VFX Autodesk M&E steps it up with new version launches for Max, Maya, MotionBuilder -

Autodesk M&E steps it up with new version launches for Max, Maya, MotionBuilder

The much awaited Autodesk’s M3 launch at the Grand Hyatt was attended by a large audience. The ballroom was full of professionals and students from different studios and institutes, each one eager to see the new features incorporated in the software that they regularly use.

Ben Richards, Senior Application engineer and Kevin , together conducted the whole session on Autodesk Maya 8, Autodesk 3ds Max 9 and Autodesk MotionBuilder 7.5 software. They stated that each of the products are now stronger in terms of interoperability, making the workflow very flexible for artists.

3ds Max 9 marks the first full release of 3ds Max with both 32-bit and 64-bit, allowing users to handle larger and more complex scenes than ever before. Another feature is the Pro Boolean in the Compound objects category. Pro Booleans is a new tool for modeling with which one can quickly and easily create rich and complex objects while keeping the mesh clean. The speakers demonstrated the application of pro Boolean by building a river bridge almost within a few minutes.

The Cloth and Hair were incorporated in Max 8 itself, but with advanced improvements working on cloth and hair will be all the more interesting.

Now unlike in Max 8 one can create, manipulate, and style hair directly in the viewports using standard navigation and selection tools instead of having to check every change in the render. The new cloth attributes allow you to actually tailor the clothing in the stack without the need to edit the original pattern to make clothes fit. This was demonstrated with the help of a commercial that was done for channel VH1.

The commercial shows a rock night with large groups of people running towards the stage and many dancing around it. The new cloth and hair made it possible to achieve variation in each individuals hair style and dressing which could otherwise be very difficult.

The other important features were

(a) the mental ray physical sun that gives the lights and shadows according to the latitude and longitude of the location to be rendered, which gives photo real results

(b) Layered Animation gives ability to place animation into separate layers allows you to easily tweak dense and complex animations.

(c)With additions to the Biped you can now move keys past each other and work in negative frames too. Enhancements are also made in the FBX interchange format.

Like Max many new enhancements are made in Maya too, like the Maya hair can now be copied or transferred from one character to another. Many hair presets are also added to make buns, curls etc. Constraints allow for the simulation of effects such as ponytails and hair clips. The Hair can collide with geometry and also Self-collision between clumps makes it look realistic. Other new features in Maya are the bridge tool the shaded toggle in soft selection, the shaded vertices in the push and pull option and many others.

MotionBuilder 7.5 Extension 1 now supports point cache playback on objects imported from Maya 8 and 3ds Max 9 . This allows for enhanced interoperability by allowing users to point cache deformers such as cloth, physics and dynamics, and playback the associated point cache information within MotionBuilder in real-time. This is very handy when it comes to crowd simulations and for pre production work.

The speakers also showed some new techniques added to Combustion. Many a times the client wants certain changes that might take weeks to render all over again. This problem can be solved in minutes in combustion itself like giving glossy reflections on the floor of a certain room, changing the color of the wall , changing the paintings on the wall and many more things can be done to save time.

They concluded the session by introducing the audience to the new community forum started by AutoDesk http://www.the-area.com

The new releases contain significant improvements in performance, productivity and pipeline efficiency to help artists deal with the challenges of next-generation 3D production.

With every upgrade in their software, Autodesk helps artists to create fabulous content without them having to bother too much about render time or engaging themselves with handling a lot of data and losing important imformation.