I just received the following information from Autodesk about Maya LT, an indie focused version of the Maya 3D software we covered back in August. Today’s release adds some new functionality and addresses one of the biggest complaints, the low polygon limit.
Autodesk Releases Maya LT Extension 1 for Indie and Mobile Game Developers
Advances asset export and 3D modeling through enhanced interoperability with Unity3D and increased polygon count
Today Autodesk launched the first extension for Autodesk Maya LT – the company’s recently released 3D modeling and animation tool designed specifically for independent and mobile game developers. With new features such as improved interoperability with Unity3D, an increased polygon count and more, Maya LT Extension 1 simplifies the export of 3D content into artists’ desired game engines and expands 3D modeling capabilities. Extension 1 is available today to as a free download for customers on subscription and pay-as-you-go plans.
Key features in Maya LT Extension 1 include:
– Improved Interoperability with Unity: A new “Send to Unity” workflow allows artists to export 3D assets with unlimited polygon counts from Maya LT directly into the asset folder of a Unity project.
– Increased Polygon Count for Export: Export high-resolution models or scenes up to 65,000 polygons in the Autodesk FBX asset exchange format to the desired game engine.
– New Retopology Toolset: First integrated in Maya 2014 and now part of Maya LT, NEX modeling technology streamlines the retopology workflow. Artists can optimize meshes for cleaner deformations and better performance using a single toolset within Maya LT.
– Advanced Booleans: Maya LT now employs a robust and efficient new library for faster and more reliable Boolean operations on polygon geometry.
– FBX Export Improvements: Advanced support for exporting accurate geometry normals (binormals) facilitates consistent surface shading when assets are rendered in-engine.
Is 65K polygons a better limit, or still to low for your games? It’s certainly an improvement on the old 25K limit. One of the big flaws of a polygon limit is if you are using Maya as a level design tool, which is nicely solved if you are working in Unity which no longer has an limits. If you are working in UDK or Project Anarchy on the other hand, there is still a problem. On a somewhat off topic note, I am not sure what I think of the “extension” versioning system. It makes sense and its nice to see a fast support cycle but there is something about that I find off-putting.