Autodesk has launched 3ds Max 2021.3, a robust and feature-loaded update developed to improve modeling efficiency and creative output for artist workflows. Tool enhancements include viewport improvements, new remeshing algorithms, enhanced materials and shaders, faster GPU rendering with Arnold 6.1 and upgraded security features to provide artists working in design visualization and media and entertainment industries with a streamlined, modern and high-performance workflow.
“No matter the location, artists working in remote and studio environments require a versatile and nimble toolset to speed creative iteration,” said Chip Weatherman, chief product owner, Autodesk Media and Entertainment division. “3ds Max 2021.3 is designed to further aid in rapid model design for artists, offering a range of tools that improve model iteration and refinement and powerful capabilities that simplify workflows.”
3ds Max 2021.3 feature highlights include:
- Enhanced Materials and Shaders: Speed creation of PBR or physical materials by loading a range of texture files with new PBR Import. View feedback about the remaining number of shaders compiling for viewport display in the status bar.
- Viewport Improvements: Render at various resolutions in the active shade viewport to speed up rendering previews when working with high-resolution monitors, or enable bloom in the viewport and adjust quality and radius, strength, tint, threshold and other settings. A new color/spectrum ramp and shader within 3ds Max syncs point cloud data with how it is displayed in ReCap.
- Arnold Renderer Upgrades: Powerful new Arnold 6.1 features and capabilities include new post-processing nodes, nested dielectrics, an even faster GPU renderer, and Random Walk 2 Sub Surface Scattering for Physical Materials.
- Redesigned Path Deform: Benefit from enhanced performance and stability with a redesigned Path Deform modifier that features per element deformation, support for multiple curves in the path and loopback. Path Deform is backwards compatible with older scenes.
- Improved Selection Methods: Select objects and components in scenes with greater ease via improved selection radius for HD monitors (1080p through 4K). For the first time, 3ds Max now automatically adjusts the selection radius to the monitor resolution, with further customization available in the viewport settings.
- Increased Spline Chamfer Functionality: Control which knots are influenced by the chamfer/fillet with a new minimum angle parameter, added in response to user demand. Upgraded calculations have also improved how knot positions are determined after a fillet or chamfer to further enhance the output results.
- Enhanced Subdivide and Remesh Algorithms: Three new remeshing algorithms, added to the subdivide modifier, improve the ability to easily remesh and retriangulate mesh data within 3ds Max based on an edge length value: Delaunay provides regularity, Adaptive provides uniformity between unconstrained edges, and Variable Curve builds upon the work of Adaptivity to provide enhanced triangulation on creases and corners. The new algorithms add the ability to preserve existing mesh data on the output result.
- Script Execution Updates: The default initial Maxscript heap size has been increased from 15Mb to 100Mb, aiding performance when multiple script commands are executed.
- Security Upgrades: Keep projects secure with improved protection. 3ds Max now blocks potentially malicious scripts based on file attributes, while also logging all scripts that are loaded to help diagnose any issues that arise.
Coinciding with the launch of 3ds Max 2021.3 is the release of Autodesk 3ds Max Retopology Tools v1.0, a free tool developed to enhance generative designs and traditional modeling work in 3ds Max by reducing complex and high-resolution assets. Autodesk 3ds Max Retopology Tools v1.0 automatically reconstruct polygonal mesh data as clean, quad-based topology with uncompromising accuracy. Release features include:
- Retopology Modifier: Analyze geometric mesh data on the modifier stack to reconstruct polygonal mesh data as clean quad-based topology using various algorithms tailored to different artist workflows.
- ReForm Algorithm: Follow the curvature and shape of incoming mesh data with ReForm to generate accurate new quad-based data. Ideal for any type of mesh data, including scanned, sculptural, generative or modeled, artists can guide ReForm results by using existing mesh data, such as smoothing groups, material ID boundaries, UV data, Boolean Seams, Normals, edge selection or angle variance.
- Quadriflow Algorithm: Produce faster and accurate results that closely align with input technology using automated retopology quadrangulation methods.
- Instant Meshes: Generate instant quad-based topology that approximates input mesh data. Instant Meshes are ideal for scanned or sculptural data where close approximation is required.
- Mesh Clean Modifier: Analyze and automatically repair malformed mesh data imported from various 3D applications.
3ds Max 2021.3 is now available as a standalone subscription or with the Autodesk Media & Entertainment Collection. Autodesk 3ds Max Retopology Tools v1.0 is available for download in the Autodesk Desktop App or Autodesk Account Portal. To see what’s new in 3ds Max, visit: https://makeanything.autodesk.com/3dsmax