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Alias/Wavefront Announces Interactive 3D Web Content Creation With Maya Real-Time Author

(December 04, 2001)
Alias/Wavefront today announced that it is developing the Maya Real-Time Author plugin (Maya RTA) to be used in conjunction with Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio software to create interactive 3D web content for the Macromedia Shockwave Player.

With the release of Maya RTA, Alias/Wavefront becomes the first mainstream 3D software vendor to integrate tools for producing interactive content into one of its product lines. The Maya RTA plugin builds upon, and encompasses, the Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter(TM) technology that Alias/Wavefront launched this past spring.

"Interactivity is the catalyst that will drive widespread adoption of 3D on the Web," said Mike Wilson, director of 3D interactive technology, Alias/Wavefront. "It's what makes 3D compelling. Our goal with RTA is to extend the reach of Maya(R) artists to encompass interactive authoring and then to connect them to the most capable and universally available rich media authoring and playback solution available."

"Maya RTA connects the creativity of Maya artists with the robust 3D authoring and playback in Macromedia Director 8.5 and Shockwave Player," says Peter Ryce, senior director of product marketing, Macromedia. "The combination of Director, Maya and RTA provides a uniquely productive solution for Director users looking to expand into interactive 3D and Maya users looking to bring their 3D artistry to the Web."

Maya RTA

Maya RTA allows artists working within the Maya user interface to create sensors, actions and interactive viewers (controllable 3D cameras). Sensors are used to detect events that occur within the Shockwave scene and then trigger a resulting action. Sensors and actions are linked together in Maya RTA so that when the end user presses a key, clicks a mouse button, touches, or approaches an object in the scene, certain actions or sets of actions, result. Actions may include: launching an animation, playing a sound, jumping to a hyperlink, or switching to a camera that is configured for the type of 3D data being viewed.

Maya RTA's sensors, actions and viewers are new elements within a Maya 3D scene created within the product's Interaction Editor. The Interaction Editor allows for the efficient creation of behavior networks and adheres closely to the existing node and connection metaphor of Maya's patented Dependency Graph architecture. By this means, Maya RTA empowers the Maya artist to create 3D interactions and behaviors for delivery to Macromedia Director and Shockwave Player from within Maya's powerful and familiar user interface.

The Maya RTA toolset and workflow is also fully integrated with the Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter: the high-speed Maya scene optimizer and export solution, released this spring, which enables the rapid refinement of Maya models and animation for Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio. Maya RTA data is exported as native Director Lingo(TM) scripts. The Lingo scripts can be readily accessed, understood, and extended by Director users. Using Lingo as the export language also assures that Maya output published to the Web can be viewed in the standard Shockwave Player with no extensions required.

Pricing and Availability

Maya RTA, priced at USD $995(a), will become available for download from the Alias/Wavefront website in December, 2001. It is anticipated that CD versions will be available for shipping in January 2002. Maya RTA will initially support the Microsoft Windows(R) operating system. For more information or to order:

Maya Complete 4 is priced at USD $7,500(a) and includes modeling, rendering, animation, dynamics, Maya Artisan, Maya Paint Effects and MEL, an open interface for programming and scripting. Maya Builder is priced at USD $2,995 and includes polygon modeling, texturing and animation capabilities for web content designers, level editors and games tool programmers.

Promotion Pricing

Maya RTA will also be available for a limited time in combination with Maya Builder in the "Maya Web Builder bundle" for USD $2995(a). Also for a limited time, new customers of Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited(TM) can "Go Interactive" and add Maya RTA to their seats for USD $395.

(a) All prices are subject to change without notice. Identified pricing applicable in North America only. International availability and pricing will vary.

For more information, visit visit the Alias/Wavefront website at

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Related Keywords:web 3D animation


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