This week, Autodesk announced Bifrost for Maya. Bifrost will make it possible for 3D artists to create detailed effects in Maya “quickly” and “easily.”
According to Autodesk, Bifrost allows you to create your own “custom effects, publish, and share them with other artists to use across different shots, scenes, and even shows.” Additionally, Autodesk is releasing a number of pre-built graphs. Those should help you create effects like dust storms, fire, snow and sand. That will be very helpful for 3D artists of all skill levels. Pros will benefit from the speed with their strict deadlines. For those still learning, they’ll be able to create effects with the help of a guide.
The Bifrost Graph Editor can build visual programming graphs. Those graphs to do scattering, instancing, deformation, volume processing, dynamic simulation, material assignments, file IO, and mix in low-level math nodes – without switching contexts or graph semantics.
Detailed Smoke, Fire, and Explosions
With new physically-based solvers for aerodynamics and combustion, Autodesk says it’s now possible to create deceptively natural-looking smoke, fire, and explosions with Bitfrost. Boundary conditions sound easy to adjust, making interactions more physically-accurate to the surrounding environment.
You can even choose from fuels like methane and butane, allowing Bifrost to automatically create realistic outputs like smoke or water vapor.
The Material Point Method
Teaming up with Jixie Effects, Autodesk’s developed a new MPM (Material Point Method) solver. If you’ve seen Disney’s Frozen you’ve already seen MPM in action; The movie used a snow solver. One of the key advantages of MPM is that the behavior of simulations remains consistent as resolution increases.
The Bifrost MPM solver to now can handle:
- Granular materials such as sand, mud and snow
- Thin shells and cloth-like textiles, aluminum and plastics
- Dynamics of individual fibers and strands
Loaded with nodes
Bifrost comes with a lot of nodes to help convert between meshes, points and volumes. That includes:
- Converting meshes, points and particles to volumes
- Converting volumes back to meshes
- Smoothing volumes
- Sampling properties of volumes
- Scattering points inside volumes
With Arnold integrated in Maya, you can see final-pixel previews of effects in the Arnold Viewport. You can also see “near-final” previews of your effects in Viewport 2.0, according to Autodesk.
Bifrost brings “high-performance, rendering-friendly” instancing that allows you to create enormous complexity in your scenes.
You can apply instances to scattered points, particle systems such as the MPM solver, and vertices of any other geometry. Instance shapes are flexible and can be adjusted.
Pricing and availability
Bifrost for Maya is out now and will work with any version of Maya 2018 or later. It will be also included in the installer for Maya 2019.2 and later versions. The entire collection is priced at $2,145 for a single-user license for a year.