Revolutionizing AEC Workflows with 3ds Max

In today's architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) domains, blending advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) into workflows is essential for increasing efficiency and meeting future demands. Through AI, AEC professionals are working to transform traditional workflows by optimizing designs, automating tasks, and enabling more intelligent decision-making. This article explores how AI is integrated into 3ds Max to revolutionize workflows and improve design efficiency today.

AI-Powered Design

AI is reshaping workflows, helping to advance tools for architects and designers to explore various design options quickly and identify optimal solutions based on project requirements. Not only is everyone from Autodesk to plugin developers benefiting from the power of today's AI solutions, but AEC and 3ds Max professionals have the opportunity to complete more design iterations to introduce energy efficiency, structural stability, and even simple comfort improvements into designs that might have been missed before, allowing professionals to reach project goals more effectively making all our work more valuable. See Figure 1, for example, where I plugged a 3ds Max render of various ObjectIDs into Adobe Photoshop's Generative Fill feature. Based on user prompts, the software created a visual concept that was developed in minutes without requiring any laborious UV work or modeling. Some users skipped a step by directly integrating the image generation API into the software. While it's a bit imperfect, the rate of evolution of the prompt-to-image will continue to supplement this workflow, allowing for a useful combination of 3D with 2D image generation.

Figure 1

Automated Material Creation

Creating materials and textures in 3ds Max can be time-consuming. AI tools integrated into the software help to automate this process. Some of these programs analyze real-world material samples and generate textures, streamlining the material creation process, ensuring consistency, and enhancing the overall quality of architectural visualizations. However, 3ds Max users will be able to introduce the benefit of a massive collection of custom materials and textures developed with the help of Adobe Sampler and Stager. Check out the screenshot of Figure 2 from their introduction on YouTube ( Users can build plugins with similar features directly into 3ds Max.

Figure 2

Smart Lighting Placement

In 3ds Max, users can implement AI to facilitate smart lighting placement by leveraging built-in features such as the Lighting Analysis tool and Photometric Lights. The Lighting Analysis tool allows architects and designers to assess lighting conditions. By analyzing factors like sunlight penetration and shadowing, the tool provides insights into fixtures' optimal placement and configuration to enhance visual quality while reducing energy consumption. Photometric Lights in 3ds Max offers realistic lighting simulation based on real-world lighting data. With AI, we can improve that process to analyze scene geometry and daylighting conditions to recommend appropriate Photometric Light settings, such as intensity, color temperature, and distribution, ensuring optimal lighting configurations for architectural visualizations. See the AI-produced Figure 3 for an example of a space that might be designed with these in mind.

Figure 3

Additionally, plugins like Arnold or V-Ray are advancing into AI, improving their abilities to provide advanced lighting optimization features and enabling professionals to achieve photorealistic renderings with minimal manual adjustments.

Enhanced Rendering with AI Denoising

Rendering complex scenes can be time-consuming. AI denoising algorithms in 3ds Max reduce render times by removing noise while preserving image details. This speeds up the rendering process, allowing professionals to iterate more quickly and deliver high-quality visualizations. However, supporting software continues to evolve, allowing users to implement even more options, such as rendering at lower resolution and upscaling through various AI-driven software: Gigapixel AI is one of the more popular.


AI integration with 3ds Max is transforming AEC workflows, empowering professionals to work more efficiently and deliver high-quality projects. From design optimization to rendering enhancement, AI-driven solutions are revolutionizing how AEC professionals approach their work. As AI technology advances, the potential for innovation in AEC workflows continues to grow, promising a future of faster, smarter, and more sustainable design processes.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Until a few years ago, it has been said that computers have advanced by an exponent of two nearly every two years on average. However, with the implementation of AI to support that development, who knows what we'll see: the rate of advancement in the next century should be extraordinary.

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