MARKET: Max dominates the video game development industry, is a popular 3D programs with hobbyists, and some companies use Max in film and television production as well.
KEY FEATURES: Max provides a workable modeling, animation, and rendering solution out of the box, but most of the system's power comes from the huge market for plug-ins and add-ons that are available for it, for example, plug-ins are available to render self-shadowing volumetric smoke, or to simulate sophisticated fluid dynamics, and Max was the first program to get plug-ins to render 3D scenes directly into Flash animations. As an industry standard for multi-media content development, Max has been the first to get plug-ins for tasks such as rendering directly to Flash animations. There are even several add-on rendering systems that give Max more powerful raytracing and global illumination capabilities, although the cost of adding high-end rendering capabilities to Max can make it as expensive as a more powerful animation package such as Softimage|XSI.
HISTORY: In the past, Discreet Logic was known to the professional graphics community for their Flint, Flame, and Inferno compositing systems, which were a combination of hardware and software running on the SGI platform. Discreet Logic was aquired by Autodesk, the makers of 3D Studio Max, shortly after Autodesk also aquired Lightscape. All of these products are now being merged into a broader 2D and 3D product line, under the shortened company name Discreet.