Autodesk is not responsible for errors or failures of Autodesk software arising from the installation of updates, extensions, or new releases issued by third-party hardware or software vendors for the certified software or hardware identified in this document (or for any other third-party software or hardware that you may use in connection with Autodesk products).
Welcome to Maya LT 2020! This release provides new tools and updates to help animators, modelers, riggers, and technical artists be more efficient and productive so they can spend more time on the creative.
Fix HObfuscateApi script for Maya LT 2019 devkit MAYA-95503
Error printed when creating a camera in Maya LT MAYA-89060
Warning message comes up when choosing [Lighting/Shading] from the main menu MAYA-89026
Maya LT – Copy & Paste not working MAYA-94462
Maya LT 2018.5
What’s Fixed in Maya LT
MAYA-94781 Copy & Paste not working
What’s New in Maya LT
Revamped UV editor
The UV toolkit offers improved tools and functionality.
This nondestructive, clip-based nonlinear editor features an intuitive and familiar user interface for working with scene objects.
Quad draw, multi cut, bevel, and symmetry enhancements make modeling more efficient.
The viewport now supports displacement mapping and offers improved transparency, better shadow and shading support, and more.
Shape Editor improvements
Improvements to the Shape Authoring tools give you more control to create, tweak, and correct animations in a detailed way. The tools help you make more complex animations for areas where high levels of detail are required, like facial animations. They also give you an easier way to manage corrective blendshape animations on top of rig-based deformation. The new tools in the Shape Editor include Merge Targets, Clone Target, Combination shapes, and show/hide in-between targets.
Automated LOD generation
New tools make it easier for 3D artists to create and transfer level of detail (LOD) data for 3D game assets.
Now you can define the percentage of mesh reduction for each LOD and create reduced meshes that can be used in-engine.
Built-in sculpting tools
Brush-based sculpting tools enable artists to do high-level sculpting on their models without having to export to a different tool.
Save time by making small tweaks and adjustments with new sculpting tools directly in Maya LT.
Use the included base meshes as a starting point to save time when creating new models or to start learning the new sculpting tools.
Improved modeling and UV tools
An improved UV creation and editing toolset in Maya LT 2016 makes the workflow for UV maps easier than ever.
The new set of Mudbox-style UV brushes make the workflow more intuitive for artists.
New additions to the toolset include: interactive cut/sew edge tool, automatic projection, pinning, weld, split, and an unfold brush.
Modeling and UV tool improvements
This release continues to improve the modeling tools and capabilities of Maya LT, an initiative spanning several releases.
Updates to tools, functionality, and efficiency provide significant enhancements to modelers’ daily workflows.
Improved mirroring and symmetry workflows, including when using the QuadDraw retopology toolset.
Mirror UVs command also enables UV maps to be mirrored.
An update to the UV packing algorithm enables UV maps to be packed more efficiently to maximize space.
Updates to the Unfold3D UV unwrapping algorithm speed process.
Algorithms behind technical modeling tools, such as Bevel, Extrude, Bridge, and Wedge Faces offer better performance and less inconsistencies to provide the expected behavior.
A new option to show/hide components of a mesh helps make it easier for artists to reduce clutter on an object to improve visibility on the target area of focus.
Indie-friendly game modeling tools
Create and edit the characters, props, and environments you need for your game with sophisticated game modeling tools.
Polygonal, NURBS, and subdivision surface modeling tools
Bridge, poke, cut, wedge, bevel, extrude, chamfer vertex, extrude along a curve, mirror cut, edge loop, edge ring, slide edge, and pick-walk tools
True soft selection and soft modification
Transfer of UV, color-per-vertex, and vertex position information between polygon meshes of differing topologies
Mesh optimization with the Quad Draw tool for cleaner deformations and better performance in-game
Faster and more reliable Boolean operations on polygon geometry with an efficient new library
Improve game model efficiency
Use a variety of built-in tools to make sure the 3D models created for your game avoid negative game performance.
Create higher-resolution character and environment models in unlimited scene sizes within Maya LT, then reduce polygonal resolution for better game performance.
Optimize content for mobile devices with polygon reduction, data cleanup, blind data tagging, and level-of-detail tools.
Model faster with subdivision surfaces by seeing rapidly updated previews as you make changes to the model.
Use the decades of research and experience of the Pixar animation team when using subdivision surface modeling for your game characters and environments.
The technology is designed to take advantage of both parallel CPU and GPU architectures, resulting in faster draw performance.
Working with control cages on subdivision surfaces gives a more WYSIWYG experience by updating the model faster when making changes.
It’s now easier to create and edit more complex animations than before in Maya LT. The Time Editor is a nondestructive, clip-based nonlinear editor that features an intuitive and familiar user interface for working with scene objects. Its high-level design makes it easier to work with animated objects, but it also offers a simple way to expose more granular keyframe data, if needed. The Time Editor also helps you import and edit motion capture data through the FBX format.
Graph Editor improvements
The Graph Editor features usability improvements that help reduce the time and number of clicks you need to perform common tasks. The enhanced user interface has more visible animation curves and moves the timeline to the top of the Graph Editor. Now you can move keys without selecting the Move tool. Other improvements: a more easily adjustable time range, pre-weighted tangents, a scrubbable Time Marker, and interactive keyframes.
Export/import skin weight maps
Artists gain more flexibility when creating and adjusting skin weight maps for character skin deformations.
Re-importing a skin weight map lets you make changes to the topology of a model without having to completely re-create a new map.
Improved animation tools
Get updated animation layer editor, SplineIK, and Cluster Deformation tools.
Improved animation tools add SplineIK and Cluster Deformation to help you create more diverse and complex character animations.
An updated Game Export tool makes it easier to manage and export multiple animation clips in one or more files.
The animation layer editor is now available, supporting a 2-layer system for editing animation.
Character Controls and the HumanIK rigging system make it easier to create more complex animated characters and to reuse animations across different character models.
Animators can now bake retargeted animation to the Control rig for further editing.
Roll bones in HumanIK
The HumanIK animation system in Maya LT now supports up to 5 roll bones per limb, to help avoid the candy-wrapper effect that can occur when a limb turns on its own axis.
A UI update exposes the roll bones and makes the HumanIK animation system simpler to use.
Quick Rig tool
Novice animators can rig characters more easily by using the Quick Rig tool to generate and place a HumanIK rig within the geometry of their bipedal characters.
Users can position guide markers that improve the accuracy of rig placement. The tool also applies basic skinning to the model.
Animation tools for indie game makers
Bring your characters, props, and environments to life with efficient game animation tools based on Maya and HumanIK animation software.
Edit 2D visual representations of animations with the graph editor and adjust timing using the dope sheet editor.
Edit motion trails/trajectories to fine-tune motion animation directly in the viewport.
Blend shape/morph target deformers for shape animation.
Skin and pose game characters with realistic deformations.
Use Utility Nodes to add mathematical relations between objects within a scene to give a finer level of control over rigs and animations, and simplifying use with certain auto-rigging tools.
Set Driven Key links the movement of objects within the same scene, reducing complexity and repetitive tasks when animating game assets.
Character skeleton creation
Create skeletons for your game characters faster with a set of built-in tools that make it easier for artists to set up characters for animation.
Automatic biped skeleton generator with interactive editing
Joint tool with symmetry and projected centering to create skeletons for non-biped game characters
Easy-to-use, full-body inverse kinematic rigging with the HumanIK solver
Animation retargeting between character models of different proportions to quickly animate large numbers of characters in your game
Mirroring functionality speeds up the creation of character rigs.
IK Pole Handles make it easier for artists to add inverse kinematics to custom character bone structures.
Geodesic voxel binding
Bind modeled geometry to skeletons faster, often with just a few clicks.
This new method can handle highly complex or less-than-perfect geometry, with even overlapping or non-watertight meshes requiring far less cleanup than traditional methods, making it easier for new users to achieve good results.
The compute process to perform the binding is fast, and the resulting skin weights are compatible with existing skinning methods in Maya LT.
Lighting, materials, and texture baking
Texture baking workflow improvements
Physically based area lights are now supported, providing higher-quality light and shadows for Turtle texture baking workflows.
File texture nodes now support image sequences, letting artists visualize prerendered game effects or rotoscope animations using animated image sequences on image planes.
Physically based shader materials
ShaderFX includes a new, physically based shading material so artists can make more realistic and higher-quality materials.
Artists can create high-quality materials within Maya LT, making it easier to achieve the desired result and more closely match the look in-game.
Artist can create high-quality materials within Maya LT, making it easier to achieve the desired result and more closely match the look in-game.
Physically-based ShaderFX materials can be transferred to the Stingray game engine so materials don’t have to be created twice.
Improved Turtle baking tools
Maya LT now offers more Turtle features, so artists can produce better and more complex baked results.
The default baking presets have also been adjusted to give better results for artists less familiar with texture baking workflows.
Lighting and texture baking
Efficiently simulate realistic game lighting using global illumination tools to bake lighting data into texture maps or vertex maps.
Baked lighting data enables higher-quality lighting with far less impact on game performance.
Bake texture maps from highly detailed models to lower polygon models: normal, occlusion, displacement, lighting, and shadows.
Create realistic global illumination for game levels and implement a number of lighting effects: spotlights, point lights, direct lights, and shadows.
Model material tools
Intuitive toolsets designed for nontechnical artists help you create, edit, and adjust game model materials.
ShaderFX, a real-time, node-based shader editor, helps less technical artists create shaders that closely match the target game engine without manual coding.
Advanced game material effects: crack-free tessellation, vector displacement maps, translucence, reflections, and image-based lighting
Workflow for creative texturing: UV creation and editing, auto-projection, interactive relaxation, layout UVs, lattice modification, and smudge tools
Multiple UV set support
Multiple sets of animatable color-per-vertex (CPV), prelighting, and user-defined normals
UV editing tool
Build UV maps more easily with Unfold3D, which helps you create and edit UVs with visual feedback systems and define your own UV seams using intuitive selection tools within the viewport.
Color-coded or checkerboard visual feedback systems give you easy-to-read visual feedback that highlight problem areas on the UV map.
Efficient UV unfolding algorithms enable artists—even novice 3D modelers—to see the results and make adjustments quickly.
Substance material integration
Browse, apply, and edit model materials created in the Allegorithmic Substance Designer procedural texture creation tool to models within Maya LT.
Less technical artists can browse model materials created by technical artists in Substance Designer and apply them to models, then adjust parameters of the material from within the software and see the results applied to the model in real time.
The Maya LT viewport displays Substance materials as they will appear in supported engines, so you can make creative decisions based on accurate previews.
Included sample materials can help new users learn and experiment with material editing.
Indie game workflows
Workspaces are defined user interface and tool layouts that you can select from a drop-down menu. Choose Workspace presets for everyday tasks like modeling, sculpting, UV editing, rigging, and animation. You can also create and save custom UI layouts that fit your workflow, making it easier for you to work the way you want.
Powerful workflows with Stingray game engine
The Stingray 3D game engine, available with Maya LT subscription, offers an ideal game-making combo for indie game makers and small studios.
Connectivity between Maya LT and Stingray makes it easier to create 3D assets for use in Stingray.
Simplify the creation of your next game with art-to-engine workflows:
Send to Stingray export in Maya LT enables artists to export their assets directly to a Stingray project folder.
Camera synchronization between Maya LT and Stingray enables artists to view whole scenes in the context of the Stingray editor so they can implement changes and evaluate them quickly.
A live link between Maya LT and Stingray enables artists to view their models, animations, and materials in the context of the Stingray editor as they make changes in Maya LT.
Physically based materials created in ShaderFX within Maya LT can be transferred to Stingray so artists do not have to re-create their materials.
Enabling the Stingray Tonemap in Maya LT helps ensure better visual parity in assets viewed in both Maya LT and Stingray.
Indie game makers using Stingray to create ragdolls, cloth, and other physics-based simulations can optionally install the NVIDIA PhysX plug-in for Maya LT.
Note: Access to the Stingray game engine requires an active subscription to Maya LT. You must install a plug-in to enable interoperability.
Maya LT subscribers can get access to Stingray game engine software. Game makers can use a professional 3D animation tool and a modern 3D game engine with seamless art-to-engine workflows to build their 3D games.
User-submitted workflow improvements
Maya LT 2016 includes several workflow modifications based on the aggregated feedback of Maya and Maya LT users.
Artists can submit and vote on current suggestions by using the Maya LT feedback site.
Creative Market integration
Users can search, browse, and buy 3D content on the Creative Market directly from Maya LT.
Game makers can also use the Creative Market to sell their content.
Updated Game Exporter
Adjust asset exports more easily with two updates.
First, create and name object sets from within the Game Exporter by selecting them in the Viewport.
Users can also set and adjust animation key frames in the Exporter, which will create corresponding updates in the Time Range.
Game engine export tools
Maya LT is designed to make it easier for indie game makers to get their 3D models and animations into game engines.
Special export options like Send to Unity and Send to Unreal make it easier for indie game makers to get their assets into their Unity or Unreal projects.
Send to Unity lets artists export content from Maya LT directly to a Unity 3D Engine project folder. Assets exported in this manner appear directly within the Unity project.
Send to Unreal lets Maya LT users export content directly into their Unreal Engine 4 project folder.
Both export options allow export for model or scene selections with no polygonal restrictions in the FBX format.
Send to Mudbox
Export geometry to Mudbox digital sculpting and digital painting software to add detail to the model.
Texture and detail maps can be sent back to the model in Maya LT.
Game Exporter tool
Define multiple animations within a single Maya LT file with a name and start/stop frames to make future exports from that file easier, review those animations more easily, and preserve export settings.
Export multiple animation clips to a single FBX file using FBX Takes, or export multiple animation clips to individual FBX files from a single source Maya LT file.
Preserve export settings for static and dynamic meshes within a Maya LT file to make future exports of that file faster and more consistent.
Review animations within a Maya LT file by selecting each defined animation clip individually.
Open files in FBX Review software with the Game Exporter tool to help evaluate the artistic integrity of the exported file.
Updates to the Game Export tool automate more of the process, making it easier to export assets for use in-engine.
A new Threshold Type for LOD groups offers greater flexibility when exporting LODs to your game engine. LODs can now be displayed based on the percentage of screen height of the group in the current frame, providing better support for modern game engines. When using FBX 2016.1, exported LODs are preserved in the file so certain game engines can use them.
Performance and UI updates make it easier and faster for game makers to export multiple assets simultaneously.
Built for indie game development workflows
Create 3D assets faster with software designed to fit more efficiently into the common workflows of indie game makers.
The Maya LT viewport displays assets as they appear in-game, and provides intuitive WASD-based controls to manipulate the viewport camera.
Maya LT supports high-res to low-res texture map baking to create the most efficient game-ready models.
Create characters, props, and environment art in unlimited scene sizes, and export objects or scene selections up to 100,000 polygons (200,000 triangles) in the FBX or OBJ formats.
Import common texture formats: .bmp, .png, .dds, .exr, .tga, .tiff.
Write and save custom MEL scripts to automate tasks and simplify repetitive or complex workflows in Maya LT.
The built-in script editor displays scripts that correspond to user actions within the Maya LT UI, making it easier for nonprogrammers to learn MEL and create their own customized scripts based on script editor output.
Save scripts into customizable buttons, menus, and hotkeys within the Maya LT UI for faster access. Share MEL scripts to more easily ensure common workflow practices for consistency in indie game production.
Note: MEL commands in Maya LT are a subset of the MEL commands available in Maya. For more details, please consult the online documentation.
Powerful and accurate viewport
See how assets will appear in-game and reduce the number of roundtrips between Maya LT and the game engine.
Save time while working on large scenes—begin working on a scene while Maya LT loads textures in the background.
Enable a fog effect in the viewport to focus on the object closest to the viewport camera.
Use ShaderFX to create shaders that closely match the target game engine without manual coding through a visual, node-based editor.
Powerful DirectX 11 graphics directly in the viewport
Support for HLSL (high-level shading language) and CgFX shaders
A variety of effects available: ambient occlusion, depth of field, anti-aliasing, alpha channel support, and high-quality lighting and shadows
Integrations with Dropbox, A360 , and 123D apps let indie game teams more easily share game assets with each other through the cloud.
Browse and open files in certain cloud services directly through the Maya LT interface, making importing 3D assets easier.
When using Dropbox or A360, users can open, modify, and save their files back to the cloud.
Artists can open files created and saved in the 123D cloud storage service so that real-world items captured in 123D Catch or characters made in 123D Creature can be used as a starting point to make final game assets in Maya LT.
What’s new in Maya LT 2018.4? Released Aug 13, 2018
UV editor update
The UV Editor’s most recent settings now persist through a Maya LT restart. You can reset them manually with a new Reset UV Editor UI command.
Time Editor Suspend Refresh
Previously, when working with large scenes in the Time Editor, repositioning clips would trigger a redraw that resulted in a performance slowdown. This lag led to difficulty and inaccuracy when trying to make precision edits.
Now, to avoid this performance setback, activate the Real Time Refresh option located in the Time Editor File menu. When active, Real Time Refresh suspends the scene update so your fine-tuning is uninterrupted.
When creating File nodes using large image files such as HDR images, you can now interrupt swatch generation by selecting another image file in the File Browser, or click Open to bypass swatch generation. This eliminates the need to wait for the texture to load.
Bake Deformer skeleton colorization
Skeleton coloring is no longer automatic when you use the Bake Deformer tool. In previous versions of Maya LT, whenever you created a new skincluster, a color would automatically assigned to the skeleton.
Now, skeleton coloring is optional. If you want the skeleton to be colorized, use the following flag on the bakeDeformercommand: -colorizeSkeleton = true
Maya 2017 Update 3 brought the interactive grooming tools and they’re really powerful! With XGen, you can create natural looking hair and animal fur. Here are some overviews and examples of what XGen Interactive grooming can do.
There have been multiple times in my career when I’ve been asked to create glass, whether it be for a product video, or for motion graphics with a logo in glass, or for visual effects where I’m turning a person into glass. The important thing is to make the reflections look natural.
There are several tutorials here. In the first, Meghdad Asadi breaking down how Physically Based Rendering shaders (PBR) work in a render engine. The second is an excerpt from the Maya 2018 Essential Training from Linkedin Learning. In the third, Arvid Schneider talks about setting up shaders in Arnold.
I’ve been learning Maya for about a year now, but I’ve still barely scratched the surface. If you’re in the same boat, watch this quick video and file these away in your head. Plus, check out a full beginners guide that goes along with the video. Every new Maya user needs to see this!
Sculpting, Quad Draw, Bridge with Symmetry, Curve Warp Deformer, MASH, and much more are covered in these videos that will help you get acquainted with some of the modeling features in 2018. There are also a couple of beginner tutorials for those of you who are new to Maya.
Arvid Schneider puts out some fantastic Maya tutorials and this one seems especially seasonally appropriate, as I look out my window. He explains how to set up a realistic looking snow shader with Maya and Arnold.
There are some great new motion graphics features in Maya 2018 including new MASH Nodes, such as MASH Dynamics Node, MASH World Node, and the MASH Placer Node. We’re going to focus on the MASH Dynamics Node for the next couple of weeks.
Chiara Porri has been an animator for over a decade and in this video she gives some great advice on creating a run cycle in Maya. She talks about the style and build of the character and how it pertains to the run cycle. [Via Lester Banks]
This is the third part of a series of tutorials by James Marijeanne. He talks about the pre-vis process, which is extremely important in the video game development process. Then he sets up run and walk cycles for our new character. [Via Lester Banks]
In 2015 I wrote an article about how to create a walk cycle with several tutorials and examples, plus, some animals, not just people! This article is a follow up, focused on Maya. Yes, we missed Maya Monday due to the holiday yesterday, but we’ll do it like the garbage man, and bump things back a day!
Brian Horgan put together this informative tutorial and says, "A look at how the FootRoll attribute on IK leg controls can sometimes trip us up when animating walks and runs.. and an alternative approach which can give cleaner results in some cases. I also demonstrate how I like to clean things up to remove the dreaded knee pop."
From 3D Tutorials: "CGI 3D Tutorials : Quick Rigging and Skinning a Character in Maya 2017. This tutorial shows you how to create a basic character rig for a game or background character in just a few clicks."
Autodesk's Sr. Maya Technical Specialist Steven Roselle explains how to create cycles and use the timing workflow features of the Time Editor in Maya 2017 from My Oh Maya. This is included at Maya Monday: Time Editor.
This video took place at a Vision Series event and features Warren Trezevant, formerly of Pixar and now theAnimation Product Manager for Maya, and Daryl Obert, Technical Marketing Manager of Maya, explain some of the exciting changes in animation tools in Maya 2017. They talk about both the Time Editor and the Graph Editor, which was overhauled and has GPU acceleration. Included in Maya Monday: Time Editor
Learn how to copy and move motion data between to Human IK characters using Maya’s Time Editor. In this video, George takes the motion of one character and remaps it to another from within the Time Editor. He talks about namespaces and how to make sure your animation curves transfer properly. Tutorial from LinkedIn Solutions and featured in Maya Monday: Time Editor
Gain knowledge and understand how to work with ghosting in Maya’s new Time Editor. Ghosting allows you to see a superimposed image of a character or object within a viewport. This is essential when trying to match poses and animation clips. George shows how to ghost multiple clips for character animation. Tutorial from LinkedIn Solutions. This tutorial was included with Maya Monday: Time Editor article.
In this tutorial, Emily McDougall shows you a quick and easy way to create animated villi using Maya 2017 and the MASH toolset.This is suitable for people with a basic knowledge of Maya. Featured in Maya Monday: Maya for Motion Graphics and MASH.
"In this movie, Scott explains the MASH Time node. The Time node is a core component of a MASH network and gets created automatically when you create a MASH network. The Time node allows for animation looping and offsetting to create ordered or randomly influenced timing offsets for animated elements that are being distributed and replicated in the MASH network." Featured in Maya Monday: Maya for Motion Graphics and MASH.
This covers tutorial covers so much including loop and ring selections; shortcuts like the G key to repeat the last command; components like Bridge, Extrude, and Bevel; Extract; Outliner; and so much more. The second part of low polygon modeling. take the lighthouse from last week and learn to add additional detail with more tools and kit bashing. Featured in Maya Monday: Learning to Model in Maya.
There's an issue in Maya 2017 that customized hotkeys will disappear each time Maya is launched, setting it back to the default.Silver Imagine has a video explaining how to fix this issue, which is driving some users bananas. Featured in Maya Monday: Hotkeys, Customization, and Fixing Bugs.
N.Droo's videos are very useful to me as a beginning Maya user. In this video, he explains how to customize your hotkeys and transfer the hotkeys to other Maya installs or users. He does say that this hotkey setup is good for animators, but if you're modeling or rigging, you might want a different setup. Download an image of N.Droo's Animation Hotkey setup for Maya.
This tutorial explains how to maneuver in Maya 2017, how to make primitives and text, and learn about the major interface sections of Maya 2017. There are new features like the Arnold renderer from Solidangle that are also covered in this video. This was featured in Maya Monday: Opening Maya For the First Time.
Get comfy with the new tools and user interface items in Maya 2016 or 2017. Learn how to create polygon and texture models, and light a scene, then finally how to render your scene. Featured in Maya Monday: Opening Maya For the First Time
The new Quick Rig makes it easier than ever for novice animators to create a character rig. The new tool can generate a bipedal rig that is prepared with the constraints of the HumanIK animation system, and approximate the placement of the rig within the geometry of a target character. The user can make the placement of the rig more accurate by manually placing and adjusting markers within their character geometry. The Quick Rig tool also provides basic mesh skinning, further helping to facilitate the rigging and animation processes.
In this video, 3DGameArt shows Maya users the method of cutting smooth holes in your mesh without boolean easily. Cutting holes is so important when modeling. Featured in the article, Maya Monday: 5 Modeling Tutorials for Beginners
Another from Alex Cheparev, check out this very simple hand modeling workflow. Alex uses box modeling and simple polygon tools within Maya 2016. This was featured with Maya Monday: 5 Modeling Tutorials for Beginners.
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