Autodesk Maya 2012 Software: New Ways to Explore, Refine and Present Creative Concepts

March 20, 2011 3:30 am

Tags: 3D, Autodesk, Maya

Academy Award–Winning Technology Extends Its Toolset for Previsualization, Games Prototyping and Simulation

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced that Autodesk Maya 2012 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, rendering and compositing software now contains powerful new toolsets for previsualization and games prototyping, extended simulation capabilities and better pipeline integration. The new release also includes single-step workflows to enable users to move 3D data directly between the latest versions of Maya, Autodesk MotionBuilder, Autodesk Mudbox and Autodesk Softimage Interactive Creative Environment (ICE) for better pipeline integration.

Viewport 2.0 Enhancements
The high-performance viewport introduced with Autodesk Maya 2011 now offers fullscreen effects: motion blur, depth-of-field, and ambient occlusion, enabling artists to evaluate their work in a higher fidelity environment and without needing to render or export to a game engine. In addition, Viewport 2.0 now provides component and manipulator display to support modeling workflows, together with batch rendering capabilities, and a high-performance API (application programming interface).

"Maya continues to drive creative innovation across the film, games and television industries -- from 'Black Swan' to 'EA SPORTS MMA' and 'NCIS,' new creative standards are being set in productions of all kinds," said Marc Petit, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “With Maya 2012, we have continued our long-term focus on improving production efficiency as well as real-time creative iteration with enhancements to the Maya viewport, addressing new trends in previsualization, virtual moviemaking and games prototyping.”

“The high-fidelity viewport, enhancements to Nucleus and the overall performance improvements, have made Maya 2012 more flexible, powerful and modern,” said Peter Shipkov, technical director, Digital Domain.

Substance Smart Textures
Achieve a vast range of look variations with a new library of 80 Substances smart textures and filters. Substances are tiny in size, multi-output, customizable, resolution-independent and seamless textures that can be rapidly converted into high-quality bitmaps for rendering or baking purpose. Alternatively, substances can be exported in any 3D game engines via the Substance Air middleware offering (available separately from Allegorithmic). Some examples of dynamically editable and animatable parameters are: brick distribution, surface aging, and mortar thickness in a brick wall; pupil size, eye color, and extent of veining in an eye texture; and the age, roughness, curb borders, and lane markings of a street texture.

Key New Features in Autodesk Maya 2012 Software

  • Viewport 2.0 Enhancements — Now offers full-screen effects: motion blur, depth-of-field and ambient occlusion, component and manipulator displays, batch rendering capabilities and a high-performance API (application programming interface).
  • Node-Based Render Passes — Ability to create and edit node-based representations of render passes and render the composited output directly using the mental ray renderer.
  • Editable Motion Trails — Edit animation directly in the viewport, without the need to switch context to the graph editor.
  • Sequencer Enhancements — A Sequencer Playlist with a configurable spreadsheet view to reorder clips, edit In and Out points and change camera assignments; as well as support for multi-track audio and the ability to output multiple shots as a single sequence for easier game cinematic rendering or export to a games engine.
  • Substance Smart Textures — A library of 80 dynamic, animatable and editable resolution-independent Substance smart textures and filters with a tiny disk space footprint. Textures can also be converted to bitmaps for rendering or baking purposes.
  • Craft Animation Tools — Four new camera rigs from the Craft Director Studio animation tool to create believable, complex camera movements that mimic real-world setups and four pre-rigged models (two cars and two airplanes) to more easily simulate vehicle motion, terrain recognition, previsualization and in-game cinematics.
  • New Simulation Options -- Incorporates the multithreaded NVIDIA PhysX engine* for static, dynamic and kinematic rigid-body simulations directly in the Maya viewport and the Digital Molecular Matter plug-in for shattering simulations from Pixelux Entertainment.

For more information, including new feature videos, visit the Maya website ( and read the Maya AREA blogs: Cory Mogk's Mayalicious, Duncan's Corner and Steven Roselle's My Oh Maya!

New Simulation Options
Create compelling dynamic effects in less time, with new simulation options that incorporate industry-leading technology into Maya. Now artists can leverage the multithreaded NVIDIA PhysX engine to create static, dynamic, and kinematic rigid-body simulations directly in the Maya viewport, and gain the ability to match a runtime solution. And highly-realistic shattering simulations with multiple interacting materials are more easily achievable, with the help of the newly included Digital Molecular Matter plug-in from Pixelux Entertainment™.

Pricing and Availability
Autodesk anticipates that Maya 2012 will be available in English in April 2011. The Autodesk suggested retail price (MSRP) for an Autodesk Maya 2012 stand-alone license is US$3,495**. The price to upgrade from Maya 2011 to Maya 2012 is US$1,745** MSRP. Autodesk Subscription with Gold Support is available for purchase simultaneously with the product or upgrade purc hase for US$895** MSRP per year.

Motion Capture Samples
Leverage the advanced motion retargeting capabilities of Maya 2012, with 70 motion capture samples that provide useful starting points for creating previsualizations and developing character animations. Utilizing the Autodesk FBX 2012 asset exchange format, the samples can be shared between applications in the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites.

Autodesk Maya 2012 is also expected to be available as part of the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Premium 2012, which offers Maya together with Softimage, Mudbox and MotionBuilder software for $6,495** MSRP, representing a 42 percent** cost savings compared to purchasing the software separately.

*Available with Autodesk Maya 2012 Windows platform only.
** International pricing and savings may vary.

About Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries -- including the last 16 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects -- use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

Autodesk, AutoCAD, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, Softimage and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. iray is a registered trademark of mental images GmbH licensed for use by Autodesk, Inc. All other brand names, produ ct names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2011 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.


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