3ds Max 2012 Service Pack 2 is now available

Posted by Shane Griffith, 24 September 2011 7:00 pm

Our goal is to continue to deliver the highest value and quality products to our customers, with a single objective in mind: your success.

In effort to deliver on this goal we've recently released another monster Service Pack with 87 fixes to issues and crashes reported through Autodesk Support or our CER system.

Important information:

3ds Max 2012 Service Pack 2 is a cumulative update, it includes the following Hot Fixes and Service Packs:

  • Hot Fix 1 – Autodesk 3ds Max 2012
  • Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 Service Pack 1
  • Hot Fix 2 – Autodesk 3ds Max 2012

Previous 3ds Max 2012 & 3ds Max Design 2012 Hot Fixes and Service Pack 1 are not required.

Based on your product version, download one of the following self-extracting executable files to any temporary location:

Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 Service Pack 2

Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2012 Service Pack 2


What's Fixed?

Feature Area



  • Horizontal & Vertical constraints in the Curve Editor now work correctly.
  • Using Undo to disconnect a parameter-wiring wire would cause a program error. This has been fixed
  • Using soft selection in the Curve Editor no longer causes a program error.
  • In multiple cases, incorrect values were being set in the Reaction Manager. This has been fixed.


  • Service Pack 1 introduced an issue with IK/FK and Num IK Bone parameters causing motion to be incorrect. This has been fixed.
  • Moving bones no longer distorts the character rig.
  • Twist segments added to the Crab preset could cause a program error when opening the Motion Layer. This has been fixed.
  • Adding a leg to a non-pelvis hub now works correctly and no longer moves the leg to another position.
  • Multiple issues with twist bones have been fixed.
  • Adding bones no longer affects the rest of the hierarchy.
  • Some users reported a program error when toggling animation mode. This has been fixed.
  • Shift-cloning CAT rig elements could cause a program error. This has been fixed.
  • Resetting the program no longer leaves CAT foot platforms in the new scene after using the CAT motion layer path node.
  • Using the ‘Add extra controller’ button on CAT objects now works correctly.
  • Right-click to cancel a CAT base human now correctly cancels the creation.
  • ‘Manipulation causes stretching’ now transforms and animates correctly.
  • The femur bone in the Horse preset rig now transforms correctly.
  • The Horse preset rig skull would deform incorrectly when checking the Keyframed & Procedural checkboxes in Spine Control. This has been fixed.
  • The Twist Bones Segment field in the Marma Blue Jeans preset rig now works correctly.
  • Setting Num IK Bone to zero in the hand no longer causes incorrect animation.
  • In some cases, bone shapes would change when translated. This has been fixed.
  • Selecting options in the CATParent CATrig Parameters rollout before creating a CATParent no longer causes a program error.
  • The ‘Auto Map’ button in Capture Animation no longer causes a program error.
  • The Human preset rig leg would disappear when translating the foot platform and ankle sub-objects. This has been fixed

Compound Objects

  • ProCutter via MAXScript would give unpredictable results or program errors. This has been fixed.

Customer Error Report (CER)

  • Many customers reported a program error related to multi-threading. This has been fixed.

FBX & FBX File Link

  • Files now load correctly when using the Combine By Category, Combine By Family, and Combine As On Object options.
  • New geometry now uses the current material definition when Preserve Material Definition is enabled.
  • Daylight systems in the scene no longer get removed when using the FBX File Link to reload a scene that has the Daylight System option Disabled in the reload options.
  • Revit FBX files with missing maps on Revit export no longer import with incorrect map paths.


  • A common program error users were encountering with the iray renderer has been identified and fixed. This was caused by GPU rendering being enabled when no GPUs were available.
  • Fixed support for “no diffuse bump”. The mia_material’s “no diffuse bump” option, along with both “standard” and “overall” bump maps are now respected.
  • Fixed glossy refractions using a new glossy refraction lobe that loses less energy than the mia_material’s.
  • Fixed an issue with translucent surfaces incorrectly calculating light samples on the backside of a surface, resulting in improved render times for translucent surfaces.
  • Fixed index of refraction behavior with nested geometry volumes.
  • The mr (mental ray) Sky Portal object now more correctly “gathers” existing sky lighting in interior scenes, resulting in improved render times.
  • Large resolution images can now be rendered where the GPU previously failed due to insufficient memory. The iray renderer automatically enables this whenever the frame buffer is too large to fit on the GPU.
  • GPU memory overrun was fixed for large-resolution imagery in exchange for a small performance loss.


  • Fixed rollout state changing to Advance.
  • Fixed order of rollout menus.
  • Very small objects used in Composite mesh generation no longer cause a program error.
  • Changing the high-velocity collision minimum speed value now works correctly.
  • The Sleep setting in the World tab no longer causes a MaxScript error.
  • An nvpx.ExportPhysXScene error dialog has been updated to be easier to understand.
  • Bake now works when the scene contains Bipeds.
  • Having the Dynamics Explorer or Scene Explorer open no longer negatively affects previewing the simulation.
  • Remove Skeleton now removes all Kinematic Skeletons, not just the first one selected.
  • Calculate At Current Frame now works correctly.
  • The Rigid Body modifier UI no longer redraws multiple times when opening.
  • The inflation value in the Multi-Editor now supports negative values for convex mesh types.
  • Selecting and moving MassFX constraints now support the type-in transform.
  • Using a Plane with box mesh type now simulates with the correct collision mesh shape.
  • You can now Undo the Convert To Custom Mesh function.
  • Rigid body collisions now behave correctly with back facing geometry.
  • Undo now works after grouping bones in a kinematic skeleton.
  • The MassFX SDK now correctly supports contact reports.
  • Creation of a new mesh in MassFX rigid body can now be undone.

Compact Material Editor

  • Double-clicking to add a material from the standard material library now correctly copies the material name as well.

Nitrous viewports

  • The Align tool now works correctly with scaled groups.
  • When using ProBoolean and ProCutter, the operands now display correctly.
  • XRef objects now display textures in viewports.
  • The Autodesk library material ‘Andiroba’ no longer causes a program error.
  • Dummy objects now display correctly in Nitrous viewports.
  • Fixed a case that would cause a program error when opening a .max file.
  • When using File Link, FBX files from Revit via Combine By Material geometry would appear transparent when using ‘Show Realistic Material With Maps’. Such files now display correctly.


  • Directional lights were not casting the correct shadows when set to ‘Adv Ray Traced’ shadows. This has been fixed.


  • A program error could occur when you pressed Tab or Space Bar while using the Push/Pull paint options. This has been fixed.

Samples Conten

  • The volumeSelToVcolors.max file would cause a program error when you opened it. This has been fixed.

Send To

  • Send To from Mudbox now loads animation in 3ds Max Design 2012.
  • Send To to Softimage XSI now behaves correctly when no objects are selected.

Unwrap UVW

  • The Stitch tool custom button now uses the settings from the Stitch dialog.
  • Filtered selections now display correctly.


  • Zoom Extents now works correctly with helper objects.
  • Autodesk Materials now display transparency correctly.
  • Realistic materials now respect the ‘Use Environment Background’ check box.
  • Using hardware shading, Skylight, and mr Sky Portals viewport settings together no longer cause a program error.
  • Additional improvements have been made to correctly support unlocking the computer when the program is running.

Viewport Canvas

  • In some cases the paint tool would cause a program error. This has been fixed.


Please note that iray in SP2 converges faster than before. A single iteration may take slightly longer to compute in SP2 than previously, but that is only because it is now computing more per iteration. So essentially, it takes fewer amounts of iterations to come to a noise-less image. If you simply set a given a mount of iterations and compare the results the actual clock time will be higher in SP2, but only because it made an even cleaner image than it would have previously.

Experiencing additional problems or crashes? Please make sure we are aware of these issues and have the right information to solve them. Reporting stability problems, defects, or feature ideas to web forums is not the best way to get the results you desire. The 3ds Max team provides several ways for you to get this information to us, please see below for a few of the most common ways...

Running into an application failure or crash? Autodesk’s Customer Error Reporting (CER) makes it easy for you to send the details of the software error to us for analysis.

For more information see: www.autodesk.com/cer

For issues not resulting in a CER we provide a web form to report general product problems/defects.

For more information see: www.autodesk.com/3dsmax-defectsubmission

Have an idea for a feature or tweaks to existing workflows? The 3ds Max team values this feedback and has created an uservoice feedback forum for collecting 3ds Max feature priorities along with new ideas.

For more information see: 3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com





Shane Griffith
Product Manager - 3ds Max & 3ds Max Design
Media and Entertainment Division
Autodesk, Inc





Posted 23 September 2011 1:08 pm

lots of fixes, thank you!


Posted 23 September 2011 4:09 pm

I cannot help the feeling that iRay performance is now significantly worse, and even worse with portal lights present. I will try to get rid of this service pack, and do some test for comparisons. But judging from first look, iray performance now seems really bad.


Posted 24 September 2011 4:23 am

No mention of the Alt+MMB Arc Rotate Lag?


Posted 24 September 2011 5:54 am

Samab: It seems to be less significant now, but still present, mainly with 2+ million poly objects. With orbit tool present it bottom right corner, there is still absolutely no lag when orbiting or panning at all. ((


Posted 24 September 2011 9:18 am


If you have installed PhysX 2.6.1 you MUST uninstall it prior to installing SP2. See the following thread for more details.


Posted 24 September 2011 10:38 am

PhysX is something you download direct from nVidia - it is not part of Max but will work with Max. And conflict with SP2 unless you remove it.


Posted 24 September 2011 11:01 am

@Samab... per Ken's SP1 BLOG, this important fix did NOT make it in SP2... uggh.

Thanx Steve for the important PhysX info. Will save a LOT of headache...which sounds like Shawn already encountered unfortuneately.


Posted 24 September 2011 6:32 pm

I guess Alt+MMB lag will be fixed with Max 2013! Just guess.


Posted 24 September 2011 8:32 pm

The way things go, u would think... But, plenty o time for more hotfixes and service packs until the next 2013 release. Will give autodesk credit for the more frequent fixes sooner rather than later... But then again, seems they were needed badly anyways, otherwise the product is basically a lemon. I.e. CAT... Delivered NOT working? Assume why SO MANY CAT fixes. Imagine if by now no fixes were ever done.... U would have a rather upset crowd of users.

Since CAT was so incomplete, seems all that time for fixing 3ds I.e. Alt+mmb lag has been dedicated to CAT and NOT to such a major annoyance as the lag problem. I think user interaction of the product should be priority... This whole lag thing makes using max feel so clunky instead of "flowing smoothly" for fast user action to get crap done.


Posted 26 September 2011 2:19 am

Shane, r u planning to update the documentation? The mental ray core is updated with SP2, but the mental ray release notes @ http://docs.autodesk.com doesn't reflect the recent changes.


Posted 26 September 2011 5:44 am

I see more and more people confirming that iRay in this SP is indeed significantly slower :/

Shane Griffith

Posted 26 September 2011 7:07 am

Please note that iray in SP2 converges faster than before. A single iteration may take slightly longer to compute in SP2 than previously, but that is only because it is now computing more per iteration. So essentially, it takes fewer amounts of iterations to come to a noise-less image. Of course, if you simply set a given a mount of iterations and compare the results, than yes, the actual clock time will be higher in SP2, but only because it made an even cleaner image than it would have previously. I hope this clears things up for everyone.

@moulder6, we didn't add any new features and the fixes were documented in the SP2 readme.


Posted 26 September 2011 8:13 am

Sorry, maybe i wasn't clear enough. I wasn't asking about new features, but rather the mental ray specific core fixes/changes that are lsited here:

The last release note published are for mental ray version - the one that max 2012 originally shipped with. With SP2 the mental ray version is now, but the documentation isn't updated accordingly, and no, the mental ray core changes aren't documented in the readme.

Thanks for ur attention!

Shane Griffith

Posted 26 September 2011 8:43 am

@moulder6 the mental ray core changes are listed in the iray section of the readme. that's all that we took and tested in our build of the code.

Shane Griffith

Posted 26 September 2011 8:51 am

@Eugenio we're still working on better support for modeling workflows with Nitrous. edge face display is a known issue, just not an easy one to support properly. thank you for bringing this to our attention again as we are currently working through the priorities of what to focus on next for Nitrous.

Shane Griffith

Posted 26 September 2011 2:13 pm

thanks, we're looking into it.


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Posted 29 September 2011 8:36 am

strange things, after SP2 in iray mirrored materials do not cast reflective caustics...


Posted 29 September 2011 8:37 am

with mirror material or A&D with reflection set to 1

Shane Griffith

Posted 29 September 2011 8:43 am

@ jonahhawk, just tested from my home connection and it download fine. might be something blocking it with your antivirus or browser?

@ AdeptusOne, thanks for this feedback I'll pass it along.


Posted 30 September 2011 6:24 am

In addition to my prev. comment, photometric lights and self-illuminated materials do not cast reflective caustics, only env. map casts them, but they seem to be not with an equivalent brightness even in case of full mirror.

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