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 3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com.
We look forward to hearing from you.