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Maya and 3ds Max 2025 Released With Revamped And Time-Saving Toolsets

Autodesk has released Maya and 3ds Max 2025, featuring various updates throughout the core toolsets, introducing redesigned Dope Sheet and Motion Trail Editor, bringing 3ds Max's Smart Extrude to Maya, adding OpenColorIO support in 3ds Max, and many more.

Autodesk has rolled out updates for both Maya and 3ds Max, their main 3D animation, modeling, and rendering software, introducing a variety of new features. Maya and 3ds Max 2025 come with improved modeling tools, revised animation, and rigging workflows, OpenUSD improvements, overhauled GPU Renderer in Arnold, and tons of other improvements and bug fixes.

The biggest update to Maya 2025's modeling toolset is originally introduced in 3ds Max 2021 Smart Extrude system, which lets you interactively extrude faces in the viewport and eliminates the need to manually repair double and hidden faces. With Smart Extrude, faces that are fully, or partially cut through or overlapped by the operation results are rebuilt and stitched together.

Now, you can freely explore and modify polygonal mesh topology on your object.

Image Credits: Autodesk, Maya

As for the Bevel node, it can now filter input edges in multiple ways such as Selected Edges, Hard Edges, or Edges by Angle. Bevel now also works with Boolean objects.

With these options, you can switch between affecting an entire mesh, only the originally selected edges, or only edges connected through other means.

This release also features updates to existing features, such as a new Deformation widget added to the Attribute Editor that allows you to efficiently manage deformation chains without the need to consult the Node Graph.

This widget provides you with quick access to basic information on each deformer affecting an object: vertex counts, component types, and weight as well as the option to move them around.

You can now also reduce mouse travel and clicks with access to everything motion trail-related in a new location, the Motion Trail Editor. Access it from the Visualize menu in the Animation menu set or simply by clicking on the new Motion Trail Editor icon on the Animation shelf.

Image Credits: Autodesk, Maya

Maya's Dope Sheet Editor has also been reworked to provide artists with an intuitive and faster way of managing large-scale animations. Along with a customizable color palette to visually distinguish different sets of keys, Dope Sheet Editor introduced custom channel sets, meaning you can now create sets of commonly used animation controls.

The Bifrost Ocean Simulation System (BOSS) is now integrated into the Bifrost graph, supporting 2D foam simulations and geometry displacement for waves.

In-graph liquid meshing tools are now in Bifrost graph as well. This modular compound is designed to work with imported.bif caches from Bifrost liquids in Maya.

Image Credits: Autodesk, Maya

Image Credits: Autodesk, Maya

Finally, the latest update to LookdevX introduces support for the MaterialX data format, enabling artists to export, import, and assign MaterialX materials directly to Maya geometry now.

Image Credits: Autodesk, Maya

Additionally, you can choose which data model to use from either the start screen of the LookdevX Graph Editor or when creating a new graph tab. Maya now also automatically creates the corresponding data structures when you create a MaterialX material, which you can view in the Outliner.

The integration of Open USD continues to get even stronger with a new plug-in, bringing the ability to bulk load and unload multiple prims and use the Universal Manipulator to move, rotate and scale prims. 

Lastly, Maya 2025 ships with an overhauled GPU renderer for Arnold, using NVIDIA OptiX 8, resulting in numerous performance improvements.

Global light sampling is now supported in volumes, the distance shader now properly handles secondary paths such as reflections, and a new Overlay imager has been added, allowing you to decorate or tag renders by printing text over the rendered images.

Image Credits: Autodesk, Maya

As for 3ds Max, the new update mostly focuses on improving existing toolsets and workflows. 3ds Max 2025 comes with updated Retopology Tools, OCIO color management, and the Arnold and USD plug-ins.

OpenColorIO is the now default mode for color management in new scenes, making it easier to implement a modern color pipeline. The VertexPaint tool is fully color-managed and the new Color Space Conversion process operator can be applied to Data Channel modifiers to convert color data such as vertex colors from one rendering space to another, while Bake to Texture tool lets you select the color space for output files.

Image Credits: Autodesk, 3ds Max

Now, you can work more seamlessly across animation workflows with the Open USD plug-in, allowing you to import animations such as animated light and camera and blendShape.

The functionality of the Material Switcher has also been enhanced to enable the use of multi/sub-object materials when exporting an USD file:

Image Credits: Autodesk, 3ds Max

Retopology's base algorithm, Autodesk ReForm, has been automatically updated to version 1.5 for 3ds Max 2025, providing improved performance and stability.

Retopology Tools have also been updated, now featuring preprocessing and OpenVDB remeshing as stand-alone options.

Image Credits: Autodesk, 3ds Max

Lastly, the Global Search function has been modernized to provide extensive functionality. Now, as you type, a list of commands appears, such as displaying the last 5 used items, extended results with ToolClips, the ability to dock the search window, and many more.

You can also set up your custom workspace with the new Menu Editor, allowing you to effortlessly customize 3ds Max menus:

Image Credits: Autodesk, 3ds Max

Check out the full list of new features in Maya and 3ds Max 2025 here and here. Don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel and follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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