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Maya’s Animation Caching System new to 2019

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Now that we are done with 2019 I will upgrade to Maya… 2019. I think it is still a common practice among most professionals to do what I do and wait till at least the 1st service pack to upgrade. I have never upgraded during a project for fear that I will corrupt every file I open up in the current version of Maya. But I am making an exception for this release. Because the animation caching feature is just too good to wait any longer.

And it’s great that they created this feature. You can now view animations in real time without playblasting. But there are some issues with it (of course). As always with Autodesk they have introduced a feature that is great in principle but a failure in practice. The animation caching feature crashes maya all the time.

  • Scrubbing the timeline while caching can crash maya.
  • Interactivity suffers significantly while caching is in process.
  • Playing the scene while it is caching is considerably slower than just playing the scene or waiting for the cache to complete.
  • The cache data can be inaccurate. Somehow it will hold different values than that of standard playback. Restarting the scene seems to take care of this, but that is obviously unacceptable and it speaks to deeper problems.
  • For some reason simply selecting something in the scene while caching is on can cause a crash.
  • And most important, parallel processing is still just as buggy as ever which necessitated the caching approach in the first place.
  • These issues even persist in serial mode with the caching on. Making basic animation at its most stable setting more buggy with caching on than with it off.

Ultimately playback caching is just a better form of playblasting and is not a useful tool for interactive animation.

Hopefully this will all get better, but in my experience Autodesk rarely fixes the stuff they have already developed, rather they focus on new features, piling on the dysfunction.

Incidentally, my New Year’s resolution, get into Blender… It’s time to see what all the buzz is about.

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