselves very thin - not good for the team or quality.


Posted 27 March 2012 12:56 pm

BIG FUCKING FAIL----------next move MODO! autodesk you .........pff...


Posted 27 March 2012 1:53 pm

C'mon, this looks amazingly good! I've since started to use Softimage lately, and have been away from 3ds Max for a while, but I still look at some features with envy. Especially the Nitrous viewports. And, the graphite tools are still some of the best out there. Those are really really great. Nicely done! And, finally CAT looks like it's becoming a really powerful tool. Wish we had that incorporated into Softimage, minus the old bugs, of course. ;-) And, under the hood, it's getting much more robust.

ramos kiter

Posted 27 March 2012 2:04 pm

AARRR the pain goes on. Sounds like 2013 is going to be a disappointment.
No particle flow, new code means buggy plugin upgrades one of 3dsmax strong points.
A few steps forward with cat. The link with after effects sounds good.
Shame... I use Nuke.
Will slate editor be fast enough to use. I like the way it works but found it to slow and when back to the old system.
Maybe worth awaiting for 2014 I still haven't recover from 2011 stress.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 27 March 2012 2:05 pm

re: ctedin1
Thanks for the positive vibes. Helps cancel out some of the bruises.


Posted 27 March 2012 2:28 pm

So little changes, a good thing anyway, but far not enough to justify a new release, this one must be free to users.
I can't understand why a big team like Autodesk can not achieve the XBR project, started so long time ago.
I love 3DSMAX (true), but I have more and more difficulty to accept Autodesk choices about it.


Posted 27 March 2012 3:12 pm

1 update of Modo means 10 years of MAX developing, looks like "The blizzard of 3D Software's" LOL, learn from luxology guys!

@_AdrianG: Profit to Autodesk? Autoslowdesk is who has to give us Profit! we are the users who pay a license, we are the community and there is a lot of petitions to really "improve" this tool, and Autodesk just ignore it, making foolish updates to make money, I'm 3D max and Softimage user and is frustrating watch how Max and all which Autodesk owns just stagnates, may actually improve, taking examples from other companies which are small and has truly LOVE for developing awesome tools, SO don't talk to me about Profit to Autodesk! they need to refresh the VISION of a true FUTURE of 3D.!


Posted 27 March 2012 3:29 pm

dissapointed by autodesk !


Posted 27 March 2012 4:04 pm

Modo... I dont see much of "impressive" feature from Modo 601. The biggest feature was from 3rd party plugin. It is already version 6. yet it does not even have a proper animation system.


Posted 27 March 2012 4:32 pm

@ChangsooEuncuz: Because you are blind! or you live in Cuba or something, you don't have idea how fast has growth Modo with they small developer team compared with all the potential which has Autodesk and the years they has "monopolizing the market", modo has amazing potential which have with all the future updates which they are making, with alembic and they are moving with animation, the tools which has been relesed in 601 for animation is something! created from scratch not purchased and adaptable plugins like all ALL "updates from max", PolyBoost, CatAnimation Tools, and any f...ing script, autodesk just sit and google some plugs and say HEY! lets BUY this! LOL and make and update! what if we called, Autodesk 5000 Ultra Heavy Metal? they think live in the future putting the next year in the tittle, no Automonopolydesk, you are not in the future with those "improvements" (purchased plugins), this for me are just HOTFIX or WEAKFIX. And Im not a Modo user, Im just saying THEY LOOKS promising for all the TRUE developing which they are making in this SHORT amount of time! compared with the ancient MAX which I'm user.

Adolf Kruger

Posted 27 March 2012 5:11 pm

What about issues with xref via net, only single uvw viewport capability, copy paste keys, tcb controller in biped for vertical motion, points in reflections of area lights, glitchy reaction manager, tiny window in mocap import dialogue etc
There are so many bugs you didn't fix in max since version 9.
Hope you fix it all someday and add more cool stuff like nparticles, liquid and gas simulators from maya/softimage, or will create some ideal package which combines best features from all autodesk 3s applications and has no bugs at all )
Looking forward to test max 2013.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 27 March 2012 5:15 pm

re: Tzu
Perhaps you should consider editing your comments to be a little more professional? If you want to people to take you seriously, you should think about how you present yourself. I certainly encourage people to share their negative and positive reactions, but how you do it defines someone as serious or not.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 27 March 2012 5:19 pm

re: adolf
The list of things we could be working on is longer than Santa's list of who's naughty and nice. Best thing to do is to contribute at http://3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com


Posted 27 March 2012 6:46 pm

@Pimentel: The truth is linear, and all what I said was true, I just see ppl saying OH MY GOD! this release is awesome! Oh my! Oh this is a new SOFTWARE! wow, about this small updates which is better than nothing is clear but no to be competitive been Autodesk the Biggest in the industry, and yes "some" of my comments was unprofessional and silly comments but I'm working in a new Service Pack for that , my comments still just as unprofessional as they updates, totally a "Joke". Peace, and yes that a nice LIST! for example!.


Posted 27 March 2012 7:44 pm

Can someone please explain the importance of the Egg Spline? Is it just a egg shape spline? Civil View? :/


Posted 27 March 2012 7:50 pm

tzu: you're mistaken about modo animation tool. the full body IK, for example, is a licensed plug in called Ikinema http://www.ikinema.com/?mod=press_release&show=15


Posted 27 March 2012 8:06 pm

Hi! Some cool stuff here!

I'm looking forward to see what's coming with pflow! Oleg is a true master who I'm sure will bring incredibly amazing stuff in max soon.

Very happy to see mcloth in max 2013.

Cool to see quiktime support for max at least!

The UI improvements also looks very nice.

gpoly look great too.

For render pass I use RPManager and it works very well. When I have time I will test the new render pass system to see how it compares with RPManager.

Would have like to see quad chamfer integrated in max too. I have to use a plugin for that.

I also need a plugin for auto uv called Xray unwrap, but it was never updated for max 2012. And I don't like the results I get qwith the auto uv in max. Hope autodesk will buy Xray unwrap one day and update it themselves.

Please keep up the good work! I still love max!


Posted 27 March 2012 8:18 pm

Very disappointed with this release. Subscription users get bug fixes and plugin upgrades to work with the new version and only four "real" new features and have to pay thousands of dollars again to upgrade our licenses. Most of those new features can and have been done with scripts or plugins for much cheaper. Bug fixes, paying for something and paying again to make it work... great business plan. Not worth the upgrade.


Posted 27 March 2012 9:30 pm

Well, at least u can get a nice gradiant viewport and egg shape spline as a added value bonus.


Posted 27 March 2012 11:35 pm

why u no give new particles?!


Posted 27 March 2012 11:53 pm

I HOPE Hair and Fur improvement much enough to use it, like (Hair Farm) or (Ornatrix) plugins... I don't think anyone interested in old Hair and Fur!


Posted 28 March 2012 12:29 am

c'mon Autodesk you're the "WORLD" leader in 3D software, you can do way much better than this. and you know what people expect from you, 3Ds Max is on 3D Gods Hands and should get a Divine treatment

definitely there's some good improvement in Max but not as much as expected from "Autodesk".


Posted 28 March 2012 12:29 am

retiming looks very very slow...and you only grab just a few keys...


Posted 28 March 2012 1:17 am

disappointed with this releaseوautodesk max is very slow and statics ....
where is : node base software,powerful new cat tools,fluid system,powerful updates layer manager about maya's outliner,upgrade stone age skinning,powerful hair and ect ? ((((((
we don't see any Innovation in your packages in this years and see your new upgrades before in other software
i'm about 13 years MAX user but I think is time to shift to other 3D software ....


Posted 28 March 2012 1:28 am

what a shame.. atleast you admit its totally bugged,
but still the post is just full of excuses how this and that wont work yet
and how in the future we have plans for this and that..

worse thing is, the same thing is happening with every release in the past few years.
is it really impossible for such a big company to do a stable release in set time?

doesnt autodesk have any quality standards for their releases?

If the current people cannot make what they are supposed to do,
failing year after year, its time to hire new people and kick the old ones out.

(like in every big corporation, things get slower & slower when people
are comfortable with their high salaries and positions)


Posted 28 March 2012 1:37 am

Any reason to change the name of mental ray and iray to NVIDIA mental ray and NVIDIA iray ?


Posted 28 March 2012 2:36 am

I am diasappointed, too. A few minutes after reading the changelog, I can´t remember any "important" new feature, bad sign for me.

If you look at the featrue list of Maya and Softimage, you can see where the resources are :
nHair, Softimage Crowd, MayaBullet.... lots of cool features, but nothing remarkable for 3dsmax. No particle news, no shader news, just some MR which non of the MANY vray users care about. And AE support. Are you kidding ? Is this the main pipeline for you in which max should be used ? No Nuke, Fusion or any FILM pipeline tool ?

And my Autodesk reseller told me, that Autodesk will increase the subscription price. Less features for more money... Is this really the path Autodesk want to go with this software ? I still have a bad feeling when I think back to Autodesk Combustion, Autodesk Edit, Autodesk Toxik. I hope that there will be no 3dsmax in the line of this products.


Posted 28 March 2012 3:38 am

You have an Egg Spline.
What more could you want?


Posted 28 March 2012 4:10 am

I'll tell you what I want more than an Egg Spline. nHair! I'm jealous of a lot of the new Maya features.


Posted 28 March 2012 5:19 am

improvements are important for me than new features. I'm glad that it seems there are many bugfixes.

Question: Are the existing Body objects stuff updated ?


Posted 28 March 2012 6:16 am

Sad about the lack of new pflow tools, happy about mcloth.


Posted 28 March 2012 6:36 am

-EGG SPLINE?---------------------WTF!!!

-GRADIENT BACKGROUND?----------WTFx2!!!!!!! WHO NEED THIS FUUUCK!? with gradient background its FREE! and ITS BETTER!.








Posted 28 March 2012 6:55 am

Upgrade so I can get over 400 legacy bug fixes ... no new Particle flow tools ... it may run slower than 2012. Thanks for your honesty, but COME ON GUYS!


Posted 28 March 2012 9:06 am

i dont mean to be a downer but it all sounds like useless fluff. more like a fix on previous issues (just another hotfix but with a big pricetag) would heve been nice to see more usable features. i am on subscription so i will try it but i dont think i will use it in production, i keep using 2011 couse of the issues with 2012, now i guess i will keep using 2011 until a subscription advantage pack comes out for 2013 and then maybe there will be more new features worth contemplating the shift. although RVT file link is nice, its not enough to switch to 2013.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 28 March 2012 9:14 am

Crap, AREA ate my detailed response and now I'm out of time!
Caddies - nothing in 2013, but we know we need to do more
Picking - just try it and report any issues
Upgrade? - why not wait for the 30 day free trial and test it with your data and workflows before claiming it has no value?


Posted 28 March 2012 10:51 am

HA! Ken is is the goto guy to get HAMMERED by everybody. I bet u really hate having to update your blog... I know I sure would.

Don't worry Ken, not going to hammer u (Autodesk) this time... kinda over (tired) a lot of this... 3ds max is my software of choice, so just have to deal really.

All the features, old and new are great...we can always use them... but I think SHEER OVERALL PERFORMANCE and intuitive easy interface for effortless working should be number one priority from here on out... the Small Annoying Things (SATs) was a good start in this area... I think this area needs to keep getting better and better.

I guess a good example would be to imagine installing a old ULTR-LIGHT WEIGHT version of max (i.e. v9) on one of these new bleeding edge workstations with say a old ULTR-LIGHT WEIGHT XP 64 bit... I personally don't have a setup like as I am describing... but common sense is telling me that would be a setup that actually FLYS and is quite FLUID when working with. Maybe everything is just too bloated these days.

It's almost like the faster and better the machines get... the software / OS gets to bloated or something and drags everything down? machines really are so much better these days and as time goes on... but the software / OS, relaly needs to be much more EFFICIENT.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 28 March 2012 10:58 am

re: timd1971
Hey, we're in complete agreement for once! I'm going to enjoy the moment. Thanks for commenting.


Posted 28 March 2012 11:44 am

re:"Anything new about Composite / Toxik ?"

From Cory's recent Maya 2013 Announced Blog :
"Composite Update
You can now select the QuickTime movie (.mov) file format as a Render output for your Composite projects."


bill n

Posted 28 March 2012 12:40 pm

In the past a fair number of my posts have been critical of 3DSMax, be it bug-related, unusable features, things that used to work getting broken etc etc, but this time I think Ken and the development team deserve a good amount of credit.
One of things I've often asked for in a new release is no new features, but fix the stuff that's already in the program, and finally after years of cramming in new stuff that simply doesn't work as intended, the team has taken a step back and decided to fix a whole load of issues that go back a long way. Some of the stuff from the Small Annoying Things section literally goes back to Max version 1 - panning and rotating viewports during object creation for example.
Trust me, these are the things that make a real difference in day to day use. As someone who works in Max for about 8 hours of every working day, I would like to say thanks to the dev team for fixing stuff that makes 3DSMax genuinely nicer to use.

Now sort out the goddamn caddies!

Ken Pimentel

Posted 28 March 2012 1:41 pm

re: SATs
Thanks for the positive feedback. Fixing annoying things was not a one-time thing. We need to close out the ones we did and research new ones. This is a very good time to go to http://3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com and vote. Remove your votes from things we did, BTW, if you haven't done this already. I don't know when we'll update the status, hopefully soon.


Posted 28 March 2012 3:34 pm

Hey ken, just looking a video and :
Looks like still no docking button for the layer floating menu...????
come on guys... you'r not so inefficient, or so lazy....
Can't believe that.....
it's tooooooo hard.. really?


Posted 28 March 2012 5:47 pm

Just to clarify my previous comment, I think that 3dsmax 2013 will be a very stable piece of software, considering its tackled a lot of legacy bugs. Its just frustrating that this wasn't done with a service pack and we have to pay again at a higher price for something we technically bought before. But maybe its just that users of this software were expecting a bit more bang for our buck so to speak.

I am definitely interested in the direct connect feature, gPoly seems promising and Hardware picking is a great idea.


Posted 29 March 2012 12:15 am

Hi Ken,

I definitely think max 2013 is a step in the right direction in terms of cleaning up the software as well as updating a lot of the tools. I really looking forward to have a play with mCloth and CAT interop. as well as the trackview retiming tool. I hope/wish that till next release (Service Pack or full release) the max team will consider to revamp the animation tools further (in style with what is already in Maya), improve the referencing system, allow for native python scripting, multi threaded and upto date particle flow. Further a better interop. between zbrush and max would prob. be useful too (morphtargets, hair and fur splines to carry over) and lastly a revamped skinning tool in max (dual quaternion or better with functionality as volume preservation, skin sliding etc.)

All the best,

Ken Pimentel

Posted 29 March 2012 6:33 am

release date is mid-April, we'll be more specific as we approach the date

Ken Pimentel

Posted 29 March 2012 7:36 am

re: wishlists from micha
Some of that is on the roadmap. Best thing for everyone to do is to go to http://3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com and see if your idea is already in the list and then vote on it. Best way to make a difference.


Posted 29 March 2012 2:21 pm

The top three Small Annoying Things are;

1. Bring back "use axis center as start snap point"
2. Ability to "escape" any process or command
3. Caddies vs old style dialogue boxes

I don't care about the "escape" one but the other two are the reasons I'm still using 2010. I can't get my work done in later releases. I find it depressing reading about new things when these essentially broken features have not even been looked at. Unless you can tell us Ken, have they been investigated? Because being at the top of the list, you'd think they would be in this release. I think I read here from Ken that caddies have not changed. But's it's the snapping I care about the most.

The SAT's that got fixed seem to be mostly things all max users got used to. Like not being able to cut and move the view. I wouldn't have labelled that as any kind of priority.

You and the dev team must realize the amount of goodwill within the max community you'd generate if you came on here and said the words "caddies have gotten a major overhaul". Or even better "we just took the caddies out and went back to the old system... sorry about those things guys"

But like others have said, I appreciate that these SAT's are getting looked at. It does show that the team cares about what the users want instead of just buying new toys and shoe-horning them in. Less of that please.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 29 March 2012 4:48 pm

re: SATs
You apparently don't understand how the forum works, nor how we have to extract direction from it 9 months ago, not 9 days ago. At some point we'll again explain the process. Right now, you're basically criticizing us for something no one can do - predict what people will think is important 9 months in the future. SAT review is happening now. We haven't updated the SAT forums with status. We're simply researching the list.

Ask yourself the question, "if it isn't perfect, is it better than it was?" If the answer is yes, then perhaps we should leave it at that.


Posted 29 March 2012 6:39 pm

Thanks for the reply Ken. Sorry it didn't come across in my post... I do understand you looked at those things ages ago. What I'd genuinely ask is, were those not at the top of the list back then. Because I left a comment in March last year in one of those SAT's and I'm pretty sure, even then, it was the highest rated (The snapping gizmo issue). And caddies have been despised since they were introduced years ago. So, that they're still unchanged for three years worth of releases isn't so good.

UNLESS, the improvement of the REALLY old issues, like cut and move view, which you have addressed for 2013 is an indication that the team is starting from the oldest problems instead of the most highly rated, then I'd plead that you go to the top of the list and work your way down... From now on if necessary. I don't mind if it takes until Max 2014, Autodesk has taught me patience over the years.

I'm not sure exactly what you meant by the last paragraph. I don't think it's perfect or better. That's kind of the problem.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 29 March 2012 6:52 pm

So unless we're working only on the one top priority in the forum, we have totally failed? Is that the measurement? We judge many factors in considering what problem we tackle (like who we have on the team that can tackle it and how complex it is). We made it clear that it would not be a simple matter of picking the top 5 things and just doing them (read the notes related to the forum - on every home page of every forum).

We're not even allowed by financial rules to give you guidance what we are/aren't doing. So, let's set expectations correctly: those forums are simply your suggestions and we'll give you a limited amount of feedback on which of those we're even looking at. You will not know which ones we are going to do for the future, you will have to wait until we release to learn these things. That's as good as it will get due to things I do not control and are rigid rules of engagement. If that isn't good enough, then we can delete the forums and go back to a dozen wishlists scattered everywhere that we routinely ignore.


Posted 30 March 2012 12:36 am

Beside all the improvements, i like a lot all the little ideas, like the isolate button, very good tiny touch, well done!

bill n

Posted 30 March 2012 7:14 am

Just a quick question regarding the SATs - As I said below I really like that this release has been focused on fixing stuff. Are the SATs something that can be done at Service Pack intervals as well? Or do we have to wait until Max 2014 for the next batch?
It would be great to get a few more taken care of when SP1 gets released in 4-6 month's time, or whenever it is. And reading the comments here, there are a few obvious ones to prioritise.

jona vark

Posted 30 March 2012 7:34 am

Thank you for this list Ken. Will you also be discontinuing support for 2012 this year?

Looking at this list has convinced me, after about 16 years, to move from Max to something else. It's time.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 30 March 2012 7:50 am

re: 2012 support
No, we actually have plans to release an update soon. Good luck with your next effort.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 30 March 2012 7:52 am

re: SATs
We're not allowed to release new functionality to the general public for free - so only to subscription. Yes, we're trying to figure out how to post more frequent updates to subscription users. I hope you're on subscription...


Posted 30 March 2012 11:57 am

Very good work! I'm looking forward to download max 2013 and install it! I'm very happy with the focus on production features cause that's what I use! I'm a "one man studio" and use a bit of everything. I'm also very excited to see what will come out of your agreement with Orbaz.

Keep up the good work I'm happy to be on subscription! I'm also happy to know most of that hard work was done close to my home-office here in Montreal!


Posted 30 March 2012 12:04 pm

I forgot to say something...


Ken Pimentel

Posted 30 March 2012 12:43 pm

re: best
Well, on that subject, we completely agree! Thanks for voicing some positive vibes. It can get a little lonely otherwise.

jona vark

Posted 30 March 2012 1:38 pm

re: discontinuing support for 2012 in 2012..

Didn't answer the question Ken. You stopped fixing bugs in Max2011 in the 4th quarter of 2011. Is that the plan as well for Max2012? (sorry I had to clarify that.. I think you know what I meant initially)

Ken Pimentel

Posted 30 March 2012 2:00 pm

re: 2012
We have not made plans to stop fixing it. We've only made plans to continue fixing it. That's all I know.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 30 March 2012 2:02 pm

re: future plans
We have had two annual XBR webinars and are planning our third. We've had over 800 users attend them, so I think we're doing much more than most to say what we can (as limited as we are) about our future. Sorry we can't reveal more. Attend the next XBR and you'll learn as much as we can tell you publicly.


Posted 31 March 2012 6:45 am

Would LOVE to know if PTEX is supported in MR 3.10. This would make my day.


Posted 31 March 2012 7:00 am

re:"Would LOVE to know if PTEX is supported in MR 3.10. This would make my day. "
Yes it is supported in mental ray 3.10 and should ship with a .mi file for it. However, it isn't supported through 3ds max as there is no GUI or plugin loader for the format. According to Cory on the Maya 2013 announcement blog:
"This is supported in 3.10 so you can use it in Maya. I'll be upfront with you and say the workflow is a bit rougher than we would like."

So sounds like even if it was supported in 3ds max, that there is still work to be done to make it user friendly.

Beyond that I haven't seen any info or docs at this time.



Posted 31 March 2012 7:09 am

Thanks for the info, Eric. So the potential is there. Is there hope that there is someone working on it's integration with Max? Surely there is demand for this? I know it would be helpful to my workflow, no matter how rough it may be at this stage.


Posted 31 March 2012 10:44 am

Warning, not a rant, but a recent observation that baffles me.

As alexyork said:
"And let's be even more honest - 3ds max is a shell. Many (most?) of us use it as a base from which to pile scripts, plugins and 3rd party renderers. What we need is stability and speed, not features and toys. They've known this for years and it's been completely deliberate on their part - a clever business move indeed! Provide the userbase with the playground and let them fill it with their own toys at their own expense. It's a wise thing to focus, therefore, on making that base package as solid as possible and it looks like that's happening, slowly."

Yes indeed. I recently found my old v9 x64 dvd.... Installed the lightweight beast on a older dual core intel test machine with only 2gb ram, and a GT9800 512mb, windows 7 with all updates. Installed both sp 1 (this disables aero when running btw) & 2 and HF4. Did not install on my newer quad core machines as i dont like multiple versions on same machine.

Loaded up the same scenes for each.

Welllllll..... Low and behold.... V9 ran circles around 2012 (with all updates) in the viewport!!!!!!!! Why is this?

V9 frame rate was double to triple the framerate of 2012. Very smooth and fast. Sheer effortless... Just fluid as can be.....Even on a subpar pc. The way i had rembered it years ago and have been gradually slowed down after the years. V9 was set wih default directx9 and smooth shading... V2012 set to NITROUS... Beautiful ndeed, but much slower... Just drags on in comparison. Set v2012 to old directxv9, was EVEN slower than NITROUS and way slower than v9!

It is VERY TRUE, that the versions after v9 have been severly handicapped and continue to be so, and getting slower wth more stuff piled on top of the shell.. Dont believe me, find your v9 install and compare for yourself. You'll be amazed and wonder.... WHY?

When and If i ever get time, i am going to record both of these and upload to youtube or something. I am quite sure Auodesk is fully aware of v9 and how much faster the viewports are compared to the new versions.

Obviously v2012 has many more new features, which is great, but noticed that when loaded, takes much longer and much more ram. Very heavy. I think v9 was like around 150mb once loaded as default settings.... And v2012 was i think around 450mb to 800mb or so...cant remember exactly...but the two were drastc differnces and time to load.

I wouldnt guess autodesk returned viewport speed as it was with v9, for new v2013... But do hope before all said and done with the XBR initiative.... That it does. If autodesk was to do that... U would have a lot more happy customers. Speed and stabilty is #1.

All in all, old v9 with directx9 driver runs circles around the newer versions either its NITROUS or directx9 driver.

I just may have to set up a faster test workstation, at least 3ghz quad core, lots of ram etc, high end geforce (nope, not a quadro, not needed in this comparison) BUT with lightweight windows XP x64 and 3ds max 9 x64.... And seriously see just how fast v9 can be compared to v2012. Yes, i'll lose all the new 2012 features... But just to prove a point that something was seriously broken or handicapped from v9 to the new stuff and STILL IS.

Install v9 and open your eyes to real viewport speed that lets u work effortlessy.... U will be baffled as well.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 31 March 2012 11:40 am

re: AREA
Is it just me or is anyone else getting "regenerating" messages and their post is then MIA? Very frustrating!

re: max 9
My guess is that you're not comparing apples and oranges. Can you post viewports of both so that we can see what you're doing?


Posted 31 March 2012 1:12 pm

re: AREA
nope..not just you... it's the AREA.... its been doing this for a few weeks (or more?) ...yes, VERY frustrating... another problem since they did something to it, is automatic login not sticking? so u post and it says NOT LOGGED IN or somethign and your post is either gone or lucky and might still be there. So got get in a habit of COPY and PASTE BEFORE u post the comment.

re: Max 9
when i get time to figure out which site and video capture to use, I will try to do that...so others can see...there is a real difference in viewport speeds between v9 and v2012. As for apples and oranges, you are correct in a way, but when I ever get around to doing this i will set them up as equal as possible... i.e. v9 directx9 smooth shading, and v2012 with legacy directxv9 equiv and smooth shading...and obviously compare to Nitrous...but v9 is still way faster. This is what SO MANY are complaining about... apparently there are lots of v9 users that still use it because of this reason. I personally do not or will ever go back to v9 to work in, prefer to move forward with new software...but after hearing so much that v9 was the last and best version for sheer viewport speed and for working in...i had to see for myself...and unfortuneatley it does appear true... being Autodesk, I am sure you have access to a machine with v9 isnatlled on it and you can see for yourself very quickly by using the same v9 scene files. You'll be amazed and wonder for yourself why?

Nitrous is awesome...it really is...but even as fast as it is for BEAUTIFUL almost fully rendered results.... there seems to be a tradeoff... it is VERY fast overall for the end result...but as far as working in it, naviagating, moving, rotating, applying modifiers (i.e.twist, turbomesh etc ect); v9 is really efficient and fast. yes, v9 with only smooth shading u can only get so far for realism unlike Nitrous... even switching from Realistic to SMooth, v9 is stilll way faster... even changing the driver from NITROUS to Directx9, v9 is STILL way faster. the way the new packages are built is preventing max from performing like it used to as in v9.

again... try v9 and see what I mean.... the intent isn't to ditch v2012 or thereafter....but to just be enlightened what used to be...and was actually better.... and to hopefully BRING THAT BACK in future releases of max.

thank you Ken!


Posted 31 March 2012 11:44 pm

re: Max 9 vs. max 2012 viewport screen recording

Using Camtasia 7.1.0 really slows 3ds max down during recording and isn't capturing the experience truly at all.

Does anybody know a BETTER screen recorder that isn;t heavy and WON'T slow max (pc) down during capture? Probably something that gamers use to record their game play in realtime at high framerates... prob 30 fps min? snowfox?

Or maybe just not possible on a dual core intel windows 7 pc with 2GB ram test pc.

Once I get the screen captures down...I can dump it on youtube.



Posted 1 April 2012 12:41 pm


gamers use FRAPS


Posted 1 April 2012 3:52 pm

re:"Is it just me or is anyone else getting "regenerating" messages and their post is then MIA? Very frustrating!"
Forum bug that appears to cause a time out if you spend too much time between starting to and finishing a post. Press the Browser Back button (it should have the original message still) and then hit Post Comment again (don't do any editing or you may hit the time out again).



Posted 1 April 2012 6:28 pm

Thanks berdi!


Posted 1 April 2012 11:59 pm

very nice
tank you autodesk


Posted 2 April 2012 1:14 pm

improving Small Annoying Things are very good ideas thank's for this
but I think in every new version must more Attention to new features and in service pack and SAP along fixed bugs more attention to improving Small Annoying Things .


Posted 4 April 2012 7:09 pm


Just curious, how long should it be for iray to be re-compiled to work with the new kepler technology in the gtx 680. On the iray blog they say they are working on it. Do you have any input?

Thanks in advance!

Ken Pimentel

Posted 4 April 2012 7:12 pm

re: kepler and iray
I can't really say much about future tech. I can confirm that research is happening in this area. I have nothing to report on results (performance) or timing. Stay tuned.


Posted 5 April 2012 9:49 am


Is there a way to find out how many bytes one triangle uses of ram in iray? Is there someone I could ask?



Ken Pimentel

Posted 5 April 2012 9:57 am

re: iray
I think the story is roughly 10M triangles per 1Gb of VRAM. Of course if you have a large rendering and lots of textures, that will cut into your budget. This is with minimal textures.


Posted 5 April 2012 1:41 pm

re:"Is there a way to find out how many bytes one triangle uses of ram in iray? Is there someone I could ask?"

From Shane's iray FAQ blog post: http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/shane/the_iray_faq

"For estimating memory usage, budget about 1 GB per 8 million triangles, to which you must also add 3 bytes/pixel for any referenced bitmaps."



Posted 6 April 2012 8:57 pm

would it ever be possible for GPU rendering (iRay) too use the RAM on the motherboard when it runs out of video card ram? i.e. scene too large for video card ram...then resorts to much larger amounts from the MB?

As fast and popular iRay is becoming...seems these 1GB, 2GB 3GB video cards or slightly more will become obsolete or the thing of the past quickly? If GPU processing is much faster...then video cards should have much more ram like 8GB on up to 32GB and more? But since too costly right now and no-existent, then maybe swapping to the MB's ram a solution?

Or would everything just slow way down and defeat the purpose? WOuldn;t see why...I thought all those hundreds (thousands) of GPU cores were what makes it so fast? the ram is just the holding place?


Posted 7 April 2012 12:18 pm

to timd1971 about iray : maybe swapping to the MB's ram a solution?

it's called "Out-of-core support, paging to system RAM" so it will use all available RAM on the motherboard...cool hein !?

OptiX Roadmap

Version 2.5 later this year
- Out-of-core support, paging to system RAM
- A one time speed drop; results remain faster than multiple CPUs with 1 GPU

Version 3 first half of next year
- Optimized for KeplerGPU Architecture
- CPU fallback (for interactive rendering)Why? -required by major commercial products (including NVDIA ARC’s) "mental ray, Iray...".


we will probably see some demo the next siggraph...or GPU Technology Conference on May 14, 2012 ! ;-)

Ken Pimentel

Posted 7 April 2012 1:13 pm

re: iray
You pay a very high penalty accessing memory off the GPU. Now, that depends on memory architecture, and that does/could change. I know they are looking at improving things, but there will likely be a performance cost of going to system RAM.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 12 April 2012 7:37 am

re: 3ds Max 2013
All of you on subscription should go check out the portal and see if your download is available. As usual, it might take days before all of you have access (just the nature of turning on all Adsk sub customers - which must be in the millions).


Posted 12 April 2012 8:25 am

Thanks for the update Ken!

I am assuming that Iray still does not work with Kepler for the initial release of Max 2013 as I think you would have announced it for the release.

Thanks again!

Ken Pimentel

Posted 12 April 2012 8:27 am

re: kepler
No, we do not have a working version of iray for it at this time. Stay tuned.


Posted 12 April 2012 1:07 pm

Hey Ken just wanted to let you know that there is a file missing in the 64 bit version of the 3d studio max installer. I keep getting an error looking for nunit.framework.xml ( x64\max\Autodesk\3ds Max 2013\bin\assemblies\nunit.framework.xml

The file never extracted and is not in the exe.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 12 April 2012 1:09 pm

re: nunit.framework.xml
Are you sure? No one else has reported this particular issue. I wonder if it is a corrupt download/install.


Posted 12 April 2012 1:10 pm

Update: This is while installing Service pack one during install.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 12 April 2012 2:45 pm

re: weird file
We think you grabbed a product update that was messed up. It has since been replaced on the server. You just timed it right to grab the bad one. Try getting the latest one (if you're using 3ds Max and not 3ds Max Design): http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19104701&linkID=9241178


Posted 12 April 2012 6:09 pm

Holy cow nourcgi lighten up !

Ken I am sorry you have to deal with this kind of abuse. I find it highly unprofessional and an irrational attitude.

Thanks for the heads up Ken.


Posted 13 April 2012 2:31 am

Great news, its posible to make the sdk documentation in chm format?

Friedric P

Posted 14 April 2012 4:32 am

"•Backface culled wireframe results in low performance"

Woooh, "low" is an euphemism. I nearly threw my workstation out of the window when my random testing scene dropped from 70 FPS in max 2012 to 3 FPS in max 2013 in wireframe. The scream I emitted at this instant probably meant something like "They won't have my subscription this year !!".

Well, it's back to normal when backface cull is turned off. Thanks for the warning, and good to know it will be fixed. Still, I have an horrible lag when I switch between shaded and wireframe by pressing F3, something I did not have in max 2012.

All in all, I don't know what to think of this release. There is some work, but I'm not interested by most stuffs... The only feature that was interesting me was gpoly for hi def skinned characters. In situation, it is not that practical as you can't put a turbosmooth on top of it in the stack. But yes, it is really 3X faster, but still slower than what we once had in D3D. Reverting back to D3D is now useless, as it is also very slow in 2013.

Maybe I will like the enhancements to the workflow, but right now, there is no way I can work with that shaded/wireframe switch lag, so I will wait for an hotfix.

Also, Max 2013 somehow messed with my previous versions of max. I now have "COM errors : cocreateinstance() failed" notifications, something I hadn't seen since 3ds max 4. It is solved if I run my previous versions of max as admin, but still, it is annoying.

Thanks Ken for keeping us informed.

Shanming Li

Posted 17 April 2012 4:20 pm

About enable view panning/zooming/rotating...

You changed Array, Spacing Tool, and Clone and Align for panning/zooming/rotating when operating, I do know know why you do not change all the tools for panning/zooming/rotating? Align, Mirror and some other tools cannot manipulate like that also. This update seems like you own the debt all the time. You have a good platform as 3ds Max, but your processing of XBR is to slow. Three years you just did some annoying things!

Ken Pimentel

Posted 17 April 2012 5:08 pm

re: view panning/zooming/rotating
I guess it is never enough. It's not enough that we did this work for a lot of important workflows, what everyone should focus on is that we didn't do this for every feature/function. Kind of a lose-lose situation for us. At the point we're given unlimited resources, you should expect to get unlimited features. Until then, we're going to do the best we can to make things better. I'm sorry if it isn't enough.

re: performance
Good news is that the fixes we have seem to be robust and can be released soon. I simply don't have a date yet.


Posted 17 April 2012 11:51 pm

Ken I am really grateful to see some work on CAT.

I believe CAT is one of the biggest, yet under-marketed feature that would really make Max standout from the crowd.

But there are still bugs, particularly pose mixer not working for two releases now, and scaling not being stored when saving a pose on a hub (ie. the head and ribcage).

Will we see more effort on CAT in the near future?

Anyway keep up the good work Ken.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 18 April 2012 6:05 am

re: CAT
It is still being worked on and I expect additional fixes will come. Have you tried 2013? Is your report on 2012 or 2013?


Posted 18 April 2012 4:12 pm

Ken, thanks for answering my CAT question.

The CAT pose mixer and save Pose bugs are for 2013, but it is also not working in 2012.

I know the following is probably a silly question, but should I lodge a "Defect Report Submission" at


because whenever I do that I never get any response so I always wonder if anybody is home.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 19 April 2012 5:32 am

re: defect reports
We ALWAYS look at the defect reports. If a bug is known, you won't get a response. Note: we've just improved the system to be able to supply a file - I don't know if that interface is public yet, but should be in days.

It's important to keep sending the defects as it tells us how many people are experiencing the issue and the priority for it to be addressed.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 20 April 2012 2:09 pm

re: solidworks
It is known to work on beta. I wonder if it is a different file format than you expect? I would log a defect and submit a file so we can test. Do our docs identify the SW file format you need? The feature is roughly the same as in Maya and Showcase. You could download Showcase and try there.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 20 April 2012 2:36 pm

re: sw
It's not finding SW for some reason. It does work, but you'll have to log the problem with the defect report. Not sure why your system behaves differently than what we tested with.


Posted 22 April 2012 7:25 am

Hi Ken, can we expect a service pack soon? I am particularly concerned about Nitrous performance. With so few new changes to 2013 I don't understand how AD managed to make things worse. I realize that you have your hands full managing everyone's feedback but some core elements need to be addressed. Thanks for your attention to the matter.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 22 April 2012 9:49 am

re: service pack
Measured in 1-2 weeks. Just waiting to see if the patch lives up to expectations.


Posted 22 April 2012 8:54 pm

Ok, thanks Ken. Looking forward to it. Keep us posted!


Posted 2 May 2012 6:58 am

Hey Ken,

So has the Patch lived up to expectations? Just wondering where we stand with the update. Have a good one.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 2 May 2012 7:03 am

re: "Product Updates"
They are in the pipe and definitely coming to you. PUs will replace Service Packs and Hot Fixes. They will be more robust than a hot fix. Closer to a Service Pack. Each one will pass through beta before going public. PU1 was a minor defect of a splash screen issue. PU2 is about to pop out. This is more major (I think 60 bugs?). You will then see PUs roughly once every 2 or 3 months. Until we get into a routine, I don't want to predict anything more than that. We are also working on a PU for 3ds Max 2012, not sure yet how many of those we'll do, at least one. I think the PU should be public later this week or early next week (May 7th). We're working on a better methodology to communicate availability of PUs to users.


Posted 2 May 2012 1:26 pm

Thank you for the input Ken. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to address the comment. Best of luck with your projects!


Ken Pimentel

Posted 3 May 2012 12:33 pm

Bad news, we found a big bug with Revit interop so we're probably looking at later part of May now. Sorry. There are a lot of fixes and we don't want to create more problems by releasing something we know has bugs for some users. It's a shame as we know we have solved most of the performance issues that some users will experience with 2013.


Posted 3 May 2012 1:51 pm

Thanks for the update Ken. Crap happens especially when it comes to programming. Best of luck getting everything worked out!

Shanming Li

Posted 3 May 2012 3:10 pm

Even though the product is not satisfied, but, I am really thankful for your patient reply and hearing everyone's advice. Hope 3ds Max would be getting better and better and have a stride not just renovating the small annoying things! Thank you!

Ken Pimentel

Posted 7 May 2012 4:44 am

You should have used "save as 2012", sounds like you instead are trying to open a 2013 file using 2012. No can do.


Posted 17 May 2012 7:23 pm

Ken's quote:
"We always lack "some important stuff" to some customers and workflows. We don't have the biggest team, so we have to spread ourselves very thin - not good for the team or quality."

I've always had that feeling the 3ds team was small and undermanned. Why is that? I thought 3ds max was Autodesk's baby? And Autodesk is such a big company... why is there that problem of spreading everybody VERY thin? that's what's wrong. More fixes and refining could be had (and on time) if more people on board. A small team cannot possibly keep everybody happy, and especailly when deadlines involved. I would expect being spread thin among small nobody companies. WHoever is in charge of bringing on more help needs to seriously take a look at that. there's people out there NEEDING/WANTING a job that are MORE than experienced and wouldn't mind taking a small pay decrease since new if budget is the problem. SOon you may have a real budget problem when nobody buys it.

Sure would have been nice if Autodesk never bought so many companies/software out (maya, SI etc), then all that manpower could be used for max dev. I still think they should merge maya, SI and 3ds max into one massive beast that does it all. then all the teams are one again. (all the file formats would have to be able to import/convert into it though; and choice of UI interaction available to migrate to it) my opinion of course.


Posted 25 May 2012 7:21 pm

I think some of the commenters are really pirate-license users. If they can just change from one platform/software to another, then they either have too much money, or a "free" license.
I've used Maya since 2006, but these days I'm trying out Modo 601 as a replacement, because I generally do modeling and rendering, and indeed it has some really great tools for that. Still I do think that software like Max and Maya has a lot more to offer in terms of completeness.
I'm investigating 3ds Max 2013 now as well, hoping to find a licensed alternative to Maya, because I'm sick of all the crashes, bugs and slow software evolution.
Hopefully I'll get hooked on Max, because I see some really incredible work being produced with this software!

Have a nice summer everybody!


Posted 4 June 2012 8:44 pm

My request is Removing some function, which is "radiosity, raytrace, video post" kind of thing. User never use it now. It would be faster?
Brush in skin utility is not good, see raylight game's brush in Blendskin.
Raylightgame's brush works better for paint weight than skin's brush.


Posted 5 June 2012 5:17 pm

Thanks for this blog to Ken Pimentel,

since the power of hardware is increasing very fast up on, we
need not more and more and more features and then we get also more and more and more bugs and lacks. Bringing the 3ds Max up on a more solid stage it is better to work with.
The extra money or higher cost is owed to the extra ability or option, that we do not buy even one more render engine if don´t need them for any kind of other projects, like Vray R/T, arion and much other useful render engines.
With the 2013 Suite the most peoples can do their work on which ever way they want to go or what ever else is fitting their needs. In the combination of Mental ray and Iray or the "pipe" between this render engines is bringing more power or less time
to many of us. 2012 is a wonderful year for us, I think there
were no days before that artists got so many hardware and software related powerful stuff like in 2012.
A more stable 3ds Max where many of the SAT´s were fixed
and both engines are available, but there fore is the higher price I would pay with a smile.
Intel´s Xeon E5-2600 series
Dual E5 boards from ASUS and EVGA
Greater ECC RAM from Samsung 8 GB and 16 GB modules
Quadro 6000 and Tesla C2075 cards, ok this is not brand new but
reachable and means from 2,5 - 5 hours render time to 20 - 25 minutes.

All in all what a wonderful year and thanks to Autodesk.

P.S. By the way who from us above would be able to buy 3ds Max
2013, if AutoDesk was hiring 100 peoples extra only for 3ds Max
and all your features will be integrated!?
@If the most peoples can do this is a good thing
but what is if you need it or it becomes a must be for your production or business???


Posted 8 June 2012 10:14 am


1-how much we use a "Tabbed view port layout" in a scene?maybe need a good shortcut also...

2-for which software "remember last dialog path" release a major or minor version?

3-reactor maybe from 3dsmax 6 has no change, also thanks to discreet company for that. reactor 3.0 seems cant do a falling ball truely, really object cant stop movement! why cant use physx ?

4-have a built in renderer: mental ray,seems it isn't good now! do a vast time of a small group on iray develope.

5-write: "We also spent a lot of time fixing bugs and crashers. Over 400 legacy bugs were fixed" 400 LEGACY BUGS! because lunch versions between 3 to 7 month,can fix this 400 bug in one year and prevent to buy many plugins for ver.2013 by users in all over the world.

6-all the beta users like the most is about "improment /fixed /...".
maybe if discreet was the max company for now this has a built in fire/wind/water/fog/... simulator.
evrey programmer can release a nice plugin or script.that max has it before!
but in max it has low performance or low option or low ability or no parameter OR dont know that can make it better next.
please do some ability in maya,the neighborhood room development in building.

still in 2013 is many benefit.i am going to use.

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