3ds Max 2015 and Maya 2015 Get Productivity and Interoperability Upgrades

Autodesk this morning announced two upgrades to Max and Maya as well as a slate of new features for Shotgun, which the company acquired in June.

At a press briefing, Shotgun Software co-founder and CEO Don Parker said he saw the size of Shotgun's engineering team tripled after the acquisition. Indeed, Shotgun had the biggest news today, with the announcement of the integration of the full suite of Pipeline toolkit apps with The Foundry's 3D painting tool Mari, along with two new ways of accessing Shotgun's production management tools. 

The new Shotgun Review iPhone app allows users to see new and previous versions of shots, give feedback, and even capture new reference material on the go using the iPhone's camera. It's available in the Apple App Store starting today. 

Also new and available now is Shotgun Desktop, a cross-platform desktop tool that puts launch icons for different tools — off-the-shelf products like Maya and Nuke or proprietary software — in a tray app allowing them to be opened with Shotgun apps that help integrate them with the rest of the pipeline. (It's part of an app framework that includes Python, QT and PySide to ensure compatibility with the full Pipeline toolkit.)

New features in Maya are geared toward improving productivity, according to Autodesk Entertainment Industry Manager Maurice Patel, who said it now includes "a proper color-management system" with better support for OpenColorIO and ACES workflows as well as a performance profiler for TDs featuring a resource graph that should help them identify bottlenecks in their pipeline, plus various modeling and workflow enhancements. The new profiler includes an API allowing it to be accessed through custom tools and plug-ins. The new features will be available as part of an extension to Maya 2014 beginning September 10.

New in 3ds Max is support for Pixar's OpenSubdiv surfaces, which Autodesk described as the top feature request from 3ds Max users. Also added are Alembic support and enhancements to the ShaderFX editor, with new shading options and improved compatibility with May and Maya LT. This extension to 3ds Max 2015 is available today. Full details are available at the Autodesk website.