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GDC Recap: Autodesk expanded VR support and streamlined 3D character creation

Autodesk continues to serve the Game Developers market with key technology updates to its tool chains.

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It’s all about Maya and the new Stingray Game Engine. Some folks may not realize that Autodesk has a new game engine called Stingray. Architosh first wrote about Stingray Engine within the context of visualization in AEC markets. (see, Architosh, “Autodesk intros Stingray Engine for new level visualization in AEC industries,” 4 Aug 2015).

Stingray is built on the powerful Bitsquid engine, which Autodesk acquired in 2014. Introduced last week at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2016, the new Stingray v1.2 received updates in such areas as expanded VR (virtual reality) support, compatibility with the HTC Vive VR platform and Oculus Rift SDK v0.8.

There is also multicore improvements enabling faster project and asset import with computers with many CPU cores.

01 - Autodesk Stingray is an engine suitable for both gaming and other industries like AEC visualization. At GDC 2016, updates to Stingray and Maya LT 2016 were showcased.

01 – Autodesk Stingray is an engine suitable for both gaming and other industries like AEC visualization. At GDC 2016, updates to Stingray and Maya LT 2016 were showcased.

Finally, workflow improvements include entity support in story enables the shading environment to be animated with global illumination, fog, depth of field (DoF), and more. There are numerous other workflow improvements as well, including a new ability to find lost objects in large scenes.

Maya LT 2016 Extension 3 Highlights

The new Maya LT 2016 extension 3 features new items as well, including:

  • Rigging Advances — new rig tools allow for the automated creation and placement of bipedal character rigs, while HumanIK support for up to five roll bones per limb distributes model deformations during an animation.
  • Improved modeling and UV toolsets — new shape authoring toolset and shape editor as well as blendshape deformer and sculpting enhancements. There is also a robust mesh mirroring command, a new brush-based Symmetrize UV Tool, multi-object support for Unfold and improved layout and auto-seam features, plus poly modeling enhancements.
  • Updated Game Exporter — users can now select objects in the viewport, create a named set with a single click and view it in the game exporter as an object to be exported…plus click-drag workflow makes scrolling through key frames in animations to choose the clips start and end times.

Sam Abbott, COO at Compulsion Games, says, “We chose Maya LT because it is affordable and pretty much has everything we need for asset creation. Subscribing to Maya LT allows us to equip a growing team more easily and always have the most up-to-date tools available. And Maya LT is probably the best quality software in the industry right now and we are really happy using it.”

Pricing and More Info

Stingray v1.2 is available for subscription customers to download starting March 15, 2016 and runs $30.USD, MSRP per month. Maya LT 2016 Extension 3 will be available for download to customers on subscription 18 April, 2016, and includes access to Stingray v1.2 in the monthly subscription fee. For more details about Stingray v1.2, Maya LT 2016 Extension 3 and Autodesk’s GDC 2016 presence, visit: http://area.autodesk.com/gdc2016.

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