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AutoDesk 3ds Max
March 01, 2011    
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Software Summary

Software Company
Operating System
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8

Autodesk 3ds Max is a 3D Animation Software for Windows created by Publisher Autodesk, Inc.

Does the Autodesk 3ds Max Deliver More than Its Predecessors?

Autodesk 3ds Max Product Summary

Among 3D animation and modeling programs, the Autodesk line of products has always been considered as frontrunners.  The 3ds Max releases have been consistent in providing its users a lot of improvement for every new version that comes out every year.  The latest version is no different, showing more improvements while building on the features that were already on the 2010 release.  This may be the concern of other users who have found the 3ds Max to be unwieldy for the past years, taking too much space and costing higher as well.  Thus, it is inevitable to ask if the application is worth the price or is there too much fluff in the application?

Autodesk 3ds Max Features

The main features of the latest release of the Autodersk 3ds Max include a Graphite toolbar, Composite or the compositor based on Toxik, Slate or the material editor based on node, a viewport canvas, Object Paint and Containers.

For those who use the program fir material editing, there are now two options for them – Compact, which is the existing material editor and the Slate, which is the new system based on node.  The new system may be considered a welcome addition, since it places the 3ds up to par with another Autodesk product most consider to be more advanced, the Maya.  The Slate window may be a bit huge for some people’s taste and Maya’s node-based system is still more sophisticated.

The navigating feature of 3ds Max is improved, as going from one material to the next is more orderly and can be seen immediately without much lag.  As for Composite, the new compositor that is also node-based, it uses as toolset referred to as Toxik, similar to its name in Maya. Composite combines all tools such as color correction, keying, camera mapping, tracking, spline-based warping, raster and vector paint, and motion blur, among others, while giving support for productions that are stereoscopic. With its use of the .EXR format, rendered animations can be produced easily using Composite.

Autodesk 3ds Max User Interface

As with the previous versions, the 3ds Max 2011 still has in its user interface the Graphite Ribbon.  Some users find the feature meddling, but since the new Composite compositor is seen there, the software’s users can now enjoy a more graphical and non-linear manner of working with the materials to be used in their projects.

The Graphite Ribbon has a contextual feel, which is an advantage for users, but the redundancy of accessing the same function in different ways can be confusing for first-time users and an overkill and useless for the more experienced ones.

Autodesk 3ds Max Software Review

3ds Max has, since its first released, among the pricey options in the market for 3D animation and modeling suites.  The price for this new release does not stray from its predecessors. Moreover, through the years, it has tried to be an all-in-one package for animators that there seems to be too much going on in the program.  While some of its competitors have honed their skills in particular proficiencies, 3ds Max has been the jack of all trades, and alas, a master of none. But then, some enhanced features like node-based editors, improved toolsets for modeling and an added feature that allows users to paint on models are steps in the right direction.  If Autodesk could only do something about the price, the software may attract even more users.

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