Bringing it to life

First there was 2D design, then we had 3D design and solid modelling to establish form and structure. Then advanced rendering techniques brought photorealistic views, allowing designers and marketeers to get a really good idea of how a product would look in a real world environment. Virtual reality strategies are coming to the fore, providing a real `walk through’ or `walk around’ feel, but now Alias Wavefront has taken the idea one step further, with its ultra-real character animation and visual effects software.

The company describes Maya as the most powerful and productive 3D software for character animation and visual effects that you can get. The package delivers an intuitive environment where characters can really come to life, where models are built and move seamlessly when animated. Users can add embedded behaviours and high level entry controls into each digital creation.

Maya’s node based architecture provides high levels of performance and total control. There is a complete set of tools for keyframe and procedural animation, and Maya offers deep functionality for creating and animating digital characters. It supports dynamic interaction including collisions between rigid bodies, soft bodies and particles. A full complement of NURBS and polygon modelling tools are available, with the emphasis on seamless character construction. And Maya delivers film quality rendered images of stunning clarity and realism.

For designers looking to provide the ultimate simulated `real world interaction’ for their products, perhaps the best news is that the latest version of Maya is available for Windows NT. This version has been optimised to maximise system performance for the graphic capabilities of Windows NT systems.