SAN DIEGO- Earlier today, Montreal's Discreet www.discreet.com introduced the next major release of its 3DS Max animation tool. While previous releases have focused on game development and the video/film visual effects markets, the new 3DS Max 6 is designed to also appeal to artistsdoing design and visualization work as well as to those creating PC- and console-based games. Discreet is looking to attract existing and potential users of Autodesk Viz, which is approaching the end of its product life.
Visualization improvements to the tool include compatibility with Viz Render (the Discreet-built rendering component of Autodesk's Architectural Desktop) files. The tool will be able to open Viz Render files directly and will inherit much of its rendering and radiosity performance.
For game applications, Discreet is working with a partner to create a 3D painting system that will be integrated into 3DS Max for the creation of texture and other maps.
On the visual effects side, Mental Ray will be integrated into 3DS Max 6 (based on Mental Ray 3.2) and will include a rendering node. Reactor 2 will include several new features such as stunt man/rag doll, vehicle dynamics and a more advanced fracture. And Particle Flow will be also be part of the upcoming release, and will include several additional features on top of what has shipped with its subscription.
Workflow improvements for 3DS Max 6 include support for consistent units and layers; a new layer manager; a method for turning off dialogs that pop up when running a script; and speed improvements to the Dope Sheet editor.