Thinkbox XMesh™ For 3ds Max 2013 – 2018

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Work Faster, Smarter, Easier.

XMesh™ is the new best friend to any artist burdened with slow or unworkable 3D assets, or faced with the need to transfer data between creative applications and maintain file functionality. From animators to architects, anyone working with large files in Autodesk® 3ds Max®, Autodesk® Maya® or The Foundry® NUKE® will benefit from adding XMesh™ to their pipeline.

 Image courtesy of Spatial Harmonics Group

Image courtesy of Spatial Harmonics Group


The XMesh plug-in saves animated scene geometry in a compressed format – yielding smaller files for faster loading, manipulation and sharing across facilities and application. Artists can quickly open, share or receive CG assets from other internal departments or external facilities.

 XMesh was designed for and has been used successfully in high-end film visual effects production since 2006.

XMesh was designed for and has been used successfully in high-end film visual effects production since 2006.

“You can’t put a price on something that makes life much easier. XMesh made things easy and did it right. We were able to bring objects in and out between packages with no worries. What XMesh can cache is mind blowing.”

— Will Wallace, Senior FX Artist, Hydraulx


Among the various saving options, XMesh has the ability to cache out frames as a single mesh, rather than thousands of separate scene objects, facilitating much faster interaction with 3ds Max and Maya.

XMesh™ is multi-threaded so it saves and loads scenes faster than alternative solutions and produces data that performs exceptionally well in the viewport.


Lossless data compression coupled with bypassing the creative host application’s whole processing stack ensures that even though the XMesh file is small, it retains all the data of the original file.

Data channels are stored separately and can be loaded individually as needed, further improving performance in face and vertex-only modes.




As a file format, XMesh also makes moving geometry data between applications speedy and simple.

Data is always preserved and identical, so artists can move mesh assets back and forth between applications quickly, efficiently and exactly – every time.


XMesh files load faster than original scenes and are already pre-processed, eliminating the need to re-calculate complex animation rigs, particles or rigid body simulations for every frame during rendering.

Through XMesh™, a heavy 3ds Max or Maya file that takes several minutes to load could become a lightweight scene that takes only a few seconds to load thanks to the externalization of the geometry assets. This can make a tremendous difference, especially when compounded across many workstations or render nodes.

 Companies like Blur, Frantic Films, Hydraulx, Pixomondo, Prime Focus and Scanline VFX have successfully employed XMesh in their pipelines.

Companies like Blur, Frantic Films, Hydraulx, Pixomondo, Prime Focus and Scanline VFX have successfully employed XMesh in their pipelines.

“XMesh is the backbone of the interchange pipeline between 3ds Max and Maya at ScanlineVFX. It is fast, solid and the open structure allows the seamless integration into our pipeline,”

— Christian Deiss, PipelineTD, ScanlineVFX.


Production requires less storage space because XMesh files are significantly smaller than alternative geometry baking solutions, benefiting both local and remote rendering.

Unchanging channel data can be shared between frames, eliminating over-time data duplication.


Cached XMesh files are easier to store and access for future projects. Since XMesh assets can be tweaked, retimed, edited, scaled and warped, artists can create a malleable library of work.

For example, water splashes from a commercial job might be re-purposed as footsteps in a river for a feature film. A character animation could be duplicated hundreds of times and offset in time and space to quickly produce crowds and so on.

“I used XMesh on the Hellraiser: Origins teaser recently, and loved it. It offered a robust, yet controllable approach to creating hundreds of digital extras in 3DS Max that would not have been possible without it. XMesh provided me with a caching system that allowed me to create over 600 animated characters in a matter of hours. XMesh is a beast!”

— Joël LeLièvre, CG Generalist/FX Artist, Delicate Machines


  • Use Deadline® to cache your complex simulations or character rigs to XMesh faster using multiple render farm machines.
  • Further accelerate Frost using XMesh to bake pre-calculated animations and speed up playback and rendering.
  • Manipulate XMesh caches using Genome MX to modify or isolate geometry based on data channels.