Howdy Maya people!
It has been a busy spring... starting with the release of Maya 2016 back in mid-April. Since then I've been out talking to game developers about all of the cool new stuff. I've been to some pretty high profile studios along the way including: Bungie, Valve, Sucker Punch, 343, Monolith, WarGaming, NetherRealm and Turbine. It is pretty cool to get an inside look at some the amazing work that is being done with Maya these days. It's also cool to hear the feedback from people who are hammering with (and on) Maya on a day to day basis. The response to Maya 2016 has been awesome... with many thumbs up so far.
I always love this time of year because there is typically a lot of cool new stuff to show and talk about, and this in particular is a banner year. Maya 2016 is jam packed with new stuff so it's especially fun. Going back a few years I used to think of most complex software like Maya as a sort of Frankenstien... UI and features developed over many years, by different people and more or less mushed together over time. Something like this...
But silly cartoons aside :) over the last several years I have really seen a lot of changes in terms of how Maya is developed. For one I feel like we have really starting to listen to and reacting to customer feedback, which I think at times in the past we were not as good at doing. But we have also put a lot of effort into de-Frankensteining Maya. You can really see that in this release with things like the UI facelift, the re-design of the HyperShade, the re-architecture of the hotkey system, the multi-threading of animation evaluation, the continued integration and Maya-fication of XGen and Bifrost, and so on. But it also shows up in other fundamental areas like poly modeling, where we've really tried to address the legacy issues that had built up over many years, and at the same time move forward with new tools and workflow. On the modeling front this all started about 3-4 years ago and has kind of culminated in 2016. I most recently did a pretty comprehensive post about the many modeling updates. If you missed it you can check it out here...
With that said, I realized that Maya 2016 has been out for several weeks now and I am long overdue for a video update. So to expand upon the previous modeling centric post, I recently put together a demo that shows many of the new modeling features in action (as well as some new modeling related tools from BonusTools 2016.)
Maya 2016 Modeling Improvements