Alias Opens SIGGRAPH With Big Maya 7 & MotionBuilder 7 Releases
Alias' principal scientist Duncan Brinsmead, has developed an incredibly powerful new Toon Shader, leveraging Maya's Paint Effects to support a wide range of non-photorealistic rendering styles; it affords extensive control over line style, placement and width, and features interactive previews in near real-time of even the most complex scenes. In Maya Unlimited, 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 solve mode for dramatically increased realism.
Maya 7 releases this month and pricing remains unchanged from Maya 6.5 - Maya Complete 7 is $1,999 and Maya Unlimited 7 is $6,999. Upgrade pricing from 6.5 is $899 for Maya Complete and $1,249 for Maya Unlimited. Both Maya Complete and Unlimited are available on the Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
MotionBuilder 7 software has newly extended character animation capabilities, improved interoperability with popular 3D packages and productivity enhancements for artists needing to rapidly produce high-volumes of quality animated content.
The new features of Alias MotionBuilder 7 complement the software's core technologies, including a realtime architecture; non-linear, non-destructive animation layering; and Story Timeline performance environment. "MotionBuilder 7 provides animators with the best character performance tools and motion editing functionality bar none," said Shai Hinitz, senior product manager for Alias MotionBuilder, mental ray and Maya. "With this release, we've continued our commitment to innovations in productivity and connectivity with the most popular 3D applications. MotionBuilder customers who also integrate our middleware solution Alias HumanIK into their pipeline, have the unique advantage of being able to create animation performances that are precisely matched in-game."
New character extensions and visual feedback on rigs give animators greater control over their character setups, as they are able to simultaneously pose or key a character as well as all attached extensions seamlessly. Visual feedback on the control rig allows animators to focus on the character in the viewer rather than checking controls on the side. In addition, there are a number of new character manipulation enhancements that ensure synchronization between characters and their controls.
"With character extensions and a host of other features, MotionBuilder 7 not only answers the call, but adds solutions to issues I didn't know I would have," says Gavan Knowlton, lead animator at GlyphX Games.
Alias MotionBuilder 7 now save and load character animation features that let animators rapidly transfer, repurpose and reuse animation clips with any character. It also has improved workflow and UI features, such as save reminder and incremental versioning streamline the animation process and minimize user downtime.
MotionBuilder's native file format, Alias FBX, allows for interoperability between 3D content creation applications, making it a complementary solution that can enhance any existing 3D production pipeline.
It also has advanced productivity capabilities, including Live Device Support for multi-stream motion capture devices, data mapping and asset management integration. Additional extensibility and customization tools include a realtime animation trigger system, Python scripting capabilities and the Alias Open Reality SDK allowing the creation of pipeline automation and workflow tools that streamline repetitive, time-consuming tasks.
"MotionBuilder and Maya have become important tools in our animation pipeline," said Stephen White, co-president of Naughty Dog. "We are very excited to see continued investment in MotionBuilder and look forward to even greater compatibility between these two excellent products."
Alias MotionBuilder 7 is available this month and pricing remains unchanged from MotionBuilder 6 - Alias MotionBuilder Pro 7 (node-locked) is $4,195 and Alias MotionBuilder Pro 7 (floating) is $4,795. For new Alias MotionBuilder Pro customers, the cost includes a one-year Platinum Membership subscription. Alias MotionBuilder Pro is available in node-lock and floating configurations for the Windows and Mac OS X platforms.