Autodesk revamps 3ds Max 2020 with faster playback

Autodesk today released the latest version of its 3D modeling tool: 3ds Max 2020.

3ds Max is the company’s 3D modeling, animation and rendering software. The newest version adds user-requested features that will make playback faster, increase flexibility, and improve the software’s performance.

“Whether creating a character for a feature film or designing a building, we want 3ds Max users to have all of the tools they need in their back pockets to achieve their artistic visions without ever compromising on creativity,” shared Nicolas Fonta, 3ds Max Sr. Product Line Manager, Autodesk, Media and Entertainment. “3ds Max 2020 continues to focus on quality and stability like its predecessor while also introducing several improvements that speed up the content creation process and free artists to focus on what matters most.”

Autodesk uploaded a video to YouTube to summarize the changes:

Here’s what’s new with 3ds Max 2020

Performance enhancements

Users of 3ds Max 2020 will see faster speeds compared to the previous version of 3ds Max. That is due to Validity Intervals, accelerated SetNormals MaxScript function and other features being added to the software. Plus, playpack is will reportedly be more accurate in the Viewport Framerate.

3ds Max 2020 with a more accurate framerate display
3ds Max 2020 has a more accurate framerate display. Image courtesy Autodesk.

New Create Animation Preview features

3ds Max 2020 adds Create Animation Preview features that enhance the user experience. It also enables faster local drive creation, AVI codec selection and unlimited capture resolution.

Chamfer Modifier updates

There’s also Chamfer Modifier updates that include a Fixed Weight Chamfer, presets, inset feature, end point bias and added depth. These should facilitate efficient, predictable modeling.

OSL Shader improvements

Autodesk also brings OSL Shader improvements to the software. For instance, there are enhancements to viewport display of OSL maps. Other improvements include automatic conversion of OSL shaders to viewport shaders, Quicksilver Hardware Renderer support for OSL Maps and new and extended OSL maps. With these improvements, Autodesk promises greater rendering flexibility and customization.

3ds Max 2020 faster rendering previews
Autodesk’s 3ds Max 2020 makes rendering previews 3x faster than the previous version. Image courtesy Autodesk. Model courtesy of Alireza Akhbari on Turbosquid.

Enhanced Revit import functionality

Data imports are being accelerated and scene management and organization is being simplified as well. Other enhancements to the software will bring options to more selectively combine files by material. It will also add the ability to import older Revit files into 2020 without upgrading. Conversion of imported IES lights will reportedly be more accurate as well.

3ds Max to Arnold (MaxToA) integration updates

The new 3ds Max offers the ability to export Export Points as Arnold point primitives. It also enables faster PFlow instance rendering, and distribution of the Python API to edit, write, and render .ass files without relying on kick only.

270 new plug-ins

Lastely, the updated 3ds Max supports over 270 new plug-ins from third-party developers within the first week of launch.

Pricing and availability

3ds Max 2020 is out today as a standalone subscription. However, you can also get it in the Autodesk Media & Entertainment Collection. Autodesk 3ds Max 2020 costs $1,545 a year, but Autodesk does offer a free trial.

Image courtesy and Autodeck

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's Managing Editor.

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