Search form

Autodesk Launches Maya 8 & 3ds Max 9

Autodesk Inc. has launched Autodesk Maya 8 and 3ds Max 9. Both Maya 8 and 3ds Max 9 will be showcased at the Autodesk booth #1706 at SIGGRAPH 2006, August 13, 2006, at the Boston Convention Center.

Commenting on Maya 8, Marc Petit, Autodesks media & entertainment vp, said, 3D artists are tackling some overwhelming challenges right now, such as dealing with huge, increasingly complex data sets while moving to next-generation game development platforms and having to deliver even more photo-realistic imagery. Teams are getting bigger and require sophisticated collaboration and data management tools. Autodesk Maya 8 addresses these production hurdles by combining a flexible platform with a highly optimized software core, boosting productivity and improving pipeline efficiency.

Maya 8 offers a combination of 64-bit support, multithreading and algorithmic optimizations that enable artists to load massive datasets and interact with them more efficiently. Key areas of the software, including skinning, draw tessellation, and subdivided polygon proxy meshes, have been multi-threaded to scale with the number of processors or cores available.

Maya 8 offers a host of productivity advancements, particularly for modeling and texturing. The Transfer Polygon Attributes feature enables modelers to transfer UVs, color per vertex (CPV), and vertex position information between surface meshes of differing topologies. This is particularly useful when working with two different versions of an object or character, e.g. one that is high-resolution and one that is low-resolution. In addition, new and improved workflows and tools such as Polygon Bridge, multiple edge loop insertion and enhanced UV layout help maximize productivity for the most common tasks.

Maya 8 enables artists to better manage data when using multiple 2D and 3D packages within the production pipeline. This is achieved through application programming interface (API) extensions, enhancements to Autodesk FBX file exchange technology, the addition of interchangeable geometry caching between Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max animation software, and new interoperability with Autodesk Toxik collaborative compositing software.

Maya 8 features include: * 64-bit support for Windows and Linux* Scalable multithreading to improve performance on multiprocessor systems* Ability to override viewports with a user-defined renderer, such as a game engine* Optimized mental ray 3.5 core for superior rendering performance and memory usage* Polygon Bridge and Transfer Polygon Attributes* Support for high dynamic range (HDR) and floating-point images* Support for interactive viewing of native and custom mental ray shaders* Improved Autodesk FBX plug-in to provide tighter integration between Maya and applications such as 3ds Max and MotionBuilder * Interchangeable geometry cache between Maya and 3ds Max, allowing for the exchange of complex data between the two packages* Export of render layers to Autodesk Toxik softwares database For a complete list of new features in Maya 8, please visit

Autodesk anticipates that Maya 8 will be available in English in August 2006, and in additional languages in the future. The 64-bit version of Maya 8 will be supported on Windows and Linux. The 32-bit version will be supported on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. For a complete list of supported operating systems, visit

Autodesk will sell Maya 8 for $1,999 for Maya Complete (Standalone) and $6,999 for Maya Unlimited (Standalone). The upgrade price from Maya 7 Complete to Maya 8 Complete is $899, and the upgrade price from Maya 7 Unlimited to Maya 8 Unlimited is $1,249.

In regards to 3ds Max 9, Petit said, With Autodesk 3ds Max 9, weve focused on addressing the challenges our customers face when working with larger amounts of complex data, as well as scaling to bigger production teams. Digital artists using 3ds Max 9 will gain improvements in core performance, productivity and pipeline efficiency. 3ds Max 9 enables artists to manage the increasing complexity of 3D data sets characteristic of next-generation game, film, broadcast and design development.

3ds Max 9 softwares 64-bit architecture makes it easier to work with the huge datasets required for next-generation digital content creation. Rendering is also greatly improved with the mental ray 3.5 rendering core.

Autodesk 3ds Max 9 features include:* A layered blending system that can be added to custom rigs and controllers within 3ds Max* Optimizations in wireframe and edge display, enabling faster feedback within the viewport* XAF files that can be saved and loaded onto bipeds, allowing for easy transfer of information to and from custom rigs* Enhanced hair and cloth, including the ability to style hair in the viewport* Improved file referencing and tracking of work-in-progress assets* Point cache 2, which allows artists to bake mesh deformations into a file for faster rendering* Improved compatibility with Autodesk Maya via the FBX file format

For a complete list of new 3ds Max 9 features, visit

Autodesk anticipates that 3ds Max 9 will be available in English in Oct. 2006, and in additional languages in the future. 3ds Max 9 will sell for $3,495 with an upgrade costing $795.

Autodesk Inc. is a Fortune 1000 company. With seven million users, Autodesk is the world's leading software and services company for the manufacturing, building, infrastructure, wireless data services and media and entertainment fields. Autodesks solutions help customers create, manage and share their data and digital assets more effectively. Founded in 1982, Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California. For additional information, visit

Rick DeMott's picture

Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks