Tools provider focuses on flexibility and performance for latest additions to its animation and VFX range

Autodesk details 2016 updates to Maya, 3ds Max and Flame

Autodesk has released a slew of details for the new 2016 versions of some of its leading tools, including 3ds Max, Maya and Flame.

The firm claims that Maya 2016 will be “significantly faster and easier to use”, with a parallel evaluation system that means animations take advantage of both the CPU and GPU. New capabilities have also been added to Bifrost, including adaptive foam and guided simulations for in-game liquids. It will also feature a Send to Unity option, which simplifies the process of getting your content into the widely-used game engine.

Maya 2016 has received a new look and feel, with new icons and reorganised menus, plus an updated hypershade showcase. Autodesk’s Chris Vienneau told Develop this was more than a fresh lick of paint.

“The UI overhaul is the start of a long effort we are terming ‘humanise Maya’,” he said. “This allowed us to clean a collection of icons and change how we organise the UI into workflows as opposed to tools. 

“We took the opportunity to also put the code in to take advantage of all the new High DPI displays whether that be 4K monitors, Apple Retina displays, or the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3. When you see how nice the text and icons look on these displays, you can see the value right away.

“The improved animation performance in Maya 2016 will have an incredible impact for our customers. We expect some customers will upgrade just for the animation performance alone. One of our larger customers in the beta program has said they are considering switching from Maya 2014 to Maya 2016 mid-project – something they never would have considered before.”

Meanwhile, 3ds Max 2016 will now include XRef Reonvations, allowing artists to externally reference objects to scenes, and animate and edit material on the XRef object in the source file without the ned to merge the object into the scene. The new Design Workspace also offers quick access to objection placement, lighting, rendering and texturing tools.

For VFX artists, the new 2016 version of Flame and Flame Premium will feature new-look tools, improved Shotgun integration and enhancements to the Flame Desktop.

Finally, Autodesk’s 2016 Entertainment Creation Suite will include all updates and additions to Maya and 3ds Max, as well as updated versions of Mudbox and MotionBuilder.

“Our customers are the world’s best artists, and our tools would be nothing without them,” said the firm’s Chris Bradshaw. “This year, we worked hard to connect artists more closely with one another and across projects.

“Our 2016 software is more intuitive, connected, powerful, scalable and accessible than ever before. Our tools’ expanded flexibility enables new and seasoned artists to more easily navigate industry disruptions so they can keep telling great stories, without compromising quality.”

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