3d Studio Max 7.0 Is Here!


Discreet Announces 3ds max 7—Designed to Streamline Character Animation and Next Generation 3D Workflow

Latest Version of Acclaimed 3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering Software Will Equip Customers to Meet the Evolving and Complex Production Demands of Growing Game Development, Character Animation, Film & Television Visual Effects, and Design Industries

Montréal, Québec—August 2nd, 2004—Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) and a leader in digital content creation, management, and distribution tools, today announced 3ds max® 7—the newest version of its acclaimed 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software. Discreet’s 3ds max 7 software will be shown for the first time publicly at the international SIGGRAPH Exhibition in Los Angeles, CA (August 10th -12th). With over 280,000 registered users worldwide, and a 19% increase in sales revenues in the last year, 3ds max is clearly the most popular professional 3D modeling and animation application available today.

Responding to the ever-increasing industry need for powerful yet approachable non-linear animation tools, Discreet is integrating its award-winning advanced character motion toolset character studio® into the core feature set of 3ds max 7. With a unique constraint-based non-linear animation mixer, highly scalable behavioral crowd simulation capabilities, and extensive motion capture filtering and editing facilities, character studio brings industry leading price/performance capabilities to the existing 3ds max character toolset. The result of the integration of character studio and 3ds max is the democratization of character animation functionality, which up until now has been found in solutions costing two to three times more than 3ds max.

3ds max 7 also offers a wide range of newly developed core functionality including industry-first Normal Mapping, a workflow accelerator for gaming; and Edit Poly Modifier, designed to improve ease of use and speed of animation (a more comprehensive feature list is included below). Such groundbreaking features as Normal Mapping continue Discreet’s legacy of cross-pollinating innovative technologies between market segments, where features originally designed for one market segment such as games can have a significant impact on other segments such as film or design visualization.

“NVIDIA and Discreet have worked together for years to deliver the highest performance graphics creation solutions for professional 3D animation artists,” said Jeff Brown, general manager of professional graphics at NVIDIA. "With Discreet’s acute focus on high-end real-time shading in 3ds max 7, it takes a powerful professional graphics solution with true 128-bit floating point frame buffers and Shader Model 3.0 support―like the NVIDIA Quadro® FX workstation graphics solutions―to unleash its full potential. Together, Discreet and NVIDIA have ensured that the full power and feature sets of our respective products give 3D game developers and visual effects artists a sophisticated, but approachable hardware and software duo that optimizes productivity.”

“3ds max 7 is designed to deliver the optimized performance required for the large data sets of today’s increasingly complex 3D production environments,” said Marc Petit, vice president of product development, Discreet. “Major innovations in

3ds max 7 focus on delivering the most productive and customizable workflow to date, support for next-generation PC/console and mobile platforms, as well as powerful new creative tools. Furthermore, the integration of advanced character animation capabilities as a part of the core functionality of 3ds max will provide fast, efficient, and intuitive character tools for the benefit of all 3ds max 7 users.”

Built in conjunction with industry artists and facilities, 3ds max 7 isaimed at boosting facility productivity and meeting the demanding production requirements set by today’s highly competitive environment.

“We’re always excited to be part of Discreet’s development process,” said Greg Zeschuk, Joint CEO of BioWare. “With 3ds max 7, we are seeing some great improvements in performance. The character animation advancements have reaffirmed our commitment to 3ds max 7 as our core development platform. Discreet’s advancements for improved visual feedback have paid off in a significant way – giving us the ability to handle larger amounts of polygons as well as more objects than ever before. Ray Muzyka, Joint CEO of BioWare also added, "As we are in the home stretch for bringing Jade Empire - already an award winner at E3 - to market in the first quarter of 2005, we will definitely be utilizing all of the features of 3ds max,both to ensure Jade Empire is visually stunning and also to help us get the artwork done quickly and efficiently; we’re confident that Jade Empire will be BioWare’s best game yet!”

Additional major new features in 3ds max 7 include:

[li]Normal Mapping—industry first revolutionary workflow developed for gaming adds extreme detail to low-polygon models with high resolution maps – and with complete rendering support normal mapping brings great time-saving benefits to film production and cinematic visualizations[/li][li]mental ray 3.3—enhanced integration in 3ds maxwith accelerated performance and better memory efficiency. Improved Global Illumination, new support for Render to Texture and Normal Mapping, and Sub-Surface Scattering that disperses light for amazingly realistic skin and dense translucent object rendering[/li][li]Parameter Collector—a new, unified interface that improves efficiency when animating multiple parameters for any character setup[/li][li]Parameter Editor—an enhanced, more powerful version of the Custom Attributes feature with new data types and functionality[/li][li]Edit Poly Modifier – significantly increases the rapidity and ease at which complex polygonal surfaces can be created, modified and then animated - improving the creative process[/li][li]Skin Wrap Deformer—greatly improved character animation workflow with easy application of props and clothing to pre-skinned 3D models[/li][li]Snapping Workflow—improved accuracy and viewport feedback for the underlying snapping system in 3ds max[/li][li]Paint Selections—an intuitive and interactive method for building selections with a brush-based interface[/li][li]Enhanced Interactive Performance and Scalability—an ongoing program to enable 3ds max to scale to very large datasets including smart object culling for high performance manipulation of large numbers of objects[/li][li]TurboSmooth—a highly optimized smoothing algorithm for increased performance of high resolution models[/li][li]Mobile Gaming Development Tools—native mobile 3D asset creation with new JSR 184 exporter and per camera diagnostic tools[/li][/ul]Discreet 3ds max was used to generate 3D visual effects in motion pictures such has The Day After Tomorrow, The Alamo, The Last Samurai, The Triplets of Belleville, Xmen-2 and the majority of award winning PC and console games including Spider- Man and Spider-Man 2 The Game (Treyarch); Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire (BioWare); Prince of Persia, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Rainbow 6 series (Ubisoft); the ever-popular Grand Theft Auto III series (Rockstar); Halo and Halo 2 (Bungie); and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Electronic Arts).

Pricing and Availability
3ds max 7 is expected to ship in fall 2004 for US $3,495. Localized versions are planned to be available later in 2004 and 2005. Upgrade pricing from 3ds max 6 is US $795; and 3ds max 5 US $1,295. Discreet’s Subscription Program benefits customers with access to new software feature extensions, patches, upgrades, and e-learning content for an annual fee. For more information, visit www.discreet.com/subscription/ and resellers.


hhmmmm… and if you wait two more months you can get 3dsmax 8!!! Ahhh, nothing personal but this is one upgrade I’ll be passing by.


Calm down. They’re going one version a year to make the subscription service worthwhile. I have to give them props for that. Character Studio integration is a feature users have been screaming about for years AND and way for 3dsmax to take a leap ahead of Maya and XSI.

Now. about that rewrite and Linux version… :twisted:


Woohooo! At last we have an editable poly modifier! The other upgrades are nice too of course cough :wink:


I am in the film industry and…
WOW! this is Freakin awesome! I hope my studio gets an upgrade licence!!!

Normal map + Subscatter is the coolest thing ever !!!
And now…we will have the Greatest modeller in the market !!! PLEASE BOSS BUY THESE LICENSESSSSSS!
BYE BYE MAYAAAAAAAAAAAA :slight_smile: ( the only thing we used was fluid dynamics anyway.!! )


Boom Baby ! :bounce:
I think it’s one of the best Releases ever !! They addressed exactly the things i didn’t like. Now i can uninstall all the EXP & PLE software from my harddisk (didn’t liked them anyway :wink: )



how do you use normal maps for film?

subsurface scattering is just a mental ray 3.3 feature…not directly related to max.


heheh i go the frist reply…

Actually the list of new stuff seems rather good. Normal mapping should be intersting, though I dont know how helpfull it could be in film, SSS is nice, but the wait untill version 7, never really liked charater studio, the new edit mesh options are a GREAT imporvment, I would imagine that by now it should be crash proof, the new scence opitmization scheme justifies the new versino all on its own, but STILL NO INTERNAL HAIR,FUR SHADER, NO FLUID DYNAMICS!!! I mean geessssss I’ve been waiting a long time for this one. and for the good love of god, when dear lords of all CGI will you EVER port it to linux!!! I swear if they did just that I would shut my mouth and enjoy the app.

Im sorry guys,… max has lost this one once loyal soul,… moving on to softimage


Could anyone take an educated guess and explain a little more what the skinwrap modifier is about?



So you’re the other guy that still uses Softimage…

(just kidding) :smiley:


I fail to see how the inferior CS can make MAX leap ahead of Maya and XSI… :shrug:


“Them’s fighting words…” :twisted:


Character studio & Kaydara’s motionbuilder are the STATE-OF-THE-ART human-rig tools in the industry…

Of course , one can manually rig anything using internal max bonetools

but using mocap data is waaayy faster, and no app can compete max in this sector.

Maya does PERFECT at custom rigs though! :)…but…you cant for example …hit a button a tell maya…MAKE THIS CHARACTER WALK!


[sarcasm] Hey, it’s got a Clone & Align Tool, that’s worth the $800 bucks right there! [/sarcasm]



Don’t try to argue with bentllama, he hates Character Studio :wink:

Free Hair plugins can be found here :


or buy Shag:Hair for $495

There are also at least 2 Fluid Systems available :
Splash! for $195
Glu3D for $295

Still a lot cheaper than $9000 for XSI Advanced !



Hmmm sounds more like a “catch up” version to me, theirs nothing that really hasn’t been done before in that feature list. Although I dispise character studio with a passion, The one thing that does interest me about it is the crowd simulation capabilities. I am curious to how this compares to Behavior. Aside from that, and I don’t mean to bag or cause a flame war, just nothing else in the article hasn’t been done before.


Will Mental Ray be able too render everything this time? Including things like Afterburn.
Any links explaining what exactly is the difference between displacement mapping and normal mapping?
Has it something to do with displacing at different angles rather than just straight out from the normals?
Plus will normal mapping cure the problem where you end up with gaps in the render when the displacement doesn’t go around the corners properly?

So many more questions but I think I’m over my quota already.


no offense, but Character studio plugin is a lazy man’s rig. 1 click and you have all the solves completed. Granted its very handy for doing characters because everything is done for you. That’s probably why alot of companies use CS :smiley: I don’t think its going to out do, Softimage or Maya in anyway. Personally they still have alot better character tools, compared with Bones that ships with Max.

I hope we get it at work :D, im looking forward to playing with particle flow upgrade.


Well everything is going to be one button thing!
Take GI for example, you can give you image the same effect with other ways!

So I thing we have to go with the flow!

Max rulezzz.


no offense, but Character studio plugin is a lazy man’s rig. 1 click and you have all the solves completed. Granted its very handy for doing characters because everything is done for you.

If creating a rig with one click is such a bad way to go, then why are there a bunch of MelScripts made to automatically create rigs? If it gets the job done, I don’t see any reason to use a tool, whether it’s in Maya, XSI, or Max, that makes your life easier. Yes, there are problems with CS, but in alot of ways it does make the rigger’s life easier, especially for a small study without extra bodies or time to get things done.