If you haven’t yet made the leap to Autodesk Maya 2022, you should know that it has a lot to do with plug-ins and the best news is that these will definitely better serve you as an artist or technical lead. There are, of course, other cool new features (covered in a companion blog), but let’s devote this one to the plug-ins, because frankly, they’re pretty cool all by themselves.
Initially developed by Pixar Productions and adopted early on by Animal Logic, Universal Scene Description (USD) has been quickly adopted across media and entertainment. Consequently, both of these studios released open-source plug-ins using the power of USD in Maya. These plug-ins serve as a baseline for Maya's USD plug-in, which has also been implemented as an open-source project. The pre-built Maya USD open source plug-in is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux, enabling you to work seamlessly with USD in conjunction with Maya workflows. Basically an extensible scene description and file format, Maya's USD facilitates creation, editing, working in, working with, and collaborating on USD data.
The Bifrost 188.8.131.52 plug-in includes new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements How would you like to enhance your simulation workflows by resuming a simulation from a cached frame on disk? How about spawn new particles in a simulation or refine a low-res Aero simulation? Bifrost 184.108.40.206 makes it happen. It also improves terminals by enabling selective evaluation, which allows you to wait until render time to perform heavy computations.
Rokoko Motion Library
Now, this pretty ingenious. Autodesk partnered with Rokoko to offer a motion capture library inside of Maya. The Rokoko Motion Library plug-in allows you to drag and drop professional mocap assets into your scenes without the need of expensive gear and a state-of-the-art studio. For example, you can use the actual assets built for major Hollywood movies in your own projects.
MtoA 4.2.1 (Arnold for Maya 4.2.1)
MtoA 4.2.1 introduces Arnold 220.127.116.11, a feature release that brings light mixing, bloom and interactive denoising through imagers, better USD support to improve your experience working with USD in Maya, an improved layout to the Arnold Render View, and OSL syntax highlighting to the OSL shader.
That’s it for the plug-ins, but be on the lookout for this blog’s companion piece on more new features in Autodesk Maya. For a deeper dive, visit Maya support and learning.
And remember, if you’re upgrading to Maya 2022, it may also be time to upgrade your workstation. In order to optimize Maya’s unique features, visit our Autodesk Maya Solutions page for the latest systems built specifically for Maya 3D modeling, animation, and rendering, or call a BOXX performance specialist at 877.877.BOXX.