MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2010 (#44)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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136 MacDirectory FEATURE REVIEW AUTODESK MAYA 2010 & MUDBOX 2010 > CREATING 3D EXCELLENCE Watch professional dancers flow through their fluid choreography. With effortless ease, they transition from a two-step, or waltz into a strenuous, eye-popping break dance routine or saucy tango. Artists using Autodesk Maya 2010 and Autodesk Mudbox 2010 can apply similar prowess to create realistic and futuristic scenes for dynamic prints, videos and films. Both Maya 2010 and Mudbox 2010 require Apple Mac OS X 10.5.7 or higher operating system, 2 GB RAM or more, 2 GB free hard drive space, an ethernet adapter or wireless Internet card, a qualified hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card and a three-button mouse. For Mudbox 2010, a qualified Wacom Drawing Tablet is recommended. For this review, both programs were installed on a Macbook Pro with a 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, and the author utilized a Wacom Bamboo Fun Drawing Tablet. For the latest list of qualified hardware, including graphics cards, refer to Autodesk's qualified hardware chart at . Autodesk Maya 2010 > Supercharged Simulation Engine Memorable movies and animated video games include numerous scenes and special effects incorporating Maya Unlimited tools: Maya nParticles, Maya nCloth, Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Hair, and Maya Fur. With these powerful tools, Maya 2010 adds Maya Composite (based on Autodesk Toxik technology) and Autodesk MatchMover for a complete workflow producing futuristic digital images, realistic animations, and stunning visual effects. Maya 2010 provides enhanced creative control and a supercharged, simulation engine. New for Maya 2010 These highlights identify some new features within Autodesk Maya 2010: • Maya Unlimited toolset • Maya Composite – high dynamic range composting • Autodesk MatchMover – camera tracker • Five mental ray batch rendering nodes • Autodesk Backburner network render manager Maya Unlimited Toolset The Maya Unlimited Toolset incorporates Maya nCloth and Maya nParticles, plus Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Hair, and Maya Fur. Whether it's a graceful tablecloth floating over a dining table, a brisk wind coursing through dawn soaked sails, or the fluid aspects of hair or water, the Maya Unlimited Toolset provides powerful tools to create realistic animations. Maya Composite Maya Composite (based on Toxik) is a high performance, high dynamic range (HDR) composting tool included in Maya 2010. Whereas Toxik 2009 was available for Windows, Maya Composite is now available for Mac users. Maya Composite provides tools to connect passes and renders created in Maya into a final composition. The properties of each tool can be changed, and to obtain the right look, these properties can be adjusted. If desired, adjustments can also be key- framed. Maya Composite's toolset allows for keying, tracking, color correction, paint, rotoscoping, warping, and advanced filters (motion blur and depth of field). In short, Maya 2010 offers a full 3D compositing environment with support for stereoscopic production pipelines. Whether the artist is adding CG to film or video, or creating a sophisticated multilayer animation, Maya has the chops. WORDS BY LISA P. HILL

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