Yet Another Roadmap

The old roadmaps I had previously posted here have become a bit dated, so here is a quick update about my plans for this plugin moving forward. I intend to finish everything listed here prior to the release of plugin version 1.0, though the list is in no particular order.

Node Editor Updates:

This goal is still a bit vague, but there are several areas where I want to improve node editor functionality. Right now there are a few types of nodes which exist in Cycles that cannot be used by this plugin and I’ll be adding support for all of these.

I also will be making a number of interface improvements. At the least I would like to support zooming in/out and add the ability for a user to copy/paste or otherwise duplicate nodes.

Physical Material Improvements:

Recent plugin versions contain support for rendering an approximation of Max’s new Physical Material. This approximation is still incomplete and I intend to add support for some of the advanced transparency settings, anisotropy, and possibly subsurface scattering.

I’ll also be completely re-coding support for the physical material bump map. Right now the conversion from a monochrome bump map to a normal map is somewhat low-quality and can result in a loss of detail in low-frequency areas of the bump map. My goal here to to completely refactor the conversion process to allow all bump map detail to be preserved.

Motion Blur:

Nothing too interesting to say about this one. Motion blur will be supported through the Physical Camera. I had originally planned to add motion blur support prior to the first beta release, but it proved to be a bit more complicated than I expected.


Previously my plan was to not support OpenCL until after 1.0. Now I think I can realistically get this ready during the beta phase. This will allow for GPU-accelerated renders with AMD graphics cards.


Beta 1.00 introduced basic support for point lights. In future beta releases this will be expanded to include spot lights and directional lights as well.

Other Stuff:

I’ll also be integrating many new Cycles features as they become available. Blender 2.79 will be released relatively soon and will bring a number of new Cycles features including denoising, shadow catchers, and a native Cycles PBR shader node.

Beta 1.00 Release

After more than a year in Alpha, today I am releasing the first Beta version of the Cycles for Max plugin. This release brings a mix of new features, fixes, and support for Max 2018. The download and changelog pages have been updated.


I have also uploaded a new youtube video to demonstrate some of the new features here:

Full changelog:

  • Changed: Improved accuracy of Physical Material
    • Emission strength has been adjusted to match ART
    • Color temperature curves have been adjusted to match ART
  • Changed: Imporved accuracy of Physical Sun and Sky
    • Emission strength has been adjusted to match ART
    • Corrected minor distortion in baked map
  • Changed: Bitmaps and the Physical Sun and Sky map can now be used directly in the environment map slot
  • Added: Support for 3ds Max 2018
  • Added: Basic support for Free Light
    • Only point lights are currently supported
  • Added: Various translation options [MAXScript variable name in brackets]
    • Environment strength multiplier (previously named “sky intensity”) [cyclesRender.skyIntensity]
    • Environment MIS map size [cyclesRender.misMapSize]
    • Point light size [cyclesRender.pointLightSize]
    • Default procedural texmap bake size [cyclesRender.texmapBakeWidth, cyclesRender.texmapBakeHeight]
  • Added: Support for Max exposure control
  • Added: Option to use a different random noise seed for each frame of an animation
  • Fixed: Environment maps will no longer bake incorrectly when set to non-texture coordinate mapping
  • Fixed: HDR environment maps will no longer be used in non-HDR mode by default
  • Fixed: UI will now remain responsive when translating large scenes
  • Fixed: Physical Material can now be used as an input to Mix or Add nodes
  • Fixed: Light path settings will now apply to activeshade renders
  • Fixed: Improved bitmap resolution autodetection
  • Fixed: HDR texmaps will now bake to non-HDR textures correctly

Upcoming Beta Release

Just a quick post here as I’ve been pretty quiet on this site lately. Since the release of Alpha 3.10 I’ve been hard at work getting the plugin ready for its first beta release. This next release will be the biggest update yet and will include a bunch of new features, fixes, and support for Max 2018.

More details to come as we get closer to release, which I expect will be some time in early May.

Alpha 3.10 Release

Today I’m releasing version Alpha 3.10 of the plugin. The download and changelog pages have been updated and I’ve also included the changelog at the end of this post.

The biggest feature of this release is support for rendering (most of) the 3ds Max Physical Material. This will allow a more artist-friendly approach to creating materials than was previously possible with this plugin. Right now not all parameters are supported, you can read more about supported bits in the FAQ.

I’ve created a couple comparison pictures showing what both the presets “Red Sports Car Paint” and “Copper” look like in Cycles compared to ART. These renders use the Happy Buddha model provided by Morgan McGuire’s Computer Graphics Archive. Click for full size images.


I’m also still looking for gallery contributions. If you have made something with this plugin you would like me to share on this site, please send it in.

Full changelog:

  • Changed: Improved lighting for material previews
  • Added: Max 2017’s Physical Material can now be used
  • Fixed: Corrected error that could cause non-progressive-refine multi-GPU CUDA renders to hang up
  • Fixed: Objects flagged as not renderable will no longer be rendered