Autodesk has announced the release of Maya 2022 with a new USD plugin. This has been in the pipeline for a while, it was first announced at SIGGRAPH 2018 as a joint effort with Pixar, Animal Logic, Luma Pictures, and Blue Sky Studios. According to Autodesk, with the Maya 2022 release “USD is now seamlessly integrated in Maya, enabling artists to load and edit massive datasets at lightning speed”. Other features include
- New animation tools, including a new Ghosting Editor that allows artists to quickly see animation spacing over time, improvements to the Time Editor, and new filters in the Graph Editor.
- Several procedural, topology-independent rigging workflows. Component Tags and Deformer Falloffs provide modern methods for defining membership and weighting, as well as seamlessly sharing that data between geometry and deformers. Maya’s deformation toolset also gets bigger with new Solidify and Morph deformers.
- A new Sweep Mesh tool to procedurally generate geometry and adjust attributes with a single click.
- A new Game Vertex Count plugin plus other improvements to the modelling experience including pivot improvements, an upgraded extrude thickness tool, faster lasso selection, and more.
- Arnold 6.2 with new imagers for light mixing, bloom effects, and denoising. Other changes include GPU improvements, enhanced USD support, and integration with OpenColorIO v2.
- Python 3 is now the default for Maya on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
- A faster and more modern user experience with reduced startup time and customizable preferences, splash screen improvements, and intuitive script editor enhancements.
Find out more on Autodesk’s Maya blog.