Maya 2020 just landed

It’s big :

The rigging improvements caught my eye especially… there are new offset attributes in transform nodes (which Modo and Blender always had) that simplify rigging A LOT - no more offset groups ! Then there’s GPU-accelerated smooth mesh preview (I assume based on OSD but I may be wrong, Maya has had OSD subdiv scheme for some time now). There’s also a ‘pin’ constraint that apparently is based on UVs… something Blender’s desperately needs… all in all a big release, it seems.

By the looks of things, this is a big bigger than many Autodesk releases in past years.

Too bad the release logs do not have an entry for brand new perpetual licensing at a great new price. A lot of former users will probably not jump back on board simply because of that.


A very odd thing is that when looking features of other software I can find better use for the equivalent features offered in Blender.

Some notable features:

  • Time Slider Bookmarks: Somewhat interesting to color animation sections, in Blender we have the option to use Markers, so at times is a good idea when needed to make the animation window a bit more meaningful.
  • Polygon Remesh and Retopologize: It looks like they licenced that standalone ZRetopo plugin which recently became available for Blender as well. Whoever needs ZRetopo can purchase it for Blender as well.
  • Proximity Wrap Deformer: In this case we can use Lattice objects or Mesh deformers. Very cool idea because up until now I considered to paint vertices with bone weights. But now using Latices with the “AnimAll” plugin might offer some good results as well.

the Retopology stuff were there before as experimental and with this release got an update but it seems they are focusing on rigging and animation which is their bread & butter…i wouldn’t call this a “major” release but it’s something better than before.

Have to say it’s a decent update compared to previous years, especially for the animation tools.

I’m not saying that the blender dev team should copy all of Maya’s features, but they should take a long hard look at what’s there for their animation 2020 goals.
Maya, as painful as it can be, has great animation tools. And if blender want’s to compete in this area, it has to be at least close to the same functionality.

I know lots of things are already possible in blender, but it’s all scattered, abandoned or just not working properly. And that makes it a frustrating experience. I sometimes wonder how they do their own projects, and not go ‘Oh, this isn’t really working is it?’ and leave it like that.
And no, the ‘it’s how it works in blender’ doesn’t cut it…

I’ll go away now :wink:


another huge speed up in animation from the already super fast animation playback in maya 2019, maya right now its a dream for animators
blender its a joke in this regard, unfortunately

I still think Blender should have keyframe visualization as editable splines in the 3D view. That would make animating much more visual and clear.

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Blender foundation should put more effort in this departement, there are many problems and little annoyances that should also be adressed first, they fixed the timeline for 2.80 but it’s now tied to the dopesheet any change u make it affects both in a way, u can’t show waveforms and u have to open VSE for it, the graph editor too has so many problems to list them here but yeah Maya is way ahead of any other DCC and that’s why it’s the main tool for Animation.

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That new offset parent matrix node will make a lot of riggers very happy.
Me? It pisses me off.
I just barely finished building a custom rig for my character and it’s a mess because i actually dislike rigging and i am slightly incompetent when it comes to it.
Now my OCD dictates that i take it out every parent constraint and build it again with parent matrix nodes all over instead. :expressionless:
Well done Autodesk, better late than never, but couldn’t you finish this a release earlier?

The update looks all right actually. A far cry from the complete embarrassment that was the last major Maya content update. The Blender Foundation is going to have to put their all into the 2020 animation project to catch up with Maya in the animation department.

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The last version was a bugfix release. They fixed 500 bugs and improved the performance greatly - something i really appreciate since it made Maya a lot faster and stable.

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Too bad the release logs do not have an entry for brand new perpetual licensing at a great new price. A lot of former users will probably not jump back on board simply because of that.

Ding ding ding. As a former Maya user of 15 years, I’d say, Maya would have to lower their sub prices just to entice me, and add python support to Maya LT so that I can take advantage of certain plugins that require it… and even then, I’m still not sure.

We all remember how unstable the last version of Maya was, so I’m just going to sit back with some popcorn and wait for the youtube videos to rollout from disconcerted users.


Yeah ! that and ghosting… see the thread I started some time ago :

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Autodesk released a tutorial video on the new tools for remeshing a few days ago.

I am honestly not that impressed considering that ZBrush and Quad Remesher exist (The results are also not even close to the quality of ZRemesher and Quad Remesher.). All that extra work to clean up the model looks very tedious and impractical compared to ZBrush or even Blender. Pablo was able to solve the vast majority of issues when creating clean topology for remeshing in the span of a few months, yet Autodesk apparently can’t figure this problem out.

YouTube commenter:

Autodesk, I’m a bit disappointed as to how many manual work you recommend in this video for things that can be easily automated. Filling in holes/ clean up for the model - both of these can be automated, I am sure you’re engineers can come up with quick solutions. Since the whole purpose of retopology is to save time for your users, please keep that in mind for the steps that go along with it (It seems that the manual work takes more time than the use of feature itself.). I hope this comment reaches any of your product owners.

Autodesk response:

They have indeed, and rest assured our engineers are working on it. These are actually pretty complex problems to solve, and we want to make sure we do it right rather than just throw out something quick so it’ll take some time. Please bear with us.

Also don’t forget, this video is showing an absolute worst case scenario. Most models won’t be even close to this difficult to cleanup.

The triangular remesher looks all right though. Being able to remesh small areas is a nice quality of life feature, but it’s no Dyntopo or Sculptris Pro.


polyRetopo command first appeared in Maya 2018 in 2017, so it’s been a few years, actually.

24 frames per second is considered super fast there days?

A bit strange that the tutorial didn’t even use that to clean things up fast in that case.

It is the same thing, apparently, but they finally made GUI for it only now.

No, but i have a rig which is running with 120fps without animation caching. And if you take into consideration that the guy who made this (me) has no idea what he is doing, I’d say it’s quite fast for an un-optimized mess of an rig. I tried to rig the same character a couple of years ago in C4d where it ran with glorious 12fps. I am pretty sure Blender would handle it much better than C4d, but probably not as fast as Maya.
Not that it matters, since animations run with 24-30 fps, but it feels good to have a rig which reacts super fast and without lag when you move some controllers.

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True, besides, it’s always nice to actually see it with the speed with which viewer would see it.