3DS Max (previously known as 3D Studio Max) is a 3D graphic an animation design tool developed by Autodesk. Based on a plugin structure, it is one of the most popular 3D programs for TV/movies, architecture and videogames. Originally created by Yost Group in 1990 and called 3D Studio Max, it was thought to be the “3D animation AutoCAD”.
In 1999 Autodesk bought the developer company and the program changed its name to 3DS Max. For a few years, the software was considered one of the top programs for 3D design and animation, fighting with the likes of Maya at the top. In this new version, reborn as Autodesk 3DS Max, the software builds on Autodesk’s Entertainment Creation Suite, and is complemented with programs as Mudbox, Mental Ray and Motion Builder.
How to use
After buying and compiling all the most popular 3D programs under its name, Autodesk presents us with a new version of one of its most popular programs – 3DS Max. In comparison with 2013 version, 2014’s was launched with few changes. At least on paper, only six features were added to the software, but they make important changes and improvements to the program.
Working with PDF, SVG and Illustrator files, the Vector map support let us use those formats to create new textures, and even animate them and change them over time. As vector files, the render will be totally clear and in detail. As 3DS Max has been well known in technical fields, the integration with AutoCAD is complete.
The Autodesk 3DS Max 2014 version is a good program in itself, but not as spectacular an upgrade as 2013
One of the most interesting new tools will be the Populate Animation. Really helpful for architectural purposes, we can create and animate characters to walk around our model by just drawing a path and activating the option. HD options, stick figures, stationary areas where people will mix… there are the many options to manage your types of crowds as the situation requires. Feel free to implement your work into real images.
The Perspective Match tool will create vanishing lines to align the 3D models with the photo you are working with, and the home grid will help you match the perspective in a really simple way. 3DS Max’s capabilities have been improved with DirectX 11 integration. This enhances the program and allows it to create high quality assets.
Autodesk’s developers have promised that they will continue with the program, even though it sells other programs like Maya on its Suite. 3DS Max was always known as a good 3D design developer, though perhaps a bit too technical. This 2014 version is a good program in itself, but not as spectacular an upgrade as Autodesk’s 3DS Max 2013.
The developer’s website has a huge community of users from around the world, with forums and blogs with plugins and tutorials. You can even stay connected with Autodesk on most social networks.
Autodesk 3ds Max 2014 Features
The newest features of Autodesk 3DS Max are:
- Point Cloud and Vector map support
- Viewport enhancement
- Populate crowd animation to create human motion
- Enhanced general animation, design and rigging tools
- DirectX 11 shader support
- Nitrous accelerated graphics core workflow
- Enhanced particle flow, hair and fur.
For more information about Autodesk 3DS Max 2014, the Autodesk Suite or the user community and the tutorials, after download, please check the developer’s website .
Before the download, please check your PC fits the minimum requirements:
- Operating system: Windows 7 64-bit Professional Edition
- Processor: 64-bit Intel or AMD multicore
- RAM: at least 4GB
- Hard Disk: 4.5 GB free space
- 3-button mouse is recommended
For detailed information about the supported graphic cards, please refer to .
- New particle system
- One of the best for architectural visualisation
- Faster with the Nitrous engine
- Website full of free tutorials to download
- Multiple plugins to complete the program
- Not as complete as Maya
- The align tool is still poor
- Many glitches and bugs
- Many problems with shaders