max 6 wishlist


Heres a little thread where you post what features should be in max 6, ill start

paint(like maya)
better dynamics
biped/quadraped creation where parts are pregrouped for easy editing
more deformers
teeth/gums where the control bar has premade and you define the number, flaws, flaw posisition, and number of teeth
ability to change the color or verts and edges in all views
and finally better handeling of huge scenes


OGL speed
transformation relative to anything like in Mirai
magnet like in mirai
non-linear animation tools like everyone else
relax tool in UVW (probably will get it’s interface in 5.1)
Bezier handles control improvement in all modules
alternative way of managing layers
better material editor system like Maya
real-time solvers or whatever it’s called in maya
proper nurbs
fix bugs and add flexibility to expert mode
force 3dconnexion to write a working spaceball plugin


You get basic cloth in R5 (reactor). If you want a robust clothing system for characters try Stitch.

That’s a tough one. Shag:Hair is good, but has it’s issues as I’m sure Shave & Haircut will.

Both in R5 (reactor) and they’re quite good.

–paint(like maya)
There’s a paint API in there now, but its in its infancy, so you won’t see the level of integration you get with Artisan any time soon. Still, check out some of the free paint tools that make use of it:

–better dynamics
In R5 (reactor)

You got me on that one. R5 global illumiation I don’t think handles specular transport. Well, at least something that is rarely used in production.

–biped/quadraped creation where parts are pregrouped for easy
Like Character Node in R5?

–more deformers
For Skin? Besides FFD, Morph, Joint Angle and Bulge deformers?

–teeth/gums where the control bar has premade and you define -
Hehe, you want procedural teeth? That’s such an obscure thing but you could script it easily.

–and finally better handeling of huge scenes
Me too. That’s mostly in the renderer. The good news is the better 3rd party renderers like Brazil and fR are already showcasing 400+ billion poly, 300,000+ object scenes.


Not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean a custom manipulator when you perform an extrude operation? If so, manipulators have been scriptible since day one. See Bobo’s:

–OGL speed
Yeah me too. Luckily system/card performance continues to get leaps and bounds faster.

–transformation relative to anything like in Mirai
Have you ever used the Pick Coodinate System type? It’s in that dropdownlist next to the scale button. It allows you to choose an object and transform the selected object based on the picked object. Been in there since about 1997.

–magnet like in mirai
Not sure what that’s like. Anything like soft-select?

–non-linear animation tools like everyone else
The capability has been in there for a long time (though in a more simplistic way) and now it’s even easier with weighted list controllers. It just doesn’t have an editing UI like the others (hell, it was around before them), but take a look at what Bobo scripted up:

Character Studio has had Motion Flow for several years now, which is very much NLA. In fact they are building on it for CS 4, but adding a video editing style interface.

–relax tool in UVW (probably will get it’s interface in 5.1)
Not sure about that one. Something like the Relax modifier but in UVW Map modifier? Speaking of UVs, have you seen Texture Layers?

–Bezier handles control improvement in all modules
Hmm, you have auto-tangents now, you can break handles, etc. What else would you like?

–alternative way of managing layers
There are already several new script UIs for the layer system, and there’s still always Dave Humphries venerable LayerMan

–better material editor system like Maya
Ah a node based system? It’s there, but all under the hood. Don’t believe me? See Bobo’s UI

–real-time solvers or whatever it’s called in maya
Lost me on that one. 4 different IK solvers aren’t enough? Are you talking about Caching?

–proper nurbs
yeah, that’s a bummer. NURBS in MAX have always been weak, but at least it’s not a NURBS-centric app. Still that’s partially a modeling issue and partially a renderer issue.

–fix bugs and add flexibility to expert mode
Yeah, I’m all for that. The good news is for years now they’ve continued to expand the customizability of the UI. In fact, since R4 I’ve worked almost exclusively in Expert Mode on dual monitors with hotkeys and custom QuadMenus. Best of all, if you don’t have a command for something you can write a macroscript (very simple process) and it will be assignable as either a hotkey or menu item. For example, every major new project I work on I create a custom menu that allows me to hop around on the server in the directories where my content goes. I have another macroscript made of only a few lines that launches FrameCycler and loads renders. The beauty in macroscripts is that they don’t have to be a single hardcoded line, but can be a contextual series of operations.

–force 3dconnexion to write a working spaceball plugin
Hehe, that’s a cool idea.


I wanted to petition Bobo with a request for an extrude manipulator. Anybody with me on this? Maybe I’ll post some screenshots. I’ve seen his manipulators and I think it would be technically possible to write one for extrude. The way it works you hit extrude and get this move, scale and rotate gizmo in one and it’s very natural. You just keep generating segments and you shape the volume as you go.

Magnet is soft selection on steroids. And it’s part of that relative transformation concept. Like in three clicks you define an arbitrary axis of transformation and the falloff (no numbers or spinners, just click on the model) and just scale or rotate it. I have a very limited exposure to Mirai, but I’ve really noticed this feature. I’m aware of what’s in the dropdownlist :slight_smile:

Relax tool is there like Chris mentioned, but without UI, you need a script: here

I have to check other Bobo’s scripts, but I doubt the node-based material editor and non-linear animation are there yet. I’ve seen Bobo’s work in progress combustion-type schematic view tool somewhere, I guess it’s the treematograph you’re talking about. Definitely a good idea.

And generally, plugins are great, but there are things that have to be part of the system’s archetecture. Like now, poly tools are all over the place. A button here, a r-click there. A tool and an options box somewhere else…


ok extrude along path

it needs a built in hair plug like xsi’s . I hate shag.
Reactor, hmm it could be great if it was more powerfull then again i dont know how to use it very well yet


I’m actually all for splitting MAX into modules - character and effects. I for one do mostly effects work so I tend to focus on procedural tools like particles, volumetrics, dynamics, crowd sim, etc. I have no real use for character tools. Likewise, someone doing lots of character work doesn’t have much use for the above. I’d just hate to see all of that stuff rolled into one app, something that could force it to collapse under its own weight.


If Discreet just make it stable and useable on complex scenes I’ll live without any new features (yeah… right).

That said, I also wouldn’t say no to a Mirai-style overhaul. That app’s 2-3 years old and it’s a disgrace how little it’s been ripped off :slight_smile:


I totally agree with Iain, I’d just add good nurbs à la Rhino and I would be the happiest guy !

Who really need caustics and other gadgets like that. I mean, will you use them everyday, and if you do, wouldn’t it be better if you bought a software that do that and only that : Max 5 radiosity is good, but it’s nothing next to the powe of Final Render or Brazil (or Renderman, or Entropy, or…).

Just use all the functionnality that are inside the software out of the box, then try free plugins, and only after you can begin to argue.

Max 4 was cool, Max 5 is great.

Just my 2 € cents :slight_smile:


ok, correct me if I’m missing somethings, but here are my wishes

Character generation: The character node was a grate start, maybe more tools in this vein? An auto-character generator, with a professional setup, possibly in different flavours for certain tasks. Ideally this tool would creat a proxy bone setup during generation that would allow you to pose the character within your mesh, so you could easily set the arms to the correct length etc. When finished you would hit GENERATE and it would create the rig, with appropriate IK, rotation locks, and animation helpers. Due to standardistion of this rig, it could also come with GUI generators for fingers (would create a macro-script), and also with tools to copy animation from one limb to another (like character studio). Actually maybe that could be an extension of the character node… Of course people will always want more with this system, but it would be a great fast start…

Sticky Viewport labels: the toolstips you see when you hover over an object, but always visible. turned on and off in object properties.

Node based material editor in addition to medit. Medit is fine for most materials, but a schematic would be usedull for some hardcore materials. (I’ll post my mockup later today)

A bias for connect, i.e. where at its start and end does it connect the two edges, as seen in XSI

A real layer system as seen in other apps. Allowing easy management of layers, and the layers having usefull properties for them. i.e. renderable, non renderable, hidden, frozen, frozen locked (unfreeze all does not unfreeze objects set as frozem locked), same goes for hide in fact. Also all commands in the layers system should be held in a config file, so you can go in and replace functionality with other renderers (i.e. Brazil/Vray/FR/MR). Allowing custom render layer setups etc

A scene explorer, as seen as outliner in Maya and explorer in XSI…

A util script for the texture baker, allowing for instance baking quality based on a viewpoint. Uses a gizmo like an omni light, objects closer to the gizmo center get higher res baked textures than those farther away…

better control for shadow maps, i.e the ability to render out and re-use shadows, plus omni lights having six shadows (one for each direction) allowing controll of each directions shadow (on off, quality)

The tape helpers measure distance should be useable by scripts/expressions

Scripted controllers should execute during interaction, not just when there is a timelime change (XSI does this)

Much more comprehesive echoing of commands to the maxscript listener. By far th best way to learn maxscript, also a great way to see real maxscript command syntax. At the momment, there are just too many features which have no outpunt here. Also when executed for the output not to go to the same window as the command.

A more sensible expression editor GUI i.e. a long expression window etc

More work on opening max up as much as possible to scripting, great work so far, more of the same please (big time)

anyway, enough for now

Chris Thomas


>>Scripted controllers should execute during interaction, not just when there is a timelime change (XSI does this)

Hey Chris. You can already do this. All you have to do is add DependsOn $Sphere01 for example at the top of the script controller. $Sphere01 in this case is what is affecting the script controlled object. This has actually been in Max since r4! :slight_smile:



If I remember correctly 3D Studio DOS R4 (possibly previous versions too… don’t know… didn’t have them… I started with 4)
was MODULE Based.

When I first jumped into 3DSMAX R2, I was very disappointed/uncomfortable with the big fat switchable ‘Animate’ button.

Now that I’m up to speed and pretty much fluent in R4 (getting 5 soon) I understand why Kinetix did that in MAX R1 and onwards, but I still don’t like it.

MODULARISATION is an important thing in regards to a faster pipeline.

The MODEL, ANIMATION, IK, MATTER, RENDER, (and the last I can’t remember) modules of the DOS version should be re-introduced, but Discreet will see such a move as weak in view of their rivals, AW, Avid and Newtek.

I would like to see otherwise but it appears they don’t like ‘change’.

Eg. The ‘Object’, ‘Shapes’, ‘Modify’ etc. panels are still there and roughly the same!

What I’d like to see…

  1. Modules: Model - Sets (Props and Environment Optimised for the STATIC geometry in the Scene)

                       Model - Character                   (Polygon, Patch, Mesh, Nurbs)
                       Model - Character Dynamics  (Hair Design, Cloth Design, etc)
                      Model - SFX                            (Particle Systems, Fluid Systems, Combustion Systems, Atmosphere, etc)
                      Rigging - Character (IK, FK, Skin/Flex Mod. Enveloping etc)
                      Rigging - Dynamics  (Hair, Cloth Custom behaviour etc)
                      Material Editor - keep the old version for a quick adjuster but a new Full-Screen complex one. The selected OpenGL object is centred in the middle of the controls and other tools. On the same page is a smaller Active Shade box. Within this new Material-Editor (in another page) is a 2D Paint program with Obit control (perhaps with the link to Discreet Combustion).
                      Animation - Character Animation with Char. Studio
                      Animation -     "              "            with Max Bones, Splines and Boxes)
                      Animation -     "              "            with [ insert plugin here]
                      Animation - Motion Capture Manipulation (alternative to CS)
                      Render - Environment Setup
                      Render - Atmosphere Setup
                      Render - Layer Composite Manager (pre-Combustion)
                      Render - Style (VideoPost, 2D filters, Entire Scene Shaders)

  1. The “Unit” measurements are F$%^&ing ridiculous. So Automatic Settings for some tools and effects, like Global Illumination Volume, Measurement of Light and strength of light, Character Studio and it’s footstep driven system, Dust particles, Fire flames and their speed, Rain and it’s speed, differenciating between Ocean water and a drop of water, etc., all are so out of wack with/against each other its cancerous to the program.

Instead create a system based on the Metric system only - millimetres, kilometers etc. as this is what most Building construction is planned in. People ignore the measure too much and it results in damaging results. i.e. sometimes CS footstep animated character slides around alot when scaled down. It can be fixed, but it shouldn’t happen in the first place. Every physics-based system (and characters) should be set to a real life mold, similar to the Sunlight System.

  1. A “2D Lightbox” should be available when Animating. When the animator has finished his/her first animation pass and now wants to refine the character’s poses, the user uses their graphics tablet and pen (I guess a good mouse too) and hold down the SPACEBAR and draw a thumbnail directly over the geometry. This 50% opaque 2D drawing remains until the user move the time-slider and redraws another at the current time. This is an extention to the Viewport Background.

  1. One last thing: An entire Frame NPR shader. After a rough fast render to be used as a guide, the user a paint like Photoshop via Tablet n Pen on every key frame. Eg. Rough pastels on Frame 0, drag the time-slider to frame 100, brush a oil-paint effect. Add a noise mod., change the bezier curve and when it comes time to render, Planular-Project the new images on the geometry and use them as either a mix of the original and the new, or entirely the new.

P.S. The term “Material” should be renamed “Shader” too.


“why Kinetix did that in MAX R1 and onwards”

sorry I meant “why Autodesk did th…”

One last thing… A File/Scene Manager that opens when you load the program like Soft 3D and XSI.

And an quick File Opener from the File Menu… like…

—> 1
2 -----> SCENE
3 |
4 |
5 -----> 1 — Seq2_Sc_1_BG.max


“MODULARISATION is an important thing in regards to a faster pipeline”

"2) The “Unit” measurements are F$%^&ing ridiculous. "

P.S. The term “Material” should be renamed “Shader” too. [/B]

personally I prefere the system the way it is, I’m all for sensible menu’s for set features (like characters) but apart from that I prefere the system open. If you wanna customise it for character rigging or modelling, you can…

Units, yeah, total Ar£e, how can a CG program have Imperial measurements, better off with one unit, and it is to you what you want it to be (mm,cm,m)

Materials to be called shaders, why?

Chris Thomas


About modularisation Yeah I don’t want this, I so far prefer the actual way ! I do model/map/rigging etc and no problem. If you are very specialized, customize your max. That’s exactly what I hate into lw and don’t like at all into maya.

my 2cent



When I was talking about modules I was talking about add on features sort of like how Maya used to have Maya FX and Maya Power Modeler. It just assumes most people won’t need everything rolled into one. Why should I pay lots for a package that I only use half the tools for?


Gonzo The Great
i like the way you think, you should call discreet


By 2D Lightbox, are you talking about custom Ghosting?


AA to have adaptive superampling adustable by material or object.
Better support for HDRI
Native handling of the .obj format… I know Habware do an excellent plug in but why is Max so against supporting this file format
Ability to specify that vertex numbering be static…i.e … once a vertex is assigned a number… it keeps that number… this would retain selection sets during editing and make for far easier morph target creation (in theory anyway)
Morph targets to be created only using info changed a la Mirai
Vertices/edges/faces selected to be displayed somewhere static i.e. viewport for instance, and not inanely on a scrolling panel … DOH!!!
Ability to hide sub object selections in render
Whole interface and concept of could do with a rethink IMHO, but I guess most can configure their way out of the default car crash scenario.
A hugely improved particle system.
Nurbs… to be redone and rethought or the option to buy modular versions… (see below)
Linux version… no real excuse for their not to be one.
The ability for Discreet to stop ‘cobbling’ as they do… a good example of this is the ink and paint shader which I’m led to believe is pretty much an earlier Blur script. No offence to the guys at Blur but it is a joke speed wise and why not have spent the time developing something more usable for the R5 release… which leads me on to them including volumetric shaders and revamping the nurbs… only if they did the job well. From what I’ve heard about the GI solutions in R5 they are slow. … in comparison to the increasing amount of alternatives… a trend that hopefully won’t be the norm.
As others have stated a more modular approach would be welcomed by some. When Max entered the fray it was comparitevely well priced. Now that is very debateable with few bar Discreet feeling that it still is. The main reason I would like to offer modular versions is purely that a lot of it’s own tools just don’t cut the mustard and it’s ridiculous to have to pay again for a plugin to do something that Max is supposed to or should offer in the first place. I’ve always like Maxon for offering cut down versions of C4D that were more affordable for people and that could be used and accquired as needed. With Plasma, Discreet had the perfect opportunity to produce a cut down Max but instead went to great pains to make sure that it wasn’t by making sure that Plasma and Max can’t talk properly to each other and the only reason I can think of is that they haven’t got the confidence in their product to believe that people wouldn’t just buy Plasma instead of Max rather than pay for something they wouldn’t use a lot of either because they didn’t need it or it was crap in the first place. That to my mind is cynicism well beyond the acceptable in a company of their stature and resources.
So… until the mooted rewrite can we also please have an error alert saying… ‘sorry but Max is about to corrupt all the files in your current folder… are you sure you want to continue’…before it does the dirty. :slight_smile:


Originally posted by martinc
[B]>>Scripted controllers should execute during interaction, not just when there is a timelime change (XSI does this)

Hey Chris. You can already do this. All you have to do is add DependsOn $Sphere01 for example at the top of the script controller. $Sphere01 in this case is what is affecting the script controlled object. This has actually been in Max since r4! :slight_smile:

Martin [/B]

So it does, cheers :slight_smile:

Chris Thomas