Numerous new features for Maya, 3ds Max, Softimage, Mudbox, MotionBuilder and FBX 2011

Major enhancements for Autodesk tools lineup

Autodesk has announced new versions of its popular range of software production tools.

The likes of Maya, 3ds Max and Softimage have each received a face-lift while numerous new features are added in.

Maya 2011 will include a new UI and graphics pipeline, as well as a 3D editorial timeline. The popular tool will also add in a new Vector Paint feature designed for enhanced compositing and rotoscoping. 

Autodesk digital entertainment VP Stig Gruman said that the new Maya package – which is also now available for 64-bit Macs – marked a key milestone.

“With a new customisable UI and a new graphics architecture, Maya strengthens its position as a foundation for modern film and game pipelines," he said.

"The innovative 3D editorial timeline helps communicate and validate the creative vision behind a project and enables previs and virtual moviemaking workflows for users."

Meanwhile, art tool Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 will include a new node-based material editor, as well as a hardware-based multithreaded rendering engine that utilizes both GPU and CPU.

Further enhancements and additions to the product have been announced, all of which are part of a wider aim to make 3ds Max a more productive experience for artists.

Also updated is Softimage 2011, which now includes ICE Kinematics for the use of rigging with inverse kinematics, spines, constraints, and dynamics tails. The effects tool also brings in an automated lip-synching and facial animation tools that can construct motions based on audio file data.

Mudbox 2011 will add in new tools for helping deform and pose models, adding in new adjustment brushes and blend models for paint layers, as well as a string of other features.

The main enhancement to MotionBuilder, says Autodesk, is markedly improved compatibility with Maya and 3ds Max, while skinning and blendshape deformations are now calculated via the GPU to enhanced performance.

Finally, asset exchange tool FBX has been updated for heightened adaptability of external applications, such as the Unreal Engine. Autodesk also announced that the Unreal Engine 3 will be able to import FNX files directly into the unreal editor.

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