Faster animation playback, higher quality 3D previews and performance improvements are some of the features highlighted by Autodesk on the announcement of Maya 2019 availability.
Featuring significant updates to help artists achieve their creative vision within a faster, more interactive and visually engaging working environment, Maya 2019 continues to pursue the ultimate goal of any animation software: to address the key challenges artists face throughout production.
Faster computers allow for faster workflows, as Autodesk demonstrated at CES 2019, where it teamed with Nvidia to show the ray-tracing features of the new GeForce RTX graphics cards used in the Max-Q laptops. At CES both companies demonstrated how GeForce RTX 2080 laptops help Maya and 3ds Max users tune and tweak their animations more quickly on the go thanks to the upcoming RTX-accelerated Arnold renderer.
Working to get the bar higher
With the new version of Maya, the goal of going faster is achieved – for now! – as the program provides faster animation playback to reduce the need for playblasts, higher quality 3D previews with Autodesk Arnold updates in viewport 2.0, improved pipeline integration with more flexible development environment support, and performance improvements that most Maya artists will notice in their daily work.
“The more you can make the technology behave and get out of the artists’ way, the more they can keep their thought process fluid. With Cached Playback, animators can iterate more, and they totally love that.” says Christopher Moore, Technical Program Manager at Blue Sky Studios. Hank Driskill, CTO, Blue Sky Studios adds that “We’re not looking to make it so our artists get more shots per week off their plate. We’re doing this so we can set the bar even higher for the quality of art we can produce.”
A more responsive environment
“The new features in Maya 2019 give artists a more responsive working environment so they feel more creatively engaged and can iterate faster to produce better quality. Cached Playback is going to reduce the need for playblasts by animators, and Arnold updates take the guesswork out of the equation, by making viewport previews closer to the final Arnold render.” Says Chris Vienneau, sr. director, Media & Entertainment Products at Autodesk.
Here are the key new Maya 2019 features:
- Faster Animation: New cached playback increases animation playback speeds in viewport 2.0, giving animators a more interactive and responsive animating environment to produce better quality animations. It helps reduce the need to produce time-consuming playblasts to evaluate animation work, so animators can work faster.
- Higher Quality Previews Closer to Final Renders: Arnold upgrades improve real-time previews in viewport 2.0, allowing artists to preview higher quality results that are closer to the final Arnold render for better creativity and less wasted time.
- Faster Maya: New performance and stability upgrades help improve daily productivity in a range of areas that most artists will notice in their daily work.
- Refining Animation Data: New filters within the graph editor make it easier to work with motion capture data, including the Butterworth filter and the key reducer to help refine animation curves.
- Rigging Improvements: New updates help make the work of riggers and character TDs easier, including the ability to hide sets from the outliner to streamline scenes, improvements to the bake deformer tool and new methods for saving deformer weights to more easily script rig creation.
- Pipeline Integration Improvements: Development environment updates make it easier for pipeline and tool developers to create, customize and integrate into production pipelines.
- Help for Animators in Training: Sample rigged and animated characters, as well as motion capture samples, make it easier for students to learn and quickly get started animating.
Maya 2019 is available today as a standalone subscription or with a collection of end-to-end creative tools within the Autodesk Media & Entertainment Collection.