Achieve stunning results in less time with Autodesk® 3ds Max® software. 3ds Max 2008 dramatically improves your productivity by streamlining the process of working with complex scenes. This is achieved through significant performance improvements—in areas such as viewport interaction, interactive transform and material assignment—as well as through the addition of new, artist-friendly UI and scene management features. The release also marks the launch of Review, a toolset that delivers interactive previewing of shadows, the 3ds Max sun/sky system, and Architectural and Design material settings.
In addition, 3ds Max 2008 delivers enhanced support for complex pipelines and workflows—a new, integrated MAXScript ProEditor makes extending and customizing 3ds Max easier than ever. Plus, enhanced DWG™ file-linking and data support strengthen interoperability with applications such as AutoCAD® 2008, AutoCAD® Architecture 2008, and Revit® Architecture 2008 software products. Finally, the release contains numerous Biped improvements, including new ways of layering character motion and exporting it to game engines, as well as tools that give animators new levels of flexibility with regards to their Biped rigs.
Key New Features and Enhancements
The integration of new technology into the software’s Adaptive Degradation System improves interactive performance by automatically simplifying scene display to meet a user-defined target frame rate. You control how 3ds Max adjusts scene display—whether the smallest objects are hidden, or distant objects have less detail, etc.—and 3ds Max calculates how best to achieve it. When combined with the new Direct3D® mesh caching that groups objects by materials, the result is that tens of thousands of objects can be just as interactive as ten objects. In addition, loading, arrays, Autodesk® FBX® and OBJ export, and other areas of the software perform significantly faster.
Scene Explorer Scene Management
3ds Max 2008 delivers Scene Explorer, a robust new tool that provides you with a hierarchical view of scene data and fast scene analysis, along with editing tools that facilitate working with even the most complex, object-heavy scenes. Scene Explorer gives you the ability to sort, filter, and search a scene by any object type or property (including metadata), with stackable filtering, sorting, and searching criteria. This new tool also enables you to save and store multiple Explorer instances and to link, unlink, rename, hide, freeze, and delete objects, regardless of what objects are currently selected in the scene. You can also configure columns to display and edit any object property, and because this feature is scriptable and SDK extendable, you can use callbacks to add custom column definitions.
This powerful new toolset gives you immediate feedback on various render settings, enabling you to iterate rapidly. This means you can now quickly hone in on your desired look without waiting for a software render—perfect for over-the-shoulder client/boss feedback sessions and other iterative workflows. Based on the latest game engine technology, Review delivers interactive viewport previews of shadows (including self-shadowing and up to 64 lights simultaneously), the 3ds Max sun/sky system, and mental ray® Architectural and Design material settings.
3ds Max 2008 marks the debut of the new MAXScript ProEditor. This intuitive new interface for working with MAXScript includes multilevel undo functionality; fast, high-quality code colorization; rapid opening of large documents; line number display; regular expressions in search/replace; folding of sections of the script; support for user customization; and many other features.
Enhanced DWG Import
3ds Max 2008 delivers faster, more accurate importing of DWG™ files. Significantly improved memory management enables you to import large, complex scenes with multiple objects in considerably less time. Improved support for material assignment and naming, solid object import, and normals management facilitate working with software products such as Revit Architecture 2008. Plus, a new Select Similar feature identifies all objects in an imported DWG scene that contain characteristics similar to those of a selected object. This capability lets you select and edit multiple imported objects simultaneously—dramatically streamlining DWG-based workflows.
Artist-Friendly Modeling Options
3ds Max 2008 gives you a more streamlined, artist-friendly modeling workflow through a collection of hands-on modeling options that let you focus more on the creative process. These options include selection previewing and the ability to have existing modeling hotkeys and pivots become temporary overrides.
This latest release provides you with new levels of flexibility with regard to your Biped rigs. A new Xtras tool lets you create and animate extraneous Biped features anywhere on your rig (for example, wings or additional facial bones) and save them as BIP files. These files are supported in Mixer and Motion Flow, as well as in Layers, where new layering functionality enables BIP files to be saved as offsets from each layer to isolate character motion. As a result, each layer can be saved as its own asset for export into a game.
Expanded Platform Support
3ds Max 2008 is the first full release of the software officially compatible with Microsoft® Windows Vista™ 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems and the Microsoft DirectX® 10 platform.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]