Autodesk announces updates to Maya & 3ds Max
March 27, 2024

Autodesk announces updates to Maya & 3ds Max

SAN FRANCISCO — In an effort to bolster collaboration and creativity, Autodesk has put connected workflows and time-saving toolsets at the front of its latest software developments. The latest releases introduce OpenColorIO support in 3ds Max, LookdevX enhancements in Maya, and more robust Open Universal Scene Description integration in both tools for improved collaboration. 

OpenColorIO is now the default color management mode for new scenes in 3ds Max. Key enhancements include full color management integration for the VertexPaint tool and the ability to designate color space for output files in the bake to texture tool.

Artists can realize seamless material portability with significant enhancements to LookdevX, Autodesk’s agnostic material authoring plug-in supporting OpenUSD. New workflows include the ability to work within an active Maya session using either native USD or MaterialX shading graphs, or both, as well as new data structures for more robust file I/O workflows. 

3ds Max USD 0.7.0 now enables importing animations, such as animated lights, cameras and BlendShapes. Maya USD 0.27 brings the ability to load or unload multiple prims simultaneously and use the Universal Manipulator for prim manipulation. 

Significant enhancements have been made to the Hydra viewer, and users can now engage in the plug-in's development on GitHub.

A new smart extrude tool, motion trail editor and dope sheet will allow Maya modelers and animators to achieve new levels of productivity. And in 3ds Max, artists can achieve professional results faster thanks to improvements to tools like retopology.

In addition to Maya’s smart extrude, dope sheet and motion trail editor features, new procedural tools in Bitfrost will help automate mundane tasks. 3ds Max improvements include retopology enhancements and global search functionality. There has also been a GPU renderer overhaul in Arnold that brings multiple improvements in startup time and rendering speed.  

Autodesk Flow, the M&E cloud solution designed to connect people, workflows and data across the entire production lifecycle, sees improvements as well. Effective immediately, the Autodesk product formerly known as ShotGrid will be renamed Flow Production Tracking, while Moxion will now be called Flow Capture. Those who have already used ShotGrid and Moxion will continue to enjoy the full range of capabilities they’ve come to expect, and new features are coming that will streamline workflows and better connect creative teams from on-set through final delivery. Flow Capture customers will now experience a more intuitive UI that further accelerates creative workflows, as well as a new integration with Avid Media Composer in the near future that will allow editors and post teams to get to work the moment shooting wraps. In addition, Flow Production Tracking customers will soon experience new AI-powered scheduling capabilities.