3D Artist

3ds Max 2018 is now available for subscribers

News & Features
Carrie Mok

Highlights are new features and changes to Arnold for Max, plus updates to MCG

Autodesk has released 3ds Max 2018 today for subscribers.

Documentation and new highlight features are now available on the Autodesk website

Highlights include:

Arnold for Max
NEW: MAXtoA plugin including Arnold 5
volumetric effects with OpenVDB support
Procedural (proxy) objects allow scene interchange with other Arnold plugins
Extensive array of built-in Arnold professional shaders and materials
Supports third-party shaders compiled for Windows and Arnold 5
Easy image-based lighting workflow with separate environment and background capabilities
Arnold Properties modifier controls rendertime effects and options per object
Abitrary Output Variable (AOV) support for compositing and post-processing
Depth of field, motion blur and camera shutter effects
New VR camera
New easier to user layered Standard Surface with Disney compatibility replacing Arnold Standard Shader
New melanin-driven Standard Hair Shader with simpler paramenters and artistic controls for more natural results
Supports photometric lights for easy Revit interop. Full support of 3ds Max Physical material and legacy maps
All in one Arnold light supports textured area lights, mesh lights, Skydome and Distant light sources
New Portal mode for Quad and Skydome lights to improve sampling interior scenes
New Roundness and Soft Edge options for Quad and Spot lights
Scene Converter presets and scripts to upgrade legacy scenes

User interface improvements
NEW: Smart asset packaging
NEW: Customisable workspaces
QT5 framework with enhanced docking
Timeline tear-off
Ongoing hi-DPI icon conversion (370 icons converted)
Tear off menus
Faster switching between workspaces
Modular main toolbar

Easy Map adds the ability to map over an operator by connecting an array of values for graph simplicity
Live Type displays computes types in the editor as you work
MCG type resolver improved so you no longer need to add extra nodes to provide hints about the type system in MCG
Compiler significantly improved to better optimise graph expressions, particularly with functions
No longer need to unpack MCG graph and MCG now uses compounds from the package
Consumes graphs in package form (.mcg) by simply dragging in the viewport
Automatic tool input generation
More artist-friendly operator/compund naming and categorisation
New Node Properties window with better operator/compound descriptions
78 new operators

Modelling and effects
NEW: Data channel modifier
NEW: Blended box map

NEW: Motion paths
Previews the path of animated objects directly in the viewport. You can adjust motion paths using transforms, and convert them to and from splinesState sets
SlateSDK based UI gives you a more consistent look and functionality
New node based render pass management

Autodesk also announced at the end of March that mental ray will no longer be included with 3ds Max, though it is still compatible.


Also, why not check out 9 3ds Max plugins as picked by our experts?