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Autodesk 3ds Max 2021.1 update

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Autodesk 3ds Max 2021.1 update has been launched and brings a solid group of improvements to the already comprehensive list of tools in the is rendering software.

Texture Baking, faster install experience, and more capabilities for Physically Based Rendering (PBR) workflows in the viewport and rendering have all been improved in 2021.1.

For starters, the default rendered in Autodesk 3ds Max 2021.1, Arnold, gets the following updates and tweaks:

  • AOV token system for organising output
  • Animation support for Alembic
  • More accuracy in the UI controls
  • Support for Bake to Texture workflows (High resolution to Low resolution projections, Normal spaces, and MikkT)
  • A scene can now be exported to a USD file from the Archive tab of the rendering options.
  • Faster shutdown after rendering massive instances.

Autodesk has spent time improving the viewport quality for this update, adding what it terms as a simpler viewport configuration for workflows that allow users to produce high quality and high-fidelity viewports.

Depth of Field in Viewport can now affect the background/environment map, and vignetting scale in Viewport is now the same as value defined in the camera settings.

Matte and Shadow materials are now supported in the 3ds Max Viewport, while it is now able to display up to 128 UDIM textures directly from an OSL BitmapLookup map.


For modelling within 3ds Max 2021.1, a new extrusion experience for Editable Poly has been added, and the Edit Poly modifier and Weighted Normals modifier have been enhanced for faster polygonal extrusions.

A continued evolution of the Bake to Texture tool gets multiple UV tile baking support in version 2021.1, including output to common file patterns or directly back into a material via the multi-tile map.

Animation Support has been upgraded allowing for single frame, active time segment, and a specified time range, while output can be as files or fed back into a material via an animated bitmap node.

User voted improvements for version 2021.1 have also been added to the Bake to Texture tool, including the display of active renderer in the Bake to Texture Tool; multi-edit of the output column, and the better displaying of the map being baked in the frame buffer, performance improvements.

Elsewhere, PBR Materials now support displacement maps, while also being given the capability to view PBR workflows in the viewport when rendering, and for when working with real time engines.

Read all the updates for Autodesk 3ds Max 2021.1 here

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