Maya has not yet been released for Mac OS X, but it is one of the most anticipated apps to come to the Mac platform in the last many years. Maya is an industrial strength 3D modeling and animation solution, and Alias|Wavefront has announced a new version of the Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter plugin. This plugin will allow Maya developers to export their animations in a format that is usable by Macromediais Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio. While there is no X version of Maya yet, the plugin will be available to Mac OS X users when that version ships. The company has also announced a contest to promote 3D Shockwave development. According to the company:
Alias|Wavefront today announced version 1.1 of its Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter(tm) plugin. This latest rendition of the product builds on the capabilities of the first release allowing users to take advantage of Mayais advanced effects animation capabilities including dynamics, expressions and trax(tm) non-linear animation. In April the company released the first version of the exporter plugin which allows for the optimization and intelligent export of 3D Maya(r) scenes into Macromedia(r) Director(r) 8.5 Shockwave(r) Studio software.
The Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter developed by Alias|Wavefront is specifically designed to enable rapid refinement of Maya content for Director and Shockwave. The exporter checks the Maya scene for compatibility with the Shockwave Player and then suggests scene optimizations that will improve performance. With its unique Export Express(tm) feature, the Maya exporter keeps track of changes and adds only these incremental modifications, as opposed to the entire scene, to subsequent exports-the result being that data conversion, which can take many minutes, is reduced to seconds. In large-scale production projects where progressive content refinement will dictate hundreds of exports, the Export Express feature will save hours of design time as well as assure a higher quality final result.
With the version 1.1 release Alias|Wavefront has added a broad range of animation elements to the list of supported scene components that can be exported from Maya to Shockwave. Complex combinations of keyframe and path animation along with motion governed by constraints, expressions, trax motion clips and Mayais well-known rigid body dynamics system all transfer seamlessly into Director Shockwave Studio 8.5. A new Preview Window allows the Maya user to control the size of the 3D viewport export, interactively control animation, select and control different cameras, and review the Director Scene Manifest which contains 3D scene structure information of use to Lingo(tm) programmers doing final project development in Director.
3D Web Contest
At Siggraph Alias|Wavefront is launching a special Maya Shockwave 3D contest. The contest is open to all Maya and Macromedia Director users over the age of majority in their country of residence. Competitive content categories include: ecommerce, training, and online entertainment. Grand prize for best overall entry will be a state-of-the-art 3D graphics accelerated laptop with Maya Builder. Prizes for best submission in each of the specialty categories will also be awarded. In order to enter, participants must submit a 3D web project built in both Maya and Director and using the Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter. Entries must be submitted no later than November 4, 2001.
The Maya Shockwave 3D exporter plugin is compatible with all members of the Maya product family: Maya Builder, Maya Complete(tm) and Maya Unlimited(tm). Maya Builder 4 retails for $2,995 USD. International pricing varies.
You can find more information on Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter at the Alias|Wavefront Web site. Version 1.1 of the plugin will be released on August 20th and is free.
You can find more information on the contest at the Web site as well. Note that the Grand Prize does not specifies whether the laptop is a Mac or a PC. Weill hope itis a Titanium PowerBook.