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<3 3ds Max 2009

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Autodesk 3ds Max 2009:

It should be fair to say that the general consensus among experienced 3D artists is that releases since this version have generally made the software worse, and at a hefty price-tag too.

Now, there are always going to be those who tell you they actually like things like caddies and incremental screen-space AO, and much like people who discuss contrails and illuminati on YouTube, I'm not going to address them.

3ds Max designers were at one point highly innovative and in touch with its user base. Now, Autodesk relies on inherently flawed user-feedback systems, are driven by random ideas that are entirely out of tune with our needs, design by committee, and have ceased all effort of true innovation.

(You may skip the following two-paragraph rant)

A new release of 3ds should be something exciting to look forward to, not the start of another 6 months of operating what is essentially Beta software until the release of Service Pack 1. For the people out there who are growing increasingly embittered by paying through the nose for a bloated and buggy software package, I have no words of hope. Autodesk continues to make money, they have no one in high positions who actually knows how to operate the software with a high degree of prowess, they have no one who loves the software and wishes to see it reach a higher potential, and they would arrogantly scoff at my feedback and shake their heads in a condescending manner while they continue to make money. And that's their right. From a business perspective, as long as you make money you are good, and since Autodesk have a monopoly on 3D applications outside of CAD, there's no way they're going to stop making money. Autodesk are, technically, successful.

There's realistically only one way that 3ds Max is going to improve, and that is by purchasing the right 3rd-party developed content. This is not ideal, but it's the best we've got. Luckily, Autodesk are good at spending money, which sometimes benefits the user. The truly good updates to Max were purchased from other devs. If Autodesk themselves would only focus on performance, stability and core systems, we might be on to something (and this would stop them from ruining the efforts of the 3rd party developers); but alas, Autodesk unfortunately continues with embarrasing efforts to "design". Again, with their money they could easily hire highly qualified people for design work, but Autodesk as a corporation is not aware that such a need exists for 3ds Max.

So, with that out of the way, let me bring this to a positive note: 3ds Max 2009 64 absolutely rocks. It's solid, fast, stable and highly customizable. It's perfectly capable of handling all next-gen tasks, it doesn't in any way lag behind its successors, and it supports your favourite 3rd party addons, whether they be renderers or modeling scripts.

For those not familiar with 2009, you may have heard how many of the top artists still swear by it, and as time allows I'll dump some of the reason why that is in here, and encourage others to do the same. We've been doing it in various threads over the years and I figure it's a good time to put it all in one place.

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  • JamesWild
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    JamesWild polycounter lvl 8
    I'm not a huge fan of Max but I've used several versions and I agree. Nothing of any real value has been added in any version beyond 2009. Nothing at all. There's a lot of scope for it to be improved, but Autodesk appears to focusing in the wrong direction entirely or adding features while completely missing the point of them. (such as Slate, which appears to have been developed from screenshots of the Unreal material editor rather than what it actually does.)
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    yeah, polyboost + max2009 is pretty much all you need.

    I'm silently hoping that blender will mature into a viable alternative eventually.. Dont know if that will happen though, theres a degree of hostility to anything new in the blender community (too many damn freetards)
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    I would like to say this, if anyone started a thread/guide/walkthrough, on how to get all the nifty latest functions of Max 2010+ into 2009, then many more people would vouch by it.

    Textools is a must, as is Polyboost, but those are only the tip of the iceberg and lack certain things in the later versions of Max.

    So yeah, a Repository from which can 'update' Max 2009 would be wonderful in more ways then one.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Viewport performance.

    Now, personally I have no great need for countless millions of triangles in the viewport. An object imported from mudbox does not need to be visible for you to bake it down to a lowpoly, and for tasks such as retopo, you will never need the highest level hipoly. However, viewport performance is easy to relate to, and it's all quite funny after the big hoo-hah Autodesk made about 2012 performance.

    Test scene: 6 million tris
    Hardware: An old GeForce 9800 GT, Core2 Quad Q9400 2.67GHz, 8GB, newest drivers
    Software: 64 bit versions, all software updates installed
    Methodology: Rotating, zooming and panning the viewport to force redraws

    3ds Max 2009 @ 70 frames per second

    per128_3dsFramerate_2009.png

    3ds Max 2012 @ ~15 frames per second
    per128_3dsFramerate_2012.png

    3ds Max 2013 @ 6FPS
    per128_3dsFramerate_2013.png

    Notes:
    -For 2009, I used FRAPS to verify the framerate. FRAPS did not work on any of the other versions of Max.
    -FRAPS reduced the FPS by 4, so the real figure should read 74 FPS.
    -For 2009, ticking "Use Incremental Scene Updates" drove the framerate to a range of 70-91. However, this was so erratic that I decided not to use that figure.
    -The numbers are representative of overall performance and not hand-picked with any bias.
    -2012 refused to report accurate framerate. It was very choppy, and my estimate of 15 FPS is charitable.
    -2012 was tested without AA, with barely any gain in performance.
    -2009 and 2012 experienced brief slowdown before viewport operations kicked in. This effect was exaggerated on 2012.
    -2012 also experienced lag after viewport operations, varying greatly in duration. This did not happen at all on 2009.
    -2012 experienced occasional viewport freezes that would last for several seconds.
    -2013 was tested only in Nitrous mode, and briefly at that. The screenspace AO may be nice for presentation, but is an ugly, distracting mess while you are rotating or moving the viewport or objects in it.

    Now, 3ds Max 3D hardware support is unpredictable at best. However, when Autodesk makes a big deal out of rendering 3M tris in realtime on a high-end 3D card in 2012, it becomes a bit of a joke that I utterly annihilate that performance on 2009 with a video card from 2008 that produces so little heat it doesn't even have a fan.

    There are many ways of twisting and turning this, and you may well get great framerates on your newer version of Max. The essence here is that 2009 delivers performance in excess of what is necessary.

    Looking at the following image, it should be clear that you never actually need to see this many polygons in the viewport. Even a 6M viewport model is overkill for modeling/baking tasks in 3ds.


    per128_3dsFramerate_2009b.png
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Graphical User Interface

    Warning: Long-winded.

    To their credit, Autodesk realizes that their ui is the most loathed in the world of 3D software.

    To their credit, they make an effort to improve the ui.

    Not so much to their credit: They're letting Bob in accounting's 12 year old son do the work.

    I could ramble on about ui design principles for hours, but let's cut it short and say that Autodesk just doesn't have an educated ui design professional working for them. A large company like Autodesk should be innovating and blowing our minds, not making laughably basic noob mistakes.

    Let's have a look at one lone segment for starters: The Title and Menu bar.
    per128_max2013ui_01.png

    This hurts my eyes. Literally. White text on a gradient towards white; seriously? Oh, and what happens when I remove focus from the window? The gradient disappears, which instantly improves things. That's kind of backwards.

    Gradients have their use in specific situations, but this isn't one of them. Here they're used in the same way that rounded corners and "3D-look" is typically used: A programmer with a copy of photoshop decided to get "creative".

    A gui design professional will avoid any visual decorations whatsoever unless they serve a very specific function.

    I need to remove the gradients just in order to look at this thing, and let's replace that awful 16-color logo while we're at it:

    per128_max2013ui_edit01.png

    Right. Now I can actually see what's going on here.

    A lot is going on here. Ah, the application button. I have to chuckle to think that Autodesk, in an effort to improve the GUI, took design notes from one of the most hated mainstream application UIs in existence: Office 2007. Even more humorous is that right after Autodesk copied the application button from Office 2007, Office 2010 was released, now without the pointless button.

    Office 2007:
    per128_office2007ui.png
    Office 2010:
    per128_office2010ui.png
    Office 2013:
    per128_office2013ui.png

    I included the last image to make a point. Autodesk, notice how the ui design actually gets simpler, cleaner and easier to look at with each version? Yes, the exact opposite of what you guys are doing.


    Now for a version comparison (out of the box settings):

    2013:
    per128_max2013ui_01.png

    2009:
    per128_max2009ui_01.png

    Right, so 2009 uses the standard windows controls. Good. A menu. Good. Of course, below this, in both apps, you find the toolbar, where all sorts of buttons go.

    The thing to note here is number of elements. 3ds 2009 uses standard windows Title-bar and Menu-bar. These are of course extremely solid and performance-proven. 2013 has custom controls. Not only more code to maintain and more room for instability but the menu in all post-2009 versions suffers from terrible lag. This is 2012. We're used to running millions of polygons on screen in realtime. Clicking a window menu should not lag.

    So, 2 elements in 2009. And in 2013? Application button, menu, lefthand title buttons, and right-hand title buttons. Each system you add multiplies the amount of support functions you need. The menu and the toolbar can be customized. Customizations can be saved and loaded and interfaced with through maxscript. It takes time to code all these support functions, so you need to maintain a low number of elements. In 2013 they have more elements, and no big surprise, they lack the support functions. Customization is nearly non-existent.

    The customization menu for the left-hand Title buttons:
    per128_max2013ui_02.png

    ok, so why can't I choose from all the functions available for toolbars? Why is this hard-coded instead of using the existing system? Oh, because of sloppy programming and non-existent design skill on the part of Autodesk? Gotcha. This is what happens when you add a system; you have to write all the code all over again. We already have toolbar buttons for this stuff. If you are so desperate for more UI space that you start cramming buttons into every available space, you need to address the problem directly, instead of working around it with a hack solution like this.

    As I hover over the menu items, a popup obscures the list (d'oh), telling me I can press F1 for "more help". Despite the questionable wording and uncertainty about what kind of help, exactly, I'm supposed to receive, I click F1. It leads me to a 404 page. Sigh.

    As to the right-hand Title buttons, I don't need any of them. I suspect that they were put there to help the beginner get to grips with 3ds Max. So let me get this straight, you felt the opening nag screen full of links and videos AND the "Help" item on the main menu was not sufficient? Someone at autodesk really enjoys adding redundant systems. But, luckily we can remove this thing altogether, as evidenced by the right-arrow. So I click it, and:

    per128_max2013ui_03.png

    Now the text entry field is gone while the buttons are still there? I don't understand the purpose of this. And furthermore, the "search" button associated with the text field is still there!? Hmm.. I have an idea.. now that the search field is gone, let's click the search buttons and see what happens. Ah, 404 page. Great work, Autodesk. Sorry about the sarcasm. In your defense, you've only had 3 years to sort this out.

    You're a big organisation with lots of money, so why do you let amateurs design your software? I know for a fact that you have some guys there with amazing talent, so what is it in your organization that stifles the talents and grants decision-making power to people who have no clue what they're doing?

    Try to be logical for a second. What is the distinct difference between the application button and a menu entry? You click on them and they give you a list of stuff, right? The basic functionality is exactly the same. So why create a new UI element that just serves to take up more space and is less customizable and introduces more code to maintain? I'll tell you why: Because some goofball decided you should copy a terrible MS Office feature that even MS themselves were quick to remove, and gave no thought whatsoever to the consequences or whether it would benefit users.

    3ds 2009 Title and menu: Works great, no lag, fully customizable, takes up less space. Has a host of support functions. Couldn't ask for anything more reliable.

    I could serve up a few more thousand words just about this one tiny segment of the ui, but just in quick summary: 3ds Max 2009 rules, Autodesk has no idea what they're doing anymore.

    Autodesk challenge: Give me 2 of your programmers for a year and we'll build a 3ds 2014 that far surpasses what your entire remaining team and gazillions of dollars can produce. Or, just re-release Max 2009, call it 2014, change some default settings and people will be blown away.
  • cptSwing
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    cptSwing polycounter lvl 9
    ^ And you're not even mentioning the careless way that Polyboost/Graphite Tools were bolted onto the existing Max UI. I still cringe when I need to use Graphite's tools, and not just because the toolbar takes about 2 seconds to roll out on click.
    But to Autodesk's credit, whether they're bought-up 3d party tools or not, there have been small improvements in many parts. I wish they'd buy more 3d party stuff, to be honest.

    Another problem is their yearly release cycle.. not only does it reduce the new user to an erstwhile beta-tester each time around, but they insist on changing functioning systems and breaking scripts & workflows that worked fine in the last release (case in point: viewport shaders still broken in nitrous - broken a little more in 2013 actually)..

    Sigh. Still prefer it over Maya, Blender, and even Softimage, though. Modo I haven't tested, admittedly.
  • Laughing_Bun
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    Laughing_Bun polycounter lvl 14
    I approve this thread. 2009 was so much simpler and faster. The program has become a bloated mess with almost no new features that are actually useful.
  • BeatKitano
    cptSwing wrote: »
    Sigh. Still prefer it over Maya, Blender, and even Softimage, though. Modo I haven't tested, admittedly.

    Modo is as nice as it is unstable.

    I wasn't a max user when 2009 was out, but there's no "graphite" I know it was called polyboost back then, but installing a few years old plugins which are no longer updated is not my thing... So, maybe I'm missing something but going back that far is not an option for me.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Can someone tell me what, exactly, they get from polyboost/graphite that they depend on so much? Because when I talk to artists who use it, they tend to say that they only use 1 or 2 features frequently, and the remaining 300 obscure features go unused.

    I know polyboost was very popular back in the day, but believe it goes against the modern 3d tool design principles, which is to create a few powerful tools, as opposed to a panel with hundreds of tiny buttons that you can impossibly memorize the function of on the rare occasions that you may need one of them.

    So, definitely interested in learning what kind of polyboost-specific features people rely on.
  • MrOneTwo
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    MrOneTwo polycounter lvl 9
    cptSwing wrote: »
    ^ And you're not even mentioning the careless way that Polyboost/Graphite Tools were bolted onto the existing Max UI. I still cringe when I need to use Graphite's tools, and not just because the toolbar takes about 2 seconds to roll out on click.
    But to Autodesk's credit, whether they're bought-up 3d party tools or not, there have been small improvements in many parts. I wish they'd buy more 3d party stuff, to be honest.

    Another problem is their yearly release cycle.. not only does it reduce the new user to an erstwhile beta-tester each time around, but they insist on changing functioning systems and breaking scripts & workflows that worked fine in the last release (case in point: viewport shaders still broken in nitrous - broken a little more in 2013 actually)..

    Sigh. Still prefer it over Maya, Blender, and even Softimage, though. Modo I haven't tested, admittedly.

    Best thing in Graphite is that it doubles what you can find in edit or editable poly... 2 almost the same menus where one is crippled in different place than the other ? Yeaaaah way too go. 12 year accountant son should know better...
  • Stromberg90
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    Stromberg90 polycounter lvl 9
    Been looking into this and might give it a try.
    However looking into the scripts I use most of them work in 2009 but according to the turbo tools website and outliner 2.0 they only work from 2010 and up, so if anyone know if older versions work or the current version still works on 2009 without being supported, please shout out :)
  • tsabszy
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    tsabszy greentooth
    i agree with the things said before me..
    autodesk softwares, especially 3ds max is getting worse and worse in every way. they literally ruin the software by not keeping in mind what an actual 3d artist needs who have to use their softwares every day.

    in general:
    1. they're getting more and more un-stable. crashes for no reason, bugs a ton all around their fancy new features and old features as well won't be fixed since ages (e.g: crashes related to texture update in viewports, or aplying uv to multiple objects, using track editor with complex scenes, using freeform tools, graphic modelling tools disappear, your ui costumization gets corrupted so you cannot use it any more and have to re-create it etc..)
    2. adding new features that you actually cannot use in production, but they look good in promotional videos
    3. features that does not work correctly and won't be fixed with new versions.
    4. strange decisions that will replace your old well-working tools to new ones that are hard to work with, since they are not capable of working with precision.
    5. creating new ui, that is slow, again haven't thought over and giving you a hard time to work with.
    6. they always claim to improve performance with every version, while it is getting terribly slower for no reason
    7. some new features that could be useful, but immplemented without the possibility of using them with today's technical standards (just like nitrous viewport rendering mode not working with dx shaders properly, or AT ALL)

    and still, we get a new 3ds max every year and they just force you to buy the new versions by not supporting the 3-4 year old ones.
    so everyone who loves 3ds max 2009, will soon have to forget it unfortunately, coz there won't be any working obj or fbx plugin for it i'm affraid.

    i had a dream.. in it Autodesk didn't released a new 3ds max for 4 years and they released a stable version finally without bugs, crashis or fancy new features and made a decent version finally.. then i woke up :(
  • coldside
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    coldside polycounter lvl 10
    A problem I see is that now they have started with the yearly versions, they are sort of stuck.

    None of the recent versions have been stable enough that the majority of users would be happy to use it for a couple of years while Autodesk knuckles down and tries to come out with a better release.

    If they were to take 2013 and release bug fixes for a couple of years while working on the next release, I would be pretty happy as long as the results spoke for themselves.

    They really do need to change from the yearly releases though. I believe it was either Ken or Kelly from Autodesk who said after release and initial bug fixes for the previous version, they really only get 10 months of development time to work on the next release. This, coupled with having to do more bug fixes throughout the year (because of lack of development time during the previous year) and trying to do a SAP 6 months after release really limits what they can accomplish. Focusing on new features for the next release also doesn't give them enough development time to fix what they screwed up previously.

    Of course, this is no excuse when they have a ton of users to answer to. Autodesk seems to think they must have some awesome new features each release (well, awesome on paper and advertising material.) I think many of us would prefer if they would not bother with new features for a year and just focus on cleaning up all the mess they have made so far.
  • McGreed
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    McGreed Polycount Sponsor
    Also the file management window for whenever you need to load, save, import, export something, I think they have like 3-4 different versions, old and new...How about making them all the same, and while you are at it, add a way for us to bookmark folders for easy access. Its not like we are going to work in different folders, such as exporting and importing....
  • tsabszy
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    tsabszy greentooth
    coldside - yeah.. you're propably right but just as you said so, lack of time is not an excuse!! look at the guys at pixologic.. if they screw up something, they'll fix it few months later with the next update, plus giving you mind blowing new features as well. and they don't spend 10 months doing so, plus you get free updates with also great new features and the price of their software is not as high as 3ds max. so i don't really care how long time autodesk has.. since usually hotfix-es are only few megabytes of files copied to your drive and then deleted straight away so you can feel like it fixed something, but actually did not. if you pay as much money as 3ds max costs, than the developers shouldn't give you worthless updates and worthless new versions.
  • Mark Dygert
    I tend to agree and recent "improvements" especially from 2012 to 2013 really haven't done anything.

    The Gamma/LUT setting ON by default!?
    What brain surgeon thought of that? It totally FUBAR normal maps. Do it to "3dsmax Design" those Arch/Vis nerds love that setting on but for everyone using 3dsmax its been a big pain in the ass.

    And just to be clear even if the setting was useful to us, changing an existing setting still wouldn't justify a new release. "oh we can't innovate a some new and useful tools in 9mo, so we'll flip a few defaults and call it new".

    The golden years
    I weep for what polyboost WAS every time I have to load Graphite Modeling Tools. Polyboost was quick, light and compact. It wasn't perfect and it was confusing to use at first, but at least it wasn't visually bloated, inconsistent and functionally slow. Polyboost loaded up quickly, so I didn't worry about calling it when I needed it and closing it when I don't. But with GMT if it's not open I often skip using it and take the long way around.

    The caddy system
    It still isn't up to the functionality of the 2009 system, specifically the spinners should behave EXACTLY like the old system on DAY ONE but here we are 4 years later and it's still broken. It's like they don't even use the tools they create or even listen to people who do.

    Not to mention doing things like this:
    3dsmaxCaddyPos.gif
    Chase that cancel button around oh what joy, so much fun...

    I do have to call BS on your FPS comparison
    You are comparing modes that are built for speed vs a mode that is focused on solving an issue that polycount bitched and moaned about for years "bad viewpoint accuracy". If you want speed use Direct3D, if you want the viewport to use scene lights and have near render quality then use nitrous.
    Now there is something to be said for Direct3D being slower in newer releases and that is actually comparing apples to apples.

    Curve Editor makes Max cry

    Do you want to talk about what grinds the viewport to a halt, pop open the curve editor. These mother fuckers must really hate animators...

    - First they screw over the curve editor UI, So it looks just like the other Autodesk products. Nevermind that it had good features that should be brought to the other products, no they buried them and pretended like they never existed, Bravo...

    - Then they completely sink the FPS when the curve editor is open. WHAT THE HELL!? Here is the right arm of a animator and you can't have it open when trying to work on animation? The worst part is they fixed it in a previous release (2008 I think) then screwed it up again in 2009, FUCK YOU!

    The only reason I can rationalize is that they are trying to drive animators away from Max and over to Maya. Which just makes me think they messed up by buying Maya and they are having to build in differences to justify maintaining identical products. That probably explains why they gimp Maya so hard in the modeling department. Modelers use max, animators use Maya. Douche bags... you should have just shut Maya down when you bought it instead of dragging it out and screwing over all of your products.

    Subscription woes
    Sadly we are on subscription at work and we upgrade when SP1 comes out so there really isn't any going back for us. I've come to accept the 2010+ updates and it is kind of nice not having to wait until a bunch of 3rd party authors get off their asses and update their scripts or fire back snotty emails about products you bought and are actually on a "subscription service plan" with.

    Upgrading is a pain
    I REALLY don't like having to setup the UI all over again, customize max all over again each year its just a drag and especially when they only seem to be reshuffling the UI. In 2013 about the only thing they added was the ability to change the hard-coded default nav keys. WEE... thanks but that's really not worth upgrading over and really only helps complete noobs, which is where it seems like a lot of their energy is directed these days.


    Suggestions:
    Separate the modes and modules. Animation doesn't need most of the modeling tools out and vice versa for the modeling. I already do this to some degree with a script that I wrote.
    3dsmax_model_animate.jpg
    Its more visual/workspace and doesn't do anything for performance which I can't do anything about. But it would be nice if the two modes where optimized for performance.

    UI aside, the top priority for me is being able to have the curve editor open and not have the viewport come to a screaming halt. If they don't fix that I really don't care about whatever bits they fuck up.
  • Brygelsmack
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    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 8
    Max users, do you still prefer Max over Maya despite this negative trend? How many of you have switched over? Because I mean, no one's stopping you. But it all depends on how what software you prefer I guess.

    Obviously no excuse for Autodesk to treat their users like this, but I'm just curious how many actually got so tired of it that they switched.
  • Mark Dygert
    For me, max still trumps Maya in Modeling and while these seem like big issues, they are mostly annoying things that cause frustration only because they don't fix them but I still wouldn't want to trade it all in for Maya.

    Even in animation I still prefer Max because of biped, CAT and the ease of use. As an animator you have access to some kick ass rigs and tools that in Maya you have to build from scratch.

    So while max seems to be taking a slide backwards it's still ahead of maya, for me at least.
  • coldside
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    coldside polycounter lvl 10
    Really, it isn't that much better on the Maya side either. Same goes for Softimage.

    I'm in a different field then most people here, film/tv based VFX. Maya has been dead in the water for years in that department. Damn, particles still have to basically be hand coded.

    3ds Max was a good avenue for me, with it's great variety of plugins. I'm still on 2012, and won't be upgrading in the foreseeable future.

    I'm diving back into Houdini because it is perfect for my field and widely used. Sidefx have just cut their prices in half at SIGGRAPH, bringing it cost wise on par or even below what 3ds Max and various plugins cost me. Subscription is higher per year, but with the excellent support Sidefx offers (you can send them trouble scenes even if it isn't a bug, and they will fix your issue and tell you exactly what they did, how they did it and why), and the daily builds (not just for bug fixing but also for adding new features) it is certainly worth the additional price. You also don't need plugins for Houdini, as everything is included really. And if it isn't, you can build it yourself if you are a programmer (same as Maya I guess) or someone in the community may have already built something similar and can help guide you, or a lot of the time they will give the tool out for free.

    Or if you want to add a small feature to an already existing tool or just make a small change to the way it operates, you can dive right into the node and do what you want. Houdini is open in that respect, giving the user access to whatever they need and not limiting them.

    Of course, all the above is purely my own opinion and won't be applicable to most users here in the game field.
  • MisterSande
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    MisterSande polycounter lvl 8
    Max users, do you still prefer Max over Maya despite this negative trend? How many of you have switched over? Because I mean, no one's stopping you. But it all depends on how what software you prefer I guess.

    Obviously no excuse for Autodesk to treat their users like this, but I'm just curious how many actually got so tired of it that they switched.


    I think that most users don't really have a "choice" to switch 3d packages without a great amount of effort and time on their hands. It is a very tedious thing to switch workflows imo.
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    perna wrote: »
    Can someone tell me what, exactly, they get from polyboost/graphite that they depend on so much? Because when I talk to artists who use it, they tend to say that they only use 1 or 2 features frequently, and the remaining 300 obscure features go unused.

    I know polyboost was very popular back in the day, but believe it goes against the modern 3d tool design principles, which is to create a few powerful tools, as opposed to a panel with hundreds of tiny buttons that you can impossibly memorize the function of on the rare occasions that you may need one of them.

    So, definitely interested in learning what kind of polyboost-specific features people rely on.
    Can't tell if a joke or not...

    Swiftloop without a doubt.

    The other loops tools it has, which offer control over the already established loops on a model, allowing you to change the flow of your mesh, without getting those weird displacements which look tacky if you do it manually, or have to spend extra time setting up with Poly Select -> Mod -> Edit Poly -> Collapse

    Quadrify, for I have yet to see one that actually works other then this, plus the other tools such as the extrude that comes with it, because lets face it, splines are not unintuitive, and not everyone has access or wants to use ZB.

    Don't forget the selection tools, stuff like loop select, similar or tops, Max didn't have those natively until Polyboost came along, as proven by the fact that it still doesn't have those selection modes in UV, and you need a script for that.

    The Polyshift tools for when you need that ZB like control for your organic models without the annoying default options of Soft Select.

    Viewport Canvas is also thanks to Polyboost, and it actually functional.

    The Bake to texture maps, which allow you bake without the need for a high poly some useful basic maps, like SSS maps, or allows you tile-wrap a generic detail map if you shader can't do it or don't the extra call.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    MrOneTwo wrote: »
    Best thing in Graphite is that it doubles what you can find in edit or editable poly... 2 almost the same menus where one is crippled in different place than the other ?
    yes, all the duplicated stuff is puzzling. They haven't actually improved the Editable Poly ui in many years, which is strange because you can even improve it a bit without even recompiling the dlls (see below screenshot). I've seen people working where they have the huge command panel open (2 pages, to fit what they need) as well as the graphite stuff, and the 3d viewport is a small rectangle in the corner.

    spookypub03.png

    McGreed wrote: »
    Also the file management window for whenever you need to load, save, import, export something, I think they have like 3-4 different versions, old and new...How about making them all the same, and while you are at it, add a way for us to bookmark folders for easy access. Its not like we are going to work in different folders, such as exporting and importing....

    Well that, again, is about them writing a dozen different bits of code and interfaces to do one and the same thing. They don't perfect existing systems, they just create new ones. As for favourites, they should just use a modern win7 file open menu. It has all you need. In all other apps I run, I can quickly get to "my documents" as well as my other favourites, but not in Max. What I recommend, though, is make sure to use project folders if you don't already... and customize them to make more sense than the default options there. This feature is very useful.
    Been looking into this and might give it a try.
    However looking into the scripts I use most of them work in 2009 but according to the turbo tools website and outliner 2.0 they only work from 2010 and up, so if anyone know if older versions work or the current version still works on 2009 without being supported, please shout out :)

    Newest outliner only works on 2013 and up. Pier is most likely in a situation where he's forced to use the latest version, and doesn't want the extra workload of supporting other versions, which is fair. 2.0.97 works for 2009, and is very good. I'm sure some of the newer bugfixes (if needed for you) can be merged into that version.

    tsabszy wrote: »
    they literally ruin the software by not keeping in mind what an actual 3d artist needs who have to use their softwares every day.

    That's at the core of it. A big feedback system is good for collecting bug reports, not for taking feature suggestions. Being an artist doesn't make you a good software or tool designer. What they need at AD is someone is a fantastic technical artist who actually uses 3ds regularly, as well as has experience designing tools. They need someone who comes up with ideas that users haven't even thought of, but see as obvious once presented to them.
    tsabszy wrote: »
    1. they're getting more and more un-stable. crashes for no reason, bugs a ton all around their fancy new features and old features as well won't be fixed since ages

    You'd think they'd take systems that already perform well and just continually improve them, instead of leaving them (with the few remaining bugs untouched) in order to create new systems replete with all new bugs and performance issues.

    I mean, I can see that a lot of their decisions make sense from the "evil corporation that only cares about money" perspective, but a lot of their work even contradicts that, and can only be marked down as terrible software engineering.
    tsabszy wrote: »
    2. adding new features that you actually cannot use in production, but they look good in promotional videos

    +1
    tsabszy wrote: »
    so everyone who loves 3ds max 2009, will soon have to forget it unfortunately, coz there won't be any working obj or fbx plugin for it i'm affraid.
    Say what?

    coldside wrote: »
    They really do need to change from the yearly releases though.

    Not a truer word spoken. The devs there can't like that very much, but they're not calling the shots. To management it all makes perfect sense.
    tsabszy wrote: »
    if you pay as much money as 3ds max costs, than the developers shouldn't give you worthless updates and worthless new versions.
    Unfortunately, people keep paying. And unfortunately many artists have such a primitive way of using max that they notice neither improvements nor degradation.
    The Gamma/LUT setting ON by default!?
    What brain surgeon thought of that? It totally FUBAR normal maps. Do it to "3dsmax Design" those Arch/Vis nerds love that setting on but for everyone using 3dsmax its been a big pain in the ass.
    They even color correct UI elements. Quite strange. But yeah, 3ds Max has a long tradition of looking a lot worse than it actually is by providing screwy default options. I mean, a default install of 2009 is awful. You need to click a hundred different checkboxes and edit INI files before it starts behaving the way you want it to. Orbit NOT set to sub-object? Wow.

    The caddy system
    It still isn't up to the functionality of the 2009 system, specifically the spinners should behave EXACTLY like the old system on DAY ONE but here we are 4 years later and it's still broken. It's like they don't even use the tools they create or even listen to people who do.

    Not to mention doing things like this:
    3dsmaxCaddyPos.gif
    Chase that cancel button around oh what joy, so much fun...

    When I see people complain about the caddies, I tend to feel that they're being generous. Perhaps they just, unlike me, have the sense not to go on and rant for pages. The caddies are a typical example of "designed by a programmer who considers himself an artist". They break all design principles. The tiny undescipherable icons instead of text labels? The person who came up with that is neither a ui designer nor a user of ui's, and likely not a user of computers in general. Rounded corners? A look that is completely inconsistent with all other parts of 3ds? Sigh... Please stop letting amateurs do the work, AD.

    The worst part about the caddies, of course, is that by and large it's just a skin change. There are so many ways to improve chamfer/extrusion/inset/etc UIs. Not in visual appearance, but in actual functionality. However, they didn't do that.

    Oh, my mistake; the ACTUAL worst part about the caddies is that Autodesk must know by not that they are universally hated, yet persist in forcing them upon us. They're very proud of their user feedback system, but this is one example of them not making any attempt to listen to their users. Most likely is, whoever designed caddies had his ego hurt, so continues to leave them in there out of spite. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the level of professionalism within AD.

    I do have to call BS on your FPS comparison
    You are comparing modes that are built for speed vs a mode that is focused on solving an issue that polycount bitched and moaned about for years "bad viewpoint accuracy". If you want speed use Direct3D, if you want the viewport to use scene lights and have near render quality then use nitrous.

    It's clearly a D3D vs D3D comparison with Nitrous thrown in as a curiosity, and that means I'm BS'ing? That was a bit strong, Mark. I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

    I'm not sure where your information is from either. Nitrous is the new graphics core of 3ds Max; not a "pretty" mode that you can quickly toogle on for screenshots, then off and continue your work. It's a whole new framework and should most definitely provide better performance than D3D mode, which is plagued with problems and slowdown. So, I'm kind of puzzled both by your strong reaction to what I wrote as well as your description of Nitrous, which, to my knowledge, doesn't even match Autodesk's vision

    According to AD, Nitrous is meant to bring "dramatic improvement in performance and visual quality", so forgive me for making a brief test of that claim :)
    The only reason I can rationalize is that they are trying to drive animators away from Max and over to Maya. Which just makes me think they messed up by buying Maya and they are having to build in differences to justify maintaining identical products. That probably explains why they gimp Maya so hard in the modeling department. Modelers use max, animators use Maya. Douche bags... you should have just shut Maya down when you bought it instead of dragging it out and screwing over all of your products.

    That sort of touches on an issue of pricing. As a modeler, you're paying for animation tools, special effects, fancy rendering, and countless other systems that you don't need. Then again considering that AD struggle with writing basic code, and the instability introduced whenever they make any change, I don't think it's safe to suggest they split up Max into individual modules.

    WEE... thanks but that's really not worth upgrading over and really only helps complete noobs, which is where it seems like a lot of their energy is directed these days.
    That's an observation I've made too. A lot of their effort seems aimed at noobs and people who clearly have warezed copies. 3ds Max feels less and less like an environment for professional developers.

    UI aside, the top priority for me is being able to have the curve editor open and not have the viewport come to a screaming halt. If they don't fix that I really don't care about whatever bits they fuck up.

    OH, they've had that problem ever since 2009? BTW, if it's not much trouble, could you upload a teapot scene or something that demonstrates the curve editor problem? For 2009. I'm wondering whether some of the general ui speedfixes I've run into would apply.

    Max users, do you still prefer Max over Maya despite this negative trend? How many of you have switched over? Because I mean, no one's stopping you. But it all depends on how what software you prefer I guess.

    Can't speak for anyone else, but for modeling I can't see myself using Maya. Well, Maya in itself feels like something from the 90s, both in appearance and usage. At least with 3ds (2009) you can rewrite and customize pretty much every single aspect of it. Then there's the modifier stack. Can't imagine modeling without the modifier stack. It's just much too powerful and convenient. There's also a ridiculous amount of 3rd party stuff for 3ds. From what I hear, 3ds also has very good animation capabilities now.
  • Racer445
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    Racer445 polycounter lvl 12
    idk, i've got scripts for the one or two things from polyboost that i actually use. otherwise i pretty much make models using stock (albeit very decluttered and simplified) tools and have no problem solving complex geometry issues and getting models done quickly. i've never found the need for the polyboost toolset myself.
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
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    Amsterdam Hilton Hotel insane polycounter
    Max users, do you still prefer Max over Maya despite this negative trend? How many of you have switched over? Because I mean, no one's stopping you. But it all depends on how what software you prefer I guess.

    Obviously no excuse for Autodesk to treat their users like this, but I'm just curious how many actually got so tired of it that they switched.
    Max 2009 is preferable to subsequent max versions and all maya versions, yes
  • JordanW
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    JordanW sublime tool
    The Gamma/LUT setting ON by default!?
    What brain surgeon thought of that? It totally FUBAR normal maps. Do it to "3dsmax Design" those Arch/Vis nerds love that setting on but for everyone using 3dsmax its been a big pain in the ass.

    And just to be clear even if the setting was useful to us, changing an existing setting still wouldn't justify a new release. "oh we can't innovate a some new and useful tools in 9mo, so we'll flip a few defaults and call it new".

    I agree with almost everything in this thread except this. :) Changing to a linear workflow was a good decision. Yes normal maps have to have a setting enabled on them but the majority of your textures you're using for rendering should be gamma corrected.

    Also I believe if you bake your normal map out of max it stores some meta data that says the image is linear and if you select use image settings on the bitmap->open screen it will treat most images correctly.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Warning: Slightly off-topic rant on simplifying toolsets


    Ace-Angel: Stuff like loop creation is at the core of modeling, for sure. You can definitely find a wide range of these tools without using polyboost. I think I might not have made my point clear: It's not that polyboost is useless, but that it's not required. You can find most of the useful tools in other forms, for free, and of course a great many of the "graphite" tools are just new buttons for existing max functions, as someone mentioned earlier.

    I don't think you meant to say that loop selection doesn't exist in native max, though. Of course it does, and in UV unwrap as well.

    See, here's the thing; some of the tools you mention, like Select Tops, which tries to intelligently select the top polygons of geometry that looks like it's been extruded.. such tools, to me, are quite obscure and have very limited usage. When I'm working on a dense cage, it's going to select geometry all over the place that I did not want, so I'm going to be paranoid about it and have to check the mesh afterwards. I'd rather just do it by hand. If post-extrusion of a large number of elements I know I'm going to need those polygons down the line, I just make a named selection for it. Named selections are a great example of one feature that has an enormous amount of use in various contexts, which is exactly the kind of feature I like (and of course available out-of-the-box in Max 2009).

    There are many tools in polyboost and similar extensions that are useful once in a blue moon. For those, I'd rather just do it by hand, using clever combinations of other tools, when needed. A lot of complex selection tasks can be performed with standard functions like SO-level conversions, grow/shrink, "select inner", "select outline", etc.

    It weighs on the mind to have to remember all these hundreds of tiny individual bits of functionality just in case you might happen upon a situation where you need them. When I worked as a programmer, I liked to think like that, but I don't anymore. Now I definitely prefer to have a clear mind, and a clear ui to work with.

    I'm constantly on a mission to reduce the number of tools I use. Whenever I find that two or more functions can be collapsed into one by either installing a 3rd party effort or writing my own, I'm a happy camper (I'm not 100% sure what this expression means).

    Now, please note that I'm a highly technical 3ds user. I stay on top of the latest developments, I've done exhaustive research on what base max can do (there are so many gems hidden in dark corners of out-of-the-box max functions), and I do a ridiculous amount of scripting.

    Still, I prefer simplicity. You break all your tasks down into categories like deletion, creation, selection, modification and system - then analyze what kind of tasks are in each category, then collapse those tasks as much as possible by finding where they are similar, and tune your tools usage accordingly.

    I don't want a tool to automatically select half a mesh.. not unless I need to process hundreds of meshes that way for some strange reason. I'd rather just use a selection rectangle.

    I think that for most artists it's a weight off their shoulders when you can simplify workflows and reduce the amount of tools they use.

    A script I've seen in many versions which seems to be popular is "select every n element in a loop". So, let's say I do that by hand and it takes 60 seconds. You can select a hell of a lot of elements in 60 seconds, and you're certain then that you got exactly the result you wanted. Over a month that might mean I spend, say 5 minutes (this is an exaggeration, I can't remember the last time I needed the mentioned functionality) more than the guy who uses the dedicated tool. What are those 5 minutes when I spent 45 minutes writing posts on polycount, 3 hours watching not-so-funny videos on Youtube, and 4 hours talking to Pedro about his anxiety problems? Such a tool makes no real difference to my productivity, and would only take up valuable space on the keyboard, or in the ui, and most of all; in my consciousness.

    To me, in order to justify assigning a shortcut to a new modeling tool, I must know that it objectively saves me a significant amount of time each month, or has a very high convenience factor. In reference to the last point: For example, F9 to bring up the material editor doesn't save me any real time, but I don't have a choice in the matter of using the material editor, I don't want to clutter the ui with more buttons, AND I have a large number of available low-priority keyboard shortcuts available since I've taken such care to reduce the amount of scripts I use actively. Another kind of exception is CTRL+O to open a file. I'm just so used to doing it in all other apps it would be awkward not to have that bound in 3ds. Less relevant is [ and ] for controlling brush size. They're hardly the most convenient keys, but my hand is so used to going there in photoshop, so...


    edit: didn't realize this image didn't show up earlier:
    spookypub03.png
  • Mark Dygert
    perna wrote:
    It's clearly a D3D vs D3D comparison with Nitrous thrown in as a curiosity, and that means I'm BS'ing? That was a bit strong, Mark. I'm not sure what you're trying to say.
    BS is a bit strong but whatever I'm not here to soft peddle this stuff. Sorry if I offend your delicate sensibilities, heh. If anything I was thinking about all the stuff that has pissed me off about max (for years) and the first thing I replied about got both barrels but whatever you're a big boy you can handle it.
    perna wrote:
    According to AD, Nitrous is meant to bring "dramatic improvement in performance and visual quality", so forgive me for making a brief test of that claim :)
    I think comparing Direct3D to Nitrous is a bit disingenuous even if Autodesk marketing wants you to think that Nitrous is this amazing new graphics driver that cures cancer. Their marketing dept lives in Pyro land...

    Nitrous does one thing well and that thing is not performance... It does preform marginally well as a realtime material/lighting preview but that doesn't mean it does a good job of keeping the FPS up at an acceptable level. If they wanted that, they could have taken the same route as 3Point or Xoliul's Shader and not required a driver switch, so its a failure in that they could have achieved what was needed in a much simpler and less cumbersome way but instead they sunk years into redoing the viewport driver... great thanks.

    I also agree that Graphite Modeling tools duplicates a lot of the same tools that are already in Editable Poly and makes a mess out of the interface, they could have easily rolled them into the command panel and just expanded on edit poly which is what the polyboost author probably would have done if he had access to it... I had hoped they would have included polyboost in a much more comprehensive way (by actually upgrading edit poly) but they went in different way and it completely backfired.

    Everyone knocks them for just including 3rd party plug-ins and commonly used tools but at least that stuff was written by people who had a genuine need for something to work better and it was production tested and worked, but when Autodesk does something its not like they use it day in and day out and they don't see a reason why it should be changed or fixed.

    If the caddies where a 3rd party plug-in they would have been fixed or no one would be using them. But instead we get this attitude of "we know what you need better than you. Even if it doesn't work, it's still better for you and you're just too stupid to see our genius".

    So including 3rd party stuff is actually better because by the time Autodesk picks it up it's been battle tested and born out of genuine need. The kicker is that once a plug-in is included it normally stops evolving... So again that arrogance of "we know better than you what you need or don't need improved" that kills it.

    On the flip side I think that might be born out of past "give the customers what they want" pushes. Instead of listening to only a handful of people who manage to stack a feedback forum with a lot of votes. I think they should focus on getting feedback from all their users not just those who troll their feedback forums...

    Going back to polyboost.
    It wasn't that the UI was great but it's that it didn't lag like hell or have giant icons and a titanic menu bar ribbon that took up a giant chunk of the screen.

    In Polyboost I use...
    • Select loop, select Ring, works on verts also just like you would select them in the skin modifier without ever touching an edge. In Edit poly its gray'ed out, very annoying, hook it to this function and turn it on!
    • Dot Loop, Dot Ring, which also function on verts.
    • Swift Loop, which is useful, but still in need of better hit/mouse detection.
    • Bevel/Extrude, which actually function on mouse movement and in stages instead of with a caddy and programer-esk numeric input.
    • Relax Loop, relaxes the peaks and valleys out of loops, great for smoothing out bumps on curved hard surfaces like car fenders.
    • Step Build, great at filling in holes and should have been a replacement for the bridge tool.
    • GeoPoly, makes all sides of a polygon equal, making it circular.
    • Optimize, this allows you to click on verts, edges or faces and have them collapse, unlike the collapse tool where you select your geometry and then trigger the collapse command. Simple and much faster.
    • Branch, this is great for creating trees and roots.
    • Conform, a bit like Maya's make live, a bit like max retopo but you don't have full access to all of the edit poly tools so it's not as great as it could be.
    All of the above could easily have been rolled into the standard edit poly without much of a problem, but instead they embarked on a 5 year journey through UI hell...



    In SoulBurns Scripts I use...
    • Spline Painter, paints splines on the surface of other objects, it would be awesome if it worked like the latest 3point modeling tool (hint hint)
    • Wire bundler, makes wire bundles
    • Spline organizer, allows you to edit similar properties among selected splines, great for working with wire bundles or any scene littered with splines like for trim, or gutters.
    • Object painter, paint scatter objects onto the surface of a mesh, better than the Graphite Tools.
    • Object dropper, good at dropping objects onto the surface of another mesh, trash, rocks, rubble ect...
    • modifier utilities, good at managing the modifiers in a lot of objects, like selecting all of the objects that have an instanced modifier on it.
    • Surface Snapper, great at placing one object on another, like trees, rocks or trash on terrain.

    In JJ Tools I use...
    • Animated align, this could be added to the regular align tool.
    • Biped selection UI, sad that biped doesn't have this regularly.
    In 2009 I had to use SoundTrax which is now included as proSound. It allows multiple sound files to be added to max with limited mixing capability. Previously you had one sound file and that was it, appalling.



    In 2009 I have to add all of these, in 2012 most of them have been included so that saves me some money and some headache of keeping them up-to-date, even if they are implemented in worse way.
  • iniside
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    iniside polycounter lvl 6
    Intresting debate, but I have to add my 3 cents here.
    Nitrous is actually faster. At least on my hardware. (3ds max 2013)
    I'm talking about Shaded mode of course. It's more responsive. I tried Direct3D and wwith my 15mln poly model it just started waving white flag, while Nitrous was not exccpetionaly fast it was responsive and still managable to work with. Even in realistic mode.

    @perna nice screenshot. How to do something like this ?
    I really like max, but I will honest. 90% of tools that are here I don't need, and those just slow down UI, loading time and eat memory.
  • Mark Dygert
    perna wrote: »
    spookypub03.png
    I love that, I remember you pimping something like that before.

    I don't think you need any of the stuff on the bottom when modeling.
    Spline tangent default for animated curves? Even animators hardly touch that button, why is it so important that its out in the main UI?
    Time bar, set key, auto key, play, rewind?
    Orbit options? Does anyone change this from sub-object orbit?
    Key filters? This doesn't need to be sitting out, it could be part of a right click preferences menu.

    I'm not aiming this at you or your UI choice, you probably know that its easily turned off with some simple max script commands but I don't see why they don't remove some of this clutter in general when the majority of their user base never touches this stuff.

    Seriously what they need to do is create a user tracking mode where they can get feedback on what buttons are hit how often when doing certain tasks and then work on improving those experiences. They would probably find, like you have, that you can totally cut out a TON of the fluff from the UI and work a lot faster.

    EDIT:Also there is a ini command to order the command panel on top of the upper toolbar so you can take advantage of the wasted space above the command panel. In 3dsmax.ini , in section [WindowState] add WindowOrder=8 and it pops the command panel on top of the toolbar.

    So like this instead...
    Perna_UI_Part2.gif
  • Mark Dygert
    JordanW wrote: »
    I agree with almost everything in this thread except this. :) Changing to a linear workflow was a good decision. Yes normal maps have to have a setting enabled on them but the majority of your textures you're using for rendering should be gamma corrected.

    Also I believe if you bake your normal map out of max it stores some meta data that says the image is linear and if you select use image settings on the bitmap->open screen it will treat most images correctly.
    I can agree with that, and we use linear workflow at work but we do a lot of rendering and we are closer to pre-rendered than realtime. But Autodesk should have taken steps to make sure normal maps are handled correctly by default if they are going to make changes like that. Failing to do so is just sloppy and left as is will snare a lot of people and have them scratching their heads.

    Even though we use Gama/LUT, we still have trouble on BackBurner (their default render farm) where Gama/LUT settings aren't carried over even though every job says that they are on, it defaults to whatever that node is set to. More sloppiness that probably won't be changed for another 5-6 years.
  • fearian
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    fearian Polycount Sponsor
    McGreed wrote: »
    Also the file management window for whenever you need to load, save, import, export something, I think they have like 3-4 different versions, old and new...How about making them all the same, and while you are at it, add a way for us to bookmark folders for easy access. Its not like we are going to work in different folders, such as exporting and importing....

    Oh, christ on a stick, this! A thousand times! This pisses me off to no end more than anything else about max!
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    I agree Perna, just to be clear, I was talking about strictly Max 2009 and PB, not the extra tools they added to it in the later versions of Max, which is kinda silly, since you might as well Shortcut them to a Quad-Menu as it will be faster, since if like me, you used Max 2011 (which is the next best option at this point) Max 2009 in terms basic controls lacks alot.

    Also, I'm leaving out of PB the 'useless' functions like Pattern Selection or selection functions, since as you said, those little things that requires an artists touch aren't too much of an hassle to deal with, especially since we're still in a relatively low-poly generation. Those can go and die a ditch, but I don't use them, so I let them live.

    The only problem is scripts don't cut it anymore, especially for speed.

    The example I used of 'Quadrify' represents the issue, almost all scripts I used, are just that, SCRIPTS! They take about a couple of minutes or more for a next-gene asset to be cleaned up, Polyboost is written via the SDK/C, hence why many people like me swear by it, it's because all the tools are ingrained Max, hence them being faster. Quad in PB takes about a fraction of a second, while all scripts will atleast requires a couple of minutes.

    At the same time, there is another issue, that of toolset updates, as Max takes in other toolsets in the long run they either become disused, dropped by the author or worse, bought out by Max. I mean hell, the fact that they made CAT for 2009 an exclusive Sub toolset, and isn't even being updated now, shows what a dick move Autodesk did, it's really sucks.

    I guess I'm running in circles at this point, but the gist is I agree with this thread, 2009 is the only 'true' option left for Max that works, in 2012, I cannot start unwrapping models with my mesh corrupting, deleting or my UV's being lost when opening the next session of Max.
    And don't even get me started on how they broke the more 'technical' aspects of the Viewport, disabling Backbuffer and having horrible spline streaking while moving your mouse around in a scene that is barely 2K in polies?

    And what does Autodesk do for all these problems? Fixes the latest I/O issues of making sure the program does proper saving files of non-Unicode files names, not even Japanese Porno Game's ever needed to patch that issue on US based systems, how the sodding hell did Autodesk screw that up! Are they telling me the porn industry has better standards for content then a 3K program has? Talk about living in your own world...

    Also, to add extra shame, Epic skipped one month in releasing UDK, and the next month after, they released UDK, with the whole XNormal improved pipeline thing, which speaks volume honestly if you compared Autodesk with their pricey software and Epic with their free engine...
  • Froyok
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    Froyok Polycount Sponsor
    That's a very cool thread, but honestly : do you really think Autodesk will follow/take care of your legit complain one day ?
    (I respect every of you, most of you are professionnel so you must know the subject better than me.)

    perna wrote: »
    At least with 3ds (2009) you can rewrite and customize pretty much every single aspect of it.
    Same thing for Maya, since every part of Maya is more a less a script. Once you start adding some little script in Maya you quickly gain everything you need. But I'm sure you already know that. :)

    (It's possible do redesign of big part of the UI for example)
    perna wrote: »
    Then there's the modifier stack. Can't imagine modeling without the modifier stack. It's just much too powerful and convenient.
    While I see the advantage of the Modifier stack of Max, I don't think if automatically the best way of modeling. It's one of the multiple way. Personal choice I guess (mine and yours).
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    BS is a bit strong but whatever I'm not here to soft peddle this stuff. Sorry if I offend your delicate sensibilities, heh. If anything I was thinking about all the stuff that has pissed me off about max (for years) and the first thing I replied about got both barrels but whatever you're a big boy you can handle it.

    lol what, this is Per, man. I'm largely bereft of normal human emotions, I just couldn't understand the logic of where you were coming from.
    I think comparing Direct3D to Nitrous is a bit disingenuous
    This is what I mean. I don't mind what you're saying or disagree, I simply don't understand it. Nitrous is the new viewport, it's written afresh, it doesn't concern itself with a lot of legacy stuff, added performance is not just something marketing invented but an actual goal of the development team. With these things in mind, I don't see the BS/disingenuous angle here, but maybe you have some information that I don't, or maybe you just misunderstand what I'm saying.

    Yes, they could have just updated the Editable Poly UI instead of making a whole new thing. It's beyond bizarre, but you know AD will just give you some excuse like it's all part of a long-term masterplan (which will no doubt take 10 years to implement and in the end be much worse than what it replaced)
    Everyone knocks them for just including 3rd party plug-ins and commonly used tools but at least that stuff was written by people who had a genuine need for something to work better and it was production tested and worked, but when Autodesk does something its not like they use it day in and day out and they don't see a reason why it should be changed or fixed.
    I absolutely appreciate the 3rd party inclusion stuff. But like you touch on, once they buy something up they also squash most of the further quality development of that tool. Also they need to make things easier for 3rd party developers. Take 2013; it replaces the main ui files with XML. This sounds like a good idea, XML is a great format to work with.. but they didn't actually clean up the data in the files, nor did they provide a maxscript interface to XML (well, it must be hidden somewhere.. I can't believe they just left scripters hanging like that).
    On the flip side I think that might be born out of past "give the customers what they want" pushes. Instead of listening to only a handful of people who manage to stack a feedback forum with a lot of votes. I think they should focus on getting feedback from all their users not just those who troll their feedback forums...
    Well, that's the thing. In Beta, I see them implement absolutely terrible ideas just because a handful of guys in the forums got together to suggest. There's no quality control.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    iniside wrote: »
    Nitrous is actually faster. At least on my hardware. (3ds max 2013)
    I'm talking about Shaded mode of course. It's more responsive. I tried Direct3D and wwith my 15mln poly model it just started waving white flag, while Nitrous was not exccpetionaly fast it was responsive and still managable to work with. Even in realistic mode.

    Yes, when you get above a certain limit, very dense meshes don't play well with D3D. It's not the most important thing. The only thing you really need high polycounts for is subdivision. Anything above a few million tris tends to be sculpt import, which you don't need to see in the viewport.

    I just loaded up the Leviathan and it's less than 3M tris, at buttery smooth performance with several omni lights.

    3ps_ut3_hipoly_leviathan01.jpg
    iniside wrote: »
    @perna nice screenshot. How to do something like this ?
    I really like max, but I will honest. 90% of tools that are here I don't need, and those just slow down UI, loading time and eat memory.

    Well, as far as the Modify panel and title bar changes do, you can edit the resource files in EXEs and DLLs. This is fairly straightforward to do, and there are free tools for it, but you need a certain level of technical know-how.

    As far as removing unnecessary stuff goes, you can have a check out this thread: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63739
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Mark: Just to be clear, that's not the ui I actually use (which has too much proprietary stuff as well as ugly messy half-finished stuff that would look awful in a shot). But it shows some stuff I like.

    Among other things I normally run this at startup:
    macroscript SmartExpertMode category:"PerTools" tooltip: "SmartExpertMode"
    (
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    -- SmartExpertMode - Toggle a variant of expert mode, for modelers
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    -- NOTES
    --		Hides the trackbar
    --		Does NOT hide the time slider
    --		Does NOT hide the main toolbar
    --		Does NOT hide the command panel
    --		Avoids saving the settings should you exit max during expert mode
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    	if (cui.getExpertMode() == true) then(
    		cui.expertModeOff()
    		maxIni = (GetMAXIniFile())
    		iniState = getFileAttribute maxIni #readOnly
    		setFileAttribute maxIni #readOnly True
    		TimeSlider.SetVisible True
    		maxOps.trackbar.visible = True
    		setFileAttribute maxIni #readOnly iniState
    	)else( -- we're not already in expert mode
    		cui.expertModeOn()
    		maxIni = (GetMAXIniFile())
    		iniState = getFileAttribute maxIni #readOnly
    		setFileAttribute maxIni #readOnly True
    		TimeSlider.SetVisible true
    		maxOps.trackbar.visible = True
    		actionMan.executeAction 0 "411"  -- Toggle Main Toolbar Toggle
    		max hide command panel toggle
    		setFileAttribute maxIni #readOnly iniState
    		AnimLayerManager.showAnimLayersManagerToolbar true -- Hack to show our custom stuff
    	)
    )
    


    ...Which will give you elements something like this:
    per128_smartExpertMode01.png


    The time slider and track bar is there for exploded meshes used when baking, plus I regularly will animate a moving light or rotating mesh, things like that and for various reasons.

    In case there's any question of whether I know how to remove stuff from the max ui, there's this old video :)

    [ame=" fun: Minimalistic 3ds Max - YouTube[/ame]
    I don't think you need any of the stuff on the bottom when modeling.
    Spline tangent default for animated curves? Even animators hardly touch that button, why is it so important that its out in the main UI?
    Time bar, set key, auto key, play, rewind?
    Orbit options? Does anyone change this from sub-object orbit?
    Key filters? This doesn't need to be sitting out, it could be part of a right click preferences menu.
    Just so you know, I try to avoid talking about potential improvements because with AD, it will mostly be a waste of energy. Of course I'm very opinionated on this and have a huge wish-list as well as a large number of photoshop mockups. So I like to focus on what's actually possible in max as-is. Aside from poor performance, my pet peeve with >2009 versions of max is they hard-code too much stuff, introduce too many new systems, and force some stuff on you that previously you could remove by deleting DLLs or being creative with INI options and so on.
    Seriously what they need to do is create a user tracking mode where they can get feedback on what buttons are hit how often when doing certain tasks and then work on improving those experiences. They would probably find, like you have, that you can totally cut out a TON of the fluff from the UI and work a lot faster.
    While I agree that they need to be more economic and intelligent in ui design, they do already track extensive usage information, and I don't think that's how you make a design. Can't let statistics do the work for you. Design defines usage defined design would be an evil circle. They can't have a computer do this work for them, they need a kickass 3d artist on their team.
    EDIT:Also there is a ini command to order the command panel on top of the upper toolbar so you can take advantage of the wasted space above the command panel. In 3dsmax.ini , in section [WindowState] add WindowOrder=8 and it pops the command panel on top of the toolbar.

    Omg. Bless you Mark. I can't believe I've missed that one. I tracked it down to the Autodesk blog here which has a number of other cool information as well: http://jamiesjewels.typepad.com/jamies_jewels/
    For example, I never knew you could select entries in the modifiers list and drag-drop them onto actual objects, and that you can hold the modifier keys for various options while doing so. These kind of things just go to show how exceptionally well designed 3ds Max was back in the day. We're still discovering new functionality in its depths.
    But Autodesk should have taken steps to make sure normal maps are handled correctly by default if they are going to make changes like that.

    Obvious, I guess, but when opening a bitmap, you're presented with options for gamma, so you can configure it the way you like for normal maps, bump maps, etc. Still I prefer just turning it all off and using 3pshader. Of course, gamma correction there adds a great deal of quality.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Froyok wrote: »
    That's a very cool thread, but honestly : do you really think Autodesk will follow/take care of your legit complain one day ?
    I don't think any such thoughts are needed in order to justify this thread.

    As for the rest of your post, this isn't a MAYA vs MAX software war thread, so please drop that.
  • Froyok
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    Froyok Polycount Sponsor
    perna wrote: »
    I don't think any such thoughts are needed in order to justify this thread.

    As for the rest of your post, this isn't a MAYA vs MAX software war thread, so please drop that.

    I didn't wanted to be harsh, sorry. I never wanted to contest the benefit of this thread too. My question what just to know how possibly Autodesk could follow any of your suggestions guys. :\
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Ace: Not to be too anal, but if you regularly need to use a quadifier function, there's likely something wrong with your workflow, and the real problem is the stage that actually creates all those triangles in the first place.

    I hope you see I'm trying to make a valid point and encourage a bit of thinking-outside-the-box as opposed to being an asshole here.

    Often people use a certain tool to make up for the inadequacies of another tool. You follow? And - sometimes the tools aren't even to blame, but the workflow is.

    But what happens is, people often don't stop to think about their workflow and put it on a diet, they go looking for scripts and plugins instead, adding and adding until they have this huge bloated monster on their hands.

    As an example, I pretty much finalized my UV workflow years ago. A few custom scripts, mostly standard max 2009 features. Yet UV-mapping for me is a quick and minor task, and I see people struggle with it who have all the latest tools. So, that's a workflow thing.

    See, you can get all these tools that support broken workflows, because the people who wrote them don't have good workflows. :) So, if you're way too picky about making your UV maps mathematically perfect and all your lines perfectly straight, then you might go out searching for tools to accommodate that, and you will no doubt find such tools, which might confirm to you that your workflow is commonly accepted, and you don't give it another thought. This is unfortunate.

    On your topic of performance, yes certainly you'll be looking at using plugins for heavy stuff. Just remember that there are 3rd party plugins as well, and they're often maintained better than the 3ds ones (which typically see one release, then are never touched again). And, you can actually reach those developers and directly make suggestions to them and find what their plans are.

    Unfortunately, it's not as easy to make plugins. I have some scripted stuff that sorely needs porting.
    Ace-Angel wrote: »
    And what does Autodesk do for all these problems? Fixes the latest I/O issues of making sure the program does proper saving files of non-Unicode files names, not even Japanese Porno Game's ever needed to patch that issue on US based systems, how the sodding hell did Autodesk screw that up! Are they telling me the porn industry has better standards for content then a 3K program has? Talk about living in your own world...

    Yes, hardly any of my hentai games need stability patches. It's mostly stuff like "additional tentacles". I mean, Autodesk would just release more tentacles as an all new version and make you pay for it.
    Ace-Angel wrote: »
    Also, to add extra shame, Epic skipped one month in releasing UDK, and the next month after, they released UDK, with the whole XNormal improved pipeline thing, which speaks volume honestly if you compared Autodesk with their pricey software and Epic with their free engine...

    Now if they could only add proper max support... (guys, it's more than 2 years since we released 3pShader Quality Mode normals)
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Froyok wrote: »
    I didn't wanted to be harsh, sorry. I never wanted to contest the benefit of this thread too. My question what just to know how possibly Autodesk could follow any of your suggestions guys. :\

    I'm not too concerned with that.

    I don't expect Autodesk to listen. I don't expect them to innovate, or to understand their customers. The absolute best I can hope for is that in some years there's a release which is stable and does not force their junk on you. That way, I can just disable the stuff I don't want, add my own scripts, customize, and enjoy the speed and stability. This is the best I can hope for, as there's a chance it might actually happen.

    It's going to take years, but I do believe might see a 3ds with:
    • general stability fixes
    • general unification of systems, less redundancy
    • fixes for core problems that have been around for years, like making undo actually work properly
    • a fully functioning and highly performing nitrous viewport which focuses on the basics rather than "making pretty pictures". Autodesk should just make the system, and leave the "pretty" part to 3rd party.
    • all config files in xml with all the necessary supporting options and documentation of all parameters
    • toggle options for the new ui junk, caddies and the like
    • an even higher level of customizability
    • a lower number of ui elements which conform to a strict, clean design where boxes can be shuffled around.
    • more SDK functions exposed in maxscript
    • replacement of more of the backend legacy systems (better to replace if they're not going to be improved)
    • addition of Set and Get of all functions that are currently only Toggle (jeez)

    Many of these are points where I know they have highly capable staff to handle, as well as being mostly issues that they're aware of. They're thing that many of which I believe will be addressed over the next 5 year's time. Since they will experience no real competition from other software in this time, the time frame doesn't look that bad. Well, I can say that as I'm in the position of not having newer versions forced on me.
  • warxsnake
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    warxsnake polycounter lvl 8
    I think the only Ribbon tools I use are Quickslice, SwiftLoop, and Step-Ring/Loop.
    All those are in my quad shortcuts anyway.

    I'm stuck with Max2012+ because I rely on Viewport Canvas for all my texturing, even though the tool is kinda shit.
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    I know what you mean, I was giving the Quadrify example as just that, an example, not that workflow's need them per say.

    I don't use Quadrify extensively or in most cases, at all, maybe save after importing a couple of rocks from ZB which have been decimated and need to be in quads so I can work with them much easier in terms of 'eyesore', but other then that, I wanted to give that base idea that basically we're in the year 2012, we need efficiency and speed, having a script that may or may not have crashed in the background on my software isn't ideal, hence why software like PB, which may come with alot of 'noise' functions is still welcome when it's 'basic' tools are quick and lag free.

    On the other hand, if someone took PB, stripped all the extra content in the SDK and gave it out to the community, that work too!

    UV's in my case don't require much, I'm more then happy with my Textool/PolyUnwrapper, vs. fancy auto unwrap tools which stretch my poor models all over the place in the name of speed, and honestly, as you said, I myself sometimes finding joy in unwrapping models rather then making them since sometimes it's the easiest part of things.

    Also, tentacles are always welcome, in all walks of life! Especially when it comes to Normal Mapped tentacles in my Max viewport.

    Also, in reference to your Quality Modifier, I think Autodesk doesn't want to hear about it all because...err...I don't know? Maya is the standard baker from what I recall they said last time? Or was it because "We don't care". Also, they have talented programmers working on it, don't worry, they got this! :D
  • MrOneTwo
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    MrOneTwo polycounter lvl 9
    Also AD adds new features that just doesn't work... I don't get how can you do that. You sell something for such a price and you even don't care if it works. Great example is the new interaction customization. You can change navigation to only using alt + mouse buttons. If you do that though you have to change selection to be able to add and substract. Default in max it's ctrl and alt. After changing it's shift and ctrl. If you try to rectangular select with shift to add it will invert selection because thats how max uses shift...oh and polygon loops with shift clicking doesn't work... whole feature sucks. Nobody even tried it. They coded it and though 'meh it should work. I won't bother checking'.

    Creating new stuff to totally break previous => nobody uses new because they still want to use previous => AD forces stuff on you (for ex. caddies) => fuck you very much customer.
  • McGreed
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    McGreed Polycount Sponsor
    Well, it was the reason, when I was still using XSI, that I really disliked the idea of Autodesk acquiring it, because I was afraid that XSI would be affected by the bullshit management that decides what goes into the programs and what is important. The most common joke back then was that they would introduce the navigation cube into XSI....
    fearian wrote: »
    Oh, christ on a stick, this! A thousand times! This pisses me off to no end more than anything else about max!

    Yeah, I ended up having to make shortcuts and put them into the folders it defaults goes to, just to quickly going to my actual work folders...How about REMEMBER MY LAST FOLDER!!!! Growl...
  • cptSwing
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    cptSwing polycounter lvl 9
    MrOneTwo wrote: »
    Great example is the new interaction customization. You can change navigation to only using alt + mouse buttons.


    Haha yes. the new interaction model is a great example of how not to do things. I was actually interested to see how well it worked and planned on switching, Maya's interaction model is fairly widespread after all.

    You can no longer shift-drag edges to create new geometry.

    And back to Max's model..
  • McGreed
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    McGreed Polycount Sponsor
    Actually that annoyed the hell out of me, when I went from XSI to 3DS Max, that Shift+Drag edge would extrude a new polygon, but if you do it with a polygon, it would copy the polygon.
  • MrOneTwo
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    MrOneTwo polycounter lvl 9
    cptSwing wrote: »
    Haha yes. the new interaction model is a great example of how not to do things. I was actually interested to see how well it worked and planned on switching, Maya's interaction model is fairly widespread after all.

    You can no longer shift-drag edges to create new geometry.

    And back to Max's model..

    Yeah I forgot about shift dragging which I use all the time... I just don't get it. The only reasonable explanation is that army of monkeys took over AD. Alternative explanation is that no one in AD uses 3ds max. They just make it but no body is brave enough to check if it works.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    MrOneTwo wrote: »
    Also AD adds new features that just doesn't work... I don't get how can you do that. You sell something for such a price and you even don't care if it works. Great example is the new interaction customization. You can change navigation to only using alt + mouse buttons. If you do that though you have to change selection to be able to add and substract. Default in max it's ctrl and alt. After changing it's shift and ctrl. If you try to rectangular select with shift to add it will invert selection because thats how max uses shift...oh and polygon loops with shift clicking doesn't work... whole feature sucks. Nobody even tried it. They coded it and though 'meh it should work. I won't bother checking'.

    Seriously man? I seem to be in the minority of people who are actually fine with the 3ds viewport navigation and get the logic behind it, so I never tried this in 2013. Why would they even attempt to implement that... it's guaranteed to break. Oh great. I think we have a new contender for worst upgrade yet. That's more poorly thought-out than caddies, even. Now let's wait for them to actually remove the old navigation system entirely. Now, that's a joke but I can't say I feel positive they won't do that. Then when people complain it makes Max unusable they'll tell us it's part of their long-term strategy.
    McGreed wrote: »
    Actually that annoyed the hell out of me, when I went from XSI to 3DS Max, that Shift+Drag edge would extrude a new polygon, but if you do it with a polygon, it would copy the polygon.
    I've always found that to be very useful functionality. What did you expect to see instead?
  • JamesWild
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    JamesWild polycounter lvl 8
    I'd argue that the poor viewport performance might be due to a GUI bug: when holding alt and dragging to move the camera in 2011 the first toolbar item flickers rapidly and the framerate chugs even on an empty scene while using the orbit tool or my SpaceNavigator there's no problem.
  • MrOneTwo
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    MrOneTwo polycounter lvl 9
    perna wrote: »
    Seriously man? I seem to be in the minority of people who are actually fine with the 3ds viewport navigation and get the logic behind it, so I never tried this in 2013. Why would they even attempt to implement that... it's guaranteed to break. Oh great. I think we have a new contender for worst upgrade yet. That's more poorly thought-out than caddies, even. Now let's wait for them to actually remove the old navigation system entirely. Now, that's a joke but I can't say I feel positive they won't do that. Then when people complain it makes Max unusable they'll tell us it's part of their long-term strategy.


    I've always found that to be very useful functionality. What did you expect to see instead?

    I actually agree that 3ds max navigation is good :D but since I started using different apps I wanted to have the same navigation in every app and thats why I was happy they added something like that. No other app uses maxs navigation so i tried to implement it into max after this update. Changing navigation isn't such a pain so I wanted to at least try to mess around with it... no luck since AD can't even implement such thing. The problem for me is that they just add stuff that doesn't work.

    I thought that in companies such as AD they sit around and think about this stuff. 'Hey guys if we change that shift drag won't work' - nobody really said that in AD ? Or they don't care ?

    I will stick to maxs navigation and it won't be a problem. Recently I used Modo a bit and now coming back to 3ds is a bit painfull... not because of the navigation but because small issues like precision of dragging in the viewport to get the chamfer you are aming for and stuff like that... I love 3ds max so much since that is my first app and I learned everything about cg with 3ds.

    I love this thread though since I can finally rant about 3ds max :D Thread of the month!
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