Hello, I am Martin Coven, a Product Designer for 3ds Max. My team and I have been working on many of the new features that make up 3ds Max 2017.1, now available. Also updated today, Arnold for 3ds Max, the 3ds Max Asset Library and soon an update that comes with Autodesk Stingray. We will examine those in a bit, but first, let me show you what we have been working on for Update 1.
Blended Box Mapping
Blended Box mapping is similar to box or cube mapping, but with a lot more control. Instead of applying UV's to the mesh, the map actually projects onto the mesh. You can choose 1, 3 or 6 maps to project. The maps that are projected and can be blended together in order to alleviate
Blended Box map allows you to project onto individual objects, such as boulders across a landscape, or on multiple objects that make up a complex model. Each method has a lot of flexibility given to you so you can make your models look how you want.
A special thank you goes out to Fausto De Martini for allowing us to use this fantastic model of a police drone to show off our new blended box map. To view more of his work, follow this link to Project Edge.
Data Channel Modifier
The Data Channel Modifier uses information derived from the mesh and then allows your to modify and re-purpose that data in different forms such as a selection, a map channel, vertex color, crease weight and many more.
Sometimes it's easier to show than try to explain, so here are some examples of how you could use the data channel modifier.
Here you see an example where we are using the curvature of the mesh to drive a mask that we use to blend materials for that warn paint along edges look.
The data channel modifier can be used for modeling as well. In this case we are using the edge angles of a mesh to automatically generate crease weights. Since the weights are automatic, you can continue to model and get a good representation of what the final model will be.
Creating masks that drive different materials or even scattering of objects can prove difficult when dealing with heavy meshes. With the data channel modifier, we can make this a procedural task now.
Using the length or angle of a edge can simplify what would be a complex problem. Here we are using the squashing or stretching of edges to drive morph targets.
MAXtoA 0.80 is our next major milestone of Arnold integration into 3ds Max. It is available now on the Solid Angle web site and requires 3ds Max 2017 SP2 or greater.
New Features in Arnold 0.80 for 3ds Max:
- Support for 3ds Max Photometric lights.
- New Volume object supporting OpenVDB files.
- Light Filter modifiers for Arnold lights.
- General Arnold light improvements.
- Hair and Fur support
- UI improvements for AOVs.
- Texture options.
- Diagnostics options.
Find out more here.
Autodesk Civil View update
For those of you that are using Autodesk Civil View in 3ds Max, you will now be able to import the latest FZP files from VISSIM to animate and display traffic simulations.
3ds Max Asset Library 1.3
NEW in 1.3! A new Welcome Screen helps you get started.
NEW in 1.3! View 3ds Max file thumbnails natively in the asset panel (#1 requested user feature).
NEW in 1.3! The Dependency Manager can re-path multiple 3ds Max file dependencies at once across many folders.
NEW in 1.3! View many types of image formats directly in the asset panel (check known issues for formats not supported)
NEW in 1.3! Deep search of 3ds Max files by stats such as face count, renderer type, version, and more! (Check the help docs linked in the app for more info.)
NEW in 1.3! Deep search of many image files by available properties such as resolution and bit depth.
NEW in 1.3! Drag and drop images directly into material editor map slots (requires 3ds Max 2017 Update 1).
Get the latest 3ds Max Asset Library here.
Level Sync with Autodesk Stingray
The next update to Autodesk Stingray will include Level Sync with 3ds Max 2017. In the past, one click linking from 3ds Max to Autodesk Stingray sent the entire scene or selected objects as one .fbx. While this makes using your 3ds Max scene in Stingray super simple. But for those that want more control, managing individual objects was less than super simple. With Level Sync, using your 3ds Max scenes will still be super simple, it's just that you will now have access to the individual object level in both 3ds Max AND Autodesk Stingray. The Autodesk Stingray team have some other big surprises for their next update as well, but we will cover that in later announcements.
Add to that over 55 different fixes that you've pointed out and requested and you can see that 3ds Max 2017.1 has a lot to talk about.
We hope you enjoy these new features and updates as much as we have enjoyed creating them. We feel like we are just scratching the surface of what you can do with these new tools and we can't wait to see where you take them!