The Extension for Autodesk® Maya® 2014 software brings you the power of some of the industry’s best technology, with new tools and enhancements that help you more easily create the complex, high-quality assets required by today’s demanding productions. With the XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator for creating hair, fur, feathers, grass, foliage, and other instanced data; a new retopology toolset; new robust and efficient Boolean operations; and enhancements to the Bullet physics plug-in, the Extension for Maya 2014 delivers increased productivity to modelers, animators, and effects artists.
XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator
With the extension for Maya 2014, you get access to the XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator technology used by Walt Disney Animation Studios in the hit animated films Tangled, and Bolt, and by Pixar Animation Studios in Toy Story 3. XGen enables you to generate curves, spheres, and custom geometry on the surface of polygon meshes in order to create and groom hair, fur, and feathers on characters, and quickly populate large landscapes with grass, foliage, trees, rocks, and debris trails. With geometry created procedurally at render time, XGen enables you to handle large amounts of instanced data that would slow down a system if loaded in memory. The rendered effect can be previewed interactively in the Maya Viewport 2.0 hardware-accelerated display; you can control the appearance and behavior of the primitives by setting attributes, painting maps, creating expressions, or using the included XGroom interactive grooming toolset; long hair can be controlled by creating guide hairs, which can be simulated using the Maya nHair toolset.
New Retopology Toolset
The NEX modeling technology first integrated in Autodesk Maya 2014 software has been further extended to offer a streamlined workflow for retopologizing meshes; the Quad Draw tool now integrates a new Relax and Tweak feature with Soft Selection, and a new interactive Edge Extend tool. You can now optimize your meshes for cleaner deformations and better performance from a single toolset within Maya.
Maya now employs a robust and efficient new library for faster and more reliable Boolean operations on polygon geometry. The new technology has been extensively tested and optimized on a number of complex high-resolution datasets, and delivers dependable results on open surfaces.
Bullet Physics Enhancements
The Extension for Maya 2014 delivers several enhancements to the Bullet plug-in that enables you to use the open source Bullet physics engine to create large-scale, highly realistic dynamic and kinematic simulations within Maya. Delivered in conjunction with AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), the Bullet plug-in now offers the ability to create compound collision shapes from multiple meshes; produces better collisions with concave shapes, thanks to a new Hierarchical Approximate Convex Decomposition (HACD) algorithm; integrates with Maya Forces; and support rigid sets for increased scalability.
The Extension for Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2014 software delivers new tools to help you create more compelling, differentiated entertainment content and design visualizations. With the ability to import and visualize massive point cloud datasets, new support for Python scripting, and a Stereo Camera feature set, the Extension for 3ds Max 2014 helps you take advantage of today’s evolving technologies to bring better visual experiences to your audiences.
Point Cloud Support
You can now create more precise models from real-world references, with the new ability to import and visualize massive datasets captured from reality as point clouds. If you are a modeler, you can view point clouds in true color in the 3ds Max viewport, interactively adjust the extent of the cloud displayed, and create new geometry in context by snapping to point cloud vertices. Support for the .rcp and .rcs file formats enables you to take advantage of a connected reality capture workflow with other Autodesk solutions: Autodesk® ReCap™ Studio, AutoCAD®, Autodesk® Revit®, and Autodesk® Inventor® software.
If you are a technical director or a developer, new support for the popular and easy-to-learn Python® scripting language can help you extend and customize Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2014 software, and more easily integrate it into a Python-based pipeline. You can execute Python scripts from MAXScript and the 3ds Max command line; in addition, you can access a subset of the 3ds Max API (application programming interface) from Python scripts, including the ability to evaluate MAXScript code.
You can now create more engaging entertainment content and design visualizations with the addition of a new Stereo Camera feature set. Exclusively available through the Autodesk Exchange* application store (apps.exchange.autodesk.com) to Autodesk customers on active Autodesk® Subscription, the Stereo Camera plug-in** enables you to create stereoscopic camera rigs. Multiple display modes offer Left Eye, Right Eye, Center, or Anaglyph views in the Nitrous viewport, while in-scene 3D volumes help with the adjustment of valid stereo zones. In addition to a Passive Stereo viewing mode, if you have a recent AMD FirePro™ graphics card and a supported HD3D Active Stereo monitor or equivalent, you can take advantage of Active Stereo viewing.
The Extension for Autodesk® Mudbox® 2014 software offers new support for real-world production workflows, helping streamline the mesh refinement process and increase productivity. You can now create topologically symmetrical meshes while retopologizing, or from an existing mesh—a requirement for many downstream tasks. In addition, a new Caliper tool helps you accurately measure the distance between two points in linear space, or along a curve, making it easier to match a required scale.
New Symmetry Options for Retopology and for Existing Meshes
It’s now possible to enforce topologically symmetrical results when retopologizing meshes. Symmetry can be based on the source topology—enabling meshes to retain both topological symmetry and spatial asymmetry (for example, a face with a lop-sided grin)—or on a local or world axis, for completely symmetrical results; you can choose whether to copy painting and sculpting detail from one or both sides of the source. Existing meshes can also be quickly made symmetrical across one or more axes without retopologizing, with a new Make Symmetrical tool—this is particularly useful for models scanned from real-world objects, which often appear symmetrical but are not. Topologically symmetrical meshes are essential for sculpting and painting with tangent symmetry, and for many other processes throughout the production pipeline.
New Caliper Tool
A new Caliper tool enables you to measure the distance between two points on a model or along a curve. This is useful for helping to ensure that meshes match a desired real-world scale or fit with other objects or environments that may be created separately.