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Autodesk: Extending 3ds Max and Maya

3ds Max 2015 and Maya 2015 3D animation software have been updated by Autodesk with new extension releases aimed at simplifying the creation and flow of high-res assets throughout the animation pipeline and into post production.

3ds Max 2015 Extension 1 includes support for OpenSubdiv libraries open-sourced by Pixar, which allow artists to more easily represent subdivision surfaces and are designed to help take advantage of both parallel CPU and GPU architectures, leading to faster in-viewport performance for meshes with high subdivision levels. Support for Alembic was added to streamline the processing of complex animated and simulated data, and to facilitate the view of large datasets in the Nitrous Viewport, as well as transfer to other programs. New ShaderFX enhancements in the extension expand shading options and improve interoperability between 3ds Max, Maya and Maya LT.

Maya 2015 Extension 1 gains a customisable colour management system to help artists preserve creative intent throughout lighting and rendering workflows. The addition of Performance Profiler also allows technical directors to better gauge, measure and debug the performance of individual nodes, character rigs and Maya scenes. With targeted performance enhancements to XGen’s Arbitrary Primitive Generator, Autodesk aims to help Maya 2015 artists create and groom hair, fur, and feathers on characters, and populate landscapes with grass, trees, rocks and debris trails more efficiently. The Extension 1 also includes a Python API for the Viewport 2.0 hardware-accelerated display.

The extensions are currently available to customers with active Autodesk maintenance subscription contracts or desktop.