From MAX 2016 to MAX 2020 through MAX 2018 (TOOLS DEVELOPER'S PATH)


I am moving now some of my most popular tools from MAX 2016 to MAX 2020 through MAX 2018 … and here’s what I have:

  • MAX 2016 / Windows 7 - everything is fast, smoothly redrawn, no flickering in the interface, everything is almost perfect

  • MAX 2016 / Windows 10 - all the same fast, smooth redrawing, but rather strong flicker in the user interface

  • MAX 2018 / Windows 7 - everything is fast, except some known issues like ‘bitarray’, smooth redrawing, a little flicker in the user interface

  • MAX 2018 / Windows 10 - there is no smooth redrawing in the user interface any more, visible lugging, flickering in the user interface, but it still ok

  • MAX 2020 / Windows 7 - (it was very difficult to compile for Win7, but) everything is a bit slower, visible flickering, some controls do not redraw, a lot of unexpected window messages …

  • MAX 2020 / Windows 10 - everything redraws noticeably slower, blinks poorly in the interface, some controls do not redraw…

I have a feeling that for me as a developer, it’s getting harder and harder to develop for 3DS MAX with every new version. Golden Time was MAX 2014 - 2016


yes after 3dsmax 2016 , i can not use intersectRayScene anymore


Very interesting.

That’s in line with observations from Max development in general. Slower, more bugs, things that worked great get redone and features go missing.

It’s amazing to think Max ran on 100Mhz computers at one point.


Well… at least viewport is a lot faster after 2017.
UI… Qt saga is still in progress.
Hopefully it settles sooner than later.


Based on what measurement? What kind of testings?

Some real facts or should we believe someone who saying (many probably thinks) AO, environment/background lighting and reflections are invented for max 2020, 2021 or introduced with OSL?

Some comparing with versions before bad experimenting started would be nice.
Dont know how to call it other way.
If developers/programmers weren’t somehow forced on bad decisions than, for me, it is exactly that.


Interesting things :grinning:
Viewport performance constantly improving since, well lets not go too far, max 2014.

According to Autodesk “3ds Max 2020 - Feature Updates” video comparing playback animation speed with Max 2020 doubling FPS over 2019…
From 5 to 10 fps :star_struck:

Wait, ok, it’s very high poly mesh, so, maybe, I dont know… and DON’T CARE!

But wait, it is just high poly pile of bones, no deformable, skinned mesh, something that really kill performance when going high…

Guess what is score 2015 vs 2021 animated skinned mesh?

Although, comparing bullsh** isn’t that new thing, we can see it in “3ds Max 2015: Accelerated Viewport Performance” video. Improvement Max 2015 over 2014 - saying “Identical scene…” And it’s not.


We have been using 2018 since 2017 with no major performance issues. The UI is clunky as the Qt transition has only just begun with 2018, but you can live with it.
There is a huge bug with 2018 - 2020 where python and maxscript go wrong randomly due to maxscript being case insensitive when calling python even if the typed case is correct. This has been resolved in 2021 apparently, our initial tests with 2021 confirm this to be so.
2021, the UI seems much smoother so far.



I have used every single max version since 2014. You can just fell difference with any animated scene between 2016 and 2017 thanks to Nitrous update.
Since then there has been many internal optimization done from animation controller to file resolving, missing path caching etc etc.
After all adds up, 3dsMax 2021 is definitely better for any type of scene.

I personally have run various scene benchmark since max 2014.
Believe it or not thats up to you.
But, my number shows that there has been big progress.


3ds Max 2017 – Fastest 3ds Max Ever

Incredible! The new MAX version is faster than the previous ones!


well… that’s the most important thing for me at least. :slight_smile:


Denis, a couple of things: 1) Thank you for your valuable help for me personally over the years that helped fast-track my own education into MAXScript. You are a valuable legend! 2) I’m now at Autodesk and would love to share your feedback with the product and development teams. Can you share, from your own perspective, what aspects are becoming more challenging from the development side? What would make developing tools more streamlined for you?


Well same here…upgrade from max 9 which everything lighting fast straight trough 2014 , which is done by experimenting with 2010-2013 which all is meh quality and slower, move on to 2017 …everything still OK except few thing …and now 2020 , win 7 , but it slower than 2014 …I wonder if its trend now , upgrading equal to make thing slower? Its happen too in AutoCAD (stick to CAD 2014) and Photoshop (stick to CS 6 till now)…WTH happen here ? is it UI or the brain of the developer or another …