Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 offers compelling new techniques for creating and texturing models, animating characters, and producing high-quality images. Incorporating tools that accelerate everyday workflows, Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 software helps significantly increase productivity for both individuals and collaborating teams working on games, visual effects, and television productions. Artists can focus on creativity, and have the freedom to iteratively refine their work to maximize the quality of their final output in the least amount of time.
"Pencil sketch" made from a 3D model
You can also use the index in this help to find topics that contain information about new features. For topics that describe new program features, check the index entry "new feature." For changes in existing features, check the index entry "changed feature."
A top priority of the Excalibur (XBR) initiative to revitalize 3ds Max, this release introduces a completely new viewport system engineered to provide dramatic improvements in performance and visual quality. leverages today's accelerated GPUs and multi-core workstations to help artists iterate faster and handle larger data sets with limited impact on interactivity. With each viewport threaded separately from the UI, artists can adjust parameters on complex scenes without the need to wait for viewports to refresh, resulting in a smoother, more responsive workflow. Moreover, Nitrous provides a that supports unlimited lights, soft shadows, screen-space ambient occlusion, tone-mapping, and high-quality transparency, along with progressive refinement of image quality when the artist pauses, helping artists make better creative and aesthetic decisions in the context of their final output.
In addition to high-quality, realistic display, Nitrous viewports can also display to create a variety of non-photorealistic effects such as pencil, acrylic, ink, colored pencil, colored ink, graphite, pastel, and technical drawing.
Starting this release the 3ds Max Help is being published in HTML format to the Autodesk.com website. By default, 3ds Max calls the help from a Web location to provide you with the latest available documentation. This shift to publishing directly to the Web means we can provide regular updates and additions to content. This change also significantly reduces the footprint of locally installed data to your machine and makes the install and uninstall of 3ds Max faster.
3ds Max now starts up faster and uses less memory, thanks to targeted performance improvements developed as part of the Excalibur (XBR) initiative that enable tools to be loaded intelligently, as required.
The Caddy in-canvas controls now offer better usability, with a more predictable contextual location in the interface, additional keyboard shortcuts for quicker interaction, and default behavior that does not occlude the artist's selection.
Autodesk Materials have changed in various ways to make them easier to use. Rather than flag each section as changed, this help simply flags the main . New features have a "new" () icon next to them. Aside from minor updates, there are a few specific enhancements:
Achieve a vast range of look variations with a new library of 80 . These dynamic, resolution-independent textures have a tiny memory and disk space footprint, and can be exported to certain games engines via the Allegorithmic Substance Air middleware offering (available separately from Allegorithmic; integration is currently provided for the Unreal ® Engine 3 game engine, Emergent's Gamebryo ® game engine, and Unity). Alternatively, you can bake Substance textures to bitmaps for rendering using a GPU-accelerated baking process.
Some examples of dynamically editable and animatable parameters are: brick distribution, surface aging, and mortar thickness in a brick wall; color variation, density, and leaf type in an autumn leaves texture; and the age and number of planks in a varnished wood texture. Also, every Substance texture has a randomizing setting to lend natural variation to your scenes.
In particular, right-clicking the arrows sets the value to zero or a minimum; Ctrl+drag increases the rate of value change while Alt+drag decreases it; and Ctrl+N in a numeric field displays the . (Right-clicking the numeric field does not display a Copy/Paste menu the way it does in other parts of the interface.)
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 can use exported from Autodesk Mudbox. This type of map is a variation on regular displacement maps that allows surfaces to be displaced in any direction, not just along the surface normals.
Creating realistic images has never been easier with 3ds Max, using the newly integrated from mental images®. Another major milestone in the Rendering Revolution, the iray renderer enables you to set up your scene, click Render, and get predictable, photoreal results without worrying about rendering settings: just like a point-and-shoot camera. Artists can focus on their creative vision as they intuitively use real world materials, lighting, and settings to more accurately portray the physical world; iray progressively refines the image until you reach the level of detail you desire. The iray renderer works with standard multi-core CPUs; however, NVIDIA ™ CUDA-enabled GPU hardware will significantly accelerate the rendering process.
With the , you can seamlessly leverage the focused toolsets in the Autodesk 3ds Max Entertainment Creation Suites, with new single-step interoperability between 3ds Max and Autodesk Mudbox™ software, Autodesk MotionBuilder® software, and the Autodesk Softimage® Interactive Creation Environment (ICE). Send 3ds Max scenes to Mudbox to intuitively add organic sculpted and painted details, and then update the scene in 3ds Max in one simple step. Take a 3ds Max scene to MotionBuilder to access the specialized animation tool set, without having to think about file format details. And tap into the power of the Softimage ICE particle system directly from your 3ds Max scene. With single-step interoperability, artists can enjoy easier access to the best tools for the task at hand.
As part of the XBR initiative, Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 introduces the of simulation solvers, and delivers its first module: rigid-body dynamics. With MassFX, artists can leverage the multi-threaded NVIDIA® PhysX® engine to create more compelling, dynamic rigid-body simulations directly in 3ds Max viewports. MassFX supports static, dynamic, and kinematic rigid bodies plus a number of constraints: Rigid, Slide, Hinge, Twist, Universal, Ball & Socket, and Gear. Animators can more quickly create a wide range of realistic dynamic simulations, and can also use the toolset for modeling: for example, creating a randomly placed landscape of rocks. Assigning physical properties such as friction, density, and bounciness is as simple as choosing from a set of initial preset real-world materials and tweaking parameters as needed.
Animators can easily switch between multiple products in the Autodesk 3ds Max Entertainment Creation Suite Premium thanks to a new F-Curve Editor that provides a common user interface and consistent terminology for editing animation curves. The new curve editor additionally offers better in-context curve controls, multi-point editing, and the ability to quickly .
Work more seamlessly with Autodesk Alias® Design software for industrial design, with the new ability to natively into 3ds Max as , preserving object names, hierarchies, layers, and material names. Designers can now interactively adjust tessellation results inside 3ds Max to fine-tune their visualization, and add sculpted details on top of Alias Design reference data using the intuitive Graphite polygon modeling toolset in 3ds Max. Edited meshes can be exported back to Alias Design as OBJ files.
Artists can now optimize models faster, more efficiently, and with better results, using the enhanced that now also offers normal and UV interpolation, together with the ability to keep high-resolution normals on the low-resolution result. Specific advantages include:
UVs are now interpolated. As a result, when Keep UV Boundaries is turned on, points can move to their optimal position during the optimization process. This leads to improved results when optimizing textured meshes.
Work in parallel to finish faster, with an enhanced dynamic that now supports files from a wide range of sources, and can handle animation data. Changes made to the FBX file in applications such as MotionBuilder, Mudbox, Softimage, or Autodesk Maya software are automatically updated in 3ds Max, eliminating the need for time-consuming file merging, and helping to reduce errors.