Autodesk releases 3ds Max 2019.2
Autodesk has released 3ds Max 2019.2, the latest version of its 3D modelling and animation software, making iterative changes to its Fluids toolset, and to Alembic and OSL support.
Load, edit and render multiple simulation caches with the new Fluid Loader object
As with June’s 3ds Max 2019.1, the 2019.2 update doesn’t add any major new features to the software: instead, three existing toolsets get ongoing updates.
Foremost among them is Fluids, the fluid simulation system added in 3ds Max 2018.3 and updated steadily in subsequent releases.
The main change this time is the new Fluid Loader for loading, editing and rendering simulation caches.
The object makes it possible to manipulate and render multiple caches simultaneously, including adjusting transforms – caches can inherit them from the loader itself – offsetting playback and assigning materials.
It is also possible to copy display and render settings between Liquid and Fluid Loader objects.
Other workflow changes include the option to toggle emitters, colliders, motion fields on or off via checkboxes in the Simulation View window to help fine-tune complex sims.
Users can also now render a range of fluids data channels, like Vorticity and Velocity, using Autodesk’s bundled Arnold renderer.
Further updates to Alembic and OSL support
Handling of the Alembic file format, improved in 3ds Max 2019.1, gets a smaller update here, adding support for instances and improving the tree view and search workflow in the Alembic Inspector window.
Alembic files shared between 3ds Max and Maya are also now UV-compatible by default.
Support for Open Shading Language (OSL), added in 3ds Max 2019 and extended in 2019.1, also gets a further update, with the OSL source editor now displaying line numbers and highlighting matching brackets.
In addition, “many” more OSL shaders are supported when using Realistic Mode with Maps in the viewport.
Access to Autodesk drive now free as part of 3ds Max subscriptions
Outside the core app, cloud storage system Autodesk Drive now comes as part of 3ds Max subscriptions.
It enables users to share files in over 60 common CAD, CAM and BIM formats – for DCC users, the list includes OBJ and FBX – and preview them in a web browser. You get 25GB of storage for free.
Autodesk’s blog post also highlights the new features in Arnold 5.2, released in August. The 3ds Max integration plugin was updated at the time.
Pricing and availability
3ds Max 2019.2 is compatible with Windows 7+. 3ds Max is available on a rental-only basis, with a suscription costing $190/month or $1,505/year.
Read more about 3ds Max 2019.2 on Autodesk’s AREA blog
Read a list of new features in 3ds Max 2019.2 in Autodesk’s online documentation
(See the list of bufixes in the release here.)