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Autodesk Releases Maya LT For Indie Game Developers

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US

Autodesk introduces Maya LT, an affordably priced but powerful 3D animation tool for indie game developers.

Autodesk has introduced Maya LT, a new 3D animation product based on their award-winning Maya software. This new product also brings with it a subscription pricing model that they hope will make it more affordable to indie developers.

“We see indie game developers as a key part of the industry, driving innovative new production techniques and gameplay,” said Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “The market is fiercely competitive, and Maya LT can provide indie developers and small studios with a powerful, yet simplified workflow for designing and animating remarkable 3D characters, environments and props – at a price that fits within even the most modest budget. It’s a practical solution that closely matches the needs of the mobile game development production cycle and helps developers rise above the noise and really shine.”

Indie developers, whether working for mobile, PC, or web-based games, need a professional 3D animation software that can be used to create 3D and 2D assets to be used in game engines. Autodesk has developed Maya LT as a new product whose focus is on the needs of indie game developers. It brings the established toolset of Maya, with its extensive modeling and animation capability,  into the affordability range of indie game developers, and also allows them to import assets that were created in Maya proper (as well as OBJ and FBX), giving them access to thousands of available models from sites like Turbosquid. Through support for FBX export, Maya LT also can be used for game engines like Unity Engine and Unreal Engine. One other possible use for Maya LT is as a development tool for people creating mesh content for Second Life, since its limitations fit well within the restrictions used by artists developing that content, and Autodesk's free FBX Converter can be used to convert the  FBX exports from Maya LT into Collada DAE format for import into Second Life.

Smaller studios like Phyken Media, creators of the mobile game Wizard Ops Tactics, saw both the economic and workflow benefits of the new product.

“I jumped at the chance to try Maya LT, as the cost flexibility means we could grow the studio much more comfortably,” said Phyken Media President Kunal Patel. “With an option like Maya LT, our small team can accept bigger challenges and take on various new types of projects that may require more artists without having to worry much about any large upfront expenses. We even found operating expenses are much easier to determine.”

Features and Limitations:

  • Full support for all of Maya's 3D modeling tools including NURBS and subdivision surfaces
  • Includes Maya's Hypershade surface editor
  • Includes ShaderFX for the creation of HLSL and CGFX shaders
  • Export to FBX format of up to 25,000 polygons per scene (but the .mlt format allows denser meshes within Maya LT)
  • Supports import of .ma, .mb (Maya ASCII and binary formats), .mlt (Maya LT format), OBJ and FBX 3D formats
  • Supports import of AI and EPS structures drawings as objects
  • Supports import of BMP, PNG, DDS, EXR, TGA, and TIFF as textures
  • Supports use of (and export of) normal maps
  • Skeleton generator
  • Autodesk HumanIK inverse kinematics
  • DX11 viewport previews with DX11 shading
  • Full lighting and global illumination
  • Texture baking based off of Autodesk Turtle
  • Rendering of 2D image sprites
  • Does not support external renderers; cannot render 'scenes' or animations
  • No MEL support, and currently no plugin support or SDK.

Learn More About Game Development with Autodesk Maya LT

For more information, and to download a free trial of Maya LT, visit: www.autodesk.com/mayalt. Connect with the Maya LT development community at: http://area.autodesk.com/mayalt.

Pricing and Availability

Maya LT is available immediately for both OSX and Windows at a price of $795 for a perpetual license. Term licenses are available as part of a monthly, quarterly or annual rental plan in the near future, starting at $50, $125 and $400, respectively.

Add your comment There are 0 Comments.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , August 28, 2013 7:28 AM
    This is a repost. You posted this a few days ago. I mean, seriously. Advertising?
  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , August 28, 2013 7:33 AM
    Its not a 'repost' its the same story.
  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , August 28, 2013 8:01 AM
    Quote:
    I'd like to know how you managed to start a thread in this section?


    Replied to the story when it went live again, in response to several of the seven other replies that show-up-but-then-dispappear.
  • 0 Hide
    koga73 , August 28, 2013 8:43 AM
    "No MEL support, and currently no plugin support or SDK."

    This seems like a huge con. A lot of 3D engines have plug-ins for Maya. Off the top of my head if you are using Away3D for flash you need an AWD2 plug-in that is based on python. A lot of other plug-ins use MEL.
  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , August 28, 2013 8:53 AM
    Blender is also popular (and free). Check out their work: http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/movies/
  • 0 Hide
    jpishgar , August 28, 2013 9:22 AM
    Pruned this thread for expediency. :)  Duplicates have been removed and staff has been designated. Please proceed with your discussion as per usual.
  • 0 Hide
    Durandul , August 28, 2013 9:30 AM
    As an honest question, how is this better than blender?
  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , August 28, 2013 9:33 AM
    Better UI, better tools, actual support.
  • 0 Hide
    quakebox , August 28, 2013 6:29 PM
    <quote> As an honest question, how is this better than blender? </quote>

    well it's not this version of Maya is intended to lower the cost on indies that intend to create a one tool pipeline of Maya.

    Blender is a complete tool you can use it for anything but it also has its ups and downs same as all 3D packages.
  • 0 Hide
    quakebox , August 28, 2013 6:30 PM
    <quote> As an honest question, how is this better than blender? </quote>

    well it's not this version of Maya is intended to lower the cost on indies that intend to create a one tool pipeline of Maya.

    Blender is a complete tool you can use it for anything but it also has its ups and downs same as all 3D packages.
  • 0 Hide
    quakebox , August 28, 2013 6:31 PM
    <quote> As an honest question, how is this better than blender? </quote>

    well it's not this version of Maya is intended to lower the cost on indies that intend to create a one tool pipeline of Maya.

    Blender is a complete tool you can use it for anything but it also has its ups and downs same as all 3D packages.
  • 0 Hide
    quakebox , August 28, 2013 6:31 PM
    <quote> As an honest question, how is this better than blender? </quote>

    well it's not this version of Maya is intended to lower the cost on indies that intend to create a one tool pipeline of Maya.

    Blender is a complete tool you can use it for anything but it also has its ups and downs same as all 3D packages.
  • 0 Hide
    quakebox , August 28, 2013 6:32 PM
    <quote> As an honest question, how is this better than blender? </quote>

    well it's not this version of Maya is intended to lower the cost on indies that intend to create a one tool pipeline of Maya.

    Blender is a complete tool you can use it for anything but it also has its ups and downs same as all 3D packages.
  • 0 Hide
    demonhorde665 , August 29, 2013 9:40 AM
    i'd be more excited if they did this for 3ds max ,. while I know maya to me 3ds max's work flow just makes more sense as a 3d modeler.
  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , August 29, 2013 2:10 PM
    According to Autodesk, they did Maya instead of Max because they wanted cross-platform capability. A lot of iOS developers are Mac-based.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , August 29, 2013 7:02 PM
    Blender is the best 3D modeling/animation package hands down, its free, and its cross platform.
    Maya is garbage, its trash piled on top of more trash. The application itself is limited by its legacy and exporting with it usually has a lot of baggage. Getting things to look the same between Maya and your Game Engine is more difficult. The pipeline from Maya to the Game Engine is cumbersome. A lot of extra effort is needed by an artist or technical artist to setup assets and animations for games.

    Blender has a better render, assets match almost exactly from Blender to the game engine, there is almost no garbage given when exporting data to fbx, and its scripting language has been Python since the beginning instead of some Python/MEL conflicting nightmare. Blender also forces an artist to use faster modeling techniques since it is hotkey driven. On top of all this you can sculpt and paint in Blender, and you can preplan your model and write notes directly onto your view area with the grease pen.

    I have no idea why people still prefer other modeling applications when Blender does it better for free.
  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , August 29, 2013 7:07 PM
    Sorry, I really don't think you've spent much time in other 3d applications. If Blender is so great, how come no animation studios are using it?
  • 0 Hide
    quakebox , August 30, 2013 7:04 PM
    I actually disagree with you about blender being the best tool although it's good to some extent, it might be good for your work but Maya is considered a standard in animation studios because of a lot of things one of them is the ability to easily extend the program, the program interface and all of it's function buttons are written in MEL and you can show the code and add new functions easily compared to other tools it's a matter of drag the code from the code editor to the shelve and you have a new functional button, Maya power lies in Animation and Extend ability for studios who want to develop their own solutions and also get all around powerful tool for a 3k price, I remember the days when Maya was sold beyond that price, Softimage which is a powerful tool also, Softimage studios switched to Maya after the release of Maya because it provided a better workflow, most studios that used Softimage back in the day switched to Maya, although Maya is a powerful Character Animation tool, it's not that easy in Modeling and also it has some glitches that should have been fixed long time ago, one of them is the camera based selection not functioning well with ATI/AMD cards, also the shaded wireframe mode when activated with the camera based selection in Nvidia or AMD cards will not let you select points and edges unless it has been deactivated. also you have to code a little bit in MEL to solve some modeling problems, with the release of Maya 2014 NEX modeling tools was integrated to add more modeling tools that ease a little bit the modeling process, however it is known in the game development industry some companies use Maya others use 3Ds Max and some use Both like Epic Games for example search the videos for Gears of War game where there was a visit to the studio the worker stated that they use 3Ds Max for modeling, and Maya for Animation, in the case of Movie industry Maya is used with a lot of other tools including modo, LightWave, Cinema 4D, Softimage, Houdini and anything a studio can put its hand on and purchase to solve the problems they face, however in most cases all of them games or movies or broadcast graphics have to code some to aid on solving their day to day problems.
  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , August 30, 2013 8:26 PM
    Quote:


    No, really, they don't. For broadcast graphics and television visual effects, the closest they get to 'coding' is usually writing mathematical expression, and even then they either use macro guide for creating the expressions, or the expressions are written by a TD and merely used by the animators. Broadcast graphics guys usually do even less.

  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , August 30, 2013 8:30 PM
    wow i broke something again
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