The Autodesk 2013 product line is here.
As an Autodesk Maya user, I’ve been hoping for some extraordinary news for the 2013 release. I’ve often found myself feeling slightly handicapped during projects because of crashes or other documented bugs. Especially when working with Mia_Materials, there’s a chance that something will go wrong when you’re trying to build custom shaders using nodes that were originally built for standard materials. Maya 2013 comes with updated, yet only a few new features. So far the information about the release is quite scarce so this post should not be seen in any way as a review.
The features being presented in Maya 2013 are:
Heat Map Skinning
Enjoy a more accurate initial binding of geometry to skeletons in Maya 2013, thanks to a new Heat Map Skinning method that:
- Is better able to assign skin to the intended bone as opposed to an adjacent but unrelated one.
- Requires less manual refinement.
Trax Clip Matching
Visualize how Trax clips overlap in Maya 2013 to build complete character performances from individual animations.Clip Ghosts enable you to view the start and end frames of clips as skeletal wireframes in the 3D view. Match clips with the help of these visual cues, or automatically, using a choice of options for translation and rotation.
Atom Animation Transfer
Transfer animation between characters via the new ATOM (Animation Transfer Object Model) offline file format, in order to repurpose existing animation data as new characters are created. ATOM natively supports keyframes, constraints, animation layers, and Set Driven Keys.
Create stunning, highly realistic hair and other curve-based dynamics with the new Maya® nHair module for the Maya® Nucleus unified simulation framework.
Create complex simulations with multiple dynamic entities all working together, with the ability to interact bidirectionally with both Maya® nCloth and Maya® nParticles.
Use a common system of fields, forces, and constraints for all Nucleus modules.
Simulate both soft and rigid bodies in a single system, with the high-performance, open source AMD Bullet Physics engine.
- Create highly realistic simulations of cloth, rope, deformable objects, and ragdoll skeletons.
- Take advantage of discrete and continuous 3D collision detection.
Read and write the Alembic open source computer graphics interchange framework format, initially developed in 2010 by teams from Sony Pictures Imageworks and Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd.
- Distill complex animated and simulated data into application-independent baked geometry.
- Reduce the overhead and loss of interactivity associated with transferring fully editable scene data between disciplines.
New Node Editor
Create, edit, and debug node networks more easily with the new Node Editor.
- Choose from three levels of detail.
- Rewire nodes in a more intuitive environment than the Connection Editor with drag-and-drop connection editing.
- Distinguish different data types at a glance through color coding.
Viewport 2.0 Enhancements
Evaluate your work in a higher fidelity interactive environment in order to make better creative decisions. Viewport 2.0 now offers a more functionally complete high-performance, high-quality viewport, featuring:
- High-quality depth sorting
- Support for image planes and animation ghosting
- The ability to use the same hardware rendering technology to batch render larger-than-screen-size frames, producing high-quality animatics and previsualizations in less time.
Some other things that have received updates are:
- Graph Editor Enhancements – Retime Tool, stepped preview for Pose to Pose animation.
- Human IK Enhancements
- Data & Scene Management Tools
Autodesk has published a few videos to their Youtube channel to demonstrate some of these features:
Just as for the release of Maya 2012, I feel that the ones that will benefit as an individual from upgrading, are TD’s, animators and dynamic/fluid simulators. Just as last year, only minor things were done to satisfy a customer whose focus lies within modeling, texturing or rendering. I can think of multiple features that other 3D applications such as Max and Softimage have received during the years that are conspicuously missing from Maya. And as for rendering, what is the official status of iRay rendering? As much as I love Maya and can’t think of any reason to switch to 3ds Max or Softimage [yet], I can’t help but feel that they are putting all energy into developing new things when they should be fixing what is broken and enhancing existing tools. Increased Mia_Material node compability would be a good place to start. Right now the only thing that really makes me excited about Maya 2013 is the new Node Editor/Hypershade. I’m hoping that additional good stuff will surface as Autodesk starts telling us more.
Time will tell if this is another Maya 2012 or not.
Autodesk [Official website]
Top Reasons to buy Maya [.pdf]
Autodesk 2012 Showreel [Youtube]