Autodesk announces 2013 DCC software
Autodesk has announced the latest versions of 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox and Softimage – updated to offer new creative toolsets, more interactive viewports and workflow enhancements
Autodesk has unveiled its 2013 portfolio of digital content creation suites, which are optimised to connect seamlessly with each other and with (Autodesk 360), the company’s cloud computing platform.
The 2013 products feature customisable one-click workflows and improved interoperability, making it easier to connect design and visualisation tasks. According to Autodesk, this gives users the ability to better communicate their design intent visually.
After you’ve had a look, let us know what you think might be missing from the new features line-up, and let us know what you think about the one-click interoperability. We think having 3ds Max and Maya bundled together is an inspired idea!
As Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk senior vice president of Industry Strategy and Marketing, says, “The 2013 suites are a major step forward to a cohesive and interconnected product family.”
“The tools in the suites now work more seamlessly with each other and with the cloud, offering tremendous value by opening new ways for our customers to solve their most complex design and engineering challenges.”
Autodesk's 2013 software feature customisable one-click workflows and improved interoperability, making it easier to connect design and visualisation tasks
3ds Max and Maya appear to have received the most improvements
At first glance, it looks like 3ds Max and Maya have been given the most attention, with significant new features and enhancements.
3ds Max 2013 has new and improved features including After Effects interoperability, render passes, tabbed layouts, Trackview retiming, customisable workspaces and more.
Head to Ken Pimentel’s blog post on 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2013 on The Area.
What’s new in Autodesk Maya 2013?
Autodesk Maya 2013 software delivers practical toolsets to help create and maintain the modern, open pipelines you need to address today’s challenging 3D animation, visual effects, game development, and post production projects. Powerful new toolsets for dynamic simulation, animation, and rendering offer new levels of creativity, while everyday productivity enhancements help you finish faster. In addition, the Open Data initiative introduced in Maya 2013 offers tools to help facilitate parallel workflows and better complexity handling.
Read 3D World’s Maya 2012 review
"Autodesk Maya 2013 software delivers practical toolsets to help your facility create and maintain the modern, open pipelines needed to address today’s challenging productions." Maya, MotionBuilder and Mudbox image courtesy of Guerrilla B.V
Key new features in Maya
Create more realistic hair and other curve-based dynamics with the new Maya® nHair module for the Maya® Nucleus unified simulation framework. nHair can interact bidirectionally with both Maya® nCloth and Maya® nParticles, so you can create complex simulations with multiple dynamic entities all working together.
Viewport 2.0 Enhancements
With the addition of high-quality depth sorting, together with support for image planes and animation ghosting, Viewport 2.0 now offers a higher fidelity interactive environment, so you can evaluate your work more easily in order to make better creative decisions.
New Node Editor
A new Node Editor helps you more easily create, edit, and debug node networks. Drag-and-drop connection editing enables you to rewire nodes in a more intuitive environment, while three levels of detail, together with color coding for different data types, make it easier to handle complex networks.
Take advantage of the open source AMD Bullet Physics engine to simulate both soft and rigid bodies in a single high-performance system. Featuring discrete and continuous 3D collision detection, Bullet enables you to create highly realistic simulations of cloth, rope, deformable objects, and ragdoll skeletons.
Spend less time manually refining skinning, with a new Heat Map Skinning method that can provide a more accurate initial binding of geometry to skeletons. With this method, skin is better able to be assigned to the intended bone as opposed to an adjacent but unrelated one.
Trax Clip Matching
It is now easier to visualize how motions within two or more Trax clips match in order to adjust how they blend together. With Clip Ghosts, you can view the start and end frames of clips as skeletal wireframes in the 3D view; clips can then be matched either manually or automatically.
As part of the new Open Data initiative, you can now read and write the Alembic open computer graphics interchange framework format, initially developed in 2010 by teams from Sony Pictures Imageworks and Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. Alembic distills complex animated and simulated data into application-independent baked geometry, so that massive datasets can be more easily passed between disciplines.
ATOM Animation Transfer
You can now transfer animation between characters via the new ATOM (Animation Transfer Object Model) offline file format—another element of the new Open Data initiative. ATOM natively supports keyframes, constraints, animation layers, and Set Driven Keys.
File Referencing Workflow Enhancements
Targeted improvements to both the user interface and the underlying architecture for file referencing enable you to more easily segment your scenes to work in parallel and better manage complexity—another contribution to the new Open Data initiative.
What’s new in Autodesk 3ds Max 2013?
Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 software delivers interactive rendering with ActiveShade support in the NVIDIA iray renderer; offers a new render pass system with integrated node-based compositing; and provides industry-leading interoperability with Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop software. In addition, new motion graphics, 3D animation, and simulation tools empower artists to focus more on creative, rather than technical challenges. Finally, enhanced interoperability with Maya 2013 and MotionBuilder 2013 animation software helps facilitate pipeline integration.
Read 3D World’s 3ds Max 2012 review
What’s new in Autodesk MotionBuilder 2013?
Autodesk MotionBuilder 2013 software helps production teams more reliably acquire, aggregate, and refine data, and offers a new nonlinear editing paradigm for Virtual Production. Highlights include the option to record live motion capture data directly to disk, a flexible new HUD (heads-up display), a floating viewer, and support for broadcast WAVE files.
Read 3D World’s MotionBuilder 2012 review
Live character streaming between MotionBuilder and Maya provides an efficient way to previsualise a retargeting result in the final Maya scene
What’s new in Autodesk Mudbox 2013?
Autodesk Mudbox 2013 software helps artists create complex production-ready scenes with greater ease, with the Gigatexel engine and the ability to work efficiently with significantly more objects. In addition, Mudbox 2013 offers new multipurpose curves, support for edge sharpness data, and enhanced interoperability with Adobe Photoshop software.
Read 3D World’s Mudbox 2012 review
What’s new in Autodesk Softimage 2013?
Autodesk Softimage 2013 animation software delivers powerful new creative toolsets, a new high-fidelity interactive environment, and extended customizability. Users can enjoy greater creative freedom with a completely new CrowdFX simulation feature set and a new High-Quality Viewport, along with enhanced modeling, animation, physics, and selection tools. Also, extensions to the SDK (software development kit) help facilitate pipeline integration.
Read 3D World’s Softimage 2012 review
Enhanced interoperability for greater flexibility
Building on the existing data exchange workflows, the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites 2013 offer a variety of new features to further enhance interoperability between products:
- Live character streaming between MotionBuilder and Maya provides an efficient way to previsualise a retargeting result in the final Maya scene before transferring the data between applications
- More consistent hotkeys make it easier for Maya artists to navigate viewports in the 3D suite applications, and help artists familiar with 3ds Max to get up to speed with Softimage faster
- The enhanced, consistent F-Curve Editor within 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage and MotionBuilder now offers consistent functionality, helping animators transition between these applications more smoothly
- Autodesk HumanIK Interoperability with CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) provides a single-step, round-trip workflow to transfer 3ds Max CAT bipedal characters between 3ds Max, Maya and MotionBuilder
- Enhanced interoperability between Maya and 3ds Max enables artists to move 3D data between the applications in a single step
Read the official press release on the Autodesk website
Read what’s new in the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites PDF brochure
Expanded suites deliver more powerful toolsets
Autodesk has also released the Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate edition.
This suite bundles both 3ds Max 2013 and Maya 2013 animation software together for the first time, alongside Softimage 2013, Mudbox 2013 and MotionBuilder 2013.
All editions of the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites now also include SketchBook Designer 2013 concept art software.
This product enables artists to explore and present new ideas for characters, props and environments using an intuitive hybrid paint and vector toolset.
For more information about the three editions of the Entertainment Creation Suites, visit the Autodesk site.
Please let us know what you think of the new features and workflow enhancements via the comments box below, or on Facebook or Twitter.
We’ll have more in-depth news soon on the individual product releases, so watch this space.
on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 at 2:43 pm under News, Products.
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Tags: 3D design, 3ds Max, Autodesk, autodesk 2012, Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites 2013, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, new Autodesk products, new Autodesk software, Softimage