Fun 3ds max facts:
You didn't ask for them, but what the heck!
3D Studio's original codename for
internal use was "THUD", from guess-who's name!
Dan Silva, the programmer brought
in to create the keyframer module for 3D Studio Release 1, originally
wrote "Deluxe Paint" for the Amiga. I wrote
"DEGAS", the paint program for the Atari ST. Small
Speaking of the original
keyframer module, until about a month before the release of 3D Studio
R1, the Modeler, Lofter, Keyframer, Materials Editor and Renderer were
all separate DOS programs! We made a daring decision to roll all
these modules into one program using the Phar Lap DOS Extender, and
Dan and I spent a two-week marathon session at Dan's home reworking
the code to operate under Phar Lap. It was awesome. Dan is
one of the finest programmers I've ever worked with (and eating fresh
pears and figs off his backyard trees didn't hurt, either).
The 3D Studio network rendering
code was installed one summer between releases when I was working on a
set of CG shots for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I had four
computers in my office and needed to have them all cooperating on the
rendering to get the job done. It was a minor miracle that it
worked, given the primitive networking in MS-DOS at that time!
Video Post was actually a hidden
feature of 3D Studio R1, which I hacked in over a few days so that I
could do some simple compositing and dissolves for my short film,
"Cornerstone". At that point, it was a very simple
script language and nobody else even knew it was there (well, maybe
The IPAS plug-in architecture was
dreamed up at SIGGRAPH one summer when I was planning a short film
with Joey and Klanky, called "Assault on the Sun". To
do this piece, I needed an automated starfield background generator as
Joey and Klanky sped toward the sun in their surplus Apollo
capsule/LEM assembly. I had just finished up a bunch of code for
AutoDesk's ADI (Autodesk Device Interface) in 3DS and realized that a
similar interface would allow me to hook up plugins.
"Assault" was never made but IPAS was a terrific
success. Not to mention, it relieved Dan and me from having to
write all the new features people wanted in 3DS!