Autodesk 3DS Max 2009 review

The famous 3D modelling program updates its lineup with two new flavours

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Our Verdict

Sadly this version of 3DS Max isn't as good as it should be. The rivals in this sector have gained ground and sadly it's now hard to recommend


  • Useful new features
  • 30-day trial


  • Expensive
  • Two versions are a bad idea

Of the high end packages, 3DS Max 2009 tries hardest to make life easier for its users. Some new modelling tools help make four-footed animation easier. There are also some new navigation options which make it more straightforward to find your way around a scene.

Confusingly, though, there are now separate Design and Standard options which cost the same and are aimed at architects and everyone else respectively. Since most users would like a full feature set for their buck, this hasn't been a universally popular move.

Other changes in this update include the usual round of additions to shaders (texture generators), texture and object mapping, rendering and lighting.

Although there's a 30 day trial, the catch for novice users is the price – for that money, you could buy yourself a used car instead.

Overall, despite its capability, this is far too complex a product to contemplate as an entry level choice. 3DS Max gets a five out of five for raw performance, but two out of five for the high price, complexity and bizarre split product line.