Maya 2011 Service Pack 1 Released. What's New?

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Maya 2011 BoxRecently first service pack for Maya 2011 was released. It contains all previous fixes from Hotfix releases ( there were 3 of them ) and new ones. Now it's good time to switch over to new version of Maya for all those, who unable to do that previously due to bugs or something like that.

Download Maya Service Pack 1 from Autodesk web-site. Release Notes is available too, containing complete list of fixed bugs.

Next, I will briefly cover some of new features of Maya 2011, so this maybe will help to decide, is it worth to switch over or not. 

Maya 2011 — what's new?

First of all, let me mention that this release of Maya was ambiguous — from one side, it's such kind of release which affects every user: if previous versions receives new tools and other — updated ( nParticles in Maya 2009, for example ), then some highly specialized users may not notice this changes at all ( because they just never use it ). This time it's different — interface itself was rewritten, so you should feel changes right after launch of Maya 2011. From other side, there was three Hotfix-releases already and now — Service Pack, which means that quantity of bugs in code are relatively high. High chance that even with SP1 not all of them are eliminated ( or almost all, because bugs will be here forever, Maya it's just too complex system ). 

Of course, changes and new features not limited to rewritten interface, there are a lot more of them. Read full list of changes on Autodesk's web-site — What's new in Maya 2011? 

I will point just some of them:

  • Interface, rewritten in Qt.
  • Auto-Resize of fluid container ( helps create such effects like fire, smoke, missile vapor and stuff like that )
  • Viewport 2.0 — new rendering mode for viewport, along with previous two — Default Quality и High Quality. Supports displaying not all Maya elements, but in exchange provides in few times greater performance. Game developers, Level Designers will gain most from Viewport 2.0, because it's capable of handling very large and complex scenes with millions of triangles with a reasonable FPS rate. 
  • Camera Sequencer
  • Interactive smooth binding
  • Dual quaternion skinning
  • Emit fluids from nParticles
  • Displaying HDR images in the Render View
In overall, I will give 7 from 10 to Maya 2011 — it's strong release, which have nothing fundamentally changed, yet some cool new features and changes that long suggested itself.
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About the Author: Sergey “Treidge” Danchenko

AvatarSergey "Treidge" Danchenko is a founder and the author of 3DG.Me blog, 3D Artist and game developer, Drupal web-developer and one-man-band with experience in some other areas. Personal credo — "If you want a thing done well, do it yourself". In times of great inspiration writes poetry and plays volleyball. Primary professional tools — Autodesk Maya & Mudbox, Adobe Photoshop. Wild about turkeys and parrots, loves music and videogames.  Thanks for reading and come again!

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