3DS-Max-Software, 3d program

Max Out 3D Software Performance with Autodesk 3ds Max

Autodesk 3ds Max scores a three-hit combo of power, customization and support.

Autodesk Media and Entertainment produced and developed its 3ds Max (formerly 3D Studio MAX) product line to be powerful 3D modeling and animation tools for the Windows platform. While 3ds Max is geared more toward digital content creation for computer animation and video games, its sister product 3ds Max Design caters more to the architectural, design and engineering industries. Hollywood has used 3ds Max and its predecessor 3D Studio MAX to create visual effects for a host of movies. Recent examples include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 and 2), Iron Man and Watchmen. 3ds Max Design has gained momentum among architectural and engineering circles for its photorealistic rendering capability.

One compelling addition to the most recent version, 3ds Max 2012, is the Nitrous Accelerated Graphics Core, which improves performance and quality of display. Outside the core 3D software capabilities, the program features its own scripting language, MAXScript, and an SDK to tailor-make plug-ins, as well as a customizable UI. Exclusive to 3ds Max Design are the Exposure Lighting Simulation & Analysis and Civil View Feature Set features.

A Little Background

3ds Max had originally started out as 3D Studio DOS Release 1 back in 1990. The program was first developed by the Yost Group and published by Autodesk. Since then, the software has undergone numerous branding changes. Even its name has changed, having gone from 3D Studio MAX to 3ds max (lowercase) before finally arriving at its current iteration in 2009.

Why Should You Use 3ds Max?

What stands out about Autodesk 3ds Max is the raw power of its modeling capability. This is industrial-grade 3D software. Owing to its popularity and the fact that so many 3D modelers have gone before you, there is a wealth of wisdom that can be found on the web in the form of third-party tutorials. The program comes fully supported with extended documentation, even an official forum. With a price tag of $3,500, it’s not cheap, but a free version of the program is available for students and teachers.

Take Your 3D Modeling to the Next Level

So, say you’ve modeled your masterpiece, now what? Exciting new developments in 3D printing technology enables you to translate those shapes you modeled on your computer into real, solid objects. A number of companies offer 3D printing services that cater to clienteles ranging from engineers and inventors to designers and artists, even to hobbyists and enthusiasts. See our comparison grid for a detailed look at the Web’s top 3D Printing Services.