updated 07:15 pm EDT, Mon July 31, 2006
Maya 8 at Siggraph
Autodesk today launched Maya 8, the newest version of its Academy Award-winning 3D modeling, animation and rendering solution. Maya has been used to create 3D imagery for feature films, interactive games, broadcast graphics and industrial design. Expected to be showcased at Siggraph 2006 (booth no. 1796) this week, version 8 offers 64-bit support (Windows and Linux only), multithreading and algorithmic optimizations to load and use massive datasets more efficiently. The company also said that key areas of the software -- including skinning, draw tessellation, and subdivided polygon proxy meshes -- have been multi-threaded to scale with the number of processors or cores available. Other new features include the ability to override viewports with a user-defined renderer, an optimized mental ray 3.5 core, support for high dynamic range (HDR) and floating-point images, and more.
Maya 8 offers a host of productivity advancements, particularly for modeling and texturing. The Transfer Polygon Attributes feature enables modelers to transfer UVs, color per vertex (CPV), and vertex position information between surface meshes of differing topologies.
"This is particularly useful when working with two different versions of an object or character, e.g. one that is high-resolution and one that is low-resolution," the company said. In addition, new and improved workflows and tools such as Polygon Bridge, multiple edge loop insertion and enhanced UV layout help maximize productivity for the most common tasks.
Maya 8 also enables artists to better manage data when using multiple 2D and 3D packages within the production pipeline. The software offers application programming interface (API) extensions, enhancements to Autodesk FBX file exchange technology, the addition of interchangeable geometry caching between Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max animation software, and new interoperability with Autodesk Toxik collaborative compositing software.
May Complete is $2,000, while Maya Unlimited is $7,000. Upgrades from v6.5 are $1,250. The upgrade price from Maya 7 Complete to Maya 8 Complete is US $900, and the upgrade price from Maya 7 Unlimited to Maya 8 Unlimited is US $1,1250.