In their most recent release of 3ds Max, version 2018.1, Autodesk have launched a new VR focused feature with the name 3ds Max Interactive. This is essentially a version of their Stingray Game engine, tuned for pre-visualization and VR work, instead of for games. If you are interested in learning more about the Stingray game engine powering this feature, we featured it in the Closer Look game engine series last year. You can learn more about the new VR functionality in 3ds Max on their home page.
Additionally, Autodesk have released a first look blog post discussing the new functionality. One thing that is interesting to note from that discussion is, although this could be used for games, it’s actually intended for the visualization market. Comments from the blog post:
Why add VR tools to Max when there are a lot of broadly adopted game engines out there? And why now?
Here’s how we see it: when you’re trying to learn a new skill, it’s way easier to tackle if you have a familiar point of reference. Same deal here. We see the best path for arch viz VR as starting with the familiar language of Max, then easing into the less familiar territory and terminology of virtual reality – which is where Max Interactive comes in. It’s far less intimidating than being dropped in the middle of an unfamiliar game engine designed for game developers and trying to work your way back, or settling for an unknown set of 3D tools retrofit onto a VR game engine.
Could you use Max Interactive to build a VR game?
That’s a matter of “could” versus “should.” Sure, you could use Max and Max Interactive to build a game because the tools aren’t that different today. But over time, you’ll see Max Interactive evolve and adapt to the specific demands of design visualization in VR and AR. Meanwhile, game developers have already established their open workflows and pipelines based on Max and real-time engines like Unity and Unreal. We’re not trying to upend that. They’re just not optimized for architectural visualization workflows.