Autodesk Releases Maya LT For Indie Game Developers

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  08 August 2013
Autodesk Maya LT - Questions and Answers
autodesk_mayalt_faq.pdf
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by hotknife: Wondering where and what light this puts 3ds Max in for game development ? Is it a shift away from Max as a tool for games, why would you spend £3.5k on Max if you can build and animate in Maya LT ?

This is jumping on a bit but will we see an even greater lack of development in Max for animating of characters and the like...


Now that information can be shared, I got the chance to interview Autodesk about Maya LT and one of their answers should basically answer your question.


The key question/answer is:
Question: Are you considering launching a similar program for other tools such as Softimage or Max?

Answer (WA): Although we cannot talk specifically about future product releases, we do intend to continue to evaluate many different productization strategies, including LT versions, for our core entertainment markets of Film, Games and Television as well as to address new markets. However, it is not our intent to release multiple products for new markets. In this case we are targeting game developers who want to create 2D (sprite sheets) and 3D assets for mobile games. They require a solution that works both on PC and Mac and so we chose Maya as the basis.



So basically they wanted cross platform, so they went with Maya. Makes sense I suppose, especially if they are targeting Unity developers.
 
  08 August 2013
So Maya LT officially can't operate withing a regular Maya pipeline, because it has a different file format and only one way to export geometry through limited FBX.
I think this will be very useful for mobile game startups where poly count is very limiting (although advancing fast) and budgets are tight.

Good move, too bad it won't help the VFX market much.
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  08 August 2013
Maya LT was specifically created for start-up indie developers who want to create 2D and 3D assets for mobile games and a key requirement was PC and Mac support. Obviously some others will also find a use for it but that was the primary goal

Hotknife: Both 3ds Max and Maya are and will continue to be key products for general games development and games pipelines.

LIEF3D: Agreed, it's not big news for VFX. As Carl Bass mentioned in the investor call we have some other rental plans in the works so stay tuned.

Maurice Patel
Autodesk
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by FLGB: Your answer is not very clear. Where is the limitation?
a - On the FBX file sent to Unity that can't have more than 50k tris overall.
b - On objects inside that FBX file. Meaning that having one 60K tris object is not possible but having three 20K tris object possible? (still in one FBX file)


Limitation is on the FBX file itself. The FBX file will top out at 25k polygons and will warn you if your export is beyond that limit. Currently the entire FBX file cannot hold more than 25,000 polygons. Does that help explain things better?
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  08 August 2013
compare page

http://www.autodesk.com/products/maya-lt/compare

I have to say that once Again i,m disappointed in the UK pricing from autodesk as they charge me £293 more than a artist in the usa for the very same product.

$775 in usa
$1248 in UK when you convert what we're charged from £ into $




Maya LT does not have the following Maya features:

Advanced software shaders
Advanced 2D and 3D procedural textures
Substance procedural textures
Maya paint effects
Animation layers
Trax nonlinear animation editor
Live animation retargeting
ATOM animation file save and load
Camera sequencer
Grease pencil
Geometry constraints
Set driven key tool
Spline IK, spring IK
Maya muscle deformation system
Complete set of geometry deformers
Substitute geometry tool for skin
MEL and Python® scripting
Write custom plugins with SDK
Read/write Alembic framework format
Scene assembly tools for smarter data

DYNAMICS AND EFFECTS
Dynamics and effects features

RENDERING
Scene rendering
Advanced software shaders

COMPOSITING
Maya composite
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Last edited by cresshead : 08 August 2013 at 05:37 PM.
 
  08 August 2013
No animation layers, no easy way to bring animation in/out, no possibility to use external scripts to help workflow in any way whatsoever. Is this actually supposed to be a real product? How is this even remotely attractive for anyone if they're also looking at programs like Blender and Modo? I use Maya every day at work (AAA video games) and I use my own license at home on personal projects in Unity. I understand the desire to bring back a more accessible, cut-down version of Maya, but I don't understand how anyone would spend money on this.
 
  08 August 2013
Set driven key tool? We couldn't possibly let such an advanced feature slip into the hands of lower-tier customers!
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  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by jipe: No animation layers, no easy way to bring animation in/out, no possibility to use external scripts to help workflow in any way whatsoever. Is this actually supposed to be a real product? How is this even remotely attractive for anyone if they're also looking at programs like Blender and Modo? I use Maya every day at work (AAA video games) and I use my own license at home on personal projects in Unity. I understand the desire to bring back a more accessible, cut-down version of Maya, but I don't understand how anyone would spend money on this.


Technically this is cheaper than basic Cinema 4D package but can be plugged into a larger pipeline.
You don't need every modeler to have full features.
I prefer Max anyway :P but this looks very interesting for indy guys.
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by Visum: Technically this is cheaper than basic Cinema 4D package but can be plugged into a larger pipeline.
You don't need every modeler to have full features.
I prefer Max anyway :P but this looks very interesting for indy guys.


If I were an indy developer, I would prefer to spend a little more and get Modo or Lightwave as they are more complete and cheaper.

I do think it's expensive with these limitations. But hey, probably some people will buy only to say they use/have Maya in the pipeline.
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by MauricioPC: If I were an indy developer, I would prefer to spend a little more and get Modo or Lightwave as they are more complete and cheaper.

I do think it's expensive with these limitations. But hey, probably some people will buy only to say they use/have Maya in the pipeline.


if you did go that route you'd be somewhat disappointed with the poor viewport performance and lack of game shaders and viewport lighting in Lightwave or Modo

it's not that simple a choice..what you "win" with modo or lightwave you'll "lose" other things that Maya LT can offer in comparison.
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  08 August 2013
The pricing plan is very spot on, and I'm sure that it'll be useful to some developers. I wonder why Autodesk decided not to include .obj export? It seems to be only MayaLT and fbx.
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by jipe: No animation layers, no easy way to bring animation in/out, no possibility to use external scripts to help workflow in any way whatsoever. Is this actually supposed to be a real product? How is this even remotely attractive for anyone if they're also looking at programs like Blender and Modo? I use Maya every day at work (AAA video games) and I use my own license at home on personal projects in Unity. I understand the desire to bring back a more accessible, cut-down version of Maya, but I don't understand how anyone would spend money on this.


Buy this and lock yourself in. It helps them more than it'll help indies. Also, I'm actually kind of surprised they would do this with Maya and not Max. Max is their best tool for indies and is well positioned already for smaller shops and individuals.
 
  08 August 2013
If animation layers were included and AD had a way of getting plugins and popular scripts (autoriggers, MGtools etc) into MayaLT, this could be a good price for animation in indie games too. Right now most of the features cut out are animation centric. Do indie games not have animation in them or something?
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  08 August 2013
Can we expect the ShaderFX features to make it into Maya here soon? Did I miss this being available in Maya? As a Maya user, I would find the shaderFX system and Turtle integration a great feature. Is that coming to Maya?
 
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