Thursday, December 12th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk ships Mudbox 2020

Autodesk has released Mudbox 2020, the latest update to its digital sculpting software. The release adds a single new feature: a data link to Flame.

The smallest annual release in recent Mudbox history?
Mudbox 2020 shipped this week alongside annual updates to other Autodesk DCC applications, including Maya 2020 and Maya LT 2020, Arnold 6.0 and MotionBuilder 2020.

We imagine that accounts for the timing of the release, since according to the changelog, it contains only one new feature: the option to create a data link with Flame, Autodesk’s compositing and finishing software.

Users can round-trip assets from Flame to Mudbox to sculpt in additional detail, then merge the results back into the original scene, using the same workflow as for 3ds Max and Maya.

Unlike the similarly feature-light Mudbox 2019.1, the 2020 release doesn’t fix many bugs, either: there are just two bugfixes, both for macOS.

We think that makes Mudbox 2020 the smallest annual update to the software in recent history, adding fewer features even than the releases prior to Autodesk’s decision to “reinvest” in the software in 2017.

While that decision resulted in a couple of major updates – notably Mudbox 2018.2, with its new dynamic tessellation system – development now seems to have tailed off again.

User reaction to the release can probably be gauged by this thread on Autodesk’s AREA community forum, entitled ‘Mudbox 2020 – Is this a joke?’

Updated 19 December 2019: We contacted Autodesk to ask whether Mudbox was still in active development, and whether the size of the feature list for Mudbox 2020 would be typical of future updates.

The company told us that “development for Mudbox continues”, and said that it would “continue to work closely with customers to ensure that future iterations of the product align with their needs”.

Pricing and system requirements
Mudbox 2020 is available for Windows 7+, RHEL or CentOS 7.3-7.5 Linux, and macOS 10.13+. The software is rental-only, with subscriptions costing $10/month or $80/year.

See the new feature in Mudbox 2020 in the online changelog