Autodesk have posted some bits of information dealing with the features that will be in the Autodesk Maya 2014 Extension Release (formerly the subscription advantage pack), with some highlights that look quite promising, including XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator, a Retopology Toolset, Better Booleans, and some Bullet Physics enhancements.

With the XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator for creating hair, fur, feathers, grass, foliage, and other instanced data

A New and Long Overdue Crack at Booleans

Noting that BOOLEANS is a thing, tells me that Autodesk has been delivering on the “small Annoying Things” program. Maya 2014 Extension now employs a new library that is much more robust and efficient and more importantly, reliable when dealing with higher resolution objects, and also provides dependably results on open surfaces as well. Exciting news.

XGen Primitive Generator

XGen is something new that has never been seen, in an integrated Arbitrary Primitive Generator for creating hair, fur, feathers, grass, foliage, and other instanced data. This is the technology used in the Disney films Tangled and Bolt and in Toy Story 3.

XGen provides a method for creating objects on the surfaces of polygon meshes, and this includes populating surfaces with curves, spheres, or any other custom geometry.

XGen is built to create fur, hair, feathers, or populating landscapes with foliage, rocks, trees, or grass, creating geometry procedurally at render time. This allows you to load up on the instanced datasets in a scene without any slowdown or taxing memory resources.

The XGen primitives can actually be previewed in the Maya viewport, giving you control over the behavior and appearance with the XGen XGroom interactive grooming toolset.

Expanding Modeling Toolkit With Retopology Workflow

Expanding on the Modeling Toolkit additions seen in the first release of Maya 2014, Autodesk have leveraged a new topology toolset that will provide a streamlined workflow for retopologizing meshes.

The familiar Quad Draw tool sports a new relax and tweak feature with soft selections, and a new interactive tool for extending edges.

The Maya 2014 Extension expected to be available on or after September 16th, to find out more about the Maya 2014 Extension Release Features, check here.