Another year has passed, and we have a new release of 3ds Max! 3ds Max 2018 was released today, and should be available soon in your Autodesk Account access. The online help is also already rolled out.For new features, see What's New in 3ds Max 2018.
For the 3ds Max SDK changes, see What's New: 3ds Max 2018 SDK. As in the past, the SDK is included in the install folder structure. Typically, it is here: .\x64\Tools\MAXSDK\SDK_3dsMax2018.msi
Some SDK highlights:
The first thing to note from the C++ programming perspective, is that the compiler has been bumped to Visual Studio 2015 update 3. You are probably already there with Visual Studio 2015, but be sure to check and update to ensure compatibility. Even though 3ds Max 2017 was using Visual Studio 2015 (RTM), you will have to rebuild any plugins. The 3ds Max 2018 release is not binary compatible with 2017.
Qt is also majorly bumped in 3ds Max 2018 and is now using Qt 5.6.2.
You will also notice that all the samples in the SDK have been updated to use the Parameter Block 2 standard. There's a new Parameter Block Porting Guide in the docs. Part of this is to encourage everyone with Parameter Block 1 definitions, to move to Parameter Block 2. In the future the old Parameter block 1 will be deprecated.
Two new features that came recently are the Data Channel Modifier, and the Bezier Trajectories. Both have some new SDK access in the 3ds Max 2018 SDK. Additionally, there were some minor UI API changes, and also around the Rendering APIs. See the help for details.
Other programming environments:
For 3ds Max 2018 MAXScript changes, check-out What's New in MAXScript in 3ds Max 2018.
For 3ds Max 2018 Python changes, check-out What's New in the 3ds Max 2018 Python API.
There were also a few minor changes to the 3ds Max 2018 .NET API assemblies. Mainly cleaning up signatures, and other miscellaneous fixes.
Happy coding with 3ds Max 2018!