Sunday, September 18, 2011

Max Out 3D Software Performance with Autodesk 3ds Max

Autodesk 3d applications score a three-hit combo of power, customization and support.

Autodesk Media and Entertainment produced and developed its 3ds Max product line to be powerful 3D modeling and animation tools for the Windows platform. While 3ds Max is geared more toward digital content creation for computer animation and video games, its sister product 3ds Max Design caters more to the architectural, design and engineering industries. Equally powerful, these sister products serve distinct end-users.

Hollywood has used 3ds Max and its predecessor to create visual effects for a host of movies. Recent examples include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 and 2), Iron Man and Watchmen. Not a shabby portfolio. Also highly regarded, 3ds Max Design has gained momentum among architectural and engineering circles for its photo-realistic rendering capability. Both, each unique, are powerful 3d-modeling tools.

One compelling addition to the most recent version is the Nitrous Accelerated Graphics Core, which improves performance and quality of display. Outside the core 3D software capabilities, the program features its own scripting language, MAXScript, and an SDK to tailor-make plug-ins, as well as a customizable UI. Exclusive to this software is the Exposure Lighting Simulation & Analysis and Civil View Feature Set features.

A Little Background

3ds Max had originally started out as 3D Studio DOS Release 1 back in 1990. The program was first developed by the Yost Group and published by Autodesk. Since then, the software has undergone numerous branding changes. Even its name has changed, having gone from 3D Studio MAX to 3ds max (lowercase) before finally arriving at its current iteration in 2009. Through all these changes, Autodesk's product has remained the industry leader.

Why Should You Use 3ds Max?

What stands out about this software now is the raw power of its modeling capability. This is an industrial-grade 3D application. Owing to its popularity and the fact that so many 3D modelers have gone before you, there is a wealth of wisdom that can be found on the web in the form of third-party tutorials. The program comes fully supported with extended documentation, even an official forum. With a price tag of $3,500, it's not cheap, but a free version of the program is available for students and teachers.

Take Your 3D Modeling to the Next Level

So, say you've modeled your masterpiece, now what? Exciting new developments in 3D printing technology enable you to translate those shapes you modeled on your computer into real, solid objects. A number of companies like Shapeways and Ponoko offer 3D printing services that cater to clienteles ranging from engineers and inventors to designers and artists, even to hobbyists and enthusiasts. You can get any of your 3d designs printed: from sleek vases to autoparts to architectural models. Take your idea to the next level. Your design is only flash away from material reality.

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