Subscription Advantage Pack 2012: Adobe AE interop, render passes, Activeshade Iray

Posted by Ken Pimentel, 11 August 2011 8:00 pm

We are listening, in case you were wondering...

What is the #2 feature on Uservoice? Render Passes. What is the #1 interop feature requested on the Community Voice survey? Adobe After Effects. You got both plus much more in this latest subscription release from the wizards of Montreal and thereabouts.

Adobe After Effects/Photoshop

Starting with Adobe After Effects and Photoshop interop, we've been working with Adobe for awhile to develop the very best interop between 3ds Max and After Effects. Their engineers and ours have been talking and it shows in this new feature. I think Steve Forde, the product manager for After Effects says it the best:

“The new interoperability workflow developed by Autodesk for 3ds Max and After Effects surprised and delighted us. It really is one of the best examples we’ve seen of an integrated workflow. The bi-directional nature of the solution will allow both After Effect as well as 3ds Max users to instantly update changes – in whichever product they occur in, significantly reducing the time and costs around project completion.”- Steve Forde, Senior Product Manager – Visual Effects, Adobe

I think we now have the best workflow with AE of any 3D application, but you be the judge. You can even set up the bidirectional link so that one person is working with Adobe After Effects on one workstation while another works on 3ds Max on a different machine. The update mechanism isn't limited to a single workstation (we're researching supporting OSX with this link). For now, we support both CS4 and CS5 with this mechanism. Based on our conversations with Adobe, we know there is more we want to do, but various limits of the products got in the way of taking it even further. The sharing mechanism is based on an XML file so this opens things up for using it to work with any compositing tool. Clever people will probably figure out how to do this before we do. Photoshop users weren't forgotten either as the render passes can now go direct to a layered PSD with all the right modes supported. Now, if we just had an OSX version of 3ds Max we'd be all set...

Render Passes/State Sets

We're introducing something called "State Sets" to perform the work of render passes. State Sets are not limited to doing just render passes, it is simply a powerful way to use them. This is a very simple system allowing you to setup and control the state of 3ds Max and it works well for rendering and other things. We wanted something easy to use, extensible and powerful. We think this comes pretty close. For example, you can now create a set of render passes that take the output from ANY renderer that 3ds Max supports. So, you might use Quicksilver for one pass, mental ray for another, and vray for a third. All three renders can be set up to do what they do best for creating a single frame. That is flexibility that you won't necessarily find in other render pass systems on other products. State Sets is the result of our multi-year codevelopment project with Ephere (makers of Zookeeper). We're working with them on compositing application interop and this is the first result of our collaboration.

Here's a video created by the designer of the feature - it isn't the flashy marketing video, it was intended for beta users, but you might find it useful in addition to the marketing videos below:

 Here's our marketing video:

ActiveShade with iray

We had hoped to ship this with 3ds Max 2012, but we chose to hold it back because it wasn't complete enough. This is our first effort to bring interactive and progressive rendering to 3ds Max. Think of this feature as a "snapshot" of where we're at right now, it also isn't intended to represent a final destination. For example, at SIGGRAPH Nividia will be showing the first public glimpse of Project Pandora which includes some research that we've been jointly working on to hook up to cloud rendering in 3ds Max. Project Pandora is a joint research project and not to be confused with any shipping feature of 3ds Max or the subscription drop. They are related, but you won't be getting cloud rendering at this point.


For programmers: .NET exposure

Now that our SDK is wrapped with Microsoft's .NET technology, it enables some interesting features like remote control from other computers and the use of really any scripting interface (like Python). People that build plug-ins on top of .NET will also find it is much less affected by compiler changes, so a plug-in can keep working with a new version of max - even if the compiler changed. Anyway, the more I talk about this one the more likely I'll say something stupid, so I'll let others fill you in on what the big deal is. It is a big deal according to people that write code for a living.


If you're wondering when you'll get access to this, it should be available on the subscription download center by the end of September.

The following is straight out of the F&B:

Top Features and Benefits

Render Pass System

Segment your scene for downstream compositing more easily with an entirely new render pass system. 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 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.

Adobe After Effects Interoperability

3ds Max artists whose creative toolsets include Adobe® After Effects® software can now enjoy a level of interoperability that sets a new standard for 2D/3D data exchange. With bidirectional support for the transfer of cameras, lights, null objects, plane objects/solids, footage (including footage layering), blend modes, opacity, and effects, artists can iterate more effectively and reduce rework to complete projects in less time.

ActiveShade Interactive iray Rendering

Experience a truly iterative creative process for finalizing renderings, with new ActiveShade support for the iray® renderer from mental images®. 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.

Enhanced Interoperability with Adobe Photoshop

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 (such as multiply or screen).

.NET Exposure of the 3ds Max SDK

Effectively leverage .NET enabled languages (such as C#, F#, IronPython, IronRuby, and Visual Basic .NET) to extend and customize the features of 3ds Max, with new .NET exposure of almost all of the 3ds Max SDK. The .NET framework provides a number of features—such as garbage collection and reflection—that accelerate software development, while built-in libraries facilitate common tasks such as building user interfaces, connecting to databases, parsing XML and text, numerical computation, and communicating over networks.


Nik Nastev

Posted 8 August 2011 11:36 am

Finally, thank you!


Posted 8 August 2011 11:42 am

When can we download it ?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 8 August 2011 11:48 am

You can expect this to be sitting in your subscription download box by the end of Sept.


Posted 8 August 2011 12:24 pm

This is awesome!!!

Now, iray finally makes sense


Posted 8 August 2011 12:57 pm

I have to say that I didn't expect to see this level of collaboration between Adobe and Autodesk, but I am really excited for what it may bring in terms of improving my daily workflow! Just getting cameras from 3ds max to AE in a robust way opens up many new opportunities, so I am really looking forward to seeing what else is shared.

On a separate note, I have to say that I am really impressed with the improvements that 3ds max has made in the past two years. It really is a "no-brainer" for me when that subscription bill comes in when I look back at the previous year's feature set. Keep up the good work!


Posted 8 August 2011 1:11 pm

Very good work, I'm curious to test it.

Anyway is the near future??
Will I live or should I inform my family about my disappearing??

Khye Kading

Posted 8 August 2011 2:19 pm

Best advantage pack ever. This is what I expect from the subscription. Can't wait.

Jonathan de Blok

Posted 8 August 2011 3:01 pm

Brilliant, can't wait to give it a spin!

Those AE/PS integration is priceless, massive improvement in my daily workflow!

iray active shade.. nice!

scene states.. looks very powerful!

Happy customer +1


Posted 8 August 2011 3:28 pm

Hi Ken, Great news!
The ae <> max interop is epic!

My only question is about what will be the future of the scene states because it seems like the new State Sets is doing the same job but in more advanced way. So, I think it isn´t good to see one more time the 3ds max with a tool (Scene state) that no one uses because a new tool which is far more powerfull was implemented. Just to keep things cleaned.

EDIT: I forgot about another question: Will State Sets be able to net render via backburner? Will we be able to render the scene state with the default render dialog?
I´m asking this because I din´t see any settings about it.


Ken Pimentel

Posted 8 August 2011 3:48 pm

re: Scene States vs State Sets
There are still a few things that are fewer clicks with Scene States than State Sets, but State Sets offer many more advantages and flexibility. We are eager to remove Scene States, but, we have learned our lesson about removing things before users have made the transition and we don't plan on doing that. It is definitely our goal to remove them, just don't know when.

re: BB
AFAIK State Sets are fully integrated and work with BB. I did not see any complaints otherwise on our beta.


Posted 8 August 2011 3:54 pm

Thanks---- and finally! The AE collaboration feature has been on my wish-list for many years and everything else I saw here today looks like some great thinking.

I noticed a little comment about Max and Mac OS: is this a little hint that it might be in the works? I don't, and won't be, using anything Apple for the foreseeable future, but I have a few professional friends who do, so future collaboration would be a nice possibility. Plus, getting some Mac-only schools on board with Max would be a great.


Posted 8 August 2011 4:28 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Ken.
I understand your point. It's good to know that Autodesk is concerned about the unused tools.
I don´t know about how the things are decided there but don´t you think that State Sets could be an upgrade of the Scene States? This way you end up with only one powerfull tool.
My guess is because the two tools works different under the hood, and the way scene states works should be keep because the legacy, however it seems that the programmers would not have much work to make both run together.

Thanks again.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 8 August 2011 5:00 pm

re: OSX
We did let slip that our recent job postings are requiring OSX experience. That's all I'll say...

bill n

Posted 8 August 2011 5:03 pm

This all looks great. As State Sets are effectively a replacement for Scene States I wouldn't think you need more than 1 release with both fetures side by side before retiring Scene States. One of the things that I've always wanted from Scene States is to be able to save a 'state' file of the states. It's happened to me quite a few times that a large Max file has gotten corrupted and I've had to merge objects from it into a new scene, but have to spend ages redoing the Scene States. I don't know if this would be possible with State Sets, but it would be a nice addition.
Oh - and please thoroughly test State Sets and release it bug free


Posted 8 August 2011 5:05 pm

Agreed with bill. Save to File would be awesome.

3D Druid

Posted 8 August 2011 5:06 pm

Great things afoot, really liking the AE integration and the .Net exposure is a great looking forward to using it (your friends right, .Net exposure is... where do I start)


Posted 8 August 2011 5:23 pm

looks nice... but have that funny feeling all of this may be why v2012 still isn't fixed appropriately (even after H1, SP1, HF2???)... too much going on and not enough time to get the important things done. Obviously the SAP took precedence due to another $$$ deadline.


Posted 8 August 2011 5:29 pm

hmm? looking at posts 2, 3 and 4? Are Jonathan de Blok and Erik López the same person? Double alias? : \

(double posting bug?)

bill n

Posted 8 August 2011 5:40 pm

Regarding the .NET exposure of the 3DS Max SDK, I've been hearing quite a few noises recently that Microsoft may be moving towards phasing out .NET with the upcoming Windows 8. Googling "is microsoft ditching .net?" comes up with some interesting results regarding moving towards a Javascript/HTML 5 framework for application development. One developer opines '.NET came out 10 years ago, and Microsoft still has yet to adopt it in Office or throughout Windows. The writing is on the wall.'
Something to think about - maybe a good time to move development of Max towards a language more cross-platform (and Microsoft proof)? Isn't that what you guys did with Maya and Qt?

Jonathan de Blok

Posted 8 August 2011 6:09 pm

"hmm? looking at posts 2, 3 and 4? Are Jonathan de Blok and Erik López the same person? Double alias? : \"

That's a bug. I posted that message but I'm not Eric Lopez and I definitely don't use double accounts!


Posted 8 August 2011 6:56 pm

Eric obviously had the same exact thoughts as you then! ; )

Jonathan de Blok

Posted 8 August 2011 7:02 pm

Either that or I have a serious schizophrenic problem I'm not aware of


Posted 8 August 2011 8:09 pm

Hmmmm....i smell "Zookeeper"!!!!!


Posted 8 August 2011 8:31 pm

It would be nice to see Autodesk Llink with Eyeon Digital FUSiON too!!, But really really nice

Erik López

Posted 8 August 2011 9:03 pm

hmm? looking at posts 2, 3 and 4? Are Jonathan de Blok and Erik López the same person? Double alias? : \

(double posting bug?)


Posted 8 August 2011 9:28 pm

Seems great!

In our company we have been phasing out PC's in favor of macs. So the 3d guys (who also do compositing) use two workstations and switch between them via hardware switching. That said all of our AE works is done on macs and most AE users are using that platform. I am happy to see the direction 3ds max is taking. Two things on my wishlist though, OSX and stability.


Posted 8 August 2011 9:30 pm

@ dreamco,
What part of..."our multi-year codevelopment project with Ephere (makers of Zookeeper)"...Didn't you understand?


Posted 8 August 2011 9:42 pm

@ silencer77 - i hope they slapped bootcamp on all those hogs to render at night!




Posted 8 August 2011 9:50 pm

@ visualz . Yeah we are rebooting at night and use parallels when we want to get out some frames quickly and don't have the patient for a full reboot. Hardly an ideal workflow but it works.


Posted 8 August 2011 10:49 pm


I fully understand. I didn't say i "taste Zookeeper", only i "smell" it. And since 3dsmax lacks a proper scene manager............maybe some day who knows??

Cheers (and calm down)


Posted 8 August 2011 11:01 pm

Great State Sets feature obviously.
And Great that 3DSMAX is geared towards some ZooKeeper philosophy, it's the good way to go, nodal, flexible and robust (please?).
Scene State was clearly not usable at all.
I hope it will interface nicely with Vray too.... (related more on the render passes thingy)

AE link feature is convenient too, nice job (though i'm not convinced a bi-directionnal link would be a good workflow anyway)

Keep up !



Posted 9 August 2011 8:47 am

A few things that would actually improve this solution (improvements on Adobe's part)

*Tools that actually work for 32bit floating colour workflow.
*True 3d meshes, FBX import and stuff.


Posted 9 August 2011 1:48 pm

@Swahn-Kung you might try Autodesk Composite that ships with 3ds max. It offer a full float toolset (every tool without exception) and also has a true 3d compositing environment that allows static and animated/deforming fbx meshes. The hooks to After Effects is not to be taken lightly, however, as AE is obviously a work-horse out there in the community. This just marries the two most widely used applications in the animation community It's a move to make familiar tools more aligned and there's more to come.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 9 August 2011 2:59 pm

We're not done working with Adobe. This is just all we can talk about. I'm here at SIGGRAPH and we have a bunch of future roadmap discussions happening. We're just getting started.

Did we mention that the interop is based on an XML file and that it was designed to be a generic method of interop with compositing tools? We just picked the most popular tool to start with. What's next? There are many ideas floating around.


Posted 9 August 2011 3:00 pm

This is the first time i actually did not even read the negative comments, because i just did not think they are worth it anymore. Even if they amuse me sometimes.

So... yeah...

THANKS for the great improvements. Render passes are surely a great addition, and activeshade iRay finally makes iRay what it was supposed to be in the first place.

I am sure Adobe integration will be welcome by a lot of people as well. Although for this, i am a little sceptic, because to this day, i still have not seen correctly working FBX file, so i use good old proven OBJ ;-)

Ken Pimentel

Posted 9 August 2011 3:24 pm

re: AE and 3D
AE doesn't support 3D object import, so we instead pass a null object to AE with the transform. So, the interop doesn't have to deal with as much complexity if we were passing a 3D scene between us. FBX has come a long way, and if you haven't tried it in 2012 releases, then you might be surprised.


Posted 9 August 2011 4:47 pm

Ken Pimentel:

Thanks for info. Sorry i did not make myself clear. I was not talking about FBX in relation to Adobe products integration, but in general. I tried FBX already many times with various settings, but i always ended up with objects improperly scattered around my scene, randomly rotated and scaled. It was case of export between Softimage and Max in 2011 product line


Posted 9 August 2011 8:19 pm

Thanks for the tip visualz, and i have used both Composite and Nuke in the past.
However AE is a big piece in our pipeline, it was long before i started at work, so i'm stuck with the tools available to me.

However I DO appreciate the effort by Autodesk and Adobe to put this workflow together. If we get a solid solution it will definitely be a better alternative than unreliable half-supported plugins.


Posted 9 August 2011 8:36 pm

Impressive job, guys!!
Clear and simple, bravo!
Just telling something to polish the craft:
Could be "also" great if :
1_We can dock the floating menu in AE, beside of the tools, up there, for example.
2_Render slate is a important thing, it should have his own icon, beside the layer one, for example, After all, it is a kind of "render layer".
3_Should be cool also if there is some render button inside the slate sets menu.

Can't wait the next improvements.
Now, i shut up....

Gryp Master

Posted 9 August 2011 10:27 pm

Select From Scene, layer, render leyer, should be as “The Outliner” o “ZooKeeper ” one click (H) all in one


Posted 10 August 2011 11:30 am

Wonderful to see that the brilliant staff att ephere are contributing. I can't live without my ZooKeeper.
Ken: Give us a hint on if all of ZooKeeper will be implemented in a release or two, please.

Michael McCarthy

Posted 10 August 2011 3:40 pm

WOW thanks for all the comments and excitement around these features!

RE: Vray
Vray rendering is fully supported by State Sets and we are working closely with Chaos Group.

RE: Net render BB and Deadline

Yes, you can set up the Net render options and use BB. We are also working closely with the Thinkbox team for seamless Deadline support.


Posted 11 August 2011 6:19 am

Would be nice if you could also look at 3dsmax/Composite integration, at least fix camera fbx export bug from max to Composite . I can understand you would like to develop the two most used softwares interactions, but Composite is from Autodesk (do they know ?) and Composite user wait for more than a few bug fix per year ...

Ken Pimentel

Posted 11 August 2011 1:46 pm

re: composite
While it would be nice to have unlimited budgets to work on everything, we have to prioritize what we do. I'd rather have best in class workflow with one solution than minimal workflow with a lot of solutions. We've designed a general solution and we allways anticipated the need to support other solutions. I just can't discuss those plans on an open forum.


Posted 12 August 2011 8:18 am

just what we needed


Posted 13 August 2011 9:30 am

Also, it would be nice if this linked between other compositors - something other than AE.

I think Active Shade is really cool by the way

@ Ken: It would be nice if I could access my subscription account so that I could download the advantage pack; I know this is not your responsibility, but I'm hoping you could help me. I filled out a subscription support request over two weeks ago (almost three) and I have yet to even hear from anyone at Autodesk regarding my login issue.

Michael McCarthy

Posted 17 August 2011 3:24 am

Hello SuperCoon,

This is a good question. The "Base State" is your base 3ds max scene. All State Sets are applied on top of that. This allows the flexibility to change your scene without being locked at one point in time. I think a good way to think about this is like Adjustment Layers in Photoshop or After Effects. You have your Background Layer in Photshop (base 3ds max scene) and you can apply Adjustment Layers to it (a State). These Adjustment Layers modify the color or other aspect of the Background Layer like a State modifies your 3ds max scene. You still have the ability to change the composition or add things to your Background however and the Adjustment Layers will be applied ontop of that.

Hope that helps.

Michael McCarthy


Posted 17 August 2011 12:44 pm

Thanks Michael. Your analogy was very helpful.

Now if I could just get my subscription login to work so that I could down load it. It's going on four weeks and I still have not heard from Autodesk Subscription Support on my issue; I even turned the problem over to my reseller, and I have not heard from them in almost two weeks now - I guess they can't get a reply from AD either.


Posted 17 August 2011 12:55 pm

@SuperCoon - where are you located (Country/region)?


Posted 17 August 2011 1:01 pm

United States, Alabama

Don Gray

Posted 17 August 2011 1:05 pm

You do know the Advantage Pack for 2012 not yet available right?
(end of September)
But, of course, not being able to connect to your subscription site is something that does need to be resolved.


Posted 17 August 2011 1:13 pm

@supercoon - if you havent already, i'd suggest you email >> << and provided them your information such as business name (if applicable) and serial number of the licenses in question. you've probably already gone here but the main site for subscription and help, just to post it for other's benefit if nothing else, is >> <<


Posted 17 August 2011 1:13 pm

No - I did not know it was not yet available; I must have missed that part.

Anyway, I've not been able to log in for over two months now, so I do need to get my subscription login fixed for when it is available.

Thanks for the heads up.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 19 August 2011 12:16 pm

no, iray doesn't support non-physically real materials/shaders at this time.


Posted 19 August 2011 12:28 pm

if there is any concern of compatibility with maps or features i'd suggest getting the 30 day trial and testing it out! the "products" link at the top of this page is the easiest way to do this from here...

Don Gray

Posted 19 August 2011 12:37 pm

Will the ability to update on geometry change work with other renderers used as Active Shade?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 19 August 2011 12:52 pm

I'm sure that depends on the renderer. They have to watch for those changes and deal with them accordingly.

Don Gray

Posted 19 August 2011 1:07 pm

So, it's up to the renderer developer, then?
Know whether Cebas is working on updating Final Render for this?


Posted 19 August 2011 3:02 pm

note that with State Sets you can flip flop between any renderer for any pass at any time and all within a single MAX file. gone are the days of having multiple MAX files on the hard drive for different render passes. ie: Scanline renderer RIPS through hair so you could easily matte out everything, scanlien the hair all in a State Set called "hair" and then other State Sets call on iRay, for example. Mixing and matchign renderers was never even close to this easy.


Posted 19 August 2011 9:07 pm

re:"I'm assuming the ability for interactive updating to geometry is a new feature in ActiveShade since it doesn't work that way at this time. It will finally be useful!"

As Ken said that is up to the developer to handle. Imagination Technologies was showing Brazil 3 at Siggraph in 3ds Max 2012 with support for modeling and modified modifications in active shade workflow. The developers have been supporting that workflow for a few years now working under Caustic and now Imagination Technology, so it isn't anything new that allows that.


Don Gray

Posted 20 August 2011 12:18 am

"so it isn't anything new that allows that"

I've never gotten it to work here (Active Shade doesn't update when I move or change an object).


Posted 21 August 2011 12:28 am

re:"I've never gotten it to work here (Active Shade doesn't update when I move or change an object). "
The renderer developer controls what updates the Active Shade window, and when. If they aren't tracking that information and telling their renderer to update you need to take that up with the developer.


Don Gray

Posted 21 August 2011 12:48 am

The only choices I have for Active Shade are the scanline and fR and neither of them update when camera view or object changes. I don't even see an IRay option, I think I was getting that (name) confused with the Nitrous viewport renderer.
So, Iray is something new coming only in the update?
What renderers have this function at this time?
Since the Active Shade came out this functionality has been there but not with standard Max rendering options?
I'm confused.

Don Gray

Posted 21 August 2011 2:25 pm

Ok, thanks for clarifying this for me, Steve.


Posted 22 August 2011 1:14 pm

Renderers have to be built specifically to support active shade, and when they update is controlled by the render developer. For example a list of supported changes for Vray RT can be found under interactivity here: and a video of Brazil SDK (which Brazil 3 is based on) can be found here: . Features and limitations of the Scanline Active Shade can be found in the help here: .

I would base what is possible with Active Shade around the Vray RT or Brazil SDK stuff, and not around the scanline limitations. I have never used fR so can't comment about what it can and can't do.


Don Gray

Posted 22 August 2011 2:43 pm

"never used fR so can't comment about what it can and can't do."

Just put a post on their forum pointing to this blog entry asking if fR is going to match the new capabilities of Iray in Active Shade in Max 2012.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 16 September 2011 7:09 am

We are still in testing and haven't locked down yet. End of Sept is best I can tell you.

Michael Powers

Posted 19 September 2011 8:08 am

Thnx. Eagerly awaiting. My exporter only goes to AfterFX - so this will be a big step up.

Jonathan de Blok

Posted 19 September 2011 8:25 am

I vote to end September early this year!

Ken Pimentel

Posted 19 September 2011 12:03 pm

State Sets are one piece of what we licensed from Ephere and are the same concept in Zookeeper.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 24 September 2011 9:14 am

What you saw at Siggraph was research. If you don't mind, we'd prefer to complete our research before tossing it out there. Despite what you saw, this is not ready for prime time.


Posted 27 September 2011 10:51 am

hello Ken, ive got some questions about possible extensions for 3ds max.
are there any plans on implementing some fluid system(plugin) into future versions of max?
is it possible to bring in a tool similar to XSIs ICE ?
thanks in advantage

Ken Pimentel

Posted 28 September 2011 4:20 am

re: fluids
We can't talk about future plans on a public forum. We're doing a range of research - some of which people saw at SIGGRAPH. We'd like to solve fluids in a way that makes it more than just a demo, but that is hard to solve.

re: vray and state sets
Perhaps you can more clearly communicate what isn't working. Vray is supposed to be fully supported. You should log a bug if it isn't.


Posted 28 September 2011 5:44 am

Also: Changes to material properties seem to not be recorded in State Sets. This is a bit perplexing. The workaround seems to be to assign a different material. That works and I can live with that.
AE Integration: I did a quick test of the AE-Integration, as this was very high on my wishlist. I tried it with a complex project I'm working on in the moment and just got a bundle of error messages. So I build a quick scene with a plane linked to a slowly rotating windturbine, rendered it out and linked it in AE. Sadly the rotation of the plane in AE in no way matches the rotation of the rendered windmill. Also the placement in 3d-space seems off. I had better results with a free script. I am actually rather disappointed of this very much anticipated upgrade. I have the faint hope, that these were just bugs and with some time I will get it to work properly, but I'm rather sceptic.

Jonathan de Blok

Posted 28 September 2011 5:50 am

@Benleng: I have the same problem with the AE link, probably some problem with regional settings ( comma vs point etc). I've send in a few test files and it's being looked at.


Posted 28 September 2011 5:57 am

@Jonathan de Blok: Thanks for the info - that's actually a relief. I thought this was a general problem. So let's hope it's fixable.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 29 September 2011 11:10 am

re: vray
While it may work for some people, it is not working for enough people, so we have to understand the issue and get it resolved.

re: AE link
We are transferring key frame data, so I'm surprised to hear that rotations aren't behaving as excpected. We'll have to take a look at what you're doing to understand what the issue might be.

Please report problems to:

This is a top priority to address any perceived shortcomings. Enough users used this in beta that we know there isn't a fundamental problem, however the range of system configs isn't the same as the rest of world, so I expect some surprises as this hits the world.

Michael McCarthy

Posted 29 September 2011 12:56 pm

Hello everyone,

First I want to say thanks for great the feedback. Let me see if I can answer some of your questions:

We worked closely with Vlado to make sure all render options for Vray are tracked as well as Vray lights and other options. Special Vray object properties did not make it into this particular release but there are ways to get the same result (some have suggested the Wrapper Mtl). Switching to Vray renderer for a State is supported for sure (I just tested that out). More and even better integration is what we want and plan to deliver

I think it will help to know the approach that State Sets is taking. State Sets is not a brute force system that tracks every parameter as that would be very slow and hard to track. The goal of State Sets is to track 95% of things in a fast and easy way to set up render passes and other 3ds max workflows. The trick of course is when you might run into that 5% of things in your workflow that are not tracked and how to adjust for that. There are so many different users of 3ds max that use it in so many different ways. That said, we have made State Sets to adapt to these situations. One option is the scripted event in a State. This will allow you to set anything that is scriptable in 3ds max to turn on or off in a State. So if you have a special object property or Particle flow value adjusted you can get what you need.

Things like every color swatch or material parameter are not tracked. The idea is to set up your materials or RE's the way you want for different passes and then assign them via a State Set.

We have plenty more great ideas to come and are always looking for feedback on things that are essential to you.
There is always room for improvement and we are always looking to improve so please keep sending any ideas you may have! If you come across something that you feel is important to track or something that is crucial to your workflow please let us know.

If some of you are willing, we would really like your Vray or other expertise to help us in Beta. Please contact me via PM and let me know if your interested in making to tools better and working the way you want

Thanks so much
Michael McCarthy

BTW if you haven't yet please check out the training video on State Sets that is in the docs. I hope it will help many people get up and running right away:


Posted 29 September 2011 3:13 pm

Where do we get to plugin for after effects to read the link files?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 29 September 2011 5:11 pm

The AE plugins should have either been part of the install or up on Subscription download site. I think they are named something obvious.


Posted 30 September 2011 5:38 am

@Ken Pimentel I did some more tests and it is obvious, that in my case AE-link for some reason messes up the data big time. Especially rotation keyframes have crazy values of for example 250.000x+40! As soon as I finde the time I will file a detailed bug report. This is a bummer.
@Michael McCarthy Thanks for the information. That sounds like a reasonable approach. Although a comprehensive list of which features are tracked without scripting would be great.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 30 September 2011 6:41 am

I sent you a PM. We'll figure out what the issue is.

Michael McCarthy

Posted 30 September 2011 10:53 am

Thanks for the report. I will follow up to see what the issue is. Also there should be a list of all tracked features in the docs.

Thanks again
Michael McCarthy

Nicolau Pais

Posted 30 September 2011 11:29 am

I have the some problems with VRay

- all vray properties were not recognized by state sets (only cheked on/off properties)
- vray framebuffer output paths also (only if save checked or not)
- settings on render elements also

another problems:
If you save the settings with VRay FB minimezed, on render time, will rum minimized... you can't see the render progress.
Render setup dialog window alway's close on change of state set's


Posted 30 September 2011 5:28 pm

To add my suggestions about "Vray is supposed to work 100%" with States Set :

Many architectural studios will need and use this feature for their renders passes:
- with Vray Frame Buffer (split render passes option, and ability to create folders for render passes)
- and also a render pass for moving objects (people ...) , which in general consists of Setting Object Vray Properties like : alpha contribution : -1 and matte: on .

This is crucial and has to work flawlessly.



Posted 17 October 2011 3:09 am

Hey, I solved my rotation problem with the compositor link. Being german my decimal separator was set to comma, I changed it to point like detailed here:

Now everything works fine.

Michael McCarthy

Posted 17 October 2011 5:24 am

Yes this is a region issue that needs to be addressed. To fix this you can change to decimal in your Windows region settings. Here is a quick video to show how you can do this:

Michael McCarthy

Ken Pimentel

Posted 26 October 2011 12:43 pm

I would suggest that you need to file a defect (in your Help menu you'll see a link for problem reporting). Michael will be monitoring this thread mostly:

We're committed to making this work. Thanks for working with us.

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