Exciting New Animation Tools Coming Soon

I’m still using trusty old Maya 7.0 at work, but I must say that for the first time I’m actually excited about a new release of Maya. Maya 2009 will include animation layers, a la Motionbuilder, which is something I’ve wanted since I started animating for games. Just think, if they decide to change a character’s idle pose you can simply slap that pose on a new layer in every other animation that needs to conform to that pose and you’ve got a non-destructively modified animation. Nice. Also helpful if you want to make several variations of similar moves. Other features include improvements to unwrapping UVs and easily rendering in stereoscopic 3D. Go to the Autodesk website to read more about it and watch some demo videos.

Independant R&D company Kickstand has some really impressive and useful deformation tools for Maya coming in the near future that will change the way people model and rig. Too bad you’ll have to shell out more cash for these. Hopefully Autodesk can integrate these features in a later release, but it seems to take them a long time to integrate tools that users have generated a long time ago.

I’m still waiting for Reflex to be released to the public.

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