Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max 2015 Ext 1 Brings Colour & Open Source Support

Extension 1 for Autodesk Maya 2015 includes a new colour management system and workflow that carries through the lighting, rendering and compositing process. Other new tools are devoted to sharing, transfer and collaboration on data. Customization options have been added for Viewport 2.0 through a new Python API.

The new colour management system’s linear workflow preserves creative intention throughout lighting and rendering. It is simple enough so that a studio can promote colour compatibility by customising the system to closely match their own colour pipeline and work across NUKE, Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk applications and certain other software.

Technical directors can now gauge, measure and debug the performance of individual nodes, character rigs, and Maya scenes using the Performance Profiler. The Profiler’s UI enables performance measurement and graphing for dirty propagation, evaluation, deformations, rendering, Qt scripting events, XGen instancing and Bifrost simulations. When an input value is changed, any dependent output is marked dirty without recalculating and any connection to this output is marked dirty, continuing the dirty propagation through to the end of the graph. Developers can now use Performance Profiler in other custom tools and plug-ins using a robust API.

Workflow and productivity improvements include more wireframe colour choices and colour coding in the channel box to reflect key states. A per-menu keyboard shortcut to repeat the last command has been added, with object visibility toggling. OpenSubdiv has improved performance and multi-UV tiling support, and new custom pivot workflows are available. The Multi-Cut tool has better performance and the Modelling Toolkit has been further integrated.

Improvements to XGen performance mean that users can now create and groom hair, fur and feathers on characters, and populate large landscapes with grass, foliage, trees, rocks and debris trails faster and more efficiently. Some targeted performance enhancements are made specifically for the XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator.

Autodesk’s 3ds Max 2015 Extension 1 adds functionality to help create and exchange complex assets across different workflows, including support for Pixar OpenSubdiv, which artists use to represent subdivision surfaces and visualise models interactively without the need to render. Alembic support has also been added which makes processing complex animated and simulated data more memory efficient and allows viewing of large datasets in the Nitrous Viewport and transfer to other programs.

Updates to the ShaderFX real-time visual shader editor increase the shading options and shader interoperability between 3ds Max, Maya and Maya LT. Using new node patterns – including wavelines, voronoi, simplex noise and brick – a new bump utility node and a searchable node browser, game artists and programmers should find it easier to develop and exchange other shaders.

The Autodesk Maya 2015 Extension 1 will be available 10 September 2014 and Extension 1 for 3ds Max 2015 is available now. For a complete list of updates visit the Autodesk website.

Story from Digital Media World.