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Autodesk Maya 2017 update 3 – can’t miss features

Can’t miss features in Maya 2017 update 3


Autodesk has pushed a sizeable update to 2017 in several areas. We are going to point out the ones that stand out for animators and character Tds. We are excited to see some of the updates show up as there are a few nice built-in features that would have required external tools or custom plugins. Check it out, we posted our features you should know and also posted a few examples and parts of the documentation to make it easier to understand and get moving with.

Top features Rigging:

  • Dash Scripting

    Animators check out Dash scripting in the Channel Box example:

    ts(number)Time offset any keyframes for the selected attributes by ‘number’ of frames.

    Dash Scripting is a new form of fully customizable scripting has been added to the Channel Box. To use it, select one or more attributes and then Alt + right-click them to display an in-line editor, then input a command. For more information, see Dash scripting.

  • Updated deformerWeights commands (thanks to Chris Evans and his post that got it started)

    The examples for the deformerWeights Python/MEL commands in the Maya Technical Documentation have been updated for clarity and expanded to provide more detail. For example, you can now copy and paste the command examples into the Script Editor.

# Export weights with connectivity information, and then import with bilinear mapping.
# This provides a way to transfer weights between meshes with different topologies.
cmds.deformerWeights ("testWeights.xml", ex=True, vc=True, deformer="skinCluster1")
cmds.deformerWeights ("testWeights.xml", im=True, method="bilinear", deformer="skinCluster1")

  • New and improved Defomers and tools (Game TDs pay attention)

    • New Delta Mush attributes
      A new Distance Weight attribute lets you account for the distance between vertices when calculating the “mush”.A new GPU version which has shown a speed up from 2 – 4x over the new CPU version in limited testing.Inward and Outward constraints retain the contour of the deformed mesh shape just before the delta mush deformer. Use this when working with a displacement set to a low value, but it also provides good results in other cases.
    • Tension Deformer
      A new Tension deformer lets you simulate surface tension without squashing and stretching the surface too much. It uses the connectivity between the mesh vertices to preserve the (relative) lengths between them.

      Vertices manipulated without and with Tension deformer effect

    • Bake Deformers (bake down your DeltaMush for your game engine)
      Bake Deformer lets you export complex rigs to applications that have limited deformer support, as well as being a quick trick for determining default character bind weights.You can currently only open this tool through the Maya Command Line using the BakeDeformerTool command.
    • Bake Deformer Tool
    • Bake deformers on a character
    • Autodesk Alternatives if you can’t update yet

Top features Animation (Rigging Dojo assist):

  • Mocap editing? Enhanced Timecode support
    Maya’s new 64-bit tick rate lets you display and input timecode format throughout Maya, including in MEL and Python commands in the Script Editor.
    New,Import Playback Options section where you can choose to use the imported file’s frame rate, override it with the scene frame rate, or combine the scene and imported frame rate.
  • Sync Timeline Display

    When on, synchronizes your selections in the Channel Box to the Time Slider so that the Time Slider displays only keys for those selected channels. When you set a keyframe only channels selected in the Channel Box are keyed. If nothing is selected in the Channel Box, the Time Slider displays keys for selected objects as usual.

  • Animation Layers in the Time Editor (Now Clip Layers)
    Time Editor Animation Layers have been renamed Clip Layers in the documentation to differentiate between them (Time Editor animation clip layers) and the Animation layers used in the Animation Layer Editor. Animation Layers are not supported in the Time Editor as they create conflicts.
  • MotionBuilder Anim UI coming to Maya Updated Playback Options
    A new area, Playback options has been added including a Frame Rate menu that lets you set the scene frame rate

    A Loop button has also been added to the Playback options with three states so you can toggle the scene animation between three looping states:

    • Loop
    • Repeat once
    • Oscillate (forward/reverse)


Here are the full links to each area to continue reading about all theĀ  updates.

What’s New in API

For information regarding new API features in Maya 2017 Update 3, see at’s New in API in Maya Update 3.

*Disclosure we are on Beta and also independent consultants for Autodesk

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