Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk ships 3ds Max 2019.1

Autodesk has posted the online changelog for 3ds Max 2019.1, the latest update to the 3D modelling and animation software, improving handling of Alembic files and performance of OSL shaders.

The release also extends 3ds Max’s Fluids toolset, and adds a new Projects toolbar.

Updated: 3ds Max 2019.1 is now officially shipping. You can read Autodesk’s blog post here, which also covers the new features in the Arnold 5.1, released last month.

Extended support for data in Alembic and FBX format
The bulk of the new features in 3ds Max 2019.1 affect users working in VFX and animation, notably improved handling of files in the Alembic data interchange format.

It is now possible to preview the contents of an Alembic archive before importing it into a scene; and the Alembic helper icons are now resizeable and can be toggled on or off.

3ds Max object properties and custom attributes are also now preserved when exporting in Alembic format.

In addition, FBX export has been extended, with the option to export animation without the need to attach geometry – according to Procad, it requires a short MAXScript command.

Improved viewport display and rendering performance of OSL shaders
Performance of OSL shaders – support for which was added in the original 3ds Max 2019 – has been improved, “especially with Scanline Renderer”, although Autodesk doesn’t put a figure on the speed boost.

Viewport representation of OSL shaders has also been extended, with native support for over 80 of the bundled shaders, and “most” user-created procedural OSL shaders.

New helper tools for fluid simulation
The Fluids simulation toolset introduced in 3ds Max 2018.3 also gets an update, adding a new Channel Field Object for modifying the values of individual channels in a simulation: for example, liquid density.

A new Volume Helper defines the boundary of objects in a sim, minimising unnecessary computation.

New Projects toolbar, updates to Shared Views, general performance improvements
Non-VFX artists get the new Projects toolbar, intended to make it easier to manage project folders.

It includes buttons to set a folder as the root of a project, and to create a new project with either an empty hierarchy, one based on the global defaults, or based on the structure of the current project.

The Shared Views system added in 3ds Max 2019, intended to enable designers to share an interactive online view of a 3D asset with clients or collaborators for feedback, has also been updated.

New features include support for all bitmap types, “most” procedural textures – including OSL shaders – and the Shell material; plus the ability to resize textures on upload.

There are also a number of performance improvements, including support for archiving and scene file compression on assets over 2GB in size; and “attaching large amounts of meshes can be up to 7x faster”.

Procad also lists a number of improvements to scripting: notably, “converting a large object set from MAXScript … to a Python list is now instantaneous”.

Pricing and availability
3ds Max 2019.1 is compatible with Windows 7+. 3ds Max is available on a rental-only basis, with a suscription costing $190/month or $1,505/year.

Read more about 3ds Max 2019.1 on Autodesk’s AREA blog

Read a list of new features in 3ds Max 2019.1 in Autodesk’s online documentation