Autodesk Maya 2017 Integrates Arnold, Stingray Supports New VR Platforms
The Stingray 1.4 release improves the software’s VR capabilities and connectivity with Maya LT, to form an art-to-engine workflow for game developers. Level sync in Maya LT allows linking and exporting entire scenes directly to Stingray. This makes it easier to build, iterate, review and change game levels and design scenes, without having to manually reproduce layouts in two tools. [This is different to the ‘level sync’ enforced between players during gameplay.] Sharing assets between different Stingray projects is also easier
NavMesh improvements result in better AI behaviour. Editing UV scale and offset values in materials exported from Maya LT allows users to continue editing UV tiling in Stingray.
Stingray support for VR platforms includes new compatibility with the Oculus Rift SDK v1.3 and the SteamVR SDK v0.9.19. Flow scripting for HTC Vive controllers is now faster and more efficient as a means of adding interactivity to VR experiences, and gives a simpler process for creating and testing prototypes. Stingray is also unusual in its support for WebGL2, which means developers can test their projects on WebGL2 supported browsers.
Autodesk Maya LT 2017 also has some new functionality. A new Time Editor tool in Maya LT helps make animating complex characters more straightforward for smaller scale game developers. An updated graph editor has a UI/UX refresh and other new tools for ease of use.
Vertex order transfers and corrections make it easier to work between different game creation tools, without losing data as an asset moves through the pipeline. The shape authoring tools in Maya LT allow more control to create, tweak and correct animations in detail. Due to Viewport 2.0 improvements, selection performance for scenes with large numbers of nodes, and scenes containing hidden objects, is now faster.
Maya 2017 now includes Arnold as its default renderer due an integration of Arnold into Maya 2017. It adds to the MAXtoA Arnold plugin and extends the rendering capabilities within Maya. MAXtoA is a preview release integrating with 3ds Max shapes, cameras, lights and shaders. It supports Image Based Lighting, including a physical sky. 3ds Max ActiveShade interactive rendering allows parameter changes to be rapidly previewed without interrupting ongoing work.
Maya 2017 also improves on the set of 3D tools for motion graphics, including the MASH procedural toolset, that was first introduced in Maya 2016 extension 2. It has been upgraded with new nodes and new capabilities a designer can use to create original animations and complex motion effects quickly, for example, by instancing and combining nodes. The tools also suit UI design and environment modelling. Maya 2017 also has some UI updates and improvements to the 3D text tools. www.autodesk.com