Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk adds MaterialX support to USD for 3ds Max 0.5

Changsoo Eun‘s demo video of USD for 3ds Max 0.5. The update adds MaterialX support to Autodesk’s USD integration plugin for 3ds Max.

Autodesk has released USD for 3ds Max 0.5, the latest version of its USD integration plugin for 3ds Max, the firm’s 3D modelling and rendering software.

The update adds support for the MaterialX standard for rich material and look dev data, and for exporting facial animations created using 3ds Max’s Morpher modifier as blendshapes.

(Full disclosure: the update actually came out a couple of weeks ago, so a hat tip to CGPress for drawing it to our attention.)

Import and export data from 3ds Max in USD format
First released in 2021 and officially still in beta, USD for 3ds Max enables users to import and export data from 3ds Max in Universal Scene Description (OpenUSD) format.

The plugin can now import and export meshes, materials, cameras, lights and animation data, and supports the .usda, .usdc and .usdz file formats.

USD for 3ds Max 0.5: author, import and export MaterialX materials
To that, USD for 3ds Max 0.5 adds support for MaterialX, the ILM-developed open standard for rich material and look dev data, now increasingly being adopted in other DCC applications.

The update makes it possible to import or export MaterialX materials in .mtlx format, and to edit MaterialX shader graphs in the Compact Material Editor or Slate Material Editor.

The online release notes are very brief, but Scanline VFX TD Changsoo Eun has an excellent post on his website that describes the workflow in detail.

Export blendshapes created using the Morpher modifier
In addition, the USD Exporter gets support for 3ds Max’s Morpher modifier.

That makes it possible to export morph-based facial animations to USD, by exporting Morpher channels as USDSkel blend shapes.

Pricing and system requirements
USD for 3ds Max is compatible with 3ds Max 2022+. It is a free beta for registered 3ds Max users.

3ds Max itself is available for Windows 10+. It is rental-only. Subscriptions cost $235/month or $1,875/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 $305/year.

Read a full list of changes in USD for 3ds Max 0.5 in the online release notes

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