BOSTON – Autodesk
(www.autodesk.com) is at this year’s SIGGRAPH show with 3D tools that are
designed to “make the story come alive.” The company is debuting new versions
of its Maya and 3DS Max applications, both of which have been enhanced with
performance, productivity and pipeline efficiencies.
The 64-bit 3DS Max 9 will ship this October and is even
easier to use, with more intuitive tools that require less steps to achieve
desired results. The application also boasts more efficient rendering and a
layered blending system that can be added to custom rigs and controllers. Hair
and cloth tools have been enhanced, and users can now style hair in the
viewport. XAF files can be saved and loaded onto bipeds, allowing for the easy
transfer of information to and from custom rigs. Pricing for 3DS Max 9 will be
$3,495. An upgrade from Version 8 will cost $795.
Maya 8 is now shipping and offers a combination of 64-bit
support, multithreading and algorithmic optimizations that enable artists to
load massive datasets and interact with them more efficiently than before.
Additional features include the ability to override viewports with a user-definable
renderer (such as a game engine), support for high dynamic range (HDR) and
floating-point images, and support for interactive viewing of native and custom
Mental Ray shaders.
Pricing for Maya 8 is $1,999 for Maya Complete and $6,999
for Maya Unlimited. Upgrade pricing from Maya 7 starts at $899.
Animators from the Texas-based animation studio DNA were at
Autodesk’s SIGGRAPH press conference, recounting their use of Maya on the
recently-released feature Ant Bully. The
studio created some 1,700 shots for the film, its trailers, interstitials and
DVD bonus content. DNA spent two years on the film, creating its 13 main
characters and 18 supporting characters, among others. All of the animation and
rigging was done using Maya.