Autodesk® Maya® 3D animation software delivers a comprehensive creative feature set with tools for animation, modeling, simulation, rendering, matchmoving, and compositing on a highly extensible production platform. For visual effects, game development, post production, or other 3D animation projects, Maya offers toolsets to help meet demanding production requirements. Maya 2015 adds tools that help facilitate parallel workflows and complexity handling; powerful new creative toolsets; and productivity enhancements to help you create higher quality content quickly.
Autodesk Maya 2015
Building on its foundation at the core of many modern production pipelines, Autodesk® Maya® 2015 software offers next-generation display technology, accelerated modeling workflows, robust new systems for handling complex data, and inspiring new creative toolsets to help content creators stay ahead of their competition. With an expanded, integrated modeling feature set that helps increase modeling efficiency; an intuitive new Grease Pencil for blocking out and marking up animation; and innovative new Paint Effects surface and volume attributes, Maya 2015 helps both improve productivity and put creativity back at the artists’ fingertips. Moreover, the Maya® DX11Shader, together with enhancements to Viewport 2.0, enable artists to work in a high-quality real-time environment that closely matches final output. And, with the Scene Assembly tools, File Path Editor, and URI support that make building and managing large and complex worlds easier, Maya 2015 helps artists, TDs, and developers create the stunning content they need to exceed the expectations of today’s sophisticated audiences.
Top Features and Benefits
Next-Gen Viewport Display and Shading
Artists can now take advantage of the power of Microsoft® DirectX® 11 software to help create and edit high-quality assets and images in less time, with the new Maya DX11Shader. Using the next generation of viewport display and hardware rendering technology, DX11Shader offers artists real-time, centralized, easy-to-control shader effects: crack-free tessellation, vector displacement maps, translucence, reflections, and shadows. The DX11Shader is built with a new API that exposes DirectX 11 natively in Maya with HLSL (High Level Shading Language) support. DX11Shader is only available on the Microsoft® Windows® 64-bit operating system.
Accelerated Modeling Workflow
Building on technology from the well-known NEX toolset from dRaster, Maya 2015 delivers an expanded, integrated modeling feature set that offers an accelerated workflow for modeling. A new Modeling Toolkit panel presents a streamlined environment that enables artists to access new selection, transformation, and mesh-editing tools in one place for increased efficiency. With topology based Symmetry tools that enable artists to work on posed meshes; a Quad Draw tool that facilitates retopology workflows; and a Multi-Cut tool that combines both Split/Cut Faces and Insert Edge Loop tools in a single operation, the Modeling Toolkit helps artists work faster and achieve higher quality results. Moreover, the overall improvements to workflow efficiency, accuracy, and speed help make polygon modeling in Maya 2015 an enhanced experience. In addition to the new Modeling Toolkit panel, a new Polygon Reduction algorithm offers a faster and more efficient method for reducing mesh complexity by removing unneeded vertices without affecting the object’s basic shape.
Scene Assembly Tools for Smarter Data
Creating large, complex worlds is now easier in Maya 2015. Building on the Open Data platform, the Alembic open source exchange format, and File Referencing, Scene Assembly tools provide a mechanism for representing production assets in Maya as discrete elements, each with complete support for multiple representations. Artists can easily swap between different representations for example: varying levels of detail, enabling them to select the most appropriate compromise between fidelity and performance for the task at hand. Edits can be applied, animated, or queried at any level in the scene assembly hierarchy, while overrides on Assemblies can be tracked via an improved Edits system, helping facilitate collaborative workflows across production departments. A robust API enables studios to customize the toolset to create completely proprietary solutions.
Now artists can quickly block out and mark up animation directly within the 3D scene using one of the most natural tools available—the Grease Pencil. Artists can draw directly into the viewport to capture poses at key frames, and view in-between transitions as cross-fades. The pencil strokes are automatically stored as an image plane sequence, enabling artists to use them as reference while creating 3D animation. In addition, directors and other stakeholders can use the Grease Pencil to mark up performances and record their input in the form of notes for their animators, without themselves requiring knowledge of the 3D application.
New Paint Effects Surface and Volume Attributes
Artists can now control how Paint Effects strokes react with surfaces, volumes, and each other. Surface Snap helps make sure that tubes grow from the nearest point on the surface at their base. Surface Attract causes tubes to wrap around or cling to a surface. Surface Collide helps prevent tubes from interpenetrating surfaces, while Make Collide can be used to make Paint Effects strokes appear to be pushed by a surface. Occupation is based on a Space Colonization algorithm that helps avoid self-collisions, and can be used to cause tubes to grow over a surface or into a volume. Together, these attributes can be used to more quickly and easily create a wide range of natural effects that would be very difficult and time-consuming to create with conventional methods. Just a few examples are: Vascular networks, electrical sparks, flowing water, clinging vines, contained plant growth, and footsteps on grass.
Focus on Workflow
With the understanding that small things can make a big difference, Maya 2015 addresses certain workflow obstacles identified as high priority by customers. Highlights are: support for respecting surface curvature when inserting or offsetting edge loops; an enhanced Bridge Tool that enables the merging of adjacent edges; and attribute filtering in the Attribute Spreadsheet.
Viewport 2.0 Enhancements
The high-performance Viewport 2.0 now supports many more native Maya shading nodes: the 2D Texture nodes Bulge, Cloth, Mountain, Noise, and Ramp; the 3D Texture node Snow; and the Utility nodes Add Double Linear, Clamp, Condition, Contrast, Mult Double Linear, Plus Minus Average, Sampler Info, Set Range, and Vector Product. In addition, textures are now displayed at significantly higher quality, thanks to new support for improved texture filtering. Moreover, the mental ray viewport UI is now implemented in Viewport 2.0, so artists can view image-based lighting spheres and photon map visualization
Extended Clip Matching in Trax
Clip matching has been extended in Maya 2015 to support clips driving complex rigs with IK and constraints, as well as FK skeletons, with the ability to define multiple offset objects. Animators can now interactively modify clip rotation and translation pivots, resulting in improved clip blending. Workflows have also been streamlined and simplified.
Node Editor Enhancements
A number of enhancements to the Node Editor—grid display, grid snapping, custom grid and background colors, better hotkeys, and improved name display—combine to provide an improved user experience and greater productivity.
File Path Editor
The new File Path Editor in Maya 2015 enables artists to quickly diagnose broken file paths and to fix them in a clean and easy-to-use UI. The editor lists the nodes that use external files: textures, image planes, references, and audio files. When a file path is broken, the artist can quickly relocate the file – or search recursively for the file within a directory structure. Paths can even be set to nonexistent files, in preparation for hand off to another user who may have a different directory structure.
New URI support in Maya 2015 enables Maya to access files on non-standard file paths: web URLs, database entries, cloud storage, Globally Unique Identifiers (GUIDs), or certain other proprietary storage schemes. Used in conjunction with the new scene assembly tools, this offers a powerful new way of working with non-local data. URI support has been implemented as an API, so developers can teach Maya about any URI scheme required.
Joint Centering and Symmetry
Artists can now automatically center joints in a model using the new Snap to Projected Center snapping mode. This is particularly useful for creating skeleton joints and joint chains, but it can be used when creating or manipulating any object type. In addition, new options in the Joint Tool settings enable artists to automatically create symmetric joints and joint chains
Support for the PySide Python Qt binding provides another option for developers wishing to develop graphical user interface components using Python™ programming language. PySide is included by default with the Maya installation
Improved Inline Help
Artists can get up to speed with new features more easily with a new option to highlight them in the user interface. In addition, in-view messages are now displayed in the Maya view panel for a number of tools, modes, and operations, in order to provide readily-accessible help in context
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