Discreet, a division of Autodesk Inc., announced today it has begun shipping 3ds max 7, the latest version of its professional 3D modeling, animation and rendering software package. This major release promises significant advancements and optimizations for the installed base of more than 280,000 registered 3ds max customers working in the film, television, video game and visualization fields.
Normal mapping is one of this year’s major technological advancements in video game technology. Many of the latest interactive PC and console games shipping for Christmas 2004 are using normal maps to increase the visual fidelity of their games and producers in film and other markets are looking at its potential as well. Discreet says 3ds max 7 introduces the most advanced and complete normal mapping workflow solution in a commercially available 3D animation software package.
Other new features of 3ds max 7 include:
• mental ray 3.3, which boasts accelerated performance, better memory efficiency, improved Global Illumination, new support for Render to Texture and Normal Mapping, and Sub-Surface Scattering that disperses light for realistic skin and dense translucent object rendering.
• character studio software, an integrated, advanced character animation toolset.
• Parameter Collector and Editor, a new, unified interface designed to improve efficiency when animating multiple parameters for any character setup.
• Edit Poly Modifier, designed to significantly increase the speed and ease at which complex polygonal surfaces can be created, modified and then animated.
• Skin Wrap Deformer for improved character animation workflow with easy application of props and clothing to pre-skinned 3D models.
• Snapping Workflow for improved accuracy and viewport feedback for the underlying snapping system in 3ds max.
• Reaction Manager, a new interface and workflow for managing reactions and animations between objects.
• Paint Selections, an intuitive and interactive method for building selections with a brush-based interface.
• Mobile Gaming Development Tools for native mobile 3D asset creation with a new JSR 184 exporter.
The new version also extends Discreet’s ongoing efforts to provide enhanced interactive performance and scalability to ensure that 3ds max can scale to very large datasets including smart object culling for high performance manipulation of objects and turbosmooth, a highly optimized smoothing algorithm for increased performance of high-resolution models.
Discreet 3ds max software was used to generate 3D visual effects in such motion pictures as Paramount’s Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow (The Orphanage), The Day After Tomorrow (Dreamscape Imagery/Uncharted Territory), Elf (Digital Dimension), The Triplets of Belleville (Walking the Dog) and The Italian Job (Frantic Films). The package has also been employed in the creation of such PC and console games as Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 (Treyarch); Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire (BioWare); Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (Relic Entertainment), Fable (Lionhead Studios, Microsoft); the Grand Theft Auto series (Rockstar); Halo and Halo 2 (Bungie); and the upcoming Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and Prince of Persia Warrior Within (Ubisoft).
Discreet’s 3ds max 7 is priced at $3,495. Localized versions are planned to be available by end of year and early 2005. Upgrade pricing from 3ds max 6 is $795 and stepping up from 3ds max 5 costs $1,295.
BOXX Technologies is delivering 3ds max 7 software as an optional upgrade with its series of certified workstations. Now through Dec. 31, the company is offering special pricing on 3ds max 7 software to customers in the U.S. who purchase a BOXX certified 3ds max 7 workstation. Call BOXX toll free at 877-877-BOXX or 512-835-0400 for more details.