Key New Features and Enhancements
64-bit Release for Windows
Autodesk 3ds Max 9 marks the first full release of 3ds Max with both 32-bit (Microsoft® Windows® operating system) and 64-bit (Windows) executables. The ability to address considerably more memory than in the past means you can handle larger and more-complex scenes.
Easily Render Realistic Scenes
mental ray® 3.5 rendering software adds powerful rendering functionality to 3ds Max 9. Create photorealistic skies based on the position of the sun with Physical Sun and Sky mental ray shader. New Architectural and Design shaders make it easier for designers and architects to create effects such as blurred reflections, frosted glass, and glossy car paint. The ability to create bump mapping on glossiness only and to simulate round corners and soft edges makes objects appear even more true to life.
mental ray 3.5 Core
mental ray 3.5 adds a simplified user interface for working with Final Gather. It also has a unified indirect lighting model that provides consistent results when switching between different 3ds Max radiosity modes.
Core performance enhancements to 3ds Max 9 help maximize your productivity and accelerate your creative workflow. For example, enjoy greater viewport interactivity when working with dense meshes and switch between high-res and low-res bitmap proxies for better interaction.
Placing animation into separate layers enables you to easily tweak dense and complex animations. Turn layers on or off to evaluate an animation. Blend new keys with existing motion. And allow for a full range of adjustments without having to modify the keyframes of the animated object.
Character Animation Workflow Improvements
Craft and refine your character animation more easily with numerous enhancements to Biped. For example, move keys past each other and work in negative frames. These capabilities save steps when tweaking a Biped animation and are particularly useful when trying to reverse an animation, since you can now negatively scale an animation range.
Pro Booleans is a new tool for modeling with Boolean operations. Quickly and easily model inorganic shapes—useful for prototyping geometry, creating game level layout designs, and building complex architectural elements. Merge, intersect, subtract, or add meshes to create rich and complex objects. Use the Pro Booleans tool to re-evaluate the topology and remove bad triangles, so you can create higher-quality meshes with fewer small edges and skinny triangles.
Hair and Cloth Improvements
Easily work with Cloth and Hair in 3ds Max 9. Create, manipulate, and style hair directly in the viewports using standard navigation and selection tools. Cinch waistlines, shorten hems, and tailor clothing in the stack without the need to edit the original pattern to make clothes fit.
Xref Object Enhancements
You can now reference scene geometry, materials, and controllers, and maintain dependencies between items that are externally referenced. The xref system’s new dependency handling enables you to preview object relationships in both merge and xref operations, providing more control over how external objects are used.
Enhanced FBX Support
The Autodesk® FBX® 3D authoring and interchange format enables you to exchange assets between 3D applications. FBX Enhancements include improvements to mesh compatibility and pixel accuracy when transferring assets and data between 3ds Max and Autodesk® Maya® software.
Display Support for DirectX and CG Shaders
Support for all shader types is now available via MaxScript, including HLSL and Cg shaders: enabling you to work with CgFX files alongside .fx files in the viewport. Shader display has also been optimized for improved performance.