Digital Raster has pushed out the NEX release for Maya on Mac OS X and Linux systems and brings all versions up to date with the release of NEX tools 1.6. NEX 1.6 adds a few new features including support for Viewport 2.0 in Maya, as well as a new feature for easier viewing of meshes when doing re-topologizing tasks when using NEX’s Quad Draw features. NEX 1.6 is a free upgrade to all current Windows users.

One of the greatest things about NEX is that although it is a fully integrated plugin for Maya, there are no custom nodes, everything is created using standard Maya nodes so that it is able to incorporate easily into anyone’s workflow. This means that a user who has NEX installed can still share files with other who do not have NEX installed on their version of Maya without any problems.

For those of you who are NOT familiar with NEX tools for Maya, it is an absolute must priced at $168.00. NEX does not only provide some workflow improvments to modeling workflows such as view display toggles and added symmetry functions, but also items that are sorrily laking in Maya such as NEX’s interactive bevel -Seriously NEX is worth the money solely based on the bevel tool alone. Check out the NEX suite of tools for MAya now available for all Maya Platforms here.

A list of NEX features include:

  • Quad Draw Creating polygons has never been more fun. With Quad Draw you can interactively create your polygon surface on the grid or import a reference mesh and rebuild its topology to make an animation ready mesh in minutes.
  • Preselection Highlighting Components highlight as you hover your cursor over them, so you’ll know exactly what you’ll be selecting before you click. The highlights also find the closest component to your cursor so that you don’t have to be meticulous about creating component selections. Highlighting is integrated throughout the entire NEX toolset, including the interactive Extrude, Bevel, Target Weld, Tweak, Transform, Pivot Adjustment, Soft Selections, and Quad Draw.
  • Fully Integrated Ring / Loop selection Quickly select a full or partial loop/ring of any component type (vertex, edge, or face) within any mode (select, move, rotate, or scale) simply by double-clicking.
  • Other selection features Raycast Selection, Component Selection Preservation, Select Similar, and a fully integrated Soft Selection tool are just a few of the other selection features.
  • Slide Components Slide any component type (edge, vertex, face) along the surface of the current mesh or along a different object’s mesh using any transform tool (move, rotate, or scale). You can also use the quick Ctrl+Shift+Middle-click-drag to slide along the active axis. On high resolution meshes, combine the NEX Soft Selection option with Slide for even greater power.
  • Custom Coordinate Space Move, Rotate, or Scale your components along any direction or position. Want to move faces along another face normal? Within the NEX Custom Pivot mode, Ctrl-Click to define your Custom Coordinate Space.
  • Vertex Locking Lock vertices from being transformed. This is especially useful when dealing with symmetry, where the center row of verts sometimes need to stay put.
  • Tweak Within any transform tool, you can quickly tweak highlighted components along any axis using the middle-mouse-button.
  • Integrated completely within Maya Very versatile options dialog — change every default option and behavior of NEX.
  • Other Misc features Safe Frame, fully customized Tab Key, Target Weld, interactive and ‘g’ hotkey repeatable mesh editing tools, Custom Hotbox Marking Menu, plus many, many more…

NEX is a unique plug-in for Maya that includes a set of tools designed to increase the speed, accurracy, and efficiency of your workflow. Frequent actions like of manipulating components within Maya become more natural due to the unique integration of all the NEX selection and transformation tools. Arduous jobs like resurfacing meshes can actually be fun using the NEX Quad Draw tool. Common polygon modeling tasks like Splitting faces, Connecting edges, or beveling have been reworked with maximum efficiency and interactivity in mind. Best of all, NEX does all this without leaving any custom nodes in your scene, or introducing any scene plug-in dependencies.

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