Autodesk has announced Maya 2016 Extension 2 release which adds some amazing new features under the 2016 toolset. Maya 2016 Extension 2 includes a new and completely ground-up reworking of creating renderings. Render Setups offers a way to quickly render and manage complex scenes, with a modern approach to shot based overrides. Render setups inherently work with what ever renderer you use in your productions, and allows you to generate templates so that you can revisit and reuse render setups on a production.
Maya 2016 Extension 2 finally introduces a native shape authoring workflow, or a workflow for creating pose-space deformations. Now, you can easily art direct character rigs with a new and super intuitive pose space deformation toolset. Included is a much needed update to the BlendShape UI and an enhanced blend shape deformer, bringing it up to date as a much more modern system.
Also new to Maya 2016 Extension 2, are new Motion Graphics Tools. Resulting from the Mainframe deal, the new toolset is based in the MASH procedural animation tools, and is now fully integrated within Maya.
Also of note in the new release, is a Deep adaptive fluid simulation feature within Maya Bifrost. This allows you to simulate high-level details in designated areas. This means that you can run one single simulation that includes high surface details and low details below.
Animation performance also gets a boost, with new MultiDraw consolidation which can improve render performance by reducing the overhead in Viewport 2, when drawing models made up of lots of meshes. Parallel evaluation has new support for the Nucleus Dynamics System, and improved GPU-accelerated deformation system is now on by default, letting you run heavy scenes faster.
Check out the complete list for what is new in Maya 2016 Extension 2. As far as announcements go, Autodesk also announced that Solid Angle has joined Autodesk, check that bit of news here.