Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk ships 3ds Max 2020.2

Autodesk has unveiled 3ds Max 2020.2, the next update to its 3D modelling and animation software, adding a new SketchUp importer and new display options for the viewport background.

The release also further updates the Chamfer modifier.

Updated: 3ds Max 2020.2 is now shipping. You can read Autodesk’s blog post covering the new features and updated public roadmap for the software here.

New SketchUp importer supports versions of SketchUp past 2014
The update ticks off another feature from Autodesk’s public 3ds Max roadmap, which it posted in March, in the shape of a new SketchUp importer.

That makes it possible to import SKP files created in current versions of SketchUp correctly once more, as the legacy importer only supported versions from SketchUp 6 to the now-five-year-old SketchUp 2014.

The new importer also introduces options to control how objects are grouped, and to specify the up axis for the scene; and you can still choose whether to import cameras and textures.

New default Synchronize With Display Mode setting for the viewport
The release also introduces a new Synchronize With Display Mode setting for the viewport.

If an environment image has been set, 3ds Max uses it as the viewport background to show assets in context. If the environment is black, 3ds Max displays a colour gradient instead.

The new mode is used by default, except with display modes where it would make little sense, such as WireFrame, Bounding Box and flat colours, which get a solid grey background.

Users can also set the background to environment, gradients or solid colours manually.

In addition, iamge-based lighting is now used automatically when an environment is added to a scene, removing the need to add a skylight. There are also a few smaller display quality updates, listed here.

More updates to the Chamfer modifier, and changes to handling of backface culling
The Chamfer modifier, updated in both 3ds Max 2020 and 3ds Max 2020.1, gets more new features.

This time round, that means new Patch and Radial settings for mitered corners; while the Invert and Open options now work for all miter types.

There are also new chamfer options are available for Editable Poly surfaces: Uniform, End Bias, Radial Bias, Tension, and Depth.

Other changes in 3ds Max 2020.2 include viewport backface culling being respected when clicking to select elements using the Edit Poly modifier; and improved animation performance, including when creating keys.

Pricing and availability
3ds Max 2020.2 is available for Windows 7+. The software is available on a rental-only basis, with subscriptions costing $195/month or $1,545/year.

Read an overview of the new features in 3ds Max 2020.2 on Autodesk’s blog

Read a full list of new features in 3ds Max 2020.2 in Autodesk’s online documentation