"Version 7 offers new and improved tools for fast, realistic character animation, streamlined modeling and texturing, ground-breaking visual effects, and increased productivity. Alias said that version 7 offers a complete re-architecture of the Maya render layers functionality, allowing users to manage multiple versions of objects--including materials, lights and cameras, as well as post processes such as Maya Fur and Maya Paint Effects--to be managed in a single scene file. Maya 7 will ship in August starting at $2000.
The company also said that render layers can be rendered with any renderer integrated in Maya, including the latest mental ray for Maya technology. "This new workflow not only streamlines the rendering process, but it also prepares renders for optimal output to the artists' compositor of choice, or to Adobe Photoshop or Macromedia Flash."
Version 7 also includes a host of other enhancements specifically requested by the games-development community include Edge Loop and Edge Ring tools, UV unfolding, tri-planar and multi-mesh mapping, together with the inclusion of CgFX and ASHLI plug-ins, which allow hardware shaders for next-generation consoles to be previewed within Maya.
A powerful new Toon Shader leverages Maya's unique Paint Effects to support a wide range of non-photorealistic rendering styles; it affords extensive control over line style, placement and width, and features interactive previews in near realtime of even the most complex scenes.
Among the many enhancements in Maya Unlimited, Maya Hair can now be transplanted from one character to another, Maya Fur is now integrated with Maya's dynamic curve technology, and Maya Fluid Effects features a new High Detail solve mode for dramatically increased realism."
all I was ever hoping for in the last 3 versions of maya was 100% support for supD's in Mental Ray..
meaning I don't have to covert anything at render time.. it renders non quad surfaces...
Guess it's never going to happen.