Happy New Year! 2012 is starting with a bang

Posted by Ken Pimentel, 5 January 2012 7:00 pm

Apologies for disappearing for so long. It had something to do with the launch of Project Geppetto, Project Pandora, and multiple presentations at Autodesk University. Then the holidays hit with a vengeance.

So, if you missed any of this:

Project Geppetto

Project Geppetto was very well received at AU. We updated our research to show some new modes of behavior and our integration with 3ds Max traditional skinning and the Evolver avatars. Check out the video. We’re planning another release to Autodesk Labs, just not sure when. Check it out on Autodesk Labs.


Project Pandora

Project Pandora was introduced to AU audiences, this is a joint cloud rendering project with Nvidia and running on Amazon servers. We’re still early days with it, but it was another big hit at AU. You can learn more about it and other Autodesk cloud rendering options through my AU session recorded here. You can also register your interest for Pandora on our Facebook page here.

Nitrous Research

One of the videos we showed at AU shows some research we’ve done with Nitrous and particles. Check it out.

3ds Max wins Game Developer Front Line Art award (again)!

Thanks to all of you for picking us again! I think we win this roughly every other year. We’re certainly the only DCC to keep showing up with this award time and time again. Nominations here.

Excerpt: "Perennial artists favorite, 3ds Max is one of the workhorses of game development. Since its introduction in 1995, Max has been used in literally thousands of titles. Max pioneered the plugin architecture that all modern graphics packages use, and has historically set the standard for efficient polygon modeling. With its powerful scripting and support for Microsoft .Net architecture, Max is the wellspring of hundreds of game studio pipelines, it’s hard to imagine the game industry without 3ds Max.

Nitrous handles complex modern scenes with aplomb, rendering millions of polys interactively. It allows real-time editing without the need for tedious viewport management.

Naturally, there are also a host of minor improvements in Max 2012. From better-looking icons to more logical organization of UV editing tools, the package continues to improve with age… this year’s iteration certainly cements Max’s well-earned reputation as a key pillar of the game industry."






Posted 5 January 2012 1:55 pm

darn... thought the "BANG" would be a long awaited/deserved service pack or hotfix for the NITROUS lag etc etc etc. Just more "unfinished" stuff. nice and alll...but need stuff that is ready and working smoothly NOW, not 2 more years from now? just more dangling carrots. : /


Posted 5 January 2012 2:11 pm

I find it surprising that only the gaming industry is mentioned in the text. Yes, MAX is big in that arena, but it is not the only place its is used.

I agree with timd1971. You want to see some excitement? Announce there is a fix to some of the basic problems MAX has.


Posted 5 January 2012 4:31 pm

Congrats to the entire 3ds Max dev team for winning the Frontline Award from Game Developer Magazine... again!


Posted 6 January 2012 3:25 am

i thought the same when i watched these vids.
what about backburner in future releases i heard ADESK wont develop it anymore? this would be a shame!!!


Posted 6 January 2012 6:40 am

No backburner development? Can someone confirm this? Does that mean that they will eventually not support it and remove it from our toolset? ...forcing us to buy yet another piece of software?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 6 January 2012 6:43 am

re: backburner
The situation has been the same for many years - there is not a dedicated team. We fix problems as they show up. We recommend looking at third-party solutions if this is not enough for you.


Posted 6 January 2012 7:49 am

OK so I just have to say it. Enough with the Viewport Development. 3dsmax is not a game engine. What a waste of development. This is why we "render" and if we do viewport previews for client approvals and so on the last thing you want to do is show something better looking that generic gray shaded models. That only causes more problems.

Instead of wasting development on Viewport type fancy shaders how about GPU accelerations in other areas of the app. Particles, deforming meshes, animation, wait did i say ANIMATION.


Posted 6 January 2012 9:43 am

@ken: in other words backburner is dead...
@joegunn: i think many max user agree 100% with you!!

irony on:
how long would it take that adesk say: "We recommend looking at other company solutions instead of using max"
irony off

Ken Pimentel

Posted 6 January 2012 9:48 am

re: angst
Why are you assuming we've shown you everything we're working on? This is just what I had handy to show and was relevant at AU.

re: BB
It's not dead as that would imply an EOL to us. It's not any different than it has been for the last few years. If you call that "dead', then fine. It hasn't been actively developed in many years. Is that a news flash? Shouldn't be.


Posted 6 January 2012 9:56 am

yes... and getting max totally revamped so EVERY aspect of it totally utilizes ALL the cores/processors in a CPU/machine.... none of this "old" technolgy still remaining throughout max some using 1 core, some using 4 etc?

shoot ...wouldn;t be surprised if Autodesk woke up one day and said the hell with fixing/revamping max properly from scratch, let's just buy C4D and rename it Autodesk 3ds max! kinda like what Disney does with "anything" it may feel become popular and bring in tons of money...no matter how UN-Disney it is.

honestly... i am quite sure the 3ds max team is working quite hard (proabably with their hands tied on a constant basis), but seriously, this whole XBR thing is taking waaaaay to long. all the new stuff is absoultely great...but just seems their is this overall "lag" throughout the whole program... should feel must smoother and faster...in every aspect of he program, be it the viewports, UVW editing, moving windows (what is up with the MAJOR slowness of some of those??? reminds me of 8086 days) etc etc etc etc.

i think the same people that should be fixing/XBR revamping all the max problems are being jerked around back and forth to these other things such as above, Gepetto, Pandora etc. ANd there just isn't enough daylight (or ca$h) in the day for the people to do BOTH, one or the other? Seems more the other...which is the new stuff, and just still leaving the OLD broke stuff broke and getting older. kinda like us? (well..the older part, but may go broke if max doesn't get where it really needs to be).


Posted 6 January 2012 10:00 am

re: BB

hasn't been actively developed.... why not? (drop the ball?) shouldn't "everything" autodesk release as a WHOLE keep being developed if it is to be released and wanting profit for it? This way everything JUST WORKS..if not...if it is just ignored... failure comes to mind????

jona vark

Posted 8 January 2012 8:17 am

The list of features in Max that are not finished and haven't been addressed is very long. At one time, they were also touted, as these new features are, as a wonderful new addition to Max. (PFlow, CAT, etc etc) So we buy the program or spend gobs of money to upgrade and then we find out that AD developed it just enough to be a massive frustration. ANd then , like kids with ADD, they go off and apply their coding team to something new. Rather than FIXING the long long list of broken features already in Max.

So when I see these articles with you patting yourselves on the back for winning some silly award I don't feel enthusiasm. I feel frustration and exasperation. I know that when these make it into Max they will be broken.


Posted 8 January 2012 1:59 pm

Just a wild guess... But almost seems the "same" people delegated to fix max and also develop new features are actually the same people? Possibly just a couple legacy programmers way in over their heads and constantly pushed in a million different directions by upper management who have no grasp on reality.

Well put! Especially the ADD analogy! Exactly!

Priority from here on out should be to revamp and fix 3ds max utilizing a very high percentage of people dedicated to "JUST" that. At the same time, put a "seperate" team on developing new features and the subscription "crap".
When those monkeys feel the new stuff is ready, then incorporate... If not... Keep it out until so. Quit releasing unfinished features... Doesn't do any good.


Posted 8 January 2012 10:21 pm

I absolutely agree with Jonathan de Blok about Nitrous.

It really helpful when you model and layout scenes. Better shadow/better map preview saves time. Unless I need to deal with a lot of deforming object, I always use Nitrous.

Remember the most important thing about Nitrous is complete rewriting of viewport engine. The architecture itself is different and more prepared for the future extension. I know there are still rough edges, but it has been only one release. I'm sure it will settle down nicely. Look at the new video, you are seeing better performance for particle(I hope it's for any deforming meshed).

And..,, if you want to see some viewport performance gain for animated mesh NOW, you can try my script animBoost.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 9 January 2012 9:01 am

re: BB
BTW, there is a new version of the Subscription Advantage Pack for 3ds Max 2012 that we released in Sept/October. This one has some fixes for some BB-related problems that were introduced with that particular Advantage Pack. So, if you downloaded the original one from Subscription and are having BB issues, the new update should fix those particular issues. The original download is gone and has been replaced with a newer file. Go to your subscription download page.


Posted 9 January 2012 6:06 pm

soooooo........ WHEN are we getting another SP or HFs for 3ds max 2012?


Posted 9 January 2012 11:52 pm

If I could only have one thing in the next release, it would be much better performance for deforming meshes. I can live with everything else as it is (except Hair n fur but I don't expect updates with that).

I didn't know about the animBoost script, I'll try that, my life animating with 3ds max has been hell.


Posted 10 January 2012 11:18 am

"my life animating with 3ds max has been hell."

that's not good to hear. : (


Posted 10 January 2012 6:59 pm

@timd1971 yeah, but I love modeling with 3ds Max, life's a dream. I'm hoping for a bit more performance for the deforming meshes, and I'll be set.


Posted 13 January 2012 9:13 am

obviously a good question being ignored?
soooooo........ WHEN are we getting another SP or HFs for 3ds max 2012?
More importantly... are the major perforamance problems fixed? or STILL left unfixed again hindering our workflow?

exerpts below from http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/ken/3ds_max_2012_service_pack_1_is_live/comments :

Posted by Ken Pimentel on 2011-09-23 at 4:00 am
No, it was too risky to put into SP2 (due 9/27). We can't just put stuff in and hope it doesn't affect everyone else. Sorry, we were hoping it was less risky of a fix. We're still testing and addressing the side effects of this fix. It makes picking less predictable and that isn't something we want to casually toss out there.

Posted by timd1971 on 2011-09-23 at 2:32 am edit
per Ken:
"We're still working on the fix. We're testing a fix with a group of users, but it is too complex to release as a HF or put into SP2 right now (which is in final testing). We need to thoroughly test what we've done before we release this fix as it involves a lot of code changes with a lot of implications. This is deep legacy code we're dealing with, so we have to be careful, not something we can afford to rush out. Sorry. "

i guess as you mention here, the LAG problem didn't make it in the SP2. : ( Hope this gets fixed.

Posted by CybranM on 2011-09-10 at 4:45 am
With nitrous it is laging on my quad core 3.7Ghz computer, but on my laptop it works fine...

Posted by Ken Pimentel on 2011-09-07 at 9:17 am
Again, anyone that is experiencing the lag and wants to try out a possible fix should get in touch with me. We want to know that what we're working on fixes all examples of the problem and does not introduce new issues. ken.pimentel AT autodesk.com

Posted by markus_s on 2011-09-07 at 8:31 am
Thanks Ken! Getting info and feedback from the developers like this is really good! At least we know more what to expect! 3dsmax 2012 is lightning fast compared to previous versions and mmb lag is mostly an issue with really heavy scenes (20 mill polys and 10-20 k number of objects) that previously would have been almost unmanagable i think.

Posted by Ken Pimentel on 2011-09-06 at 1:44 am
We're still working on the fix. We're testing a fix with a group of users, but it is too complex to release as a HF or put into SP2 right now (which is in final testing). We need to thoroughly test what we've done before we release this fix as it involves a lot of code changes with a lot of implications. This is deep legacy code we're dealing with, so we have to be careful, not something we can afford to rush out. Sorry.

Posted by markus_s on 2011-09-04 at 7:16 pm
Good to hear you have identified the cause of the MMB orbit lag. I'm really looking forward to hofix 3 (?). When will you release it? Any progress? For now I am trying to use workarounds, like changing my habit to use the icons instead of MMB, or freezing objects in viewport etc.

Can you explain why you need to do hit-testing on the middle mouse button? Isn't hit testing what you need to select objects? Then wouln't it only be nescessary to do hit testing when you use the Left Mouse Button?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 13 January 2012 9:34 am

re: lag
The problem is very complex, and is not a single problem. Many people are discovering that various combinations of other system changes can resolve the problem, it's just that 3ds Max is such a resource hungry app that any subtle system config issue appears as a max issue. People have solved the "lag problem" by changing their network config and video drivers/hw for example. What are we to do about that?

As I've stated, we have something that we think reduces the sensitivity to lag issues if not eliminates them, but it required wholesale rewrites of many areas of legacy code. We have been testing this with some users that complained about the problem, and they don't seem to be complaining (as much).

Due to the scope of the changes, it is not easy to move them from one code branch to the other and we currently can't do that with out compromising more important milestones. If it was easy, we would have already done it. We're still not sure this is a risk-free change so we're not rushing to release it without a lot of testing. I do not see a HF/SP before April at this point. We have not made the decision to release this yet.

Again, if you experience this problem, please get in touch with me so you can help us test the solution.


Posted 14 March 2012 10:48 am

Not bad, but next time you want to create your logo with a crowd, don't be amateur, put more people inside ;-)

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