The Public

Roadmap

Image courtesy of AJ Jefferies
Beyond 2021 - 3ds Max Public Roadmap

The 3ds Max product team is excited to continue posting updates to our public roadmap. The goal is to further engage with the 3ds Max community and to share direction for the product. The team has been busy pushing as much value as possible to you and we want to provide some insights on what we are working on for the future as there is a lot that we believe you will also be excited to hear about.

Now, some ground rules before we go any further:

This roadmap may make statements regarding future events and development efforts for our products and services. These statements reflect our current expectations based on what we know today. Our plans are not intended to be a promise or guarantee of future delivery of products, services or features and purchasing decisions should not be made based upon these statements. We do not assume any responsibility to update this roadmap to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the publish date of this roadmap.

We believe that to continue to bring value to our users, we need to focus on making 3ds Max more reliable, procedural and scalable. Our roadmap is therefore structured into these three main themes, and this is what you will see in this document.

The list of capabilities presented below is certainly not exhaustive. We have released more than what is showed, and we are working on more than what you will see here. The intent is to give you a good sense of our areas of focus and direction. For a complete list of capabilities shipped in the past, please see the

what's new section

.

ARTIST EXPERIENCE
Released
Future
Released
Future
NEW IN 2021
New Installer
Details

New installer experience requires less clicks, 50%* install speed up, gets you from zero to Max in no time.

Your experience may vary.

Floating Viewports
Details

Viewports used to be locked to the main window preventing to leverage multi-monitor environments, but they can now be detached.

Viewport Performance
Details

Several improvements have been released already (validity intervals, FPS display, groups and list controllers). Now working on mesh structure for the modifier stack, next is scene graph parallelization and UI bottlenecks.

New Point Cloud Formats
Details

Upgraded our importers to support more point clouds formats.

New Revit Importer
Details

Revit import has been greatly improved, way faster, now properly supports light scales and various parameters. 

New SketchUp Importer
Details

Sketchup import is now supporting all versions of Sketchup while fixing many issues that failed to import before.

Released
Future
Modernize Trackview TreeView
Details

This tool will allow users to quickly view, modify, and animate values with an easy to use and delightfully fast interface. This will be a replacement for the TreeView that is used in TrackView, Motionpanel, and elsewhere.

Asset Depot
Details

The Depot is a visual toolbox allowing a user to fluidly introduce content or actions into a workflow or scene.

Brush Tools
Details

Consolidate and improve brush tools inside 3ds Max. The brush tools in 3ds Max are inconsistent.

ASSET BUILD
Released
Beta
Future
Released
Beta
Future
NEW IN 2021
Texture Baking
Details

The new BTT makes everything simpler, can bake multiple maps in parallel in specific cases, displays the right previews, and supports Mikkt space normal map.

Chamfer Modifier
Details

We’ve made another significant update, now making it fully procedural, even for the EditPoly modifier.

Face-weighted Normals
Details

Allows to generate new explicit normals for mesh data. Generates hard edge normals for mesh via defined Smoothing Groups/Defined Hard Edges, UV seams, and/or Edge Angle that have already placed on mesh.

Spline Chamfer
Details

Apply chamfers on splines

NEW IN 2021.2
NEW IN 2021.2
Smart Extrude
Details

Use typical transform commands to extrude, inset, and 3ds Max will cut the grunt work of fixing overlaps for you!

Automated Retopology
Details

Generates new clean quad based topologies for assets. Drastically reduces the time it takes to repurpose assets coming from a sculpting tool, high-res meshes, and point clouds.

NEW IN 2021.3
Auto-Retopo on Hard Surfaces
Details

Generates clean geometry based on hard surfaces

NEW IN 2021.3
Automated Mesh Fixing
Details

Tools will provide a way to correct problems such as non-manifold geometry, degenerated edges and faces, self intersections, isolated vertecies, invalid map channel data, and much more.

NEW IN 2021.3
Released
Beta
Future
Volume Perseving Relax Modifier
Details


Released
Beta
Future
Auto-Retopo Constraints
Details

We have been experimenting with giving artists the possibility to define constraints, for important edges for animation, or preserving UV seams… and let the retopology tool fill the blanks.

Machine Learning Uvs
Details

Generates Uvs automatically leveraging machine learning and database of professional artist-created models.

Automated Point Cloud Meshing
Details

Remesh point clouds to something more useable. Pair this with Retopo modifiers to get an even better result.

OpenVDB based Volume Booleans
Details

Using OpenVDB as a basis for easier boolean operations. Add this with retopology, smart extrude, and chamfer modifiers and you have a powerful procedurally driven modeling and LOD generation toolset.

UV-less Decal Texturing
Details

Using OSL under the hood, you'll be able to apply and place textures without the needs of Uvs. Perfect for conceptual procedural decal workflows.

WORLD BUILDING
Beta
Future
Beta
Future
Bifrost Integration
Details

Integrating Bifrost in 3ds max, a jointly developed procedural solver between 3ds Max and Maya. Video courtesy of Clovis Gay.

Portable Bifrost Behaviors
Details

Having Bifrost in both DCCs will offer portable fully procedural recipes between both tools. Video courtesy of Clovis Gay.

Beta
Future
Procedural Scene Layout
Details

Drive various parameters as you see fit. In this case, using vertex paint.

Procedural Instancing
Details

Leverage instancing workflows with Bifrost scattering while maintaining high viewport interaction.

Procedural Kit-Bashing
Details

Easily combine assets together to quickly fill up your scenes.

Portable Smart Assets
Details

Add intelligence to your assets in order to artistically or procedurally direct them. Video courtesy of Clovis Gay.

ANIMATION
Released
Beta
Future
Released
Future
Released
Beta
Future
Released
Future
Bifrost Fluids
Details

Fluid simulation solution based on a first drop of Bifrost, our procedural engine.

Loader and Motion Fields
Details

Load back in cached particle systems to reuse. Motion Field is like an Uber Space Warp containing Gravity, Wind, Turbulance, or Vortex in one object allowing to also visualize the flow.

Multiple Simulations in a Scene
Details

Improved how we load and can run fluids simulation so that multiple simulations can be run at the same time.

Released
Beta
Future
Mocap & Retargeting
Details

Retarget any rig type to any other rig type. Biped to CAT, CAT to HIK rig, it’s up to you.

Rig Interop
Details

Use different types of rigs interchangeably.

Bifrost Integration
Details

Working on a full integration of the latest Bifrost, upgrading existing fluid solution and getting ready for more FX in the future. Video courtesy of Clovis Gay.

Released
Beta
Future
Released
Future
Populate Behaviors
Details

Use custom rigs within a Populate simulation and have them adjust to the static environments.

Populate Customization
Details

Allow Populate characters to

Directed Animation
Details

A new type of character modifier can be used to procedurally drive animation.

Inertia Modifier
Details

Add a little overlapping action with an Inertia Modifier

Modifier Real-Time Blending
Details

Mix weighting between objects and make prop targeting simple.

Fire, Smoke, Cloth
Details

Once Bifrost is integrated in 3ds Max, we could start offering Bifrost based FX solutions that are portable between 3ds Max and Maya.

RENDERING
Released
Future
Released
Beta
Future
Released
Future
Released
Beta
Future
NEW IN 2021
Viewport Presets
Details

Viewport Settings can now be saved as presets, New Progressive refinement controls in the UI, Ambient Occlusion is now always visible when manipulating the viewport, Shadows for lights are now on by default.

NEW IN 2021
New OSL Shaders
Details

Color Correction HDRI Environment HDRI Lights Float and Color Curves Camera Projection Object Projection Spherical Projection Uber Noise

NEW IN 2021
Latest Substance Plugin
Details

New “Substance2” map type, performance improvements, and many new capabilities. Updates to latest Substance engine for native sbar loading. No longer need to export maps from Substance Designer.

PBR Real-Time Viewport
Details

We are working on improving our PBR viewport with support for roughness. Also improving our PBR viewport with accelerated Ambient Occlusion convergence, real-time update for lights, and more.

NEW IN 2021
Arnold as the Default Renderer
Details

There is less friction to experience the highest rendering quality available in the 3ds Max box.

NEW IN 2021
Physical Material as the default
Details

Consolidating all our importers, exporters, and tools creating materials on the Physical Material (PBR), to help users converging to a renderer agnostic pipeline.

NEW IN 2021
Arnold GPU
Details

Updated to the latest Arnold version which now offers fully-supported GPU as opposed to just on beta.

Active Shade
Details

Active shade can display the render preview directly in the background of the main viewport, not solely in a separate viewport.

Arnold Render View Frame Buffer
Details

Yes, the Arnold Render View everyone is asking for.

Viewport Bloom
Details

Do realtime bloom FX directly in the viewport

NEW IN 2021.3
Released
Beta
Future
Fully QT Based Render Dialog
Details

In addition to the render dialog being expandable, dockable, and with faster tab switching, we finally got rid of that nasty double click bug.

Material X Library
Details

Provide a new material library built around modern open standards such as MaterialX, Autodesk Standard Surface, and OSL

Released
Future
Released
Beta
Future
Simpler Viewport Settings
Details

Make the configuration of the UI simpler to get the view you need with as few clicks as possible.

Color Management
Details

Adopting new Color Management by aligning with the OpenColorIO initiative.

Rendertime Instancing
Details

Implement the ability to pass instance information to the viewport and renderers through an agnostic API. In this image example, there are 50m trees generating 71 trillion polygons.

SME 2.0
Details

Updated Slate Material Editor. Better performance and deeper developer access beyond current Slate SDK.

TEAM COLLABORATION
Released
Future
Released
Beta
Future
Released
Future
Released
Beta
Future
Open Shading Language
Details

Introduction of OSL Open Shading Language, to give better opportunities for procedural textures. Interoperable with other tools supporting OSL such as Maya or Blender.

Alembic 1.7 & Alembic Inspector
Details

Added out of the box support for the latest alembic version, allowing support for splines, nurbs, instances, better interop with Maya (UVs), and an inspector to selectively import what is useful.

3D Commerce Group at Kronos
Details

Autodesk joined the 3D Commerce working group to help retailers define the standards for the future of retailer digital-twin catalogs.

Autodesk joined Khronos
Details

Autodesk joined the Khronos organization and in particular, the glTF working group.

Academy Software Foundation
Details

Autodesk co-founded the Academy Software Foundation to help support open source projects (OpenVDB, OpenEXR, OpenColorIO).

Unity Partnership
Details

Scaling up collaboration with Unity to more products such as Revit. Planning to offer more value and workflows in the future for 3ds Max.

Unity FBX Exporter
Details

Worked with Unity to create the FBX Exporter package allowing one-click round trip between 3ds Max / Maya and Unity.

Released
Beta
Future
Material X
Details

Progressing toward MaterialX Open Standard for material graph interop.

Universal Scene Description (USD) Support
Details

Prototyping USD, for open scene data definition, allowing to structure the data to each users’ pipeline (unified referencing), enabling real-time content creation collaboration, providing support for faster and larger scale preview of content.

Nvidia Omniverse
Details

Autodesk and Nvidia are working together to enable faster design iterations with Omniverse, by connecting designers, visualization teams, and consumers all together around a USD data pipeline.

Released
Future
Released
Beta
Future
Standard Surface
Details

Release of Autodesk Standard Surface under Apache 2.0 License: uber shader written in OSL supporting most needs of nowadays renderers, classic and real-time.

USD Rendering
Details

Bring in parts of a USD reference and use any Render Delegates available in 3ds Max.

Native OpenVDB Support
Details

Just as the title says, native support for volume objects in the viewport and converting mesh to volumes and back.

gITF export
Details

Part of our partnership with the Khronos Group is our participation in the 3d formats working group. As a result, we're on the ground floor to shape the future of open standards such as glTF.

DEVELOPER EXPERIENCE
Released
Future
Released
Beta
Future
Released
Future
Released
Beta
Future
NEW IN 2021
No SDK Break in 3ds Max 2021
Details

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NEW IN 2021
Python 2 & 3 Support
Details

Officially released support for Python 3, still supporting Python 2 for now, with the intention to remove it in the future as Python organization stopped its support in Jan 2020.

NEW IN 2021
Documentation Improvements
Details

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Qt Architecture Evolution
Details

The UI architecture of 3ds Max is also constantly evolving and is progressively getting migrated to Qt.

Forge Design Automation
Details

3ds Max is available on Forge for any developer through a web API (REST), with a small subscription, then consuming cloud credits per usage, for automating any MaxScript or Python based job.

3ds Max Batch
Details

A true console version of 3ds Max, all scripting functionalities supported, feedback in the console, error codes, and parameter injection at the command line.

Released
Beta
Future
Python Support Consolidation
Details

In future releases of 3ds Max, the Python 2.7 interpreter will be replaced by Python 3, and the MaxPlus Python API will be deprecated in favor of an improved pymxs API.

Released
Future
Released
Beta
Future
Developer Guidance
Details

New developers may not know the best way to start developing for 3ds Max. This will help provide some clarity and direction around the best practices for languages, interaction with the SDK, and improved documentation.

Background Automation
Details

A way to launch background automations for any time-consuming task, on users’ computer, the local network, or the cloud.

See what the latest release is all about