The 3ds Max team knows you depend on plugins to be ready and available for each release. That is why we’ve created the below conditions that allow you to easily migrate into the latest updates.
Quality: With our new update model and the investment we’ve been making in stabilizing the product, quality is no longer a concern when choosing a new version of 3ds Max.
Features: We built our product roadmap leveraging ideas from our public forums, users’ direct feedback, and in-person meetings to better align with future demand. View our newly released 3ds Max Public Roadmap which shares high-level direction for the product.
Plugins: In the past, 3rd party plugins have not always been available for each 3ds Max release. This year, we collaborated with over 40 developers and as a result 250 plugins are planned to support 3ds Max 2020 in the following week of the release.
Here's the full list. Please note the descriptions you see below have been provided by 3rd parties and are not Autodesk statements.
Used in combination with Substance Designer, the Substance plugin for 3ds Max gives users the ability to easily create physically based materials by opening and tweaking Substance files.
AMD Radeon™ ProRender is AMD’s powerful physically-based rendering engine that lets creative professionals use open industry standards to leverage GPU and CPU performance to produce stunningly photorealistic images in Autodesk 3ds Max.
- Using OpenCL™, Radeon™ ProRender supports both AMD GPUs and CPUs as well as those of other vendors
- AMD Radeon™ ProRender comes with its own library of 300+ materials optimized for use with AMD’s renderer
- Whatever your chosen workflow, AMD Radeon™ ProRender is fully integrated into Autodesk 3ds Max 2020
- New for version 2.5: Autodesk 3ds Max 2020 support, AI-accelerated denoising, and adaptive sampling
RPC Version 188.8.131.52
RPC Plug-ins provide the ability to place, edit, create, and render all types of RPC People, Trees, Cars and Object content. ArchVision now supports a full PBR workflow with this latest release of the RPC plugin for 3ds max. RPC’s are currently delivered through ArchVision Dashboard and the AVAIL content management platform. Enterprise, floating and single user licenses are available. You may download full trial versions of RPC Plug-ins for Autodesk products trials.archvision.com. Supported applications include:
- Autodesk Revit 2016 and newer
- Autodesk AutoCAD 2015 and newer
- Autodesk 3ds Max 2017 and newer
Supported rendering engines include:
- Arnold (NEW!)
- ART (NEW!)
- V-Ray NEXT (NEW!)
- Corona (coming Q2 2019)
Naviswork NWC Export Utility 2020
The distributable NWC file exporter enables project teams using Navisworks software to generate whole-project models for simulation and analysis. Team members can generate the optimized NWC file directly from design applications without the need for a licensed seat of Navisworks. The NWC exporter works with a range of products, including AutoCAD and Revit software-based products, as well as 3ds Max, Bentley MicroStation and Graphisoft ArchiCAD software. The NWC file format supports transfer of both object geometry and associated metadata.
Shotgun Integration 0.5.6
The Shotgun integration for 3dsMax has been updated for compatibility with Max 2020. This integration brings the tracking and collaboration features of Shotgun directly to artists working in 3ds Max and helps connect them to the rest of the studio.
Anima is the 3d people animation application developed specifically for architects and designers, ideal for creating amazing 3d animated people quickly and easily!
With its artificial intelligence system, it allows 3d human characters to avoid each other, to get on and off stairs, escalators, tracks and moving sidewalks. With an incredibly simple workflow, you can create complex crowd simulations in seconds.
GeoMaps is a collection of 3ds Max maps that allows the user to shade the underlying object based on its geometry. This unique capability permits geometry based shading – a capability not previously available on with 3ds Max.
MAX2AE is a full featured plugin for 3ds Max that bridges the gap between 3ds Max and After Effects. Finally an easy, accurate and highly efficient way to integrate After Effects elements into your 3ds Max renders, matching all aspects and parameters of 3ds Max cameras, lights and objects.
NewView is a 3ds Max plugin that allows users to view their scenes using a detached, time-independent viewport.
NewView VR is a 3ds Max plugin that allows users to view their scenes in real time with the Oculus Rift headset.
pMorph is a 3ds Max plugin that delivers Progressive Morphing – the ability to have the animation of a modified object be driven by the selection of frame(s) from the animation of another object.
SuperMesher is a 3ds Max plugin that allows you to cache animated geometry regardless of its topology and number of objects including pFlow particles. The cache is baked out to a separate file which can be loaded into any version of 3ds Max 2015 or higher. No reference is held to the original objects so they can be deleted or modified without consequence. Because the result is one single mesh, SuperMesher automatically generates appropriate material IDs and Multi-Sub materials.
Vexus is a standalone node based editor designed for Scene Assembly and Render Pass Management in 3ds Max and is a superior replacement to RPM, Scene States, or LPM. The unique design of Vexus allows users to work with massive scenes for any kind of project, both small and large. Vexus removes repeating scene setup work with its dynamic tokening system and flexible framework. Artists can save, reuse, and share setups.
Scene Manager 1.2.0
Scene Manager provides an intuitive interface that makes working with heavy scenes in 3ds Max a breeze, a time saver for 3D Artists and Architects.
Most tools currently being utilized by Archviz professionals were originally developed for the VFX industry and were never designed with architectural visualization in mind. Pulze Scene Manager was created by Archviz professionals as a direct solution to this long-term industry problem. Scene Manager collects all important settings that are scattered throughout in 3ds Max and brings them together in a unified interface. It helps users create and sustain a more efficient workflow.
finalToon™ opens up a whole new world of illustration and cartoon rendering effects for 3ds Max. Thanks to all the unique features finalToon™ has to offer, you can now add greater versatility to any projects involving NPR (Non-Photo-Realistic Rendering) with ease.
Big Speedup - finalRender Subscription Drop 2 represents the biggest enhancement to date. A new biased Lightcache system, a general reduction in overall memory usage and new algorithms throughout, offers the best trueHybrid™ rendering experience yet. GPU kernel memory usage has been reduced by up to 50% on newer Nvidia cards. True unbiased CPU and GPU processing time has been sped up by up to 25%. Now, considerable fewer passes are needed to achieve a cleaner result in less time.
The most advanced PSD file exporter for 3ds Max available on the market. Now you can re-adjust nearly everything in a rendering with Adobe Photoshop or any another application that supports PSD files.
Procedural Multi-Physics simulation has never been better and more advanced; fluid simulations and rigid body interactions fully optimized to resemble real-world physics behavior. thinkingParticles simulates with accuracy WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) real time, and with amazingly fast simulation. Our latest Drop 7 delivers greater Procedural Volumetric Controls and Shape Operators. TP 6.7 enhanced SPH Solver offers even greater stability. Ongoing enhancements and new features from Drop 6.1 to date.
Phoenix FD for V-Ray Next 3.13
Phoenix FD for 3ds Max is a fluid dynamics simulator that is seamlessly integrated with Autodesk 3ds Max and V-Ray. Phoenix FD is capable of a wide range of effects including fire, smoke, liquids, flames, explosions, ocean waves, splashes, spray, mist to list just a few. Quick presets and fast setup make it easy to get started, and its powerful simulation engine offers complete control over more complex effects.
V-Ray Next for 3ds Max Update 1.2
V-Ray for 3ds Max is the software of choice for high-profile companies operating in everything from architecture and design to visual effects in film and television. Whether it’s advertising living spaces for IKEA or bringing Thanos to life in Avengers: Infinity War, Chaos Group’s physically-based rendering engine helps artists visualize their best ideas with faster ray tracing, cleaner sampling, and highly accurate rendering. Get Update 1 for V-Ray Next for 3ds Max 2020.
Corona Renderer 3 for 3ds Max (hotfix 2)
Corona Renderer from Render Legion a.s. is a high-performance (un)biased photorealistic renderer, available for Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 to 2020. It delivers predictable, reliable, and physically plausible results with no compromises in quality. Render Legion a.s. became part of Chaos Group in August 2017 and specialize in developing easy to use, powerful and affordable software for 3D computer graphics and visual effects.
VUE offers professional CG artists a complete toolset for creating, rendering and exporting exceptionally rich and realistic natural environments in 3ds Max. Create and edit beautifully detailed natural environments using your application's standard manipulators.
Ultimate hair, fur, and feathers solution for 3ds Max.
Simulation made easy. Using NVidia Flex technology quickly simulate fluids, soft and hard bodies directly inside 3ds Max.
Visualize and manage 3ds Max scenes with ease and comfort. Zookeeper opens new workflows never possible with standard 3ds Max UI.
GrowFX 1.9.9 SP8
GrowFX is a parametric modeling plugin for 3ds Max, allowing to generate any vegetation: trees, bushes, grasses, flowers, vines, etc. Plants can interact with other objects of the scene. Also, the plugin allows to customize any animation, such as the wind effect or the growth of plants from seeds. GrowFX allows to implement any ambitious idea of animated vegetation.
FStorm Renderer 1.3.2
FStormRender is a new GPU powered, unbiased render with good performance/quality trade. It is very simple, fast and realistic with convenient materials and light sources.
Icube R&D Group
One of the most popular scattering plug-ins for 3ds Max developed since 2007. Big list of supported rendering engines with SDK provided for adding any others.
MadCar is a plug-in for quick rigging of wheeled vehicles and their animations by simulating the control. MadCar supports any number of wheels, and with any of their mutual arrangements including motorcycles. Any number of trailers is also supported.
Creates car traffic flow for urban visualizations, populate city with thousands of cars, buses and trucks, It has flexible road system with parking, bus stops, traffic lights, bridges and complicated roundabouts, dynamics calculation makes driving on complicated surfaces more realistic, and the AI system helps cars to operate independently.
Helps to generate topographically accurate terrains from topographical data or a set of splines as well as lay roads.
Vray Pattern 1.081
Vray Pattern is a 3d procedural texture which allows you to periodically multiply geometry without extra memory consumption, which is fundamentally different from the technologies that are used in scattering plug-ins.
Forest Pack 6.2
Forest Pack provides a complete solution for creating vast areas of objects, from trees and plants to buildings, crowds, aggregates, ground-cover, rocks and more. Countless studios rely on Forest Pack ’s production-tested algorithms and native shaders to render scenes with virtually unlimited numbers of objects and polygons, all without putting a strain on computer resources. Forest Pack now supports for 3ds Max 2020, with the benefit of improved renderer compatibility, increased stability for IPR rendering and performance boosts added in recent releases.
RailClone is a unique array-based approach to asset creation is fast, efficient, and easy-to-learn. Use the convenient node-based editor to create rules that combine, sequence, transform, deform, slice, bevel, and distribute instanced geometry or proxies. Create variation by randomising objects, UV mapping, and material IDs. In addition to support for 3ds Max 2020, recent releases add a host of features to make RailClone even more flexible. With RailClone, creating sophisticated parametric models has never been simpler.
Atom is a new geometry plugin for 3ds Max. It creates similar effects as you can see in After Effect’s Plexus. Atom uses Particle Flow to generate lines, points and faces between the particles. So all you do with Pflow can be used by Atom, any simulation, MassFX particles…etc
Bezier Attractor 1.0
To easily create nice wave deformations, splashes, vortex, and a lot of different organic deformations. It can be applied on geometries and splines. It uses a spline object to attract, repulse or rotate vertices.
This tool is derived from EchOoo and Multimesher. It’s very helpful to combine multiple animated meshes into one, without losing their animations and deformations.
This tool is inspired from tools you can find in 2D animation software, like the Onion Layers in Flash or the Echo effect in After Effects. It’s a new max object where you can pick different sources and offset their time animation, but also divide this time offset by the number of source copies you want. You can create nice animated duplication effects, for motion graphics or simply to check your animation without using trajectories.
Inspired by what Pixar showed on Presto, this tool will really speed up your rigging workflow, but most of all your animation efficiency. You don’t need to create additional object to control your rigs, everything is triggered by predefined mesh zones and your mouse movements.
So the advantage here, is that it doesn’t slowdown your scene by adding more elements, and most of all, you can control your rig directly on the mesh, without any visual interference, painful Controller selection or separate UI. Everything becomes very obvious and intuitive. It seems very obvious that it will work well on facial rigs, but you can really control a lot of different types of rigs.
Fur Guides Painter will drastically speed your hair & Fur, Ornatrix and HairFarm workflow.
Super simple brushes to quickly brush fur, with auto flow option.
Mesh Insert is a plugin inspired from Polystein for Modo.
It speeds up your modeling process by replacing face selections by an asset from your library,
and merged to your base mesh. Great for hard mesh and organic modeling too!
It works like a morpher, but on top of an animated mesh. It can be placed over a skin modifier, or anything like a point cache or an alembic. Each morph target follows the deformation of a reference vertex, so whatever the animation does before the modifier, the morph will always follow properly. That’s really handy to add and animate deformations that your rig can’t do, or add different morphologies to copies of the same animated mesh.
Pose Space Deformation plugin. It is pretty similar to the SkinMorph : Corrective poses driven by your Rig. With a different pose interpolation behavior. The SkinMorph modifier drives the poses depending on the angle between 2 bones. This one doesn’t use angles between poses, but distance between two points, which solves the angle problem, and open new possibilities.
It gives you all the freedom that even the best rig can’t. You can sculpt your poses in animation at a specific time, and your corrective poses are blended on top of your mesh deformations. It can be applied on top of any mesh deformations like a skin modifier, a point cache, a cloth simulation, an alembic cache.
To mesh particle trajectories with growing meshes. Different mesh choices and growing options. All you can do with PFlow, you can mesh it’s animation with this tool, and create nice motion graphics effects.
PhysX Painter is made to very quickly populate your scenes with your assets in a very natural way. It allows you to create them using a brush, and automatically place them with Rigid bodies simulation. Using this plugin will drastically improve your workflow and help you to make more believable scenes in less time.
Create Snow exactly where you want, but it could be used for many different things. Can be used with BlobMesh or the Frost option (requires a license of Thinkbox Frost). Directly paint snow geometry on selected objects.
TopoLogiK is a new Retopology tool for 3ds Max. It brings a more procedural, parametric and efficient approach to retopology in 3ds Max.
UI Toolkit, is a series of new 3ds Max scripted plugins, to quickly create modern & sci-fi UI and motion graphics directly in 3ds Max. With a lot of procedural parameters and ways to animate and link them together.
VECmap tools is a new toolset to paint and use vector maps inside 3ds Max. This tool allows you to paint vector maps directly on your meshes, and use them to drive particles, UV or mesh deformations, Vray Fur and probably other things.
Laubwerk Player is a loader for intelligent plant models bundled in lines of content packages Plants Kit Freebie and Plants Kit 1-12.
Iray Render 1.9
Unleash the full power of Iray directly within your 3ds Max workflow. Iray for 3ds Max offers a seamless integration within the 3ds Max interface with a deep exposure of Iray technology.
The site was originally just a link collection with a news page, but when 3ds Max 9 came out, David Baker started contacting programmers who had written plugins for 3ds Max but had stopped updating them. Some of them gave the source code, and David started recompiling them for the latest versions of 3ds Max. At the last count he’s keeping about 170 plugins alive and up-to-date.
Power NURBS Pro 16
Provides CAD type modeling (fillets, Booleans, shelling, offset, blending, etc.) inside of 3ds Max.
Power RhinoToMax 16
Imports Rhino files into 3ds Max.
Power ScanToNURBS 16
Converts scanned mesh geometry into CAD formats (to export to CAD systems).
Power SubD-NURBS 16
Converts SubD models into CAD formats (to export to CAD systems).
Power Translators 16
Imports CAD files (STEP, IGES, SAT, Rhino) into 3ds Max.
Power Translators Pro 16
Imports CAD files (STEP, IGES, SAT, Rhino, SOLIDWORKS) into 3ds Max, and contains extension tools for cleanup, repair and creation of CAD geometry inside of 3ds Max.
Power Translators Universal 16
Imports native CAD files (SOLIDWORKS, Inventor, Pro/E, UG, Catia, etc.) into 3ds Max.
KeyHydra's goal is to enhance user's speed and comfort when using 3ds Max, it does so by increasing in view-port operations and reducing click amounts as much as possible. It contains three services:
- KeyHydra Shortcuts aims to redefine the interaction between user and keyboard and enable Multi-Tap and Context sensitives shortcuts. One single key for X behaviours. KeyHydra 2020 come with a simpler learning curve and ease the creation of context sensitives shortcuts.
- KeyHydra LazerCut provides an interactive Boolean workflow. Using Viewport as canvas to project boolean shapes from. KeyHydra 2020 allow now to turn any mesh to Choosen Boolean Cutter.
- KeyHydra WheelCtrl, allows the user to control any modelling settings with the Mouse wheel for faster and more intuitives modeling sessions.
Octane Render 4.02.1 & 2018.1
The world’s first and fastest GPU-accelerated, unbiased, physically correct renderer.
Pencil+ 4 for 3ds Max 4.1.2
PSOFT Pencil+ 4 for 3ds Max is a non-photorealistic rendering. plugin which can reproduce the appearance of pen-and-ink and color pencils drawings as well as animation cells.
Redshift is an award-winning, production ready GPU renderer for fast 3D rendering and is the world's first fully GPU-accelerated biased renderer.
SmartRefs is a new advanced external reference plugin for Autodesk 3ds max. With this tool you can Reference external files but keeping the ability to modify and animate the objects from that reference, in a similar way of the references of Autodesk Maya, but even more advanced.
This tool is designed for artists and teams of any size, to allow them to have a better pipeline where big scenes could be split in several smaller scenes working as a whole in a seamless environment.
3D paint and object replace tool.
Inspects your scene for issues and fix them before working on a scene. 5* rated by 3DWorld Magazine.
The IgNite toolset includes everything you need in production with more than 200 tools plus a expanding selection of bespoke plugins, allowing you to optimize and repair models, automate the setup HDRI lighting, relink projects, asset library, MAXScript loader, SiNiScript, spline tools and much more.
Universal proxy with round-trip editing and asset lock.
Random scattering of objects.
Parametric modeler that allows you to build simple repetitive assets or complex models, with an easy to use UI.
tyFlow 0.16 (Beta)
tyFlow is a multi-faceted particle plugin suite for 3ds Max. Originally conceived as a spiritual successor to Particle Flow, its high-performance solvers can quickly simulate all kinds of complex visual effects. Traditional particles, soft-bodies, cloth, ropes, debris, crowds, and all sorts of other physical phenomena are tyFlow's specialty.
FBX Exporter 2018.2
The Unity FBX Exporter package makes it smooth and easy to send geometry and animation from Unity 2017.3 or later to any application that supports FBX and back again with minimal effort.
Advanced Grid Ops 1
Advanced functions added onto native Grid objects via a custom attribute to enhance working with custom grids.
Arch Primitive 1.42
Geometry Primitive to build parametric arches for BSP style games.
Custom Shape object that makes splines along the borders of Editable Poly objects.
Brushify Modifier 1.17
Modifier to make geometry cleaner for BSP style games by adding functions like snapping vertices to the world grid and retriangulating non-convex quads into convex quads.
Geometry plugin to build convex wall systems and block geometry using splines for BSP style games. Many advanced controls for controlling all aspects of the meshes.
Delete Faces Modifier 2.12
Advanced face deletion modifier.
Geometry Plugin to make simple foliage and decals.
Normal Tools 1.51
Advanced tools for working with Edit Normals Modifier; adds a custom attribute rollout to the Edit Normals modifier with many extra functions and tools to optimize normal editing workflows.
PFM Bitmap I/O 1
Straight recompile to add PFM (Portable Float Map bitmap support into 3ds Max).
Geometry Plugin with two geometry classes designed to help render complex geometry either into tiling textures or into sprite sheets.
Geometry Primitive to clone meshes along splines with many advanced spacing and variation controls.
Select Faces Modifier 1.1
Advanced face selection modifier.
Geometry plugin to build convex block geometry from the surfaces of other geometry for BSP style games.
Slice Modifier Tools 1.2
Advanced functions added to the Slice Modifier via a custom attribute to enhance capabilities of native Slice Modifier.
Wall Worm 4
Complete pipeline for the Source Engine with loaders, importers, exporters and advanced tools for 3ds Max. Includes MDL loaders, VTF bitmap support and more.
Bringing your ideas to life
Autodesk is committed to responding quickly to 3ds Max user feedback. That’s why this release includes many of which were submitted by the 3ds Max user community at 3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com.
Consult the 3ds Max 2020 Release Notes for further information.
For more details, see What’s New in 3ds Max and visit the 3ds Max Public Roadmap