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Wong Sui Yang.


A project was made to improve the user experience for Autodesk 3DS Max with the intention to improve the workflow in the 3D modeling pipeline.

For a more detailed breakdown and analysis of the entire project, I welcome you to download the analysis document provided in the button below. In there you can find out the different persona, user testing tasks, and in-depth progress of how the project came about till the end product.


As the goal of this project is to optimize the workflow when it comes to 3D modeling in 3Ds Max. We list down improvements such as:

  • Reducing the need to move out of the viewport to select tools

  • Customizability that is based on each individual preferences​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

We started off by creating different user personas to identify the type of audience that we would cater to. Next is to make a flowchart to break down the workflow that a user will need to go through from start to finish when modeling in the software. 

As I have experienced when Autodesk Maya changed their UI interface and many of its shortcuts, I understand the pain of having a huge change in the UI interface when for a veteran user. Thus, one of the most important things, when I was trying to improve the workflow, was to make sure that whatever I am trying to implement would be integrated nicely with the old interface so that veteran users would not need to relearn the entire software.

Flow Chart

After the flow chart has been completed, I did some research on different 3D software that I would often use when I was an animation student to look at how a user would wish certain things were placed. I realized that the need to constantly move out of the viewport to perform certain tasks or use certain tools was actually quite counter-productive. 

The best way was to keep all the workflow within the viewport as much as possible. Therefore, I thought that introducing a customizable radial menu would be a very good way to solve the problems that were identified.

Wireframes - Radial Menu

I decided to go with a 2 layer radial menu where there is a primary radial menu that by default would have all the common tools and functionality that would usually need the user to go into other areas of the software to select or tweak. 

The base idea is to have this radial menu to be modular enough so that it could be applied to many different areas of the software where there is a form of "viewport" that exist such as:

  • Modeling Viewport

  • UV unwrap Viewport

  • Material Viewport

After the wireframes has been completed, we created a list of tasks based on our experiences with the software. As some of the team are more familiar with the 3D modeling process, we were able to come up with tests that is balanced enough for beginners and veterans alike.

High Resolution Mockups

High-resolution mockups are done based on the set of playtesting task lists that was created to simulate the basic workflow of a typical 3D artist then they are modeling:

  • Create a cube, a sphere, and, a cylinder

  • Freeze transformation of the sphere and cylinder

  • Isolate the cube and set the cube to have 3 lengths, width, and height segments

  • Add an "Edit Poly" modifier to the cube using the radial menu

  • Extrude any face and chamfer any edges on the cube

  • Add an "Unwrap UVW" modifier to the objects

  • Go into peel mode and stitch the UVs to optimize UV shells

  • Open the UV Editor and pack the UV islands so that it is within the texture size

  • Add a material into the material editor and assign it to the newly unwrapped object

  • Un-isolate the cube and export the entire model into an FBX format


Problem Statment: 3Ds Max is a very useful tool but the learning curve is very high when it comes to beginners and there are many steps in the 3D modeling process that can be streamlined.

This project is created as part of a UI/UX module in Digipen where we were given 6 weeks to come up with high-resolution mockups by re-designing the UI or UX of software of our choice. As a form of challenge to ourselves, my team and I decided to take on streamlining 3Ds Max's UX when it comes to the 3D modeling pipeline.


:   05

:   06 Weeks

[Made With]

Roles & Contribution

UI Artist

UX Designer

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