View Full Version : ShaderFX FREE edition

01 January 2009, 02:54 PM
As of today,

ShaderFX is FREE for all individuals and companies smaller then 2 employees.
Including free for commercial use.

(This version has the exact same features as the commercial edition, minus a small watermark)

You can download version 3.12 to update to this version at:

Those who have purchased the educational version in the past, will automatically convert to having the full commercial edition simply by installing the new version.

Companies larger then 2 employees are still required to buy a commercial license.


Ben and Kees

01 January 2009, 03:45 PM
wow! another fantastic giveaway - thanks guys

01 January 2009, 10:57 PM
Very nice.

01 January 2009, 12:59 AM
interesting, however I am having trouble finding a "free edition" download link from the path.

EDIT: Found it thanks!

01 January 2009, 01:24 AM
- Open the page (

- scroll all the way down

- enter your email address

- and press the download button.

Take care,

01 January 2009, 12:49 PM
I get my objects in RED wireframe when I assign the material (most of the time)...

I can only see shaded with very simple operations like just simple colors, everytime I use Fresnel (or other groups) and everytime I open one of the shader examples... RED wireframe.

is it for the demo version?

01 January 2009, 02:28 PM
A red wireframe is something that happens in the 3dsMax viewport (unrelated to shaderFX) when it cannot render a shader.

The first thing to try is to set the 'shader model' to 3.0 on the material.
In case you are simply using to many instructions for 2.0.

If that doesn't help, that usually that means your graphcis card cannot handle the shader.
(It could also mean your shader code is invalid, but if it happens for a lot of the samples that ship with shaderFX, it likely is not that)

In that case you may have a graphics card that is either pretty old, or a graphics card that is no your standard geforce or ati card?

I.e. a Intel graphics card often claims to be able to do all kinds of shaders, but in practise it is often not capapble of a lot of different techniques.

ATI cards have a problem with shader model 3.0 in the max viewport, so that is another issue to look out for (this is something Autodesk has to fix)

In rare cases it may also be driver related.

Oh and make sure your 3dsMax viewport is set to use directX 9, not 10.

What graphics card do you have?

01 January 2009, 02:40 PM
Thanks for the quick reply

Max using direct3D 9.0 (NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT)
the computer is actually quite new...

It happens with a lot of examples (I would even say that happens with most of them)

I uninstalled and install it again... still the same.

Graphics drivers are from a few weeks ago (from nvidia website)

01 January 2009, 05:12 PM
Yes that graphics card is perfectly fine.


It is not the normal behavior.

Is this max8 or higher?

I'll fire up my geforce 8800 machine here and see if i can reproduce any of it.

01 January 2009, 06:38 PM
Ok found the problem.

I messed up something in the Free Edition that would cause larger shaders to mess up their code, causing red wireframes.

You can download 3.15 (from the same location you downloaded before) and that should fix it.

Sorry about that.

01 January 2009, 07:08 PM
do you have plans to port to other apps like Maya or Houdini?

01 January 2009, 12:24 AM
Thank You Kees :D :beer: !


01 January 2009, 12:38 AM
I highly recommend you guys buy this program. Really. It's worth the admission price. You can create some really cool effects, and talk directly to the developers, so if you have requests, they don't get lost in some corporate structure somewhere. I can't stress how great ShaderFX really is.

Whalerider: ShaderFX 3.0 now has the ability to export CGFX files for use in Maya. As for using ShaderFX directly in Maya or Houdini, official confirmation has to come from Kees or Ben, but they've said before they don't have any plans to port it to other programs (though it would be awesome if they did).

Kees, Ben, keep up the great work!:beer:

01 January 2009, 12:53 AM
do you have plans to port to other apps like Maya or Houdini?


Sorry, no plans.
At one point we seriously considered writting it for Maya, but we choose to improve upon the 3dsMax version instead.

Plugins don't (usually) make a lot of money, so with the little time we have to dedicate to ShaderFX we decided to make the 3dsMax version stronger.

We've done our best to support some of the other 3d apps by adding CGFX and specifically adding a Maya CGFX exporter in ShaderFX.

So artist who are lucky enough (and willing) to have both Maya and 3dsMax can at least export to Maya (and likely other apps, like Mudbox, though we have only tested maya so far).

As for Houdini, I did briefly look into that at one point, but I don't think it has the ability to load any shaders (HLSL or CGFX) as far as I've seen.
I could well be wrong about it, I just didn't see it.
Maybe it can do GLSL (openGL), but that is a format we currently don't output at all.

01 January 2009, 08:28 AM
Hey Kees!

Thanks a lot!

3.15 works really well,
I've tested almost every example and no problems at all.

This tool is amazing!!! I love it, highly recommend this to everyone.

Thanks again Lumonix, you made my day!

01 January 2009, 06:32 PM

Glad to hear that solved the problem and again my apologies for that bug.

01 January 2009, 05:57 PM
No need to apology, you have created one of the most amazing tools I've seen in 3DS Max in my life. Congrats!

One questions...

I'm reading the thread about Unity Engine (here in the news forum) and you were asking about the shaders on the engine, but... what about other engines... Is it possible to use ShaderFX for "modding"? creating new materials for mods for Valve's Source, ID's Tech and others?


01 January 2009, 06:13 PM
Any engine that supports CGFX or HLSL has a change to load in ShaderFX shaders.

But some engines do very engine-specific things in a shader that might not get added bu ShaderFX.

But with the 'Export FX' option in shaderFX (file menu) there are a whole bunch of different formats we support.

If your engine is not listed there, I recommend you either try 'CGFX' or 'FX Composer (HLSL)'.

Those are the 2 most common used formats.

01 January 2009, 06:08 PM
We just put 3.19 online which fixes a bug in 3dsMax 2009 with vertex colors.

Take care,

01 January 2009, 07:13 PM

I baked radiosity into vertex color and I was wondering what I was doing wrong to get those weird triangles...
now works perfectly!

Thanks again, you don't know how happy you made me with this tool, I'm like a kid with a new toy.

01 January 2009, 08:42 PM
Toyed a bit yesterday with relief. That's pretty snazzy. Remember thinking such a thing out to be possible (but beyond me ;-) some time ago. Glad to see that it is.

01 January 2009, 09:43 PM

Glad to hear you are enjoying ShaderFX.
Once you get the hang of it, it can be pretty fun to play around with it.

01 January 2009, 11:15 PM
Any possibility this could become a stand alone tool so Maya users and other mental ray users that don't use Max could take advantage of it?

01 January 2009, 03:47 PM

I'm not sure what this has to do with Mental Ray :) , but sorry, no we're not doing a Maya version. We decided to spend our time to improve the 3dsMax version instead.

We do have a Maya exporter in ShaderFX for those that have access to both 3dsMax and Maya and want to be able to take their shaders from 3dsMax/ShaderFX into Maya.

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2009, 03:47 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.