Autodesk has released 3ds Max 2021.1, introducing new texture baking advancements, increased capabilities for physically based rendering (PBR) workflows, and viewport and modeling tool enhancements. The update is targeted at modernizing and upgrading performance for artist workflows across design visualization and media and entertainment disciplines.
"3ds Max 2021.1 streamlines artist workflows with powerful improvements that speed up iteration, refining models and designs, and rendering," commented Chip Weatherman, chief product owner, Autodesk, Media and Entertainment. "We've continued to evolve our Bake-to-Texture tool to assist rapid modeling, and further expanded PBR workflow capabilities for our customers working with the most advanced real-time engines."
New 3ds Max 2021.1 Feature
Texture Baking Improvements
New features include multiple UV tile baking and animation support, display of the active renderer, multi-edit of the output column, and improved frame buffer display of maps being baked.
Faster & Simpler Installation Experience
Users can now install 3ds Max 2021.1 independently, without requiring an existing installation of 3ds Max 2021. Installation is faster in comparison to previous releases.
Arnold as Default Renderer
MAXtoA 4.0.4 includes a new AOV token system for organizing output, animation support for Alembic, support for bake-to-texture workflows, and faster shutdown after rendering massive instances. Users can now export scenes to USD files from the archive tab of the rendering options.
Shared Views Support for Physical Material
Shared views now support the physical material in the web viewer for enhanced visual quality and accuracy.
New PBR material support for displacement maps.
Improved Viewport Quality & Settings
New simple configuration for high fidelity viewports with support for matte/shadow materials, per-camera/viewport exposure and white balance settings, and display up to 128 UDIM textures directly from an OSL bitmap lookup map. Additionally, the depth of field can now affect the background/environment map, and the vignetting scale is now the same as the value defined in the camera settings.
Enhanced Modeling Features
Modeling tool improvements include a new extrusion experience for editable poly and the edit poly modifier, in addition to enhancements to the weighted normals modifier.
Improved Material Editor
Upgraded slate material editor performance and functionality, including an improved interface for high-resolution displays and faster user navigation, and a new global search feature for materials and maps.
SketchUp Importer Enhancements
Simpler handling of internal edge visibility settings and preservation of settings from SketchUp source data.
Upgraded Render Settings
Default output size updated to HDTV 720p, and HDTV presets updated to 720p, 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p.
New exposed fluid loader allows users to load and interact data with other systems and objects that operate within 3ds Max. Additional improvements include fixes to the velocity channel and support for signed and unsigned PRT export.