Maya Entertainment Creation Suite 2012 Review: Greater Interoperability
Maya, MotionBuilder and Mudbox have not been left behind and have some interesting, helpful and also long overdue improvements. What I am personally excited about is the further push to streamline the animation and motion capture editing process with the unification of the HumanIK solver and UI between MotionBuilder and Maya.
Not everything is sunshine and mocha triple shot lattes, as many users know, because for every extra or new feature added, something somewhere is broken. With the unification of Suite mode, be sure to, as always, test your workflows and existing files out. As of this writing, there have been hot fix releases for most of the 2012 software. The nice thing is that the new 2012 hot fix patches install faster and don't require an uninstall first, as they used to do for previous versions.
As my areas of interest and work are character rigging, animation and motion editing, I will naturally focus on these.
Having rigged a few bits of clothing and trench coats over the years, I'm excited to see the NVIDIA PhysX plug-in with Apex Clothing now included with Maya. Sorry to say that PhysX for Maya is available only for Windows.
The DMM (Digital Molecular Matter) plug-in for Maya from Pixelux Ent. is also now included, and since there is always a need for something to be blown up, shattered or broken and the DMM plug-in is a huge step up from the existing shatter tools previously included in Maya. These are not enabled by default, so the first place you will need to go will be to the Plugin Manager to turn them on. Simulation tools take some time to get used to and I look forward to the chance to test them out further in the future. The less trench coats I have to rig by hand, the better.