What's New in General


Scene Assembly


Scene Assembly is a system that lets you work with complex Maya scenes without the burden of typical memory overhead. Constructing a scene with Scene Assembly improves viewport interactivity and accelerates file loading, helping to solve common issues when working with large data sets.

Scene Assembly includes a new way of loading alternative forms of your production assets called Assembly representations. You can use Assembly representations to manage the scene's complexity at the object level by switching between different versions of each scene object, letting you choose between detailed display and performance as your task requires.

Use Scene Assembly in your animation workflows by adding animation curves and constraints to the representation versions of your production assets. With Scene Assembly rendering options, you can quickly setup low-resolution representations for test renders and lighting tests, then easily switch to high-resolution representations of your assets for final renders.

Watch: Scene Assembly Part 1: The Basics

Watch: Scene Assembly Part 2: Building a Scene

GPU caching improvements


Maya 2014 includes a number of new of GPU caching improvements. You can now take advantage of the following new features:

GPU Cache Configuration preferences

Optimize how your graphics card processes Alembic-based GPU cache files with new GPU Cache Configuration preferences. You can specify video RAM usage for GPU caches, choose from OpenGL selection modes, set background loading of GPU cache files, and more.

Access the GPU Cache Configuration settings from a new GPU Cache section of the Maya Preferences window.

Materials and render support in Viewport 2.0

Write Materials lets you export Lambert and Phong materials from source geometry to GPU cache files. These materials are rendered when the cache is played back in Viewport 2.0.

Animated objects in cache files now playback with motion blur in Viewport 2.0. Turn on the new Optimize Animations for Motion Blur option when exporting objects to GPU Cache files.

Import options

New GPU Cache Import options let you specify the time range and start frame when importing GPU caches into Maya.

What's New Highlight


You can now easily identify new tools and options in Maya using the What's New Highlight. When enabled, visual cues including green text and bracketed menu items help you differentiate between new and existing features. Highlighting is on by default, but it can be turned off in the Help menu (What's New > Highlight What's New), Preferences window, or the What's New Highlight Settings window that appears when you start Maya.

In-view messaging


New messages in Maya's view panel provide useful tips and feedback for a number of tools, modes, and operations without interrupting your workflow. In-view messages are enabled by default, but they can be disabled by turning Display > Heads Up Display > In-view Messages off.



More easily learn about tools in Maya using ToolClips. ToolClips provide rapid access to learning content from within Maya via short video clips and Help links. To view a ToolClip, hover over any item in Maya's Tool Box or status line. Turn off Display ToolClips in the Help preferences to disable ToolClips.

Small Annoying Things in Maya

The Small Annoying Things (SAT) project is an ongoing initiative to improve your experience with Maya by engaging users in the selection of important fixes and enhancements. We're listening and we want your input!

We addressed numerous SATs this release based on user voting in our feedback forum, including:

For a full list of completed SATs, see: http://mayafeedback.autodesk.com/forums/160518. We encourage you to participate by suggesting ideas, and voting in the forum.

Alembic caching additions

New Alembic file features in Maya 2014 let you:

Larger Maya scene files and geometry caches

Store more data in Maya Binary (.mb) scene files and geometry caches. With the implementation of 64-bit indices, .mb scene files and geometry caches can now exceed 2.0 GB.

When creating a geometry cache, select the mcx file format to take advantage of the larger cache file sizes.

Scenes saved as Maya Binary files in Maya 2014 are not compatible with previous versions of Maya.

Add metadata to Maya nodes

A new Maya Metadata API lets you create any number of metadata structures which can be attached to Maya nodes and the components of mesh objects. Metadata can also be added to the Maya scene as a whole, meaning it does not need to be attached to any particular node. A small set of MEL commands provides access to the metadata from within Maya.

New free image planes maintain aspect ratio attribute

You can now use the Maintain Pic Aspect Ratio attribute in the free image plane Attribute Editor to adjust the size of your free image plane while maintaining the original image aspect ratio. This feature allows you to set free image planes to exact dimensions, and to easily align two image planes along one dimension.

Displaying a free image plane through a specified camera

You can choose to display your free image plane in all views; or, only through a specified camera. The drop-down list beside the Display > looking through camera allows you to select the camera through which the image plane is displayed.

Free image planes supported by mental ray

Free image planes are now supported by the mental ray for Maya renderer.

Ignore Version global preference

Easily load scene files from any version of Maya by turning on the new global Ignore Version preference.

Include scene file name with CER report

Use the MAYA_CER_INCLUDE_SCENE_NAME environment variable to determine whether your scene file name is included with your CER report to Autodesk. If this variable is not set, the scene name is shown as undisclosed.

Preventing model panel window from stealing focus

Set the MAYA_FORCE_PANEL_FOCUS environment variable to 0 so that when you have a Maya or Qt window over another window with a model panel (or a window such as the Outliner, Graph Editor, or any panel under Panels > Panel), hitting the Shift key does not cause the model panel's window to steal focus.

Incremental saving

The new Increment & Save option (File > Increment & Save) lets you save multiple versions of a file, making it easy to revert to an earlier version. Each time you select this command, a new, incremental value is appended to the file name, so your scene is not overwritten.

Cycle through cameras

When there are custom cameras in your scene, you can cycle through each view using the new Cycle Through Cameras option (View > Cycle Through Cameras).

Create a new camera from the current view

New cameras can now be created from the current view using the Create Camera From View option (View > Create Camera From View or Ctrl + Shift + C).

Default renderer and Viewport 2.0 render joints, cameras, lights and image planes as wireframe in bounding box mode

The default renderer and Viewport 2.0 both render joints, cameras, lights and image planes as wireframe in bounding box mode. Image planes connected to textures render the textures in bounding box mode.

Thick lines are now supported

You can now draw thicker lines in your scene and adjust the line width using the Line Width attribute under the Display section of the Preferences window.

Multi-language support for 1-Minute Startup Movies

The 1-Minute Startup Movies are now available in English, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.

Paint custom attributes

You can now paint custom numeric attributes directly on a model using the 3D Paint Tool.

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