Friday, February 24th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk releases Maya LT 2017 Update 3

Autodesk has released Maya LT 2017 Update 3, the latest update to its cut-down version of Maya aimed at indie game artists, overhauling the UV Editor, updating Viewport 2.0, and adding a new Bake Deformer tool.

The update comes in the run up to next week’s GDC 2017 conference.

Updated UV Editor, new in-viewport edge sewing tool
The update “completely overhauls” Maya LT’s UV Editor to provide a “more modern workflow”, introducing a new UV Toolkit UI element to the side of the editor window, which provides access to common tools.

As well as the changes to the editor itself, there is a new 3D Cut and Sew tool, which enables users to cut or sew UV edges directly on geometry in the scene view.

Several of the other modelling and UV editing tools also get updates, including the Quad Draw tool. You can read a full list of changes in the online release notes.

Updates to Viewport 2.0: OpenSubdiv 3.1 support, better displacement and transparency
The Viewport 2.0 display also gets quite a significant overhaul, including support for Pixar’s OpenSubdiv 3.1 for better real-time previews of subdivision surface geometry.

In addition, shadows and screen space ambient occlusion are now supported on geometry using the OpenSubdiv Catmull-Clark Adaptive subdivision method and for displaced meshes.

Transparency has also been improved, as has previewing displacement maps. Find more details here.

New Bake Deformer tool for riggers and animators
For character animators, Update 3 introduces a new Bake Deformer tool, which bakes out character rigs using deformers to skin bind weights.

Autodesk describes is as a way to “export complex rigs to applications that have limited deformer support, as well as being a quick trick for determining default character bind weights”.

There are also a number of more general updates to the graph editor, and improvements to the way Maya LT handles frame rates and timing formats.

Since we last wrote about Maya LT, Autodesk has also put out a separate Update 2 release which, among other things, raised the maximum geometry count on exported OBJ and FBX files to 250,000 polygons.

Pricing and availability
Maya LT 2017 Update 3 is available for Windows 7 and above and Mac OS X 10.10.5 and above.

As with all of Autodesk’s software, licences of Maya LT are available on a subscription-only basis, starting at $30/month or $240/year, and including access to Autodesk’s Stingray game engine.

Read a full list of new features in Maya LT 2017 Update 3 in Autodesk’s online documentation