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Maya 7

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aggiungo, anche le principali novità anticiparte nel famoso pdf sembrano tutte confermate :ph34r:

" complete re-architecture of the Maya render layers functionality"

"The integration of the industry-leading full-body IK solver from Alias MotionBuilder"

"Maya 7 introduces RenderMan® - compatible variable creasing on smoothly subdivided polygon meshes"

"Edge Loop and Edge Ring tools, UV unfolding, tri-planar and multi-mesh mapping, together with the inclusion of CgFX and ASHLI plug-ins"

"new Toon Shader"

"Maya Hair can now be transplanted from one character to another, Maya Fur is now integrated with Maya's dynamic curve technology, and Maya Fluid Effects" benefits from a new High Detail"

:devil:

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:crying: sono commosso...

spero che quella lista di nuove features che girava si vera...sbav....

beh, o il tipo che l'ha fatto ha avuto tanto tanto culo, oppure la lista era proprio un documento interno ufficiale :D

domani avremo la piena conferma :devil::devil:

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" complete re-architecture of the Maya render layers functionality"

Spero che questa riguardi anche i Render Pass, se migliorassero (riscrivessero?) quelli per me sarebbe già una novità più che sufficiente. ^_^

p.s.: integrazione di alcune features di Motion Builder missà che sarà una bella botta. :o

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aggiungo, anche le principali novità anticiparte nel famoso pdf sembrano tutte confermate 

" complete re-architecture of the Maya render layers functionality"

"The integration of the industry-leading full-body IK solver from Alias MotionBuilder"

"Maya 7 introduces RenderMan® - compatible variable creasing on smoothly subdivided polygon meshes"

"Edge Loop and Edge Ring tools, UV unfolding, tri-planar and multi-mesh mapping, together with the inclusion of CgFX and ASHLI plug-ins"

"new Toon Shader"

"Maya Hair can now be transplanted from one character to another, Maya Fur is now integrated with Maya's dynamic curve technology, and Maya Fluid Effects" benefits from a new High Detail"

dimmi una sola di queste novità che ti serve per il lavoro che fai dagon...il tono trionfalistico mi spieghi in cosa consinte?!?!? :wacko: ...

BUUUHHHH BUUUHHH...DAGON...BUUUHHH BUUUUHHHH... :w00t::w00t::w00t: ....

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dimmi una sola di queste novità che ti serve per il lavoro che fai dagon...il tono trionfalistico mi spieghi in cosa consinte?!?!? :wacko: ...

BUUUHHHH BUUUHHH...DAGON...BUUUHHH BUUUUHHHH... :w00t:  :w00t:  :w00t: ....

se avessi letto il pdf allegato qualche giorno fa capiresti il tono trionfalistico flore

cmq aspettate il full body ik anche per max :rolleyes: nella versione 10 forse :lol:

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dimmi una sola di queste novità che ti serve per il lavoro che fai dagon...il tono trionfalistico mi spieghi in cosa consinte?!?!? :wacko: ...

BUUUHHHH BUUUHHH...DAGON...BUUUHHH BUUUUHHHH... :w00t:  :w00t:  :w00t: ....

Non so che lavoro faccia Dagon, ma queste sono alcune novità, non trascurabili, che possono giustificare il tono trionfalistico di un utente Maya:

1) Il render pass con impostazioni e renderers indipendenti pronti per l'output sia in Photoshop (con i livelli pronti pronti) che in FLASH, oppure per il compositing.

2) L'aggiunta di molti nodi Maya tra quelli digeribili da Mental Ray

3) Unfold UVs, tri-planar e multi-mesh mapping

4) Aggiunti altri tipi di snap (al già cospicuo numero presente):

4a - Move Axis Options – There are four new ways to specify the axis used by the Move tool: Along Live Object Axis, Along Custom Axis, Orient Axis Toward Point and Align Axis with Edge/Face.

4b - Snapping with Show Manipulator – Maya 7 now offers snapping options for commands that use the Show Manipulator tool including Extrude Face, Extrude Edge, Poke Faces, Extract and Move Component, as well as, camera and light creation. This new ability allows them to set increments for moving, rotating and scaling when using common modeling and object creation commands.

4c - Snap to Face Centers

4d - Snapping on Constrained Axis – snap on a single axis in Object Space and Local Space, as well as World Space.

5) Bevel Option for Text Text can now be created as beveled geometry. Because history is maintained, the beveling setup stays the same downstream, even if the text itself changes.

Va beh poi il PDF sono 22 pagine di roba da far girare la testa quindi mi fermo qui :)

Mauro

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Oddio, non è che anche questa mi dispiaccia eh? :D

Maya 7 introduces RenderMan® - compatible variable creasing on smoothly subdivided polygon meshes, allowing precise and intuitive control between smooth and hard edges. Portions of the subdivision surface implementation in Maya incorporate the use of Pixar Subdivision Surface Patents. "We are very pleased to see Maya 7 using Pixar's patented technology. This is very convenient for compatibility between Maya and our in-house tools, as well as a tremendous benefit for the many members of the Maya community who use Pixar's RenderMan®, MTOR" and RenderMan® for Maya products," said Dana Batali, director of RenderMan product development at Pixar Animation Studios.

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il pdf è abbastanza scarno, cmq sembra confermare le features annunciate dal primo pdf, se hai letto quello sai quali saranno le novità :D


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ssssh ;)

Variable Creasing for Smooth Proxy

The ability to create variable degrees of creasing on smooth proxy mesh edges gives modelers an easier method of creating shapes that vary between hard and smooth – without unduly increasing resolution. Creases are supported by all four of Maya software’s renderers.

Edge Loop and Edge Ring Tools

New Edge Loop and Edge Ring tools facilitate the process of selecting complex edge loops, edge rings, face paths, and texture borders on polygon meshes. They also make it easier to duplicate edge loops and split edge rings.

Additions and Enhancement to Snapping and Alignment

A number of new methods for snapping and aligning elements are available in Maya 7 software.

o Move Axis Options – There are four new ways to specify the axis used by the Move tool: Along Live Object Axis, Along Custom Axis, Orient Axis Toward Point and Align Axis with Edge/Face.

o Snapping with Show Manipulator – Maya 7 now offers animators snapping options for commands that use the Show Manipulator tool including Extrude Face, Extrude Edge, Poke Faces, Extract and Move Component, as well as, camera and light creation. This new ability allows them to set increments for moving, rotating and scaling when using common modeling and object creation commands.

o Snap to Face Centers – Animators can now snap points to face centers, for the precise alignment of objects or components to the center of a face.

o Snapping on Constrained Axis – Animators can now snap on a single axis in Object Space and Local Space, as well as World Space.

Beveling for Adobe Illustrator Files

(see

Maya/Illustrator Workflow, page 15)

Bevel Option for Text

Text can now be created as beveled geometry. Because history is maintained, the beveling setup stays the same downstream, even if the text itself changes.

Universal Manipulator

The addition of a new manipulator in Maya software allows for the quick and precise rotation, translation and scaling of one or more objects. Artists can also type in values for rotation and scaling – for fast, precise positioning and sizing of objects.

Move Tool Symmetry

As of Maya 7, artists can use the move tool to affect components on both sides of an object symmetrically – enabling them to make adjustments to a symmetrical model while maintaining symmetry.

Pick Walk On Polygon Vertices

The ability to step through polygon vertices using the arrow keys – with the direction of movement determined by the screen space orientation of the mesh – streamlines the task of performing repetitive operations on a series of vertices.

Additional Polygon Primitives

The addition of new pyramid, prism, helix, pipe, soccer ball and platonic solid primitives give new and experienced users alike an easier starting point for the creation of certain types of complex polygonal models.

Easier Access to Polygon Commands

The addition of two new context sensitive marking menus – for polygon creation and editing of polygon components – provides easier access to commonly used tools and commands.

Soft Modification Falloff Resizing

Artists can now resize the Soft Modification falloff area using the familiar momentary hotkey “b” – also used for resizing brushes within Maya. This is a faster, more intuitive way to adjust the range of influence of the deformation.

MMB Pivot/Manipulator Relocation for Components

Maya 7 software gives artists a “one click” solution for moving both the pivot and manipulator: a middle mouse button click is now the only step required

Smooth Proxy Toggle

As of Maya 7 there is a hotkey command that enables artists to toggle between smooth proxy and polygon display mode.

Convert Selection to Contained Components

The ability to convert selected polygon components to contained edges or contained faces, makes it easier for modelers to convert between components without growing the selection.


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Per Dagon:

Minchia :o

E pensare che da domani sarà già disponibile per il download agli utenti Premium...:(

Per penny:

Una cosa troppo bella per essere vera. :o

Adding the industry’s leading full-body IK solver to Maya software makes rigging and posing characters faster and easier, and enables the natural articulation of biped and quadruped models. For example, if an animator animates the hand of a character reaching to pick up an object, the torso will follow automatically. The same rig can be used for multiple animation scenarios, such as a character going from crawling to walking to swinging on a tree. Having the same solver in both Maya and MotionBuilder facilitates the transfer of characters between the two packages – without data loss.

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Anzi, metto la lista completa (non se è il PDF o il suo riassunto):

New Feature Highlights

The new features and enhancements of Maya 7 software include:

New and Enhanced Character Animation Tools (pages 2-4) – The integration of Alias MotionBuilder® software’s ’s industry-leading fully-body IK solver makes rigging and posing characters faster, easier and more accurate. Enhancements to deformers make them more flexible, with paintable, per-target/per-vertex Blend Shapes and paintable per-vertex Wire deformers. Plus, Maya 7 software now supports collaborative, parallel workflows through its ability to iteratively substitute geometry while skinning, deformations, and keyframe animation are in effect. Collaborative workflows also benefit because topology changes can be propagated to blend shape targets.

New Modeling and Mapping Tools (pages 4 –7) – Numerous new polygonal modeling and mapping tools in Maya 7 deliver the industry’s most well-rounded, comprehensive modeling feature set. New polygon modeling tools – including Edge Loop, Edge Ring, and Pick Walk – enhance artist-productivity. Moreover, the addition of variable creasing for Smooth Proxy polygons provides greater control over object form. Texturing in Maya is now faster and more straightforward with the addition of powerful new UV tools including Unfold UVs, tri-planar and multi-mesh mapping, as well as lattice and smudge deformers for UVs. Maya 7 also allows artists to optimize scenes without loss of detail through a new Surface Sampler that can be used for normal mapping and to transfer displacement, color and lighting information from high-resolution to low-resolution models.

Enhanced Visual Effects Tools (pages 7-11) –New tools and added functionality in Maya 7 software boost productivity and help artists achieve stunning visual effects faster. A new Toon Shader supports a wide range of non-photorealistic rendering styles that make it easier than ever for Maya artists to mimic the look of traditional 2D comic books, cartoons, Japanese manga and anime, and more. Maya 7 also offers artists a wide range of innovative tools for the creation of sophisticated visual effects. This includes enhancements to Maya Paint Effects™, Maya Fur, Maya Hair, Maya Cloth and Maya Fluid Effects™.

Improved Integration With Other Essential Production Tools (pages 11-16) – Enhanced integration with other essential production and design packages continues to be a key Maya development theme. A complete re-architecting of the Maya render layers functionality means that multiple passes from any of the Maya four renderers, or third-party renderers, as well as post processes such as Maya Fur and Maya Paint Effects, can now be managed in a single scene. This new workflow not only streamlines the rendering process, but it also prepares renders for optimal output to the artists’ compositor of choice, or to Adobe® Photoshop® or Macromedia® Flash®. Maya 7 also boasts new features and functionality that streamline the workflow between Maya and Photoshop – as well as Adobe Illustrator® and popular CAD applications. Enhancements to the FBX® and CgFX plug-ins and the addition of the ATI ASHLI plug-in also augment the Maya software’s ability to integrate with other production and game development pipeline tools to increase user productivity.

Additions to Key Productivity-Enhancing Tools (pages 16-21) – Maya 7 delivers a number of productivity-focused enhancements such as shared edits for proxies, Artisan workflow improvements and important API class additions.

Two Options: Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited

Maya Complete is the most comprehensive 3D software solution for producing professional-quality graphics on desktop PCs or graphics workstations. It integrates all of the foremost tools for 3D modeling, animation and rendering within a single, production-proven workflow. Maya Complete is the number one choice of award-winning digital artists and animators. Its intuitive design makes it a favorite amongst digital content creation artist and enthusiasts of all experience levels who develop 2D and 3D artwork for film, broadcast, game development, multimedia (print and web) or design visualization.

The ultimate version of Maya – Maya Unlimited – is the choice of digital artists who are looking to make their 3D projects stand out. Maya Unlimited includes all the functionality found in Maya Complete, plus, it provides professional artists and animators with additional industry leading innovations such as Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Cloth, Maya Hair, Maya Fur and Maya Live, for the creation of superior digital content.

Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited are available for Windows®, Mac OS® X and Linux®.

New and Enhanced Character Animation Tools

Animation, Character Setup and Deformers

Integrated Alias MotionBuilder technology, and enhancements to deformers and skinning tools make animating characters faster, easier and more accurate.

Full Body IK

Adding the industry’s leading full-body IK solver to Maya software makes rigging and posing characters faster and easier, and enables the natural articulation of biped and quadruped models. For example, if an animator animates the hand of a character reaching to pick up an object, the torso will follow automatically. The same rig can be used for multiple animation scenarios, such as a character going from crawling to walking to swinging on a tree. Having the same solver in both Maya and MotionBuilder facilitates the transfer of characters between the two packages – without data loss.

Substitute Geometry

Animators can now substitute a bound piece of geometry for a different piece of geometry and still maintain skin weighting. This added capability saves character riggers time by eliminating the need to redo the character’s skin weights multiple times. This benefits parallel workflows, where modelers, animators and TDs work on the same character simultaneously.

Topology Propagation for Blend Shapes

As of Maya 7, topology changes to Blend Shape base shapes can now be easily propagated to all targets: allowing changes to be made to a model after animation is underway.

Weightable, Paintable Wire and Blend Shape Deformers

Animators gain greater control over their deformations with new support for per vertex weighting for Blend Shapes and Wire deformers and the ability to paint weights using Maya Artisan™. Blend Shape weights can now also be specified on a per-target basis.

Delete Non-Deformer History

In Maya 7, animators can delete object history without also deleting the object’s deformer-related history: formerly only skinning history could be retained. This removes the need to carefully manage modeling history and gives animators improved scene performance and reduced file sizes – without the loss of deformations.

Rotate Joint While Painting Skin Weights

The ability to rotate joints while painting skin weights allows animators to test the weighting of the skin, at different positions, without leaving the tool – creating an iterative way to make edits.

Smooth Skin Weight Color Feedback

Maya 7 allows animators to view the relationship between joints, vertices and skin weights as user-defined colors – including when painting weights. This makes it easier to view and edit how joints will affect different parts of the skin.

Spring IK Solver

The addition of a spring IK solver allows animators to set proportional rotations along the joint chain. This new functionality will prove particularly useful when posing and animating limbs that have numerous joints, such as insect legs.

Dope Sheet Enhancements

A new manipulator in the Maya 7 Dope Sheet lets animators move, scale, cut, copy and paste regions of time and have the rest of their animation shift or ripple to accommodate the keyframe changes.

Performance Improvement for Copying Skin Weights

Copying skin weights from one piece of bound geometry to another is now significantly faster due to an improved algorithm.

Plateau Tangent Type

The addition of a new Plateau tangent type for animation curves ensures that these curves do not extend past the values of the minimum and maximum keys.

Display Normalized Curves in Graph Editor

While working in the graph editor, animators can now view, compare or edit related animation curves (e.g. rotation and translation curves) that have drastically different ranges. The editor normalizes between a range of -1 to 1.

Blend Set Driven Key and Constraints

Pair blending has now been extended to work with Set Driven Key: enabling animation to both constrain and place Set Driven Keys on the same channels of an object, and to blend between the two states. For example, a collarbone could now be controlled by the raising of the arm (Set Driven Key) and by a direct shrugging motion (constraint).

Performance Improvements for Lattices

Lattices perform approximately twice as fast in Maya 7 as they did in the previous version of the software.

Custom Key Colors and Sizes in Timeline

The ability to customize the thickness of keys in the timeline – and to set different colors for individual keys and keys belonging to different curves – makes it easier to identify and visually distinguish between keys in the timeline.

Improvements to Influence Object Setup

Animators can now simultaneously add multiple influence objects to a skinned character.

New Modeling and Mapping Tools

With its numerous new polygonal modeling and mapping tools, Maya 7 delivers the industry’s most well-rounded, comprehensive modeling feature set.

Modeling

Variable Creasing for Smooth Proxy

The ability to create variable degrees of creasing on smooth proxy mesh edges gives modelers an easier method of creating shapes that vary between hard and smooth – without unduly increasing resolution. Creases are supported by all four of Maya software’s renderers.

Edge Loop and Edge Ring Tools

New Edge Loop and Edge Ring tools facilitate the process of selecting complex edge loops, edge rings, face paths, and texture borders on polygon meshes. They also make it easier to duplicate edge loops and split edge rings.

Additions and Enhancement to Snapping and Alignment

A number of new methods for snapping and aligning elements are available in Maya 7 software.

o Move Axis Options – There are four new ways to specify the axis used by the Move tool: Along Live Object Axis, Along Custom Axis, Orient Axis Toward Point and Align Axis with Edge/Face.

o Snapping with Show Manipulator – Maya 7 now offers animators snapping options for commands that use the Show Manipulator tool including Extrude Face, Extrude Edge, Poke Faces, Extract and Move Component, as well as, camera and light creation. This new ability allows them to set increments for moving, rotating and scaling when using common modeling and object creation commands.

o Snap to Face Centers – Animators can now snap points to face centers, for the precise alignment of objects or components to the center of a face.

o Snapping on Constrained Axis – Animators can now snap on a single axis in Object Space and Local Space, as well as World Space.

Beveling for Adobe Illustrator Files

(see

Maya/Illustrator Workflow, page 15)

Bevel Option for Text

Text can now be created as beveled geometry. Because history is maintained, the beveling setup stays the same downstream, even if the text itself changes.

Universal Manipulator

The addition of a new manipulator in Maya software allows for the quick and precise rotation, translation and scaling of one or more objects. Artists can also type in values for rotation and scaling – for fast, precise positioning and sizing of objects.

Move Tool Symmetry

As of Maya 7, artists can use the move tool to affect components on both sides of an object symmetrically – enabling them to make adjustments to a symmetrical model while maintaining symmetry.

Pick Walk On Polygon Vertices

The ability to step through polygon vertices using the arrow keys – with the direction of movement determined by the screen space orientation of the mesh – streamlines the task of performing repetitive operations on a series of vertices.

Additional Polygon Primitives

The addition of new pyramid, prism, helix, pipe, soccer ball and platonic solid primitives give new and experienced users alike an easier starting point for the creation of certain types of complex polygonal models.

Easier Access to Polygon Commands

The addition of two new context sensitive marking menus – for polygon creation and editing of polygon components – provides easier access to commonly used tools and commands.

Soft Modification Falloff Resizing

Artists can now resize the Soft Modification falloff area using the familiar momentary hotkey “b” – also used for resizing brushes within Maya. This is a faster, more intuitive way to adjust the range of influence of the deformation.

MMB Pivot/Manipulator Relocation for Components

Maya 7 software gives artists a “one click” solution for moving both the pivot and manipulator: a middle mouse button click is now the only step required

Smooth Proxy Toggle

As of Maya 7 there is a hotkey command that enables artists to toggle between smooth proxy and polygon display mode.

Convert Selection to Contained Components

The ability to convert selected polygon components to contained edges or contained faces, makes it easier for modelers to convert between components without growing the selection.

Texturing and 3D Paint

Surface Sampler

Artists – including those developing game art assets – will now be able to optimize scenes without loss of detail. The new Surface Sampler tool can be used for normal mapping and to transfer displacement, color, and lighting information from high-resolution to low-resolution models. This tool works on multiple surfaces and supports a user-editable search envelope. It replaces the Transfer Surface Information tool.

New and Improved UV Tools

The toolset for working with UVs has been expanded in Maya 7 to make it easier to create and edit UVs for polygon and, in many cases, subdivision surface models.

Unfold UVs with Pinning

A new Unfold UVs tool that unwraps UV meshes helps minimize the distortion of texture maps on organic polygon meshes. This is achieved by optimizing the position of the UV coordinates so they more closely reflect the World Space characteristics of the original polygon mesh. Artists can pin areas of the mesh to prevent movement during the operation.

Tri-planar and User-Defined Projections for Automatic Mapping

Automatic Mapping now supports more projections, including three planes for Tri-planar mapping and user-defined geometry. This method lets animators quickly create non-overlapping UVs for complex objects and optimize the projections in order to minimize the number of UV shells created. Tri-planar projections are typically used for environments, such as city blocks, which are basically cuboid in nature.

Lattice and Smudge Tools in UV Editor

Maya 7 comes with both a UV Lattice and UV Smudge tool that allow for the simultaneous manipulation of multiple UVs in the Texture Editor – enabling high-level modifications to be made to large numbers of UVs simultaneously, as when dealing with dense meshes.

Enhancements to UV Layout

This new tool lets artists layout the UVs of multiple objects simultaneously – allowing UVs to share a single texture without having the texture repeat across the object. The feature also supports free rotation in order to achieve the best UV fit within the texture.

Enhancements to UV Snapshot

UV Snapshot now works with multiple objects selected and can capture the entire range, or a custom range, as well as the 0-1 range. This added ability makes it easier to paint textures that will be used with multiple objects.

Performance Improvements for Automatic Mapping and Layout UVs

The mapping workflow benefits from improved performance in the Automatic Mapping and Layout UVs tools.

Direct Numeric Entry for Relative Transformations

Direct numeric entry – available for absolute translations – has now been added for relative transformations, allowing artists to precisely move, scale and rotate UVs relative to their current location.

(For texture features that relate directly to Maya/Photoshop integration, see Maya/Photoshop Workflow-Enhancing Features, page 14).

Other Texture and Mapping Tools

Multiple Sets of Color Per Vertex

A new Color Set Editor enables artists to create color sets for their polygonal objects in order to separate, layer and manage their color per vertex data. This would allow an artist, for example to choose a color set for each time of the day, or color sets that store levels of dirtiness or damage to a car model, etc.

Convert Texture to Geometry

Maya 7 provides artists with an efficient new workflow for translation of textures into vector imagery; as well as for creating edge boundaries automatically based on texture information or as part of a process for generating color per vertex information from lighting. The new texture-to-geometry process involves converting an image into a polygonal mesh that is subdivided based on the colors in the image. The subdivided faces on the mesh can optionally be assigned a shading material with a similar color to the original image.

Warp Image

A new Warp Image tool in Maya 7 software enables artists to create an image that is modified from a source image in order to reflect changes in UV layout between two UV sets. This would help artists regenerate an image after changes have been made to UVs – for example, if an area has been scaled up in order to provide for more texture space, the associated image can then be warped to match the new UV placement.

Enhanced Visual Effects Tools

Maya 7 delivers numerous new features and feature enhancements that facilitate the process of creating stunning visual effects, such as a new Toon Shader and enhancements to Maya Paint Effects, Maya Fluid Effects , Maya Hair, Maya Fur and Maya Cloth.

Toon Shader

A powerful new Toon Shader in Maya 7 software supports a wide range of non-photorealistic rendering styles that make it easier than ever for Maya artists to mimic the look of traditional 2D cartoons, comic books, Japanese manga and anime, and more. Because Paint Effects brushes can be used on an outline, artists gain access to an extensive range of painterly effects; plus, they have extensive control over line style, placement and width – and get the benefit of near real-time interactive previews. Results can be rendered in mental ray for Maya or Maya software or hardware renderers.

(For more information on rendering features see Rendering page: 11)

Dynamics

New Drag Field Attributes

Maya 7 boasts three new attributes to the Drag field: Speed Attenuation, Motion Attenuation, and Inherit Velocity. These attributes provide greater control over the effect of the drag field on dynamic objects – particles, hair, fluid, cloth, etc. – depending on its speed and motion. As an example, the attributes can be used to simulate hair-to-hair collision behavior next to the head.

Falloff Curve for Use Max Distance

The addition of a curve widget in Maya 7 software controls the falloff of the Use Max Distance option for all fields, including plug-in fields. This allows a field’s force to be modulated by a profile curve. For example, an animator can scale the force from a field so that it will smoothly drop off to zero at the boundary defined by the Max Distance value.

Per-Particle Per-Object Goal Weights

A new set of dynamic attributes has been added to the particle node that will allow artists to specify per-particle goal weight values for a particular goal object – useful for creating varying goal attractions, within a particle system, to one goal object.

Per-Particle Goal Point Data

Artists can now add several new per-particle dynamic attributes to the particle node – after creating goal objects – relating to the goal’s world position, as well as its normal, tangent and UV data. These attributes let the artist view data about the specific point on each goal object to which each particle is being attracted – useful for the creation of certain runtime expressions.

Selectable UV Set for Collisions

Support for multiple UV sets for collision objects has been added in Maya 7. This allows artists to use a UV set for particle collisions, which may be different than the UVs used for other purposes, such as texturing.

Maya Paint Effects

Fast Mesh Preview for Paint Effects

New as of Maya 7, Maya Paint Effects brushes can be drawn and previewed as meshes in the interactive view. This enables animators to see the brush as though rendered and still interact with it in real-time; unlike the Paint Effects panel, camera tumbling does not necessitate a redraw.

Modifier Objects for Paint Effects

Animators can now create spherical or cuboid modifier objects to control various aspects of a Paint Effects stroke. Additionally, the falloff of the modification effect can be controlled using a graph widget and the position and scale of the objects can be animated. The end result is that artists can selectively modify the brush characteristics within the realm of the modifier. This is highly useful, for example, if an artist wanted to

have a plant only grow leaves within the modifier object, or cause a force – such as wind blowing a tree as the modifier passes over it

– affect the stroke.

Screen Space Width Controls for Maya Paint Effects

As of Maya 7 the width of Paint Effects brushes can be controlled based on screen space. This allows lines to be optionally kept at a uniform width, regardless of the distance from the camera – particularly helpful when using the Toon Shader.

Pressure Scale Graph for Paint Effects

The addition of a graph widget to control the Pressure Scale along a Paint Effects stroke allows artists to precisely vary attributes that can be controlled by pressure – width, opacity, softness, scale, etc. – along the length of the stroke. This is especially useful for creating sketchy, tapered lines for toon shading.

Convert Paint Effects to NURBS or Curves

As of Maya 7software, artists can convert Paint Effects strokes to NURBS surfaces or to curves. This is useful as a basis for modeling, or for rendering in other renderers such as Pixar Renderman®.

Maya Cloth (Maya Unlimited)

Cloth Collision Enhancements

A number of enhancements have been made to Maya Cloth that give artists greater control over cloth collisions. This allows for precision management of cloth interaction with characters and other objects in the scene.

Controls Over Recoiling Characteristics

New attributes in the cpSolver node control how cloth recoils when it collides with an object. For example, the ability to dampen the effect of collisions on the cloth’s velocity means animators can make the recoiling action less extreme.

Controls Over Recovery Velocity for Collisions

Artists can now scale collision offset velocity and collision depth velocity using a graph widget. This will enable them to vary the time it takes for cloth that has penetrated a collision object to be pushed back out depending on how far it has penetrated the collision object.

Friction Control Per Collision Object

Maya 7 gives artists the ability to scale friction values on a per-collision basis; previously friction could only be specified on the cloth object. This new functionality allows artists to simulate the same piece of cloth being dragged over objects with different properties, e.g. a cloth dragged over sandpaper and then over marble.

Per Collision Shape Toggle for Collision Constraints

Functionality has been added to the collision constraint so that an on/off attribute now exists for each collision object – as opposed to a global toggle. This allows animators to keyframe the collision state of individual objects. As an example, curtains could be held open by an invisible collision object and then released by toggling the collision constraint off. The curtain would then fall and collide with other objects in the scene.

Ability to Specify Collisions Per Face

Maya 7 enables cloth animators to specify collision per face – so that only a subset of the faces on an object collides.

Resimulate Selected Region

The ability to resimulate a selected region within a cloth garment based on a previously generated cache will help Maya Cloth animators tweak specific regions of cloth.

Property Blending

As of Maya 7, property values can be averaged across the mesh providing a soft transition between two panels – such as a stiff panel seamed to a floppy panel.

Tessellation Limit

The ability to limit the tessellation of a cloth mesh prevents the mesh from becoming overly dense. This is especially useful when painting high tessellation values onto the mesh, or when specifying high-density seam curve definitions.

Random Seed for Tessellation

The ability to change the random seed used for tessellation allows animators to slightly vary the tessellation in cases where a low-resolution mesh is producing artifacts – such as unfavorable bending of triangles along a crease.

Transition Regions Across Seams

Maya 7 allows cloth animators to specify transition regions across seams. This enables them to control the profile of high-density tessellation on both sides of the seam – useful when simulating seamed panels with different attributes, such as stiffness.

Control Over Seam Roundness

Maya 7 software delivers new attributes for controlling the bending characteristics at a seam, allowing cloth animators to readily modify the shape of the seam.

Maya Fluid Effects (Maya Unlimited)

High Detail Solve

The addition of a new High Detail Solve mode reduces diffusion of density, velocity and other attributes during fluid simulation. This makes simulations appear much more detailed without increasing resolution, and allows the simulation of rolling vortices – ideal for creating effects such as explosions, rolling clouds and billowing smoke.

Solver Performance Improvements

Maya Fluid Effects artists will notice significant performance improvements on Windows machines with multiple processors – including multi-core – due to the re-architecting of the solver to take advantage of multi-threading. The solver now also uses AltiVec instructions, so that Mac OS X users will also experience performance improvements.

Arbitrary Falloff Grid

As of Maya 7, artists using Fluid Effects can define an arbitrary falloff grid for fluid containers. This allows them to mask out an irregular-shaped area of the fluid. For example, they can create mist that always forms the shape of a face.

Wireframe Draw Performance Improvement

The display of fluids in wireframe mode is now several times faster.

Maya Fur (Maya Unlimited)

Arbitrary Styling and Dynamic Guide Curves Using Hair

As of Maya 7, curves can be used to control many aspects of Maya Fur; and because Maya Hair allows any curve – regardless of length or shape – to be made dynamic, animators can now use Maya Hair to dynamically control fur. This also means that hair and fur can be mixed together on a single character, with consistent dynamics.

Fur Feedback Draw Performance Improvement

Fur animators will notice significant performance improvements when using Maya Fur: the drawing of Fur Feedback is now 2-3 times faster than in previous versions of the software.

Maya Hair (Maya Unlimited)

Ability to Transplant Hair

Maya 7 software adds the ability to copy or transfer hair from one character to another. This facilitates the process of using the hair presets (see next item), as well as reusing previous hair setups.

Hair Presets

Maya 7 offers Hair animators a selection of over ten hair presets—styles including pigtail, bun, curls, dreadlocks and highlights. Not only is this a useful hair creation tool, it also serves as a learning tool to those new to the feature.

Render Hair in mental ray

Artists who wish to render hair in mental ray® for Maya can now do so using the mental ray hair primitive –– there’s no need to convert to polygons first. An additional benefit is that hair and fur can now be rendered together.

Start Curve Attraction

A new attribute in Maya Hair determines the degree to which hairs are attracted to the start curve position. Hair animators can now blend between dynamic and keyframed data. This makes it much easier to create stiff hairs, without increasing the number of solver iterations. The result is performance improvements, especially for colliding hair.

Paintable Baldness and Color Maps

Hair animators can now texture the baldness color and specular color attributes, as well as paint maps for them, using the Maya software’s 3D Paint tool. This simplifies the process of creating variations in color and density across the surface from which hair is growing, e.g. graying temples or a thinning hairline.

New Hair Displacement Attributes

The addition of several new noise and sub-clumping attributes to the displacement section of the hair system assists with randomization of hair clumps – giving them a more natural, softer appearance.

New Hair Creation Options

There are several new hair creation options for animators: they can create hairs at selected points or faces, as well as in a grid; they can choose whether hairs are dynamic or static on creation, static hairs being useful for keyframing curves; and they can choose whether newly created hairs are placed in a new hair system or an existing one.

Tools that Improve Integration

Maya ships with a number of tools that enhance integration with other essential production and design packages, including a complete re-architecting of the Maya render layers functionality that prepares renders for optimal output to the artists’ compositor of choice. There are also tools that streamline the workflow between Maya and Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, as well as CAD applications. Enhancements to several key pipeline plug-ins also augment Maya’s ability to integrate with other production and game development pipeline tools.

Rendering

(For information on the Toon Shader see page 7).

Render Layers

A complete re-architecting of the Maya render layers functionality gives artists the ability to put different shading and rendering attributes on different layers. This means that multiple passes from any of Maya’s four renderers, as well as post processes such as Maya Fur and Maya Paint Effects, can now be managed in a single scene. Not only does this new workflow streamline the rendering process, it also prepares renders for optimal output to the compositor of choice – or Photoshop (PSD) or Flash (SWFT) output – with objects and elements isolated in individual layers.

This powerful new rendering feature also facilitates the process of making changes to a scene after set up has occurred: artists can propagate changes across layers that exist in a single scene, rather than having to manage multiple scenes. Render layer presets allow for easy setup of commonly used passes, such as shadows and specularity. Moreover, render layers can be used to prepare different layers for vertex baking of light mapping – for example, a game art developer might use layer overrides to change the lighting for different times of day.

Render Layers to PSD

Using the new render layers functionality, artists can render a series of layers and produce a layered PSD file as the output. Sequentially numbered PSD files can also be read into Adobe After Effects.

Render Layers to SWFT (Flash smart layers)

As of Maya 7, the vector renderer can be used to produce a special layered SWFT file readable by Macromedia Flash with the SmartLayer importer plug-in from Electric Rain. The SWFT file can contain color, specular, reflections, transparency and shadow on separate layers. This allows you to work with the separate layers in Macromedia Flash – for example, they could have the specular element show up as a rollover effect, or create low bandwidth versions that included only the color layer.

ASHLI Plug-in

The addition in Maya 7 of a new Advanced Shader Language Interface plug-in (ASHLI) lets users preview FX files containing HLSL (High Level Shading Language) and GLSL (OpenGL® Shading Language) shaders. A number of sample shaders are included.

Improvements to CgFX

The CgFX plug-in – included with Maya as of this release – has been updated to support Cg v1.4.

This update will make the plug-in compatible with a forthcoming version of FX Composer v2.0 – the NVIDIA® shader builder – giving artists access to hundred of sample shaders available from NVIDIA.

Swatch Rendering for Third-party Applications

Custom shaders from third parties – e.g. custom mental ray or hardware shaders – can now generate swatches. This makes it easier to preview these shaders in the attribute editor and HyperShade.

Hardware Renderer

With Maya 7, the hardware renderer supports direct input of normal maps, shader translucency, many aspects of ramp shading and Blinn shaders. This means that these elements can now be previewed and adjusted in real-time in the interactive view, and rendered for final output using the offscreen hardware renderer.

mental ray for Maya

A large number of enhancements have been made to the mental ray for Maya rendering option, increasing the range of looks that artists can achieve. There is also additional functionality that strengthens the software’s integration within Maya.

Color Per Vertex Rendering

The ability to render per vertex colors in mental ray allows artists to store shading and lighting data on mesh vertices – rather than as shading networks – resulting in simpler scenes that maintain render quality. Game developers will find this feature particularly useful when it comes to matching the look of in-game assets with full motion video elements.

Hair (Maya Unlimited)

Maya Hair files can now be rendered out directly in mental ray.

Performance Improvement when Tuning Lights in IPR

As of Maya 7, animators can adjust light attributes with Interactive Photorealistic Rendering (IPR) rendering – without pausing the render.

Better Memory Handling

In this latest release of Maya software, mental ray handles low memory situations more efficiently by allowing animators to save their scene and restart Maya to free up memory before continuing.

Support for Camera Depth Settings

The camera depth types of Maya software– closest depth, furthest depth and transparency-based depth. – are now supported by mental ray in scanline rendering and ray tracing. This new feature is particularly useful when rendering fur, particles and fluids in mental ray for Maya.

Unlimited User Framebuffers

Maya 7 now supports an unlimited number of user framebuffers accessible by custom shaders; previously the number was limited to seven.

Support for Custom Output Passes in Cameras

This new feature allows artists to use multiple output shaders for a camera to attain advanced effects such as multiple lenses. It can also be used to generate multiple output images from a single camera.

On Demand Translation for Fur

Added support for On Demand Translation for Fur improves memory usage where there are multiple furry objects in a scene.

New Finite Attribute for Image-Based Lighting

Artists have the ability to turn off the Infinite attribute when using image-based lighting, which is useful for recreating closed environments.

Support for Alpha Plugs

mental ray shader color attributes now create RGBA attributes in Maya software with the result that the alpha value can now be driven by Maya shading networks, or by custom shaders. Previously, the RGBA attribute was not created, and the alpha value of the shader was fixed.

Baking with Custom Shaders

Custom material shaders are now supported for baking, whereas before, baking was limited to pre-defined modes only – light and color, only light, only global illumination and occlusion.

Support for Custom Maya Shaders

Custom shaders that have been written for both Maya and mental ray can now be automatically translated by mental ray for Maya. This feature, new to Maya 7, allows animators to create a single shading network for both Maya software and mental ray for Maya rendering when using custom shaders; previously, separate shading networks had to be created.

Improvement to 3D Texturing with Motion Blur

The workflow for parenting a shape and its 3D placement is now supported for motion blur in mental ray for Maya. This prevents texture swimming on deforming surfaces.

Support for Additional Maya Nodes

The following Maya nodes are now supported in mental ray for Maya: remapColor, remapHsv, remapValue, distanceBetween.

Vector Renderer

Several new features have been added to Maya’s vector renderer that extend the range of looks artists can produce, give them greater control over their final rendered outcome, and support integration with the popular web-authoring package, Macromedia Flash.

Per-Material Attributes

Certain vector render settings can now be applied on a “per material” basis – allowing different objects in a scene to have different line and fill styles within a single render pass.

Ability to Handle Transparency

The vector renderer now supports the rendering of lines that show through transparent objects.

Enhanced Curve Tolerance

Improved curve-fitting methods in Maya 7 give users greater control of curve tolerance and render optimization settings – allowing them to better optimize their vector artwork before importing to downstream applications such as Flash.

Other Rendering Enhancements

Print Sizes for Rendering

Artists can now set the size of output images in physical units, which will save them the trouble of working out how many pixels an image of a certain size (e.g. 6” X 8”) will be at a given resolution (e.g. 300 DPI). Moreover, the resolution in dots per unit of TIFF, IFF and JPEG files is now retained when the image is loaded into another package, such as Photoshop. Presets for common print sizes are also available.

Render Optimization Setting

The ability to set the level of optimization applied to the scene at render time means artists can decide at what level small geometry is removed. The more aggressive the render setting is, the smaller the file size of the vector output.

Render View Enhancements

New information – such as frame number, renderer used and render time. – has been added to the images stored in render view, and Hotkeys have been provided for shuffling through them. These enhancements make it easier to compare images with different settings and at different frames.

Render Settings Enhancements

The Common tab of the Render Settings window (formerly Render Globals) is now consistent regardless of the renderer selected.

HyperShade Enhancements

As of Maya 7 artists can sort swatches and nodes in HyperShade by name, type or creation time and view them as icon or as text. Swatch arrangement is also improved.

Option to Use Alternative Image and Sequence Viewer

The ability to specify an alternative viewer for images and sequences – one other than Fcheck – means artists can now use such third-party technology as Iridas® FrameCycler®. This will aid artists who wish to view Playblast sequences, or who are selecting View Sequence from the File menu.

Maya/Photoshop Workflow-Enhancing Features

3D Paint/Photoshop Roundtrip

Textures created in the 3D Paint tool can now automatically be included in PSD files and PSD files can be automatically converted for use in the 3D Paint tool. This new functionality provides artists with an efficient iterative workflow – allowing them, for example, to rough out a 3D Paint texture, take it to Photoshop for refining and then bring it back to Maya for final seam touch-up with 3D Paint.

3D Paint/Create PSD Automatic Procedural Conversion

Maya software’s 3D Paint tool and the Create PSD workflow now both allow artists to automatically convert procedural textures to files, and include them as the starting point for further painting – streamlining the process of creating very precise, sophisticated textures.

Launch Photoshop/Open and Edit File and PSD Textures from Maya

Another new 2D/3D feature to enhance the Maya 7 workflow is the ability to automatically launch Photoshop (or other third-party applications) from within Maya and open files for creation or editing of textures – for example, in Hypershade, or when first creating a PSD network.

Edit Existing PSD files

Maya 7 gives artists the ability to edit PSD files – adding or deleting channels in a PSD network after it has been created – from within Maya.

Convert PSD to File Texture

Texture artists can now easily convert a layered PSD file to a simple file texture of the same resolution in Hypershade – while maintaining shading network connections.

Maya/Illustrator Workflow

Beveling for Adobe Illustrator Files, with History

Artists can now create a node in Maya that reads an Adobe Illustrator file. This new functionality provides an iterative workflow for creating 3D animated models in Maya from Adobe Illustrator curves and type outlines. Graphic illustrators, and others, can easily create beveled or extruded geometry from their Illustrator outlines, and apply Maya effects such as deformations or dynamics. Because the new Maya files maintain history, changes made in Illustrator – such as adjustments to kerning and leading to type outlines – are automatically applied in Maya. This new ability delivers an ideal workflow for creating sophisticated animated logos and 3D type effects not possible with traditional 2D illustration and paint packages alone.

Translators

Maya 7 software enables artists to quickly import large datasets from two additional CAD software packages – for the creation of high-quality product images, animations and architectural visualizations.

DirectConnect for SolidWorks®

The addition of a DirectConnect translator to Maya 7 enables artists to read SolidWorks format files when the software is installed on the same machine as Maya.

DirectConnect for Pro/ENGINEER® Support

Pro/ENGINEER support is available in Maya 7 with the purchase of an optional DirectConnect translator from Alias.

Enhancements to the FBX Plug-in

As of Maya 7, the FBX plug-in provides better support for the transferring of data between Maya and Alias MotionBuilder software – including support for full body IK character rigs and animation curves.

Productivity-Enhancing Tools

Productivity-enhancing features – including shared edits for proxies and the addition of important API classes – can help streamline 3D art and animation workflows, particularly for those working in a collaborative environment.

File Referencing and Scene Segmentation

Shared Edits for Proxies

A key productivity-enhancing feature in Maya 7 is the ability to share edits between proxies and have any edit that can be applied to a reference file shared –– as long as the node names used in each member of the proxy set are identical. This lets artists make changes to one member of a proxy set and have that change automatically propagate to the other members of the set. For example: animation applied to a low-resolution character will automatically be applied to the high resolution version.

Shared Display Layers

The ability to create a reference with shared display layers allows layers from the referenced scene to be shared with layers of the same name in the parent scene – preventing duplication.

Shared Shading Networks

Likewise, the ability to create a reference with shared shading networks allows shading networks from the referenced scene to be shared with identical shading networks in the parent scene, preventing duplication.

Toggle Namespace Display

When using namespaces, object names can sometimes get very long, thereby making it difficult to differentiate objects by name. The ability to turn the display of namespaces on or off in the Outline, Channel Box and Layer Editor makes it easier to distinguish between different objects in the scene.

Improved Performance for File Referenced Multiple Times

When opening a scene containing multiple references to the same file, each referenced file is now only read from disk the first time it is encountered. Afterwards, the data is copied from the first reference, significantly improving performance when opening a file.

Deferred Loading

Maya 7 allows artists to add a reference to a scene in an unloaded state, making the assembling of a scene much easier and faster.

Reference Edits Window

Maya 7 comes with a new Reference Edits window that allows artists to list the edits that have been made to a reference, copy reference edits to the Script Editor, and remove reference edits from an unloaded reference.

Ability to Duplicate a Reference

Artists now have the ability to duplicate a reference from the Reference Editor. This enables them to make a separate copy of the file to which different edits can then be made.

Ability to Rename Proxy Tags

Maya 7 gives artists the ability to rename proxy tags for references and proxies via the Reference Editor. This is useful for those who want to keep their proxy tags organized or descriptive, or for those wanting to reuse proxy tags to streamline the process of switching proxies.

Reference Editor Toolbar

The addition of a new toolbar to the Reference Editor allows artists to quickly access frequently used commands.

New Reference Editor Layouts

The Reference Editor now has three layouts: File List, File List/Outliner, and File List/Outliner/Viewport. A text filter field has also been added to the File List and Outliner views.

Shortcut to Create Reference

As of Maya 7 there is a keyboard shortcut to the Create Reference window.

Display of Filenames in Reference Editors

The menu items in the Reference Editor and the Preload Reference Editor – used to remove, reload, rename or switch proxies – now display the file name associated with that proxy, as well as the proxy tag.

New View Option in Reference

Maya 7 enables artists to create Reference View Sets from selected references.

Maya Artisan

Sculpting for Subdivision Surfaces

The Artisan Sculpting tool has been extended to work on subdivision surfaces. Previously it worked only on NURBS surfaces and polygon meshes.

Paint Vertex Color Tool Enhancements

The addition of Smooth and Remove operations to the Paint Vertex Color tool, allows game content artists to remove per vertex color and to smooth colors to create gradual color transitions. The tool also allows artists to paint all vertex faces on a single face with just one click.

Option for Reflection About Origin for Artisan Tools

Artists now have the option to make the origin – as well as the bounding box center – the center of reflection for Artisan tools. The ability to reflect about the origin is useful in cases where the model is not completely symmetrical all over, e.g. a creature with its tail curled to one side.

Option to Accumulate Opacity for Artisan Tools

For most Artisan tools, artists can now choose whether or not opacity builds up when a single stroke crosses itself.

RMB Paint Access for Unselected Objects

As of Maya 7, Artisan can be invoked from the right mouse button menu, even if the object to be painted was not originally selected.

General & Miscellaneous

View Compass

Maya 7 software now has a navigational tool for switching camera views, thus enabling artists to quickly change between the various orthographic views, i.e. perspective, top, bottom, left, right, front and back.

Animated Camera Transitions

By default, Maya now animates between defined camera positions, such as when using the View Compass (above) or Fit to View. This new ability gives context to the change in view by showing how the new view relates to the previous one.

New Tumble and Dolly Options

Maya 7 gives artists and animators the option to tumble and dolly the camera about a point of interest other than the center of the view – a useful feature for maneuvering the camera into tight geometry, such as a curved pipe or spring.

Support for USB Dongles On Mac OS X and Linux

Those working on Linux or Mac OS X workstations now have the same freedom as Windows users to switch their Maya license to another system: USB dongles that support these platforms are now available.

Layer Editor Enhancement

Artists can now choose to have the Layer Editor as a floating window. Additionally they can set various attributes on all layers or on selected layers – including visibility, shaded or textured mode, and playback. Artists also have the option to set an attribute on selected objects and have it set to the opposite value on unselected objects.

Ability to Set Default Units for New Scenes

Maya 7 allows artists to set the default units to be used on new scenes – preventing the artist’s default scene units from being changed when a scene with different units is loaded.

Option to Not Save Preference on Exit

Artists can now choose to not have preferences saved automatically on exit.

Option to Disable Pick Chooser for Components

As of Maya 7, artists can choose to have pop-up selection “on” for objects, and “off” for components – a useful means of preventing the accidental selection of components on the opposite side of the object when Pick Chooser is on.

Access to Feature Request Form from Help Menu

Maya 7 allows artists to access the Maya Feature Request form directly from the Help menu.

Installer for Bonus Tools

The addition of an installer for the Maya 7 Bonus Tools pack facilitates the installation process.

Japanese Uninstaller

The Uninstaller component of the Japanese version of Maya is now localized.

API, MEL™ and Developer Kit

API

Ability to Replace the Cloth Solver

New API classes and MEL commands have been added to Maya 7 to facilitate the substitution of the solver used in Maya Cloth – enabling the use of proprietary or third-party solvers with the Maya Cloth front-end.

Exposure of Full Body IK Node

A new class has been added to the Maya API to allow access to the Human IK node. This will enable developers to access and control Human IK full body effectors from within proprietary plug-ins.

New Hardware Shading Classes

The addition of new API classes to support per frame or “global” hardware shading effects let developers create tools that will enable artists to apply effects to the whole rendered image. For example they could apply an image processing effect such as blur or sharpen on a rendered frame.

Ability to Define Custom Fluid Emitters

The Maya 7 API has a new class to allow custom fluid emitters to be defined. Moreover, the custom particle emitter class has been improved to give better support for textured and volumetric emissions.

New Swatch Rendering Classes

New classes have been added allowing third-party renderers to generate swatches – for example, in Hypershade.

Easier Access to Common Render Settings

Several new classes in the API allow for easier access to, and storage of, common render settings in a single call.

Easier Storage and Manipulation of Callback IDs

The addition of a generic container class for MCallback IDs eliminates the need to use casting to save callback IDs in an existing class such as MlntArray.

Support for Multiple Color Per Vertex

The mesh class of the Maya API has been extended to support multiple sets of colors.

Ability to Pre-Allocate the Size of an Array Plug

The ability to pre-allocate the size of an array plug vastly improves the performance of setting attributes in an array when the developer knows (or can estimate) how much the array will need to grow — as in the case of deformer weights.

Ability to Create Curve and Color Ramps

Developers can now create color and curve ramp widgets on plug-in nodes, with ramps optionally normalized to a 0-1 range. This allows them to provide animators with this intuitive user interface for editing color or curve data associated with proprietary nodes.

New Subdivision Surface Iterators

New classes for traversing subdivision surface components have been added to the API – enabling developers to manipulate edges, faces and vertices.

Ability to Set Timed Callbacks

A new API class allows for the invocation of callbacks at specified intervals. This might be used to poll external devices, e.g. determine periodically whether a mouse has moved, etc.

Access to Output Information from MEL

A new class has been added that is used to register for a callback when certain MEL command-related messages are generated. This might be used to listen for errors and take appropriate action.

Ability to Convert Between Color Models

The MColor class has been expanded to allow conversion between color models – enabling developers, for example, to convert between RGB and HSV color models.

Exposure of New Animation Tangent Types

Support has been added for three new tangent types: Plateau, Clamped and NextStep.

Easier Way to Add Plug-ins to Menus

The extension of the MFnPlugin class provides better support for adding and removing plug-ins from menus.

Ability to Adjust the Caching State of an Attribute

The ability to adjust the caching state of an attribute can potentially increase performance in the dependency graph.

MEL

Ability to Create Custom HUD Buttons and Sliders

Developers can now create custom sliders and buttons in the Head-up Display so that proprietary tools can take advantage of this readily accessible interface for setting values.

Better Support for Generic Modal Dialogs

A new MEL command has been added in Maya 7 software for the creation of generic modal dialogs. This gives animators more choice over the type of controls that can be contained.

Ability to Create Context for Dragging Attributes

A new MEL command has been added that allows MEL users to create tools that use MMB-drag functionality to change select attributes of an object.

Ability to Convert Cloth Garments to Cloth Objects

Two new commands have been added which can be used to convert Cloth Garments to Cloth Objects, as well as to update the UVs.

Improvements to the Substitute Command

The substitute command has been improved to support substring matching – making it possible to search and replace parts of text strings.

Ability to Determine Nodes Used by a Plug-in

A flag has been added to the plugininfo MEL command to search for plug-in dependencies – facilitating the process of determining whether a scene requires a particular plug-in and if so, in which nodes.

Ability to Randomize Hair Follicles

Maya 7 comes with a MEL command to randomize hair follicles.

DevKit

Alias has added Devkit examples relating to the new API functionality in Maya 7 software.

Documentation

New Tutorial for UV Texturing

A new tutorial on UV texturing has been added to Getting Started that helps familiarize new users with the concepts and practices associated with UV texturing.

New Link to FBX Plug-in Documentation

The Maya documentation now contains a link to the current version of the documentation for the FBX plug-in.

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