Creativity Extension is shipping!

Posted by Ken Pimentel, 27 July 2008 7:02 am

We've given you all an interesting gift heading into SIGGRAPH. The Creativity Extension is only available to subscription customers, but it is an interesting mix of tools.

We've been working with Oleg, the creator of Particle Flow, for almost a year now, and he's brought some of his wonderful tools to 3ds Max. While this might appear to be Box1, it's actually something else as Oleg has been deep in our code and fixing problems and performing a much better integration. The result: faster performance, cleaner UI and full Box1 backwards compatibility. While much on the surface stays the same, there are a few things that have been much better integrated and performance and memory management are two of these.

The new ProOptimizer is the result of working with Game studios to identify the best technology for optimization and then refining it for 3ds Max. There's nothing like it out there. It offers some key differences from our other two optimization tools that are in 3ds Max. Batch processing of files is one of these.

Finally, we've added ProSound which gives 3ds Max the very best sound tools in the industry. Again, Game studios identified this tool as something they wanted and we worked with a partner to integrate it. While sound may not be the sexiest feature in 3ds Max, it is part of making sure that 3ds Max remains the best "all-in-one" tool out there.

Hope you enjoy these tools and thanks for being our customer!

Creativity Extension for Autodesk 3ds Max 2009

The Autodesk® 3ds Max® Creativity Extension delivers a host of innovations to help you expand the scope of your film, games, broadcast and television productions, while you quickly and intelligently optimize your models in real time. Add a whole new dimension of realism to your work through the addition of sophisticated - particle effects. You can also incorporate audio and sound effects into your animated scenes.

Polygon Modeling

Reduce the number of faces on your model, quickly and intelligently. The 3ds Max Creativity Extension release incorporates the new ProOptimizer technology, which is ideal for optimizing high-poly count 3D models from digital sculpting applications, such as Autodesk® Mudbox™ software.

This newest, high-performance 3ds Max modifier offers support for

- Precision control over the number of faces or points in your scene/model
- Preservation of detail: useful faces are removed last, enabling you to reduce your selection up to 75 percent without removing detail
- Real-time scene optimization (optimization is precalculated)
- Batch optimizing of files (you control the optimization level for each file)
- Preservation of all UV texture channel information and vertex color channel information
- Optimization of multiple objects simultaneously (optimize a selection of faces or the inverted selection across multiple objects)
- Symmetry preservation
- Protection or exclusion of object borders, so your objects stay connected after optimization

Advanced Particle Effects

Incorporate sophisticated particle effects into your scenes. PFlowAdvanced includes 12 operators new to 3ds Max Design, giving you easier access to a whole new range of creative options. The addition of the PFlowAdvanced technology to 3ds Max not only greatly enhances the functionality of Particle Flow, but it also gives you a high-performance, streamlined 3ds Max workflow, through which to access its features.

- Numerous paint tools enable you to precisely place particles in your scene. Operators—including Particle Paint, Birth Paint, Placement Paint, Birth Texture, and Mapping Object—enable you to paint both particles and emitters onto specific parts of your objects. Other special effects include the ability to emit particles based on animated color data in emitter objects.
- The utility operators have been integrated into the 3ds Max core to extend Particle Flow's capabilities, while giving you a streamlined workflow for creating particle effects. Clean up particle flow, synchronize layers, repair the cache system, save a custom flow as a preset, and automatically delete operators that are not in use and lock or bond particles to an object (improves on the former position object operator).
- The ability to group particles enables you to perform specific operations on arbitrary subsets of particles. Quickly create multiple groups and work with as many of them as you like through such operators as Group Selection, Group, and Split Group
- The PFlowAdvanced Shape operators greatly expand the Particle Flow Shape toolset. Define a particle shape beginning with a pre-existing shape—a vast range of 3D and 2D shape presets are available to choose from. Additionally, the Fast Shape Evaluation operation evaluates a reference mesh object on the final frame quickly and accurately, significantly improving performance.
- Workflow enhancements include an Express Save operator that has been integrated with the 3ds Max auto-save functionality, backward compatibility with Orbaz Particle Flow Tools, Box # 1-based scenes, and general memory and performance improvements based on source code optimizations.

Integrated Audio

The incorporation of ProSound into the 3ds Max Creativity Extension means the software now supports integrated, multitrack audio to enhance your presentations through the addition of high-quality audio, and sound effects. This allows you to assign sounds to objects such as doors and fountains, and add a music track or voice-over for your presentations.

- The 3ds Max ProSound toolset supports up to 100 audio tracks per scene, per-track animated volume, audio output normalization, and audio playback during motion capture.
- An intuitive user interface and workflow features help you to quickly synchronize your audio. Sync your playback with the viewport, render your track to match playback speed, or play it backwards and forwards (ping pong mode).

ProSound supports both PCM and compressed audio in AVI and WAV format with up to six output channels. It can also be quickly controlled via MaxScript through 46 script commands.


Mike Owen

Posted 27 July 2008 3:43 pm

Ken..this is all excellent news! Thanks very much...integration of the best third party plugins out there is the way to go!
Fingers crossed....Maybe we will also see #Box 3 shortly...? You might as well integrate the #Freebies pack as well....?

My only question is can we expect to see everything that is already available in #Box 1, fully intergrated into 2009? The reason I ask is that this extension provides "12 new operators" and yet #Box 1 has "14 operators"? What has been dropped off the chart? Is it still better to keep with #Box 1?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 27 July 2008 7:12 pm

Glad you like it! We can't really divulge any future details or plans, but your comment is noted.

Everything in Box1 is in our shipment plus more. I think Oleg did some integration that removed some redudant operators that only existed because he couldn't access the max source code. Once we gave him access to our source code, he could do the job properly. So, you're only gaining functionality - you're not losing anything.


Posted 31 July 2008 4:32 am

pity it still doesn't support instancing and lower memory properly like parray! I would have thought that would have been top of the list, especially as with mr proxies etc this would have been awesome, but there's always next time.


Posted 9 August 2008 5:41 am

Hi there! My name is Tanya Clare and I am looking for a 3D Maxs freelance artist to help on a in-house project for Fox On-Air Promos.

Does not need to be designer but a great technician – any referrals?

Please tell them to contact me directly:

Solomon W Jagwe

Posted 18 August 2008 8:49 am

Hi Ken,

does 3ds max 2009 support Openflight (.flt) import?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 18 August 2008 8:50 am

Does it support it? It ships with the world's best OpenFlight importer/exporter - FlightStudio. This allows you to actually edit an OpenFlight scene graph and retain the scene graph on export. No other translator does that.

Solomon W Jagwe

Posted 18 August 2008 9:09 am

I downloaded the demo but I can't seem to import any .flt models - is that something that is accessible as a modifier or is it part of the import/export dialog?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 18 August 2008 8:44 pm

It is an optional install with 3ds Max 2009, so it ships in the box but it is not in the demo download. Unfortunately, we did not have time to fully integrate it in 3ds Max 2009. So, you'd have to actually purchase/upgrade to 3ds Max 2009 to get hold of it. I think if you google "flight studio" you'll get info on what it is.


Posted 2 January 2009 5:40 am

thank you for this description, but where can i find the ProSound?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 3 January 2009 3:19 am

It is on your subscription sub site. If you are not on subscription, then you are out of luck.

SD Brown

Posted 21 March 2009 12:59 am

I have just recently upgraded Max Design 2009 (64bit) to the Creativity Extension. I have been working on an interior and noticed that the rendered scene in 32bit Max Design 2009 (SP1, it didn't seem to upgrade for some reason...) was brighter and less noisy. Before I upgraded to the Creativity Extension, all was well. Is there any reason why the Extension would render darker and noisier than before?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 23 March 2009 11:42 pm

There is no way that the Creativity Extension would have affected you this way. Something else in your system must have changed.

SD Brown

Posted 28 March 2009 9:22 pm

That's all that I've done though. I was mid-project and had some issues with my subscription, so I did all the updates before it lapsed. Afterwards I noticed that the scene was darker and more noisy. There was probably another hotfix included in the update that I hadn't previously installed. I'll probably reinstall everything when the 2010 release comes out as I managed to rescue my subscription in the end!

It doesn't explain the difference between the 32bit SP1 installation which renders fine and the 64 bit Creativity Extension installation which renders dark and noisy. Irritating.

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