My coding tasks got me away from Maya for a looong time, but..
Yesterday I just had a bit of time to play with Maya 2017 which is at the same time a huge step forward and somewhat backward (someone screams “no batch render” ? ).
I was positively impressed by the overall UI change, and I must say I like it more than the previous: flat equals lighter and since there are a lot of thing going on inside Maya I think this new UI helps focus and productivity.
For me, the most important new features are basically two:
- Arnold is now bundled into Maya! (but you need to pay 800$ for batch rendering!)
- Motion Graphics tools like you would expect from a 3d package in 2017
The first thing is quite simple: you’ve now got Arnold as standard renderer in Maya. And I’m so happy that the dear Mental Ray is now gone, and for good. I used Mental Ray quite a lot in past, since I had to study it when I was attending Rainbow Academy in 2012 (at that time there were not a lot of alternatives), but I never really liked it, except for its ability to do render passes in a neat way.
MR certainly is not a friend of the freelance artist, too many settings and materials, while Arnold has an approach of “less is more”: less shaders but with more power to them (basically you could do the 80% of the materials in a scene with just the aiStandard). Plus, the Ambient Occlusion in Arnold is so much quicker and better quality confronted with MR. Also, Arnold has GI per default, so in reality you won’t need to do a separate pass of AO as often as with MR.
Then, MOGRAPH: yep, that’s the name of the most famous Motion Graphics module of every time, which has been bundled with Cinema4D for such a long time. Now, in Maya 2017, we finally have something resembling what C4d has offered for years: MASH. I didn’t have test it fully but my impression was that it’s a quite powerful tool that will certainly grow with Maya.
Finally, end of chit-chats: here’s a quick (1hr of work totally, 16 sec for rendering) example of what you can do in Maya 2017 which was almost impossible in the previously versions: type (with cool bevel) !
A screenshot of the viewport:
Speaking of the viewport, I almost forgot. The viewport 2.0 is now the default one. SSAO, Antialising, Shadows, Motion Blur and all that sort of goodness.
See you soon, Maya!