Autodesk released a full slate of updates at SIGGRAPH 2017 with a mandate of streamlining production and increasing flexibility, adding features to Maya, Shotgun, Arnold, 3ds Max and Flame, as well as giving subscribers Cloud Rights allowing headless (command-line, non-UI) usage of some Autodesk software over the Internet.
Cloud Rights for Subscribers
Starting later this month, 3ds Max and Maya subscribers will join Arnold subscribers in their ability to run batch instances of computing-intensive tasks such as rendering, simulating or caching on individual or multiple computers via Internet connection. (Maintenance subscriptions will not have batch rights.)
As of August 30, each multi-user subscriber to 3ds Max or Maya will be allowed batch functionality for up to 10 instances of that program running on the Internet. That makes multi-user subscriptions more attractive to customers who plan to make regular use of external computing resources. Single-user Max or Maya subscriptions will be allowed only one instance of 3ds Max or Maya, respectively, to be used over the Internet. Autodesk is also adding SketchBook for Enterprise to the Media & Entertainment Collection.
Software Feature Upgrades
New features in Maya 2018 include an overhauled UV Editor with an updated interface and improved toolkit. A new clump modifier is designed to make it easier to create natural-looking hair and fur, and a “live link” is meant to improve real-time interaction between Maya and Adobe After Effects by allowing the same scene to be viewed in both programs simultaneously, with changes made in Maya updating immediately in After Effects. The MASH toolset has also been updated with new nodes and some updates to existing nodes.
Meanwhile, 3ds Max users have access to 3ds Max Interactive, a new VR engine. And new features in Flame include Pybox, a software handler for processing images via external renderers that can be controlled via Python scripts; projector functionality, map inputs and a contextual menu; smart merge for the connected conform workflow, and command-line control for the batch environment.
“The continued growth of AR and VR and steady flow of new productions from Netflix, Amazon and others mean animation and VFX houses are in more demand than ever,” said Autodesk SVP of Media & Entertainment Chris Bradshaw in a prepared statement. “Everything we’re showing at SIGGRAPH streamlines production and equips artists with the tools to handle nearly any creative scenario.”