Women,Children and Kunka first
Maya 2008 announced
For serious 3D work for TV, game development, and special effects, Autodesk's Maya package is a popular and frequently-used solution. It's a complex, high-end (and expensive) program, but it's useful for a wide range of applications. The newest iteration of the software, Maya 2008, was announced yesterday, and will be on display at SIGGRAPH from August 7 to August 9.
This latest Maya release is emphasizing reliability and efficiency instead of flashy new features, a wise choice for a high-end application. The workflow for polygon modeling has been streamlined and is supposedly more efficient, and a few tweaks have been made to the way polygon tools work. The performance of many of the tools has supposedly been increased, and rendering is now faster as well. DirectX HLSL shaders are now supported, which is good news for PS3 or Xbox 360 developers, and Maya's character animation has also gotten a bit better. Like I said, none of these are groundbreaking changes, but Autodesk seems to be doing a good job of streamlining a mature product.
Maya and its ilk aren't cheap. The less feature-packed version, Maya 2008 Complete, will set you back two grand or so, while its older sibling Maya 2008 Ultimate costs $6,999. If you've already got Maya 8.5, upgrades will run you $899 for Complete and $1249 for ultimate, you lucky dog, you. The new version is set for release in September, comes in a variety of 64- and 32-bit flavors, and will be available on all your favorite platforms (not the iPhone, though). Better get your checkbook ready...
Moving to Software section!
Since AutoDesk bought Alias and consequently Maya, I wonder if they'll continue developing Maya and 3Ds Max alongside?
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