updated 05:55 pm EDT, Mon August 6, 2007
Autodesk debuts Maya 2008
Autodesk on Monday unveiled Maya 2008, the latest revision of its modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering software. Maya 2008 focuses on providing improved workflow efficiency for artists in the film, TV, game development, design, and manufacturing industries. Highlights of Maya 2008 include increased polygon modeling efficiency, overall performance improvements, tools for creating better looking games, and increased flexibility for character setup as well as animation. Autodesk hopes to ship the English version of Maya 2008 in September for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows systems. Maya 2008 Complete is priced at $2,000, while Maya 2008 Unlimited is will cost $7,000. Upgrade pricing from Maya 8.5 Complete to Maya 2008 Complete is $900, and the upgrade price from Maya 8.5 Unlimited to Maya 2008 Unlimited is $1,250. [updated]
"Artists need production-proven solutions that they can truly depend on," explained Marc Petit, Autodesk Media & Entertainment senior vice president. "With Autodesk Maya 2008, we have placed considerable emphasis on raising the reliability bar higher than ever before. Designed for multi-core workstations, the 2008 release provides artists with an optimized application that includes new creative tools in modeling and animation to help artist meet demands quickly and easily."
Maya software was used to create various famous projects, including the hit movie titles Spider-Man 3 and Pan's Labyrinth. Maya also helped bring games like Resistance: Fall of Man and John Woo Presents Stranglehold to store shelves.
Increased polygon modeling efficiency
Maya 2008 enables artists to quickly create, manipulate and place polygons that form highly detailed characters as well as environments via a streamlined "Mesh Smooth" workflow, a new "Slide Edge" feature, and improvements to Booleans, Bridge, Bevel, and other tools.
Overall performance rise
Overall enhancements to the latest iteration of Maya speeds up the application with multi-threading and algorithmic improvements. The "Poly Reduce" function is up to 30 times faster for a 22,000 face poly mesh, according to Autodesk, and "Poly Smooth" is up to four times faster. The Maya nCloth cache performs up to three times faster on a cache of 10,000 vertices, while mental ray translation for a 20,000 mesh instanced 2,000 times over is 20 times faster.
Better game tools
Maya 2008 is better equipped to create and display content destined for the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles. The application offers support for DirectX HLSL shaders in the Maya viewport, a new hardware shader API, enhancements to the high-quality render view, accelerated mental ray texture baking performance, and more.
Maya 2008 delivers improved skinning and rigging toolsets, including new, non-destructive skin editing capabilities. The new enhancements allow animators and Technical Directors to efficiently explore ideas, manage iterations, and get results at an accelerated rate.