Autodesk Details 2015 Versions of 3D Animation Tools

Latest updates focus on improving usability and performance

Autodesk has announced that new versions of 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, and Softimage, as well as the 2015 Entertainment Creation Suite, will be released on April 14.

“Our strongest releases in many years, the 2015 releases put more creative power into the hands of artists,” said Chris Bradshaw, Autodesk senior vice president for media and entertainment, in a prepared statement. . “We have redesigned the main parts of our applications, focusing on performance, ease of use and new innovative tools, such as Bifrost, which simplify complex tasks. ”

Bifrost is a new procedural effects platform based on the older Naiad liquid simulation technology (which Autodesk purchased in 2012) designed to simplify complex simulation and rendering tasks in Maya 2015. Autodesk says liquid sims represent Bifrost’s initial application, so keep an eye out to see if the technology is used for other types of sims in future software releases.

Also new in Maya 2015 is the XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator for Hair, Fur and Foliage. Modeling capabilities are enhanced with further integration of NEX modeling technology introduced in Maya 2014. This release adds Voxel geodetic binding for character skinning; the new node-based ShaderFX interface for programming shaders, support for OpenSubdiv, improved polygon modeling tools and more UV options.

3ds max 2015 gets its own version of ShaderFX, as well as point cloud support for capturing real-world references, performance improvements in the viewport, a new scene explorer, support for ActiveShade for Nvidia mental ray and Python scripting support for custom pipeline integration.

MotionBuilder 2015 gets a new plug-in for the Microsoft Kinect motion capture device, animable depth-of-field and focus-tracking camera options, and a content library with 100 popular character animations in FBX format.

Mudbox 2015 has new Sculpt Layer and Paint Layer groups for organizing layers in complex scenes, including the ability to toggle visibility or duplicate multiple layers, and streamlined mesh refinement for retopology tasks. The round trip between Mudbox and Maya is new, with the ability to easily send UV and Ptex textures to one or more tiles.

Softimage 2015 receives a modest update, with Alembic caching, improvements to Softimage’s ICE platform, and the ability to animate weight maps in Syflex fabric simulations. Unfortunately, these are the last new features Softimage will ever see – as previously stated, Softimage is discontinued with this release and users are advised to take a free migration path to Maya or 3ds Max.


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