The wait is over. Autodesk releases Maya 2022 and 3ds Max 2022 with USD, speed and security being front and centre.
We thought we'd share a quick overview with you on what's new in all three products to whet your appetite. It's fair to say that Pixar's Universal Scene Description (USD) and security are front and centre of these 2022 releases. The team at Escape Technology are excited to have a play on the products, and will certainly be musing on what these releases offer to our clients - which we will of course share with you in the coming weeks.
|Autodesk Maya 2022||£1,640.00 (excl VAT)|
|Autodesk 3ds Max 2022||£1,640.00 (excl VAT)|
|Autodesk MotionBuilder 2022||£1,870.00 (excl VAT)|
Autodesk Media and Entertainment Collection
|£2,2750.00 (excl VAT)|
All licenses are single-user license on an annual subscription
Autodesk Media and Entertainment Collection includes: Maya, 3ds Max, Mudbox, MotionBuilder and SketchBook
With Maya 2022, USD has been seamlessly integrated, allowing artists to not only load and edit massive data sets at lightning speed, but to also work directly with the data using Maya's native tools. Additional benefits include robust referencing functionality, nondestructive data editing workflows, and support for complex variants.
Load and edit massive data sets at lightning speed: One of the many benefits of USD in Maya is the raw speed at which you can bring in massive data sets. Artists can now load multiple gigabytes of data into Maya in a matter of seconds.
Seamlessly import and export USD data: A new round-trip import and export workflow lets artists take USD data and import it as native Maya data, or take native Maya data and export it as USD data. This allows artists to rely on USD as a simple, high speed format for transferring data between Maya scenes or other applications that support USD.
Preview USD scene structure: A new USD Hierarchy View Window gives artists a lightweight preview of the USD scene structure. This can be used to see the contents of a USD file, as well as to set the state of the scene, including variants, before import.
Support for in-memory USD stages: A USD stage is an in-memory container of the composed USD scenegraph. The new mayaUsdProxyShape node enables native Maya workflows directly on USD stages. This means artists can now work directly with USD data in common Maya editors, enabling native support for the Viewport, Outliner, Attribute Editor, Manipulators, Snapping, and more.
An Outliner experience tailored to USD: There are several new features in the Outliner intended to complement USD workflows. With these improvements, artists can quickly and easily identify and manipulate USD data in the Outliner alongside standard Maya objects.
USD in the Viewport: Artists can now see USD natively alongside Maya data in the Viewport. A new Selection by Kind setting provides users with granular control over Viewport-based selection of USD hierarchies. For example, setting selection to “Prim” will allow an artist to select the clicked Prim, whereas setting selection to “Model” will traverse up the hierarchy until a Prim of Kind Model is found.
New USD Layer Editor: The new USD Layer Editor allows artists to intuitively create, view, and manage a USD Stage’s complex LayerStack
Open source and customizable: In addition to shipping with Maya out-of-the-box, the Maya USD plugin is available as an opensource project for studios to customize as needed.
Focused on workflow efficiency, easy-to-use texturing and rendering tools, and offering a safe and secure workspace environment, 3ds Max now has new rendering capabilities added to Arnold, a new Bake to Texture functionality, and enhanced features to popular modeling tools.
Improved Security: Safe Scene Script Execution offers protection against malicious scripts embedded in 3ds Max scene files, regardless of whether these scripts use Maxscript, Python or.NET commands, by blocking the execution of unsafe commands. The Malware Removal functionality detects and removes known malicious scripts from scene files and startup scripts. This prevents the spread of malicious code to other users. The malware removal functionality is powered by the Scene Security Tools plugin, which is updated whenever Autodesk becomes aware of a new malicious script.
Enhanced Workflow Efficiency: New enhancements have been added to popular modeling tools, including the Smart Extrude, Slice Modifier, Extrude Modifier, Symmetry Modifier, AutoSmooth and Relax Modifier tools
Accessible rendering: New render configuration window; faster, snappier, all QT-based UI. Quicksilver render settings are now QT-based, for a faster, more responsive experience. The Viewport Bloom settings have also been synced to the Quicksilver settings. By utilizing the new Viewport Ambient Occlusion sampling value in the Viewport configuration settings, users can further refine their Viewport lookdev and optimize their GPU performance by increasing or decreasing the Viewport Ambient Occlusion quality.
Bake to Texture: The Bake to Texture interface has been simplified to offer easier navigation and selection of baked map types by grouping render elements under common map names. Now, users don't need to remember the specific element name in the render engine they are using to bake frequently used map types like color maps, normal maps, and other PBR compatible maps that are needed in production. Bake to Texture now includes a few utility maps - such as Rounded Corners and Material ID maps - utility maps now achieve the same outcome in only a few clicks
Viewport: Turn any floating Viewport into a full-screen, bordeless view, allowing your 3d scenes to be the true hero.
Python 3 is now available for MotionBuilder providing performance, security, and dev-centri language enhancements, while support for PIP delivers instant access to the latest libraries and tools. Python 3 is the new default on Windows and Linux, but MotionBuilder can still be launched in Python 2 mode by setting an environment variable or with an command line flag.
More powerful MotionBuilder Command Line: The MotionBulder Python Command Line tool has been significantly improved. mobupy.exe can e used to call the MotionBuilder Python SDK. This opens the door to the new capablities like file procession and rendering from the Command Line .
Python/API: The MotionBuilder API has been expanded and improved to include additional capablities based on common feedback from developers.
Python Editor Updates: The Python Editor now displays an 'X' button on each script tab, providing a quick way to close scripts and allowing users to manage multiple script tabs more efficiently.
Customizable Splash Screen: Tool developers can now modify the MotionBuilder splash screen with custom imagery, defined by a new environment variable named MOTIONBUILDER_ICON_PATH. This enables artists and studios to customize the startup experience to differentiate between different projects or tool versions.
Quaternions in the FCurve Editor: Animators can now visualize real Quaternion Rotation properties within the FCurve Editor that match evaluation values, instead of displaying them as normal FCurves.
Character Extension Improvements: The new "Add to Body Part" property enables artists to key a character extension when selecting the body part containing a reference object of that character extension.
Auxiliary Effector Usability: When working with Character Controls, animators can control whether the auxiliary pivots/effectors should be automatically shown or not by using "Automatically Expand Auxiliaries", a new preference added in the Character section. This saves time for animators by reducing the number of actions required to expand IK auxiliaries each time they select individual effectors in the Character Controls.
Relation Constraint Updates: Artists can include relation constraints in an animation layer, while also controlling layer weight, improving the visibility of the layer relationships within the Navigator.
Camera Plate Offset and Scale: Users now have more precise control over the transformation of camera plates.
Group/ Set Enhancements: New options in the Groups/Sets Tool are available to preserve the Show/Pick/Trs state of Groups/Sets when toggling a parent node.
Heads Up Display Enhancements: The Navigator now supports drag and drop parenting of HUDs. The resulting HUD hierarchies can then be easily attached to cameras and rendered in the Viewer, making it easier to associate things like HUD style rig control setups with cameras.
Better Audio Display: Similar to the FCurve Editor, the Camera Switcher now has the ability to display an audio waveform from an audio clip or a Story audio track, allowing animators to stay in context while using audio in the Camera Switcher.
New Undo Window: A new Undo window has been added to enable display and modification of a detailed view of the command history. This new feature allows users to see and update the current level within the undo stack.
Faster Image Loading: When loading a scene file, images contained in the file can be now be loaded in parallel to speed up the loading process, giving users a significant speed boost when opening files with numerous, large images. This is especially important when working with scenes with image-based reference footage.
C3D Import Improvements: The new "Up Axis Used" in File option allows users to specify that the up-axis embedded in the C3D file should be used on import, giving them more control over which axis is up in relation to HIK. In previous versions, users did not have access to the up-axis setting stored in a C3D file.
Viewport Selection Accuracy: Several updates have been made to improve selection accuracy for objects in the Viewport allowing users to interactively select objects such as cameras and locators more predictably in the Viewport.
Story Tool Improvements: Animators will experience workflow improvements and increased stability when working in the Story tool, based on feedback from power users.