Autodesk has announced the Extension releases for the 2013 Suites of 3D Software; this is the midcycle release formerly known and the SAP or Subscription Advantage Pack.
This includes additions to Autodesk 3ds Max, and Autodesk Maya, and are scheduled for released to current Autodesk Subscription customers by late-September 2012.
Check out the press release: Autodesk Announces Extensions for 2013 3D Animation Software for more information.
More often than not when features are labeled as “game changers” there may be a 50 / 50 chance that any of that might be true. In the case of the Maya Extension release for 2013, this is really kind of game changer for large scene and asset workflow, especially in a multi team production environment.
…scene assembly lets you create, edit, and view large complex Maya scenes without the large memory overhead of a typical Maya scene workflow…
Specifically the addition of the Scene Assembly Tools in Maya 2013 Extension release will forever change the way that large scenes are built and interacted with, and allow for the creation of extremely large scenes effectively, manageably, and easily.
The new Assembly Tools in Maya are founded on the OpenData platform, Alembic and the file referencing environment in Maya, bringing it all together to create a workflow that incorporates the two new interdependent nodes of Assembly References and Assembly Definitions.
An Assembly Definition is a node that acts similarly to Maya’s Asset Container that can store and contribute access to various forms of assets. A form of an asset can be as simple as a locator which acts as a placeholder for a model in a scene, or an Alembic / Maya GPU Cached model, or the full model or low polygon versions of the asset.
Assembly Definitions are combined by referencing them into a scene by way of the new Assembly Reference Nodes, which can easily be nested in the Outliner, providing the ability to have some logic to large scenes.
With the two Nodes working together allow you to build large scenes in Maya easily, and choose the representation of the assets in the scene for whatever type of work you are doing, such as displaying background models as bounding boxes, mid-frame models as GPU-Cached, and FG elements as full models.