Autodesk has announced the latest version of its Maya 3d modeling software, Maya 2008, promising a number of new game development specific features including in-viewport DirectX HLSL shaders, a new hardware shader API, accelerated mental ray texture baking performance, and more.
Autodesk says Maya 2008 is, in general "better equipped to create and display content destined for the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles," with the above features as well as enhancements to the high-quality render view.
Other new and improved features include a 30x faster poly reduce function, 4x faster poly smooth option, 3x improvement of its nCloth cache performance, 20x faster mental ray translation, and improved skinning and rigging toolsets, including new, non-destructive skin editing capabilities.
Said Insomniac Games art director Chad Dezern, "When a problem comes up, artists can usually work it out using the Maya toolset. When we need to build on the software, Maya offers an extremely flexible API, which makes it a great hub for our proprietary modeling tools."