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3ds Max Ideas
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New Idea

Viewport Tear Off

Status: Gathering Support
by Participant powercreative on ‎12-08-2016 03:02 PM

Be able to detach a viewport to it's own floating window. Optionally maximize that viewport. This would allow you to use a second monitor just for a single viewport, this would be most awesome.

Fluids in Max

Status: Gathering Support
by Collaborator phloog on ‎01-07-2017 07:40 AM

Recognizing that other ideas might be for specific executions, such as FLEX in Max, this idea is simply:


Implement a solid solution for FLUIDS (liquids, flames, smoke, etc.) in Max, regardless of how specifically this is executed.


Max lacks a core feature that is present in Houdini, is present to varying degrees of success in other competitors, and in fact is present in the FREE BLENDER software.


For Max to not have this in the core means that it has decided not to play in the VFX space in any serious way, but it also means that other industries will miss out as Autodesk refuses to recognize that fluids are even important to some in ArchViz and other industries.


Specifying the exact product to be integrated, or the exact form of integration, may be too limiting.  So this idea is simply to do SOMETHING in this space, rather than continuing to ignore the many users who want this.

Nvidia FLEX in 3ds Max!

Status: Gathering Support
by Enthusiast KristofferHelander on ‎12-08-2016 03:12 PM

Integrate the unified PhysX technology called FLEX into 3ds Max and Particle Flow in order to simulate different types of physics in the same system, here are some examples.

•Liquids (water, goo)
•Granular materials (sand, dirt)
•Environmental cloth (flags, newspapers)
•Rigid bodies (environmental debris)
•Soft bodies (inflatables / tetrahedral meshes)


Check out this live demonstration and don't miss the WATER BALLOONS at 2:45! :)


Here is some more info from

I would like the ability to interrupt or escape any command or process. For example, entering very large values into some input boxes (usually by mistake) can cause Max to try and complete requests which will eventually cause a crash. The ability to stop Max processing these functions would avoid a crash. At the moment, only some processes allow you to cancel them, I propose all commands/processes should be interruptible.

Enhancing viewport canvas to be something like maxon bodypaint, (with faster response when using bigger textures, with projection things from part of image to a object, etc..)

Multithreading of core modifiers

Status: Gathering Support
by Advocate kris on ‎01-06-2017 10:48 AM

The modifiers that we use every day, and result in heavy wait times; specifically those with the ability to add LOD.  Turbosmooth, Meshsmooth, etc., need to be multithreaded.  Going between levels can require a user to sit and wait while max thinks about it, using as little as 6% of the CPU.

Loooooong time limitation, please make procedural maps display in viewport correct ... we're in 2017 now. So far, the only workaround we found is to use Neil Blevins' TexMap Preview script: while it's great, it's not the ideal solution. We pay subscriptions / licenses, please fix useful things.


Currently, trajectories in 3ds Max are strictly for reference and do not allow the user to adjust the motion of an object. It would be nice if the trajectory could become a spline which you then could adjust in the viewport. This is functionality similar to what is done in After Effects or Combustion after a element is animated. Another example can be seen in Maya. There is a tech demo on the Area showing similar functionality.

Status: Implemented

implemented in 3ds max 2018!

Remove missing plugins from scene

Status: Gathering Support
by Explorer robdeja on ‎12-08-2016 03:24 PM

I would like a way of clearing missing plugins from a scene. It would be good if max could select assets in a scene dependent on the missing plugin so that it can be manually fixed (example: show all materials with missing plugins).

After 16 years of using 3dsmax, I'm one of these users being tired of new features race, instead of making 3dsmax rock-stable and fast in ALL areas.


Scene Node Editor

Status: Gathering Support
by Contributor Xerges on ‎01-04-2017 10:27 AM

Max needs an unify Node Editor where we can see, connect and edit everything. In this node editor we should be able to edit materials, particles, objects with their modifiers and controllers, hierarchy, constrains, ik, wires, expressions, environment variables...


Everything edited in a node view (see zookeeper, get some inspiration from Houdini and Modo).


the tool like older plugin skinfx but with better colision tools

Having the ability to keep the Unwrap Editor open at all times would greatly speed up the UV editing work flow. And since UV editing is such a big part of creating 3D assets, that would be a big savings for many users.

It would be good to integrate VFB+ in future version of 3dsmax.
VFB+ thread:

Unify shortcuts in different areas

Status: Gathering Support
by Enthusiast fla3d on ‎12-08-2016 03:17 PM

Unify shortcuts from the standard to edit/editable poly and mesh (who wants M for meshsmooth??).


Its really annoying how the shortcuts are not consistent between different areas, why edit poly have to have different shortcuts from editable poly? And some bizarre ones like the "M" that always opened the material editor in max, I still can't believe someone decided to assign this shortcut to a destructive meshsmooth in editable poly... and this is just one example.

Just like Grid Fill in Blender or Quad Fill in Modo.


For a proof-of-concept maxscript implementation see Border Fill (unencrypted), and multiple others like RapidTools RapidQCap, RappaTools autoConnectBridge or Quad Cap Pro (doesn't use the curvature IIRC but identical with planar meshes).


All of them are maxscript tools and as such bound to be slow with complex meshes, plus they don't fit in the rest of UI. Having a native version would be great.

Partcile flow update

Status: Gathering Support
by Explorer Raymarcher on ‎01-04-2017 10:35 AM

Better performance, new features, tighter integration within 3ds Max and bug fixes.

Slate Material Editor UI Improvements

Status: Gathering Support
by Moderator soulburn on ‎01-11-2017 02:07 PM - last edited on ‎01-11-2017 02:19 PM |

It is very difficult to keep materials organized in the current Slate Material Editor. Here is a list of UI features that would improve the readability of materials to make it easier to use them and manipulate them in complex scenes.


- Copy And Paste Nodes
- Controllers Take Up Too Much Screen Space
- Straight Or Curvey Noodles
- Adding Nodes To Network
- Noodle Snapping
- Noodle Anchors
- Floating Node Creation Incremental Search Textbox
- Node Favorites
- Colored Nodes
- Node Comments
- Backdrop Nodes
- Node Search / Filter
- Dim Nodes That Are Not Upstream


Copy And Paste Nodes

We need the ability to duplicate nodes in the schematic editor.

Controllers Take Up Too Much Screen Space

A Controller in the Slate Material Editor takes up a considerable amount of space considering they're usually just a simple number.

Could we have these made smaller like this...

Not only would it take up less space in the graph, which helps navigation, but would actually make it even easier to see what controllers are hooked up to what since they are not only a different color, but a different shape.

Straight Or Curvy Noodles

Currently we only have curvey noodles, which can be difficult to read sometimes in large networks. WOuld like to see a mode where you can switch between curvy or straight noodles.

Adding Nodes To Network

When you say create a new ColorCorrection node, you should be able to place it on the noodle between a texture and a materials Diffuse map input and the ColorCorrection node gets added to the network without the need to manually hook it up. Some internal logic could be introduced to guess what inputs / outputs should be hooked up in these situations, and it would do its best guess.

Noodle Snapping

When you move a node near the horizontal or vertical position of a neighboring node, the node should snap to match the vertical or horizontal position, this will allow your graphs to be a little more organized.

Noodle Anchors

Sometimes noodles in a schematic editor can be too busy which makes it hard to see. A node anchor is a dummy node you place on a noodle to move the noodle along a specific path. Like if you have a noodle that crosses over top of a node, you place an anchor and then hook the noodle up to the anchor to steer the noodle around the node it was previously covering.

Floating Node Creation Incremental Search Textbox

Right now in the upper left of the Slate Material Editor, you have a "Search By Name" textbox, and as you type the name of the node you're looking for, it filters the nodes based on what you've typed. I'd like to see this go a step further where this feature is right in the middle of the node graph, accessible by hotkey, and once you click the node from the list you want, it places it where your cursor is, which allows you to more quickly place the node. The textbox would also accept wildcards like *

Node Favorites

Many shading folk tend to use 99% the same 5-10 nodes. We need a "favorites" area in the node creation area that the user can choose their most used nodes and place them in that area to easily grab them.

Colored Nodes

Currently nodes are colored based on their type. I'd like to see the following modes that can be switched between...

  • "by Node Type", the current default
  • "By Channel" everything that's plugged into the diffuse slot of a material is a diffferent color from things plugged into the bump slot, for example
  • "Custom", where every node can be manually colored by the user for organizational purposes. The colors of the individual nodes would be saved with the max file.

Node Comments

Sometimes you want to leave comments on a node, reminding yourself or another team member something, like "Make sure to keep the low clamp of this noise below 0.2 or else you'll get weird results later on". Each node would have a comments field, and if the node has a comment associated with it, it can have a little talk bubble icon beside it, and hovering over the node lets you read the comment like a tool tip.

Backdrop Nodes

A backdrop node is really just a UI element to help visually link nodes together, or add notes to your scene. Like you put one behind all nodes in your material that contribute to the diffuse color of a material. You can stack backdrops ontop of each other. Each backdrop has a title area and you can add extra nodes inside the main area.

Node Search / Filter

We need a better way to search for nodes inside the node editor, search by node name, or node type. And also a filter, so that it only displays the nodes of a specific name or type in the view. The nodes that don't fit the current search / filter critieria could be greyed out as you type.

Dim Nodes That Are Not Upstream

Frequently you want to find all nodes that connect with your current node. Dim nodes that are not upstream will take every node that is not connected upstream to the currently selected node and dim them in the interface. That way you can immediately see what nodes are contributing to your current signal.

These features (along with the ability to group nodes) will allow you to navigate real production materials like this...

In a much nicer way...

Double precision for max

Status: Gathering Support
by Advocate kris on ‎01-06-2017 10:45 AM

Make max have double precision so that it no longer suffers from rounding errors, or problems with large dimensions.

You hear it all the time, yet nobody takes a stance - max lacks consistency big time. Whenever I compare max to some other software, it's always the biggest difference. There seem to be no standards, design manuals or even cooperation whatsoever, implementation details of similar features are different across the application, you sometimes get the feeling they are parts of different softwares in one package, sticked together in a haste. And it's a pity.

The interface is not consistent, the behavior is not consistent and I find myself doing things expecting some behavior that is common elsewhere only to find out 100th time it doesn't work and thinking 'oh, right, I have to do it different way here, silly me' - and this is after almost two decades with max.

There's Place Pivot Surface in the default quadmenu, when I first saw it, I was happy, now I don't use it because it doesn't work with the regular Edit Working Pivot mode which seems to use a different working pivot - hell if I know, instead of finding out, I stopped using it.

There's point-to-point edge selection in the UVW Unwrap modifier which works COMPLETELY different than the so-called point-to-point selection in Editable Poly (by the way I hate that one, it's awkward and weird and whenever I try figuring how it works - and that it works better if I deselect everything first so as not to trigger ring selection - which beats the purpose completely, I end up selecting by clicking instead).

Some spinners are sticky and keep their last input value (editable poly, mostly), some reset to default value each and every time (editable spline mostly, for repeated operations you have to put it in each time).


There are also Sticky Keys that were excitedly anticipated before max 2008, yet nobody uses them now as they are limited to a few hard-coded editable poly functions and you cannot use them anywhere else - and nothing changed since they were added, they are mostly forgotten.

There is the super useful Tangent Handle sub-object mode that allows mulitple tangent manipulation in Patches which is not in Shape objects.

When you click subobject icons holding modifier keys in editable poly, you get converted selection, which doesn't work anywhere else (say editable spline, often find myself trying it there).

Editable spline has divide for segments, which would be very useful if they could be slid, pinched etc. in the same way that edge loops can be in Editable Poly.

There's Folder History in some dialogs (Open Script) and not in others that are otherwise almost the same (Run Script).

Window/crossing depending on selection direction turned on? Well, it only works in the viewport, doesn't work in unwarp, when selecting nodes in MCG or basically anywhere else. I know it is that way, yet almost every single time I find myself doing it out of habit, before it dawns on me that it won't work that way...

Some operations have progressbar, most of them don't, some display their own, some use the prompt bar for that, others output text there instead.

Units of axes in the graph editor are system units, not display units, happened with a few modifiers in the past, mostly fixed, but still lurking in unexpected places.

After all the updates to spinners, MCG still comes with spinners that are not draggable and don't zero out on right-click.

All the code input windows are different, Script editor will use syntax highlighting and colors, newScript() window will only respect the background color and nothing else, MAXScript Listener comes with its own set of colors and shortcuts, and then there are Script controllers with their own pure-text fields.

Some operations allow you to navigate the viewport in the process, for some of them you have to stop the tool first, otherwise the tool effect will disappear - you will only find which are those when you try for example rotating viewport.

Many of the ribbon tools are only one-way, i.e. when you set the value elsewhere, it won't change in ribbon, while in the rest of the interface it shows as soon you change it.

Changing the material is undoable, changing wirecolor not.

Z to zoom extents? Works in viewport and MCG, doesn't work in Slate Material Editor (Alt+Ctrl+Z? WTF?) nor in Particle View - and Trackview? Better forget that one for good...

Want to change Render Sample Size of material preview in Slate? Oh, you have to switch to Compact material editor first and in ITS options change that, then switch back, same with other settings.

Global Search in viewport is different in looks and behavior department than the search in MCG (in Slate and Particle View, pressing X switches to main max window instead to make matters even more complex).

Some of the menubars (Particle View, Script Editor etc.) respect windows style, some are completely different (main menubar still has the gradient background as a remnant of the past while the rest of the UI is flat).

There are even some gradient style aqua buttons still scattered across parts of UI that were new few versions back and untouched since like the Template Manager, and even all-white (despite dark UI) gradient style 'Customize Ribbon' dialog (the Communication center and QAT don't fit rest of the UI either).


MCG, Particle View and Slate Editor use the same SDK for nodes yet they use different shortcuts, look different and behave slightly different, when people complain about something, it gets changed in one area and remains unchanged in the others.

There are multiple slightly different floating tear-off UI parts, ribbon parts show the handles only on hower, they're almost black and come with an additional button to 'dock it back', extended menus come with a windows-themed titlebar with a cross only.

Even if you have Caddies disabled, you get manipulator caddies when Select and Manipulate mode is active.

There's only one of each for Save Active Perspective/Ortho View in both the viewport menu and menubar Views menu, yet you can save multiple configurations in the Viewport Layout Tabs... it's a slightly different functionality yet still the only way to save multiple.

There are many functions that only work under the right circumstances that are hard to guess if you don't already know them. Very little in max is actually predictable. I could go on but I'm already tired just from thinking about it.


These are all things people were complaining about before, nothing new, nothing fixed either. And everything goes against the notion of max offering a consistent and predictable experience - changing those things one by one will help a bit but won't change much unless it's applied across the application and for every new or changed feature.

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