updated 10:30 am EDT, Tue August 12, 2008
Maya 2009 announced
Autodesk has announced Maya 2009, the next version of its 3D modeling, animation and effects suite. Features in the new version are expected to include a "Maya Assets" toolset, which will let people bundle a particulate set of nodes into a single container, and view that data in a means suited to an artist's assignment. Users will also have access to a new "Render Proxy" feature in mental ray, and should see faster performance thanks to improvements in algorithms and multi-threading.
Autodesk has moreover introduced a new layering system for animation, and an improved Render Pass toolset, which should allow more precision in render output and better integration with Autodesk's Toxik compositing app. Lastly, an nParticles module generates effects like smoke, liquids and dust, while Muscle simulates both the movements of muscles and their effects on skin.
Maya 2009 is expected to ship in 32- and 64-bit editions in October, though the Mac versions will only be 32-bit, in spite of requiring Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later. Maya Complete 2009 will cost $1,995, while Maya Unlimited will cost $4,995; upgrades from the 2008 editions are being set at $899 and $1,249, respectively.