Autodesk Announces Maya 2009 - updated with full features list - now with videos

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Autodesk Announces 10-Year Anniversary Release of Maya Software New Release Provides Stereoscopic Production Capabilities, nParticles Simulation, and Powerful Animation and Productivity Tools

At SIGGRAPH 2008, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced Autodesk Maya 2009 3D animation and visual effects software, in celebration of the software's 10-year anniversary. Maya 2009 includes a host of advancements in modeling, animation, rendering and effects that maximize productivity, optimize workflows, and provide new creative possibilities. Maya 2009 will be showcased at the Autodesk booth (#501) during SIGGRAPH 2008, at the Los Angeles Convention Center Aug. 12-14.

"We are celebrating the work done with Autodesk Maya over the past 10 years by many artists and creative visionaries in film, television production and games, as well as in industrial design and architecture." said Marc Petit, Autodesk's Media & Entertainment senior vice president. "We designed Maya 2009 as a tribute to creative innovation and production efficiency. The new release will allow artists to raise the bar and deliver even more ground breaking computer graphics work."

Mike Romey, senior technical director at Zoic Studios was a beta tester for Maya 2009. "The future of Maya is shining brightly with the upcoming release," said Romey. "Autodesk Maya 2009 will change the way artists think about dynamics, rendering, compositing and pipelines. With the solid mental ray multi-render pass workflow, production will be far more effective. This new workflow will optimize render times for multiple render layers and, in turn, elevate the quality of work. The creation of nParticles builds on the unified dynamics engine introduced in nCloth, allowing for greater integration of advanced effects."

Whats new in Maya 2009

New Selection Paradigm
Powerful new selection features in Maya 2009including true soft selection, and pre-selection highlightingmean fewer mouse clicks, and less trial and error for common tasks.


Improved Modeling Workflow
Maya 2009 delivers intuitive, productive modeling enhancements, including symmetrical modeling with soft seams, a tweak mode for rapid modifications, and a new Merge Vertex feature that enables you to combine parts of a mesh.


Maya Assets
With Maya Assets, complex data can be effectively organized, shared, referenced, and presented. Maya Assets enables you to encapsulate a set of nodes into a container so that they can be treated as if they were a single node from a users perspective (selected attributes of interest from the contained nodes can be published to the container). This new feature also supports customized and user-specific views, flexible referencing, and the creation of customized libraries.


Animation Layering
A powerful new animation layering paradigm, built on technology from Autodesk MotionBuilder software, gives you more flexibility as you nondestructively create and edit animation. This toolset works with any attribute: animation layers can be blended, merged, grouped, and reordered, and can override or add to preceding layers.


Maya nParticles
Maya 2009 introduces the second module built on the highly acclaimed Maya Nucleus unified simulation framework: Maya nParticles. This newest toolset gives you an intuitive, efficient workflow for simulating a wide range of complex effects, including liquids, clouds, smoke, spray, and dust. It features particle-to-particle collisions, particle and nCloth bidirectional interaction, powerful constraints, cloud and blobby hardware display, preset rendering, and dynamic behaviors.


Liquid Simulation

  • The Liquid Simulation functionality gives you an intuitive method to create effects such as pouring liquids and sloshing liquids in containers.
  • Specify the incompressibility and viscosity of the particles, as well as how much they are permitted to overlap.

Particle to Particle Collisions
Maya nParticles can collide with other nParticles, enabling them to accumulate within volumes.


Particle and Cloth Interaction
Bidirectional interaction with nCloth enables particles to affect cloth, and cloth to affect particles simultaneously, allowing complex effects to be easily simulated.


Particle Constraints
nParticles can use a range of nConstraints, including Transform, Component to Component, Point to Surface, Slide on Surface, and Force Fields, providing an extra degree of control without the need to write complex expressions.


Cloud and Blobby Hardware Display
An accurate hardware display allows you to interactively preview the look of nParticles set to software render as clouds or blobbies.


Fill Object with Particles
Fill a mesh with nParticles with a single click, for an easy simulation starting point.


Ramp Widgets for Particle Shading
A built-in ramp widget allows for easy and intuitive mapping of various shading attributes such as Radius, Color, Opacity, Incandescence over time (or over age, radius, speed).


Creation Presets
Create nParticles with a choice of dynamic and rendering behaviors, such as water and cloud, making initial setup faster and easier.


Maya Muscle
Maya 2009 includes the comprehensive Maya Muscle software, which helps you create life-like muscle and skin motion. This toolset allows you to direct muscle and skin behavior precisely, with secondary motion, collisions, wrinkles, sliding, and stickiness.


Choice of Muscle Types

  • Simple and parametric NURBS muscles available.
  • NURBS muscles offer advanced sculpting and posing possibilities, and can be mirrored after initial setup.

Jiggle

  • Highly controllable, built-in Jiggle deformation.
  • Separate values available along the muscle, directional damping settings, and the ability to specify thresholds control how sudden movements affect jiggling.

Wrinkles
The behavior of the skin when relaxed can be precisely defined, enabling the creation of life-like wrinkling in specific areas.


Sliding and Stickiness

  • Precise control over the behavior of the skin on top of the muscle can be achieved by painting weight maps for both Sliding and Stickiness.
  • Up to three different Sticky maps can be created and blended between, allowing multiple weights to be stored in a single rig for maximum flexibility.
  • A Displacement function allows texture maps to be used to simulate sliding, optionally at render time only, for optimum performance.

Collisions

  • A choice of different collision methods makes it possible to create the effect of skin colliding with skin and of one mesh colliding with another.
  • Collisions are deformer based, rather than simulation based, and therefore require no runup or preprocessing.

Performance
Muscle calculations can be cached for faster playback.


UV Layout Enhancements
The ability to preserve UVs (when making modeling edits after the fact) as well as new UV unfolding and layout options including an interactive modecan increase your productivity by streamlining the otherwise time-consuming task of creating optimal texture coordinates.


Render Proxy
A new Render Proxy feature in mental ray enables you to replace scene elements with a simple low-resolution mesh, and only load the pre-translated data when required for rendering.


Render Pass Enhancements
A completely updated Render Pass feature set provides precise control over render output, making it easier to optimize integration with compositing packages such as Autodesk Toxik software.


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Super Detail List from Corey's Blog:


Assets:

Assets are a new feature based on the existing container functionality. With assets, you can encapsulate a set of nodes in a container node and publish attributes from these internal nodes to the container. You can flag containers as a certain type and then use those types to limit what assets a specific artist can see using Views.

Assets promote encapsulation of data and black box design.

Once you have set up a container, you can save an XML template of its published attributes. Using these container templates, you can pre-plan all assets and their required attributes for your production.

Within a template, you can define multiple views that set up the user interface for the container. Artists can then use an assigned view as they create assets and bind their published attributes to the template.


Preselection Highlight:

This feature provides a visual cue about the component that your mouse cursor is pointing to by highlighting the component in a different color.You can turn Preselection Highlight on and off by selecting Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences and then Preselection Highlight in the Selection section.


Enhanced reflection:

Reflection is now supported for the select tool. Additionally, reflection for all tools has been enhanced with additional options to give you more control of the seam.


Heat Map Display:

You can now color nodes in the Hypergraph according to their performance in various metrics. This allows you to quickly identify computationally expensive nodes just by looking at the Hypergraph.


Transfer Attribute Values:

You can now copy or transfer commonly named attributes between two objects using the Transfer Attribute Values option. You can also use this feature to copy incoming connections and outgoing connections which is useful for copying animation from one object to another.


Panel toolbar:

You can now readily access many of the frequently used items that exist within the panel menus by using the panel toolbar. The panel toolbar rests below the panel menu in each view panel. You can toggle view the panel toolbar by pressing + + M.


Multi-component selection mode:

You can now select faces, vertices and edges without having to change between selection modes. By selecting the new Multi selection mode, you can select components based on the mouse cursors proximity to them.


Camera-based selection:

Camera based selection limits the components you can select to those which are unobstructed from the viewpoint of the current camera. This allows you to streamline selection so that you dont accidentally choose components that are hidden from your view, especially when viewing a scene in shaded mode.


Drag select:

Drag select provides you with a new way to select groups components quickly and easily. Like the Paint Select Tool, it allows you to select components by moving mouse along a surface.


Moveable marquee select:

You can now reposition a marquee select without redrawing the marquee by holding the key while dragging the marquee with the left mouse button.


Channel Box Enhancements:

The Channels menu has now been divided into the Channels and Edit menus. In addition, new filtering options are now available in the Show menu to help you manage the attributes and objects that appear in the Channel Box. You can now filter by attribute types, or create your own filter types.


Transform tool marking menus:

You can now access some transform tool specific features from a marking menu by holding CTRL + SHIFT + RMB.


Merge connections:

You can now condense multiple connections from one node to another in the Hypergraph into a single bolded connection between the two nodes. This can greatly simplify the display.


Archive scene:

You can now archive your scene and all its dependencies into a single zip file with the Archive Scene command. This is useful to ensure scenes work correctly when transferred between artists.


Customer Involvement Program:

When you start Maya 2009 for the first time, the Customer Involvement Program (CIP) dialog box appears. The CIP collects information to help Autodesk learn how you use Maya. Your participation in the CIP helps design new features and helps improve existing features. You can choose to participate or stop participating at any time by opening the Customer Involvement Program dialog box in the Help menu.


Soft Selection:

Soft Selection lets you include a weighted falloff area in your component selections. Its useful for sculpting a smooth object or making smoothly integrated slopes or contours to your model without having to transform each vertex manually.

You can turn on Soft Selection in the Tool Settings editor for any of the transformation tools.


Merge Vertex Tool:

You can now merge vertices quickly with the Merge Vertex Tool by dragging from one vertex to another.

You can access the Merge Vertex Tool by selecting Edit Mesh > Merge Vertex Tool.


Smooth UV Tool:

You can now interactively relax or unfold a selection of UVs in the UV Texture Editor with the Smooth UV tool. This allows you to perform these operations by dragging the mouse and offer instant visual feedback so you can judge exactly how much you want to relax or unfold.


Poly Count Options window:

You can now choose to display a polygon count of either the objects in your scene or their cages.


Tweak mode:

Tweak mode lets you quickly move components under the mouse cursor regardless of whether you are currently using the Select Tool, Move Tool, Rotate Tool or Scale Tool.

You can activate Tweak mode by holding on the keyboard and simultaneously dragging a component with .


Enhanced loop selection:

You can now select edge loops by double-clicking a single edge or select face and vertex loops by selecting a face or vertex and double-clicking a face or vertex next to it.


Convert polygon edges to curve:

You can now convert a path of polygon edges to a NURBS curve by selecting Modify > Convert > Polygon Edges to Curve.


Normal Average component movement:

This option lets you select multiple components or objects and move them all along the average of their combined normals.


UV Texture Editor snapping improvements:

You can now use snapping in the UV Texture Editor to lock your transformations to existing objects in the scene. You can also access a number of options related to pixel snapping by selecting Image > Pixel Snap > in the UV Texture Editor.

You can also use Discrete Rotate and Discrete Scale to rotate and scale UVs in specific increments.


UV Layout enhanced options:

A number of new options have been added to the UV Layout Options window, which allow you to adjust multiple UV shells in a single UV space more easily. These options also allow you to offset your UV shells and scale them in the UV space.


Preserve textures during transformation:

You can now transform components of a mesh without warping its texture. By turning on the Preserve UVs option in the Tool Settings editor for any of the transformation tools, Maya will automatically perform the appropriate transformations to the UV shell to maintain the overall look of the texture.


Bevel inside curves:

You can now bevel within the bounds of a curve by turning on the Bevel inside curves option in the Bevel Plus Options window. Beveling inside a curve gives you more precise control over the overall size of a bevelled surface.


Animation layers:

There is now a third editor in the Channel Box that lets you work with layers of animation. The Animation Layer Editor gives you all of the tools and options you need to create and manipulate animation layers.

Animation layers let you create and blend multiple levels of animation in a scene. You can create layers to organize new keyframe animation, or to keyframe on top of existing animation without overwriting the original curves.


Bake Simulation options:

New options for animation layers have been added to the Bake Simulation Options. You can use these options, such as Smart Bake, to specify how you want to bake animation layers.


Maya Muscle:

Maya now includes the powerful Maya Muscle skin deformer, which provides you with a complete set of tools for muscle rigging and deformation effects. To learn more, see Introducing Maya Muscle. The following sections summarize the new features provided by Maya Muscle:

Muscle creation: Maya Muscle provides you with streamlined muscle creation workflows using the Muscle Builder or Muscle Creator. These tools let you quickly and intuitively create, sculpt, and orient muscles in order to create convincing character rigs. Using the Muscle Creator window, you can create muscles by growing them out to a surface, mirror muscles from one side of a character to the other, and control the muscle shape at different phases of contraction.

Skin deformation: The main Muscle deformer lets you set up muscle and skin deformation, but it can also be used as a standalone deformer. To use the Muscle deformer as a skin solution for Sticky or Sliding weights, you can quickly apply default weights, then paint weights on the mesh when you need a higher level of detail. You can also mirror weights from one side of a symmetrical mesh to the other.

Re-use an existing skin set up: If you already have a rig set up with skin clusters, you can use Maya Muscle to add detail without re-creating your existing skin to joint weighting. Muscles Relative Sticky mode lets you use your existing skin cluster setup and focus your efforts only on areas that benefit from additional muscle and skin detail.

Along with the main muscle/skin deformation tools, Maya Muscle provides several standalone deformers that can be used for any number of deformation effects. For example:

  • Simulate effects based on natural forces like wind and gravity using the Force deformer. See Force deformation.
  • Create high quality, detailed displacement and sliding effects based on curves or a 2D image map using the displacement options. See Displacement deformation and rendering.
  • Set up Jiggle effects directly on each point of your skin mesh. See Per-Point Jiggle deformation.
  • Apply Relax and Wrinkle effects to a mesh. See Relax deformation and Smooth deformation.

Skin Collision: Several skin collision features let you simulate realistic skin collision effects. Smart Collision, Self Collision, and Multi-Collision give you options for controlling muscle and skin shapes when collisions occur. See Collision to learn more, or refer to the following topics:


Wrap deformer:

Auto Weight Threshold option. A new wrap deformer option (Create Deformers > Wrap > ) automatically sets the optimal weight of the wrap influence objects shapes. See Auto Weight Threshold.


Volume Axis Curve:

With Fields, you can now define an axis field region around a NURBS curve by creating a volume axis curve. Volume axis curves let you move particles and nParticles in various directions along the curve. When working with volume axis curves, you can now create a ramp to scale curve section radius along the curves axis.


Volume Trapping:

Fields now include volume trapping attributes, which allow objects to be trapped inside volume fields. Volume trapping works with all volume shapes including cubes, spheres, cylinders, and volume axis curves.


Axial Magnitude:

You can now create a ramp to scale field Magnitude along the axis of a volume shape field or volume axis curves.


nCaching fluids:

Fluid caching is now done through nCaching, the Maya caching system used to cache nCloth simulation data. nCaching fluids improves caching performance, as well as uses a more efficient storage method for your cached files. As with the previous fluids caching, you can specify which fluid properties are saved in the cache file.


Improved fluid to polygon mesh conversions:

The quality and speed of the fluid output mesh (that results from fluid to polygon conversion), as well as the interactive display of surface fluids have been greatly improved. New Output Mesh attributes allow you can control the resolution, smoothness, and speed of your fluid to polygon mesh conversions.


nCloth force fields:

nCloth now includes Force Field Generation attributes. Force fields generated by nCloth can repel and attract nParticle objects and other nCloth objects. Force Fields are defined by the magnitude of the force field, as well as by the distance from the field generating object that the field is active. Passive collision objects can also generate force fields.


Stickiness:

nCloth now includes a Stickiness attribute. Using Stickiness, you can adjust the tendency of your nCloth object to stick to other Nucleus objects (nCloth, nParticles, and passive objects) when they collide. Passive collision and nParticle objects also have Stickiness.


Convert nCloth output space:

You can now convert the space of your nCloth output mesh to either world space or local space, depending on whether your nCloth was created for Local Space Output or World Space Output.


New particle generation system:

There is a new particle generation system called Maya nParticles in Maya 2009. nParticles use Maya Nucleus , which is the same dynamic simulation framework that generates nCloth simulations. As part of the Nucleus system, nParticles interact and collide with nCloth and passive collision objects, as well as with other nParticle objects. You can use nParticles with Nucleus-based nConstraints to create particle effects and dynamic simulations that cannot be achieved with Maya classic particles. Like other Nucleus objects, nParticle objects are assigned to a Nucleus solver which calculates the nParticle simulation in an iterative manner.

In addition to Nucleus-based dynamics, nParticles can be used in place of Maya classic particles for particle goals, geometry instancing, and sprite effects. nParticles can also be manipulated by external non-Nucleus forces, including gravity and wind.

nParticle collisions:
When nParticles objects are created, they are automatically capable of colliding with nCloth objects, passive objects, and other nParticle objects. With collisions between nParticles and nCloth, you can use the force of emitted nParticles to drive nCloth deformations. For example, you can create an nParticle rain effect with droplets that fall onto and deform the material of an nCloth umbrella. nParticles can self-collide, meaning that nParticles generated from the same nParticle object can collide and interact with each other. nParticle collisions can only occur between nParticles and nCloth or passive objects that are members of the same Maya Nucleus system.

nParticle constraints:
You can use nConstraints to control the behavior of individual or emitted nParticles by restricting the particles movement or by attaching the nParticle object to other Nucleus objects. For example, you can constrain nParticles to an animated nCloth or passive object so that particle splatter, fire, or smoke effects move with the object. nParticles can be constrained using Transform, Component to Component, Point to Surface, Slide on Surface, and Force Field constraints.

Internal per particle attribute ramps:
nParticles objects have internal per particle attribute ramps created on the nParticleShape node. The internal ramps simplify the workflow of setting per particle radius, mass, color, opacity, and incandescence. nParticle internal ramps work the same way as Maya texture ramps, but provide additional control for setting ranges of input values and randomized multipliers for output values.

The internal ramps per particle attributes can be deleted from the nParticle object when you want to set per particle attributes using expressions.

Generate force fields with nParticles:
nParticles provide Force Field Generation attributes that allow you to generate force fields that repel and attract nCloth objects and other nParticle objects. nPartice force fields are defined by the magnitude of the force field as well as distance, which is the distance from the field generating object that the field is active.

Liquid simulation with nParticles:
nParticles provide Liquid Simulation attributes that allow you to create nParticle objects that look and behave like liquids. Control over liquid properties, such as viscosity, allow you to create effects that range from fast moving waterfalls to slow rolling lava flows.

nParticle to polygon mesh conversion:
Static and emitted Blobby Surface nParticles can be converted to polygon meshes. nParticle output meshes can be edited and manipulated like any other polygon. Before the conversion, you can use the Output Mesh attributes to set the quality of resulting polygon mesh. nParticle output meshes are useful for creating smooth flowing surfaces for realistic liquid simulation effects.


Multi-render passes for mental ray for Maya:

The new multi-render pass feature provides an easy workflow for configuring render passes. You can render an unlimited number of render passes, and you can group them into render pass sets. You can also select a subset of the objects or lights in your scene to contribute to each render pass. This subset is called a render pass contribution map.

Using the multi-render pass feature, you can reduce the need to use render layers, thus reducing compute times for scene translation and actual rendering. If you work with complex multi-layered compositions, rendering may also be several times faster. Multi-render passes also allow you perform scene segmentation at render time.

Setting up your scene to use multi-render passes is simple. Follow these steps:

  • Use the Create Render Passes window to create your render passes.
  • Use the Passes tab under the Render Settings window to create and manage the render passes for each layer.
  • Use the renderPass Attribute Editor to set the options for each render pass.

For advanced users, you can also:

  • Use either the Render Layer Editor or the Passes tab to create your render pass contribution maps, then use the Passes tab to manage the render passes for each map.
  • Group your render passes into render pass sets. Use the Passes tab to create a render pass set and the Relationship Editor (select Window > Relationship Editors or click in the Passes tab) to manage its membership.


mental ray Render Settings re-organization:

The mental ray tab in the Render Settings window is now divided into 5 mental ray tabs, including: Passes, Features, Quality, Indirect Lighting, and Options, providing better organization for the mental ray controls. For example, if you need to tweak your final gather settings, you can simply go to the Indirect Lighting tab.


IPR improvements for mental ray for Maya:

This section lists the IPR improvements for mental ray for Maya:

Light manipulation improvements for mental ray include:


* Area light changes: switching from a Maya to mental ray area light, shape type changes, changing of High Samples and Low Samples
* Deletion of lights
* Changes to light photon attributes such as energy and color
* Changes to photon attributes for the shaders and lights when caustics, global illumination or final gather is used
* Changes to shadow map settings, including switching from raytraced shadows to shadow maps and back, as well as shadow map format and file changes
* Duplicating a light or object by copying or duplicating a light or object as an instance
* Hiding and unhiding of light source instances
* Light linking and shadow linking
* Rotation of the IBL node.

Object manipulation improvements for mental ray include:

* Interactive creation of objects
* Duplicating a light or object by copying or duplicating a light or object as an instance
* Adding or removing a displacement shader and tuning of the displacement map shading network
* Adding and deleting or topology changes to geometry from the scene
* Changes to the Render Stats and mental ray render stats (under the objects shape node). Previously, onlychanges to the instance render stats (under the objects transform node) were supported.

Options improvements for mental ray include:


* Adding or deleting and tuning of a mental ray approximation node
* Creation of a camera and render camera change.
* Changing camera settings such as the angle of view
* Enabling and tuning the Depth of Field option for the camera node

You can also set IPR specific options such as the verbosity level for error messages by selecting Render > IPR Render Current Frame Options.


Stereoscopic camera:

You can now add a stereoscopic camera to your scene. This allows you to create depth of field with the illusion of a three dimensional interface. Choose between various stereo modes such as anaglyph, checkerboard and horizontal interlace. You can render from the stereo camera and view the render output in any of these stereo modes.

For advanced users, you can also customize your stereoscopic camera by adding a custom stereo rig to your scene.


Elliptical filtering:

Use elliptical filtering to perform high quality texture filtering and anti-aliasing when rendering with mental ray for Maya. Instead of using point sampling, elliptical filtering uses an area (an ellipse) to perform an image lookup. This ellipse contains many pixels, and the pixels are averaged and the average color is returned as a result.

Elliptical filtering in Maya is very simple to use. You can access its controls through the Attribute Editor of your file node.


Render proxies:

Use render proxies with mental ray rendering to manage large scenes with complex geometry. Export your complex object as a mental ray assembly file, then replace it in your scene with a placeholder object that references this file. When you render, the exported object is loaded into memory and rendered with the rest of your scene. Translation time and memory usage are cut down, allowing mental ray for Maya to render large scenes.


Smooth mesh render:

Previously, you could preview a smooth polygon mesh in the scene view by pressing 3. Now you can also render the smooth preview in mental ray for Maya. You can choose to use the same level of smoothing for the 3D viewport preview as for your render. Alternatively, you can also use a different division level for the two.


Particle rendering in mental ray for Maya:

All attributes in the ParticleInfoSampler node are now supported when rendering particles in mental ray for Maya.


new mental ray Render Settings attributes:

new mental ray 3.6 and 3.7 attributes have been added to the Render Settings, including: Importons, Irradiance Particles, Ambient Occlusion and Merge Distance for photons, caustics, and global illumination.

A Render Mode attribute has been added that allows you to render only final gather, or shadow maps, or light maps. In addition, flags that enable you to globally disable light maps and lens shaders have been added. The new BSP2 acceleration method is also available.

Final gathering now accepts multiple final gather map files. New rasterizer controls include: Rasterizer Transparency, Rasterizer Pixel Samples, and Rasterizer use Opacity. New motion blur controls include: Displace Motion Factor and Force Motion Vector Computation.

Render Settings window: Common tab re-organization

The Common tab in the Render Settings window has been re-organized so that there is a clear distinction between the frame and file attributes.

The Frame Buffer Naming and Custom Naming String attributes have been added so that if you are using the OpenEXR file format with the multi-render pass feature, you can customize the naming of the channels in your OpenEXR file.


Texture baking using multiple threads:

You can use the Bake Optimization feature to select between baking using one thread per object or baking using multiple threads per object. The former performs better for baking multiple objects and the latter for baking a single complex piece of geometry.


Improved Maya Help system:

The Maya Help is now faster and more easily searchable than ever before. New features include several new search methods, search highlighting, and the ability to save favorite pages for easy future reference. For more details, see Maya Help overview.


Videos:

Accelerated Modeling and Mapping
Autodesk Maya 2009 software delivers a significantly streamlined poly modeling workflow. This video will introduce you to the key tools you need to familiarize yourself with in order to take advantage of this workflow, beginning with the softwares powerful, new selection features, which now includes true soft select, drag-selection, camera-based selection culling and more. Youll also learn how to take advantage of the improved symmetrical modeling functionality, merge vertices tool, average normal move and other new features. Finally, youll see a demonstration of key new UV layout and unfolding options such as Preserve UVs and interactive Unfold and Relax UVs.


Maya Assets
With Maya Assets, complex data can be effectively organized, shared, referenced, and presented. In this video youll learn how to encapsulate a set of nodes into a container so that they can be treated from a users perspective as if they were a single node. Well then demonstrate the features flexible referencing options, and show you how to create customized Maya Assets libraries.


Animation Layers
A powerful new animation layering paradigm in Maya 2009 built on technology from Autodesk MotionBuilder software, gives you more flexibility as you non-destructively create and edit animation. In this movie well show you how to take advantage of this time-saving featureset: focusing particularly on blending, merging, grouping and re-ordering of animation layers; plus well show you how to override or add to preceding layers.

Rendering and Stereoscopic Content Creation
Maya 2009 includes tools developed specifically for the creation of stereoscopic content. In this video well introduce you to the in-viewport stereoscopic viewer and the default stereo camera rig. Well also discuss the new streamlined workflow for getting that rig information into Autodesk Toxik software and how to get the best results from your multi-camera renders in the mental ray rendering software.
The workflow improvements between Toxik 2009 and Maya 2009 stem largely from the updated Maya Render Pass system. In this movie well give you an overview of this system and then take a look at the new IPR for mental ray enhancements, including support for the rendering of smooth meshes in mental ray and IPR for mental ray.


Maya nParticles
Maya 2009 introduces the second module built on the highly acclaimed Maya Nucleus unified simulation framework: nParticles. This new Maya Unlimited toolset gives you a precise, efficient workflow for simulating a wide range of complex effects including liquids, clouds, smoke, spray and dust. In this video well specifically look at the stickiness functionality for nParticles and nCloth, nDynamic presets, the fill volume for nParticles feature, nParticle to nCloth interaction, nParticle to nParticle collisions, liquid simulation, as well as blobby and cloud hardware display.




For a complete list of new features and enhancements in Maya 2009, visit www.autodesk.com/maya.

Pricing and Availability
Autodesk anticipates that Maya 2009 will be available in English in October 2008. Maya 2009 will be supported on the Windows and Linux operating systems (64-bit and 32-bit versions), as well as Mac OS X for Intel-based Macintosh and PowerPC computers (32-bit version only).

Autodesk suggested retail pricing is US$1,995* for Maya Complete 2009 (Standalone) and US$4,995* for Maya Unlimited 2009 (Standalone). The upgrade price from Maya Complete 2008 to Maya Complete 2009 is US$899*, and the upgrade price from Maya Unlimited 2008 to Maya Unlimited 2009 is US$1,249*.

Autodesk Subscription with Gold Support is available for purchase simultaneously with the product or upgrade purchase. The Autodesk suggested retail price for Subscription with Gold Support for Maya Unlimited is US$1,495* per year, and for Maya Complete is US$1,295*. Subscription with Gold Support customers qualify for access to the latest software updates, valuable product extensions, telephone and web support, a comprehensive knowledge base and e-Learning materials.

Comments

Dashboard_avatar
Aug 13, 2008
Post id: 5675
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I hope this time a real renderpass manager and a layer animation will be implemented!

Dashboard_avatar
Aug 13, 2008
Post id: 5676
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I\'m greedy. Hopefully with my purchase in October they give some cool 10th anniversary Maya gift......probably not.

Dashboard_avatar
Aug 13, 2008
Post id: 5677
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hmm could be good, I\'d like to see an exact list of improvements instead of just an overview

View admin 's profile
Aug 13, 2008
Post id: 5678
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[quote]sentry65 said:
hmm could be good, I\'d like to see an exact list of improvements instead of just an overview[/quote]

Updated the post with a full list of whats new from their page. if anyone has further details, let me know and I\'ll post it.

Dashboard_avatar
Aug 16, 2008
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Maya 2009 Screenshots + Videos
http://www.mayacz.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=979

--------------------
CG Artist
www.toxik.sk

Dashboard_avatar
Aug 18, 2008
Post id: 5680
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What no Maya 2009 sux? ;)

To be honest the stereo view thing is quite weak. I mean anybody who needs stereo view and hasn\'t done so yet. Does not really need stereo view.

Dashboard_avatar
Aug 18, 2008
Post id: 5681
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[quote]Joojaa said:
What no Maya 2009 sux? ;)[/quote]

of course it does :D. i thought it\'s obvious and there\'s no need for someone to point it out. 0_o

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Aug 18, 2008
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[quote]idasox said:
Maya 2009 Screenshots + Videos
http://www.mayacz.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=979

--------------------
CG Artist
www.toxik.sk[/quote]

that\'s a pretty hefty list of improvements. Nothing absolutely incredible, but still a nice list of things to make life a little easier.

Nice to finally get elliptical texture filtering for MR. Also that\'s neat to be able to quickly render final gather passes by themselves now

oh almost forgot,
[trendy] maya still sucks [/trendy] ;)

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Aug 20, 2008
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a)Wish they had added the basic feature of image cropping in materials which has to be done in photoshop.

b)Visibility parameter in the channelbox can be animated gradually like in 3dsMax instead of just on or off.

I wish basic features could have been taken care of instead of introducing new features which one would rarely use.

Redman

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Aug 20, 2008
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In MAYA there is a set of other attributes, which on much more convenient attribute visibility!
NEW futures are cool ))!

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Aug 24, 2008
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particle to particle collision, sounds very useful

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Aug 27, 2008
Post id: 5686
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[quote]redman said:
a)Wish they had added the basic feature of image cropping in materials which has to be done in photoshop.
[/quote]

They dont really have to its already present. Theres really no use for this tough, see theres not much point in actually wasting memory on purpose.

Sure it does not have a gui per see, easy to make one tough, but the basic idea is this:

The coverage of the placement node defines the crop, rotation etc etc. Now if typing in pixel values is enough then all you need is there. If you need a gui then its a bit of development. Nothing that a competent td would need more than 4 hours to do.

the coverage defines the upper corner of your image if its 1 its filling entire width if its 0.5 its filling half width if its 2 its showing 2 the image. The offset defines the lower corner and the rotation rotates the frame (if you want just to rotate the crop area unrotate it later)

So yes crop is there already. Wait theres more, maya can also do the freform warp you can do in photoshop too. Laticce deform it, you can spherrize it etc etc.

[quote]
b)Visibility parameter in the channelbox can be animated gradually like in 3dsMax instead of just on or off.
[/quote]

This is harder, its basiccally nifty shader trick. But the thing is maya can do this theres just 2 ways of implementing this. (they both produce distinct effects)

Either just drive the trasparency wich is trivially done, theres nothing to say indivisual objects in maya can\'t have attributes to drive any shader parameter form channelbox per object even if its just 1 shader (this is allready implemented).

Or by raytracing, this would fade without internals. The reason you cant do this in line rendering is that the order is not necessarily depth sorted. Its not hard to implement in existing maya less than 2 hours of work.

To me its MUCH better they implement stuff i allready can not do.So most of the advanced additions are more than welcome

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STZ
Aug 28, 2008
Post id: 5687
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Yep what Jooja said. You can also animate the matte opacity channel of a shader to get the alpha to work as a visiblity parameter but will happen in post at that point but works as required.

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Aug 28, 2008
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none of those solutions still take into account the shadows, refractions, reflections, GI, etc

the transparency of the shader has a 3D effect, not a flat 2D effect. You\'ll still be able to see the inside surfaces and shadows by making the shader transparent unless you render single sided surfaces and have a reflection/refraction ray depth of 1.

the matte opacity is still just the alpha. If that object is in front of another object, that portion will still show up in the RGB channels.

Really, you\'re going to just have to do 2 groups of separate render passes with and without that object and fade from one to the other in post.

It would be still nice if maya was able to streamline this process and save us from having to do twice as many frames. Honestly in my line of work I have stuff fading on and off all the time so this might be useful for tight deadlines. However I still would prefer to have 2 passes just for the fact of being able to have control of the timing of the fades instead of being stuck with it built into the raw frames

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Sep 01, 2008
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Yes yes i know that, i dint say this is possible allready out of ignorance but rather because i know it can be done.

But if you must have this functionary ask auto desk to implemen something usefull like trace sets. Wich is generally usefull and accomplishes this thing with many many others as a bonus.

Yes sentry its not something in general knowledge how to do this. ;(.

[quote]
the transparency of the shader has a 3D effect, not a flat 2D effect. You\'ll still be able to see the inside surfaces and shadows by making the shader transparent unless you render single sided surfaces and have a reflection/refraction ray depth of 1.
[/quote]

Like i said there\'s 2 way of doing this fade. And i also said the other is a bit tricky. The first one is clearly easy. 2d fade like this will not do perfectly well for GI, tough no matter how you do it, theres allways a bit of caveat in the depth of things.

Ambient occlusion offcourse couldn\'t fade out as per definition. Tough a shader doing exactly the same but fade could be made (however one wouldn\'t be calling it ambient occlusion, not atleast the way we do now)

the tricky bit is not the singular fade, but suppose i have 4 objects that overlap each other. they all fade should they now fade in unison or what if they all fade separately or in groups of 2 and 2? Whats the definition of the group.

Anyway the shader you would need is perfectly simple device yes. One way is to use ray type, this ones available for download. Just fade it out for primary rays and continue secondary. This cause problems for reflections however.

Second is to make a shader that acts as continue shader as long as surfaces have same tag as the originating shader. The even trickyer bit is what to do when you allready do internal tracing. How do you fade that so wat youd need to do is a one trace for real path and then one for the continue type. Now how do you do this?

Well blend continue together with your omit same tag shader, f you dont have one to spare get raytype it can continue atleast those pesky eye rays. For simple fade ala 2D comp no problem.

PS: and no on the same line its possible to render all the fading passes out form one render whilst still having the option you do that in post

PPS: raytype can be found here

http://www.impresszio.hu/szabolcs/MentalRay/RayType.htm

Eventually the problem is that someone must be writing new shaders, and spot on your exact pipeline is not in the interest of auto desk because they don\'t know what you do.

Anyway raytype comes with source so you can do you your specific ray continue you need. And yes tyes i know thats not the point you want autodesk doing it. But sorry to say unless you take own responsibility of stuff you never gain any advantage. :(

So what you do is you pay a few bucks to some TD student and be it done with it if its important to you. I expect pooling with some other one who wants this between you 2 youd loose about 50$ everybodsy happy, you the guy you teamed with the student and you all have saved more dollars than lost. Thats why we do business. Its gain gain.

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Sep 05, 2008
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Maya Videos are OUT !
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=11804202

--------------
www.toxik.sk

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STZ
Sep 05, 2008
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Wow! nice job on Maya. the renderpasses, animation layers and particles look really cool. Can\'t wait to give this a whirl.

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Sep 06, 2008
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wow I know most people won\'t care for the feature, but for my job, the stereo camera stuff is going to be REALLY useful having it display 3D directly in the viewport. I mean I rigged up my own stereo camera rig to give me the control I wanted, but I always had to do a ton of test playblasts in order to get the right stereo separation I wanted. That\'s going to be really nice having it directly interactive like that. I honestly thought all it was going to be was some basic stereo camera rig just so they could add another bullet to the \"new feature\" list.

The interactive UV relax tool looks pretty nice.

Wow IPR actually might be useful with updating to geometry as well as trans/rot/scale/vis changes. You mean we can actually use IPR for setting up our lighting with moving the lights around? wow I might actually use it now

render passes - that\'s nice. Looks like a nice simple yet powerful interface. Much better than the half baked way it worked before and they\'ve drastically expanded the number of types of passes you can do instead of just the core basics from previously

assets looks pretty powerful and useful for larger studios. Doubt most people will really need to use it though

animation layers - holy crap that\'s a nice feature. You could have probably gotten the same functionality out of using trax, but that would still take so many more steps and still not be anywhere as quick or interactive. This can really change how people animate where they no longer have to dial in the exact perfect animation curves only to have someone ask for a change and you gotta drudge through messing with all your curves and hope they\'re happy with the change. I mean, it looks like you can quickly do in 5 minutes now what it\'d previously have taken like an hour to do

I guess I don\'t really get how drag selecting is any different than paint selecting, but whatever

overall this looks like a nice upgrade

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Sep 11, 2008
Post id: 5693
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it\'s interesting, Maya always been the best. I wish to try it.

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Sep 20, 2008
Post id: 5694
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I guess the new features out weigh the old bugs. Love maya but I must complain about missing features and simple bugs that should\'ve been fixed like:

Shatter effect(works 20% of the time:Buy blastcode and integrate it like CSmuscle),

bevelPlus barely working when creating text or illustrator files

need TEXT tools for texturing and animating text

need Cloning or Instancing tools-user friendly like c4d\'s cloner

doesn\'t have NETWORK RENDERING-Max has it-C4D has it-After Effects has it-WT$%#

Memory issues- crashes from connecting a psd file in the attribute editor(once in a while), Mental Ray won\'t load unless I quit out of Maya and come back in, , and random crashes.

Doesn\'t make sense when you\'re running an 8core Mac with 8gigs of ram.

You can\'t expect to call it a newer version with minor bug fixes and a list of oooooOOO features that\'ll give you more bug/memory problems. Nucleus has been introduced already...nParticles is an add on.

I suppose wearing 3D glasses while working on maya will do the trick.

I love maya and it\'s modeling/character tools, but it\'s falling behind in the Motion Graphics industry. It\'s obviously built for character animation, but it\'s got one of the best interfaces and workflow. It would rock in the Motion world if it had some tools to compete with C4D.

All I know is it better come with a 3D Lenticular graphic on it\'s box. If not then hopefully some 3D glasses and a puzzle in the back.

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Sep 20, 2008
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[quote]l33yang said:
........
Doesn\'t make sense when you\'re running an 8core Mac with 8gigs of ram.[/quote]

the mac version isn\'t 64 bit yet right? Are all these problems mac specific?

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Sep 20, 2008
Post id: 5696
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[quote]sentry65 said:

the mac version isn\'t 64 bit yet right? Are all these problems mac specific?[/quote]

The problems occur on my PC at home as well. It usually occurs more if you\'ve been doing other things like having Photoshop and other apps open.

I thought all along the mac version was 64bit.

I usually get errors when I try setting my render settings to Mental Ray. I always have to restart Maya.

It doesn\'t make sense to pay for a program that has a ton of bugs. It unstable at times.

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Sep 21, 2008
Post id: 5697
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l33yang, nobody cares that maya is fubar, least of all the maya users. don\'t expect autodesk to fix it, they have no interest whatsoever in having a good stable product. don\'t despair, though, there will always be new and shiny buttons in future versions (i noticed the new playback buttons, they\'ll sure speed up workflow by 739%). your intuition was correct, the purpose of the 3d glasses is to make users less aware of the bugs and old-functionality-presented-in-a-new-way, and this is the first step, the final goal beeing to equip everyone with completely opaque lenses which are to be worn at all times. only when that happenes, maya will indeed be a perfect application.

and if you want shatter effects, look up houdini. you\'ll be amazed, i promise.

peace to everyone, except autodesk. ;)

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Sep 21, 2008
Post id: 5698
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[quote]stealth_kid said:
l33yang, nobody cares that maya is fubar, least of all the maya users. don\'t expect autodesk to fix it, they have no interest whatsoever in having a good stable product. don\'t despair, though, there will always be new and shiny buttons in future versions (i noticed the new playback buttons, they\'ll sure speed up workflow by 739%). your intuition was correct, the purpose of the 3d glasses is to make users less aware of the bugs and old-functionality-presented-in-a-new-way, and this is the first step, the final goal beeing to equip everyone with completely opaque lenses which are to be worn at all times. only when that happenes, maya will indeed be a perfect application.

and if you want shatter effects, look up houdini. you\'ll be amazed, i promise.

peace to everyone, except autodesk. ;)[/quote]

Oh...I forgot to mention \"Flow Path Object\" hasn\'t been working since 7 or before. The object twist going up the y axis using the flow path object command. Fix it already!

Houdini Apprentice sounds pretty promising. I\'ll give the free version a spin.

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Sep 29, 2008
Post id: 5699
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[quote]
Oh...I forgot to mention \"Flow Path Object\" hasn\'t been working since 7 or before. The object twist going up the y axis using the flow path object command. Fix it already![/quote]

Thets just how mathematics of up works, to be totally honest this is easy to fix. But the underlying problem is that mathematically a 2.5 d item like curve has no desfined around. No it has never been working like you think but none the less you can have done any of taht any version had you invested some time asking how to do it.

Meanwhile

Use a curve on surface up for a curve on surface is allways right PLUS you get a free twist control.

Or just find the not used axis on the curve use that as up and offset twist to do the same thing.

And no it has NEVER worked without this flip, which makes it a very good toot to work with. Because its easy to understand the mathematics behind it now if it wouldnt flip one would be totally gawking when you need to do the same with maths.

And no the mac version is NOT 64Bit much for the same reason photoshop wanst 64 bit (it is apples infinite wisdom at play they threw spanners in teh way of doing a 64 bit app that actually works on mac out of the box). Also as for memory problems yes you will have huge memory problems once you have photoshop loaded on a windows machine because it uses its own memory handling wich does not give memory up so readily. I think they fixed that by the way.

as for network rendering yes they do actually ship one of those its called a commandline render.

PS: the underlying point is that you will never be happy with ANY 3d application if you think like this. Bacuse all of them have associated problems quirks etc etc. Maya just happens to be along with houdini the most manageable core platforms. No no their tools arent allways very spectacular.

see thing is you\'ll always have things not working for you if you dont care to fix the problems yourself. Because however you put things other people either just develop for them selves, or are contended with minimum info to fill teh speck. Both of wich may or may not halp the individual user since they are not you.

PPS. also they will fix your problems as son as you tell you would buy a 100 licenses if they fix your problem. Thing is that one individual user is just way below business peoples radad. And the poor coders would be happy to help its just that they already have their hands full of the sales people and managers telling to make new features. Sicne feature lists sell. And the allready existing bug list, wich often is never cleaned away so only high priority stuff ever get fixed. This is a standard business model.

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