Max Release Due Today, Maya Expected in September

The newest update to 3ds Max will be available today, and an updated Maya is coming September 9, Autodesk said yesterday at SIGGRAPH.

Headlining the new features in 3ds Max 2016 Extension 1 are new Geodesic Voxel and Heat Map solvers for quick skinning; new Animation Controllers that provide a procedural modeling workflow for Max Creation Graph; bullet physics; and the new TextPlus 3D text tool [pictured, top of page].

Also debuting in Max is a Game Exporter feature allowing models, animations and textures to be used in various game engines. Marc Hamaker, Autodesk's senior industry marketing manager for media and entertainment, reassured users that Autodesk will continue to support other game engines despite the recent launch of Autodesk's Stingray engine. "Having our own engine helps us understand [other] engines a little better," he said.


Hamaker also showed Max's new integration of Creative Market, Autodesk's ecommerce system for sharing and selling 3D resources online, allowing users to browse and purchase assets in the Max interface. (Autodesk purchased the company last year.)

New look development shading nodes_v2

Meanwhile, over in Maya territory, new features include a 3D type tool and a vector graphics workflow allowing designs created in 2D using an application such as Adobe Illustrator to be easily turned into 3D elements. There are also new look development tools, thanks to new procedural texture and image processing nodes in the hypershade editor.