Autodesk has released the annual update for one of the main 3D animation applications in the world – Maya 2022. The main focus of this release is improving the cooperative work between artists and developers and making the general workflow faster with new plugins and tools.
The main part of the release is the long-awaited Maya USD plugin that allows the use of Maya in a Universal Scene Descriptor pipeline. The USD system was first developed by Pixar Animation Studios but soon became the industry standard. Files created with USD can be opened in different applications without data distortion or loss, so several people can work together on the same scene, file or even object. Also Maya now starts in Python3 mode by default (Windows and Linux versions allow going back to Python2, but the MacOS version does not).
New tools in Maya 2022 include Sweep Mesh, which creates meshes from simple shapes and curves, and Solidify, which makes parts of the object less prone to deformation. Component Tags, Graph Editor, and Cached Playback were also improved.
Other than Maya USD, several other plugins are included in this release: Rokoko Motion Library, OpenColorIO v2, and Bifrost 188.8.131.52. Concept design and sketching can now be done in virtual reality with Create VR plugin, allowing the artist to start creating directly in 3D.
Maya 2022 can now be downloaded through the official desktop app or the Autodesk website. The full release notes are available in the Autodesk knowledge database.