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Autodesk Debuts Maya Bifrost Update with Open Source USD Integration

Feature-rich release includes a host of simulation, scattering, and USD workflow enhancements for the company's node-based visual programming system for procedural creation.

Autodesk has debuted a feature-rich Bifrost for Maya update, which includes open source Bifrost-USD integration to drive open industry standards and to optimize more efficient, streamlined, and flexible workflows. In addition, the update introduces simulation, scattering, and USD workflow enhancements for Autodesk’s node-based visual programming system for procedural creation.

“We are following up our release of the Operator SDK in Bifrost with a powerful demonstration of what it can do: we used it to create all of the Bifrost-USD integration,” said Bifrost Senior Product Manager Jonah Friedman. “With Bifrost-USD open sourced, our users can build the whole Maya-USD ecosystem, including Arnold-USD and Maya-USD, to make them work with their own USD core. They can use it as a code example – more than a code example, as it’s an example of a real production project. They could even implement their own features.”

The new Bifrost update includes the following feature highlights:

  • Open Source Bifrost-USD: Now available as an open-source USD ecosystem within Maya or as a standalone project on GitHub – it includes wrapped USD types that flow in the graph, the ability to monitor USD low-level operators, translation tables to handle integration with the host DCC, compounds that expose Bifrost-USD functionality to users, documentation, tests to ensure all components are functioning correctly, and custom USD tools and builds to improve pipeline flexibility and scalability.
  • Redesigned Backdrops and Sticky Notes: The overhaul of backdrops introduces more functional and aesthetic annotations enabling teams to outline, identify, and separate notable areas in graphs. The sticky notes are ideal for annotating comments and instructions for more efficient communication.
  • Enhanced UI Editing: Artists can add widgets like sliders, color pickers, and a new combo box to compounds without coding.
  • Upgraded MPM Simulation: The new collider stickiness makes it easier for artists to create a snowball impact with the desired amount of snow left clinging to the wall. Additionally, new per-particle activation supports complex disintegration effects and location-based activation for efficient footstep simulations in large environments.
  • Streamlined Simulation Diagnostics and Scopes: A unified set of diagnostic tools have been added to MPM and Aero to streamline physics simulations and allow artists to visualize velocities and temperatures and explore the solver’s internal state to understand the physics behind the effects.
  • Low-Overhead Evaluation: Various overhead reductions improve performance, including arrays of input data that increase the speed of running a graph by 30-fold. These improvements are most important for the Bifrost Board node but apply to the Bifrost Graph Shape node.
  • Bifrost Geometry, Property Transfer, and Alembic Improvements: New property transfer helps teams streamline the use of custom properties while creating a first bath of procedural geometry compounds, including basic compounds – such as delete and filter points, faces, and strands – each able to preserve UVs, normal, and any user data. It also includes separate mesh, detach faces, and add points. In addition, Bifrost’s Alembic implementation features an improved performance with indexed properties, including UVs and face vertex normal, to better preserve user data. A one-click solution also now converts Bifrost data into a Maya mesh.

Bifrost for Maya is available as a standalone subscription or with the Autodesk Media & Entertainment Collection. View the Bifrost release notes for further information, and find the Bifrost-USD project on GitHub. Additional information is available in What’s New in Maya. Also, check out the free tutorials on the Maya Learning Channel.

Source: Autodesk

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.