GDC 09: Nearly 350 additional features in latest version of art app

Autodesk unveils 3ds Max 2010

Autodesk launched 3ds Max 2010 at GDC today.

The latest version of its 3D modelling, animation and rendering product boasts almost 350 upgrades including "a render-quality viewport display and at least 100 new graphite modelling tools".

According to Autodesk 3ds Max 2010 "also offers powerful new capabilities that help artists manage complex scenes with greater ease and an unprecedented level of support for software interoperability and pipeline integration".

“3ds Max 2010 is a feature-packed release that has generated a lot of excitement in the 3D community,” commented Marc Petit, Autodesk senior vice president, Media & Entertainment.

“This version will help artists work faster than ever before, so they can explore more ideas, push boundaries, and create stunning work in less time.”

Jeff Hanna, senior technical artist at Volition, was a 3ds Max 2010 beta tester, and has talked up the xView mesh analyzer as his favourite feature.

“3ds Max 2010 software’s powerful xView mesh analyzer will make it easier for us to ensure that every asset our artists create is correct and game ready,” said Hanna.

“The xView technology can quickly identify missing UVW coordinates, overlapping vertices, or open edges, among other things. With this tool, we won’t have to worry about bad game data due to invalid geometry.”

Autodesk said 3ds Max 2010 will be available in English during spring 2009 with the suggest price for a licence being £3050 (€3900).

Key highlights of 3ds Max 2010 according to Autodesk are:

Innovative Creative Tools

· A new graphite modelling and texturing system introduces at least 100 additional creative tools and helps artists explore and more rapidly iterate their ideas.

· The addition of render-like effects in the viewport display – such as soft shadowing, exposure control and ambient occlusion – offers near photo-real quality for faster decision making.

Powerful New Referencing and Scene Management Capabilities

· Artists can create robust referencing workflows to help organise complex scenes more easily by treating multiple objects and scenes as a single container object.

· A new Material Explorer helps to simplify the way artists interact with objects and materials, making iterations much easier even in highly complex scenes.

· The new multithreaded xView mesh analyzer technology helps to significantly reduce errors by providing in-viewport reporting on several types of mesh.

Enhanced Software Interoperability and Pipeline Integration

· 3ds Max 2010 is the first animation package to integrate mental images’ powerful mental mill technology. This allows users to develop, test and maintain hardware-agnostic shaders and complex shader graphs for hardware and software rendering with real-time visual feedback.

· Enhanced OBJ support and ProOptimiser technology provide improved interoperability with Autodesk Mudbox software.

· Additional support for C# and .NET gives developers the access they need to customise, extend and integrate 3ds Max into their existing pipelines.

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