With particular strengths lying in its tools for character modelling, motion graphics and rendering, the new tools and enhancements in Maya 2018 speed up your workflow from initial modelling stages right through to animation.
And with Maya now integrated with Arnold 5 and Adobe After Effects, its creative and technical capabilities have expanded even further.
Professional 3D artists are already wild about Maya’s capabilities, as the inspiring videos below show. Swedish studio Fido helped produce award-winning film Kung Fury thanks to its creative team and scalable Autodesk Maya .
The tools in Maya helped the team create phenomenal motion graphics such as a 2.5 minute-long continuous shot that involved around 100 man hours to complete.
Similarly, Moonbot Studios – the team behind Oscar-winning short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore – says that Maya allows it to stay nimble and story-driven on smaller projects, while offering a scalable framework and structure for larger projects.
Brennan Chapman, head of pipeline at Moonbot, says the company makes sure that “every piece of software that we use is broad and can handle almost anything that we throw at it.”
Outstanding new tools and improvements
The After Effects live link plugin allows you to view your 3D creations in both Maya 2018 and After Effects simultaneously. Camera and scene data is synced so that you can make changes in Maya and see the After Effects files update in real time, making your workflow easier.
In another great pairing, Arnold 5 brings powerful rendering to Maya 2018. With Arnold used by big VFX and animation names to help solve complex rendering problems, you can be sure this latest version for Maya will render great images for your projects, whether you’re working on short animations, movies, games or something else.
Improvements in Maya 2018’s character creation repertoire include a more artist-friendly UV Editor interface, complete with a new UV Toolkit with better tools and functionality.
A new interactive grooming clump modifier enables you to create realistic hair and fur in real time. It’s easier and quicker than previous versions of XGen, and means you can see and perfect the results of your grooms without having to wait for a render.
Plus there’s a reimagined sculpting toolset that gives you the ability to sculpt directly on rigged characters, as well as enhanced symmetry modelling, polygon modelling and OpenSubdiv support.
The motion graphics toolset in Maya continues to grow and mature. The MASH animation toolset has a new World node for arranging 3D objects in natural clusters, such as plants around trees, as well as a Placer node for easy set dressing. An improved vector graphics workflow means you can import or copy and paste SVG files into Maya, too.
With new and improved dynamics and effects, you can create realistic rigid and soft-body simulations; add atmospheric effects such as smoke and mist; create realistic ocean surfaces with waves, ripples and wakes; create realistic deformable materials and more.
With just a few clicks, you can create complex arrangements of animated instances that can act dynamically, collide with each other, participate in dynamic forces, and be constrained.