Review: Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate 2013
I am adding this because users should be aware of some improvements and problems with the current FBX release that I reported on my MotionBuilder blog recently.
- Exporting from Maya to MotionBuilder with Blendshapes and back is now working correctly without the renaming shape bug. (custom names for the blendshape are exported and imported correctly
- Exporting from 3ds Max to FBX- This is working correctly except the Morpher Modifier name is still not stored with the file. This is minor as it doesn't cause problems for importing animation, but it is just frustrating if you are recreating a file from the FBX file in another software
- There was a really big Maya paint skin weights error after FBX import from 3ds Max that is now fixed. This was a giant pain in the 2012 version of FBX and I am super excited to report that it is fixed and working very well.
We did get some new bugs though like we can't rename shapes after creation.
- Currently if you create your blendshapes and then later want to rename them, something that is easy to do in both 3ds Max and Maya, it won't save to FBX, instead it will use the original name so when you open the FBX file again it will have reverted your naming. This only happens in Max and is fixed in Maya with the 2013.2 release
3ds Max continues to have much more interactive and user friendly modeling, wide render choices and is just approachable until you have to Animate in it. Without a file referencing solution and slow rig interaction and playback, it is still lacking for animation.
Here are some other things worth noting in this release.
- Tabbed Views - Very nice to work with and are saved with the scene. You can also setup presets easily. Overall very good design but could take up less screen room. This is a more flexible version of the Maya view presets if you are coming from using Maya.
- As mentioned before moving animation data between software now is really so much improved with support for CAT and HIK that the option to have two animation teams work on the same characters with both software could be possible depending on the number of extra rig changes needed.
- Particle performance has improved and is back to where it was with 3ds Max 2010.
- MassFx is a step in the right direction but it’s surprising Bullet is missing from the release. I am happy to see more unification in all the software though with more solvers being able to work together instead of having to hack them to work makes for faster iteration for artists.
- 3ds Max 2013 got a huge number of improvements for 2d work flow with Adobe products and more robust render pass management that will be welcome to any users doing broadcast work.
- A nice addition included with 3ds Max 2013 is the new Autodesk Animation Store, powered by Mixamo. If you haven't used the Mixamo website before think of it as your own personal motion capture library with built in retarget and adjustment ability where you can purchase hundreds of motion clips for your Biped or CAT characters. The cool thing is you can preview the motion clips on your characters in your scene and make adjustments prior to purchasing them. Once you buy them you can download the file or the plugin updates your open scene with the motion.