Autodesk has announced the release of 3ds Max 2021.2 which includes several new features and improvements, including some big changes to the extrude tools.
The most eye-catching feature of the new release is a new Smart Extrude set of tools that allow the user to extrude (using the keyboard shortcuts introduced in the previous version) and the mesh will be automatically cleaned up and unified with the existing adjacent co-planar surfaces. Thanks to this new workflow, users can minimise the need to stop regularly and fix problematic geometry.
Another new feature of this release is the Spline Chamfer modifier which allows the user to apply a fillet or chamfer procedurally using the modifier stack. The fillet or chamfer output result will be computed based on the incoming and outgoing vectors of a knot point. A user can even use a Spline Influencer helper to influence knots that are affected by this modifier.
Other improvements include updates to the Bake to Texture tool to improved map browsing experience with a revised interface and search capability, and browse and create bake queues using available maps from all installed render engines. There are also improvements to selecting sub-objects to make loop and ring selections more intuitive at all component levels. Now it is possible to hold down Ctrl and click to add loops and limited loops, and hold Alt and click to remove loops and limited loops.
6 new OSL maps are included in this update along with some improvements to existing maps, as follows:
- A new Bitmap Random Tiling OSL Map allows the user to randomise a tiling bitmap to remove obvious repetition. It is similar to the feature seen in V-Ray 5 and soon the soon to be released Corona Renderer 6.
- The PBR Mixer OSL Map allows the user to combine all the parameters for two sets of PBR materials.
- 1 of N (filename) OSL Map allows the user to picks one of the several inputs.
- Scale (color) / Scale (vector) OSL Map multiplies a color/vector by a float
- MultiMixer (color)/Mix (color) / Mix (vector) OSL Map allows the user to mix many pairs of color inputs driven by a single Mix input.
- Wireframe creates a wireframe with a fixed width relative to rendered pixels, with a square every 1×1 unit square in UV space.
- Random By Index(Color) OSL Map now allows the allows the user to Randomize Per component.
- The new Curve OSL Map now has a new UV input mode.
This release also sees a new version of the Push modifier which has been made multithreaded for significant performance improvements. Other efficiencies are found in improved animation playback performance when TrackView is open, accelerated panning in trackview, and improved zoom extents behaviour for perspective viewports.
Following this release, the 3ds Max roadmap has been updated to reveal some of the new features we can expect in the future. This includes improved brush tools, a new Asset Depot, a modernised Trackview Treeview, UV-less decal texturing (using OSL), OpenVDB-based Volume Booleans and native OpenVDB support, procedural scattering and kitbashing, Bifrost integration, several new animation modifiers, Populate customisation and improvements, rendertime instancing. improved colour management, USD rendering, and much more. To learn more, including several videos of upcoming features, visit the updated 3ds Max roadmap.