Autodesk Media and Entertainment, neé Discreet, has launched version 8 of its 3DS Max suite. The upgrade to the 3D modelling, animation and rendering suite is focussed on character animation and asset management – plus modelling/texturing and development tools for large teams - according to the company.

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Character-based additions include a non-linear animation engine for applying animations by pasting them onto models, and advanced rigging tools such as a weight tool for skin. UV pelt mapping is designed to make texturing characters easier and quicker, and DirectX and .fx support has been added to create real-time shaders within a 3DS Max viewport.
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The upgrade also includes all of the features added in version 7.5, which was only made available to member's of Autodesk's subscriptions scheme. These include cloth, hair and fur tools and version 3.4 of the mental ray rendering engine.