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3ds MaxFormerly known as "3D Studio," 3ds Max is a 3D modeling, animation and rendering program from the Media and Entertainment division of Autodesk, Inc., San Rafael, CA (www.discreet.com). Widely used in the areas of interactive games, visual effects for movies and industrial design models, the software lets you create 2D shapes that become the cross sections of the 3D models. The application includes an animation module that uses inverse kinematics, which links components so that they move together, adding to the effect of bringing a character to life. 3ds Max carried Autodesk's Discreet brand name until 2005. See Character Studio.