In the current economic climate, it is no surprise that Autodesk’s message at SIGGRAPH 2009 was driving efficiency and saving money.

The first big step was to unify Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited into a single product: Maya 2010. Included in Maya 2010 are Maya Composite, which is based on the compositing software in Toxik, Matchmover, the 3D tracking system, five mental ray Batch render nodes and Autodesk Backburner render manager. Maya 2010 cost $3,495.

Autodesk also announced Softimage 2010, which features Face Robot integration and expanded ICE capability, including the ability to import ICE effects into Maya; MotionBuilder 2010 featuring accelerated performance; and Mudbox 2010 with a new SDK, a new suite of brushes, FBX support and the ability to import/export Photoshop .psd layers.

On the cost savings end, Autodesk is now bundling some products together to offer customers up to 35 percent overall savings. The Entertainment Creation Suite includes Maya OR 3ds Max and MotionBuilder and Mudbox for $4,995. The Animation Creation Suite includes Maya OR 3ds Max and MotionBuilder for $4,795.

Autodesk is also extending the Maya and Max Assistance Program to areas of Europe and Latin America. The Assistance Program, announced earlier this year, allows those who are out of work to download free versions of the software for 90 days.