Autodesk ships 3ds Max 2022
Autodesk has released 3ds Max 2022, the latest update to the 3D modelling and rendering software.
The release updates a number of common modelling tools, including Smart Extrude and the Relax, Slice and Symmetry modifiers; and adds new pre-configured maps to the Bake to Texture system.
Modelling: updates to key modifiers
The main changes in 3ds Max 2022 are iterative updates to the software’s modelling tools.
The popular Smart Extrude system added in 3ds Max 2021.2 gets two new [Shift]-drag operations to automatically stitch extruded geometry to any part of a mesh it touches, and to cut through the mesh entirely.
Several of the key modifiers have also been updated, with the Slice modifier getting a Radial slice option. Holes created by slice operations can also now be capped automatically.
The Symmetry modifier gets support for multiple planes of symmetry in a single operation, and the operation to duplicate and repeat geometry around the centre point established by the gizmo.
The Relax modifier, used to remove fine surface detail – for example, to clean up raw 3D scan data – gets a new Preserve Volume option to better preserve the original shape.
It includes common map types including AO, color, emissive, material ID, metalness, normal, opacity, roughness, rounded corners and vertex color, and is intended to streamline the baking process.
Viewport and rendering: new viewport AO controls and render configuration UI
Display and rendering changes include the option to set ambient occlusion sampling for the viewport, and a new keyboard shortcut to make floating viewport windows floating and borderless.
The native Render Configuration and Quicksilver Render Configuration windows get new, more responsive Qt-based interfaces.
The 3ds Max to Arnold plugin has also been updated, with MAXtoA 126.96.36.199 adding support for the new features introduced in Arnold 6.2 earlier this year, including the new post effect nodes like the Light Mixer.
Updated security features
3ds Max 2022 also introduces new security features: the second update in a row to do so, after a report from cybersecurity Bitdefender suggested that the software had been targeted by a ‘hacker for hire’ group.
The software now offers protection against malicious scripts embedded in 3ds Max scene files, “whether these scripts use MAXScript, Python, or .NET commands”.
The bundled Security Tools plugin has also been renamed ‘Scene Security Tools’ and is now integrated into the Preferences dialog’s security tab.
Pricing and system requirements
3ds Max 2022 is available for Windows 10. The software is rental-only. Since the previous release, the cost of subscriptions has risen to $215/month, up $10/month; or $1,700/year, up $80/year.
In many countries, artists earning under $100,000/year and working on projects valued at under $100,000/year qualify for Indie subscriptions, which now cost $280/year.