Maya 6 Shipping

Alias today announced that the Maya Complete 6 and Maya Unlimited 6 are now shipping globally to all new and upgrading customers. The release was first made available to users on Alias’ maintenance program on April 26 after its debut at the NAB tradeshow.

Chief among the new features are the tools within Trax non-linear animation—the licensing of character animation technologies from House of Moves has already paid off in spades—allowing for new retargeting and redirection features that will definitely make animators lives easier. The retargeting feature allows for the application of movement data to different skeletons, so if you have a model of a human and a model of a dog you can apply the human motion to the motion of a dog in a few clicks.

Character animators can tap into the new Maya Hair toolset, featuring a dynamic curve simulation engine designed to enable long hair to be added to characters. The ability to braid, curl and style hair is integrated with the Maya dynamics engine, allowing for realistic hair movement with accurate collisions. In addition, the Maya Hair dynamic curves can be used anywhere NURBS curves are currently employed and lend themselves to other hair-like objects such as ropes, chains and wires.

Modeling improvements include the ability to produce a crackless polygon mesh from multi-surface NURBS, enhanced polygon beveling, a new polygon mirror cut option and workflow enhancements for Smooth Proxy. Also, a new Soft Modification tool and deformer allows users to move, scale and rotate a selection with customizable curve-based falloff.

According to Alias, Maya 6 is better equipped to add digital clothing to characters and to animate creatures with realistic fur. Artists using Maya Fur now have the option to render fur in mental ray for Maya, allowing them to take advantage of the integrated mental ray 3.3 renderer and to achieve effects involving reflections, refractions, global illumination and caustics.

New connectivity with Adobe Photoshop results in a streamlined workflow for using Maya and Photoshop together, and Windows, Linux and Mac OS X platform users can now take advantage of a new embedded web browser within the Maya panel.

For more information on Maya 6 features and functionality, visit www.alias.com. Maya Complete for the Windows, IRIX, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems is priced at $1,999 and includes modeling, rendering, animation, dynamics, Maya Artisan, Maya Paint Effects, mental ray for Maya and Maya Embedded Language (MELÔ), an open interface for programming and scripting. Maya Unlimited for the Windows, IRIX and Linux operating systems is priced at $6,999 and includes all features in Maya Complete along with Maya Hair, Maya Fluid Effects™, Maya Fur, Maya Cloth and Maya Live.

Version upgrades for Maya Complete are priced at $899 and for Maya Unlimited at $1,249.