in late January announced Maya 6.5, the latest major release of their popular 3D animation, modeling and rendering software. At the time the company noted the software’s availability to those customers on maintenance programs in early February; on Wednesday, Alias announced
Maya 6.5’s worldwide release.
The new version of the 3D software tool for Macs, PCs, Linux and IRIX is a “performance-driven release,” according to the company — numerous changes were made to help improve performance: The software handles enormously larger datasets and does so with much greater efficiency thanks to scene segmentation, and performance improvements have also been made to specific functions — UV manipulations, for example, have been benchmarked at up to 100 times the speed of Maya 6.
What’s more, Maya 6.5 includes a new STEP translator to more easily import data files from Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. And the new mental ray for Maya Satellite rendering engine allows network rendering across multiple CPUs.
Maya Complete 6.5 is available for US$1,999. Maya Unlimited — which adds fluid effects, hair, and 2D matchmoving capabilities — costs $6,999. Upgrades cost $899 for Maya Complete and $1,249 for Maya Unlimited.
Alias noted that Maya 6.5 is the swan-song for IRIX users — this will be last version the company produces for that operating system, due to what Alias describes as “a significant decrease” in the number of users. “Going forward, Alias will concentrate its development of Maya on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms but will continue to offer support for IRIX as a license-serving platform.”