Autodesk® Maya® 2013 software delivers practical toolsets to help facilities create and maintain the modern, open pipelines they need to address today’s challenging productions. Powerful new toolsets for dynamic simulation, animation, and rendering help artists realize new levels of creativity while offering the enhanced productivity that will help keep them on schedule and within budget. In addition, the Open Data initiative introduced in Maya 2013 helps facilitate data-centric, nonlinear workflows. With it, content creators can work in parallel to finish faster and more easily handle the massive complexity requirements they face.
Top Features and Benefits
More realistic hair and other curve-based dynamics are now possible with the new Maya® nHair module for the Maya® Nucleus unified simulation framework. Now fully integrated with other Nucleus modules, nHair can interact bidirectionally with both Maya® nCloth and Maya® nParticles, enabling artists to create complex simulations with multiple dynamic entities all working together. Artists can use a common system of fields, forces, and constraints for all Nucleus modules, helping lower the learning curve as new modules are introduced.
Viewport 2.0 Enhancements
With the addition of high-quality depth sorting, together with support for image planes and animation ghosting, Viewport 2.0 now offers a more functionally complete high-performance, high- quality viewport. With Viewport 2.0, artists can evaluate their work in a higher fidelity interactive environment in order to make better creative decisions. In addition, the same hardware rendering technology can be used to batch render larger-than-screen-size frames, producing high-quality animatics and previsualizations in less time.
New Node Editor
A new Node Editor with three different levels of detail helps artists and technical directors to more easily create, edit, and debug node networks. Drag-and-drop connection editing reduces dependence on the Connection Editor, enabling nodes to be rewired in a more intuitive environment, while color coding for different data types provides helpful information at a glance.
Artists can now use the high-performance open source AMD Bullet Physics engine to simulate both soft and rigid bodies in a single system. Featuring discrete and continuous 3D collision detection, Bullet enables artists working in both game development and visual effects to create highly realistic simulations of cloth, rope, deformable objects, and ragdoll skeletons. Bullet is available on
Microsoft® Windows® (64-bit only), Linux®, and Mac OS® X operating systems; OpenCL
acceleration on Windows and Linux offers additional performance benefits on those platforms.
Heat Map Skinning
Initial binding of geometry to skeletons can now be more accurate, requiring less manual refinement from the artist, 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.
Trax Clip Matching
Artists can now more easily visualize how motions within two or more Trax clips match in order to adjust how they blend together. Clip Ghosts enable animators to view the start and end frames of clips as skeletal wireframes in the 3D view; clips can be manually matched with the help of these visual cues, or automatically matched using a choice of options for translation and rotation.
Supporting the new Open Data initiative, Maya artists can now read and write the Alembic open computer graphics interchange framework format. Codeveloped by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd., Alembic distills complex animated and simulated data into application- independent baked geometry. As a result, massive datasets can be more easily passed between disciplines—as an example, animation and lighting—helping reduce the overhead and loss of interactivity associated with transferring fully editable scene data.
ATOM Animation Transfer
Now artists can transfer animation between characters via the new ATOM (Animation Transfer Object Model) offline file format—another element of the new Open Data initiative. ATOM natively supports keyframes, constraints, animation layers, and Set Driven Keys, enables artists to more easily repurpose existing animation data as new characters are created.
File Referencing Workflow Enhancements
Artists can now more easily segment their scenes to work in parallel and better manage complexity, thanks to targeted improvements to both the user interface and the underlying architecture for ile referencing that contribute to the new Open Data initiative. As a result, file referencing is now a more natural and intuitive part of the Maya workflow.
Graph Editor Enhancements
Animators will appreciate the increased efficiency resulting from enhancements to the Graph Editor: a new interactive Retime tool, and a stepped preview mode for pose-to-pose animation.
A number of enhancements to the HumanIK® feature set help animators more easily take advantage of its powerful bipedal character rigging and animation tools: the ability to map and retarget HumanIK animation to and from a custom rigged character; a unified character context for increased usability; character views that can be customized to fit specific requirements; continuous rig alignment during manipulation and playback; and greater control over Roll Bone influences.
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