Cycles for Max


New Year, New Roadmap

It is January once again, which means it is time for an updated roadmap. Last year I wasn't quite able to finish everything I mentioned in the 2018 roadmap, but I was able to get through most of the list. Here is an updated roadmap for this year that reflects my current priorities for plugin development.

User Forums

A few users have requested some forums on this website and I'm happy to say they will be available very soon. The forums will be a place to ask questions, share tips, request features, report bugs, and share your creations. The forum software is nearly ready now and I expect to launch the forums before the end of January.

Shader Graph Editor Updates

More improvements will be coming to the shader graph editor in the next plugin release. My immediate focus here is to finish adding support for all Cycles nodes, including Color Ramp and Mapping which are currently unsupported.

I also plan on making some workflow improvements to the shader graph editor including support for copy/paste and enhancements to the curve editor UI.

Blender 2.80

Once Blender 2.80 has been released, I'll be updating this plugin to support some of the new Cycles features that come along with it. This may not immediately include every new Cycles feature in 2.80, but I plan to support the new Principled Hair, Principled Volume, and Bevel shaders at the very least.

Updating to parity with Blender 2.80 will also mean the end of support for CUDA renders with some older NVIDIA GPUs. Following this release, CUDA renders will require a GTX 650 or newer GPU. This release will also bring support for RTX 20-series cards.

Lamps and Portals

Currently point and directional lamps are supported in the plugin. In the next year I plan to expand this support to include spot lights and IES lights as well.

I will also be adding support for portals, which should be particularly useful for interior arch-vis style renders.


Not a lot to say about this one. Cycles itself includes denoising now and I'll be adding support for using this from within Max.


I've had to push this back a bit as the only AMD GPU I own seems to have died while it was sitting in my drawer, so I can't currently give this feature any proper testing. I'll likely be buying a new AMD card later this year so I can add and test this feature.


There will also be some other minor features coming this year including support for Max 2020 whenever it is released. As always, if there is some feature you would like to see that isn't mentioned here please post a comment or send an email to

Posted Jan. 7, 2019 - 3 comments

Render Passes Demo

Following the release of beta 2.02 and beta 2.03, I've made this short demo video showing off how to use render passes.

Posted Nov. 14, 2018 - 0 comments

Beta 2.03 Release

Today I'm releasing a very small bugfix for the plugin. This addresses a few problems when using the shader graph editor on systems that use a decimal separator other than a dot.

Thanks to user Aritz for bringing these problems to my attention.

Posted Nov. 3, 2018 - 0 comments

Beta 2.02 Release

After over three months since the last release, I am happy to announce that Beta 2.02 is available today. The major new features of this release are support for Cycles render passes as well as improvements to support for multi-GPU CUDA renders.

You can get this release from the download page. The manual has also been updated to cover all changes in this version.

In the next few days, I'll be posting a video going over the new features.

Posted Oct. 31, 2018 - 3 comments

September Update

It has been about two months since I last updated this site, so I thought it would be appropriate to write a quick update about what is happening with this plugin lately.

For the next release, I am focusing on cleaning up the plugin's code to work better with multi-GPU CUDA renders as well as adding support for Cycles render passes. I hope to release this version near the end of October.

In the past I had also mentioned to a few people that I plan on porting this plugin back to Max 2015/2016 and had estimated that would be done towards the end of this year. I still do plan on bringing this back to older versions of Max, but it now looks like that won't be ready until some time next year.

I'm also still working on preparing some forums for this website. More info on that will be coming eventually but I'm still unsure about when exactly the forums will be ready.

Posted Sept. 28, 2018 - 1 comment

Website Update

Today I have just made some major changes to the back-end software powering this website as well as some minor design changes across the site. I expect these changes will increase the site's reliability and help to avoid some of the intermittent downtime that has happened recently.

In other website news, I'm also putting together a forum where users will be able to ask questions and share tips about using the plugin. I'll be posting more info about this in the future.

Posted July 29, 2018 - 0 comments

Beta 2.01 Release

After a few weeks of delay, I'm happy to announce the release of plugin version Beta 2.01 today. This is a maintenance release focused on fixing some longstanding bugs. I've also made some minor updates to the manual along with this release.

This release can be downloaded immediately on the download page.

Posted July 19, 2018 - 0 comments

July Update

It has been nearly 2 months since the last plugin release so it seems to be about time time for a quick update on what I have been working on lately.

My primary focus over these months has been on refactoring a lot of the code powering the shader graph editor. So far there are no new features, but this refactoring should make it much easier for me to add support for more Cycles nodes like RGB ramp and XYZ curves as well as new features like copy and paste.

I also intend to release a plugin update soon to handle two bugs that have recently come to my attention. First, Shader Graph materials are currently entirely broken in Max 2019. Second, mesh tangents are frequently translated incorrectly in all Max versions. I hope to have this update ready for release in about a week.

Update - July 14: The next release is nearly ready now, but I've recently found a bug that can cause renders to hang up during scene translation. I'll be holding back the release just a few more days while I fix this problem.

Posted July 3, 2018 - 0 comments