Current Promotions

Autodesk 30% off Promo

July 10th to October 20th, 2017

30% on 1-year or 3-year Autodesk Subscriptions (Rentals)

  • Existing customers can save up to 30% on 1-year or 3-year Subscriptions to any eligible product when they trade in their older perpetual licenses.

  • Get the latest version of Maya, 3ds Max or a Media & Entertainment Collection.


3ds Max® 3D modeling software provides a comprehensive modeling, animation, simulation, and rendering solution for games, film, and motion graphics artists. 3ds Max delivers efficient new tools, accelerated performance, and streamlined workflows to help increase overall productivity for working with complex, high-resolution assets.

New Features in 3ds Max 2017

3D animation

Enhanced animation productivity Animation productivity (enhanced)
Get a more responsive animation process.

Text tool (enhanced)
Add data-driven information to your scenes.

Geodesic Voxel and Heatmap skinning
Create better skin weighting more quickly.

Max Creation Graph animation controllers
Create procedural animations with 3 new controllers.

3D modeling and texturing


Fast form hard surfaces
Quickly create hard surface forms

UV mapping (enhanced)
Up to 10x faster UV navigation and editing 

Object tool: more efficient modeling, animating, and rendering toolsObject tool (enhanced)
Easy to access tools for object work

Text and shape map
Create decals and text-based graphics using 2D objects.

3D rendering

Autodesk Raytracer Renderer (ART)

Create accurate images of architectural scenes.

Dynamics & effects


Simple simulation data import

Animate simulation data in CFD, .CSV, or OpenVDB formats.

UI, workflow, and pipeline


Asset Library
Quickly access all your 3D content 

High DPI display support
Run 3ds Max on modern HDPI monitors and laptops.

Improved pipeline tools integration
Get an extended and improved Python/.NET toolset.

Scene converter
Seamlessly move from one renderer to another.

Game exporter
Easily transfer data into game engines.

Live link
Connect 3ds Max and the Stingray engine.

Gain better support for physically based shaders when working with Stingray through ShaderFX enhancementsBetter support for Stingray shaders
Gain better support for physically based shaders.

Integrated Creative Market 3D content store
Quickly search an online market of 3D assets.

Max Creation Graph (enhanced)
Use shapes and splines, and import simulation data.

Scene Explorer and Layer Manager (enhanced)
Work with complex scenes more easily.

Design Workspace
Easily discover the main features of 3ds Max.

Template system
New startup configurations speed scene creation. 

One-click Print Studio access

Launch Print Studio directly from 3ds Max.

New Features in 3ds Max 2016

3D animation


Text toolThe Text tool in 3ds Max offers a powerful preset system


Add data-driven information to your scenes. Choose the level of control you need for your work: edit entire paragraphs and words, or individual letters. 3ds Max also retains information such as font theme, font style, and glyphs when you copy text from Microsoft Word documents, simplifying your 2D-to-3D workflow.

Geodesic Voxel and Heatmap skinningCreate better skin weighting more quickly with Geodesic Voxel and Heatmap skinning


Generate better skin weighting at a fraction of the time. Run Geodesic Voxel and Heatmap skinning outside of the bind pose, and even on selected areas, to refine your weighting in particular spots more easily. Geodesic Voxel Skinning can handle complex geometry that’s not watertight and can contain non-manifold or overlapping components—as is frequently the case with real-world production meshes.

Max Creation Graph animation controllersCreate procedural animations with new MCG-based controllers


Author animation controllers in MCG, using a new generation of animation tools that you can create and modify, package and share. Extension 1 includes 3 new MCG-based controllers: LookAt Constraint, Ray to Surface Transform Constraint, and Rotation Spring Controller. Create physically based simulation controllers with MCG and the Bullet Physics engine sample integration.

Camera SequencerCreate high-quality animated visualizations, animatics, and cinematics more easily

Tell great stories by creating high-quality animated visualizations, animatics, and cinematics more easily and with more camera control. Cut between multiple cameras, trim, and reorder animated clips nondestructively—leaving the original data unchanged.

Dual Quaternion skinningCreate better skinned characters with more realistic deformations

Create better skinned characters with more realistic deformations. Avoid “bow-tie” or “candy-wrapper” effects, in which the mesh loses volume as deformers are twisted or pivoted, which can commonly occur in characters’ shoulders or wrists. This new option in the Skin modifier enables you to paint the amount of influence skinning has on a surface; use it where you need it, and taper off to linear skinning where you don’t.

3D modeling and texturing


OpenSubdiv supportVideo: Get new crease workflows and better in-viewport performance for high-resolution models

With new support for OpenSubdiv, first introduced in 3ds Max 2015 Extension 1, you can now represent subdivision surfaces using the OpenSubdiv libraries open-sourced by Pixar. The libraries incorporate technology from Microsoft Research, and are designed to take advantage of both parallel CPU and GPU architectures. The result is faster in-viewport performance for meshes with high subdivision levels.

Enhanced ShaderFXCreate and exchange advanced shaders more easily

Get more shading options and better shader interoperability between 3ds Max, Maya, and Maya LT. Create a wider range of procedural materials with new node patterns, including wavelines, voronoi, simplex noise, and brick. Create normal maps from 2D grayscale images with a new bump utility node. Quickly access shaders through the searchable node browser.

3D rendering


A360 rendering supportA360 rendering support for visualization


Using the same technology as Revit and AutoCAD, 3ds Max 2016 features Autodesk A360 rendering support for Subscription customers. A360 uses cloud computing, so you can create impressive, high-resolution images without tying up your desktop or requiring specialized rendering hardware. Create solar study renderings, interactive panoramas, and illuminance simulations. Rerender images from previously uploaded files. Easily share your files with others.

Physical CameraPhysical Camera supports real-life camera settings for visualization

Co-developed with Chaos Group, the makers of V-Ray, the new Physical Camera has Shutter Speed, Aperture, Depth of Field, Exposure, and other options that simulate real-life camera settings. Enhanced controls and additional in-viewport feedback make creating photorealistic images and animations easier.

Support for new Iray and mental ray enhancementsIray and mental ray support

Rendering photorealistic images is easier now, thanks to a number of supported Iray and mental ray enhancements, such as extended Iray Light Path Expressions, support for the Iray irradiance render element, and Light Importance Sampling.

UI, workflow, and pipeline


Game exporterTransfer data into game engines using FBX technology


Transfer data from 3ds Max (such as models, animation takes, character rigs, textures, materials, LODs, lights, and cameras) into game engines (such as Unity, Unreal Engine and Stingray). It’s made possible with FBX interchange technology.

Live link


Download Stingray to take advantage of a new live link between 3ds Max and the Stingray engine. Stingray offers a level of tool interaction that greatly reduces time spent in scene creation, iteration, and testing. 

Better support for Stingray shadersGain better support for physically based shaders when working with Stingray through ShaderFX enhancements


Gain better support for physically based shaders when working with Stingray through ShaderFX enhancements. Easily transfer materials created in ShaderFx into Stingray and enjoy visual consistency in both tools.

Integrated Creative Market 3D content storeSearch for high-quality 3D content directly from the 3ds Max interface


Creative Market is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell assets to use in your projects. Now you can browse for high-quality 3D content directly from the 3ds Max interface.

Max Creation GraphNode-based Max Creation Graph

This new, node-based tool creation environment is a top request in User Voice, our forum in which customers suggest and vote on features. Extend 3ds Max with geometric objects and modifiers by creating graphs in a visual environment, similar to the Slate material editor. Choose from hundreds of node types (operators) that can be connected to create new tools and visual effects. Create new node types by saving graphs, called compounds, package and share new tools, and help other users expand their toolset.

XRef renovationsXRef renovations

Collaboration across teams and throughout the production pipeline is now easier, thanks to new support for nondestructive animation workflows in XRef and improved stability. Externally reference objects to your scene and animate them or edit material on the XRef object in the source file without the need to merge the objects into the scene. Local scenes automatically inherit changes made in the source file.

Scene Explorer and Layer Manager improvementsImproved Scene Explorer and Layer Manager

Working with complex scenes is now easier thanks to increased performance and stability improvements in the Scene Explorer and Layer Manager.  

Design WorkspaceVideo of how Design Workspace makes the main features more accessible and streamlines your 3D modeling workflow

The Design Workspace makes the main features of 3ds Max more accessible, so you can work with confidence. Importing design data to create impressive visualizations is now easier than ever. Following a task-based logical system, the Design Workspace provides easy access to object placement, lighting, rendering, modeling, and texturing tools.  

Easier Revit and SketchUp workflowsVIdeo: Tighter Revit integration makes importing models easier

Import and file link Revit .RVT files into 3ds Max directly using a new, tighter Revit integration, first introduced in 3ds Max 2015 Extension 2. Bring Revit models into 3ds Max up to 10 times faster than before. The new integration provides enhanced features, such as improved instancing, additional BIM data, and multiple cameras. SketchUp users can now take their design further in 3ds Max by importing SketchUp 2015 files.  

Template systemVideo: New and customizable startup configurations accelerate scene creation and your 3D modeling workflow

Accelerate your scene-creation process with new on-demand templates that provide standardized startup configurations. Share templates across teams and offices with easy import/export options. Create new templates or tailor existing templates to your workflows. Built-in settings for rendering, environments, lighting, and units offer more accurate project results.  

Alembic supportView massive data sets in the Nitrous Viewport, and transfer them more easily

View massive data sets in the Nitrous viewport, and transfer them more easily through your production pipeline with new Alembic support. Work with production-proven technology, and move complex data through a pipeline in a manageable form. The technology distills complex animated and simulated data into a non-procedural, application-independent set of baked geometric results.  

Autodesk Translation FrameworkAutodesk Translation Framework enables a smoother 3D modeling workflow

Autodesk Translation Framework (ATF) simplifies data exchange of both Autodesk and third-party file formats, including SolidWorks. With the ability to import Inventor constraints and Joint Drive animation into 3ds Max as baked keyframes, you can create high-quality mechanical design animations without having to rig in 3ds Max.  

Multitouch supportMultitouch 3D navigation

3ds Max 2016 features multitouch 3D navigation, which offers even more freedom when interacting with 3D content. The software supports the Wacom Intuos 5 touch tablet, Cintiq 24HD, and Cintiq Companion, as well as touch-enabled Windows 8 devices. These devices enable natural interactions with a pen in one hand, while the other hand simultaneously performs multifinger gestures to orbit, pan, zoom, or roll a scene.

Small user-requested features (SURFs)Small user-requested features (SURFs)

Small changes can make a big difference in the everyday life of a 3ds Max user. We address up to 10 workflow obstacles identified as high priorities by customers in 3ds Max 2016. Among the user-requested features are a new Viewport Selection Preview, Cut Tool Improvements, and the ability to visualize hard and smooth edges. Request features and vote on current suggestions in the User Voice forum.




3D animation


Populate enhancements

Get increased artistic control, better realism, and improved usability with the enhanced Populate crowd animation feature.
  • Give characters more convincing walking, jogging, passing, turning, and seated behaviors.
  • Control more aspects of how characters are generated to influence their outcome.
  • Save textures for reuse and customization and for network sharing and rendering.
  • Customize Populate through an SDK (software development kit).

Populate crowd animation

Generate moving or idle crowds to enrich architectural presentations with believable human motion, or to previsualize a film or video scene.
  • Gain high-level control of believable human motion.
  • Use a set of animated characters in common public settings: sidewalks, hallways, lobbies, and plazas.
  • Connect walkways into patterns of pedestrian flow with crowd composition tools.

Character animation and rigging tools

Create believable characters in less time with sophisticated character animation and rigging tools.
  • Perform procedural animation and rigging with CAT (Character Animation Toolkit), biped, and crowd animation functionality.
  • Use the Skin modifier and CAT Muscle for more precise, smoother control of skeletal deformation.
  • Rig complex mechanical assemblies and characters with custom skeletons using 3ds Max bones, inverse kinematics (IK) solvers, and customizable rigging tools.
  • Wire one-way and two-way relationships between controllers to help create simplified 3D animation interfaces.
  • Animate CAT, biped, and 3ds Max objects in layers to tweak dense motion capture data without compromising underlying keyframes.
  • Store libraries of motions for use with the nonlinear Motion Mixer, and apply and retarget motions to single objects, entire characters, or sets of objects and tracks within characters.
  • Convert 3ds Max CAT bipedal characters into characters that are compatible with the HumanIK solver used in Maya 2015 3D animation, modeling, simulation, rendering, and compositing software and MotionBuilder 2015 3D character animation software in a single step.

General animation tools

Use a number of keyframe and procedural animation tools for almost any parameter in your scene.
  • View and edit animation trajectories directly in the viewport.
  • Implement custom animation controls by wiring UI elements, such as sliders and spinners, to an object's animatable tracks.
  • Control multiple attributes with a single slider.
  • Use the Dope Sheet to edit slide, move, and scale keys or sets of keys in both time and value.
  • Control dense animation using soft selection falloff and Reduced Keys that maintain the integrity of the original animation.
  • Synchronize sound tracks in Track View with target animation; up to 100 audio tracks can be added per animated scene.
  • Retime portions of animations without creating new keyframes.

Animated deformers

Add life to creatures and simulate fluidic effects with a number of animated deformers.
  • Choose from Freeform, Affect Region, Bend, Displace, Lattice, Mirror, Noise, Physique, Push, Preserve, Relax, Ripple, Shell, Slice, Skew, Stretch, Spherify, Squeeze, Twist, Taper, Substitute, XForm, and Wave modifiers.
  • World Space modifiers operate at the top of the modifier stack and bind objects to animated world conditions, such as surfaces, forces, fields, and deflections.
  • Use animated deformers on many geometry types, such as particles.


3D modeling and texturing


Point Cloud support

Import, visualize, snap to, and render massive point cloud datasets to create more precise models from real-world references.
  • View point clouds in true color in the 3ds Max viewport, interactively adjust the extent of the cloud displayed, and create new geometry in context by snapping to point cloud vertices.
  • Render point clouds with shadows in the NVIDIA® mental ray® renderer to visualize CG objects in real-world contexts in order to better communicate designs, or to previsualize animation shots.
  • Take advantage of a connected reality capture workflow with certain other Autodesk solutions: ReCap reality capture software , AutoCAD software for 2D and 3D CAD, Revit building information modeling software, and Inventor 3D CAD software, with support for the .rcp and .rcs file formats.mental ray is a registered trademark of NVIDIA ARC GmbH, licensed for use by Autodesk, Inc.


Easily create advanced HLSL viewport shaders with the ShaderFX real-time visual shader editor.
  • Connect different nodes together using an intuitive click-drag workflow.
  • Select from a powerful array of floating-point values, mathematical operations, texture maps, normal maps, and color nodes.
  • Visualize the resulting materials, even those with animated values, in real time in the 3ds Max viewport.
  • Use the advanced mode to drill down into the inner workings of each basic node.

Placement tools

Easily position and orient content relative to other content in your scene with new Placement tools.
  • Take advantage of intuitive auto-parenting and aligning behaviors.
  • Move objects along the surface of other meshes as though magnetically attracted.
  • Quickly rotate objects as part of the same option.

Quad chamfer

Create a chamfered or beveled edge between two surfaces consisting of quads, rather than triangles, to help eliminate pinching.

Mesh and surface modeling

Efficiently create parametric and organic objects with polygon, subdivision surface, and spline-based modeling features.
  • Get at least 100 advanced polygonal modeling and freeform 3D design tools in the Graphite modeling toolset.
  • Control the number of faces or points in your object with ProOptimizer technology and reduce the complexity of a selection by up to 75% without loss of detail.
  • Obtain clean mesh topology on Boolean operations with ProBooleans.
  • Quickly fracture geometry into smaller chunks with the ProCutter tool.
  • Articulate minute details and optimize meshes for both interactive manipulation and rendering using subdivision surfaces and polygon smoothing.
  • Create editable splines and spline cages from ready-to-use 2D shapes and convert to any 3D geometry type.

Texture assignment and editing

Access a number of texture mapping, baking, and layering options.
  • Perform creative texture mapping operations, such as tiling, mirroring, decal placement, blurring, spline mapping, pelt mapping, UV stretching, and relaxation.
  • Take advantage of the Least Squares Conformal Mapping (LSCM) method to help minimize texture distortion.
  • Bake each object’s material and lighting into new texture maps with the Render to Texture functionality.
  • Use up to 99 UV sets for texture layering.
  • Load vector graphics as texture maps and render them at dynamic resolutions.

Shading and material design

Get the look you want for your assets, with tools specifically designed to accelerate the shading and material design process.
  • Design and edit complex shading hierarchies with the Slate material editor, taking advantage of extensive libraries of textures, images, and procedural maps.
  • Use the intuitive Viewport Canvas toolset to paint multiple layers onto any maps in any material directly on 3D objects.
  • Access up to 1,200 material templates and seamlessly exchange material data between supporting Autodesk applications with the Autodesk Material Library.
  • Interactively preview and adjust how lighting affects your materials, with a wealth of photorealistic and non-photorealistic lights, such as real-world photometric lights and the physically accurate Sun and Sky system.
  • Achieve a number of look variations with a library of 80 Substance procedural textures. These dynamic, resolution-independent textures have a tiny memory and disk space footprint.

3D rendering

Improved ActiveShade rendering

Enjoy a faster ActiveShade preview rendering workflow that now supports mental ray.
  • Watch the effects of changing lighting or materials interactively, to more easily refine your work.
  • Use the ActiveShade preview rendering window with mental ray, NVIDIA® iray®, or scanline renderers.
  • Experience faster interactive updates for both iray and mental ray.
  • Get finer grain updates with more frequent captures of viewport navigation and switching, adjustments to light parameters, and certain other scene changes.
iray and mental ray are registered trademarks of NVIDIA ARC GmbH, licensed for use by Autodesk, Inc.

Accelerated viewport performance

Increase interactivity with substantially faster navigation, selection, and viewport texture baking.
  • See particular benefits with dense meshes and scenes with texture maps.
  • Enable anti-aliasing with minimal impact on performance so you can work quickly in a higher-fidelity environment.

Stereo Camera

Create more engaging entertainment content and design visualizations with the new Stereo Camera feature set*.
  • Create stereoscopic camera rigs to author engaging 3D content.
  • Choose from left eye, right eye, center, or anaglyph display modes views in the Nitrous viewport.
  • Use in-scene 3D volumes to help with the adjustment of valid stereo zones.
  • Take advantage of passive or active stereo** viewing.
*  Fulfilled through the Autodesk Exchange application store ( English language only. ** Requires a recent AMD FirePro graphics card and a supported HD3D Active Stereo monitor or equivalent.  

Integrated rendering options

Achieve stunning image quality in less time with powerful 3D rendering software capabilities.
  • Generate physically correct lighting effects simulations, such as raytraced reflections and refractions, caustics, and global illumination with the integrated mental ray renderer from NVIDIA.
  • Get more predictable, photorealistic results using the NVIDIA iray rendering technology.
  • Make interactive decisions in context with the ability to view most 3ds Max texture maps and materials in the viewport.
  • Create high-fidelity previsualizations, animatics, and marketing materials with the Quicksilver hardware renderer.
  • Render highly stylized, non-photorealistic (NPR) effects that simulate artistic styles created by hand.
  • Render complex high-resolution details created in Mudbox 3D digital sculpting and texture painting software or certain other packages on low-resolution geometry with support for vector displacement maps.

Render pass system

Segment scenes for downstream compositing with a powerful render pass system.
  • Create render elements for Smoke editing and effects software, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop software, or certain other image compositing applications.
  • Capture, edit, and save different states for the scene—such as object modifiers—using a state recorder.
  • See how compositing and render elements are wired together to create the final result in a visual interface.
  • Set up and execute multiple render passes from a single file; individual passes can be modified without the need to re-render the whole scene.

Nitrous accelerated graphics core

Iterate faster and handle larger data sets with limited impact on interactivity with the Nitrous accelerated graphics core.
  • Take advantage of accelerated GPUs and multi-core workstations to experience dramatically improved interactive performance and visual quality.
  • Enjoy a smoother, more responsive workflow with advanced scene management techniques and multithreaded viewport scene traversal.
  • Supported features include unlimited lights, soft shadows, image-based lighting, depth of field, screen-space ambient occlusion, tone-mapping, higher-quality transparency, and accelerated particle flow display.
  • Progressive refinement of image quality without blocking changes to the scene helps you make better creative decisions in the context of your final output.
  • Work interactively in the context of your final platform with support for DirectX 11 shaders.

Slate compositing editor

Perform simple compositing operations directly within 3ds Max with the Slate Compositing Editor.
  • Easily wire together rendered layers and passes and combine them with compositing nodes (like blends and color corrections) in the schematic node-based interface.
  • If required, the resulting composite can be sent to Adobe After Effects or Adobe Photoshop for further refinement.


Dynamics and effects

Particle Flow

Create a number of sophisticated, realistic effects such as water, fire, spray, and snow with the powerful event-driven Particle Flow toolset.
  • Create customized Particle Flow tools from different combinations of up to 25 different suboperators with the Advanced Data Manipulation toolset.
  • Integrate Particle Flow setups with MassFX physics simulations, using mParticles.
  • Iterate faster with two Cache operators: Cache Disk offers the ability to precalculate and store Particle Flow simulations as separate files on disk, while Cache Selective enables you to cache only certain types of data.
  • Take advantage of included Particle Flow ”freebies” from Orbaz Technologies: Camera Culling Operator, Camera IMBlur Operator, Copy Out Test, Display Script Operator, Stop Operator, and Stop Gradually Test.


Add realistic rigid-body, cloth, and particle simulations to your scene with the high-performance MassFX system of unified simulation solvers.
  • Take advantage of the multi-threaded NVIDIA PhysX engine to help create compelling, dynamic rigid-body simulations directly in the 3ds Max viewport with mRigids.
  • Apply the mRigids solver to skeletons to help create convincing ragdoll simulations.
  • Create realistic clothing and certain other fabric-like simulations with mCloth.
  • Use mParticles to simulate natural and man-made forces, create and break particle bonds, and collide particles with each other and with other objects.

Hair and fur

Create hair, fur, and other strand-derived effects such as grass, and precisely control their styling and animation.
  • Manipulate hair directly in the viewports using hair selection and styling tools, such as tools for cutting, brushing, and clumping.
  • Add kinks and frizz to hair and animate frequency and speed.
  • Instance any source object as hair strands.
  • Use Spline Deform to add splines to a set of hairs that can act as control guides; hairs can be posed, keyed, or assigned a dynamic target.
  • Create realistic dynamic simulations that include collisions, gravity, stiffness, root holding, and dampening.

UI, workflow, and pipeline


Enhanced scene management

Manage complex scenes more easily with enhancements to Scene Explorers.
  • Organize data into nested layers to make it easier to work with large numbers of objects.
  • Take advantage of support for docking and Workspaces, together with customizable quad menus, for enhanced productivity.

Python scripting

Extend and customize 3ds Max with the popular and easy-to-learn Python scripting language.
  • Differentiate your 3ds Max capabilities with Python-based extensions.
  • Integrate 3ds Max more easily into a Python-based pipeline.
  • Execute Python scripts from MAXScript and the 3ds Max command line.
  • Access a subset of the 3ds Max SDK (software development kit) from Python scripts, including the ability to evaluate MAXScript code.

Configurable user interface

Increase your productivity with a user interface that conforms to the way you work.
  • Select from a choice of default or customizable workspaces to fit the task at hand. For example, configure one workspace for modeling, and another for animating, with different settings for menus, toolbars, ribbon and viewport tab presets.
  • Easily create and switch between several tabbed viewport layout configurations to gain efficient access to the views required for a particular task.
  • Save time and maintain focus on the creative task at hand with the Caddy in-context UI for polygon modeling tools.

Flexible camera matching

Interactively match the camera view of a scene to the perspective of a photo background, or use 2D pan and zoom for accurate line placement.
  • Easily place a CG element into the context of a still-frame photographic background for print and advertising composites.
  • Visualize how a CG element will look in a real-life setting to validate concepts.
  • Pan and zoom the viewport as though it were a 2D image, without affecting the camera position—useful when camera matching, building a scene from outlines or blueprints, and magnifying dense meshes for selection.

Data transfer and pipeline integration

Import data from many sources and smoothly transfer data across file iterations, software applications, users, and locations.
  • Enjoy advanced interoperability with Adobe Photoshop software.
  • Take advantage of two-way transfer and synchronization of cameras, lights, null objects, plane objects/solids, footage, footage layering, blend modes, opacity, effects, and text objects with Adobe After Effects software.
  • Convert 3ds Max CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) bipedal characters into characters compatible with the HumanIK game middleware solver in Maya 3D animation software and MotionBuilder 3D character animation software in a single step.
  • Use the same mouse and key combinations to navigate viewports in 3ds Max as you would in Maya.
  • Smoothly move between versions with the ability to save scenes in a format compatible with 3ds Max 2011, 2012, 2013, or 2014.

Compositing integration

Enhance your 3D rendered data and combine it with live-action footage using a choice of compositing options.
  • Segment scenes into render elements for downstream compositing in Smoke software, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop software, or certain other image compositing applications.
  • Perform simple compositing operations directly within 3ds Max with the node-based interface Slate Compositing Editor.
  • Take advantage of the Composite* functionality, a fully featured, high-performance, high dynamic range (HDR)-capable compositor, based on technology from Toxik compositing software. The 3ds Max Composite toolset incorporates keying, color correction, tracking, camera mapping, raster and vector paint, spline-based warping, motion blur, depth of field, and tools to support stereoscopic productions.

Collaborative workflows with Containers

Take advantage of Containers to collect, organize, and share data in complex scenes.
  • Work collaboratively with multiple artists contributing to the same scene. Reference containers created by others into a single scene and layer local edits on top nondestructively.
  • Improve scene performance and reduce memory consumption by temporarily unloading Containers from the viewport display while maintaining their relationships to the scene for reloading.
  • Use containers to override object properties for scene organization without affecting layer organization (similar to a nested layer workflow).

3ds Max SDK

Extend and customize virtually every aspect of the 3ds Max application with the comprehensive 3ds Max SDK (Software Development Kit).
  • Access elements such as scene geometry, animation controllers, camera effects, and atmospherics.
  • Create new scene components, control the behavior of existing components, and export the scene data to custom data formats.
  • Take advantage of a managed .NET plug-in loader, making it easier to develop plug-ins in C# or other .NET languages.
  • Learn from at least 200 sample plug-in projects.


Specifications & Licensing

System Requirements

System requirements for Autodesk 3ds Max

Operating System Microsoft® Windows® 7 (SP1), Windows® 8 and Windows® 8.1 Professional operating system
Browser Autodesk recommends the latest version of the following web browsers for access to online supplemental content:
  • Apple® Safari® web browser
  • Google Chrome™ web browser
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® web browser
  • Mozilla® Firefox® web browser
CPU 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor
Graphics Hardware Refer to the Recommended Hardware wizard for a detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards
RAM 4 GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
Disk Space 4.5GB of free disk space for install
Pointing Device Three-button mouse


3ds Max is available as either standalone (node-locked) or network (floating) licenses. Licenses can be perpetual or termed rentals (desktop subscription)

Additional Info

Upgrades / Support


Click here to Discover the Subscription Advantage

Autodesk offers the following Upgrades and Support options:


  • Software upgrades
  • Exclusive updates
  • Access to training and learning materials
  • Entitlement to previous versions
  • Home-Use licensing
  • Enhanced license management tools
  • Email Support

Subscription / Gold Support

  • Includes all of the Subscription benefits above, plus
  • Unlimited Phone and Web Support
  • Defect Tracking


  • Upgrade from Standalone to Network licenses
  • Upgrades to 3ds Max Entertainment Suite
  • Upgrades to Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate


RFX is available for all your support needs.

  • Autodesk provides initial installation support upon purchase
  • Unlimited Phone and Web Support available with Subscription / Gold Support (see above)


Related Products

Enhance your 3ds Max pipeline with the following products:

  • Autodesk Maya
  • Autodesk Mudbox
  • Autodesk MotionBuilder
  • Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite: Maya + MotionBuilder + Mudbox
  • Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite Premium: Maya + MotionBuilder + Mudbox + Softimage
  • Boomer Labs MAX2AE
  • Bytegeist ghost trails
  • Cebas finalRender
  • Cebas thinking particles
  • Cebas finaldof
  • Cebas maxVR.qt
  • Cebas pyrocluster
  • Cebas stairmax
  • Cebas scalpelmax
  • Cebas finalFlares
  • Cebas finalToon
  • Cebas volumeBreaker
  • Cebas psdmanager
  • Chaos Group Vray / RT for 3ds Max
  • Studio|Gpu Mach Studio Pro
  • Craft Animation Director Studio
  • e-on Vue xStream / Infinite / Ozone
  • Massive Software Prime / Jet
  • Next Limit RealFlow
  • Next Limit Maxwell Studio
  • Re:Vision ReelSmart Motion Blur
  • Re:Vision Twixtor
  • SitniSati AfterBurn
  • SitniSati DreamScape
  • SitniSati FumeFX
  • Syflex Cloth Simulator

Looking for a unique or custom plugin to be built for your pipeline?  Contact the folks at DI-O-MATIC, they specialize in custom plugins for 3ds Max and Maya.


Training / Resources

Go to Autodesk Subscription site for updates, downloads, and support inquiries

Go to Area for 3ds Max tutorials, tips, downloads and forums.

Go to for rendering with mental ray® training and resources (Los Angeles Mental Ray User Group).