New Features in Maya 2016 – Expect more from Autodesk Maya 2016. With its every release, Maya ships a great deal of features, performance enhancements and numerous tools that come handy to the artists. We can expect all from once again wrapped and served in Autodesk’s new version of Maya software.
While Maya is considered as one of the biggest software coded on the planet, the new version of Maya has enormous additions and fixes every time. It can be tediously tiresome job to offer the whole list of improvements in the latest version. So, we will list out a fair number of features that are introduced and which are believed to add more value to the artists and the Industry.
What’s New in Maya 2016
The first change you will observe when you start the software is Maya’s interface. It underwent a massive overhaul and looked almost different in all means when compared to the older versions. So much to take at once for a hardcore Maya artist! Those who are habituated to see the icons may find the change little confused initially. For some of the artists, it may look weird and takes some time to get along with it.
The changes in the interface are much more than an arrangement of icons. Maya wants to try a new level of user experience in arrangement to attain a unified look which will help the artists for easy workflow. Some of the major changes you will immediately observe in the interface are
- Reorganized Menus and menu sets
- Menu sets renamed
- Small icons appear with the Menu
The above-mentioned changes are just a few among many variations in the interface. However, if you want to work on the old interface, you can choose to switch to it.
Those who had a rough time working on playback and character rig systems in Maya’s previous version here is the good news. Maya’s Evaluation Manager is an evaluation system that boosts the performance of your machine. It is designed to share the performance of the graphic processors and the cores. Maya offers three types of evaluation systems in Maya Animation settings
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GPU override mode
A good news waits for the modelers. Maya introduced a comprehensive set of sculpting tools so the modelers can sculpt and create detailed models with more ease. The workflow is made so easy; you don’t feel that you are working on a new tool. Artists can select a tool from the new sculpting shelf and start working on the model. Before working on the 3D objects directly, it is better to go through the list of adjustments in the Sculpting tool settings.
UV Brushes inside the UV Editor
Have you faced a hard time in relaxing the tangled UV’s all over the UV editor? Take it easy; the job is easier than ever. With the UV brushes placed inside the UV Editor window, you can start to play with the UV maps easily than ever before. Use the 3D Grab tool to move the UVs into the viewport.
Changes in Transform tools
Apart from the additions and enhancements of the tools, Maya also renamed some of the tools in the latest version. It is Autodesk’s intention to help the user easily understand and follow the software.
For example Center as virtual trackball is renamed as Free Rotate.
There are many other tools that are renamed within the Transform toolbar, which includes move tools, rotate tool and scale tool.
Some features are complimented to the analysis and visualization of animation using motion trails
- Adjust the motion trail to fade after an assigned number of frames with Fade In and Out Frames
- Show the animation in front and after the current frame as an animated object move with motion trail with Frame Timing
- Check which animation comes before and after the running frame with Show Current Frame
Maya introduced a new deformer called Delta Mush. It allows you filter deformation and produce smoothing effects.
Apart of all the big changes noticed on the interface, possibly one of the greatest visible and functional changes in Maya 2016 happened with Hypershade. The material preview which was bounded to a small box in the past has a lot prominent role in the new Material Viewer window (which is inside of the Hypershade).
In my opinion, although I was uncertain about the overall UI betterments, at first, I loved the new Hypershade immediately. You need no other reason when you find the real-time preview of the shader.
Improved Color Management
Another efficient betterment in Maya 2016 is the substantial advancement to the color management tools. There are more and more easier-to-use color management choices in the past few versions of Maya, and that trend carries on further in Maya 2016. For example, in former versions of Maya color management was pretty much only executed by the Render Settings. Now you have absolute command over gamma in every viewport, as considerably in the Render View window.
In case you are not sure about why and how color management is important for the 3D workflow, you should gain more knowledge about how linear workflows works in Maya.
One of the major reasons and attributes behind why Maya grew as the leader in 3D animation Industry is its’ adaptability and ability to change quickly to provide convenient workflow. This time Maya has proved it once again by improving its Hotkey editor pretty much in its right. When we talk about the improvement, it is not just limited to the visual sense, which reflects the current trends with its simplicity.
Other than the visual improvements, which are incredibly simple if you think about it, the power to immediately see which keyboard combinations is mapped is astounding.
Adaptive foam and Bi-frost
Bring more life to your water and liquid simulations with Maya 2016’s Adaptive foam and Bifrost feature. With the help of this feature, you can add more number of bubbles, foam or froth based on the simulations of your liquid. Artists enjoy a high level of control over the simulation and generation of the particles than the previous versions of Maya. The feature can add more realistic effect to the stormy seas, beaches, shores and scenes involving huge water bodies.
The resolution Maya generates is pretty high and crystal clearly visible in the rendering stage. Apart of the clarity, the rendering time can also be managed by controlling the foam particles as per the requirement.
Adaptive Aero Solver
Now, you can bring your scene more close to nature with Maya’s Adaptive Aero solver in Bifrost. With this new feature, you can create realistic atmospheric effects like smoke and mist. Aero effects is one step higher than the Maya fluid effects; it can produce details with greater accuracy and reality.
The best part of Aero is even a low-resolution simulation can yield a high-resolution detail while rendering. It takes the control one step ahead with defining regions within the detail where you need denser detail making it more realistic effect.
It is one of the features artists has been waiting for a long time. Maya is put to use for creating commercials on a great scale. And most of the times, animating logos and text have been a manual job which was consuming a lot of time. With the latest version, Maya introduced 3D Type tool, which can make the artists job easy.
It is easy to create branding, swiftly moving title sequences and flying objects and logos and anything that uses 3D text. With this latest feature artists can make multiline, editable and, more importantly, deformable type models. It gives the power to animate the text on a character and word level. Apart from the animation features, it also allows the artists to control the look of the text, where you can edit and apply bevel, extrusion and many other styles.
The cross-platform compatibility features have been enhanced in the Maya 2016, as you interoperability with vector based software reaches a new level. It became much easier to import, copy or paste SVG files in Maya now. For artists and companies that are more into the 2D atmosphere can take their experience to the next level with Maya and Adobe Illustrator compatibility. The paths imported from Illustrator or any other Vector based software can be worked similarly in line with the 3D Type.
Ease with Game engine workflows
Maya understood the gap between the game engine interaction and 3D design software. Autodesk has been working to mitigate the hurdles between these two workflows. Now it is easier to move between game engines like Unreal, Unity, Stingray to Maya software. The game exporter workflows have been simplified to a great extent in the latest 2016 version.
When it comes to Autodesk Stingray, game designers can update the geometry, camera positions and characters immediately through the enhanced workflow. The need to export the objects repeatedly has been dismissed, and the changes can be seen immediately in both ways.