Maya DirectX11 Technology Viewport


I really appreciate it when Autodesk employees chime in. And I really appreciate all the wonderful changes that have been made to Maya. Don’t let the trolls get you down, most of us tune them out anyway.

No 3D package can be perfect for everyone. I have done a lot of programming and I can tell you that the more types of things a software does the harder it is to make it work at all. Comparing sculpting in zbrush to sculpting in Maya is downright silly. Maya will not be the best at many things, by nature. The more you, and your software can specialize the better, and your software will be at that one thing. But then you, and your software, are a one trick pony.

I have been sitting next to a max user for almost 6 years now. I can appreciate that Max does many things better than Maya, that doesn’t make me want to switch and it doesn’t make me unhappy with Autodesk. The viewport in max is better, period. We don’t do game development and I see almost every day how a good viewport can help with non video game work. The improvements to VP 2.0 are exciting for a lot of people outside of gaming (which I bet is more than 5% to begin with). Max has a great way of previewing texture blending by vertex color. And the viewport matches all the built in renderers. I can do this in Maya, but its awkward.

Comparing software is useful, but its easy to get carried away. I view Maya as a tool for teams. Everytime I hear someone championing a new package the first thing I wonder is,

-how good is the referencing?
-how good is the scripting language?
-how well does it scale when you are using a mixture of physics, rigging, high poly models, and high res textures?
-how well does render layers work?
-can I fully navigate every element in my scene and trouble shoot complicated issues?
-does it work well on our farm?
-can I quickly hire a contractor to fill a gap without retraining them?

Maya is the best at that list, still could use improvement, but its the best. Its not a glamorous list, but its what matters most to a lot of people. When I see a release that is light on new features but the bug fix list spans many pages it makes me giddy.

There are other great packages. For solo work I still miss Lightwave sometimes. I had clients say “I have an idea I want to animate but I need it 3 hours from now”, and I was able to deliver. It wasn’t my best work but it was fast as hell. Having said that, all my best work has been done in Maya.

I will be the first one to say that if your a one person shop, there is a good chance there is better software out there for you. I work with teams, I work with Maya.


Anyway I’ve put my money where my mouth is and moved on i doubt i’ll post in this forum segment again.

We’ll try to miss you, then.

I enjoy many other tools outside of Maya, but have never felt “burned” by Autodesk and especially not by the devs, who have gone out of their way to help me every chance they can.

And the new viewport enhancements fully rock not just for game development but for my work too, arch/viz. This is not a niche, this is construction, which is the single largest industry in the entire history of humanity. If you think it’s a niche, you’re living in one right now.




To bad you missed the entire context of the discussion… When this thread/tech was first shown off it was marketed in such a way that it was percieved by many people and not just myself as a major update to the base viewport which would give a really high quality game like display of what your going to render.

As the discussion unfolded it became clear this was a specific feature for game developers which bummed some people out since the VP2 in 2013 by most accounts was still rather incomplete…

Since the 2014 has come out and from what I can tell VP2 uses dx11 and has been improved which is what everyone wanted to begin with…

Continue your witch hunt if it amuses you…


I intended no hunting at all, but was simply disagreeing with you about VP2 being a niche upgrade. It can be very useful in many areas of work. Modo also can, and just about every other application has some use obviously in its areas of expertise. If another program can help you get your work done, then by all means, use it! There is no need to be “loyal” to a piece of software.


Man, I step away for a few days and it’s WW V!! I have a relevant question…I hope…has anyone tested VP2 (old and new) performance using CAD data? I’m thinking automotive CAD. I had the unpleasant experience of constant crashes and I’m wondering if anyone else had a similar experience. I know this feature is hardware dependent, but any suggestions on how to better optimize the data to avoid these kinds of issues, or is this an unfortunate consequence of the CAD data being crap to begin with? Any thoughts are much appreciated. I can be civilized you see :slight_smile:


The debate was over the DX11 viewport which was seperate from vp2 at the time, my entire gripe was why they weren’t putting resources into vp2 which more people would use instead of a feature aimed at high end game developers since the later would benefit more people…


You can put your gripes to rest then because the Maya API is platform independent and so is VP 2. So any work that had to be done to support DX11 viewport directly benefits VP 2 API.

DX11 was a much requested and much appreciated features by a significant number of users.
You just don’t happen to be included in that group.
Just like many of our users never use some of the features you value the most.

You can also put to rest the illusion that OpenGL is on par with DX11 on all platforms.
Simply not true. There would be no way for you to run OpenGL 4 on a Mac for example.


Oh i have and I’ve moved on :slight_smile:

But it is good to see VP2 improve…


I love your post, specially your list. It make me realize a lot of thing. :buttrock:

I’m very interested by this. Does this mean the Viewport API will be more “modern” and platform independent (choice between DX/OpenGL)? As DX et OpenGL 4 API have almost the same functions? I just wonder about the VP2 future. i’ve read documentation (a pdf) about “how write viewport code with VP2” but didn’t really understand. It’s seems to be a way to remove direct drawing (even if Maya 2014 have an interesting new class for this).

Just my two cents on this: This is not a OpenGL problems here. Many devs are angry against Apple who never update it’s drivers, even if hardware is capable. But OpenGL “fragmentation” is one of it biggest problem, specially on Apple hardware…


I second that…


One thing thats been broken for a while now in VP2 is the way it handles textures. With VRayMtls, it’s applying a serious gamma correction curve to every texture making the viewport excessively dark. (For the obvious, no I’m not using any gamma correction nodes).

Hopefully can be fixed in the next update soon.


Not sure if this was posted… its been out for a while…

soooo these uber shaders render perfectly in Mental ray I’m assuming because they wouldn’t (?) spend so much time on development or letting us know we could set up a shader that would have to be stripped out for rendertime. Right? hahaha Yeah,… as broken as Viewport 2.0 is, I’m sure of it. {sarcasm}


I am not sure I understand your sarcasm, but I will reply anyway.

The Uber Shader is a DX11 GAME material.
So no, they do not render in Mental Ray.

It was never the goal. If it had been the goal, we would have done so.

However, Mental Ray materials can make use of the same VP 2 functionality to render real-time materials in the viewport. I think (just guessing) that would be up to Nvidia to add since it is their renderer.

Some of our game customers would have the opposite reaction to you if we had spend all this time making the Uber Shader render in Mental Ray, they would have told us to just spend more time adding features to DX11, because they do not need to render the full shader in Mental Ray.


Just to answer to this: No. From what I know, anytime we complain about MR stuff on Nvidia forums, devs told us to make AD aware of our problems. They say they are just working on MR renderer, not specific 3D package integrations.

It seems that few things are changing. mayatomr seems to be a real collaboration between AD and NV now. It was not the case before.

It’s not DX11 related. I just answer about this specific point. :slight_smile:


Can this shader be used in game engines such as Unity? Is the shader provided and licensed for use in a game engine?


It lacks a field for a Gloss map, useful in the production of Game Asset.


The shader is provided here: $(MayaInstallDir)/presets/HLSL11/examples/MayaUberShader.fx

It’s in HLSL. Unity4 has some restrictions about what it supports for DX11 specific HLSL syntax, which you can read about here:


Cool - I haven’t installed 2014 yet but this is a bit interesting. I had some issues with 2013 and plugins and that’s finally settled. It was more painful that release than any time before so my jump to 2014 will be a while. I simply don’t want to deal with that.


I’d love to have a ubershader workflow to Unity. If I have some time I may try and get that to work.

It appears that Max often does some swapping and adjusting of shaders behind the scenes when you switch renderers. I think maya could do better with this. If you are using an ubershader and you switch to mr, it could setup a mr material that is visually very close to what you had in your ubershader. It’ll never be the exact same, but 3DS Max has show it can be done and it can be very useful.