Autodesk has debuted the 2014 Entertainment Creation Suite and major upgrades to each tool.
Autodesk has announced the new features of the Entertainment Creation Suite 2014 in time for GDC. The versatile workflow includes award-winning 3D animation, visual effects and creative tools, Maya 2014, 3ds Max 2014, MotionBuilder 2014, Mudbox 2014, Softimage 2014 and Sketchbook Designer 2014, all which have been updated to offer new workflow enhancements that help artists collaborate, manage complexity and move data through their pipeline more efficiently.
Along with the upgrades to the whole range, the entire, and I mean entire range of Autodesk products (not just M&E) have been rebranded. The new look is signifying an origami theme showing color, movement and 3D," says Rob Hoffman, the Senior Product Marketing Manager, 3D.
"Modern production teams must manage multiple complex, visually demanding projects at any given time, and Autodesk works closely with world renowned entertainment studios to develop the most powerful solutions," said Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president, Media & Entertainment at Autodesk. "The Entertainment Creation Suites provide a unified and flexible workflow, offering teams of all sizes the ability to better manage across a globally distributed creative workforce. Each product in the toolset saves valuable production time, while giving artists more creative freedom to work with the best tool for the job at hand."
There are three configurations of the Suite. These scale to meet the demands of any sized team, budget or project. The Standard edition includes 3D software and offers a choice of either Maya 2014 or 3ds Max 2014 with MotionBuilder 2014, Mudbox 2014 and Sketchbook Designer 2014.
The Premium edition offers all the software of the Standard Suite, but with the addition of Softimage 2014 3D animation and visual effects software. With the Ultimate Suite, customers have access to the value of the Premium edition, with the added benefit of including both Maya 2014 and 3ds Max 2014.
"There is huge growth in content creation. Software is allowing content to be created quicker, easier and for more outlets and industries," says Maurice Patel, Senior Manager M&E Industry Marketing. "There's console games, as well as the big VFX houses, and there has been a shift to the right for creating custom pipelines. This is where the Suite will make it even easier for industry creatives to produce."
Every tool in the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites offers new ways for artists to efficiently bring more life-like and realistic behaviours to their creations.
Maya 2014 helps artists and developers create content to meet the increasing expectations of modern audiences. The 2014 update includes an expanded, integrated modeling feature set; Grease Pencil; and the cool new Paint Effects features that are designed to improve productivity and enhance creativity. The Maya DX11 Shader, working with enhancements to Viewport 2.0, enables artists to work in a high-quality real-time environment that closely matches final output. New Scene Assembly, a File Path Editor, and URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) support tools allows for easier building and managing of large and complex worlds.
3ds Max 2014
3ds Max 2014 offers new solutions to answer today's modern 3D challenges. The new Populate feature saves artists time and allows them to quickly and easily generate moving or idle crowds with life-like human reactions and activity. Additional updates include: a significantly enhanced and more efficient Particle Flow toolset; and a performance-enhanced viewport that now supports MS DirectX 11 shaders. Perspective Match and Vector Map tools allow artists to extend their creative capabilities by crossing the 2D/3D divide.
The new Camera Sequencer toolset offers the ability to cut between multiple cameras to edit clips, leaving the original animation data unchanged; directorial control over scenes; improved CrowdFX and ICE features enable artists to use the concept of passes and partitions in any combination with any aspect of ICE; and an improved Viewport delivers a higher fidelity interactive experience. Softimage 2014 now offers easier integration into existing pipelines through improved support for animation data exchange via the FBX 2014 format.
MotionBuilder 2014 now has Linux operating system support, as well as new motion capture workflow options; artist-friendly methods for positioning, measuring and selecting objects; the ability to use custom viewport renderers; and an API for file referencing.
Mudbox now offers single-click automatic and manual options to manipulate meshes or to precisely control various aspects of the output mesh with a user-directed solution. Artists can now concentrate purely on aesthetic considerations as they sculpt, without altering the underlying structure. Enhanced multi-touch workflows now include support for stencils and additional touch-enabled input devices.
"A new modeling workflow in Mudbox, with the launch of a cloud-based reality capture called ReCap. That data can be brought into Mudbox in a process called retopologizing. Allows 3D elements to be brought into Maya, via Mudbox," adds Patel.
SketchBook Designer 2014
SketchBook Designer 2014 is an intuitive hybrid paint and vector toolset that enables exploration and presentation of new ideas for characters, props and environments. Additional benefits include: sketching, painting and image compositing workflows; easy color manipulation; mixed media workflows and an industry-unique transformation tool. The dynamic, scalable user interface is optimized for both pen and mouse interaction and is designed to offer maximum creative freedom.