Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 offers compelling
new techniques for creating and texturing models, animating characters,
and producing high-quality images. Incorporating tools that accelerate
everyday workflows, Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 software helps significantly increase
productivity for both individuals and collaborating teams working
on games, visual effects, and television productions. Artists can
focus on creativity, and have the freedom to iteratively refine
their work to maximize the quality of their final output in the
least amount of time.
This topic lists
all significant new features, but does not include every change
in 3ds Max. As you proceed through the documentation, keep an
eye out for the
which indicates a new feature.
You can also use the
index in this help to find topics that contain information about
new features. For topics that describe new program features, check the
index entry "new feature." For changes in existing features, check
the index entry "changed feature."
Following are lists (high-level,
then detailed) of major new features with brief descriptions and
links to the relevant reference topic:
The following Web-based
resources have changed or are new:
3ds Max Composite
You can install the 32-
or 64-bit version of 3ds Max Composite to use with Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 from
the Tools and Utilities section of the installer. 3ds Max Composite
- Raster and Vector Paint
- Image Processing
- Color Correction
- Keying and Rotoscoping
- Stereoscopic Production Support
- Motion Blur
- Advanced 2D Tracking
- Camera Mapping
- Depth of Field
- Node and Layer-based Compositing Options
- Spline-Based Warping
- Enhanced Render Passes
- Data Managing and Collaborating
Refer to the Installation
Guide for complete details on specifications for this release
(Click Documentation in the bottom-left corner of the Installer).
Windows 7 Support
is a supported OS for Autodesk 3ds Max 2011. Refer to the Installation Guide for
complete details on specifications for this release (Click Documentation
in the bottom-left corner of the Installer).
The modeling ribbon boasts
Object Paint toolset,
a significant new
and a number of refinements that streamline modeling workflow. These
- A command to switch the ribbon between
horizontal and vertical orientation is available from the ribbon
- You can now minimize the ribbon to panel
buttons, each of which includes a descriptive icon.
- A number of ribbon tooltips include new
ToolClips: short videos that show how to use the tool.
Caddy Settings Controls
Most editable poly settings
now use the caddy, a new “in-canvas”
interface that comprises a label and a set of buttons superimposed
on the viewport. The caddy replaces the old settings dialogs, leaving
a greater portion of the model visible and accessible.
In versions of 3ds Max prior
to Autodesk 3ds Max 2011, holding down the Ctrl toggled
an object’s selection state. That is no longer the case. To add
an object to a selection, use Ctrl.
To remove an object from a selection, use Alt.
Basics of Selecting Objects.
Snap Improvements for the
A new snap handle located
at the axis center gives you more accurate control over snapping
when you move an object, with better visual feedback. See
Snap Handle When Moving an Object for
Scene and Project Management
The Container feature
has been significantly expanded with new rules and locking tools,
proxy containers, and more. For details, see
What’s New in Containers.
File Link for Revit FBX
File Link Manager,
you can now link FBX files exported from Revit 2009, Revit 2010,
and Revit 2011. File Link lets you create high-quality renderings
in 3ds Max while maintaining a single design database in another
application such as Revit, AutoCAD, or AutoCAD Architecture.
For details about how
to link Revit FBX files, see
File Link Settings: FBX Files Dialog.
Save As Previous Feature
Save As Previous feature
allows you to save Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 scenes as 3ds Max 2010 scenes.
You can also save Container (MAXC) files in 3ds Max 2010 format.
Not all features supported
in Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 are supported in 3ds Max 2010. See
Save As Previous for
Improved Inventor File
You can now import Autodesk
Inventor files (IAM and IPT) without needing to have Inventor installed,
and you can keep the data in ACIS-solids format by importing as
Body Objects. See
Importing Autodesk Inventor Files.
SAT File Import and Export
Import and export solid
models in the SAT format supported by Autodesk Inventor and Revit
as well as applications from other vendors. Imported geometry takes
the form of Body Objects, which you can modify and render just like
standard objects; you can even combine Body Objects with 3D Boolean
operations. You can also convert standard objects to Body Objects
and export them as ACIS solids. See
SketchUp File Import
You can now import 3D
data in the Google SketchUp format (SKP), including cameras and
materials. Imported objects take the form of editable polys. See
Improved OpenEXR Support
plug-in from previous releases has been replaced
by a plug-in that offers improved performance and feature support.
The improvements include:
- Better performance
- Unlimited number of layers in one EXR
- Ability to save Render Elements
- Ability to save G-buffer data
- Available to MAXScript applications
Improved Support for SGI
Image File plug-in has been updated to
support all formats. It now includes an option to turn off Compression
when you save an SGI Image File. The new plug-in is compatible with
SGI Image files used by OpenFlight (FLT) files, and the option to
use a special RGB file loader has been removed from the
Materials and Mapping
Slate Material Editor
Slate Material Editor is
an alternative Material Editor that provides a visual, node-based
interface for creating and editing materials with complex networks
of maps and shaders. It includes aids for managing the large numbers
of materials required by today’s productions.
Material/Map Browser has
been redesigned to feature a simpler and more accessible interface
that is also an integral part of the Slate Material Editor.
Autodesk Materials and
the Autodesk Material Library
Autodesk Materials replace
ProMaterials, using a new interface that allows you to share materials
with models from AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit, and Autodesk Inventor.
(Scenes from earrlier 3ds Max versions that use ProMaterials continue
to render in Autodesk 3ds Max 2011.)
In addition, the Autodesk
Materials form the basis for the Autodesk Material Library, which
provides over 1,200 ready-made materials you can use in your scenes.
Viewport Canvas Expansion
Viewport Canvas has
been significantly enhanced and improved to the point that it is,
in effect, an entirely new feature. For example, you can now paint
directly onto any 3D object with any map in any material. And new
painting tools include Blur, Sharpen, Dodge, and Burn. But perhaps
most important, you can now paint in multiple layers that can interact
with one another the same way as in Adobe Photoshop.
Quicksilver Hardware Renderer
Hardware renderer is an extremely fast
renderer that uses your system’s graphics hardware (GPU) to produce
CAT provides a complete
toolset ideally suited for rigging and animating multi-legged characters
as well as humanoids. It includes numerous built-in rigs such as
a dragon with four legs and two wings, a spider, and a centipede with
18 legs. These can easily be animated along paths with no foot sliding using
the graph-based CATMotion editor. CAT’s easy-to-use layering system supports
color-coding of layers so you can see which layer is contributing
to the motion at any given moment. See
and for a comparison of CAT and character studio, see
mental ray Improvements
mental ray 2011
mental ray 2011 is supported
with 3ds Max. For further information about mental ray 2011,
view the help file from Help > Additional Help.