Autodesk 3ds Max 2021 is now available and includes new features such as Bake to Texture, new PBR materials, a Weighted Normals Modifier, and much more. Below.
3ds Max 2021 Update Highlights
Bake to Texture
- New tool for baking maps and surfaces offers faster performance in a new streamlined workflow
- Extensive renderer support including Arnold
- Error validation and compatible map filtering
- Support for OSL texture maps and Blended Box map
- MikkT normal mapping support.
Physically Based Rendering (PBR) Materials
- New PBR materials make the interaction of light with surfaces physically accurate
- The two types of maps, PBR Material (Metal/Rough) and PBR Material
- (Spec/Gloss), ensure compatibility with any real-time engine workflow
- Drag and drop downloaded PBR maps straight from Windows Explorer into the Material/Maps Browser.
Weighted Normals Modifier
- The Weighted Normals modifier improves the shading of models by altering the vertex normals to be perpendicular to larger flat polygons
- Generates explicit normals for meshes better and faster than ever
- Weight options include: Area, Angle, and Largest Face
- Full control over smoothing and blending values.
New OSL Shaders
New shaders include:
- HDRI Environment controls the positioning and final look of the environment both in the viewport and the final render
- HDRI Lights lets you place HDR photos of real-world lightsources that dynamically update the scene
- Uber Noise adds complex types of noise such as Perlin, Fractal, Cell, fBm, and Worley
- Other new and updated shaders include Color Correction, Float and Color
- Curves, plus Camera, Object, and Spherical Projections.
Arnold renderer as default
- 3ds Max 2021 includes Arnold 6.0 as the default renderer, instead of the Scanline Renderer. This gives you a modern, high-end rendering experience.
- Supports the new Bake to Texture workflows.
- New AOV workflows.
- Includes new Scene Converter scripts for converting V-Ray and Corona Materials to the Physical Material.
New Substance2 Map
- Substance2 map is faster than the legacy Substance map.
- Utilizes updates to the latest Substance engine for native sbar loading. You no
- longer need to export maps from Substance Designer.
- Supports up to 8k textures.
- Supports the renderers included with 3ds Max: Arnold, ART, Scanline and Quicksilver.
- Scripted tools to quickly set up Substances with a particular type of material or to back maps to files.
Enhancements and Changes
The online and offline installation has been overhauled for a simpler and faster experience.
The Scene Converter’s new and improved workflow makes creating custom conversion rules easy. Presets are locked and cannot be saved over, and you are reminded of unsaved changes before closing the Scene Converter.
Improved Viewport Settings and Quality
- Viewport Settings can now be saved as presets
- Ambient Occlusion (AO) is now always visible when working in the viewport
Progressive Skylight toggles full shadow-casting skylights, providing accurate skylight shadows when enabled or reducing viewport flicker and visual problems in interior scenes when disabled.
- Progressive Fade-in Time sets the speed at which certain effects in the viewport such as Progressive Skylight, area light, and depth-of-field are progressively rendered
- Roughness support for the Physical Material
- Shadows for lights now on by default.
. Take advantage of the rich set of Python extension libraries and the ability of Python 3 to handle all your algorithms, as Python 3.7.6 is now the default. As it doesn’t support MaxPlus python API, we recommend using the pymxs python API instead. pymxs now supports an improved way of passing arguments by reference to various APIs, a more flexible callback registration mechanism, and better interoperability with MAXScript.
Faster file saving
Saving scene files with a very large number of assets is now significantly faster. Autobackup (Autosave) and Hold are faster also. The more assets a file has, the greater the improvement.
Support added for 24-bit WAV files, 88.2kHz and 96kHz sample rates, as well as support for an unlimited numbers of audio clips (previous maximum of 100). An issue was also fixed that caused audio to plat at 50% volume after frame 100.
Chamfer modifier updates
- Recent Editable Poly options such as Uniform, Radial, and Patch mitering types can now be set directly from the Chamfer modifier.
- Support also extends to the Edge Depth, End Bias, and Radial Bias controls.
Sketchup import improvements
New Sketchup importation options include ignoring hidden elements and preserving layer information.