Maya 3D animation software offers a comprehensive creative feature set for 3D computer animation, modeling, simulation, rendering, and compositing on a highly extensible production platform. Maya now has next-generation display technology, accelerated modeling workflows, and new tools for handling complex data.
Dynamics & effects
Bifrost procedural effects platform NEW
Dynamically and photorealistically simulate and render liquids. Developed from Naiad technology, the platform fully integrates with Maya and is easy to use. You can choose whether to mesh liquids with a new particle surfacer or render voxels directly. Export particles, voxels, and meshes to a native file format, or to selected industry-standard file formats.
XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator NEW
Generate curves, spheres, and custom geometry on the surface of polygon meshes. Create and groom hair, fur, and feathers on characters. Populate large landscapes with grass, foliage, trees, rocks, and debris trails. Handle large amounts of instanced data that would slow down a system if loaded in memory, and preview rendered effects interactively in Viewport 2.0.
Control the appearance and behavior of primitives by setting attributes, painting maps, creating expressions, or using the included XGroom interactive grooming toolset.
Control long hair by creating guide hairs.
Bullet Physics NEW
Create large-scale, highly realistic dynamic and kinematic simulations with the enhanced open-source Bullet plug-in delivered in conjunction with AMD. Simulate both soft and rigid bodies in a single system. Take advantage of continuous 3D collision detection. Create compound collision shapes from multiple meshes, and produce better collisions with concave shapes. Integrates with Maya Forces, and supports rigid sets for increased scalability.
Create highly realistic hair and other curve-based dynamics. Render complex simulations with multiple dynamic entities all working together. Use a common system of fields, forces, and constraints for all Nucleus modules.
Simulate a wide range of complex 3D dynamic effects. Create and render smoke, spray, dust, and pouring and sloshing liquids. Self-collisions enable nParticles to accumulate within volumes. Map shading attributes, such as radius, color, opacity, and incandescence over time (or over age, radius, speed).
Gain control by using flexible nConstraints without the need to write complex expressions.
Use geometry instancing to replace particles with objects.
Bidirectional interaction with Maya nCloth and Maya nHair.
Convert polygon mesh models into nCloth objects. Paint cloth attributes such as bend, stretch, shear, and dent. Make 3D objects stiff, viscous, or flowing. Attach buttons, tear cloth, and control movement with topology-independent constraints. Simulate cloth-on-cloth, such as a shirt over pants. Achieve highly realistic results without self-interpenetration errors, and blend multiple cached simulations to achieve complex effects. Bidirectionally interact with Maya nParticles and Maya nHair.
Maya Fluid Effects
Simulate and render highly realistic atmospheric, explosive, viscous liquid, and open water effects. Select from presets for clouds, smoke, snow, steam, fog, and nuclear explosions. Create distinctive animated textures with 2D fluids. Maya Fluid Effects integrate with other Maya features. For example, you can create a fluid that acts as a force on particles created with Maya nParticles.
Rigid and soft-body dynamics
Create convincing simulations of multiple rigid and flexible objects. Connect rigid-body objects with Nail, Hinge, Barrier, Pin, and Spring constraints. Create secondary motion effects with paintable goal-weights using soft-body objects. Simulate the motion of natural forces with dynamic fields.
Geodesic Voxel Binding NEW
Produce high-quality, production-ready bound characters in less time with an innovative new skinning method that binds complex geometry to skeletons. Handle non-watertight geometry and meshes with non-manifold or overlapping components. The resulting weights are compatible with existing skinning methods in Maya and suitable for use in game engines.
General animation tools
Nondestructive animation layering system works with attributes. The Set Driven Key tool enables you to keyframe complex relationships between animated parameters. Graph and Dopesheet Editors control how animated attributes change over time. You can fine-tune animation in the viewport with editable motion trails. Block out and mark up animation directly in the 3D scene with the Grease Pencil.
Human IK solver and built-in Spline IK, Spring IK, and single chain and lightweight 2-bone solvers enable you to rig and animate believable characters. Articulate natural-looking bipeds and quadrupeds. Nondestructive live retargeting workflow works with motion capture and other animation data. Maya Muscle has advanced deformation tools for realistic or highly stylized muscle and skin motion. Manipulate joints on a bound skeleton with a nondestructive workflow.
Save time by reusing, recycling, and adapting existing characters and animation. Transfer skinning information between models with the Substitute Geometry tool. Or transfer animation between characters via the ATOM (Animation Transfer Object Model) offline file format. Nondestructively edit poses and animation clips with the Trax Nonlinear Animation Editor.
Accelerate previsualization and virtual moviemaking production. Lay out multiple camera shots in a single animation sequence. Start laying out shots in Maya, or import an EDL in FCP or AAF formats from editorial with associated movie, audio, and time code information. Reorder clips, edit In and Out points, and change camera assignments with the Sequencer Playlist. Use Playblast to review the sequence before optionally re-exporting an EDL to editorial for refinement.
Streamlined retopology toolset NEW
More easily optimize meshes for cleaner deformations and better performance. The Quad Draw tool integrates a Relax and Tweak feature with Soft Selection and an interactive Edge Extend tool.
Polygon modeling NEW
Enjoy more reliable polygon modeling. An efficient library enables faster, more consistent Boolean operations on polygon geometry. Produce better bevels with an extended Bevel tool. A more deeply integrated Modeling Toolkit streamlines polygon modeling workflows.
OpenSubdiv support NEW
This feature is open-sourced by Pixar and incorporates technology from Microsoft Research. Use both parallel CPU and GPU architectures for faster draw performance when deforming. Interactively view displacement maps without the need to render. Closely match subdivision surfaces generated in Pixar's RenderMan renderer.
UV toolset NEW
A multithreaded unfolding algorithm and new selection workflows enable you to quickly create and edit complex UV meshes and get high-quality results. Easily toggle checkerboard and compression shaders to visualize UV distribution. Maya supports loading, visualizing, and rendering UDIM and UV tagged texture sequences, for a more streamlined workflow with Mudbox 3D digital sculpting and texture painting software and certain other applications.
Polygon and subdivision mesh modeling
Create and edit polygon meshes with a production-proven, intuitive 3D character modeling and environment modeling toolset. Integrated modeling feature set built on technology from the NEX toolset from dRaster. Tools include Bridge, Poke, Cut, Wedge, Bevel, Extrude, Quad Draw, and Chamfer Vertex. You can preview or render smoothly subdivided meshes while editing a lower-resolution proxy or cage.
Polygon and subdivision mesh modeling features also include:
True soft selection, preselection highlighting, and camera-based selection culling.
Polygon reduction, data cleanup, blind data tagging, and level-of-detail tools for scene optimization.
Ability to transfer UV, color-per-vertex, and vertex position information between polygon meshes of differing topologies.
Topology-based symmetry tools for working on posed meshes.
Create mathematically smooth surfaces using relatively few control vertices via NURBS or hierarchical subdivision surfaces. Add complexity to different regions of subdivision surfaces. Attach, detach, align, stitch together, extend, fillet, or rebuild NURBS surfaces with a high degree of control over parameterization and continuity. Convert NURBS and subdivision surfaces to polygon meshes, and vice versa. Use precise spline-based curve and surface construction tools.
UVs, normals, and color-per-vertex
Create and edit UVs, normals, and color-per-vertex (CPV) data with a streamlined creative texturing workflow. Software, interactive, or in-game 3D rendering requires extra data. Multiple UV sets support separate texture coordinates for separate texture channels. Use a single mesh to represent multiple objects with per-instance UV sets. Multiple sets of animatable CPV, prelighting, user-defined normals, and normal map generation are suitable for game design.