Autodesk has launched the 2009 version of its Mudbox organic sculpting program.
The major new feature of Mudbox 2009 is the new texture painting toolset, which lets artists paint multiple diffuse, bump and specular maps directly on models. Reference images can also be painted onto a model by projecting the image from screen-space.
In addition, the new On-Target Display functionality uses OpenGL and 3D acceleration cards to give an accurate real-time evaluation of the model; interoperativity with 3ds Max and Maya has been improved; and general performance enhancements have been made, especially to camera movement and brush speed.
"Our goal is to make early stage digital assets resemble their final 'on-screen' forms as closely as possible," said Dave Cardwell, Mudbox product designer at Autodesk Media & Entertainment.
"Starting with accurate models makes the production process more efficient and provides a higher-quality end result. For example, you'd want to know early on whether a prominent brow will shadow a character's eyes. That's why Autodesk Mudbox 2009 has texture painting tools and on-target display features; these will help artists build and refine better 3D models."
Habib Zargarpour, senior art director at Electronic Arts, added: "The introduction of Autodesk Mudbox 2009 sparks a revolution in computer graphics tools, bringing about a paradigm shift in how designers and artists do their work."