Alias Ships Maya 7

Alias on Monday announced that it is now shipping Maya 7, the latest version of its software for creating visual effects as well as modeling, rendering and animating 3D objects. New features in this upgrade include integrated MotionBuilder technology, which offers a full-body IK (inverse kinematics) solver that makes rigging and posing characters faster and easier, with more flexible deformations.

Maya 7 also offers new polygonal modeling and mapping tools; a Toon Shader that supports a variety of non-photorealistic rendering styles, with near real-time interactive previews; enhancements to Maya Fur, Maya Hair and Maya Cloth; a new High Detail Solve mode in Maya Fluid Effects that helps create more realistic explosions; and better connectivity between Maya and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Macromedia Flash and popular CAD software.

Upgrades from Maya 6.5 are US$899 for Maya Complete and $1,249 for Maya Unlimited, which adds Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Fur, Maya Hair, Maya Cloth and other high-end functionality. The full versions of Maya 7 Complete and Unlimited are $1,999 and $6,999, respectively.

System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.3, a G4 or G5 processor, 512MB RAM, 450MB hard drive space, a hardware-accelerated OpenGL video card, a three-button mouse and Internet Explorer 5.0, Netscape 6 or Safari.