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Autodesk ships 3ds Max 8 software

Autodesk has begun shipping Autodesk 3ds Max 8 software, the latest version of its award-winning 3D modelling, animation and rendering solution.
Created to address growing 3D pipeline complexity with new data management, character animation and speed/performance advancements, 3ds Max software is one of the industry’s most popular solutions that help customers realise their creative 3D ideas for game development, film and video production and design visualisation.
3ds Max Subscription customer Epic Games, makers of the Unreal Engine 3, which was recently chosen by Sony Computer Entertainment for its software developer kit for the new PLAYSTATION 3, plans to benefit from 3ds Max 8 in their production pipeline. "When our artists got their hands on the 3ds Max 8 beta, there was no turning back. The time savings from silver-bullet features like Pelt Mapping meant that we immediately put the beta in production for Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 2007," said Michael Capps, Ph.D., president, Epic Games. "We've been working with the 3ds Max team since the Microsoft DOS days, collaborating on ways to make the Unreal Engine's content pipeline more efficient. We dream up a few crazy features, and they turn around a new version in no time."
Autodesk originally pioneered the concept of unlimited network rendering with 3ds Max and Autodesk Backburner functionality. Now, Autodesk introduces the industry’s first scalable, unlimited mental ray network rendering option specifically for 3ds Max. This proprietary addition gives valuable rendering flexibility to customers using 3ds Max software. 3D artists can now distribute 3ds Max rendering tasks (via Backburner) across a network using the integrated mental ray renderer without incurring additional costs, allowing them to scale their mental ray rendering resources to the limits of their network or render farm capabilities.
All new features and enhancements in 3ds Max 8 address the needs of animators tasked with meeting the demands of more sophisticated effects projects, next-generation game consoles, and photo-real design visualisations. Character Development features include: advanced rigging tools, motion mixing and motion retargeting (non-linear animation). Modelling & Texturing advancements include new UV pelt mapping, DirectX and .fx support. Comprehensive Development Framework enhancements include improved software developer kit (SDK) tools and documentation, XML support that efficiently exchanges scene and animation data and an interactive MAXScript debugger along with support for the Autodesk DWF Viewer, for simple collaborative review and approval of 3D data. Complex Data and Asset Management advancements bring continued connectivity to third-party asset management systems and integration of the Autodesk Vault full-featured data management and asset-tracking solution.
“This release of 3ds Max software brings significant productivity boosts to our user base,” said Marc Petit, vice president of product development and operations at Autodesk Media and Entertainment division. “To that end, we’re very proud to also provide our customers with the extended flexibility of the mental ray network rendering framework, adding great value to 3ds Max by allowing our customers to freely scale their render farms and realise an even greater cost of ownership advantage.”
Autodesk 3ds Max 8 software is now available in English through authorised resellers worldwide. The suggested retail price for Autodesk 3ds Max 8 software is £2,695 (4,250 EUR). The suggested retail price to upgrade from 3ds Max 7 to 3ds Max 8 is £595 (900 EUR).

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