By: Marc Loftus
August 2, 2005


LOS ANGELES - Montreal's Autodesk ( is showing the latest version of its 3DS Max animation app at this year's SIGGRAPH show in Los Angeles. The Version 8 release promises improvements across a number of areas and is expected to ship in October.

Data and asset management has been improved. The release uses XML-based data in and out. The Max scripting system now features a debugger that looks for and identifies common syntax errors.

Character development tools have been improved for the creation of more fully-developed characters. Character Studio now offers more functionality for bipeds. There are also more spine and neck links, as well as improvements for tails and twists on forearms and legs.

Motion capture capabilities have been improved to include finger and facial data. The HTR format is now supported too. In addition, motion capture data from bipeds can now be applied to other rigs.

Autodesk says improvements to UV editing and texture mapping round out the Version 8 release.