How did Autodesk NOT make these?


I must strongly disagree with this statement
considering the complexity of this particular endeavour
I think there will always be a need for specialized ,
purpose built tools in addition to the “general use”
versions in larger suites.
We can all open a UV map in Photoshop and paint on it
the existence of substance painter does not mean that Adobe has somehow failed to “do their job”


Autodesk should have had a dedicated team for each aspect of 3ds max. A team for rendering, a team for animation etc but they did not do this. They let various aspects fall far behind the competition and now they can’t catch it. If they had done their job properly, small startups wouldn’t have surpassed a billion dollar company.

Are there 3rd party plugins for Adobe products that render native parts of the application redundant?
Whilst Adobe is also rental only, it is far more realistically priced. You also get access to all their products.

The price asked is the important bit. You can own several specialist applications perpetually for less than an annual lease of 3ds max and those specialist apps have more work done to them each year.


Yea…and ability to fillet , chamfer without digging through menus buttons or toolbars…or keyboard shortcuts


I think this comparison isn’t quite equal. I think comparing 3ds Max to something like Zbrush (for modeling anyway) is comparing a rotten tomato to a ripe tomato, both are tomato. Both were intended to model, just one destroys the other at it. Whereas comparing photoshop to substance is comparing a tomato to an apple. Photoshop was built for graphics/painting. It does its job perfectly. Substance for working with 3d. It does its job perfectly. There is no real significant competition between the two. Another comparison might be if I were a character artist 15 years ago I’d have used 3ds Max, no question. But if Zbrush was out, I’d have never considered it.


But how do they differ in their purpose? For example, Vray versus Mental Ray? Unwrap versus Uvlayout? Polyboost versus initial tools? Marvelous designer is not that good, compared to its counterpart plugin, which works iternally in Maya. There’s simply no alternative currently to MD.


Just realized why they got rid of MENTAL ray XD


I am not an Autodesk subscriber thus I have no “Dog in this fight”.

The scenario, in the above quote, is the exact reason why I am
am grateful for specialized tools in addition to the ones offered in larger suites

This is the exact situation we have with Maxon Cinema4D
A Bloody €2700 buy in and a €550 Annual Service fee to keep from having to pay the full buy in price when the new version is released.

yet we still have No usable ability to retarget mocap,Autolipsync Speaking Characters or solve clothing a walking figure and no native fluids in R20.

My option to fill those Character feature gaps ,with solutions like Reallusion Iclone Pro, at less than the cost of one Maxon Annual service payment,
is why we need those external solution to exist.




Haha…cuz it’s MENTAL…get it? Mental? You know… eh… you don’t get it :stuck_out_tongue:



The grass isn’t always greener.

Stand alone apps and plug-ins have an advantage of their own development/ and release cycles too.
That means a developer can change and evolve the tool and release it any time they want. Which is why things like ZBrush and Marvelous Designer are so impressive and feature rich (within their context).

As soon as you try and strap something this complex to a much larger 3d DCC then you have to laboriously make sure its feature set properly plugs into an extremely complex and likely very old program code/core.
A bit of a house of cards this is.
And as soon as you manage to get something stable you likely are very inflexible to evolving it further. Thats a probable cause for bugs and features not changing for decades in such cases.


Agree completely


No reason Autodesk shouldn’t have been able to develop the concepts / applications outside of the larger 3d DCC. Perhaps instead of bashing a multi-million dollar company who works with polygon software every day (Autodesk), I should be commending the few geniuses behind developers of software like Zbrush, Vray, MD who put their polygon/cloth sim/rendering stuff to shame.


But they didn’t. In fact to do so they would have to be able to predict the future…
“You there…with that glimmer in your eye. Before you set up shop in your garage. Why don’t you come work for us?!”
History shows us that ZBrush was not born that way.
And really considering Autodesk was founded by CAD designers they are NOT likely to just pull completely unrelated and all new solutions out of their asses!
Again History has shown us that many solutions were developed independently. When AD felt motivated enough they buy them instead. Autodesk has many studios and developer teams around the world under their umbrella today that used to exist as independent developers. I live a city with a couple of them.


I think the one thing you’re overlooking though, is that just innovating something like Zbrush is HARD. You say “no reason they shouldn’t have”, but if it were THAT easy, we wouldn’t look at Pixo like the geniuses they are.

Don’t get me wrong - I’m no great fan of AD. At all. I actually think the way they currently handle the Entertainment side of thing deliberately hampers development, but let’s not pretend that not inventing a software like zB is somehow a shameful oversight. I feel like that’s unfair. It kind of diminishes Pixo’s accomplishment while also having the feeling of picking on AD just for the sake of picking on AD.


That’s why it’s absolutely nuts. But on the other hand…after this conversati9n… I have an even higher level of respect for these others companies…which was pretty high already


Circusboy, but all Autodesk did for specialist things was buy 3rd party apps and plonk them in. So what you said is not applicable.

Now Autodesk is rental-only, they can release updates whenever and are not tied to a yearly release cycle, according to Chip Weatherman, an Autodesk representative.

The problem is that the 3ds max development team is probably smaller than some of the 3rd party plugin manufacturers who have 10+ years more experience in their area of expertese and charge less for their product.

Yes it is great that the 3rd party-plugin/ specialist software applications exist, but it is great because of how incompetent Autodesk is. So this does not detract from, “If Autodesk had done their job properly…”.

In all fairness, with some things, even if Autodesk had been the best they could be, there is always the possibility of being blindsided by a different approach that is vastly superior. I think it is forgiveable that Zbrush exists, but I think that many others are better merely because they’ve had more work put into their development.


You didn’t entirely grasp my point. Its not the dates available for release thats the issue. Its the complexity of wedging a complete and competitive solution into a much larger software with 90 percent of its tool set being completed without anticipating this all new extravagant feature. Integrating said feature into this much larger core is far from trivial. Takes years to do. Months to test. Usually demands a new version and beta cycle. Just adding such a thing probably takes several versions to complete. Just look how long it took Bifrost to get finished (aka it still isn’t). Oh yes and when you think its ‘complete’ you likely won’t improve it-maybe ever again. I know this first hand from working 8 years at Softimage.

Being standalone app means a HUGE amount of integration issues are not a problem. Just provide an import/export method and you are done. And free to develop all new and major features at whim.

The exception to this is Houdini. The software and code is so modular its a big reason why they seem to develop new features sets faster than anyone. They can introduce new features as new modules with less over-all hassle.


Bifrost is a standalone app connected via a bridge. It took them that long to write a bridge because…?

There is no reason why Autodesk could not have gone modular itself. Separate standalone applications available separately that can be used with 3ds max as well as other software applications from other companies.


Another factor we must not forget is licensing agreements and the
transition from 32 to 64 bit.

These outside competitors do not always simply submit to a complete
hand over of all of their IP when approached by a larger publisher of a
3DCC suite.

I know of a situation where a company “acquired” two major features
from third parties to add to the bullet point list of features
for their program.

However they did not secure the rights to
recompile them as 64 bit and release them commercially.

so for years after the CG world had moved on to 64 bit, this company
had to keep offering a 32 bit version of their program to keep those

features alive requiring users to launch the 32 bit version for certain
tasks until they finally cobbled an internally developed
64 bit equivalent.

If you use a major 3DCC and have wondered why certain features
seem strangely out of sync with rest of the program
(such as the single threaded dynamic cloth engine in C4D),

it is possible that the reason may be due to it having been
acquired/leased and poorly"tacked on".


There is no reason why Autodesk could not have gone modular itself. Separate standalone applications available separately that can be used with 3ds max as well as other software applications from other companies. CCleaner Happy Wheels