Meet 3ds Max 2019!

By - - 3ds Max
5 mins
Last modification: 31 Aug, 2018


My name is Neil Hazzard, and I’m Principal Engineer for 3ds Max. I’m really pleased to present 3ds Max 2019, coming out this Thursday, March 22.

This release focuses on making it simpler and faster to create certain visual effects, and on features that make project collaboration and execution easier.

But before I dive into the details, I want to give a big shout-out to the 3ds Max plugin developer ecosystem.

The 3ds Max plugin developer ecosystem is critical to the success of 3ds Max users, as they enable specialized workflows for demanding use cases. With hundreds of 3ds Max developers registered in the Autodesk Developer Network program, and many more outside the program, the developer community is very active.

In order to be more responsive to your needs, the 3ds Max team has been releasing product updates more often. This delivers new capabilities, improvements, and quality enhancement on a regular basis.

As such, the collaboration between Autodesk and the 3ds Max third-party developer community is more crucial than ever, as it really is the best approach to providing a good experience to our mutual users.

We are excited to announce that a number of 3ds Max third-party plugin developers have been working hard, in close collaboration with the product team, to make their plug-ins available as early as possible following the release of 3ds Max 2019. For full plugin details, see this post.

I also want to mention here that 3ds Max 2019 will be shipping with the most recent MAXtoA plugin.

We expect to see more developers supporting 3ds Max 2019 soon – if you are a 3ds Max plugin developer and wish to be part of this movement, contact Laurent Gibert, 3ds Max Product Manager.

New in 3ds Max 2019: Faster content creation and editing

3ds Max now supports Open Shading Language (OSL) maps, with over 100 included shaders, from simple math nodes all the way to full procedurally created textures. You can edit the OSL shader text directly in the material editor, and get live updates in the viewport and ActiveShade. Shaders can be embedded into a scene or referenced externally.

We’re also adding procedural wood material functionality from Fusion 360. This is a highly customizable way of generating wood textures, and includes presets for a variety of woods (maple, cherry, oak, pine, ash, mahogany, and walnut). You can define the finish of the wood surface — gloss, semi-gloss, or painted — and take pores in the wood, ring thickness, and growth rate into account.

Based on the same wood texture available in Fusion 360, this functionality works closely with the Physical Material, with outputs that can be used directly in the material such as Roughness and Bump.

3ds Max 2019 introduces Booleans operations for splines: You can now create parametric Boolean operations on two or more open and closed shapes. This includes dynamic Chamfer/Fillets for smooth transitions at corners. Renderable spline-based geometry can also be capped with a new quad capping mode, which can be flat or spherical.

We’re also introducing a VR scene editing mode within 3ds Max interactive. You can edit layouts of scenes from directly within a VR headset using the VR controllers, with updates being pushed back live to 3ds Max. You can use this editor to arrange scenes, cameras, and assess camera previews in VR.

New in 3ds Max 2019: Project and pipeline management refinements

3ds Max 2019 makes it easier to manage projects, pipelines, and collaboration, with a number of refinements:
  • The projects tool has been updated to allow full control over the folder structure of your projects. What’s more, you can now create "empty" projects that do not have pre-assigned folder structures, and automatically switch between projects when opening a file from a different project.
  • You can now attach any string-based metadata to a 3ds Max scene file and access it without loading it into 3ds Max.
  • It’s also easier to share Alembic data between 3ds Max and other 3D tools, with support for UVs, layer names, material IDs, and vertex color.

We also focused on improving collaboration workflows in this release, by making it possible for you to share assets directly to the online Autodesk Viewer from the 3ds Max interface. There is no need for reviewers to install extra software or sign in to view the content – they can view, markup, and take screenshots of content directly in-browser, and all feedback can then be reviewed from within 3ds Max.

Also in 3ds Max 2019
Your feedback really is important to us. That’s why I wanted to highlight that this release includes over 150 fixes, many that were submitted by you, the 3ds Max user community. Thank you for your support and your valuable contributions to our AREA forum — we read everything you post.

Fixes in this release include:

  • Fixes to Civil View workflow
  • Updated all Civil View materials to generate renderer agnostic Physical Materials and the New Sun/Sky positioner
  • As part of the Alembic workflow enhancement we fixed a some additional issues
  • Fixed the redrawing issue for the Composite Map - Blending Mode drop-down list
  • We also made sure that in most cases, 3ds Max 2019 won’t steal focus from the desktop while starting up.
  • Other areas of improvement include viewports, fluids, file I/O, MCG, and Splines.

You’ll also notice that we’ve refined some previously added features, including Max Fluids, VR workflows in 3ds Max Interactive, Max Batch, and Spline Tools.
For a full list of fixes, see the 3ds Max 2019 release notes.
And finally … be a part of the conversation! Visit the 3ds Max Ideas page, submit feature requests, vote on existing requests, and talk to other users at

We look forward to hearing from you.






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Published In
  • 3ds Max
  • Film & VFX
  • Games
  • Design Visualization
To post a comment please login or register
| 2 years ago
I really appreciate the detailed article but I wanted to know if through the 3D max technology also shows the shadow, wind and water effects? I found some effects here
Edited by GweNe6LJ 2 years ago
| 3 years ago
And...this is why I switched to Blender 5 years ago and never looked back. If you want a million features that are outdated, buggy, or otherwise useless while the foundation of the software is unstable and bloated, I would recommend Max. If you want software that while lighter on features is lightning fast and super stable, switch to Blender. Even the current 2.8 alpha is far more stable than Max. Autodesk has completely ruined one of the best pieces of DCC software in history. At least it wasn't completely killed like (possibly the most innovative bit of DCC software in history) XSi.
| 3 years ago
Update 2? Maybe some top wishes from the idea-board.
| 3 years ago
Viewport is horrendous, no smooth zoom, rotate and transform. Flicks/glitches from a near object position to a random position several miles away. Running optimized Intel Xeon and Titan X so performance isn't the issue.
| 3 years ago ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Are you far away ... or lost?
Edited by ufHrNihJ 3 years ago
| 3 years ago
hello friends i am 3d visualizer please any buddy have job for me in any architect company .......... my name is omer shaikh my email address .
| 3 years ago
I think the best thing Autode$k could do is develop a new tool from scratch. From a developer's point of view 3ds max must be so difficult to work on. It's a mammoth! The amount of legacy code and tools in 3ds max must be very cumbersome and cause all sorts of dev issues. Unfortunately it does seem that Autode$k are software acquisition specialist rather than developers... buy it, re-brand it, leave it alone for 10years A fresh start would be really well placed.
| 3 years ago
Seconding the annoyance of Max losing the Lighting Analysis Tool. Very unfortunate when software gets worse with time. Looks like I might have to jump back to Rhino I guess.
| 3 years ago
No animation news since 1990. Great work again.
| 3 years ago
Hi: just caught up with the fact that although the Lighting Analysis Tool is still part of the 3DS Max Distro for 2018, it does not work because the renderer has been removed. Cannot see anything in this announcement that would persuade me that you are addressing this removal of the accurate and validated daylight calculation tool from the capabilities of 3DS without having a replacement plan? What am I to do with the 200 people a year who learn this as a means of doing Climate Based Daylight Analysis?
| 3 years ago
3DS 19. Has the curve editor for animation been fixed in this release?, as it is currently so slow that it can't be used!
| 3 years ago
Thank you for your hard work and making Max even better yet again.
| 3 years ago
Arnold is great, but without Iray Max is missing a GPU-render. To bad if you invested in Graphic cards ... When will Arnold with Gpu be released? Just tried Blender, and must say it's great, but might lack a lot of features compared to Max, I'm just doing ArchViz. Blender already has the choice between CPU/GPU... Max is crashing a lot, when will it ever be better? Ok, why complain, why not just change?! Maybe because Max is bundled with the rest of the AEC.
| 3 years ago
I personally like the improvements and software has been relatively stable for me. Most of my online games crash considerably more, and when 3ds Max crashes it's always because of something I did.
| 3 years ago
I'm so glad to be dropping my maintenance plan. What a waste of money.
| 3 years ago
This is very insulting. Especially for us who have been using max since version 3.1, in my case. Featured you added could have been a part of a small service pack. My 3ds max 2017 crashes all the time. Memory management bad bad bad. It lacks many features some free packages have for a long time. OSL maps??? Name me one serious 3D artist who designs interiors for clients who will benefit from it. Arnold? Are you serious?
| 3 years ago
Most insulting is why you released and called it "2019" with these tiny features at the beginning of 2018. Many plugins needed to recompile again and release just few month before. Why you do your business like this!
| 3 years ago
I found out about MAX 2019 when I visited the Corona-Renderer website. How about an email when you release a new version? I'm a registered user, my email address is with my account, am I missing something here?
| 3 years ago
I really, *really* wish i could blend 32 bits texture maps. The ability to blend 32 bit displacement maps (and bump, diffuse and spec as well) is the missing link when animating credible digital doubles. The tiny details provided by texture maps, should blend/morph along with the models polygons.
| 3 years ago
Meanwhile in Blender:
| 3 years ago
In my opinion passed year was a good year for Max users. Official Arnold Announcement, Max Fluid, Spline toolsets pack, OSL, Max intractive plus debug more than 500 bugs and lots of smaller features ... I do not say that is enough, but I think it is satisfying for one year when compare with before. Thanks for that but I'm asking for more attention to animation tools specially in character section.
Edited by F3TEU8Cg 3 years ago
| 3 years ago
The day when the dissatisfactions related to 3DSMAX will not unleash the passions ... it will be too late for him ... And personally, from now on ... I do not care I go elsewhere ... Nothing is lost for Autodesk, because even Jean Claude Vandamme to his public ;) Best regards
| 3 years ago
I still have 2 licences of 2015 still work great! Had to tweak a few options to accommodate my UHD monitor. Will not trade in those licences!
| 3 years ago
I think the most user are disappointed, because all the things autodesk are fixing now, are in most cases no new features, this are must haves, if you see ohter tools. I miss inovation. Autodesk increased the price for 3ds max, so i expact as costumer bugfixes an new features. I don´t want to pay for bad management. I still in hope. We will see. But i am testing Houdini, blender and modo in my freetime.
Edited by 1KgODaDq 3 years ago
| 3 years ago
So.. 3dsMax got Fluid system, Shading system from FX world, DeltaMush, Voxel and Heatmap Skinning, Alembic improvement, viewport which handles 100+ million polys, MCG and on and on in last 3 years. Of course, you might not get enough for "your" area all the time. But, 3dsMax users are from every imaginable field. Yes, it could have been better. But, I don't think grass is greener on other side, BTW, Houdini is as old as 3dsMax.
| 3 years ago
PART ONE ... If we complain, it may be because we put a lot of hope in 3ds MAX. Personally I work with since the first DOS version. And since a few years 3ds MAX is moving away from FX, animation ... and offers tools that do not correspond to what we need. It is a dinosaur filled with BEUGS ... when we are forced to use Arnold, Autodesk is not able to put a texture baking that works (render surface map, render map texture ... nothing works) ... CAT enhancement, BIPED, SKIN...a poor MassFX ... While younger software like houdini take giant steps ...please see this ( after cry ) If we moan, it's because we have a feeling of being robbed of our years of service ... we are forced (because of Autodesk's negligence) to learn another software and to leave ... and that's not what we wanted ...
| 3 years ago
PART TWO : ( because the messaging is limited) .../... Look at the delay of Mudbox compared to ZBrush ... Look at this old 3ds MAX ... video post, tools for combustion ... If we moan, it's because we want to evolve... If I want to paint, I will use Substance Painter or Mari If I want to sculpt, I will use Zbrush If I want to animate MAYA * If I want to make a quick motion design C4D AND 3DS MAX ??? to model ? to have a Swiss knife perfectible everywhere ... We do not know what it's used for this old 3DS MAX ... While HOUDINI (for example) responds clearly to what some users want as direction. That's why I moan now it's decided ... I definitely leave 3DS MAX (RIP) ... And I swear it's really sad!
Edited by ufHrNihJ 3 years ago
| 3 years ago
You can do a lot without any coding. It already comes with 101 OSL shader. It is an awesome addition to 3dsMax, Great job!
Edited by PqqFInuJ 3 years ago
| 3 years ago
Like some said here, why are you still using 3ds max if you keep complaining every years? There is a free alternative called Blender in case you don't know and they will release a massive update during the SIGGRAPH'18 in august: Blender 2.8 beta which will probably make the buzz in the AAA industry, more infos: Workbench engine coming. Eevee viewport demo: A rush called codequest will last for a minimum of 3 months starting in april with the most popular contributors working on it full time: You can follow the latest features added in Blender 2.8 every Monday in live here: The 2.79 released in september 2017 was pretty big (filmic, disney PBR shader, denoiser, shadow catcher and huge boost on OpenCL), with the bevel shader and principled volume released more recently, there is already plenty of great features available in this free software.
Edited by LOOrP330 3 years ago
| 3 years ago
Does anyone really care about these ''new features'' except for a few people? Most of us use external rendering engines anyway and build our own texmaps and materials. VR is not for everyone, etc. Why not try and work on speeding up viewports so they don't choke when the single f-ing thread gets peaked by Nitrous? What about editing models that have a lot of polys? Almost impossible! With Z-Brush or Mudbox you can sculpt all day long, but with MAX the model editing becomes a ''click and wait'' game even on systems with 1080Ti GPUs and overclocked i7-5960X and better CPUs! Fix that dumb stuff first, please.
Edited by DwFpbmuM 3 years ago
| 3 years ago
As usual almost everyone complains about every new major release of max that comes out and many says they will go to Houdini, Blender or something else instead, but still, they are here, complaining. Make your choise, go to Houdini or whatever you feel is the best choice for you and stop complaining. No one is forcing you to use 3ds max. I agree that there are many areas inside of max that needs attention and improvements, like modeling/unwrapping/cloth/fluids/PFlow/CAT and more, but I can ensure you that Houdini also suffering with bugs and needs improvements in some areas. I think that 2019 will be a good and solid release!
| 3 years ago
maybe they wait until most users are changing into the 3d Max subscription model and than their will be some significant changes? :D :P ;)
| 3 years ago
I dont get it, why dont you just kill Max like Softimage and get on with it?! Or maybe you just dont care what users want and you just insultingly continue making new useless versions with more bugs and no real game changer stuff so users would get pissed even more. Im really convinced to move on to Houdini, you have ruined Max's legacy, validity, prestige and esteem, autodesk is a lost cause. Rest in peace
Edited by NH6U8qxU 3 years ago
| 3 years ago
so shortly — zero work for main role: modeling/unwrapping.
Edited by JxP3Fbiq 3 years ago
| 3 years ago
is the uvw unwrap modifier fixed?
| 3 years ago
Solid release! OSL alone is huge! we cant wait to start using in production. But shape booleans opens the door to new effects not possible before in max. Fluids GPU accelerated viewport is sooo fast! and very nice up to date with alembic new possibilities. If we hat Fluids as a point realease, I wonder what we can have now!
| 3 years ago
i'm really disapointed with this update! every time a new version is coming out I take a look at Blender or Houdini and think "what keeps me stuck to 3D Max?" maybe its time for a change ....
| 3 years ago
It's unbelievable this is the worst update I have ever seen !! When we see what is proposed as update in Blender or Houdini we can be very disappointed by this new version Or for example Maya have some great tools like Mash or Ncloth and no integration in 3dsmax yet!! They work for the same company right? Some developers should take a look on the internet to see what conccurence is doing because you are very late! And finally you should work on a fluid update that was finally a good news but far from the level of a Maya version or Houdini flipfluids Regards
Edited by wMsMcEz7 3 years ago
| 3 years ago
Im impressed on how little improvements you make year after year and no one is complaining, How about doing a better job with polygon booleans? i just cant use it without a horrendous mesh after that. You have to make a better unwrap tool look at uvlayout (copy them please.) Zooming is a pain in the butt, sometimes i have to press 5 times Z key for focusing on a object. And even with viewport clipping activated i cant zoom very close with little objects. Is inacceptable that 3dsmax 2014 is the most estable yet.
| 3 years ago
James Stewart is >9000% correct. Speaking of plugins, why is it that before we had 2 max releases that could run a single set of plugins and now, all of a sudden, every release starting from 2017 requires a recompile? I find it hard to believe that this cannot be avoided in any way unless there's a purpose to it that is not being communicated.
| 3 years ago
Considering the buggy nature of everything that came after 3ds Max 2016 I can hardly wait to see how you've royally screwed things up for 2019. I mean, there is a plugin that works on 2018 SP1 but breaks in SP2+ as just one example. You haven't done a good job of keeping the SDK up-to-date, and you close it off to developer subscribers a great deal which makes creating free open source plugins that much more difficult. You need to get a handle on all of the things that make Max crash before you go adding new features. And by the way no one really cares about MaxtoA! Non-high-power users are fine with the ART renderer, and high power users choose a 3rd party plugin anyway (like VRAY, Corona, etc.)
| 3 years ago
Nice ...very nice i go to SideFX...