Autodesk revealed Maya 2016 Extension release, which sort of catches some of the things that Maya has fallen behind on. Over the last few releases, the Maya team have done an outstanding job of bringing some neglected and lackluster areas of Maya up to the level they need to be at. The Maya 2016 Extension release follows that lineage.
new procedural texture and image processing nodes in the Hypershade that allow artists to create sophisticated looks easily
Previous Maya releases have seen updates to the modeling engine with the addition of the Maya Modeling Toolkit, a new Node Editor that advances the Maya HyperGraph, and a new HypherShade, that was built to handle modern look-dev workflows. All great stuff.
The Maya 2016 Extension release follows that trajectory adding new life to the type and vector tools in Maya.
Type in Maya 2016 Extension 1
There is a brand new, and much needed text tool in Maya, that makes doesn’t just make creating 3D type, it makes it possible. You may have been frustrated with previous versions of Maya, and the results from the 3D Text Tool.
The new Text tools in Maya 2016 Extension 1, offer some new nodes behind the scenes, and its own home in the Attribute Editor. You can now easily create 3D type, that is editable and non-destructive with something that just works.
Create multi-line deformable type, with full control over bevel and extrusion profiles, which is handled by the new Shell Node. The new Type tools in Maya 2016 Extension 1 allows you to animate the type by character, word, or line, without even going to the timeline.
Along side the new Type tools in Maya, Ext. 1 also gets to play “catch-up” with new vector capabilities. Extension release 1 sports new and improved SVG support.
This gives you the ability to import or copy/paste SVG files into Maya. If you have artwork in Adobe Illustrator, you can easily bring in vector graphics through new SVG file support and work with it in a similar manner as you would with the new 3D Type tools. This includes extruding, beveling, and animating.
New Shading Nodes
Familiar shading nodes in Maya have been showing their age, while other simple and much needed shading nodes have been M.I.A. The Maya 2016 Extension brings new nodes such as simple image processing nodes the your look-dev workflow. Shading nodes like compositing, color correction, layering, color logic, and color condition nodes will quickly find their way as must have nodes in the HyperShade.
There is also a new procedural texture noise node. The new Simplex Noise Node is a new and much welcome general purpose noise node in Maya that allows you to do fractal noise, cellular, and ridge based patterns. You will find that the new Simplex Noise Node, repeats well. No longer will you see repetition in a pattern no matter how many times it is repeated.
Lastly, Maya 2016 Extension 1, also brings better interoperability when working with game engines. You can easily move from Maya to game engines through integrated menu commands.