Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk ships 3ds Max 2022.2

Autodesk has released 3ds Max 2022.2, the latest version of the 3D modelling and rendering software, making a number of improvements to UV workflow.

The release also improves support for pen pressure on graphics tablets, updates the Symmetry modifier and Smart Extrude, and makes saving a scene “more than twice as fast”.

UV workflow: Unfold3D algorithm now used for UV unfolding and packing
3ds Max 2022.2 makes a number of improvements to UV workflow, including the integration of the Unfold3D algorithm into the Unwrap UVW modifier for peeling, packing and relaxing UV islands.

The Unfold3D algorithm has been used in Maya, 3ds Max’s sister application, since 2014, although the standalone tool on which it is based hasn’t been updated for a few years now.

Overall performance of the Unwrap UVW modifier has been improved: according to Autodesk, the modifier itself can be applied “up to 8.5 times faster”, while the Edit UV window will open “up to 2.5 times faster”.

In addition, the size of the UV Editor window now adapts to the user’s screen resolution, and the resolution of its checkermap has been increased.

Workflow improvements: better support for pen pressure, plus updates to Symmetry and Smart Extrude
Workflow improvements include improved support for pen pressure when using a graphics tablet or pen display with 3ds Max’s brush tools, including when painting vertex colours or skin weights.

The software now supports the “full range of pressure sensitivity” available on modern tablets.

Workflow improvements include updates to the Symmetry modifier’s welding algorithms to “provide more predictable results”, and to enable welding across open gaps on the line of symmetry.

The Smart Extrude system gets its fourth successive update, and now allows for a partial cut-through on an Editable Poly object.

Performance and security improvements
In addition, saving scenes is now “more than twice as fast” as in previous releases, although Autodesk says that the exact speed boost depends on the contents of the scene.

There are also new security features, another focus of recent releases, including the option for IT managers within a studio to manage 3ds Max’s security settings directly.

In addition, Python scripts and imports are now written to the 3ds Max System Log.

New export options in the USD for 3ds Max plugin
Outside the core software, the USD for 3ds Max plugin, released in beta earlier this year, has been updated.

New features in USD for 3ds Max 0.2 include support for exporting animation data, including node transform animations and vertex animation caches, and “basic support” for exporting splines.

Users can also choose whether to include hidden nodes when exporting to USD, and which map channel data to export.

Exported files are opened automatically in the default USDview viewer, which is now shipped with the plugin.

Pricing and system requirements
3ds Max 2022.2 is available for Windows 10. The software is rental-only. Subscriptions cost $215/month or $1,700/year.

In many countries, artists earning under a local earnings threshold and working on projects valued at under $100,000/year qualify for lower-cost Indie subscriptions, which currently cost $280/year in the US.

Read an overview of the new features in 3ds Max 2022.2 on Autodesk’s product roadmap

Read a full list of new features in 3ds Max 2022.2 in the online documentation