Maya 8 is the first release of the 3D suite since developer Alias was acquired by Autodesk. Announced today at the Siggraph trade show in Boston, it’ll be out to subscribers to the Maya Platinum Membership scheme tomorrow – and will ship worldwide within two weeks, according to Autodesk.

Despite persistent rumours to the contrary, Autodesk is continuing to support platforms other than Windows with Maya – releasing version 8 for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. The Windows release is available in 64-bit form, which boosts performance in workstations with more than 3GB of RAM. The software continues to be available in two versions: Complete and Unlimited.

Maya 8 features a slightly revised interface with reorganized menus to make them clearer and easier to use. This most affects the Display and Modelling menus.

 border=0 /><BR></div>
</p>
<p>
New modelling tools include Polygon Bridge (above), which creates a new piece of mesh to connect two other pieces – such as a hand to an arm or a handle to a teapot. The Transfer Polygon Attributes feature (below) allows UV, colour per vertex and vertex position information to be copied from one model to another. Primitives can be created, positioned and scaled in a single interactive operation, speeding the modelling process.
</p>
<p>
<div class=floatedimage><img src=
Characters remaining: 335