Maya 6.5 Shipping

Toronto-based software tech company Alias today announced the worldwide shipping of Maya 6.5, the latest version of its of its award-winning Maya 3D modeling and animation software package. This new offering is optimized to meet the needs of games, film, broadcast and digital publishing professionals seeking dramatic performance enhancements while working with massive datasets.

Users can take advantage of new scene segmentation in this new version. These enhanced tools give artists more control over scene load times, project collaboration and overall data-handling performance. Scene segmentation enhancements include new file referencing options such as proxies, reference locking and the ability to save changes back to a reference, as well as enhancements to existing file referencing features. In addition, the range of large CAD datasets that can be imported into Maya 6.5 has been expanded through the addition of the new STEP translator that allows efficient importing of files from most major CAD packages.

Along with providing performance enhancements across the software, Alias has also addressed other highly requested features from the global Maya customer base. Areas of improvement include, Maya Cloth, Maya Hair, Maya Fur, Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Embedded Language (MEL), API, Plug-ins, Devkit and the embedded web browser.  

“The decision to focus an entire release on solving a single set of problems–the challenge of handling massive datasets–was a bold and calculated decision by our product development team,” comments Bob Bennett, general manager of product management, Alias. “Alias strives to be ahead of the technology curve for the benefit of our customers and what’s coming for their pipelines in the next 18 months.”

Another addition in version 6.5 is the new mental ray for Maya Satellite rendering, which allows network rendering across multiple CPU’s for interactive and batch rendering, including use of mental ray for pre-lighting.

The pricing remains unchanged from Maya 6. Maya Complete 6.5 is $1999 and Maya Unlimited is $6999. Upgrade pricing is $899 for Maya Complete and $1249 for Maya Unlimited. Both Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited are available on the Windows, IRIX, Linux and Mac OS* X platforms.

Due to a significant decrease in the number of Maya customers relying on the IRIX operating system, Alias says Maya 6.5 will be the last upgrade release for IRIX. The company will instead concentrate its development of Maya on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms, but will continue to offer support for IRIX as a license-serving platform.

For full Maya 6.5 details, visit www.alias.com.