Design software developer Autodesk has announced new 2011 versions of its widely-used software suites Maya, 3ds Max, and Softimage, introducing a variety of new features for each.
Among other additions, Autodesk Maya 2011 includes a redesigned user interface and graphics pipeline, a 3D editorial timeline, and a new Vector Paint feature for improved compositing and rotoscoping. The software will now have a 64-bit Mac OS executable.
"The 2011 release is a key milestone for Maya. With a new customisable UI and a new graphics architecture, Maya strengthens its position as a foundation for modern film and game pipelines," said Autodesk digital entertainment VP Stig Gruman in a statement. "The innovative 3D editorial timeline helps communicate and validate the creative vision behind a project and enables previs and virtual moviemaking workflows for users."
Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 includes Slate, a new node-based material editor; Quicksilver, a new hardware-based multithreaded rendering engine that makes use of both the CPU and GPU; 3ds Max Composite, an HDR-capable compositor based on Autodesk Toxik; and other new features.
"Our first priority with 3ds Max 2011 was to make artists more productive in common everyday workflows," said Gruman.
Autodesk Softimage 2011 includes ICE Kinematics to aid in rigging with inverse kinematics, spines, constraints, and dynamics tails; automated lip-synching and facial animation based on audio files; the new mental ray 2011 renderer; and other improvements.
"Technical directors, visual effects artists and computer graphics supervisors are cheering the unique combination of innovative rigging tools, particle, dynamics and rendering openness," claimed Gruman.