Alias Announces Maya 6.5
Dedicated to Addressing the Needs of Next-Generation Productions
Maya 6.5 Now Available to Download for Customers on Platinum Membership Prog=
Toronto, Canada – January 31, 2005 – Alias revealed today the latest
version of its award-winning Maya software package, focused on meeting the
demands of the most challenging next-generation productions. Maya 6.5 is a
performance-driven release optimized to meet the needs of games, film,
broadcast and digital publishing professionals seeking dramatic performance
enhancements while working with massive datasets. By re-architecting the
software to boost performance across the package, Alias has prepared Maya
to provide the power and reliability to work with the heaviest models,
scenes and animation data. Customers on the Maya Platinum Membership
Program can download the software today at
(http://www.alias.com/maya/support). Maya 6.5 will begin shipping worldwide
in February 2005.
“This latest version of Maya proves the dedication of Alias to meet the
needs of the game development community,” comments Stephen White,
programming director, Naughty Dog, Inc. “Maya continues to evolve as a
critical tool in our game development process and this version addresses
many important current needs as well as features critical to the future of
game development.” Naughty Dog is widely regarded as one of the most
forward-thinking games developers, having produced the highly acclaimed and
successful Crash Bandicoot(tm) and Jak & Daxter titles with Alias products.
“Maya 6.5 was clearly driven by daily production demands,” says Dirk
Bialluch, managing director at Lightstorm 3D. “Overall performance has
increased drastically and working with Maya feels much more fluid in almost
every aspect. With the tight level of integration reached in Maya 6.5, we
switched our complete render pipeline to mental ray.” Lightstorm3D is a
German-based computer graphics firm offering advanced 3D and animation
solutions for film, broadcast, computer games, internet and visualization.
Tools for Managing Large Datasets
In response to a massive increase in scene file complexity within the 3D
community, Alias has introduced new scene segmentation features to Maya.
These enhanced tools give artists more control over scene load times,
project collaboration and overall data-handling performance.
Scene segmentation enhancements include new file referencing options such
as proxies, reference locking and the ability to save changes back to a
reference, as well as enhancements to existing file referencing features.
Additionally, the range of large CAD datasets that can be imported into
Maya 6.5 has been expanded through the addition of the new STEP translator
that allows efficient importing of files from most major CAD packages.
Importing OBJ files on Windows platform is also significantly faster and
the FBX=AE plug-in is now included with Maya. The FBX plug-in allows for the
exchange of 3D assets and media between a wide variety of applications.
Stunning Performance Improvements
Maya 6.5 is loaded with performance improvements throughout key areas of
the software, which assists artists in dealing more effectively with their
large scenes and datasets. New with Maya 6.5 is mental ray for Maya
Satellite, and a host of new features (including rapid scan-line rendering)
that stem from the integration of a new mental ray 3.4 core.
Modeling – Many polygon and UV texturing operations in Maya are now orders
of magnitude faster, helping artists achieve their desired look with much
greater efficiency. A series of enhancements have also been made to the
polygon bevel tool.
Animation, Character Setup and Deformers – Toolsets have all been
optimized, resulting in a more efficient workflow for character animators.
Wrap deformer setup is many times faster in Maya 6.5 as are cluster
deformation and sculpt tool deformations. Optimizations to the soft
modification feature permits animators to quickly manipulate many vertices
at a high-level – an ideal workflow accelerator for those working with
dense datasets. Animators can now get better results when copying smooth
skin weights between models with differing topologies and take advantage of
the new ability to bind to non-joint objects and maintain max skin
Large Address Awareness – Maya artists using the Windows XP platform can
now take advantage of up to 2.6 GB of memory for Maya.
Rendering – Alias is introducing a new network rendering option that
supplements the mental ray rendering capabilities within Maya 6.5 by taking
advantage of the processing power of other networked computers. This allows
artists to achieve faster rendering results including Interactive
Photorealistic Rendering (IPR), improved interactive and batch rendering
performance and faster pre-lighting of both textures and vertices. The
mental ray for Maya Satellite feature comes free with Maya Complete (2
CPUs) and Maya Unlimited (8 CPUs) and is available for the Windows, Linux
and Mac OS X platforms.
Addressing Customers’ Highly Requested Features
Along with providing performance enhancements across the software, Alias
has also addressed other highly requested features from the global Maya
customer base. Areas of improvement include, Maya Cloth, Maya Hair, Maya
Fur, Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Embedded Language (MEL), API, Plug-ins,
Devkit and the embedded web browser. For full Maya 6.5 details, please
New Platinum and Silver Membership Services Launch with Maya 6.5
Along with the numerous benefits of being part of the Platinum and Silver
Membership Programs, Alias is launching additional new services for those
New Platinum services include: improved interactive online case management
with automated bug reporting and ‘super user’ access; expanded hours for
hotline support and improved response and resolution times; and until June
2005 members can take advantage of one hour of personal training via phone
call with an Alias expert support engineer.
New Silver Membership services include: new textures and shaders database,
selected Learning Tools at no charge and Alias weblogs by industry leaders
and Alias product specialists who discuss how they create work using Alias
Pricing and Availability
The pricing of Maya remains unchanged from Maya 6 – Maya Complete 6.5 is
$1999 and Maya Unlimited is $6999. Upgrade pricing is $899 for Maya
Complete and $1249 for Maya Unlimited. Both Maya Complete and Unlimited are
available on the Windows, IRIX, Linux and Mac OS X platforms.
mental ray 3.4 is offered from Alias as a stand-alone renderer and will be
available to those customers on Alias’ mental ray maintenance program on
February 8, 2005. mental ray 3.4 will begin shipping to new customers
February 28, 2005.
As the world’s leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias develops
award-winning software, custom development, and training solutions for the
film and video, games, web, interactive media, automotive, industrial
design, education, and visualization markets. On March 1, 2003, for the
awards year 2002, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded
Alias|Wavefront(tm) an Oscar=AE for scientific and technical achievement for
the development of Maya=AE software, the professional 3D animation and
effects package. Alias offers a powerful range of services for new to
advanced users in the most demanding environments; Learning Tools and
training, support, and professional services help meet rigorous production
Entertainment customers include: CNN, Digital Domain, Disney, Electronic
Arts, Industrial Light & Magic, Factor 5 LLC, Midway Games, Nintendo,
Pacific Data Images (PDI)/DreamWorks SKG, Pixar, Sega, Sony Pictures
Imageworks, Square Enix Co., Ltd., Warner Feature Animation and Weta Ltd.
Design customers include AT&T, BMW, Boeing, Fiat, Ford, General Motors,
Honda, Italdesign, Kodak, Kwikset, Mattel, Price Pfister, Renault,
Rollerblade, Sharp, Trek Bicycle, Teague and Timex.
Alias is headquartered in Toronto with a Custom Development Center in Santa
Barbara and offices worldwide. Please visit the Alias website at
http://www.alias.com or call 1-800-447-2542 in North America. International
contact numbers include: Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, +44 (0)
1494 441273; Germany, East & Southeast Europe, 0049 89 31 70 20; France,
Spain and Portugal, +33 1 44 92 81 60; Italy, 39 039 6340011; Japan and
other parts of Asia Pacific, 81 3 5797 3500 and Latin America, 770 393 1881.