Autodesk has just released their 2012 editions of their Entertainment Creation Suites to offer artists and production facilities access to a powerful range of creative toolsets. There are two kits that have been released - the Maya suite, and the 3ds Max suite. They each come in a Standard and a Premium edition. Each suite also comes with Autodesk MotionBuilder, and Autodesk Mudbox. The Premium also contains Autodesk Softimage. I will break this down into three reviews. The first will cover Maya, the second will cover Mudbox, MotionBuilder, and Softimage, and the third will cover 3ds Max.
Autodesk 3ds Max is a 3D animation, modeling and rendering software application that is used for simulation, visual effects, rendering, and compositing. There are two versions - one is for game developers, visual effects artists, and graphic designers working on games, films, and television. The other is for architects, designers, and visual specialists. At the core, the versions are the same - it is the toolsets that are different. My review is based for the former.
3ds Max has been used on films like Iron Man and The Dark Knight, and Kung Fu Panda, Animated TV series like Olivia the Pig, and in the gaming industry for games like Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Dance Central. Complete system requirements are located at the Autodesk site.
So what is new with 3ds Max 2012?
• Nitrous Accelerated Graphics Core – is a totally new viewport system that is engineered to provide dramatic improvements in performance and visual quality. It leverages today's accelerated GPUs and multi-core workstations to iterate faster and work with larger datasets. 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. Nitrous provides a render-quality display environment 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. Nitrous viewports can also display stylized images to create a variety of non-photorealistic effects such as pencil, acrylic, ink, colored pencil, colored ink, graphite, pastel, and technical drawing.
• Substance Smart Textures – is a library of 80 new dynamic, resolution-independent variations that have a tiny memory and disk space foot print. These can be exported to certain games engines via the Allegorithmic Substance Air middleware offering (available separately from Allegorithmic). 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.