Maya, 3ds Max, Mudbox and Softimage upgrades in GDC debut

Autodesk has announced the latest versions of its digital entertainment creation software in time for the annual Games Developers Conference in San Francisco

Image showing new colour management features of Maya 2011

Maya 2011 colour management includes 32-bit support in the Render View, can display images through LUTs, and control Contrast, Exposure, Tone Mapping, and Gamma

The 2011 versions of the software, for 3D modelling, animation, effects, rendering, compositing, digital sculpting and 3D painting, offer new features and enhancements that help accelerate workflows and improve interoperability, said the company.

Autodesk has also launched new versions of Autodesk Kynapse and Autodesk HumanIK game development middleware, focused on improving ease of use.

“Autodesk Maya 2011 takes Digital Entertainment Creation workflows to new heights with a new customisable user interface, new high performance viewports and a new 3D editorial interface” said Marc Petit, Autodesk senior vice president, Media & Entertainment. “Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 users will enjoy more integrated rendering workflows with a new material editor, a fast GPU renderer and a HDR compositor.”

Image demonstrating the new mental ray 2011 renderer.

There's an overall increase in stability, and faster renders due to enhanced performance in BSP2, with the new mental ray 2011 renderer.

“Our 2011 products offer customers great value and integrate avant-garde technology – some developed with industry leaders like Sony Pictures Imageworks,” added Petit. “These versions offer much improved data interoperability through open formats like Autodesk FBX, as well as many innovative new capabilities.”

Autodesk Maya 2011

Image showing new interface features of Maya 2011

Maya 2011 features an enhanced User Interface with more flexible editors, and a new color chooser and file browser.

On the heels of the Maya 2010 makeover last summer, Maya 2011 software offers several breakthrough capabilities. It features an invigorated customisable user interface, enhanced tools for character animation including non-destructive live retargeting, high-performance display of large scenes in the viewport, new 3D editorial capabilities for pre-visualisation and virtual production workflows, integrated color management, asset structures for pipeline connectivity and improved rotoscoping. Also, Maya 2011 is now available for Snow Leopard, the 64-bit Mac OS X operating system.

Image demonstrating new skinning tools and workflows in Maya 2011

Create better skinned characters with more realistic deformations in less time, with new skinning tools and workflows in Maya 2011.

Autodesk 3ds Max 2011

Image demonstrating the compositing features of 3ds Max Composite

Enhance rendered passes and incorporate them into live action footage with 3ds Max Composite

3ds Max 2011 features a powerful new node-based material editor, the feature most requested by 3ds Max users, and a high-quality hardware renderer that provides near production quality results 10 times faster than traditional rendering techniques on common graphics cards. It also offers a tightly integrated full-featured high dynamic range compositing system, based on Autodesk Toxik technology, as well as enhanced tools and workflows for creating and texturing models, animating characters and viewing high-quality images interactively, which help to significantly increase productivity.

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