Introducing 3ds Max 2020.2 Update

Autodesk 3ds Max 2020.2 Update is focused on bringing you efficiency, speed, and precision. Building upon our recent 2020 Chamfer updates, this release brings you even more enhancements with additional patch and radial mitering as well as improvements to vertex chamfering. New Viewport enhancements present you with automated options, and more realistic viewing to speed up your workflow. Sketchup importer now supports all new versions of Sketchup files bring you performance and visual fidelity improvements

Import flexibility

Artist work with varying versions of software and need the flexibility to confidently import file formats without time consuming work-around.

What's New in 3ds Max 2020.2 Update

As you proceed through the documentation, keep an eye out for the icon, indicating a new feature, and the icon, indicating a change to an existing feature. You can also search for information about new or changed features. For topics that describe new program features, search for "new feature". For changes in existing features, search for "changed feature".


Chamfer modifier improvements:

  • Updates include new corner mitering types Patch and Radial which provide higher-resolution quadrilateral intersections.
  • The Invert and Open options now work for all miter types.
  • The new vertex chamfering implementation respects any set segment count or depth.
  • New chamfer options are now available in Editable Poly: Uniform, End Bias, Radial Bias, Tension, and Depth

Importing SketchUp files:

  • A new importer allows any version of SketchUp files to be imported into 3ds Max, whereas the legacy importer can only import files up to SketchUp 2014.
  • Able to maintain compatibility with future versions.

Synchronize with Display Mode:

  • New viewport background mode
  • Automatically uses the Environment background.
  • If Environment background is black, displays a gradient background.
  • Some displays modes are exceptions.

Enhancements and Changes

SketchUp importer update

Now supports all newer versions of SketchUp files

  •  3ds Max now supports import of all version of .skp files, up to and including version 2019.
  • The new importer is based on the Autodesk Translation Framework (ATF), which is updated with every release of 3ds Max, in order to bring critical enhancements and defect fixes on a regular basis.
  • The new importer also brings performance and visual fidelity improvements.
    *Note: although no longer being developed, we will continue to support the legacy SketchUp importer for some period of time, to allow customers to transition their custom tools and pipelines to the new importer.

Chamfer improvements

Chamfer enhancements made from 2020 through to 2020.2 Update allow modelers to work more efficiently and accurately, reducing the need for error-prone workarounds.

  • For the 2020.2 release we’ve added the following functionality:
    o Additional mitering types (patch and radial)
    o Full support for vertex chamfering
    o Chamfering capabilities have been exposed to EditablePoly
  • We also updated chamfer algorithms to better handle edge cases, producing more pleasing geometry overall and avoiding degeneracies such as flattening or skewing of edges.

Viewport enhancements

Time saving and quality improvements with existing Viewport effects.

  • Image based lighting (IBL) is now automatic when an environment is added to the scene. This saves time as there is no need to add a skylight to the scene to have to enable this feature.
  • Roughness for physical materials is now supported in the viewport in "Realistic" mode.
  • The appearance of shadows has been improved and are they are now supported in "Default" lighting mode.
  • New Automatic viewport background mode is enabled by default and will automatically adjusts the background depending on your display mode.

Performance updates

  • List controller evaluation is now 15X faster with average weight on or off.
  • 3ds Max now avoids sending duplicate messages to plug-ins using the 3ds Max referencing system. This improves performance in many areas of the software, including:
    o Creating keys
    o Trackview
    o Slate UI
    o File Reset


Fit and finish

Various additional updates have been made to smooth out workflows

  • Decimal separator improvement - Users from various geographic locations (geos), can now trust 3ds Max to use the decimal separator symbol specified in their Windows regional settings when displaying floating point numbers in the user interface.
  • Improvements to selection when using backface culling, which make it easier to select what you need and avoid accidental selections.
  • All message boxes have been updated and standardized to have the same look-and-feel and scaling behavior on high DPI monitors.
  • All message boxes pause auto-backup, real-time animation playback and viewport refresh until dismissed, bringing consistency and predictability to the user experience.
  • Scripting access for TextPlus "Set Value as Text" functionality added, which offers users greater control with TextPlus from maxscript.


Python 3 Alert Mode

Will assist in preparing for the Python 2.7 to 3 transition

  • With mode enabled, users will be informed of exactly which scripts needs to be updated.
  • Both users and automated tool are easily detected as warnings are logged to the MAXScript Listener, the 3ds Max system log file (Max.log) and the console when running 3ds Max Batch.”

*Note: For more information on the transition, see PEP-3000, and the Porting Python 2 Code to Python 3 guide


Arnold MAXtoA Update

Updates delivers several improvements from Arnold 5.4 Core, the MAXtoA plugin, and Arnold GPU beta bringing even more speed, power, and flexibility to artist workflows

MAXtoA Plugin

  • Updates to Viewport display of Arnold lights, as well as Alembic, procedural, and texture baking improvements.

General Arnold 5.4 improvements

  • New shader for section cut renders
  • Alembic 1.7 improvements

Arnold beta GPU improvements

  • Initial OSL OpenVDB support on GPU
  • Most lights supported on GPU except IES


*Note: For more information on the transition, see the Arnold 3ds Max User Guide