3ds Max 2011 Review: Easier Workflow
If you are already using 3ds Max 2010, upgrading to 3ds Max 2011 is simple and non-disruptive. 3ds Max 2011 can use 3ds Max 2010 plug-ins directly. There's no need to wait for a vendor to release 3ds Max 2011 specific versions of your favorite tools. And, as always, MaxScript-based tools will work in the new release without any changes. To aid in transitioning to this version, Autodesk has included a "Save as 2010" feature. You can work in 3ds Max 2011, using all of the new and upgraded features of the package, and save your work out in a format that is still readable and editable in 3ds Max 2010. With plug-in compatibility and the ability to save your work in a backwards compatible format you can choose to either upgrade everyone in your organization simultaneously or in a staged manner. Either way, you will still be able share work and leverage your plug-in collection. I can't remember a previous 3ds Max release that offered as seamless an upgrade path at this version provides.
Autodesk has revamped and streamlined their pricing structure for this release. Upgrades from the three previous versions of 3ds Max will cost 50% of the price of a new license.
Overall, 3ds Max 2011 is a release that refines many existing tools, improves performance, and expands your production capabilities. The additions of 3D painting, hardware-based image rendering, and Composite -- along with the enhancements to the Ribbon, CAT and Containers -- show that Autodesk is still striving to make 3ds Max a world class tool for artists and animators.
Jeff Hanna recently capped off 15 years in the video game industry by serving as the technical art director on Volition's Red Faction: Guerrilla. He works as a senior technical artist at Volition, helping to define and create better pipelines for the artists and improving game visuals. Hanna works with Autodesk and community sites, including www.tech-artists.org, http://www.scriptspot.com and area.autodesk.com, to promote technical art and provide tools and tutorials to help others in the industry. In 200, Autodesk awarded Hanna an Autodesk Max Master award in recognition of his contributions to the Max user community.