updated 05:54 pm EDT, Thu March 28, 2013
New version fixes long standing bugs, adds dozens of new features
Autodesk has unveiled the latest version of its 3D modelling, animation and rendering suite, Maya 2014. The new version offers improved display technology, accelerated modeling workflows, robust new systems for handling complex data, and creative toolsets. A new Modeling Toolkit panel presents a streamlined environment that enables artists to access new selection, transformation, and mesh-editing tools in one place for increased efficiency.
There are topology-based Symmetry tools that enable artists to work on posed meshes; a quad draw tool that facilitates retopology workflows; and a multi-cut tool that combines both split/cut faces and insert edge loop tools in a single operation. A new polygon reduction algorithm offers a faster and more efficient method for reducing mesh complexity by removing unneeded vertices without affecting the object's basic shape.
Building on the Open Data platform, scene assembly tools provide a mechanism for representing production assets in Maya as discrete elements, each with complete support for multiple representations. Artists can easily swap between different representations. Edits can be applied, animated, or queried at any level in the scene assembly order, while changes can be tracked via an improved Edits system, helping facilitate collaborative workflows across production departments. A robust API enables studios to customize the toolset to create completely proprietary solutions.
Other new tools include an improved workflow, Viewport 2.0 and node editor enhancements, extended clip matching in Trax, a file path editor, URI support, joint centring and symmetry, and PySide support.
A demo is available for the application. The 3d modeller requires Windows 7 or Windows 8 Professional, Mac OS X 10.7 or 10.8, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 WS operating system running on a 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor with 4 GB of RAM minimum and 2 GB of free disk space for installation. Maya 2014 is purchasable now for $3,495.