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Maya® 3D animation, modeling, simulation, rendering, and compositing software offers a comprehensive creative feature set on a highly extensible production platform. Maya provides high-end character and effects toolsets along with increased productivity for modeling, texturing, and shader creation tasks.

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Dynamics & effects

Bifrost procedural effects platform
Dynamically and photorealistically simulate and render liquids. Developed from Naiad technology, the platform fully integrates with Maya and is easy to use. You can choose whether to mesh liquids with a new particle surfacer or render voxels directly. Export particles, voxels, and meshes to a native file format, or to selected industry-standard file formats.

© Autodesk, 2015

XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator
Generate curves, spheres, and custom geometry on the surface of polygon meshes. Create and groom hair, fur, and feathers on characters. Populate large landscapes with grass, foliage, trees, rocks, and debris trails. Handle large amounts of instanced data that would slow down a system if loaded in memory, and preview rendered effects interactively in Viewport 2.0.

© Autodesk, 2015

Bullet Physics
Create large-scale, highly realistic dynamic and kinematic simulations with the enhanced open-source Bullet plug-in delivered in conjunction with AMD. Simulate both soft and rigid bodies in a single system. Take advantage of continuous 3D collision detection. Create compound collision shapes from multiple meshes, and produce better collisions with concave shapes. Integrates with Maya Forces, and supports rigid sets for increased scalability.

3D animation

© Autodesk, 2015

Geodesic Voxel Binding
Produce high-quality, production-ready bound characters in less time with an innovative new skinning method that binds complex geometry to skeletons. Handle non-watertight geometry and meshes with non-manifold or overlapping components. The resulting weights are compatible with existing skinning methods in Maya and suitable for use in game engines.

© Autodesk, 2015

General animation tools
Nondestructive animation layering system works with attributes. The Set Driven Key tool enables you to keyframe complex relationships between animated parameters. Graph and Dopesheet Editors control how animated attributes change over time. You can fine-tune animation in the viewport with editable motion trails. Block out and mark up animation directly in the 3D scene with the Grease Pencil.

Character creation
Human IK solver and built-in Spline IK, Spring IK, and single chain and lightweight 2-bone solvers enable you to rig and animate believable characters. Articulate natural-looking bipeds and quadrupeds. Nondestructive live retargeting workflow works with motion capture and other animation data. Maya Muscle has advanced deformation tools for realistic or highly stylized muscle and skin motion. Manipulate joints on a bound skeleton with a nondestructive workflow.

Reusable animation
Save time by reusing, recycling, and adapting existing characters and animation. Transfer skinning information between models with the Substitute Geometry tool. Or transfer animation between characters via the ATOM (Animation Transfer Object Model) offline file format. Nondestructively edit poses and animation clips with the Trax Nonlinear Animation Editor.

3D modeling

© Autodesk, 2015

Streamlined retopology toolset
More easily optimize meshes for cleaner deformations and better performance. The Quad Draw tool integrates a Relax and Tweak feature with Soft Selection and an interactive Edge Extend tool.

© Autodesk, 2015

Polygon modeling
Enjoy more reliable polygon modeling. An efficient library enables faster, more consistent Boolean operations on polygon geometry. Produce better bevels with an extended Bevel tool. A more deeply integrated Modeling Toolkit streamlines polygon modeling workflows.

© Autodesk, 2015

OpenSubdiv support
This feature is open-sourced by Pixar and incorporates technology from Microsoft Research. Use both parallel CPU and GPU architectures for faster draw performance when deforming. Interactively view displacement maps without the need to render. Closely match subdivision surfaces generated in Pixar’s RenderMan renderer.

© Autodesk, 2015

UV toolset
A multithreaded unfolding algorithm and new selection workflows enable you to quickly create and edit complex UV meshes and get high-quality results. Easily toggle checkerboard and compression shaders to visualize UV distribution. Maya supports loading, visualizing, and rendering UDIM and UV tagged texture sequences, for a more streamlined workflow with Mudbox 3D digital sculpting and texture painting software and certain other applications.

Pipeline integration

© Autodesk, 2015

Scripting and API
Create Maya scripts and write plug-ins in Maya Embedded Language (MEL) or Python* scripting language to increase efficiency, customize features, and differentiate your work. Maya plug-ins and stand-alone applications can run from the Maya command line in C++, Python, or .NET languages.
*Python is a registered trademark of Python Software Foundation.

© Autodesk, 2015

2D and 3D integration
Use Render Layers to manage multiple passes within a single scene and export to your compositor of choice, or as Adobe Photoshop (PSD) or Flash (SWFT) output. Generate and update a compositing tree based on the render layers in the scene. Import an EDL in Apple Final Cut Pro, XML, or AAF formats, change shot timings in the Camera Sequence, and re-export. Create and edit bevels in Illustrator files while maintaining the ability to update the original.

© Autodesk, 2015

Data and scene management tools
Specialized tools and workflows enable you to efficiently manage large data sets. View and edit node relationships with the powerful dependency graph architecture. Segment scenes using assets and file referencing to help manage workflows, and to improve performance by offloading scene elements until you need them. Group nodes into containers and create custom and user-specific views. Extensively modify modeled data without rebuilding.

© Autodesk, 2015

Scene Assembly tools for smarter data
Create large, complex worlds more easily, and manage production assets as discrete elements. Easily swap between different representations, such as varying levels of detail. Apply, animate, or query edits at different levels in the scene assembly hierarchy. Track overrides on assemblies via an improved Edits system. Use the API to customize the toolset to create proprietary solutions.

© Autodesk, 2015

Advanced file path handling
Quickly diagnose and fix broken file paths, and work with nonlocal data and nonstandard file paths with URI support. The File Path Editor lists nodes that use external files, such as textures, image planes, references, and audio files. When a file path is broken, you can quickly relocate the file, or search recursively within a directory structure. Set paths to nonexistent files for handoff to users who may have different directory structures. Use the API to teach Maya about URI schemes.

3D rendering & imaging

© Autodesk, 2015

Color management (Extension 1)
Preserve creative intent throughout lighting and rendering workflows with a sophisticated new color management system. Use the simple linear workflow provided out of the box, or customize the system to suit your color pipeline.

© Autodesk, 2015

ShaderFX 3D shading
Easily create advanced HLSL, GLSL, and CgFX viewport shaders with the ShaderFX real-time visual shader editor. Create shader networks by connecting different nodes with a click-drag workflow. Select floating-point values, mathematical operations, texture maps, normal maps, and color nodes. Visualize materials in real time, and drill down into the inner workings of each basic node.

© Autodesk, 2015

Ptex support in mental ray
Render Ptex texture files in mental ray for Maya. Eliminate the need to create and assign UVs to meshes by creating Ptex files in Mudbox 2015 3D digital sculpting and texture painting software or certain other texture painting applications and rendering them in mental ray for Maya.

Integrated renderers
Get a choice of integrated renderers in addition to the native Maya software renderer. The integrated mental ray for Maya has advanced photorealistic features. Maya includes 5 licenses of mental ray for Maya Batch* and 8 licenses of mental ray for Maya Satellite.

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