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Autodesk has released 3ds Max 2024 with a new boolean modifier, improved array tool, openVDB Meshing, OCIO colour management, a new version of the slate editor and much more!
We'll be adding support in Forest Pack and RailClone very soon, in the meantime, check out more details about the main new features of this release:
- OCIO colour management is now available as a technology preview, bringing modern colour management solutions throughout Max.
- A new boolean modifier allows users to incorporate boolean operations directly into the modifier stack.
- An OpenVDB meshing method is included in the new boolean modifier, providing an alternate way to calculate operations. OpenVDB booleans are topologically independent of the source geometry and will often yield good results even when mesh errors are present that would cause standard boolean techniques to fail.
- The Array modifier is updated with a new Phyllotaxis distribution technique. This type of pattern is frequently seen in nature, particularly in plants and trees.
- The Array modifier includes a new Material ID rollout that can control the materials IDs on a per-face or per-element basis. Several modes are available including random, sequenced, and the ability to change the ID of the first and last clone in an array and randomise the remainder.
- The Array modifier can now use a progressive transform mode that increments the transform value for each element.
- A new controller allows the user to add multiple Transform controllers to an object as layers of blended animation data. This lets animators add unique animation data to each layer, as well as allows them to control how the layers blend together.
- A new material node allows the user to switch between multiple materials using a numeric index.
- The motion paths feature that allows users to visualise animation paths has been updated so that it can now be used for all controller types and works with the new list controllers.
- The slate material editor has been overhauled to use QT. As a result, it's much more customisable and dockable, as well as promising significant speed improvements.
- The material editor now includes a new Compound node that allows you to create sub-graphs. These can be used to organise large graphs to aid legibility. Creating a compound is as simple as right-clicking on a selection of nodes and selecting Package Nodes in Compound,
- The Modifier list has been improved to use QT and now includes a list search feature so that users can start typing to find the modifier they need.
- The Symmetry Modifier's default Mirror Axis is now X to better align with artist's workflows.
- STL import is now 10,000 times faster, and the STL Check modifier is 5000% times faster.
- Auto Smooth is now at least 10% faster
- The Material Modifier can now be used on splines without them being converted to a mesh. Handy for use with RailClone! It can now also retain explicit normals when applied to a mesh.
- Spline Welding is improved
- Retriangulation for Edit Poly and Editable poly is improved as follows: The edit poly modifier now uses the new retriangulation algorithm introduced in Max 2023.2; Editable Poly objects and the Edit Poly modifier now automatically retriangulate faces when a vertex, edge, or face is adjusted in a way that causes edges or hidden faces to cross; New faces that are generated when performing capping are no longer left unsmoothed. Instead, faces are assigned to a new smoothing group; The new triangulation algorithm is now used for face splitting by insertion of edges, Slice, Cut, Bridge, Vertex extrusion, and edge extrusion.
- 3ds Max 2024 ships with Substance 2.4.10 and Arnold 18.104.22.168
There are many more improvements. You can find an exhaustive list in the release notes or visit the 3ds Max blog for an overview. You can also see Changsoo Eun's unofficial what's new in 2024 post and his playlist of video demos.