Autodesk Maya is a 3D animation and 3D modeling software application that is used for simulation, visual effects, rendering, and compositing. It is used in the TV industry for shows like Heroes and American Idol, major motion films like Avatar, District 9, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, and in the gaming industry for games like The Beatles: Rock Band and Assassin’s Creed II.
Maya is an integrated node-based software application that provides a comprehensive suite of applications for 3D content creation. Using Maya, you can create and edit 3D models in a variety of modeling formats and animate your models using a whole host of animation tools. Maya also provides the ability to allow you to render your animated 3D scenes to achieve photo realistic imagery and animated visual effects. Complete system requirements are located at the Autodesk site.
So what is new with Maya 2011?
• New interface – sports a look and feel that has been reworked to provide a more consistent user experience on all supported platforms. It offers a fresher, albeit a darker look, making for better visibility and a nice gradient background. Both make it much easier on the eyes and easier to work in. Other changes include a bigger and better file open menu, dockable UI elements, and a new color chooser.
• Faster Skinning workflow – will let you create more accurately skinned characters having more realistic deformations all in faster rendering speeds. With the new skinning tools and workflows you will have a dual quaternion option for smooth skinning, interactive volume binding, multiple enhancements to the Paint Skin Weights tool, deformer weight mirroring, and a surface falloff mode for the Wrap deformer.
• Non-destructive live retargeting – gives you the ability to more quickly and easily reuse, correct, and enhance motion-capture and certain other animation data. This new non-destructive retargeting workflow uses the Autodesk HumanIK (HIK) libraries. You can transfer animation from one character to another and adjust retargeting parameters live to see and edit results without the need to re-bake.