Autodesk Maya 2016 announced
For everyone using Autodesk Maya there is good news! Autodesk just uploaded some videos to youtube showing enhancements and new features. It seems the 2016 version is getting some big improvements. Especially the new BiFrost features and xgen enhencements are looking really interesting.
But first things first... Mayas look got polished. In fact it's a whole user interface overhaul. The icons are redesigned and now scalable based on the resolution of the device. More so, the menu structure got reorganized. Long term users will have to adjust a bit, but overall the reorganization looks like an improvement.
Mayas new scultping tools are designed to work with basic shapes. Sculpting tools? Yes! Maya now got a set of sculpting tools which allow to sculpt within the application. They aren't really meant to replace sculpting programs, but to allow user to sculpt little details within Maya. The brush based tools feature volume and surface falloff as well as stamp images, sculpting UVs and also support for vector displacement maps.
One thing which really shines in that release, is the Hypershade. Autodesk added some nice features here. Now you got a material viewer within the Hypershade in which you can choose from different types of geometrie and also choose different render engines to preview your material. This is a really nice feature when working on materials and will make the work more enjoyable. In the node editor it's possible to adjust the materials properties in an easy way. Also the Hypershade is now highly customizable.
As mentioned before and interesting and powerful upgrade definitly comes with BiFrost. For those of you who don't know what BiFrost is, here is a short summary: Formely known as Naiad, BiFrost is a fluid simulation technologie which already was used in many movies. Naiad was a software developed by Exotic Matter, it was node based and granted the user much flexibilty. Results were awesome and Naiad was a heavy competitor for RealFlow. Autodesk acquired Naiad. Marcus Nordenstam, former CEO and founder of Exotic Matter, and Chief Scientist Robert Bridson joined Autodesk. Naiad then was implemented in Maya 2015, from now on known as BiFrost.
The Naiad nodes were gone in BiFrost, still working "under the hub", making BiFrost a more easy to use fluid simulation technology, but not less powerfull. As BiFrost is still in development, there is still much more to come. The first release was only able to simulate liquids such as water but that changed now. BiFrost got an adaptive aero solver. This solver will revolutionize Mayas fluid system for good. Allowing the user to create dynamic effects like fire, myst or smoke it is a powerful tool when it comes to realistic effects. Of course it is possible to add coliders and so on. It is fully implemented in Maya and it is easy to work with. That allows the artist to concentrate more on the art, than on the technical site.
Xgen also got some improvements. For example the Maya fur presets were written into the plugin. This presets are a good base to start making more advanced designs.
Overall this Maya update looks big. Some nice improvements, good new features and a new, clean look are only some of the things Maya 2016 has to offer. Especially the BiFrost update looks very powerful.
Maya 2016: Look Development Enhancements, New Look & Feel
Maya 2016: Adaptive Aero Solver in Bifrost
Maya 2016: Guided Simulations in Bifrost
Maya 2016: Adaptive Foam in Bifrost
Maya 2016: New Sculpting Toolset
Maya 2016: Xgen Enhancements: