Autodesk has rolled out 3ds Max 2020.2 – the latest update to their 3D modelling and animation software, this time around throwing in a new SketchUp importer, Chamfer modifier updates, and brand-new display options for the viewport background.
This latest offering delivers on another promise from Autodesk’s public 3ds roadmap, which they released back in March, in the guise of a new SketchUp importer. This new facility makes it possible to import SKP files created in current versions of SketchUp correctly, unlike the legacy importer which only supported imports from SketchUp 6 to the now well out of date SketchUp 2014.
Users are also able to control how objects are grouped, and to specify the Y-axis for the scene – choosing whether to import cameras and textures or not. This unveiling also sees the release of a default Synchronize with Display Mode setting for the viewport, bringing the package up in terms of UI ease of use.
Another update this time around focuses heavily on environments and enhanced user control. If a user sets an environment image for example, 3ds Max uses it as the viewport background to show assets in context (if the environment is black, 3ds Max displays a colour gradient instead). For added ease, this mode will run as default, except of course in the case of display modes wherein it would make little sense, such as WireFrame, Bounding Box and flat colours, which get a solid grey background as standard. Of course, users can also set the background to environment, gradients, or solid colours manually should they need to.
In addition to all of this, image-based lighting is now used by the programme automatically when an environment is added to a scene, eradicating the need for a skylight. There are also a few smaller display quality updates that long-time and keen-eyed users will pick up on including updates to the Chamfer modifier, and changes to handling of backface culling. 3ds Max 2020.2 also sees brand new patch and radial settings for mitered corners, while the invert and open options have now been enabled for all miter types, removing previous restrictions. There are also some new options available for editable poly surfaces: uniform, end bias, radial bias, tension, and depth.