On Thursday 14 August Autodesk will be joining forces with AMD FirePro graphics at SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver to showcase the powerful new tools available in Maya 2015 and 3ds Max 2015, harnessing AMD FirePro graphics and HP workstations to create vivid digital experiences to leave you inspired and excited for the future of your 3D projects!


Maya users will enjoy Autodesk’s Lee Fraser’s demos at SIGGRAPH! Lee will be revealing the exciting new features in Maya 2015, including how to create complex and highly realistic dynamic simulations using the Maya Bullet Physics plug-in! You’ll also get to see how AMD FirePro supports Maya and provides artists with more sophisticated control over simulations than ever before. Bullet simulations can include interacting soft- and rigid-body objects. You can create rigid sets from large groups of objects and then constrain them with the Glue settings, as well as constrained collision objects, fully integrated into Maya’s workflow!


3ds Max users can take advantage of Chris Murray’s in-depth experience of 3ds Max 2015 as he demos how to get things done faster with the new tools on offer and up-to-date workflows. He’ll also share how users can create more engaging entertainment content with the new Stereo Camera feature set! You’ll also get to see just how AMD FirePro’s professional graphics cards are combining leading-edge tech to make these game-changing workflows possible.


For those lucky enough to be attending SIGGRAPH 2014, make a note of these times in your schedule so you can catch Lee and Chris for a demo and a chat about two of Autodesk’s finest tools. You’ll also get to check out:

• Real-time video post-processing effects previews and color correction with Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve
• 4K video-editing and post-production workflows with Adobe® Creative Cloud
• OpenCL accelerated 4K video editing, compositing and effects in Adobe Premiere® Pro, SpeedGrade,
Photoshop and more
• Real-time visualization workflows with Lumiscape Photorealistic Real-time Rendering solutions
• Plus! Discover new ways to create, edit and visualize with HP workstations


Click the above images to enlarge | Check out the full schedule here.


For your chance to walk away with your very own AMD FirePro™ W7000 Professional Graphics card, visit the AMD booth #1023 and enter a 5-minute survey. The winner will be contacted at the end of the event!


The AMD FirePro W7000 allows the GPU to process geometry data at a rate of twice per clock cycle resulting is a doubling in the rate of primitive and vertex processing. Triangle rates increase two-fold relative to a GPU that does not possess GeometryBoost!



Why FirePro graphics?

AMD FirePro professional graphics cards are constantly being tested by experts using the latest benchmarking standards to ensure superior price-performance for use with media and entertainment applications, including the industry standard Maya and 3ds Max. With AMD’s advanced Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU architecture, full support for 4K monitors with DisplayPort 1.2, industry-leading memory bandwidth, and support for PCI Express 3.0 – as well as OpenCL 1.2 – you’ll get to see at SIGGRAPH how the AMD FirePro W-series of professional graphics cards are truly combining leading-edge technology to make these game-changing workflows possible, enabling artists to create more complex, compelling content faster than ever before!

Designed, built and tested by AMD, creative professionals in the media and entertainment industry rely on AMD FirePro professional graphics GPUs every day to enable powerful stereoscopic workflows inside 3ds Max 2015 and support ultra-complex dynamics simulations using Bullet Physics in Maya. AMD FirePro combines cutting-edge technologies, app certification and optimizations, as well as professional-grade support to help CG artists reach their full potential without paying over the odds. Find out more at http://www.fireprographics.com and check out FirePro graphics in action at SIGGRAPH 2014 at booth #1023!.


The AMD FirePro W7000 graphics card brings intense app responsiveness, astounding performance and superb visual quality to engineering, design and digital media professionals

For those not attending SIGGRAPH this year, here is a rundown of what you need to know about Autodesk’s 2015 versions…

What’s new in Maya 2015?

Maya 2015 offers powerful new toolsets for:
• simulating and rendering photorealistic liquids
• creating hair, fur, feathers, grass and foliage
• and skinning characters

Additional support for Pixar’s OpenSubdiv libraries, enhanced polygon modeling and UV tools, plus a new node-based visual shader editor all help to accelerate performance and increase productivity for 3D artists. Here is a breakdown of the new features:

Bifrost Procedural Effects Platform
Developed from Naiad technology and fully integrated into Maya, users can now create photorealistic, dynamic simulations and rendering of liquids! Whether you want to mesh liquids with a new particle surfacer or render voxels directly, you can export particles, voxels and meshes to a native file format as well as industry standard formats.

XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator
Whether you want to generate curves, spheres and custom geometry on the surface of polygon meshes to create fur, feathers or foliage, or populate large landscapes with grass, foliage, trees, rocks and debris trails, this new feature has got you covered. You can now handle large amounts of instanced data and control the appearance and behaviour of primitives by setting attributes, painting maps, creating expressions, or using the included XGroom interactive grooming toolset!

Geodesic Voxel Binding
This innovative new skinning method allows you to produce high-quality, production-ready bound characters in less time than ever before! You can very quickly bind complex geometry to skeletons, and handle non-watertight geometry and meshes with non-manifold or overlapping components. The resulting weights are helpfully compatible with existing skinning methods in Maya, and also suitable for use in game engines, too!

Streamlined Retopology Toolset
In Maya 2015, you can now more easily optimize meshes for cleaner deformations and better performance. The Quad Draw tool integrates a Relax and Tweak feature with Soft Selection, as well as an interactive Edge Extend tool.

OpenSubdiv support
You can now get faster draw performance, displacement map visualisation and RenderMan matching for subdivision surfaces with support for OpenSubdiv libraries. You can also enable interactive visualization of displacement maps without the need to render, as well as closely match subdivision surfaces generated in Pixar’s RenderMan renderer.

Maya 2015 let’s you easily create advanced HLSL, GLSL and CgFX viewport shaders with the ShaderFX real-time visual shader editor. Simply create shader networks by connecting different nodes together using a click-drag workflow. You can also select floating-point values, mathematical operations, texture maps, normal maps and color nodes, and also visualize materials in real time. Maya 2015 essentially lets users drill right down into the inner workings of each basic node!

Ptex support in mental ray
Render Ptex texture files in the NVIDIA® mental ray® renderer for Maya. This eliminates the need to create and assign UVs to meshes by creating Ptex files in Mudbox 2015 3D digital sculpting and texture painting software, or other texture painting applications, and rendering them in mental ray for Maya!

What’s new in 3ds Max 2015?

3ds Max 2015 offers helpful new support for:
• point cloud datasets
• enhanced viewport performance
• scene management workflows
• more responsive ActiveShade

Additional new features also include a node-based visual shader editor and support for Python scripting to extend the robust 3ds Max core toolset. Here is a breakdown of the new features…

Populate enhancements
3ds Max 2015 offers increased artistic control, better realism, and improved usability with the enhanced Populate crowd animation feature. Give characters more convincing walking, jogging, passing, turning, and seated behaviors, and control even more aspects of how your characters are generated. You can also save textures for reuse and customization, and for network sharing and rendering!

Point Cloud support
Import, visualize, snap to, and render massive point cloud datasets to create more precise models from real-world references. You can also view point clouds in true color in the 3ds Max viewport, interactively adjust the extent of the cloud displayed, and create new geometry in context by snapping to point cloud vertices.

Easily create advanced HLSL viewport shaders with the ShaderFX real-time visual shader editor, and connect different nodes together using an intuitive click-drag workflow. You can also select from a powerful array of floating-point values, mathematical operations, texture maps, normal maps, and color nodes, as well as visualize the resulting materials – even those with animated values – in real time in the 3ds Max viewport. Like Maya 2015, 3ds Max 2015 also allows you to drill into the inner workings of each basic node!

Placement tools
You can now easily position and orient content relative to other content in your scene with new Placement tools, as well as take advantage of intuitive auto-parenting and aligning behaviors. You can also move objects along the surface of other meshes as though magnetically attracted, and quickly rotate objects as part of the same option.

Improved ActiveShade rendering
You can now enjoy a faster ActiveShade preview rendering workflow that supports mental ray. Simply watch the effects of changing lighting or materials interactively to more easily refine your work. You can also get finer grain updates with more frequent captures of viewport navigation and switching, adjustments to light parameters, as well as other scene changes.

Accelerated viewport performance
Increase interactivity with substantially faster navigation, selection, and viewport texture baking.
You’ll notice particular benefits with dense meshes and scenes with texture maps. You can also enable anti-aliasing with minimal impact on performance so you can work quickly in a higher-fidelity environment.

Stereo Camera
You can now take advantage of the Stereo Camera feature set to create more engaging entertainment content and design visualizations! Effortlessly create stereoscopic camera rigs to author engaging 3D content, choosing from left eye, right eye, center, or anaglyph display modes views in the Nitrous viewport. You can also use in-scene 3D volumes to help with the adjustment of valid stereo zones, as well as advantage of passive or active stereo viewing. Active stereo viewing requires a recent AMD FirePro graphics card and a supported HD3D Active Stereo monitor or equivalent.

Enhanced scene management
3ds Max 2015 allows you to manage complex scenes more easily with enhancements to Scene Explorers, as well as organize data into nested layers to make it easier to work with large numbers of objects. You can also take advantage of support for docking and Workspaces, together with customizable quad menus, for even more enhanced productivity.

Python scripting
Extend and customize 3ds Max with the popular and easy-to-learn Python scripting language! Differentiate your 3ds Max capabilities with Python-based extensions, and integrate 3ds Max more easily into a Python-based pipeline. You can also execute Python scripts from MAXScript and the 3ds Max command line.

Quad chamfer
Create a chamfered or beveled edge between two surfaces consisting of quads, rather than triangles, to help eliminate pinching.

Related links

Discover more from Autodesk
See the full FirePro graphics card range
Check out 3ds Max 2015 in more detail on the AREA
Check out Maya 2015 in more detail on the AREA
Find out more about SIGGRAPH 2014