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Autodesk unveils Maya, 3ds Max, Mudbox & MotionBuilder 2015

Ashleigh Allsopp | March 20, 2014
Complete with loads of new 3D animation features, the software will be available from 14 April.

These new features include point cloud support for more precise models using real-world images; python scripting to allow the customisation and extension of the 3ds Max software; ActiveShade rendering enhancements for a quicker, easier way to refine lighting; a ShaderFX real-time visual shader editor; enhanced scene management tools and workflow and performance improvements.

In addition to the new features listed above, Autodesk has introduced new placement tools to let artists position oriented content in relation to other content within their scene, which means objects can be moved along the surface of another mesh as though they're magnetically attracted. We were shown a demo of this feature during a sneak preview of the update and were impressed by the accuracy and intelligence it provides.

What's new in MotionBuilder 2015 & Mudbox 2015?

MotionBuilder and Mudbox have both received 2015 updates too.

MotionBuilder has a new plugin that lets artists capture body movements using the Microsoft Kinect, but this feature is only available for Windows users. However, customers can add support for other motion capture devices such as LeapMotion, too.

New camera options in MotionBuilder, including animatable Depth of Field and Follow Focus, have been introduced to allow artists to recreate real-world cinematography.

There are also 100 animations in FPS format available to MotionBuilder users through the Moves content library, from running and jumping to tripping or crawling, as well as animations for inanimate objects like interactions with furniture, for example. These animations could be used to help previsualise scenes or could become a starting point for animators.

Mudbox, meanwhile, has been given new symmetry options for retopology and existing meshes and a new Make Symmetrical tools ideal for models scanned from real-world objects.

There are also new Sculpt Layer and Paint Layer groups to make it easier to organise and work with lots of different types of layers in Mudbox, and a new Caliper tool for precise model measurements.

What's new in Maya LT 2015?

Autodesk's new 3D animation modelling tool for indie game makers, Maya LT, is also getting a 2015 update despite being less than a year old. Among the improvements and new features is access to cloud facilities such as Autodesk 360 and Dropbox for sharing assets, and integration with Autodesk's consumer apps such as the 123D apps.

Maya LT users will also be able to use Unfold3D integrations to make it easier to create and edit UV maps (above), with automated UV map generation and easier manual adjustments. There are also new UV visual feedback systems to smooth out issues.

What's new in Softimage 2015?

And finally, Autodesk has also unveiled a Softimage update, though it has already announced that this will be the very last version of the software before it is discontinued and no longer supported by the company.


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