SensAble Technologies, Inc. announced that version 1.0 of the ClayTools system for Maya software will be shipping in Q3 2005. The ClayTools system for Maya delivers modeling for high-detail, organic models; fast texture baking; and integrated and extensible touch interactions within Maya.
The ClayTools system uses a virtual clay metaphor that removes the constraints of technical modeling. The system includes the Phantom Omni device, a true 3D interface with force feedback. Users use their sense of touch to model virtual clay just like real clay. The system is easy to use by accomplished Maya software artists, and cinematic and fine artists. Users can carve, smudge, and tug at models to create characters, creatures, terrain, and props. The system also includes special tools to speed the creation of large areas of surface detail on models such as reptilian scales, skin pores, or patterned textures.
With the ClayTools system, users can create 3D concept models and high-resolution, detailed models. Additionally, users can import a low-resolution Maya model and then use the ClayTools application to create a high-resolution version of the model. Using the ClayTools TextureKiln functionality, the detail from ClayTools models can be transformed into a pre-calculated set of lighting values for normal maps and ambient occlusion maps or as height values for displacement or bump maps.
The ClayTools system also includes the HapticExtender/MY plug-in which, along with the Phantom Omni device, enables users to interact with 3D scenes in Maya. It adds the sense of touch with 3D navigation to the tools within Maya, and enables users to touch and manipulate objects, components, skeletons, and deformers, and to create and edit geometry. Additionally, the Phantom Omni input to Maya (values of translation and rotation) as well as a variety of touch related attributes, can be accessed through MEL to enable the creation of custom tools for modeling, animation, and rendering.