Autodesk ships Maya 2020.3 and Maya LT 2020.3
Autodesk has released Maya 2020.3 and Maya LT 2020.3, the latest updates to the full and cut-down editions of its 3D modelling and animation software.
Both editions get improvements to animation and rigging workflow, including the option to merge base animation layers when importing one scene into another, and updates to skin weight painting and HumanIK.
Outside the core application, Maya 2020.3 ships with Bifrost for Maya 2.1, the latest version of the multiphysics plugin, and updated versions of the Maya to Arnold and Rokoko motion capture plugins.
Maya 2020.3 and Maya LT 2020.3: improved animation and rigging workflow
Both editions get new animation features, including the option to merge the base animation layer of the imported file into that of the parent scene when importing one scene into another.
Autodesk describes this as a time-saver when importing large numbers of assets: for example, in shot layout.
Updates to existing features include better instance filtering in the Paint Skin Weights tool. Filtering now works in the same way as in the Outliner, without the need to enter special characters to isolate influences.
In addition, selection mode is now switched automatically to vertices from faces or edges on selecting the Paint Skin Weights tool, making it possible to start painting weights immediately.
The Human IK solver gets a new Neck Motion Reduction slider, shown in the image at the top of the story.
It works in the same way as its counterpart in MotionBuilder, averaging motion between a character’s neck and chest to dampen excessive neck movements in mocap moves with inadequate capture data.
The Graph Editor gets a new Show Animated Shapes option, which determines whether the editor displays animation curves for all of the nodes downstream of the one selected, or only the node itself.
Maya 2020.3 only: extended FBX and HIKC export
Maya 2020.3 also get a couple of features not included in Maya LT 2020.3, including support for Autodesk’s renderer-agostic Standard Surface shader when importing or exporting FBX files.
Studios still using Autodesk’s discontinued Gameware middleware can once more export .hikc files in a format that Gameware can read, following a compatibility-breaking change in Maya 2018.
The Script Editor gets a few workflow improvements, including the option to right-click to create, rename or delete tabs.
Studios working with Maya on Windows can also now get crash error reports by using the new MAYA_USER_CER_APP environment variable to write custom executables.
Updates to the Maya to Arnold, Bifrost and Rokoko plugins
Outside the core application, Maya users get Bifrost for Maya 2.1, the latest version of the multiphysics plugin, which adds new scene geometry queries and improves Alembic support.
We covered version 2.1 when it was released in July, so check out this story for full details.
Pricing and availability
Maya 2020.3 is available for Windows 7/10, RHEL/CentOS 7.3-7.7 Linux and macOS 10.13+ on a rental-only basis. Full subscriptions cost $205/month or $1,620/year.
Autodesk has also recently introduced Indie subscriptions for Maya users in selected countries earning under $100,000/year. They cost around $295/year, depending which country you live in.
Maya LT 2020.3 is available for Windows 7/10 and macOS 10.13+ on a rental-only basis. Subscriptions cost $35/month or $265/year.