Maxed Out, 01 May 2016 19:22:31 UTCMoving onKen Pimentel<h2>End of Year, New Beginnings</h2> <p>This has been a crazy year for me, perhaps for you too. After I left on my sabbatical in June 2012, I came back to a much changed work environment and soon after that, Autodesk announced a restructuring that included layoffs. Unfortunately, many of those working for me were impacted, though I wasn&rsquo;t. However, I did decide at that point to move to the new &ldquo;Industry Strategy and Marketing&rdquo; team and leave the product team that had been my home for the last 12 years. It&rsquo;s taken more months to figure out exactly what my new role is, so I didn&rsquo;t really want to blog until things got more solid.</p> <h3>Sabbatical</h3> <p>I won't bore you with the details, but it involved taking a 40' sailing catamarran from South Carolina up to North of Boston and back to Milford, CT. It involved roughly 1,400nm in 6 weeks, a few gusty storms, minor damage, no injuries, lot's of amazing memories. Here's a peek at what we experienced:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/userdata/blogs/ken/IMG_0489.JPG" alt="Staten Island, NY" width="1300" height="968" /></p> <p></p> <h3>3ds Max</h3> <p>While I won&rsquo;t be involved from now on, the great news is that Frank Delise is doing a repeat performance. In case you didn&rsquo;t know, Frank was lead designer for 3ds Max way back in 2000 and saw the creation of 3ds Max 4 and 5 before leaving Autodesk to work on various projects (see for more background). It&rsquo;s comforting to me to know that the product is in such good hands in these complex times.</p> <p></p> <h3>My Legacy</h3> <p>I feel my biggest achievement was showing how we could be better at communicating with users. That involved being active on the forums and responding to comments. I also led the adoption of <a href="" target="_blank">Uservoice</a> so that you can give us feedback and vote on it. This has since been recognized as a valuable tool inside M&amp;E and now all our products use it too. I created the XBR initiative and figured out how to talk to you about the future without violating the internal rules that constrain us more generally about these things. I also drove various user surveys to understand what you all thought to give us better mechanisms for prioritizing our efforts. I then became a principle blogger at M&amp;E by sharing all this information (or as much as I could). Much of this will survive my leaving, and Frank will figure out his own methods of managing the product going forwards.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <h3>Future</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s up to Frank to decide how he wants to share it with you. I remain excited by what I see in the progress videos that I&rsquo;m exposed to. I&rsquo;ve always enjoyed teasing you about what we had cooking in the lab, or doing the sneak peeks before release. I hope Frank has some time to do that too, but be patient with him as he&rsquo;s got many responsibilities.</p> <p></p> <p>My new job now revolves around figuring out how media and entertainment companies can better leverage the rest of Autodesk products (things like AutoCAD and Revit for example). I also hope to lead an effort to develop next-generation storytelling for engineers, designers and those working with CAD data. I also believe that we&rsquo;re on the early stage of disruption around the capture of physical spaces. I think this will transform many processes and that should lead to interesting times. I hope to play a role in it.</p> <p></p> <h3>In Closing</h3> <p>I believe I made a difference, and that is always my foundational goal. I truly appreciated the level of passion many of you have for 3ds Max and I tried to show you that we have passion for the product too. It wasn&rsquo;t always easy being on the forums, but once you taught me how to behave, you welcomed me into the community. Some of you even complained enough on the forums to find yourself in our beta program and now you&rsquo;re part of the solution to improving 3ds Max. I think I&rsquo;ve made many more friends than enemies on the forums and I&rsquo;ll miss the forums until I figure out how to talk to the new community I&rsquo;m focused on. So please, make a difference with your use of 3ds Max or in your lives. It&rsquo;s what passion is good for!</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle; display: block; margin-left: NaNpx; margin-right: NaNpx;" src="/userdata/blogs/ken/LogoWear1.jpg" width="150" height="200" alt="3ds Max Rules!" /></p> <p></p> <h3>P.S. Conspiracy Theorists</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve got a question for you, was the &ldquo;XBR leak&rdquo; really a leak? If you don&rsquo;t know what I&rsquo;m talking about, then you haven&rsquo;t fully immersed yourself in all things 3ds Max.</p>Mon, 10 Dec 2012 20:49:46 UTC Ken PimentelKen Pimentel<p>Sorry for the absence from the forums and blogging. There are two basic reasons:</p> <p>1. Lot's going on with roadmap planning and figuring out the future</p> <p>2. A desperate effort to get everything sorted before my sabbatical starts June 8th!</p> <h1>EUE 2012</h1> <p>I was also crazy enough to plan a trip to the EUE event in Utrecht a week before my departure. The good news is that the event was well worth it and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It really is the very best event I go to. I mean it takes place in a pub! How couldn't it be great? You really owe it to yourself to attend at least once. Hurry before their self-imposed cap of 240 attendees won't let you.</p> <p>We rolled out our roadmap plans to 45 of the faithful, or maybe that's the doubtful? Anyway, they seemed to like what we were showing them. We did ask for feedback and it seemed we got mostly positive reactions. It's not earth-shattering what we're planning, but I think they liked the focus on stability, performance, workflow improvements and some interesting innovations thrown into the mix. Maybe it was the required drinking game before you entered the room? I'll have to remember that trick in the future.</p> <p></p> <h1>Sabbatical</h1> <p>I'll be gone for a couple months, so don't break anything while I'm away. Sailing the seven seas, or at least the East Coast of USA and dodging hard things.</p>Wed, 06 Jun 2012 20:59:52 UTC 2012 AnnouncedKen Pimentel<h2>EUE 2012</h2> <p>Now that the dust has settled from the introduction of the 2013 release, I'm preparing for the next important thing on my calendar: EUE2012 on May 31 &amp; June 1 in Utrecht, the Netherlands.</p> <p>For those of you who have not been there, this is what it is all about : EUE2012 is THE European get-together for CG artists, packed with master classes, making-ofs and product-specific talks. There is also a video on the <a href=" ">website&nbsp;</a>in which Joep van der Steen (co-organizer) explains well why this event is on my most favorite list.</p> <p>Again they have managed to get an impressive lineup of speakers (Autodesk masters like Joe Gunn, Michael McCarthy, Ted Boardman) speaking on a wide range of topics related to 3ds Max directly, indirectly or to productions where 3ds Max played a significant role. I'm happy to see that Neil Hazzard and Zap Andersson from the 3ds Max development team are there as well plus our friends from Unity and many more. See the (not yet complete) list at the speakers <a href="">webpage</a>.</p> <p>I will be there again this year (after a too-long absence) and I'm really looking forward to it. I will be sharing some more background info on the latest 2013 release and the direction we are moving during a two hour closed NDA session. I will also be doing some 1 on 1 sessions with different customers. I'm not fully booked for that so if you are interested let me know.</p> <p>So hope to see you there in person, and as Zap says, &quot;if you wished Siggraph was 250 of your best 3D buddies, held in a pub, none of the commercial stuff, but all of the talks, then you should be there!&quot;</p>Tue, 10 Apr 2012 12:40:47 UTC Max 2013 announced!Ken Pimentel<h1>3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2013 Announced!</h1> <p>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&rsquo;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&rsquo;t mean it needs to remain that way. We tackled dozens of these workflow improvements and you&rsquo;ll encounter them all over the product. This is one outcome of our <a href=""></a> effort from a year ago.</p> <p>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.</p> <h2>Beta Survey results</h2> <p>I also thought it might help to let you know what the beta thinks of this release. They&rsquo;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 &ldquo;raw code&rdquo; 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 &quot;other life&quot;.</p> <h3>Overall Stability</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Viewport Performance</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>General App Performance</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>UI Ease of Use</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Interoperability</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>What did beta users like the most?</h3> <p>These were things that the majority of beta users said were a good reason to upgrade.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Nitrous particle speed improvements (check it out, you&rsquo;ll see significant improvements here)</li> <li>Nitrous IBL, DOF, Bokeh, Clay improvements</li> <li>Tabbed viewport layout</li> <li>MassFX Updates &amp; mCloth</li> <li>Workflow improvements (from</li> <li>After Effects Interop (State Sets)</li> <li>Iray 2.0</li> <li>Revit Interop Update</li> <li>AutoCAD DWG improvements</li> </ul> <h3>Things to watch for</h3> <p>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&rsquo;t expect it to take more than a month past the release to get into your hands.</p> <ul> <li>Backface culled wireframe results in low performance</li> <li>4 viewports is slower than 1 viewport</li> <li>Maximize/minimize viewport is very slow</li> <li>Massive number of textures can cause lag (can be fixed by reducing default texture size)</li> <li>Large shadowmap can cause low performance (can be fixed by reducing default shadowmap size)</li> </ul> <p>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&rsquo;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.</p> <h3>Where's XBR?</h3> <p>In case you haven't been following the restructuring of 3ds Max (what we call, &quot;XBR&quot;), 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:</p> <p>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.&nbsp;</p> <p>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 &quot;forces&quot; 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>We're planning a public webinar around XBR for mid April. Watch for the invite.</p> <h3>3ds Max vs 3ds Max Design</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Plug-in Compatibility</h3> <p>Unfortunately, you can&rsquo;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&rsquo;t care that we&rsquo;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 &quot;save as 2010&quot; feature in this release to maintain data compatibility with older pipelines.</p> <h3>More info&nbsp;</h3> <p>Make sure you also check out the new product site on the <a href="">AREA </a>and the updated product page at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>If you want to check out all our &quot;Sneak Peaks&quot; videos, go <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p>If you want to stay in touch, check out our Facebook <a href="">page</a>.</p> <h2>Top Features and Benefits</h2> <p>These are a mix of things from the F&amp;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&amp;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 &quot;SAP+&quot;.</p> <h3>Adobe After Effects Interoperability (SAP+)</h3> <p>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.</p> <p>Media design and graphics artists whose creative toolsets include Adobe&reg; After Effects&reg; 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.</p> <p>Improvements since the Subscription Advantage Pack released in September, 2011 include:</p> <ul> <li>Custom render element pathing.</li> <li>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.</li> <li>iray and Quicksilver render parameter tracking.</li> <li>Better UI interaction through render-dialog refreshing.</li> <li>Tracking of viewport layouts.</li> <li>MAXScript exposure.</li> <li>Object and solid scale tracking to After Effects.</li> <li>Ability to copy state sets.</li> <li>Tracking of V-Ray object properties.</li> <li>Tracking of V-Ray cache.</li> </ul> <p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsmax2013_AE_Interop_1920.png"><img width="1024" height="619" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsmax2013_AE_Interop_1920.png" /></a></p> <p>If you're looking for more details on this feature, see my recent blog post <a href="">here</a>.</p> <h3>Enhanced Interoperability with Adobe Photoshop (SAP)</h3> <p>Enjoy greater flexibility when finishing renderings in Adobe&reg; Photoshop&reg; 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).</p> <h3>Render Pass System (SAP)</h3> <p>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&reg; Smoke&reg; 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.</p> <h3>Slate Compositing Editor (SAP)</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>ActiveShade Interactive iray Rendering (SAP+)</h3> <p>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.</p> <p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsMaxDesign2013-irayActiveshade-1920.png"><img width="1024" height="619" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsMaxDesign2013-irayActiveshade-1920.png" /></a></p> <h3>MassFX Enhancements</h3> <p>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.</p> <p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsmax2013_MassFX_1920.png"><img width="1024" height="619" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsmax2013_MassFX_1920.png" /></a></p> <h3>Focus on Workflow</h3> <p>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 <a href=""></a>. 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 <a href=";feature=plcp&amp;context=C4994d66VDvjVQa1PpcFNdfPwa_H7lw-NnEVMWNgNS2R9hHdSyjR8%3D">video </a>that attempts to show them in action.</p> <ul> <li>Enable view panning/zooming/rotating when cutting polygons and creating objects</li> <li>Double click edge to select loop</li> <li>Skin Bone list sorting</li> <li>Image File Dialog remembers last image file type</li> <li>Add file history to Import/Export UI</li> <li>Move isolate toggle to tool bar</li> <li>Open all dialogs in their last location</li> <li>Hotkey view switching remembers last view</li> <li>Modeless Array dialog</li> <li>Gradient viewport background</li> <li>Resizable CUI dialog</li> <li>Preview animation fixed</li> </ul> <h3>Tabbed Layouts</h3> <p>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.</p> <p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsmax2013_tabbed-layouts_1920.png"><img width="1024" height="620" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsmax2013_tabbed-layouts_1920.png" /></a></p> <h3>Customizable Workspaces</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Track View Retiming</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Autodesk&reg; HumanIK&reg; Interoperability with CAT</h3> <p>Animators can now convert 3ds Max CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) bipedal characters into characters that are compatible with the Autodesk&reg; HumanIK&reg; solver used in Autodesk&reg; Maya&reg; 2013 software and Autodesk&reg; MotionBuilder&reg; 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.</p> <h3>iray Enhancements</h3> <p>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 &ldquo;no diffuse bump&rdquo;, 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.</p> <h3>Nitrous Enhancements</h3> <p>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.</p> <p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsmax2013_nitrous_DOF_1920.png"><img width="1024" height="619" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsmax2013_nitrous_DOF_1920.png" /></a></p> <p>Really, that's the new 2013 viewport, that's not a rendering.</p> <h3>gPoly</h3> <p>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.</p> <p>We've introduced this as a platform for our XBR efforts. This is just a taste of what is possible.</p> <h3>Maya Navigation Style</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Enhanced Interoperability with Autodesk&reg; Revit&reg; Architecture</h3> <p>Facilities working with both 3ds Max and with Autodesk&reg; Revit&reg; 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.</p> <p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsMaxDesign2013-RevitInterop-1920.png"><img width="1024" height="620" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsMaxDesign2013-RevitInterop-1920.png" /></a></p> <h3>DirectConnect Support</h3> <p>New support for the Autodesk&reg; DirectConnect family of translators enables 3ds Max 2013 users to exchange industrial design data with engineers using CAD (computer aided design) products: AutoCAD&reg; software, Autodesk&reg; Inventor&reg; software, Autodesk&reg; Alias&reg; software, Dassault Syst&egrave;mes SolidWorks&reg; and Catia&reg; system, PTC Pro/ENGINEER&reg;, Siemens PLM Software NX, JT&trade;, 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.</p> <p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsMaxDesign2013-DirectConnectt-1920.png"><img width="1024" height="619" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsMaxDesign2013-DirectConnectt-1920.png" /></a></p> <h3>.NET Exposure of the 3ds Max SDK</h3> <p>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.</p> <h2>Other features you might want to know about:</h2> <h3>Introducing the Autodesk Animation Store</h3> <p>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.</p> <p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsmax_animation_store_screenshot.jpg"><img width="1024" height="557" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/3dsmax_animation_store_screenshot.jpg" /></a></p> <h3>QuickTime Support for 64bit</h3> <p>We have added support for Apple's QuickTime in the 64bit versions of 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design.</p> <h3>Hardware-based Picking</h3> <p>We have replaced our CPU-based object picking system with a new GPU-based picking system. This should tackle some of the &ldquo;lag&rdquo; 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.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Modeless Array Dialog</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Egg Spline</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Autodesk Civil View for 3ds Max Design</h3> <p>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.</p> <p>If you're interestsed in learning more about changes in Civil View, read Bruce's <a href="">blog posting</a>.</p> <h3>Hair And Fur</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Track View Makeover</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Skin Modifier Improvement</h3> <p>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).</p> <h3>Skylights</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Gradient Background</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Slate Material Editor Improvements</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Render Setup Dialog</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>mental ray Renderer</h3> <p>The version of mental ray provided with Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 has been upgraded to mental ray 3.10.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Note: no new Particle Flow tools are in 3ds Max 2013</h3> <p>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.&nbsp;</p>Wed, 28 Mar 2012 20:00:00 UTC Peek on MediaSync: best interop with Adobe After Effects gets betterKen Pimentel<h2>MediaSync Sneak Peek</h2> <p>We introduced our new &ldquo;state sets&rdquo; workflow to subscription users back in September. Since then, we&rsquo;ve been working hard to make it more robust and expand the feature set to address limitations in some workflows. We've greatly increased the stability of the workflow by working with many of the customers on the forums who were struggling with the workflow. We think we've addressed all the concerns and we can now describe where our efforts have taken us and what you can look forward to (sooner than later).</p> <ul> <li>Custom render element pathing</li> <li>Custom file type pathing including EXR.&nbsp;This tracks parameters for output file formats. It should track formats and in the case of EXR include things like render elements, gbuffers, bit depth, color channels, etc.</li> <li>iray parameter tracking</li> <li>Quicksilver renderer parameter tracking</li> <li>Better UI interaction through render dialog refreshing</li> <li>Tracking of viewport layouts</li> <li>MaxScript exposure</li> <li>Object and solid scale tracking to After Effects</li> <li>Ability to copy state sets</li> </ul> <h3>Vray Support</h3> <p>We've made a special effort to better support Chaos Group's Vray. We've added:</p> <ul> <li>Tracking of Vray object properties</li> <li>Tracking of Vray cache</li> </ul> <p>While the Vray VFB is tracked, the VrayVFB render element option is currently not. This is an option to enable or disable certain render elements in the Vray VFB. You&nbsp;will be able to use a scripted State to turn on and off your Vray render elements if so desired.</p> <p style="text-align: left; "><code><span style="font-family: 'Courier New'; ">reMgr=MaxOps.GetCurRenderElementMgr() -- get the current render element manager</span></code></p> <p style="text-align: left; "><code><span style="font-family: 'Courier New'; ">re=reMgr.GetRenderElement 0 -- get the first render element</span></code></p> <p style="text-align: left; "><code><span style="font-family: 'Courier New'; ">re.vrayVFB=false</span></code><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h2>Summary</h2> <p>We&rsquo;re serious about creating the best interop with After Effects (and other compositing solutions possibly in the future) via our MediaSync technology. Right now, we have the only bi-directional workflow between a 3D product and After Effects that can handle changes occurring in either product at any point in the process. A simple &ldquo;update&rdquo; to the link and you&rsquo;ll see the results refresh in either product.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a Sneak Peek video showing some of our research. This one was created by Chris Harkins on our betaand shows the basics of the workflow with some of the new capabilities. You&rsquo;ll have to wait longer to get the &quot;official&quot; videos. Remember, Sneak Peeks are to just give you a taste, not a documented training video - and they are produced with varying degrees of precision and quality.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe width="1280" height="720" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Wed, 22 Feb 2012 19:00:00 UTC the picture, get the video: Number 2Ken Pimentel<h2>Guess the picture</h2> <p>OK, the first attempt at playing this game seem to be a fun experience for all concerned, so I&rsquo;ll try my luck with a second one. Rules are simple, someone has to respond with the correct answer to what I&rsquo;m showing. There should be sufficient clues in the image that someone is going to suggest the right response. This one is harder than the last one I think. No beta users are allowed to play&hellip;</p> <h2><img width="1024" height="602" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/GuessPicture2.jpg" /></h2> <h2>Get the video</h2> <p>Here's the video that is purposely at a lower resolution...&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe width="853" height="480" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Mon, 13 Feb 2012 19:00:00 UTC the picture, get the videoKen Pimentel<p>OK, so first of all, this is an experiment in teasing, if you can't have fun with it, then move on. I promise not to make a habit of this.</p> <p>Here's the idea, give me your best interpretation of what this picture might represent, and if you get close, I'll insert the video. I don't think beta people can play this game as they know too much. I'm looking for a particular magic word to unlock this video.</p> <p>Clue: it's going to make a whole lot more sense when you see the video sequence than a static picture&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" width="800" height="441" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/SneakPeek1.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>We have a winner (update)!</h2> <p>OK, you guys really got into this and yes, several people said the magic word. Now you'll get the video. Please note, the video was an &quot;over the shoulder&quot; capture of something in the lab, it is not a professionally narrated piece. You're not supposed to be seeing this...</p> <p><iframe height="576" src="" frameborder="0" width="1024" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2>What is this?</h2> <p>From the designer:</p> <p>This scene is a MassFX simulation that includes mRigids (using a new concave meshes option), mCloth objects, breakable Constraints, and mCloth tearable cloth. A lot of the scene geometry (all the stacks of logs) were stacked running separate simulations, just to get a nice realistic distribution, and then baked into their final positions.<br /> The highlight of the simulation is the use of standard Max forces. The forces used include a spherical Gravity, two PBombs, and a Vortex field. These affect the rigid bodies, and mCloth, which not only reacts to the forces, but is also capable of respecting pinned verts and tearing under the influence of the force.</p> <p>There is a PFlow system, but it&rsquo;s a pretty standard particle system under the influence of some of these forces. The particles are not dynamic. The shattering windows were pre-shattered using a free script, and then the fragments were assigned as rigid bodies.</p> <p>The render came from the free script&nbsp;PowerPreview (which uses the Nitrous viewport to render with).&nbsp;Looks nice because the Nitrous viewports were using all the nice bells and whistles&hellip; photometric lights, exposure control, realistic shading, shadows, AO, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</p>Tue, 07 Feb 2012 19:00:00 UTC Flash: Viewport lag fixed for some by Nvidia driversKen Pimentel<h1>News Flash</h1> <p>It looks like some users have had success solving the viewport lag problem by using an Nvidia driver. We know from experience that this &quot;lag&quot;&nbsp;problem has been fixed by many different things, so there is probably more than one solution. So far, it has been reported fixed by the following:</p> <p>- Changing the Intel network driver (who knows why)<br /> - Changing the GPU card to a different company<br /> - Changing the Nvidia driver</p> <p>Here's one thread that is monitoring the Nvidia change:</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p>Separately, when we first heard about this issue, we started an effort to recode our legacy picking system to use hw-enabled solutions instead of the CPU. We can report that this has also succeeded with several users on a beta forum. So, I hope those that have the lag will find one of these solutions to remove the issue once and for all.</p> <h3>Direct from NVIDIA</h3> <p>For everyone experiencing lag issues with Quadro or Quadro FX cards, please try the following:</p> <p>First, make sure you&rsquo;re using the <a href="">latest WHQLdriver</a> for your board:</p> <p>Then, from the NV Control panel, go to &quot;Manage 3D Settings&quot; and under &quot;Global Settings&quot; choose the &quot;3D App Game Development&quot; preset and choose &quot;Apply&quot;.</p> <p>Then see if Nitrous is behaving better for you.</p>Tue, 07 Feb 2012 19:00:00 UTC it that time of year again? 3ds Max future notesKen Pimentel<h3>What's up?</h3> <p>Hey you all, I guess it&rsquo;s that time of year again! As usual, I have to preface my comments by saying that I can&rsquo;t state explicitly what is going on. I certainly can&rsquo;t talk about the possible features or timing if there were a new release coming out.</p> <p>Now, I do try to tell you what I can under the rules I live by. Some of the things we&rsquo;ve talked about in the past are classified as research (like XBR, Helix, Geppetto, Pandora, etc.) and you cannot assume you&rsquo;ll get these specific features in any specific timeframe (if ever). We can show or describe research that we&rsquo;re pursuing as long as you don&rsquo;t use that to base your purchasing decisions. We can also do sneak peeks (become a fan of our <a href="">Facebook page</a>, Shane will be posting some vids there later today) &nbsp;which are more actual peeks at selected capabilities of real software (versus research efforts). We can only do sneak peeks when we are in a position where we won&rsquo;t violate revenue recognition rules. Some of you will understand what that means&hellip;</p> <h3>XBR update:</h3> <p>XBR is the restructuring project we embarked on a few years ago and we&rsquo;ve given yearly webinars around this time. If you&rsquo;re wondering why we haven&rsquo;t announced anything, it&rsquo;s because we&rsquo;re trying to move it later so that it occurs when we have more freedom to talk about the latest and greatest progress. Otherwise, we have to be super careful not to leak something or make a mistake or even set expectations too high. We haven&rsquo;t settled on a date, but I think we&rsquo;re looking at March/April timeframe. We&rsquo;ll be sure to publicize the event as widely as we can.</p> <h3>Speculation:</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s probably speculation about &ldquo;what&rsquo;s coming&rdquo;. Here&rsquo;s some expectation setting from us.</p> <h4>UI:</h4> <p>Remains a big concern and those that viewed last year&rsquo;s XBR review will understand our bigger picture (search my blog for &ldquo;XBR&rdquo; to see some links). Unfortunately, doing anything in the UI is so freaking sensitive with users (as we&rsquo;ve learned to our regret) that we can&rsquo;t do it unless we&rsquo;ve got our &ldquo;reviewers&rdquo; 100% behind it. Some of our ideas had to go back into design, but we hope to share those ideas in our next XBR review. So, UI remains a priority, but we couldn&rsquo;t achieve everything we wanted and we have to make sure we don&rsquo;t duplicate any prior mistakes (you have the list). In our XBR review, I expect we can share our refined ideas.</p> <h4>Unified Simulation:</h4> <p>We introduced MassFX and mRigids (based on PhysX and our partnership with Nvidia) in 3ds Max 2012. It was a start on our march to a more unified dynamics experience. We&rsquo;ve continued that effort with Nvidia and we think you&rsquo;ll be pretty pleased with the results in general. We&rsquo;re not done, but definite progress in the right direction, we hope you&rsquo;re pleased with it.</p> <h4>Pflow:</h4> <p>As part of MassFX, it was clear we had to do something about Particle Flow and making sure it is on a trajectory to support our unified story. I can now say that we recently formalized a multi-year relationship with Oleg (creator of Particle Flow) so that he can be much more involved in our roadmap. To set expectations, don&rsquo;t expect immediate results in the coming year and you shouldn&rsquo;t be discouraged. This is definitely a longer-term effort and Oleg will continue to offer his solutions via his channel for a long time to come. We&rsquo;ll announce more at the appropriate time. My point in mentioning this is that we see particle flow in particular as an area of investment and research.</p> <h4>Nitrous:</h4> <p>Introduced in 3ds Max 2012, this revolutionary and new viewport system is still a work in progress, but distinct improvements have been made in various areas as we go through the legacy code. For example, we&rsquo;ve had to replace the software-based picking process with a hardware-based system. You don&rsquo;t always see these kinds of things in the features list, but it can take a lot of effort to replace deep legacy code with new code. You should see the results as faster viewport response when selecting in complex scenes with lots of objects. This will hopefully move us beyond some of the &ldquo;lags&rdquo; a few people ran into with certain hardware.</p> <h3>Feedback:</h3> <p>In general, we&rsquo;ve tried much harder to get you all involved in the feedback and prioritization process. A year ago, we introduced a feedback mechanism that allows you to add ideas and others to vote on it. Here&rsquo;s the result looking at data from just the <a href="">General Feature Requests forum:</a><br /> - 1,270 people signed up/voting<br /> - 535 ideas<br /> - 2,700 visits in the last week, +30%<br /> - 325 active ideas, up 61%<br /> - 206 active users, up 40%<br /> Personally, I&rsquo;m super pleased with this initiative and there will be consequences based on the priorities we see in it. Of course, we don&rsquo;t use just this tool to drive our agenda, but it is something that helps us make decisions about what you want. It&rsquo;s not just about features, we actually focused on the &ldquo;<a href="">Small Annoying Things</a>&rdquo; forum and tackled about 15 of the highest priorities (see <a href="">Facebook video</a>).</p> <h3>Quality</h3> <p>We&rsquo;ll be introducing a new program we call, &ldquo;Customer Care Program&rdquo;. It&rsquo;s goal is to use CER data to focus on the people using the product the most and having the most problem with stability. So, turn on your CER system if you want us to see what is going on with your efforts to use max. We won&rsquo;t be able to reach everyone but a select few will be invited to participate based on your CER data.</p> <h3>3ds Max in general</h3> <p>I can truthfully say we&rsquo;ve done more to bring a broader user base into the product than at any time in the product&rsquo;s history. We have 70,000 people tracking us on Facebook and roughly 1M active users based on CIP (though not all are paying customers&hellip;). Over the last year, 3ds Max has experienced a significant increase in commercial seats and revenue. It&rsquo;s an impressive result in tough economic times. We've seen a noticeable increase in the adoption of 3ds Max in games lately as one specific area of growth. Might be related to us winning the &ldquo;best art tool&rdquo; twice in the last 3 years as surveyed by Game Developer magazine. As a business, 3ds Max remains the number one professional 3D animation solution by seat and revenue. We have the largest active community (over 1M views on Youtube of our learning videos this year) and the biggest third-party ecosystem. So, we're doing very well, thank you very much. Of course, it varies by geo, so your own personal experience might give you a different perspective, but overall, thumbs-up!</p> <p>Before some of you pile on and tell me how far from pleased you are about where max is at, I&rsquo;ll agree that we have much, much more we want and need to do and that we&rsquo;ll continue to upset some of you, but I think we&rsquo;ll also continue to satisfy most of you. We&rsquo;ve got some crazy, far out stuff we&rsquo;re working on too, I hope to share that sooner than later.</p>Sat, 04 Feb 2012 19:00:00 UTC Design: a brave new term for a brave new worldKen Pimentel<h2>Media Design</h2> <p>This is a term that you'll see us use more and more. So perhaps we should define it a little for you. For us, media design is the process and tools used to create digital media. If you&rsquo;re unfamiliar with these terms, it&rsquo;s because they are used more in Advertising, Publishing and Broadcast-related fields. From my perspective, media design is about the creation of content that drives the marketing or experience of a design, product or concept. So, you might create an interactive ipad app using 2d/3d media to market a new car, or you might create 3d content to drive a stereoscopic projection of a new movie that&rsquo;s projected on the wall of a building. There are a mix of important workflows in this area &ndash; such as motion graphics, synthetic photography and web-based interactive 3d games. It&rsquo;s basically about taking media to the next level and supporting the transformation of traditional media to digital media. In case you missed the headlines, this is a big deal and is shaking up agencies and who they outsource with. BTW, recent article in NYT said that the combination of someone who knows digital media and has creative skills is one of the hottest jobs right now and agencies can&rsquo;t fill these high-paying positions. Just in case you&rsquo;re considering a career move&hellip;</p> <p>This is a big enough deal that I&rsquo;m mostly going to start focusing on it myself (along with a team of others). You&rsquo;re going to start seeing my efforts talk more about this subject than any other subject and it will be less about a single product and more about our various solutions to address these needs. Don&rsquo;t worry, 3ds Max plays an important role in all of this (it&rsquo;s probably our strongest product in this area), but I can&rsquo;t reveal exactly how it will change to more directly support these challenges. I can say we&rsquo;ve got some surprises for you.</p> <h3>Facebook and Digital Media</h3> <p>To help meet the needs of media design professionals, Autodesk has launched a new Digital Media Community on Facebook at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Check it out --we have some great customer videos and a new independent industry study by Forrester Research which looks at rich digital media &amp; how advertisers are deploying it to help drive higher customer engagement.</p> <p>You can also join the conversation on Twitter by using: <strong>#mediadesign</strong>.</p> <h3><img width="536" height="511" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/kenpimentel/mediaDesign1.jpg" /></h3> <h3><br /> Rich Digital Media Advertising: A Growing Opportunity for 3D Artists and Video Editors</h3> <p>Have you noticed the growing number of impressive 3D online ads and brand experiences? If you have, you are not alone! Online advertising &ndash;and video advertising in particular &ndash;is outpacing all other forms of advertising (17.2% growth compared to the industry average of 4.5%*).</p> <p>The rapid growth of professional online video content, tablets, mobile devices, and ad technology are all helping to drive growth. To embrace this change, publishers are opening up new online ad formats, and advertisers and agencies are dreaming up creative new ways to garner attention and engage users.</p> <p>Rich, interactive, online experiences are helping advertisers to tell their brand stories, connect with their audience, and demonstrate their products, in ways never before possible.&nbsp;</p> <p>You can get the report <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p>*Source: &ldquo;Worldwide Ad Spending: Online Drives Growth,&rdquo; eMarketer August 2011</p>Mon, 09 Jan 2012 19:00:00 UTC New Year! 2012 is starting with a bangKen Pimentel<div>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. <p>So, if you missed any of this:</p> <h3>Project Geppetto</h3> <p>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&rsquo;re planning another release to Autodesk Labs, just not sure when. Check it out on <a href="">Autodesk Labs</a>.</p> <iframe height="720" src=";hd=1" frameborder="0" width="1280" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Project Pandora</h3> <p>Project Pandora was introduced to AU audiences, this is a joint cloud rendering project with Nvidia and running on Amazon servers. We&rsquo;re still early days with it, but it was another big hit at AU. You can learn more about it and other Autodesk cloud <a href="">rendering </a>options through my AU session recorded <a href=";filter_keywords=&amp;chunk=15&amp;filter_track=&amp;filter_software=&amp;filter_speaker=119392&amp;filter_year=131&amp;filter_language=English&amp;filter_type=&amp;whichfilter=all">here</a>. You can also register your interest for Pandora on our Facebook page <a href="">here</a>.</p> <iframe height="720" src=";hd=1" frameborder="0" width="1280" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <h3>Nitrous Research</h3> <p>One of the videos we showed at AU shows some research we&rsquo;ve done with Nitrous and particles. Check it out.</p> <iframe height="720" src=";hd=1" frameborder="0" width="960" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <h3><a href="">3ds Max </a>wins Game Developer Front Line Art award (again)!</h3> <p>Thanks to all of you for picking us again! I think we win this roughly every other year. We&rsquo;re certainly the only DCC to keep showing up with this award time and time again. Nominations <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p>Excerpt: &quot;<em>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&rsquo;s hard to imagine the game industry without 3ds Max.</em></p> <p><em>Nitrous handles complex modern scenes with aplomb, rendering millions of polys interactively. It allows real-time editing without the need for tedious viewport management.</em></p> <p><em>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&hellip; this year&rsquo;s iteration certainly cements Max&rsquo;s well-earned reputation as a key pillar of the game industry</em>.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>Thu, 05 Jan 2012 19:00:00 UTC! We've made the list of one of the "5 cool things"Ken Pimentel<p>You all knew you were cooler than cool by using 3ds Max, but here is confirmation. Lao Ly Rathana has listed 3ds Max as one of his &quot;5 cool things&quot; in the most recent <a href="">Phnom Penh Post </a>from Cambodia. He lists:</p> <ol> <li>Couple's accessories</li> <li>Sugar-free gum</li> <li>Alarm clocks</li> <li>Autodesk 3ds Max</li> <li>Instant Hand Sanitiser</li> </ol> <p>Is that cool or what?</p>Thu, 05 Jan 2012 12:07:45 UTC to AU? Roadmap meeting on 3ds MaxKen Pimentel<p>We will host a customer validation meeting and&nbsp;roadmap review for 3ds Max/3ds Max Design&nbsp;at AU in Las Vegas&nbsp;this year on two dates:</p> <p>Tuesday November 29th, 1:00 &ndash; 2:30 PM, room TBD<br /> Thursday December 1st, 3:15 &ndash; 4:45 PM, room TBD</p> <p>Please send an email to &quot;jean-francois.yelle AT&nbsp;; if you are interested in attending the meeting. The meeting will be under NDA and Jean-Francoise will work with you to get you under NDA.</p> <p>Seating will be limited to ~30 people so it would be great if you could nominate a single representative for your company.</p> <p>Hope to see you there!</p>Mon, 17 Oct 2011 20:00:00 UTC Geppetto goes live on Autodesk Labs!Ken Pimentel<p>The People Power team and I are pleased to finally make Project Geppetto available to you all. In this initial Labs release, you'll find some things that are amazingly simple and some things too limiting for your use. Basically, you can now paint &quot;flows&quot; of people into your scane and bring them to life with a few simple mouse clicks. However, there are a bunch of limitations that will prevent you from using this in every way you could imagine. That's not a limitation of the technology, just a limitation of this Labs release.</p> <object style="height: 390px; width: 640px" width="640" height="360"> <param name="movie" value="" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="640" height="360"></embed></object> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We've been working on a core technology that we call &quot;Ocean of Motion&quot; and it represents a data-driven approach to animation. This approach is completely general and can be driven by motion data coming from anywhere (mocap or keyframes or dynamics). However, what we focused on in this Labs release was proving to ourselves (and you hopefully) that we can:<br /> a) Create completely believable pedestrian motion (free of common motion artifacts when the characters intersect and mingle)<br /> b) Make the process incredibly simple to use</p> <p>Now, we chose to release this in a way that only supports two segmented characters. That is a major limitation and something that we acquired to address. We now have a team and a technology for randomized and parametric body parts along with a large library of clothes. We decided to move forwards with the Labs release before the research to integrate with Evolver because we didn't want to hold up the feedback on the motion and workflow that we had already developed. This should give you some idea of where we're hoping to push the research work in the future.</p> <p>Remember, this is just research and is only temporarily available on Autodesk Labs. There is no commitment on our part to make this a feature of any product in the future. However, we do value your feedback.</p> <p>Anyway, check out the Labs page:<br /> <a href=" ">;</a></p> <p>Also, we have set up a forum to discuss Geppetto:<br /> <a href=""></a></p> <p>And if you have a feature request for Geppetto, go here:<br /> <a href=" ">;</a></p>Mon, 10 Oct 2011 20:00:00 UTC Max 2012 Subscription Advantage Pack ShippingKen Pimentel<p>Gentelmen and ladies, start your downloads!</p> <p>Go log onto subscription and see if it is in your download section. Not all of you will see it all at once, it just takes awhile for our world-wide system to process the information for everyone's account. It could take a couple of days before you see it. Contact your reseller if you have issues.</p> <p>Just a reminder as to what you're getting:</p> <ol> <li>New Adobe AE interop workflow</li> <li>New interactive iray (ActiveShade workflow)</li> <li>New render layer system based on &quot;State Sets&quot;</li> <li>.NET SDK wrapper</li> </ol> <p>Included is Service Pack 2 with over 77 fixes.</p> <p>For more details:</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p>Note: We included iray 2.0 in the shipment in order to address a range of limitations in iray 1.0. So, iray 2.0 fixes a bunch of issues, but it also introduces some new technology that is tripping up users using older Nvidia hardware. According to Nvidia, the new algorithms in iray 2.0 are better accelerated on the latest Fermi-based technology than on the pre-Fermi technology. For example,&nbsp;GeForce 3000 has Fermi, GeForce GTX 295 has older pre-Fermi GPUs. Also, iray 2.0 converges faster than iray 1.0. This means that fewer iterations are required for the same quality, but the time per iteration is now longer in iray 2.0 than 1.0. So, if you set 500 iterations as the rendering parameter, it will take longer in iray 2.0 than iray 1.0 - but the results should be noticeably better. If you set&nbsp;both to render for 10m, then you should see better results with iray 2.0.&nbsp;This is true for Fermi-based GPUs. If you have much older CUDA cores, then you may have a situation where the reduced complexity of iray 1.0 algorithms&nbsp;runs faster than the new algorithms in 2.0.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Tue, 27 Sep 2011 09:11:44 UTC Max Design Hero CompetitionKen Pimentel<h1>Do you want to be a hero?</h1> <p>Here&rsquo;s your chance. CGarchitect and Autodesk, with the support of BOXX and Nvidia, are hosting the Autodesk 3ds Max Design Hero Competition &mdash; calling architects, designers and visualization specialists to submit a scene or design created using 3ds Max or 3ds Max Design, for a chance to have it become the next 3ds Max Design hero image, and featured on the box cover and splash screen . In addition, the winning designer will receive a 3DBOXX 8550 XTREME workstation and US,000 in cash. Second and third prize winners will receive a NVIDIA Quadro 5000 GPU.</p> <p>Submitted designs should portray inventive concepts or renderings of architectural design, mechanical, or industrial/product designs&mdash;from buildings, bridges and vehicles, to furniture and consumer products. Entries will be judged on imagination, innovation, and ingenuity, rather than on production quality. Winners will have the opportunity to work with the Autodesk production team to complete final production renderings.</p> <p><strong>Who</strong>: 3D artists and visualization specialists from most countries around the world can participate in the competition. Submissions must be created using the 2012 version of 3ds Max or 3ds Max Design software. Participants can download a free 30-day trial of 3ds Max Design 2012 software. Students can also download 3ds Max Design 2012 from the Autodesk Education Community.</p> <p><strong>When</strong>: Submissions will be accepted from Sept. 6 to Oct. 31 2011.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong>: To submit an entry, or for further contest details, visit <a href=""></a>.</p>Fri, 23 Sep 2011 20:00:00 UTC Max in action: Paths Of HateKen Pimentel<p>Every now and then I see something at SIGGRAPH and I hope that it was created in 3ds Max because it just stands out as something special. You have to check out what long-time 3ds Max team atPlative Image have created. In this video from SIGGRAPH,&nbsp;Damian Nenow of Platige Image shows how he used&nbsp;3ds Max to create the animated short Paths of Hate. Paths of Hate won the SIGGRAPH Jury Award and a number of animation festival awards.</p> <p><a href=";TB_iframe=true&amp;height=650&amp;width=650">SIGGRAPH VIDEO</a></p> <p><img alt="" width="800" height="461" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/2012/Platige2.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" width="800" height="463" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/2012/Platige1.jpg" /></p>Fri, 12 Aug 2011 20:00:00 UTC Advantage Pack 2012: Adobe AE interop, render passes, Activeshade IrayKen Pimentel<p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/2012/3ds_max_2012_SubDrop_StateSets_1920_1080.png"><img alt="" align="left" width="500" height="302" style="margin-right: 10px" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/2012/3ds_max_2012_SubDrop_StateSets_1920_1080.png" /></a></p> <h3>We are listening, in case you were wondering...</h3> <p>What is the #2 feature on Uservoice? <a href="">Render Passes</a>. What is the #1 interop feature requested on the <a href="">Community Voice survey</a>? Adobe After Effects. You got both plus much more in this latest subscription release from the wizards of Montreal and thereabouts.</p> <h4>Adobe After Effects/Photoshop</h4> <p>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:</p> <p><em>&ldquo;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&rsquo;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 &ndash; in whichever product they occur in, significantly reducing the time and costs around project completion.</em>&rdquo;- Steve Forde, Senior Product Manager &ndash; Visual Effects, Adobe</p> <p>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&nbsp;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...</p> <h4>Render Passes/State Sets</h4> <p>We're introducing something called &quot;State Sets&quot; 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&nbsp;and powerful. We think this comes pretty close. For example, you can now create a&nbsp;set of render passes that take the output from&nbsp;ANY renderer that 3ds&nbsp;Max supports. So, you might use Quicksilver for&nbsp;one pass, mental ray for another, and vray for a third. All three renders&nbsp;can be set up to do what they do best&nbsp;for&nbsp;creating a&nbsp;single frame.&nbsp;That is flexibility that you won't necessarily find in other render pass systems on other products. State Sets&nbsp;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.</p> <p>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:</p> <p><iframe height="349" src=";fs=1" frameborder="0" width="425" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;Here's our marketing video:</p> <p><iframe height="349" src=";fs=1" frameborder="0" width="425" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h4>ActiveShade with iray</h4> <p>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 &quot;snapshot&quot; 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.&nbsp;They are related, but you won't be getting cloud rendering at this point.</p> <p><iframe height="349" src=";fs=1" frameborder="0" width="425" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>For programmers:&nbsp;.NET exposure</h4> <p>Now that our SDK is wrapped with Microsoft's&nbsp;.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.</p> <h3>When?</h3> <p>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.</p> <p>The following is straight out of the F&amp;B:</p> <h2>Top Features and Benefits</h2> <h3>Render Pass System</h3> <p>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.</p> <p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/2012/3ds_max_2012_SubDrop_CompositorLink_1920_1080.png"><img alt="" width="1024" height="619" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/2012/3ds_max_2012_SubDrop_CompositorLink_1920_1080.png" /></a></p> <h3>Adobe After Effects Interoperability</h3> <p>3ds Max artists whose creative toolsets include Adobe&reg; After Effects&reg; 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.</p> <h3>ActiveShade Interactive iray Rendering</h3> <p>Experience a truly iterative creative process for finalizing renderings, with new ActiveShade support for the iray&reg; renderer from mental images&reg;. 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.</p> <p><a href="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/2012/3ds_max_2012_SubDrop_ActiveShade_1920_1080.png"><img alt="" width="1024" height="619" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/2012/3ds_max_2012_SubDrop_ActiveShade_1920_1080.png" /></a></p> <h3>Enhanced Interoperability with Adobe Photoshop</h3> <p>Enjoy greater flexibility when finishing renderings in Adobe&reg; Photoshop&reg; 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).</p> <h3>.NET Exposure of the 3ds Max SDK</h3> <p>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&mdash;such as garbage collection and reflection&mdash;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.<br /> &nbsp;</p>Thu, 11 Aug 2011 20:00:00 UTC you use After Effects, watch our SIGGRAPH AREA feed next weekKen Pimentel<p>You asked for it and we listened. We did a <a href="">Community Survey </a>last year that over 1,500 of you gave us direction on a range of things. One of the things you told us was that we neeeded to do more on interop with Adobe tools - specifically After Effects and Photoshop. This feedback&nbsp;was also reflected in the <a href="">Uservoice </a>voting. On August 9th, we'll be making some announcements&nbsp;at SIGGRAPH&nbsp;and showing some workflow that significantly changes the game if you're using After Effects. The best thing to do is to watch the <a href="">AREA </a>as we'll be demoing the new workflow live from SIGGRAPH Vancouver. I believe we'll publsh the timing of the demos so you can schedule your time appropriately.</p> <p>While I'd love to give you all the details, all I can really do is give you a taste until the full scope of what we've developed is revealed next week. It is much larger than just AE interop, there are several pieces to what we've created that go beyond interoperability and reflect highly prioritized requests on Uservoice.</p> <p>The following is a screen image of Adobe's After Effects showing a test project opened up in AE. I'll leave it up to you to discover &quot;what's new&quot;. You'll get the fancy marketing images and videos&nbsp;next week...</p> <p><img alt="" width="800" height="472" src="/userdata/fckdata/197/image/kenpimentel/AEworkflow.jpg" /></p> <h3>EDIT:&nbsp;Details have been announced: <a href=""></a></h3>Tue, 02 Aug 2011 20:00:00 UTC reviews are in: 3ds Max 2012 is a winner!Ken Pimentel<p>Here's one explanation as to&nbsp;why we're having such a great response to 3ds Max 2012; seven fairly glowing reviews have come in over the last couple of months. I haven't cherry-picked the reviews either, these are all of the ones that I'm aware of and all of them are very positive.&nbsp;It seems somebody must like the release. These are some of the best reviews we've seen for awhile. My guess this is one reason why 3ds Max financial results are looking so strong. We're seeing strong adoption of the 3ds Max Entertainment Creation Suite too.</p> <h2>Renderosity</h2> <p><a href="">Autodesk's 3ds Max 2012 in Review</a><br /> Ricky Grove</p> <p>Conclusion <br /> The new Nitrous Viewport alone is enough reason to upgrade. Throw in the iray renderer, better rigidbody dynamics, multiple small improvements (for a full list, check this link), and it's clear that this is an important and vital upgrade of 3ds Max. At the Autodesk luncheon during last year's SIGGRAPH conference, Autodesk gave a passionate and emphatic presentation, saying essentially, &quot;We are back and we are serious about making 3ds Max the best 3D program out there.&quot; After working with 3ds Max 2012 for a month now, I'm convinced that Autodesk means what it says. I expect even more improvements to the application as Autodesk continues its XBR (Excalibur) plan to &quot;revitalize the software at its core.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h2>3D World</h2> <p><a href="">Review: 3ds Max 2012</a><br /> by Lee Johnson</p> <p>Autodesk&rsquo;s 2012 update to 3ds Max brings big changes and improvements both under the hood and in the cockpit. 3D World takes a look at the highlights:<br /> <br /> PROS<br /> &bull; Performance increase in almost every area<br /> &bull; Several new render options<br /> &bull; Powerful and intuitive dynamics engine</p> <p>CONS<br /> &bull; Some toolsets incomplete (MassFX)<br /> &bull; Few new features &ndash; most are<br /> replacements or improvements<br /> A big step forward in the ground-up overhaul of 3ds Max. Definitely improvements worth upgrading for.</p> <hr /> <h2>Animation World Network</h2> <p><a href="">Review: Autodesk 3ds Max Entertainment Creation Suite Premium 2012</a><br /> By Brad Clark</p> <p>Final Thoughts<br /> The 3ds Max Entertainment Creation Suite 2012 for studios and individual artists is an incredible deal both for the cost savings and the range of applications included. It was not so long ago that it was enough to just have 3ds Max but the landscape of content creation has changed and having access to specialized applications for sculpting and animation are again important, offering greater artistic and creative freedoms that a single tool cannot.</p> <p>There are a few catches though and some things to consider in upgrading including the rather large set of bugs in the first release that riled up the userbase on the Area forums, even though most of the issues have been quickly fixed in the service pack. With any large code change problems get fixed and new ones show up so test your hardware and pipeline accordingly.</p> <p>I think that the upgrades and improvements are on the right path and many users both experienced or new to the software will find it a great new version. While the improvements to rendering and modeling are exciting, for me the unified animation system, better physics and file interoperability are excellent changes, hopefully creating fewer technical hurdles and shorter ramp up time between Autodesk software. Artists using the Entertainment Suites can focus on creating great content and not just workarounds.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h2>Studio Daily</h2> <p><a href="">REVIEW: Autodesk 3ds Max 2012</a><br /> Mike de la Flor<br /> <br /> Excalibur (XBR) Finally Wields Its Rewards in an Improved Viewport and Dynamics Engine<br /> <br /> Summary: If for no other reason current 3ds Max users would be wise to upgrade to 3ds Max 2012 for the new Nitrous viewport system. While not everyone will use some of the other new features like MassFx Rigid-Body or maybe iRay, everyone has to use the viewports. 3ds Max 2012 is a solid update delivering many key performance upgrades and important new tools and workflows.</p> <p>What&rsquo;s Cool: The new Nitrous Accelerated Graphics Core viewport system is the best thing to happen to 3ds Max in a long time, but not far behind is the debut of the MassFX Unified System.</p> <hr /> <h2>Blog Critics</h2> <p><a href="">Software Review &ndash; Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite 2012 Premium: 3ds Max</a><br /> Author: T. Michael Testi</p> <p>Autodesk has just released their 2012 editions of their Entertainment Creation Suites to offer artists and production facilities access to a powerful range of creative toolsets.</p> <p>If you have been looking to get into Autodesk 3ds Max for digital animation and 3D effects you can get a free trial from Autodesk. If you are an existing 3ds Max user, who is contemplating an upgrade to the latest edition, I think that with all of the changes that 3ds Max 2012 brings to the table this time, this is a must-have edition.</p> <hr /> <h2>GameDev.Net</h2> <p><a href="">3ds Max 2012 Review</a><br /> Kelly Murdoch</p> <p>Introduction (5.0/5.0 stars)</p> <p>Autodesk recently released new versions of their popular 3d packages including a new version of 3ds Max. 3ds Max is available as a stand-alone package or as part of the Entertainment Creation Suite bundled with Mudbox, MotionBuilder, and Softimage. Now that 3ds Max is available as part of suite, we are starting to see features that make it easier to work across the suite packages. Within 3ds Max 2012 are several options in the File menu that let you send the current scene to Mudbox, MotionBuilder, or to the ICE interface of Softimage. This is a huge efficiency gain for artists that use these packages.</p> <p>3ds Max 2012 is another huge leap forward for the software. Over time we are seeing that revolutionary features like the reactor simulation system and the viewport rendering are being phased out in favor of even better, more robust systems such as the MassFX simulation system and the Nitrous viewport display drivers. This evolutionary track is great news for users.</p> <p>In addition, 3ds Max continues to add the latest and greatest new technologies to the software such as Allegorithmic's Substance textures. In this way, the software improves using internal and external sources.</p> <hr /> <h2>Post Magazine</h2> <p><a href="">Review: Autodesk 3DS Max Entertainment Creation Suite 2012 <br /> </a>By: Oliver Zeller</p> <p>3DS Max 2012 has received an injection of Nitrous. An apt name for the new, accelerated viewport graphics core. Combined with optimizations from improved start-up time to a more responsive scene explorer, 3DS Max is once again a pleasure to use.</p> <p>One cannot understate the significance of Nitrous. Workflow efficiency with complex scenes became so problematic in the previous iteration, I contemplated a shift to Maya 2011 for rendering with V-Ray. Lengthy viewport updates caused severe delays to interface interactivity, where as an identical scene in Maya remained responsive with Outliner or Hypergraph accessible without discernible delay. It&rsquo;s analogous to updates in After Effects comp viewer bringing interactivity to a standstill, unlike compositing in Nuke.</p> <p>The difference in viewport and tool interaction in 2012 is astonishing. Max clearly outperforms Maya 2012&rsquo;s new Viewport 2.0 in speed and quality on a dual Xeon X5650, 12GB RAM, GeForce GTX 470. Even offering impressive viewport ambient occlusion and area shadows.</p> <p>Many years ago, Autodesk commenced development on a 3DS Max replacement named Nitrous. While development ceased on that project, it&rsquo;s fitting to see the name carry on in what is the best iteration of 3DS Max in years.</p> <p><br /> &nbsp;</p>Tue, 26 Jul 2011 20:00:00 UTC