Review: 3ds Max 2012
Autodesk’s 2012 update to 3ds Max brings big changes and improvements both under the hood and in the cockpit. 3D World takes a look at the highlights
by Lee Johnson
Price: £2,975 / $3,495 / €3,800 | Developer: Autodesk | Platform: Windows
The Nitrous Graphics system provides a detailed preview of even the most complex scenes in near-realtime
- Rewritten viewport graphics engine
- Photometric rendering engine
- Nvidia PhysX-based rigid-body dynamics
- Stylised display of scenes in viewport
- Library of procedural real-world textures
Autodesk is continuing its Excalibur (XBR) re-write of 3ds Max, and the 2012 release benefits from some of the fruits of this ongoing project.
Finally, you can feel a real difference from earlier versions.
Two immediately noticeable improvements are that the program startup time has been reduced and the default UI, while still the same easy-on-your-eyes dark grey as 2011, now has coloured buttons and icons, making them much easier to read.
Feature-wise, this release has a big list, at the top of which is the Nitrous Graphics Core, so that’s where I started exploring in depth.
I dusted off an old scene using Particle Flow to create grass. Then I used the Mesher to convert the particle system grass to polys and instanced those around the scene, which weighs in at about 3.5 million polys.
Even with realistic shading, scene shadows and lights turned on, there was no lag at all when panning and tumbling around the scene.
Textures, specular highlights… it’s all there. The shadows took about 1-2 seconds to resolve over the grass, but there was none of the geometry dropping out and then refreshing like in 2011.
You can add as many lights as you want and adjust your lighting setup without endless render tests to get shadows to fall just so.
on Friday, July 22nd, 2011 at 2:30 pm under Applications, Reviews.
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Tags: 3ds Max, 3ds max 2012, Autodesk, review