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Alias|Wavefront has announced Maya 5, which will launch next month. The product has upgrades in a number of different areas, including the following:

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Game Developer, Staff

April 7, 2003

2 Min Read

Alias|Wavefront has announced Maya 5, which will launch next month. The product has upgrades in a number of different areas, including the following:

  • New rendering options. Maya comes with four rendering options now: the Maya software renderer, mental ray for Maya (which now comes built into Maya), a new vector renderer and a hardware renderer. Hardware rendering can create content in popular graphics formats such as Macromedia Flash, Encapsulated PostScript, Adobe Illustrator and Scalable Vector Graphics.

    • Enhanced character animation tools, including improved constraints, forward and inverse kinematics and ghosting for more control and flexibility when creating characters.

    • Maya Paint Effects can now be drawn as, or converted to, polygons. This enables Maya Paint Effects to be edited with regular polygon tools and output to other renderers, including mental ray.

    • Expanded polygon mesh editing tools. These tools include an improved polygon reduction method, enhanced UV creation, and a range of editing tools.

    • New modeling tools. Maya 5 will use a new polygon reduction facility and new UV editing and extrusion tools -- including a graph-based profile curve for taper control. Also, you will be able to use the Maya Artisan brush feature to paint face vertices for more better placement, and paint weighting values for polygon reduction.

    • Performance improvements. Maya 5 has improved its dynamics computation, and A|W claims that Maya is up to 90% faster on the Windows platform.

    • API updates. Enhancements to the Maya API include a node/attribute callback mechanism, and more detailed exposure of light data and high-level polygon operations. There is also a new Maya Embedded Language (MEL) "renderer" command that simplifies the hook-up of third party renderers.

    • In Maya Unlimited, new features have been added to Maya Fluid Effects, which include true dynamic computation of wakes and the accurate simulation of ponds and lakes. A new "Make Motion Field" feature lets you more accurately simulate the effect of objects moving through a fluid, such as a character emerging from a smoke cloud or a helicopter hovering above rippling water.

    • Also in Maya Unlimited, Maya Fur has a new fur clumping feature that supports a range of hairy looks such as wet, matted or dirty fur.

    • Maya 5 offers new data exchange options, including; Macromedia Flash, DWG, DXF, Adobe Illustrator, Encapsulated PostScript, Scalable Vector Graphics, IGES, OpenFlight, StudioTools and OBJ. Maya Complete for Windows, Irix, Linux and Mac OS X is priced at $1,999 and includes modeling, rendering, animation, dynamics, Maya Artisan, Maya Paint Effects, mental ray for Maya and Maya Embedded Language (MEL), an open interface for programming and scripting. Maya Unlimited for Windows, Irix and Linux is $6,999 and includes all features in Maya Complete along with Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Fur, Maya Cloth and Maya Live. Upgrades for Maya Complete are $899, and for Maya Unlimited upgrades are $1,249.

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