Autodesk 3ds Max
Posted by the area, 11 September 2007 10:09 am
At long last, I have the detailed list for you.
ViewCube aids 3D scene navigation: The ViewCubeâ¢ is a new on-screen 3D navigation element that provides visual feedback about the current camera view in relation to the 3D scene and lets you quickly and easily switch between scene views.
Improved Hotkey list order: Hotkey categories and commands now appear in alphabetical order in the Hotkey Editor.
Drag and drop parenting of multiple objects in Hypergraph: Itâs now possible to select multiple objects and parent them under one node by dragging with the middle-mouse button. You can now unparent objects in a similar manner.
Moving a parented object and not the child object: You can now move a parented object without moving the associated child object. There is a new attribute in the Move Tool: Preserve Child Position. When this is selected, moving a parent object does not move its children. This option has also been added to the marking menu for the Move Tool to quickly turn it on or off.
Make Live works in shaded mode: The Modify > Make Live feature now works in shaded display mode. This makes it easier to visualize your work when drawing curves on surfaces or when constructing objects off of live surfaces when compared to working in wireframe display mode.
X-ray active components shading mode: X-ray active components is a new shading mode you can set in the panel menu to display active components over top of shaded objects. This mode helps ensure you donât accidentally make unwanted component selections.
New Replace Objects feature: You can now easily substitute one or more selected objects in the scene with another object from the scene using the new Replace Objects feature (Modify > Replace Objects). This simplifies your workflow when having to quickly make a substitution of multiple objects in your scene.
Convert instances to objects: You can now convert instanced versions of objects to objects using the new Instance to Object feature (Modify > Convert > Instance to Object). Converting instanced objects to real objects is useful when you need to modify one or more of the instances and donât want the other instances to be affected.
New Channel Box menu items: The following options have been added to the Channels menu of the Channel Box.
* Duplicate Values. When you have two selected objects, selecting this command copies the values in the highlighted channel(s) from the second selected object to the first selected object (you can see the value that will overwrite the other value).
* Freeze. Makes the current transformations on the selected objects be the objectsâ zero position. You can select Translate, Rotate, Scale, or All from the submenu.
* Select Connection. Selects the connected node. For example, if an object has a parent constraint where its transform channels are driven by incoming connections from another object, choosing one of those channels and selecting this command selects the input object and the constraint.
* Select Node. Selects the node and makes all its attributes visible in the Channel Box. For example, you can select the input (poly*) node of a polygonal object and make its channels visible.
* Delete Node. Deletes the selected node.
* Delete History. Deletes the history on the selected node.
* Attribute Editor. Opens the Attribute Editor with the selected node as its focus.
* Material Attributes. Opens the Attribute Editor with the material on the object as its focus.
* Duplicate Attributes. Duplicates any custom attribute (which can be created with the Add Attribute menu item). Select the object with the custom attribute and then the object that you want to add the custom attribute to, and select Duplicate Attribute.
* Publish to Container. Adds and connects attributes selected in the Channel Box to the container node that the attribute's node is in. Create a container node for a node. Highlight attributes from that node in the channel box and select Channels > Publish to Container.
Nice names for attributes: When you add custom attributes, you can now specify a Nice name for the attribute (a different/ more user-friendly name). You can see the Nice name when you view the attribute in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor (though you can also choose to display Short or Long names in the Channel Box and Attribute Editor).
This feature is useful for developers who may want to create a Nice name for an attribute in the local language (for example, Japanese).
You can also set whether an attribute is Keyable or Displayable directly from the Add Attribute dialog box, instead of having to use the Channel Control Editor.
* Create, edit, or delete custom attributes
* Attributes > Add Attributes
Delete unknown nodes: You can now delete unknown nodes in your scene through the Optimize Scene Size command (File > Optimize Scene Size).
Be cautious when deleting unknown nodes, as deleting unknown nodes can cause data loss in some cases. One common example for unknown nodes is a plug-in that is not loaded when the file is opened.
* Optimize scene size
* File > Optimize Scene Size
General performance updates:
Setting keys when ghosting is turned on for any node in the hierarchy is much faster for hierarchies involving thousands of transforms.
Poly reduce caching is new for Maya 2008 and makes poly reduce faster. See Poly Reduce Caching in this section.
The performance of the select/clear operation on a large number of components when the Graph Editor or Component Editor is open has been significantly improved.
Improved performance with translating/exporting instance objects to mental ray.
Improved playback speed of wrap deformations when using the new Exclusive bind Wrap deformer option.
Optimized Fluid Effects Turbulence evaluation.
Improved performance with the start up of IPR for mental ray for Maya rendering.
Playback of large numbers of hidden animated objects has been improved.
Improved performance when adding polygonal influence objects.
nCloth caches playback at a faster rate. Their playback speed is now similar to the playback of geometry caches.
Poly smooth is faster.
Maya Python API (OpenMaya) bindings have been updated to use SWIG 1.3.31. This reduces overhead of Python bindings significantly.
Improved startup time on Mac OS X, particularly on PowerPC machines.
Threading based changes (multiple CPUs)
Performance improvements vary based on configuration (i.e., number of CPUs/cores)
Fluid Effects Turbulence now supports threading.
Poly reduce setup has been multithreaded.
More threading of Fluids solver.
New threading library (TBB) enabled.
Poly Reduce Caching: There have been significant performance improvements in Poly Reduce (Mesh > Reduce). Caching of intermediate polygonal reduction states means a significant increase in performance, at the cost of using more memory.
Hotkey toggles for Artisan brushes: New Artisan brush hotkeys allow you to toggle between Push/Pull/Smooth, Add/Remove, or invert the values youâre painting as youâre working.
The Sculpt Geometry Tool now toggles between Push, Pull and Smooth.
* If Push is selected, depressing Ctrl changes the current operation to Pull.
* If Pull is selected, depressing Ctrl changes the current operation to Push.
* In both cases, depressing Shift changes the current operation to Smooth.
The following Artisan brushes change the current value being painted to an inverse value (1-n) when Ctrl is depressed. As well, the brush feedback label changes to âR-invâ. The current operation changes to Blur or Smooth when Shift is depressed.
For example, if painting 0.00 is set (which shows as black), depressing Ctrl changes the value being painted to 1.00 (white); if 0.25 is set, depressing Ctrl changes the value being painted to 0.75.
* Blend shape weights tool (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint cluster weights (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint jiggle weights (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint wire weights (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint skin weights (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint soft body weights (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint fluids tool (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint nCloth vertex maps (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint Transfer Attributes (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint Poly Reduce (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint attributes tool (Shift=Smooth)
* Paint Hair Textures (Shift=Blur)
* Paint nCloth texture maps (Shift=Blur)
* 3d Paint tool (Shift=Blur)
The following Artisan brush toggles between Add and Remove (if Add is selected, depressing Ctrl changes the current operation to Remove; if Remove is selected, depressing Ctrl changes the current operation to Add):
* Paint Hair Follicles
* Paint set membership
Smooth Mesh Preview for polygons: Smooth Mesh Preview lets you preview how a polygonal mesh will appear when smoothed. Press either the 2 or 3 keys whenever a mesh is selected to change the preview mode (original mesh + smooth, or smoothed only). Use the Page Up and Page Down keys to increase or decrease the amount of smoothing in the preview.
You can edit the mesh while working in either preview mode and then convert it to a fully smoothed polygonal mesh using Modify > Convert > Smooth Mesh Preview to Polygons feature.
Crease Tool now creases vertices: The Crease Tool (Edit Mesh > Crease Tool) now creases polygon vertices as well as edges.
A new heads-up display appears in the viewport when using the tool to let you easily determine the crease mode, current creasing value, and the maximum crease value possible for the current subdivision level.
This tool was previously called Crease Proxy Edge Tool.
Crease sets: Itâs now possible to manage your creased components using the new Crease Set feature (Edit Mesh > Crease Sets > Create Crease Set...).
Crease sets can easily be selected via a marking menu and also managed using the Outliner or via the Relationship Editor.
User-defined vertex and UV display sizes: You can now edit the size that vertices and UVs display within the scene view with the new Display > Polygons > Vertex size and UV size menu items. You can also set the size of vertices and UVs in your scene from the Polygons category of the Preferences window.
Slide Edge Tool: You can now drag or slide edge loops along, or normal to, the paths of their neighboring edges by selecting an edge loop using the Select Edge Loop Tool, and then translating its edges with the new Slide Edge Tool.
Bridge now supports face selections: The Bridge feature (Edit Mesh > Bridge) now can use face selections to construct a bridging mesh between border edges. This simplifies the process for selecting border edges.
Pick walk available for Edge Loops: It is now possible to quickly change an existing edge selection to a full edge loop and then translate the selected loop across the mesh using the left and right hotkeys.
Reduce feature improvements: The Mesh > Reduce feature has been improved to include an option for locking the vertex positions when reducing the number of polygons on mesh. This eliminates the possibility of the mesh changing shape when it is reduced.
It also has a new option for preserving four-sided (quad) topology as part of the reduction process.
Extract and Duplicate Face features improved: The Extract (Mesh > Extract) and Duplicate Face (Edit Mesh > Duplicate Face) have been improved so that the extracted or duplicated faces are now the only items separated into their own separate objects. That is, any pre-existing shells in the original mesh are no longer separated.
Improvements to the Separate feature: The Separate command (Mesh > Separate) now lets you separate specific shells without affecting any pre-existing shells on the mesh. You indicate the shells to be separated by first selecting any faces on the shells you want separated.
Position objects along a curve: You can now position objects evenly along irregularly shaped features in your scene using a curve as a reference. The new Position Along Curve feature (Modify > Snap Align Objects > Position Along Curve) spaces your selection of objects evenly along a selected curve based on the curveâs parameterization.
Keep Faces Together option: The Keep Faces Together option (Edit Mesh > Keep Faces Together) can now be turned on or off using a marking-menu whenever the Show Manipulator Tool is displayed by Ctrl+Shift+right-clicking the object.
Improved polygon beveling: UV assignment options now exist for the Bevel feature (Edit Mesh > Bevel).
In addition, for meshes containing color per vertex data, the vertex color for any new vertices is derived from the original vertices and color interpolation occurs as required.
Color Set enhancements: Color sets can now be specified as RGB, RGB+Alpha, or Alpha only. Color > Create Empty Color Set now has an option dialog box to support these types.
Color sets can hold any value, not just the 0â1 range. Apply Color and the Paint Vertex Color Tool now support values outside the 0â1 range. When you create a color set, you can choose to have it clamped (values cannot be outside the 0â1 range).
If a color set is alpha only, you can change its display style in the polygon shapeâs Attribute editor (Display Alpha as Grey Scale). There is also a preference that applies to all polygon objects in the Polygon section of the Preferences dialog box.
Only the required data is stored as specified when a color set is created. As well, only the controls that the color set is allowed to paint are enabled; that is, if a color set has only alpha, the Apply Color and Paint Vertex Color Tool only enable alpha channel to be painted.
Polygon boolean enhancements: New threshold tolerances on the polyBoolean node now aid in producing better results when booleans are performed on polygon meshes that contain zero length edges and zero area faces.
Collapse enhancements: The Collapse feature (Edit Mesh > Collapse) now includes a new threshold attribute on the polyCollapse node that lets you collapse only small faces on an area of the mesh.
Enhanced Sculpt Geometry Tool for NURBS: You can now move CVs in any arbitrary UV direction with the new UV Vector reference vector. For example, you can now push NURBS surface CVs in a direction diagonal to the U or V reference vector.
New UV Set Editor: Editing UV sets on multiple polygon objects is now easier using the new UV Set Editor (Create UVs > UV Set Editor). Many of the UV set editing features have been combined into one editing interface.
Per-Instance mesh data: While you could always associate different instances of a particular shape with different materials, you can now associate different UV sets with different instances. This is useful when baking shadows on instances of an object (for example, lighting a game level), or creating instances of a single shape with different textures (for example, a pile of boxes, some with holes in different locations, and so on).
Template animation curves: You can now template animation curves in the Graph Editor with the new Template Channel and Untemplate Channel menu items.
Templating curves is useful when you have several overlapping animation curves with many keys, and you want to edit only one curve, but you need to be able to see all the other curves in the graph view.
You can also set the color of your templated curves with the new Templated Curves color preference in the Animation section of the Colors window. You can open the Colors window by selecting Window > Settings/Preferences > Color Settings.
nConstraint Membership Tool: You can now adjust and manage your nCloth or passive object constraint membership with the new nConstraint Membership Tool.
The nConstraint Membership Tool lets you quickly replace, add, or remove vertices from a specific dynamic constraint by selecting them with your mouse.
The nConstraint Membership Tool is located in the nConstraint menu in the nCloth menu set.
* To use the nConstraint Membership Tool to edit dynamic constraint membership
Enhanced dynamic wind: Nucleus wind behaves in a more realistic manner in Maya 2008.
* You can now create the effect of an object blocking dynamic wind from blowing an nCloth object, or the effect of an nCloth object blocking dynamic wind from parts of itself, with the new Wind Shadow Distance and Wind Self Shadow attributes. This lets you create environmental obstructions in your scene that the Nucleus wind respects. You can now also cause dynamic wind to curl around obstructing objects with the Wind Shadow Diffusion attribute. Wind Shadow Distance, Wind Self Shadow, and Wind Shadow Diffusion are located in the nClothShape and nRigidShape Attribute Editor tabs.
o To block dynamic wind from affecting nCloth
* You can now randomize the behavior of your Nucleus wind with the new Wind Noise attribute. This lets you create more realistic cloth flapping effects. Wind Noise is located in the nucleus Attribute Editor tab.
* The wind created by the motion of an nCloth or passive object now affects other nCloths in the same Nucleus system. You can now use the new Air Push Distance attribute to create more realistic cloth behavior, for example, like the skirt of a character lifting when a subway train speeds by. The higher the Air Push Distance, the greater the distance over which the wind created by the motion of your nCloth or passive object affects other nCloths in the same Nucleus system.
You can also use the new Air Push Vorticity attribute to circulate or rotate the flow of air being pushed by your nCloth or passive objects, and to curl the flow of wind created by the motion of your nCloth or passive objects. This is useful when you want to create realistic air and wind flow effects for your nCloth. For example, with Air Push Vorticity you can create the effect where the dress of a briskly walking character is drawn and pulled to the back of its legs with each stride.
Air Push Distance and Air Push Vorticity are located in the Surface Properties section of the nClothShape and nRigidShape Attribute Editor tabs.
* You can now turn off the effect of dynamic wind on individual nCloth objects with the new Ignore Solver Wind attribute. Ignore Solver Wind is located in the Dynamic Properties section of the nClothShape Attribute Editor tab.
Improved control over nCloth stretch: You can now damp the bouncing motion of an nCloth object without affecting how the cloth bends or swings with the new Stretch Damp attribute. Stretch Damp now allows you to damp stretch along your nClothâs links, where Damp only lets you damp bend and rotation along your nClothâs links. This is useful when you want to correct the excess bouncing or stretch of an nCloth garment without having to increase the Stretch Resistance.
Stretch Damp is located in the Dynamic Properties section of the nClothShape Attribute Editor tab.
nConstraint Min Iterations: You can now specify a minimum number of iterations for your nCloth constraints with the new Min Iterations attribute. You can use Min Iterations to reduce excess stretching near constrained vertices when your constraintâs Strength is low.
Min Iterations is located in the Dynamic Constraint Attribute section of the dynamicConstraintShape tab.
nCloth attribute presets: You can now easily create nCloth effects like cotton or chiffon with the new nCloth attribute presets.
The nCloth attribute presets change the attribute settings of your nCloth objects to preset values so that you can quickly achieve the nCloth effects you are looking for rather than starting from the default settings.
The nCloth attribute presets are located in the Preset drop-down menu in the nCloth Attribute Editor tab.
nCloth example files: New nCloth example files that contain nCloth effects like a zipper or party streamers are now available in the Visor.
You can access the nCloth example files from nCloth > Get nCloth Examples in the nCloth menu set.
Enhanced hair controls: You can now taper individual hair clumps with the Clump Width attribute and Clump Width Scale ramp attribute. Clump Width and Clump Width Scale allow you to scale the width of a follicle without changing its number of hairs. Clump Width and Clump Width Scale are per follicle overrides of the hairSystem nodeâs Clump Width attribute and Clump Width Scale ramp attribute.
Clump Width and Clump Width Scale are useful when you want to fine tune the look and behavior of your individual hair clumps. For example, you can create the effect where some hair clumps taper to a point and others fan out in the same hair system.
The Clump Width attribute and Clump Width Scale ramp have been added to the follicleShape Attribute Editor tab.
* The new Attraction Scale ramp lets you control the value of Start Curve Attract along the length of a single hair clump or an entire hair system.
Attraction Scale is useful when you want the stiffness of a hair clump or hair system to be scaled differently than their current Start Curve Attract attribute values. For example, you can create the effect where your hair clump is stiff at its base (Start Curve Attract 1.0) and flexible at its tip (Start Curve Attract 0.0) by modifying the Attraction Scale ramp.
The Attraction Scale ramp is located in the hairSystemShape and follicleShape Attribute Editor tabs.
The following improvements have been made to oceans in Maya 2008:
* You can now prevent jittering at the horizon of your oceans with the new Horizon Filter attribute. Horizon Filter lets you smooth your oceans near their horizons. This is useful when you want to stop chatter along the horizons of your oceans without having to increase your oceanâs anti-aliasing setting. Horizon Filter is located in the Ocean Attributes section of the oceanShader Attribute Editor tab.
o Ocean jitters along the horizon
o Horizon Filter
* To prevent the oversaturation of your ocean shaders, the default ocean shader Specular Shading Environment ramp low light color now has a lower hue, saturation, and value.
General rendering features
Preview and render object space normal maps: You can now create and preview normal maps in object space. In addition, you can render object space normal maps in mental ray.
Enhanced camera features:
A new attribute has been added to the camera Attribute Editor that allow the tumble tool to perform a local axis tumble.
* Use Pivot As Local Space
A camera trigger update feature has been added that allows non-DAG nodes that are not connected to the camera to force a refresh. If there are nodes in your scene that are not connected to the DAG and you want to force a camera refresh, you can connect the node to the camera's triggerUpdate attribute.
For example, if you have a custom cache node that is not connected to the DAG, create an output attribute (for example Update_Required) on this custom cache node which is affected by the inputs on the cache node. Then, connect Update_Required to the camera's triggerUpdate attribute. This way, when the user changes a setting on the cache node, the Update_Required attribute will be marked dirty, and because it is connected to the camera's triggerUpdate attribute, the triggerUpdate will be marked dirty and thus force the camera to refresh.
mental ray for Maya rendering
Increase rendering efficiency by converting textures to an optimized format: You can convert textures to an optimized format with a tileable structure to increase rendering efficiency. Using this format, mental ray does not load entire images but only the portion of the images required to render. Memory consumption is therefore reduced and you can render larger scenes and scenes that include textures with a higher resolution.
This feature increases rendering efficiency when you have a complex scene with a lot of textures that cannot all fit into memory at the same time.
* Converting textures to optimized format
* Rendering preferences
Create mental ray transfer maps in object space: You can now create mental ray transfer maps in object space.
Render hardware particles with mental ray: You can now render the following particle types with mental ray: Points, MultiPoint, Spheres, Sprites, Streak, MultiStreak.
Note: Motion blur is supported for hardware particle rendering in mental ray.
Hardware particles are shaded in a way that is similar to software particles: a shading group must be assigned to the particle shape, and its surface shader completely determines the appearance of the particles.
New mia_material_x shader: A new mia_material_x shader has been added that allows you to simulate materials used in architectural and product design renderings. This shader is similar to the mia_material shader but offers additional features such as additional bump mapping attributes and returns multiple outputs.
User framebuffers in output passes: You can now use user framebuffers in mental ray camera output passes. When you create an output pass you can now select user framebuffers and output to file.
When you select a user framebuffer to use with an output pass, mental ray for Maya automatically makes the required framebuffer and output pass node connections.
The user framebuffers are rendering attributes (color, alpha, depth, and so on) that control which image channels are passed to the shader and in what format. When used in conjunction with output passes, framebuffers are useful to split a render into component passes that you can later composite.
Set maximum resolution for Material Sample swatches: You can now set a maximum resolution for your Material Sample swatches. If your file texture is above this resolution, a swatch will not be created until explicitly requested.
This reduces memory consumption and reduces the Hypershade load time, increasing performance especially when dealing with many large textures. This is most useful for initial load of scenes with many large file textures.
Convert Maya hair to native mental ray hair: By default, Maya hair is converted to native mental ray hair so that it can be rendered with mental ray standalone.
New options for the mental ray for Maya command line renderer: You can now control rendering options, such as the Auto Memory Limit or Render Threads option, via the mental ray command line renderer as well as via the Render > Batch Render > r and Render > Render Current Frame > r windows.
Smaller .mi files are created when you export fur and hair using the binary format: When you export your object(s) to a .mi scene file using the binary format, the Hair and Fur (Hair Primitive) objects will be approximately 50% smaller as compared to previous releases of Maya. This will result in significantly smaller .mi files.
Improvement with IPR for mental ray for Maya: Maya 2008 provides improved performance with the startup of IPR in mental ray for Maya. In addition, a snapshot of the model view is provided when IPR is used. The default for IPR Quality is now Render Settings.
Simplified workflow for creating lightmaps with the mental ray fast subsurface scattering shaders: When you create any of the misss_fast_shader, misss_fast_simple_maya, misss_fast_skin_maya nodes via the Hypershade, Maya automatically creates the lightmap network for you.
New mental ray shaders have been added:
Use the mia_light_surface shader to represent the shape of a light source.
Use the mia_envblur shader to blur the environment in a way that looks very similar to shooting an extremely large amount of glossy reflection rays into it.
Use the mia_portal_light shader to create a portal light to reduce final gather rays and rendering times.
Use the mia_exposure_photographic shader to perform tone mapping.
Use the mia_lens_bokeh shader to simulate depth of field.
Use the contour_shader_silhouette shader to put contours at the silhouette of objects.
Use the contour_shader_maxcolor shader to take the maximum (in each color band) of the two material colors on each side of the contour.
Improved workflow for mia_roundcorners shader: The mia_roundcorners shader can be used with any Maya shader that has bump mapping. You can also chain other bump textures to the Bump_vector attribute of the mia_roundcorners shader to layer the bump effect to your shader.
Attribute Editor templates supported for mental ray structure and arrays: Maya now supports Attribute Editor templates for mental ray struct and arrays.
Support for input of DDS files: mental ray for Maya now supports input of the .dds format.
Improved method for subdivision approximation node: Beginning Maya 2008, the subdivision approximation node produces ccmesh primitives instead of subdivision base mesh primitives. ccmesh primitives can define polygons with an arbitrary number of edges, rather than just triangles and quads. This new method can be up to several times faster than the previous. For best performance, use triangles and quads or a combination of both.
Support for native mental ray light linking: mental ray for Maya now uses native mental ray light linking. Shaders are no longer responsible for their own light linking. All the Maya linking information is automatically handled by the mental ray core and shaders automatically receive the relevant light information.
Custom Text supports Python code: The Custom Text Editor now supports Python code.
Swatch now available for mental ray texture nodes: The mib_texture_lookup, mib_texture_lookup2, and mib_texture_filter_lookup nodes now provide a swatch display.
Maya hardware renderer improvements: The hardware renderer improves the display of layered textures as well as multiple UV sets for different textures in a scene.
Because the Maya hardware renderer interprets the Env Ball/Env Cube map in a different way from the Maya software renderer, you can choose between the different configurations through the Render Settings: Maya Hardware tab.
A new option has been added to control the specular highlight so that it only appears on the opaque surface and not the transparent surface.
Maya now provides shader files that developers can incorporate into their own CgFX shader.
The Maya hardware renderer now supports negative lighting.
Support for HLSL hardware shaders: Maya now provides support for HLSL hardware shaders.
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