“Autodesk Event” recap from SIGGRAPH

Courtesy Autodesk Email advertisementThe Autodesk Event, typically a festivus of Max-Bustion-ferno… was a decidedly unusual event this year. This was the first time both camps were together since the assimilation of Alias into Autodesk. Both Maxers and Aliasers were in the same room at the same time breathing the same air–wierd.

The 4 hour marathon opened with 3 musicians jamming on their junk intruments (buckets, garbage cans, tail pipes, etc…) very out there. But it worked at disarming the crowd. The event was hosted by both the Product Managers for Max and Maya…as I said out there.

For the first time, 3ds Max Masters were awarded. This award was assimilated from the Maya camp and the winners for 3DS Max were Neil Blevins, Bobo, Lon Grohs. If you don’t know who these people are google their names with “3ds Max” in the search. Prepare to be amazed.

Then followed user demos from ILM… showing Maya workflow in “Pirates of the Caribbean”, Frantic Films showing Max everything in Superman, the Orphange showing integrated Max/Maya projects, and GMJ showing off their — to scale– 36 sq/km 3d model on London. (Believe it or not, when the whole model was unhidden and the arc rotated in Max, this ellicted the only “holy crap” applause of the user demo portion.)

The demos from Max were actually pretty thin. They attempted to show Max/Maya interoperability but diluted the message with Alias Sketch and Motionbuilder. Its was the “we are all things to all people” speach. I don’t drink Kool-Aid.

This big news for Max is 64-bit integration– finally. There are also many major under the hood speed improvements and it was clearly evident in the demo. On a funny note, while attempting to show off all the speed improvements– with all the Maya dudes present– the Max demo artist accidentally hit “contvert to PATCH” instead of “convert to EDIT POLY” on a 12 million poly model. Uh… buh bye… Then he immediately switched to Maya while Max recovered. Its was kind if like watching your uncle get drunk at Christmas dinner; funny and uncomfortable all at the same time.

Other than that it was very light on new features (see the press release in the previous post for that one). There is much improvement in Mental Ray and Point Caching which was also shown. The Guru will scope those out at the booth today for more info and demos. Stay tuned….

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~ by learn3dsmax on August 1, 2006.

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