Autodesk has revealed the 2015 versions of its popular 3D animations tools: 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, Softimage, and the newest addition to the lineup, Maya LT, a 3D animation and modeling tool for professional indie game makers. Autodesk also announced the availability of the 2015 Entertainment Creation Suite for 3D animation and visual effects.
The 2015 releases put more creative power back into the hands of the artists, with redesigned core parts of the applications focusing on performance, ease-of-use, and innovative new tools, such as Bifrost, that make it simpler to do complex tasks.
Maya 2015 includes the Bifrost procedural effects platform, which provides an artist-friendly workflow for complex simulation and rendering tasks, initially applied to near-photorealistic liquids; XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator for the easy creation of richly detailed geometry, such as hair, fur, and foliage; Geodesic Voxel Binding for skinning characters; ShaderFX, a new node-based visual interface for shader programing; support for Pixar’s OpenSubdiv libraries; enhanced polygon modeling tools; and expanded UV options;
New in 3ds Max 2015 is ShaderFX; point cloud dataset support for reality-capture workflows; new viewport performance optimizations; a redesigned scene explorer so artists tcan manage large scenes; ActiveShade support for the Nvidia Mental Ray renderer; and new Python scripting support.
MotionBuilder 2015, meanwhile, focuses on motion-capture workflow, including a new plug-in for Microsoft Kinect to capture body movements; Animatable Depth of Field and Follow Focus camera options to re-create elements of real-world cinematography; and a library with 100 commonly required character animations in FBXformat.
Also, Mudbox 2015 contains streamlined mesh refinement for retopologizing and new Sculpt Layer and Paint Layer groups for organizing and identifying particular layers in complex scenes. Softimage 2015 boasts Alembic caching, enhancements to the ICE platform, and animatable weight maps in Syflex cloth. (This will be the last release of Softimage.) Maya LT 2015, cost-effective 3D animation and modeling software for professional indie game makers, offers cloud integration through the Maya LT interface; Unfold 3D for creation of UV maps from 3D models; and substance material integration for applying materials created in the Allegorithmic Substance Designer procedural texture creation tool to 3D models.
Maya, 3ds Max, Entertainment Creation Suites, and Maya LT are available in two configurations: as a perpetual license or desktop subscription.