Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk announces 2013 DCC product line-up

Transfer of animation data between 3ds Max, Maya and MotionBuilder. The video, released earlier this month as a technology ‘sneak peek’, has just been confirmed as part of the feature set of the products’ 2013 releases.

Autodesk has announced the 2013 versions of 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, MotionBuilder and Mudbox.

You can read the official press release on the Autodesk website. Below, we’ve posted the slightly more detailed media fact sheet issued at the launch event.

Our initial reactions are that 3ds Max and Maya have received the most significant individual updates, so look out for separate stories on those shortly.

However, the announcements, made after the company’s live Facebook webcast of its overall development strategy, also highlight new interoperability features and purchase options for the software.

The former are largely animation-focused, and make it easier to round-trip data between Maya, MotionBuilder and Max. A key phrase used was ‘one-click interoperability’ – or, in some cases, ‘zero-click interoperability’.

One significant demo showed a live link of data between Maya and MotionBuilder. Viewed side by side, if you blanked out the top menu bars, it was necessary to look carefully to see which app was which.

Autodesk has also announced a new Ultimate Entertainment Creation Suite, enabling users to purchase all five applications, plus Sketchbook Designer 2013. We’ve been given a price of $8,495 for this, although the information has yet to appear on the Autodesk site.

The press information doesn’t list an official release date for the 2013 releases: we’ll update when we get one.

Building on the existing data exchange workflows, the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites 2013 offer a number of new features that further enhance interoperability and make it easier for users to work with multiple toolsets.

  • Artists can now stream animation applied to a character in MotionBuilder onto the same character in Maya, providing a reliable and efficient way to previsualize a retargeting result in the final Maya scene before actually transferring the final data between products.
  • The same mouse and key combinations in Maya can be used in all 3D Entertainment Creation Suite applications to navigate viewports. Also, a new 3ds Max interaction mode in Softimage provides the option to set familiar camera navigation, mouse manipulation, hotkeys, selection mode, and keyframing mode in the application.
  • The F-Curve Editor within Maya, 3ds Max, Softimage, and MotionBuilder now offers more consistent functionality. Also, a new manipulator in each application enables artists to easily retime animations without adding keyframes.
  • Artists can convert 3ds Max CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) bipedal characters into characters that are compatible with the HumanIK solver used in Maya and MotionBuilder in a single step. Animation changes created in Maya or MotionBuilder can be updated back onto the original CAT character in 3ds Max, facilitating a round-trip workflow.
  • Artists can move 3D data between Maya and 3ds Max in a single step.

New in Autodesk Maya 2013 software
Autodesk Maya 2013 software delivers practical toolsets to help facilities working in 3D animation, visual effects, game design, and post production create and maintain the modern, open pipelines they need to address today’s challenging projects. Powerful new toolsets for dynamic simulation, animation, and rendering offer new levels of creativity, while everyday productivity enhancements help artists finish faster. In addition, the Open Data initiative introduced in Maya 2013 offers tools to help facilitate parallel workflows and better complexity handling.

New in Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 software
Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 software delivers interactive rendering with ActiveShade support in the NVIDIA iray renderer; offers a new render pass system with integrated node-based compositing; and provides industry-leading interoperability with Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop software. In addition, new motion graphics, 3D animation, and simulation tools empower artists to focus more on creative, rather than technical challenges. Finally, enhanced interoperability with Maya 2013 and MotionBuilder 2013 animation software helps facilitate pipeline integration.

New in Autodesk Softimage 2013 software
Autodesk Softimage 2013 animation software delivers powerful new creative toolsets, a new high-fidelity interactive environment, and extended customizability. Users can enjoy greater creative freedom with a completely new CrowdFX simulation feature set and a new High-Quality Viewport, along with enhanced modeling, animation, physics, and selection tools. Also, extensions to the SDK (software development kit) help facilitate pipeline integration.

New in Autodesk MotionBuilder 2013 software
Autodesk MotionBuilder 2013 software helps production teams more reliably acquire, aggregate, and refine data, and offers a new nonlinear editing paradigm for Virtual Production. Highlights include the option to record live motion capture data directly to disk, a flexible new HUD (heads-up display), a floating viewer, and support for broadcast WAVE files.

New in Autodesk Mudbox 2013 software
Autodesk Mudbox 2013 software helps artists create complex production-ready scenes with greater ease, with the Gigatexel engine and the ability to work efficiently with significantly more objects. In addition, Mudbox 2013 offers new multipurpose curves, support for edge sharpness data, and enhanced interoperability with Adobe Photoshop software.

Read more about Autodesk’s 2013 product line-up