Earlier this year, Autodesk-the maker of popular 3D system 3ds Max-acquired Alias, the developer of higher-end 3D tool Maya, writes Carolyn Giardina. Rather than fold them into one package, Autodesk plans to demonstrate that it is committed to bright futures for both products with new versions of each.
Therefore, the company has announced new 64-bit versions of Autodesk 3ds Max 9 and Autodesk Maya 8. To address next-generation 3D production challenges, both 3ds Max 9 and Maya 8 focus on improving performance and productivity while delivering pipeline efficiencies to help customers deal with ever-increasing data sets.
New features in 3ds Max 9 include optimisations in wireframe and edge display, enabling faster feedback within the viewport. Rendering is also improved with the mental ray 3.5 renderer. The new material shaders and the physical sun and sky system allow artists to input geographic locations, date and time to obtain real-world lighting within a scene. The new version is scheduled to become available in October.
Meanwhile, the latest version of Maya 8 has been designed to improve workflow efficiency by enhancing flexibility and customisability. It delivers scalable multi-threading in areas of the software, including skinning, draw tessellation and subdivided polygon proxy meshes. The goal is to accelerate animation, modelling and rendering processes and reduce the time required to perform basic tasks.