Autodesk 3ds Max 2016 Release Notes

Thank you for downloading Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2016.

This readme contains recent information regarding the installation and use of Autodesk 3ds Max 2016. It is strongly recommended that you read this entire document before installing the software. For future reference, you should save this readme to your hard drive.

Note: Autodesk is not responsible for errors or failures of Autodesk software arising from the installation of updates, extensions or new releases issued by third party hardware or software vendors for the qualified software or hardware identified in this document (or for any other third party software or hardware that you may use in connection with Autodesk products).


Additional Resources
Known Issues Autodesk 3ds Max 2016
Customer Involvement Program (CIP) and Customer Error Reports (CERs)

Use the following table to locate various resources related to 3ds Max 2016:




Installation Help

System Requirements

What’s New

Learning Resources

Support Resources or http:///

3ds Max SDK Documentation

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Initial Install

Before an end-user with restricted Windows® operating system privileges can use Autodesk 3ds Max 2016, an administrator, with full privileges, must install and start the software one time in order to generate the Windows operating system registry information needed to complete the installation.

Before an end-user with restricted privileges can use third-party plug-ins for Autodesk 3ds Max 2016, an administrator, with full privileges, must install and start 3ds Max 2016 one time in order to generate the necessary folders for these third-party plug-ins.

3ds Max Beta Installs

If there are previously installed versions of any beta software (including Release Candidate (RC) versions) of Autodesk 3ds Max 2016, uninstall and delete all system folders pertaining to these beta versions before installing the commercial version. Instructions on how to uninstall the beta versions are posted on the beta portal in the Beta and RC Readme files.

Leaving Ports Open

Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk® Vault, Autodesk® Backburner™, and various other components of the install, require that certain ports be open in third-party firewalls. If you are having problems with your firewall, read the documentation included with your firewall.

Port Conflict with mental ray (When Installing Autodesk 3ds Max 2016)

During the Autodesk 3ds Max installation process (from the install wizard) the mental ray® port is assigned automatically and cannot be changed from the install wizard. In most cases this is fine. In a rare case a conflict arises if the port is already occupied. In such a case you will receive this error message: To fix this issue, perform the following steps:

1. Using a text editor, open the setup.ini file (located at the root of your install media).
2. Search for the [MAX] section.
3. You need to reassign mental ray to a different port number by adding this line under EXE_PATH= EXE_PARAM= MR_TCP_PORT=[YOUR PORT NUMBER] Where [YOUR PORT NUMBER] is replaced by the port number you want to assign to mental ray.
4. Save the setup.ini file and run installer again.

Installing the IPv4 or IPv6 Versions of Network License Manager

You can install the IPv4 version of the Network License Manager from the Tools and Utilities tab in the 3ds Max 2016 installer. If you need to install the IPv6 version of the Network License Manager, you can do so from at the following location:

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The following list contains known issues in this release:


Feature Description
File I/O
  • On Windows 8, when importing Autodesk Inventor files, Autodesk Materials do not show in the Scene Materials list.
  • When using a drawing tablet, the Enhanced menus might not display correctly. This can also occur if Windows has the tablet service enabled without having a tablet. This can be fixed by setting the following:
    Windows Start buton > Control Panel > View By: Large Icons > Pen and Touch > Tablet PC Settings > Other Tab > Change the setting from Right to Left.
  • Installation fails on the Microsoft .NET 3.5 component under Microsoft Windows 8.x when the machine is bound to a domain with group policy restrictions that blocks this component.


    Install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Offline in Windows 8 and 8.1 without Internet Connection as follows:
    Requirements: You need the Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 ISO or DVD.

    Do one of the following:
    1. Copy Windows 8 setup files to your hard disk.
    2. If you have Windows 8 setup ISO copied in your system, mount it by right-clicking on it and selecting the "Mount" option, or extract its content using 7-Zip.

    If you have the Windows 8 setup disk and don't want to copy its content, insert the disk in your CD/DVD drive so that Windows can access its content.
    1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator using the Windows 8 Start Screen (press the Win key and then type cmd).
    2. Enter the following command:

      Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /All /Source:D:\sources\sxs

      Note: “D” represents the letter of your system CD/DVD drive that contains the Windows 8 setup disk. Replace it with the correct drive letter according to your system.
  • Vector maps cause a program error when used with the mental ray renderer.
Max Creation Graph (MCG)


  • Certain strings in context menus and MCG-specific dialogs are not localized as expected.
  • The in-product reference documentation, operator names, port names, port types, tool-tips, and reference help are not localized.

Error Reporting:

  • Some error messages don’t indicate in which node an error occurred, or they reference a node by ID that is present in a compound.
  • There are some cases where the type of a compound or input is not able to be determined (inferred) correctly by the compiler. This is more common when using Tuple types, and can be corrected in some cases by using compounds that deconstruct the Tuple and use Pass-Through operators to reconstruct the Tuple with precise types.
  • When the graph is evaluated, some errors are reported only in the MAXScript listener and not the message log. Sometimes these errors lack the line number.
  • When an error occurs in a graph during parsing of a constant, the error message doesn't reference the specific node.

Graph Editor:

  • The zoom direction is not consistent with 3ds Max viewports.
  • The context menu item to generate inputs and parameters causes all node positions to change, as if Layout All was chosen.
  • When using the operator search field in the Available Nodes/Operators window, all categories remain expanded afterwards. They can be collapsed by using the Operators > Reload Operators menu option.
  • Resizing panels can be slow if the operator description panel is present. One workaround is to open the operator.html help file in a separate browser and close the description panel.
  • When the Available Node/Operators list is undocked from the main graph editor window, when you try to enter text in the filter text field, the keys are captured in the main 3ds Max UI instead.
  • A keyboard shortcut assigned to open the MCG editor will not close it, and buttons that are associated with the MCG editor will not properly toggle the state.
  • When saving new compounds, the file dialog does not open to the correct saving folder, and the default filename extension remains .maxtool. Navigate to the correct folder and change the filename extension to .maxcompound.
  • Upon opening a file with the Read Only flag set in the editor, the “modified” flag will show as being set, even if no changes have been made.
  • If you edit and save a compound but there is an error in it (for example, a missing connection), any previous version of the compound will stay in memory and no error is reported.
  • Attempting to create a connection in large graphs causes the node editor to lag, preventing the connection from being made.
  • The recent files list in the MCG editor shows only recently opened files and does not include saved files.

Tool Issues:

  • You can't have more than 20 MCG geometry tools in the same section of the object creation panel. The workaround is to set different categories in the graph properties for some of the geometry tools.
  • Using MAXScript reserved keywords such as “mesh” can cause a MAXScript runtime failure after successful compilation.
  • Changing the type of a tool (for example, from modifier to geometry) can cause a failure if the file is not saved with a new name, and the same ID is used.
  • When you use Edit Poly / Edit Mesh, select a set of vertices and then put an MCG modifier on top of the mesh, the MCG modifier will be applied to the whole mesh and not just to your selection.
  • Large modifier graphs can be slow to compile, resulting in very slow responsiveness of the Modifier drop-down list.
  • Geometry constructed with MCG can have improper normals. For example, this happens with the icosahedron and circular segment operators.
  • You cannot access the modifier list when certain MCG tools with errors are registered.
  • Creating an object in the scene forces a re-evaluation of the MCG geometry tools.
  • When one of your modifiers has a cache operator and you add a new modifier to an object in the scene, you lose the cached data.
  • An MCG modifier that depends on a picked INode is not updated when the modifier host object is moved.
  • The EvalMAXScript operator might evaluate unexpectedly when used in a function or conditionally in an If node.
  • The AllNodes operator will include the “root node,” which has no associated geometry.
  • When using ParallelMap and ParallelCombine the function inputs must not reference 3ds-Max-specific operators (that is, operators in categories starting with “3ds Max”). These operations are not thread safe and can lead to 3ds Max crashing.
  • In some cases when an object is modified by OpenSubdiv with other modifiers above that, changing the OpenSubdiv settings might cause the output of the other modifiers not to appear in the viewports. The results can still be seen in rendered output, however.
  • The OpenSubdiv “Smooth Triangles” legacy option switch in the OpenSubdiv parameters does not have any effet.

  • Creating a quad chamfer will highlight all edges of already created chamfers. These edges will not actually be included in the new chamfer.
  • Under Windows 8, a program error can occur when running older NVIDIA hardware that supports DirectX 10 and newer drivers. If this occurs, you can force DirectX 9 or software mode for the viewports:
    - DirectX 9: 3dsmax.exe -vx9
    - Software: 3dsmax.exe -vsx
Physical Camera
  • The Walkthrough Assistant > View Controls are not compatible with the Physical Camera.
  • The new Physical : Camera class exposes two properties that have the same name:

    <Physical>.horizontal_shift Float default: 0.0 – animatable; float; Controller Scaling: (1 : 100.0); 
    <Physical>.horizontal_shift Float default: 0.0 – animatable; float; Vertical_Shift; Controller Scaling: (1 : 100.0);

    The second parameter has a correct alias Vertical_shift that does allow MAXScript access.

  • When baking characters, clicking Undo then Redo can distort the character. If you click Undo after baking, you should bake the character again instead of clicking Redo.
  • When using bake, if you change frames after baking and then click Undo, the viewport might redraw multiple times.
  • When using Euler rotation controllers on baked characters, the rotations can "Gimbal Lock": The baked rotations default to Quaternion.
  • When using the DesignVIZ.mentalray CUI, the character textures are not saved even when you choose the Save Texture Maps option. This does work properly with CUIs that do not use mental ray.
  • Baked characters share the same maps as the character they were generated from. Resimulating the character will also update the maps of the baked character.
  • Automatic XRef update does not work correctly and can cause incorrect animation on characters.
  • When you load an XRef Scene with a Populate crowd, if you remove the XRef record the crowd will be motionless. To restore animation, select the crowd and click the Simulate button.
  • Cloning Populate seats as Instances is not supported.
  • If you change the seat height spinner from its default setting, sometimes this causes the knees to shake. One workaround is to Resimulate Selected. Another is to set the height back to the default, then simply reposition the vertical location of the chair gizmo to the desired height.
  • mental ray Distributed Bucket Rendering (DBR) services are now disabled by default. To use DBR, use the Control Panel to enable the service.
  • The mental ray Light Importance Sampling (LIS) option does not always provide the expected performance improvement.
  • When using mental ray Light Importance Sampling (LIS), make sure that you use physically-based lights and materials for best results .
  • The RAM Player is ignoring Gamma settings on file import. Use Rendering > View Image File for gamma-corrected image inspection.
  • The A360 Rendering sign-in dialog can appear as a 1x1 pixel image the first time you launch it after installing 3ds Max. Close 3ds Max and restart it to recover the dialog.
  • When the A360 renderer is chosen, samples in the Material Editor will appear blank. Switch the rendering target back to Production, then on the Assign Renderer rollout unlock the connection between Production and Material renderers. Choose an appropriate renderer for the Material Editor. Samples will now render correctly while A360 is active.
  • The Panorama Exporter shows A360 Renderer as an option. This does not work. To render a panorama using A360, choose the Output Type > Interactive Panorama option on the Render Setup dialog while A360 is active.
  • Vector maps cause a program error when used with the mental ray renderer.
Scene Explorer
  • When opening multiple Scene Explorers, hiding or selecting a group will update only in the other open Scene Explorers.
  • Linking within a group (by click-dragging) is not currently supported.
  • When using Advanced Filter, a program error can occur if you add options and select the added filter's Property or Condition.
  • If you quit 3ds Max with the Default Enhanced Menus workspace active, the menus don’t appear after you restart. The workaround is to press X and then search for Enhanced Menus.
  • If you go to the Design Standard workspace from the Default With Enhanced Menus workspace, the menus don’t appear. The workaround is to switch to Workspace: Default and then to Design Standard workspace.


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Customer Involvement Program (CIP)

The first time 3ds Max is started, the Customer Involvement Program dialog opens. If you choose to participate in the Customer Involvement Program, 3ds Max will automatically send Autodesk information about system configuration, which features are used most frequently problems encountered, and other information helpful to the future direction of the product. For further information, see

To enable CIP:

Install and start 3ds Max.

If the Customer Involvement Program dialog box is not displayed automatically, then in the Help menu, click Customer Involvement Program.

In the Customer Involvement Program dialog box, select "Participate - with contact information."

Enter a valid email address and company name, if any. Click OK.

Customer Error Reports

We can improve the stability of Autodesk 3ds Max largely because of the Customer Error Reports (CERs) that end-users submit. We thank you for taking the time to fill out these reports and ask you to include as much information as possible about what actions you were performing at the time the error occurred. These details raise the value of the report immensely and are very much appreciated by the Autodesk 3ds Max Quality Engineering team.

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