Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 Readme

This readme contains the latest information regarding the installation and use of Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2011 and Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design 2011 software. It is strongly recommended that you read this entire document before installing the software. For reference, you should save this readme to your hard drive. For complete installation and networking instructions refer to the Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / 3ds Max Design 2011 Installation Guide (which includes information about regular installation and network deployment). Access this guide in the Documentation menu of the installer.

Find new feature information in the "What's New" section of the 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design Help.

Find learning resources at: or

Find support resources at: or

Find the Readme (Release Notes) for 3ds Max Composite at:

Find the Release Notes related to Suites at:

Find late-breaking information related to SDK, refer to the "What's New: 3ds Max 2011" in the SDK Programmer's Guide. You can find the guide at: <maxsdk_install_root>\help\3dsMaxSDKFull.chm.


Supported Operating Systems

Use the following supported operating systems for the 32- or 64-bit version of the 3ds Max 2011 / 3ds Max Design 2011:

See also for more system requirements information.

Autodesk is not responsible for errors or failures of Autodesk software arising from the installation of updates, extensions or new releases issued by third party hardware or software vendors for the qualified software or hardware identified in this document (or for any other third party software or hardware that you may use in connection with Autodesk products).


The processes for installing and uninstalling Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 are described in the Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / 3ds Max Design 2011 Installation Guide. Access this guide in the Documentation menu of the installer.

The following are a few points related to installing and licensing of Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011:


For complete information about installation see the Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 Installation guide. (Click Documentation in the installer.) This document also includes information about network deployment. For issues related to install, see Installation Issues.


For information about standalone and network licensing see Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 Licensing. For issues related to licensing, see Licensing Issues.

Release Version with Beta

If you previously installed any beta version (including Release Candidate (RC) versions) of Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011, you must uninstall and delete all system folders pertaining to these prerelease versions before you can install the commercial version. Instructions on how to uninstall the software are posted on the beta portal in the Beta and RC Readme files.

Customer Involvement Program (CIP)

The first time you start 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design, the Customer Involvement Program dialog opens. If you choose to participate in the Customer Involvement Program, 3ds Max or 3ds Max Design will automatically send Autodesk information about system configuration, what features you use most, any problems that you encounter, and other information helpful to the future direction of the product. For further information, see

To enable CIP:

  1. Start 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design.
  2. If the Customer Involvement Program dialog box is not displayed automatically, then in the Help menu, click Customer Involvement Program.
  3. In the Customer Involvement Program dialog box, select "Participate - with contact information."
  4. Enter a valid email address and company name. Click OK.

Customer Error Reports (CERs)

We are able to improve the stability of Autodesk 3ds Max / Autodesk 3ds Max Design largely because of the Customer Error Reports (CERs) that end-users submit. We thank you for taking the time to fill out these reports and ask you to include as much information as possible about what actions you were performing at the time the error occurred. These details raise the value of the report immensely and are very much appreciated by the Autodesk 3ds Max Quality Engineering team.

For further information about CERs refer to

Feature Limitations and Notes

The following are the known feature limitations and notes for Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011:


Limitations and Notes

3ds Max Composite
Autodesk® Backburner
  • Autodesk Backburner 2008.1 is the default version of Backburner installed with 3ds Max 2011 / 3ds Max Design 2011. There are two other versions of Backburner shipped on the DVD: 2011, and 2008.2 (iPv6). For information about the various versions of Autodesk Backburner available with 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design 2011, refer to the Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 Installation Guide. Click Documentation in the Installer.
  • Important: Autodesk Backburner 2011 is not compatible with any version of 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design before 2011.
Autodesk® FBX®
  • For the best interoperability and smoothest Autodesk FBX workflows it is recommended that you work with Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 / Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 and Autodesk® Revit® 2011.
  • 3ds Max 2011 / 3ds Max Design 2011 is required to import any Autodesk Revit 2011 FBX files and retain materials, environments, RPCs, and lights.
  • 3ds Max 2010/2009 or 3ds Max Design 2010/2009 can import Revit FBX 2011 files; however, only geometry and cameras will import (losing materials, lights and environments).
  • Revit 2010/2009 FBX files will import without issue into 3ds Max 2011/2010/2009 or 3ds Max Design 2011/2010/2009.
  • Filelink for FBX: Scaling issues occur when importing Autodesk Revit 2011 FBX files into 3ds Max 2011 / 3ds Max Design 2011, when the system units for 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design are set to anything other than feet. If a Revit FBX file is imported into 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design, while system units are set to inches, the photometric light emitter shapes will not be scaled correctly. The length and width will be 12 times smaller than they should be. Workaround: Set 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design to use Feet System Units before performing the FBX import or File Link.
  • Autodesk Material Library: FBX AutoCAD embedded or referenced textures are not being imported. When exporting you must select "Copy textures to a single location". The texture assets will come through labeled as GUID and will not be located in the location specified in AutoCAD; instead they will exist in a temp folder.
Autodesk Inventor® Import
  • Variable Radius Fillets are not supported when added as Body Objects.
  • Springs do not import correctly as Body Objects.
  • Files created from imported IGES files in old versions of Autodesk Inventor will not import as Body Objects.
  • When imported as Body objects, materials of weldment objects in an Inventor assembly are not supported.
  • When imported as Body objects with an assembly that has body overrides, materials of the corresponding bodies are not supported.
  • WIRE files import with transparent material. Transparency can be changed to fully opaque in the Material Editor if required or the Assembly file can be imported with "Import Inventor Materials" set to off.
  • WIRE files imported as Body Objects can not be converted to NURBS to be exported as IGES files for use in Autodesk Alias Studio.
  • WIRE imports do not import surface names.
  • Older Inventor files can give incorrect error messages on import.
  • Some objects can import with missing or misplaced geometry. If this occurs you can try exporting as SAT and reading it in. Also, changing the SAT version can give you different results as surfaces are represented differently for different versions.
Autodesk® Material Library
  • Advanced parameters for Autodesk Materials (ambient occlusion, rounded corners, and performance tuning) are not yet supported.
  • Libraries must be uninstalled in reverse order:
    1. First uninstall Autodesk Material Library 2011 Medium Image Library.
    2. Next uninstall Autodesk Material Library 2011 Base Image Library.
  • AutoCAD files using the Metal Cutout presets will not import correctly.
  • The Water Reflecting Pool material can render a different color than blue when loaded, and might need to be adjusted.
  • Scene files can load more slowly if they use Autodesk Materials, compared to other 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design materials.
  • Instancing large numbers of Autodesk Material via MAXScript can cause an eventual program error.
  • Autodesk Material bitmaps do not support the 3ds Max or 3ds Max Design Bitmap Proxies feature.
  • Warning: Uninstalling the Autodesk Material Library can adversely affect other Autodesk products such as AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit, and Autodesk Inventor.
Autodesk® Network License Manager
  • Spinners might cut off text when showing US Standard units.
  • Clicking the color swatch on the Motion panel > Layer Manager rollout for a CAT rig with the “(Available)” item highlighted and then clicking in the Color Selector dialog can cause a crash. Workaround: To avoid this, change the color only for a highlighted animation layer.
Compact Material Editor
  • The Put Material To Scene button no longer works in the Compact Material Editor.
  • When Remove is used, any selected inherited content will not be removed from the container. It is only possible to remove locally added objects from containers.
  • An inherited container proxy list does not update when new proxies are added to the source.
  • Containers nested inside other inherited containers will fail to load their content if their definition was originally specified using a local path. To resolve this, either repath the container definition to the network drive with the asset tracker, or add this path to the External Files panel of the User Paths dialog.
  • Local changes to the hierarchy of inherited content will be lost on update. Source hierarchy is restored.
  • When adding a complex rig or hierarchy to a container, it is recommended that either the container be at 0,0,0 or all contents have a common parent at 0,0,0.
  • CAT and Biped rigs do not behave properly when in containers. For example, they do not move when containers are moved, and they do not update when inherited.
  • If you edit materials on inherited content, you need to give them a new name. Materials on inherited content will update even if they are locked, if the local material name is the same as the source material name.
  • When a container is saved and open, using Shift+Move on the container and its content at the same time can create unwanted duplicates.
  • Merge Source Definition or Make All Content Unique will create duplicates of content in inherited containers whose source rule allows either Only Add New Objects or Anything Unlocked. Workaround: Unload the container before using Merge Source Definition or Make All Content Unique.
Graphite Modeling Tools
  • When using Object Paint to paint on a surface or grid that is perpendicular to the viewing plane, the resulting number of objects and their placement can be unpredictable.
  • The PolyDraw > Topology tool supports only User and Perspective viewports.
Ink n' Paint
  • The placement of ink lines for the Ink 'n Paint material in mental ray® differs from previous versions of 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design.
Installation Issues
  • (Windows XP operating system only) When installing a silent deployment, the system will reboot at the end of the installation without any notification. This is normally because the PC does not have MSI 4.5.
  • The –yc command to switch licensing only works for 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design. It does not work for other software such as 3ds Max Composite, Autodesk® MatchMover and so on.
  • 3ds Max Composite / MatchMover must have 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design installed to work.
  • 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design needs to be run at least once before running partners and plug-ins, including 3ds Max Composite. For 3ds Max Composite this ensures that if you are using a network license, it will work properly.
  • (Windows 7 operating system only) When installing 3ds Max 2011 or 3ds Max Design 2011 with 3ds Max 2010 or 3ds Max Design 2010, you must install the 3ds Max 2010 Hot Fix 7 (2009.09.22). To download this Hot Fix go to:
Licensing Issues
  • (Windows Vista and Mac® Boot Camp® operating systems only) A valid license cannot be obtained by the network client when the client and server are on the same machine (IPv4). Workaround: To workaround this issue, do the following:
    1. Obtain the IP address of the machine. (You can obtain it using the ipconfig command or with the the “System setting” of LMTOOLS.)
    2. Open the hosts file which is located on C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc folder.
    3. Add the IP address and hostname to the hosts file, such as “ ACRDLICENSEQA1”
    4. Save the hosts file.

      You can now obtain a valid license.

  • Registration-Activation Error (0015.111) displays on page when you install a 2011 product and then install a 2010 product, side by side. This happens during offline (manual) activation only.
  • (iPv6 network only) Autodesk Network License Manager: If you are using a license server in an iPv6 network, you need to install a patch to the Autodesk Network License Manager, otherwise the license server will not work.

    To install the patch:

    1. Shut down your license server.
    2. Back up the contents of ..\Program Files\Autodesk Network License Manager files. By default these files are in (C:\Program Files\Autodesk Network License Manager)
    3. Download the patch at:
    4. Unzip the patch and paste the new files over the old ones in ..\Program Files\Autodesk Network License Manager. (Four files will be overwritten.)
    5. Restart your license server.
      Your license server should now work as expected.
  • Multi-byte file names can display incorrectly in the Bitmap Parameters rollout.
  • The right-click context menu for caddy is not localized.
  • range_check and MXS_range_check can return error messages on integer values and give corrupted error messages.
mental mill®
mental ray®
  • mental ray does not always release memory when a render is complete. Workaround: Restart 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design.
  • In certain situations, when you load an XMSL file in a DirectX Material, while using the mental ray renderer, the software might stop working. Workaround: Use the Scanline or Quicksilver renderers in 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design.
  • Autodesk Metal material: Custom relief maps do not work.
  • When using mental ray, the illumination phong MetaSL node needs to have a Normals make Normal node wired to the normal input.
  • Slate is recommended when working with MetaSL nodes.
  • Geometry disappears when using an Opacity map when Show Hardware Map in Viewport is not enabled and checked.
  • If particles are oriented to a Daylight system with a Shape Facing operator, adjusting the sun position or orientation causes the particles to disappear temporarily from viewports.
  • Video memory resources are consumed quickly if you have many lights with shadows in your scene. The system might render slowly or reset video cards.
  • High antialiasing settings could lead to a black render.
  • Waves map does not render correctly in Quicksilver or in the viewport renderer.
  • Very large shadow maps (i.e. 4096 x 4096) can cause render errors. Using smaller sizes (i.e. 512 x 512) will correct this error.
  • GTS 8800 cards can cause some objects to flicker.
  • Rendering of scenes that contain large number of textures could potentially cause image artifacts when rendering a sequence of frames.
  • Under certain conditions, usually compiling very complex material trees, the video card can be forced to reset on the Vista operating system and the Windows 7 operating system. The Windows XP 32-bit operating system may become unstable.
  • Quicksilver can render black frames under certain sampling settings depending on how much memory the video card has. Typically this is when memory is close to 512MB.
  • Object properties are not supported – in particular Rendering Control visibility.
  • Exclude/Include for lights is not supported.
  • Groups cannot have reflection – they need to be exploded.
  • Vertex colors are not supported in Quicksilver.
  • Only one layer of transparency is supported. When several transparent objects overlap, only the first will be drawn.
  • The thumbnail background of the material editor is not supported.
  • Gamma is not applied under command line rendering.
  • The following are unsupported maps in Quicksilver:
    • Combustion
    • Cellular
    • Flat Mirror
    • Particle Age
    • Particle MBlur
    • Thin Wall Refraction
    • Vertex Color
  • The following are not fully supported maps in Quicksilver:
    • Falloff: Only perpendicular / parallel with viewing direction supported.
    • Gradient Ramp: Normal Gradient Type not supported.
    • Noise: Only Regular Noise Type supported.
    • Normal Bump: Additional Bump not supported.
    • Raytrace: Certain adjustable parameters under Raytrace map are not supported.
    • Reflect/Refract: Certain adjustable parameters under Reflect/Refract map are not supported.
  • Quicksilver does not support Refraction.
  • Quicksilver does not support certain output parameters. This issue impacts all map types.

  • The following problems may result if the font size is changed in the Ribbon:
    • Sometimes the Customize dialog will stop working. Selecting new trees does not update in the Preview window.
    • Sometimes, after changing the font size, the Ribbon loses all text except tab and panel names. The text reappears in floating panels but not in the main Ribbon.
    • Changing the font size with the Ribbon minimized and then selecting a tab such as the Graphite Modeling Tools tab may cause the system to stop working.
    • Sometimes unselected geometries keep selection and transfer gizmos as though they were still selected.
  • Tab Export and conditional UI elements are not supported in third-party extensions.
  • ToolClips, the movies in some ribbon tooltips, do not work on the Windows XP 64-bit operating system.
  • ToolClips might not play in certain dual-monitor setups.
RPC Plug-Ins from ArchVision, Inc.
  • (iPv6 network only) RPC Plug-In: The RPC Plug-in does not fully support IPV6. On first launch of the RPC Plug-in, when you configure the plug-in in the content manager configuration section, the network card is not detected. Workaround: Enable the iPv4 stack and click Rescan. Now your network card will be detected so you can configure the content manager, including setting the path where your RPC files are located. Note: This is not an issue for iPv4 only networks or for iPv6 dual-stack networks. However, similar problems may arise if you are bound to an iPv6 network.

Save As Previous
  • Certain issues arise if you use the Save As Previous feature in 3ds Max 2011 on a file that contains:
    • Containers that specify proxies.
    • Base objects on nodes that are locked.
      (These items will not be maintained if you open the files in 3ds Max 2010.)
  • When saving a scene with RGB image file as render output to previous version, the program fails to load the saved RGB output settings.
  • For SDK release information see "What's New: 3ds Max 2011" in the SDK Programmer's Guide. You can find this guide in: <maxsdk_install_root>\help\3dsMaxSDKFull.chm.
  • Lighting plug-ins compiled using the Autodesk 3ds Max 2010 Software Developers Kit (SDK) will not display correctly in the viewport. This means that many standard functions do not display correctly, such as light and shadow casting. This only effects the viewport display; the lights and shadows render correctly. The problem is due to an SDK change to the GetInterface methods, to the class LightObject. Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 and Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 rely on these overrides but the Autodesk 3ds Max 2010 SDK does not contain these overrides. Workaround: To correct the issue recompile the plug-in with the 3ds Max 2011 SDK. No other changes are required.
Slate Material Editor
  • There are two problems when you drag and drop layers in a Composite map: (1) dragging to make a layer the first layer is off by one; (2) if maps are applied to the layer you drag and drop, extra copies of these maps appear in the active View, but the copies are not wired to the layer: You can safely delete them.
  • When you minimize the Slate Material Editor, the dialog will keep focus. This gives the impression that the 3ds Max keyboard shortcuts are not functioning. It is recommended that you close the Slate Material Editor when you are not using it.
  • MetaSL support: Additional state parameters displayed in mental mill are not yet supported in 3ds Max (namely Normal and Position).
  • The Morpher material is not fully compatible with the Slate Material Editor. Workaround: The Choose Morph Object button does not work. Instead, use the Compact Material Editor for Morpher Material workflows.
  • The Morpher material displays 50 material slots in its node by default and this number cannot be reduced.
  • When you use a controller node to set parameter values, in some cases the interface allows you to set the value outside the parameter’s range. Most of the time, the value is reset to an appropriate value.
  • In the Material/Map Browser, the Windows Theme CUI color setting can make the selection hard to see in 3ds Max Design.
  • The scrollbar does not appear when setting the material display type to Icon only.
  • Pressing the Delete key while dragging an Input Wire can cause a program error.
UVW Unwrap
  • The selection is lost when adding UVW Unwrap. Workaround: Use a custom button or hot key for Uv_SelectionFromBase.
Viewport Canvas
  • When creating a new texture in Viewport Canvas, do not exceed the maximum bitmap size provided under Preset Sizes: Width/Height=2048. Exceeding this size can lead to error messages and eventually Viewport Canvas may exit.
  • Viewport Canvas layers: Browsing through blending options in the Layers dialog list does not support the up and down cursor keys.
  • Viewport Canvas does not display the tiling parameters in the map, only the UVs. Performance can be affected by attempting to paint on an object with small bitmap tiles. For this reason, it is recommended that you paint with UVs that have been applied with no or very limited tiling and with Real World Map Size turned off.
  • Viewport Canvas does not support history for texture paths.
  • The Fill tool can sometimes cause a MAXScript error.
Windows 7 operating system
  • By default in the Windows 7 operating system, Snap To is enabled. You can disable it if you choose. While this feature can be convenient, when it is enabled you can easily confirm dialogs without reading what your confirmation will do.
    1. In Windows 7 open the Mouse Properties dialog box.
    2. Select the Pointer Options tab.
    3. Under Snap To, un-check the box that says Enabling the Windows 7 "Snap To" feature to move the mouse pointer to the default button of dialog boxes.
    4. Click OK to close the Mouse Properties dialog box.
    5. For security reasons and to prevent accidental clicks, enabling this feature will not move the mouse pointer whenever a User Access Control dialog box appears.
  • When installing 3ds Max 2011 or 3ds Max Design 2011 with 3ds Max 2010 or 3ds Max Design 2010, you must install the 3ds Max 2010 Hot Fix 7 (2009.09.22). To download this Hot Fix go to:
XMSL files
  • In certain situations, when you load an XMSL file in a DirectX Material, while using the mental ray renderer, the software might stop working. Workaround: Use the Scanline or Quicksilver renderers in 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design.
  • If you use Materials > Export To XSML File, parameters saved in the shader tree are lost.
  • Exported XMSL files do not contain the correct parameter values.

Autodesk, Autodesk Inventor, FBX, Revit and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. mental ray and mental mill are registered trademarks of mental images GmbH licensed for use by Autodesk, Inc. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. © 2010 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.