Building on its foundation at the core of many modern production pipelines, Maya 2020 offers next-generation display technology, accelerated modeling workflows, robust new systems for handling complex data, and inspiring new creative toolsets to help content creators stay ahead of their competition.
With an expanded, integrated modeling feature set that helps increase modeling efficiency; an intuitive new Grease Pencil for blocking out and marking up animation; and innovative new Paint Effects surface and volume attributes, Maya 2020 helps both improve productivity and put creativity back at the artists' fingertips. Moreover, the Maya 2020DirectX Shader, together with enhancements to Viewport 2.0, enable artists to work in a high- quality real-time environment that closely matches final output. And, with the Scene Assembly tools, File Path Editor, and URI support that make building and managing large and complex worlds easier, Maya 2020 helps artists, TDs, and developers create the stunning content they need to exceed the expectations of today's sophisticated audiences.
Maya 2020 adds new tools that empower artists throughout the production pipeline. Whether you're focused on animation, rigging, modeling, or effects, we've packed a lot into this release to help you work faster and without creative limits, including over 60 animation updates, new simulation features in Bifrost, and the latest version of Arnold with the option to render on both the GPU and CPU.
First introduced with Maya 2019, Cached Playback is a background process which drastically increases the speed of animation playback, enabling you to evaluate iterations of animation right in the viewport, rather than producing multiple playblasts. Maya 2020 further refines Cached Playback with support for dynamics, image planes, smooth mesh previews, and custom plugins, as well as a new Ghosting preview.
Layered dynamics caching separates background processing of dynamics and the core animation within a scene. With dynamics caching on a secondary layer, you can continue working and see simulations like cloth and muscles running in real-time as you animate.
Image planes are now cached the same way as animation through Cached Playback. If a scene has a sequence of images applied onto an image plane, rather than loading the images during playback, Maya now stores the images directly in the evaluation cache, allowing for much faster playback.
Smooth Mesh Preview now uses less memory and runs previews on the GPU when possible. This is especially useful when working with dense, asset-heavy scenes where memory limits can be reached quickly.
Technical users can now set custom configurations for Cached Playback for the nodes they build. Different configurations and presets can be written to take full advantage of the flexibility of Cached Playback, allowing you to prioritize what gets cached and what doesn't.
The new Ghosting preview allows you to see the appearance of past and future movements. This is useful when actively working on a scene that requires nuanced performance. Based directly on feedback from animators, we've also included the ability to tint your meshes and remove textures for clearer silhouettes.
Using new Animation bookmarks, you can now mark, navigate through, and organize specific events in time as well as easily zoom into playback ranges in the Time Slider. You can select start and end frames and assign different colors to bookmarks to identify them. Hovering over a bookmark clearly highlights the time it occupies in the Time Slider and displays any notes you've created.
Arnold 6 is included with Maya 2020 and can now be used for production rendering on both the CPU and GPU. From look development to final frame rendering, Arnold 6 with Arnold GPU simplifies the process of creating and iterating on content, giving you the speed and flexibility to adapt to the ebbs and flows of production. Arnold's intuitive interface makes it easy to toggle between CPU and GPU rendering, maintaining the same settings with a single click. Arnold GPU is based on NVIDIA's OptiX framework and optimized to take advantage of NVIDIA RTX technology. You can even drag a box in the viewport and watch your render update as you work.
THot on the heels of the first release of Bifrost for Maya at SIGGRAPH 2019, this latest update adds even more power to the new visual programming environment, including significant performance and stability improvements, support for Cached Playback, improved Arnold support, new MPM cloth constraints, more pre-built graphs to help artists get started, and over 100 bug fixes driven by user feedback.
It is now faster to interact with or select dense geometry or work with large numbers of smaller meshes in the viewport and UV editors. These changes result in a noticeable performance improvement that will help you see preselection faster and navigate more easily. Other common scenarios like relying on Isolate Select have also been sped up.
A new Remesh tool allows you to specify exactly where you need extra detail on a model by redefining the topology of any area on the mesh. With this update, you are also able to evenly re-triangulate the mesh at different densities, ensuring uniform distribution of faces.
The perfect companion to the Remesh tool, Retopologize makes it quick and easy to clean up meshes. Retopologize generates clean, new topology that preserves the original mesh shape while reconstructing the surface topology into evenly-distributed quads. The result is a deformable, production- friendly mesh that can continue moving down the pipeline.
New matrix-driven transform and operation nodes help reduce node and connection clutter in your scenes. Before this update, constraints in Maya did most computation as matrix math, then decomposed the result into scale, rotation, and translation channels to drive another transform. The driven transform then took those values and composed a matrix to compute its position. This new matrix-driven workflow allows you to skip the decomposition and composition steps, while also keeping the scale, rotation, and translation channels available for animation. As a result, riggers no longer have to create as many DAG nodes to give animators access to animate-able channels. As you can imagine, there's a lot to this concept - make sure to check our documentation for more information. Proximity and UV Pin nodes can be used to precisely track positions on deforming geometry. These nodes are especially useful for tasks like adding a prop to a character, such as sticking a button on a shirt, or setting up a simple constraint rig.
The new GPU-accelerated Proximity Wrap deformer brings better memory use and a significant performance boost to your workflows, making it easier to achieve smooth results.
Cached Playback lets you see changes made to your animation without the need to create a playblast. It appears as a blue stripe running along the bottom of the Time Slider. Previously, each time you modified a scene, Maya would need to update and redraw. To see your edits, you often had to Playblast. Depending on the size of the scene and changes made, these updates were time-consuming. Now, your scene is automatically cached as you work and Maya only recomputes the part of the animation that's changed, rather than redrawing the whole scene.
Graph Editor filters
Two new key reducer filters have been added to the Graph Editor Curve menu to help you refine animation curves. The Butterworth and Key Reducer filters are similar to their counterparts in MotionBuilder, but there are differences, for example, the MotionBuilder filters attempt to match tangents to maintain their shape, where Maya only compares error tolerance to ensure a predictable result. Both filters have useful features that are not available to other Graph Editor filters, such as the ability to select only a portion of a curve for filtering (Time range: Selection), a preview feature that lets you view the effect that filtering will have on your curve before you hit Apply (Preview), and a way to exclude specific tangents from the filtering process (Preserve Keys by Tangent).
A new preference has been added that allows you to control whether lights are automatically included in each render layer by default. A new preference has been added that allows you to control whether new objects created while in an active render layer should be saved to an untitled collection.
UV editor workflow, look, and feel
The UV Editor interface has been overhauled, and includes a new UV Toolkit with better tools and functionality.
Clump modifier for interactive grooming
Generate realistic clumping effects in hair and fur for more natural-looking hair.
After Effects live link
Create a live link between Maya and Adobe After Effects to make real-time changes and view scenes simultaneously.
Additional MASH nodes
The MASH toolset gives you new nodes (curve, signal, world, placer, and more), as well as updates to existing nodes.
3D Type - Create branding, flying logos, title sequences, and other projects that require text.
Improved vector graphics workflow - Import or copy and paste SVG files into Maya.
Motion Graphics toolset - Quickly create complex procedural effects and animations with instanced objects.
Parallel rig evaluation - New system speeds rig playback and manipulation.
Geodesic voxel binding - Produce high-quality, production-ready bound characters in less time.
General animation tools - Toolset for keyframe, procedural, and scripted animation.
Time Editor - Make high-level animation edits with a nondestructive, clip-based, nonlinear editor.
Shape authoring workflow - Fine-tune your characters and animation more quickly and easily.
Animation performance - Speed enhancements make your scenes even faster.
Animation Workflow in Maya
Symmetry modeling - Mirror enhancements and tool symmetry improvements make symmetrical modeling easier.
Revamped sculpting toolset - Sculpt and shape models more artistically and intuitively.
Polygon modeling - Efficient library enables faster, more consistent Boolean operations on polygon geometry.
OpenSubdiv support - Accelerate performance with interactive workflows.
Modeling Workflow in Maya
Dynamics and Effects
Deep adaptive fluid simulation - Simulate high-level details just where you need them with the new adaptive solver for Bifrost liquids.
Faster, easier-to-use XGen - Updated workflow, presets, sculpting, and preview.
Adaptive aero solver in Bifrost - Create atmospheric effects such as smoke and mist.
Bifrost procedural effects platform - Simulate and render photorealistic liquids.
Bullet Physics - Create realistic rigid and soft-body simulations.