Autodesk rolls out product updates

Maya and MotionBuilder's 2009 versions detailed
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Autodesk has revealed details about the 2009 versions to its art and animation products at SIGGRAPH.

Marking the tenth anniversary of its first release, Maya 2009 will feature enhancements to deal with the ever-increasing complexity of scenes, such as additional multi-threading work and a new Maya Assets toolset to encapsulate nodes into a single container.

Further effort has gone into helping animators collaborate, with a new animation layering paradigm that gives extra non-destructive flexibility.

New tools include the Maya nParticles dynamic simulation module, which helps create complex physics simulations, and the integration of the Maya Muscle feature set previously featured in an Extension of Maya 2008. It also features a new stereo camera rig to address the growing popularity of stereoscopic 3D films.

MotionBuilder, on the other hand, gets a new real-time viewport, offering a normal mapping CG shader to view normal maps from Maya, Max or Mudbox within MotionBuilder. It also now fully supports the CgFX 2.0 library.

MotionBuilder is now also able to perform rigid body calculations inside the software, including real-time collisions and a Rag Doll solver for dynamic reactions that can be layered under traditional animations for better realism.

Finally, MotionBuilder 2009 also has a full Python script editor with syntax highlighting and command highlighting, and the workflow with 3ds Max's Bipeds and Maya's FBIK rigs has been improved.

Both Maya 2009 and MotionBuilder 2009 are expected to be released in October. Maya 2009 Complete has an SRP of £1,750 or £775 for upgrades, Maya 2009 Unlimited weighs in at £4,350 or £1,575 when upgrading, while MotionBuilder 2009's SRP is £2,975 or £875 for the upgrade from MotionBuilder 7.5.