Autodesk Maya 2023 was released last March, and the Maya 2023.1 hotfix came out slightly over a month ago. Some feature demands were met, and other interesting new additions are pleasant surprises. In this article, we’ll go over what this Maya software update brings to the table. Maya’s latest release focuses on usability and quality of life improvements, making it easier for long-time users and even easier for those starting with the software.
Before we get into it, we’d also like to announce that we have since updated our support on our Maya render farm to include the current release as well as some notable improvements in our support of UDIMS, OCIO CTFS configs, Substance assets (.sbar), Redshift files, Scene Assembly assets and more! Our file transfer application integrates seamlessly with Maya and allows users to upload their projects directly to our farm from within Maya’s shelf. We continuously keep our software up to date to ensure that all assets and dependencies in a project are detected and preserved when the file reaches our servers. Hence, nothing is amiss in the rendered output. We offer a starting render credit bonus of 50 USD to new users, and our live support team is available 24/7 to answer any questions or inquiries about cloud rendering on our render farm.
With that out of the way, here are some of the exciting software updates for Maya 2023 and what was improved in 2023.1.
Pixar’s Universal Scene Description format has allowed VFX studios to collaborate even when using different DCCs. One of its main features is USD layering, which allows artists to work on one scene without destructively affecting changes made by their peers. This version addresses major bugs reported from the previous release, such as long export times, camera drawing issues on the viewport, installation issues for Material X libraries, Skinning issues after Import and Export, support for ambient lights and more.
Booleans are now much more procedural and easier to execute. Selecting objects and calling the Mesh>Boolean operation now creates a Boolean Stack panel that allows for auditioning different boolean operations non-destructively with real-time previewing. Thanks to this update, it is now possible to change boolean operations, display modes and the number of objects participating in the operation with a few clicks. The stack presents each object as its own layer, which can be disabled from the stack or rearranged to achieve different results.
In the 2023.1 update, additional features were added including the ability to duplicate Boolean objects in the stack and setting personalized display modes as default when adding new objects to the stack.
A Preprocess Mesh option has been added to Maya’s retopology tools in this software update which makes retopologizing dense meshes much faster and more stable. This feature bypasses remeshing as triangles which was previously required before converting topology to uniform quads.. The Retopology tool has also been updated with open source algorithms for preprocessing and preserving data.
Several new deformers and falloffs have been added in this release:
Transfer animation from one mesh to another using the Morph Deformer.
Provided both meshes have the same topology, animation can be retargeted from one to the other via the Retarget setting in the Morph Options window. A Neighbor Exponent Setting in the Attribute Editor Morph Tab allows for correcting any unwanted results on the recipient mesh (artifacts may occur when there is a dramatic difference in the scale of the objects.
Morph Deformer Mirror Geometry
The Morph Options window now has a Mirror mode which makes it easier to symmetrize deformations such as facial expressions, poses and the like.
It is now possible to scale up or down tagged geometry in the Solidify Attribute Editor. This makes adjusting specific details on a model less tedious and a little more procedural.
This new falloff type allows the use of another mesh to act as a falloff influence for the active object depending on the distance between the two meshes.
Maya 2023 is reported to be 30 times faster when evaluating component changes on high polygon meshes. Edit history is also faster with the introduction of node caching, which makes it so that Maya does not calculate each event in the history. Navigation, selection and modelling operations are now significantly less hampered by poly count.
It is also now possible to adjust a mesh’s wire frame opacity which can be distracting when working with dense meshes.
Component Tags now provide more tag membership options. In the Component Tag Table, it is now possible to select any number of tags and assign a function that will be applied to the entire selection. Tags of one component type can now be converted to another component type (i.e. Edges to Faces, etc) via a new Convert Option in the right-click dropdown. Special characters like colons and periods no longer cause problems when importing FBX. A new Tag can be created from a selection of tags using the new Merge option. Tags can now be duplicated as well.
A new configuration has been added to the Human IK Character Templates. The FullRigControlsConfig provides a more elaborate list of hand, head, neck, spine and shoulder joints along with more bones for fingers and toes, allowing for a more comprehensive rig and controls for finer character movement and refinement of deformation.
Additional parameters for FBX data on export have been exposed. When sharing fbx assets with other Maya users, it is now possible to include History, Channels, Constraints and Expressions, which were previously only accessible via commands.
And that’s our rundown of what’s new and improved in Maya 2023-2023.1. Be sure to check the official release notes for a more complete and elaborate view of the new features and changes. Thanks for reading, and as always, happy rendering from all of us at Garagefarm.NET.
Images used in the article were found in Autodesk Help resources page for Maya https://help.autodesk.com/view/MAYAUL/2023/ENU/.