Unveiled: Autodesk Maya 2015


For NAB 2014, Autodesk has announced the release of Maya 2015. Autodesk has made a number of changes for the 2015 version, mostly in the workflow. Perhaps the most notable of those is to XGen and Bifrost.

XGen is a geometry-simulation engine that has been used for some time by studios, Disney in particular. Similar to other 3D tools, it creates surface features using a polygon mesh but allows the incorporation of highly detailed surface elements, such as hair and feathers. XGen follows a procedural paradigm that allows the animator to pile on large amounts of instance data without, according to Autdoesk, clogging up the system memory they way a traditional renderer would.

Bifrost, which had been part of Maya for some time, has been updated to provide a more intuitive workflow, including the ability to interact with objects on the viewport in real time. Bifrost is used primarily to create realistic-looking fluid effects.

Finally, a completely new feature for 2015 is Geodesic Voxel Binding. Geodesic Voxel Binding is a skinning method used to bind geometry to joint skeletons. It is designed to make it quick and easy for animators to layer many overlapping components onto objects and characters they create.

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