Toxik RIP (sort of) + New Maya 2010

Toxik has had a bit of a tortured past. It was first announced at NAB 2002 as technologies Strata and Mezzo, code named Toxik during development, almost released as a product called mass, then debuted at NAB 2005 as Toxik. While the product has some strong features, it never really caught on, in large part because its development focus continually shifted over the years from market to market. Today at SIGGRAPH, Autodesk announced that it no longer exists as a standalone product.

Instead, it is now bundled as “Maya Composite” — part of the new Maya 2010 from Autodesk. The new Maya release consists of only one version (gone are the Complete and Unlimited monikers) and includes MatchMover as well as the app formerly known as Toxik. The cost? $3,495US — it’s split right down the middle compared with Maya 2009 Complete at $1,995 and Unlimited at $4,995. Effectively you now get a compositor and match moving along with Maya for about $1,500 less or more than the previous full version.

With Toxik sales not going well (assumed), it makes sense to bundle it with Maya, as the Maya to Toxik integration has recently been a strength of the application, especially with the stereoscopic bridge between the apps. The installed base for Toxik/Maya Composite is now expanded greatly…in the hands of any artist at a Maya facility on subscription…so Autodesk is getting it in the hands of many more people. For OSX users, this also means that the release of “Toxik” will actually happen on the platform, though only bundled with 32-bit Maya 2010 as sad to say there is still no 64-bit version on the OS X platform.

For the complete press release from Autodesk, click through…..

One Maya More Value: Autodesk Maya 2010 Software Gets a Radical Makeover One Affordable Product Offers Advanced Simulation, Compositing and Network Rendering Capabilities

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 3, 2009- At SIGGRAPH 2009, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced Autodesk Maya 2010 software, which unifies the Autodesk Maya Complete 2009 and Autodesk Maya Unlimited 2009 feature sets with matchmoving, compositing and rendering capabilities into a single affordable offering. Maya 2010 makes it easier for artists, designers and 3D enthusiasts to create compelling entertainment experiences, stylistic designs and evocative digital imagery from photo-real visual effects to believable characters. Maya 2010 is available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS operating systems.

“Artists need more creative capability than ever to attract viewers’ attention and engage their emotions in today’s fast-moving, prolific world of digital entertainment and design,” explained Marc Petit, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “Maya 2010 is designed to provide that creative capability, making it easier and more affordable for artists to build a cohesive computer graphics (CG) pipeline-integrating 2D and 3D, simulation and animation, rendering and compositing-so that they can create innovative entertainment more efficiently.”

Paal Anand, digital post supervisor for Bling Imaging and Maya 2010 beta tester, said, “Producers have become savvier with respect to computer graphics. They expect more work with additional complexity in less time than ever before. Maya 2010 gives us the total package to efficiently handle any challenge, whether it’s heavy in tracking, modeling, animating, rendering or compositing. Maya 2010 simplifies the workflow by integrating all the tools you need into a ready-to-go pipeline to get the job done from start to finish.” Hollywood-based Bling Imaging creates photo-realistic visual effects, motion graphics and animation for broadcast and motion pictures.

Maya has been used on every Academy Awardwinning movie for Best Visual Effects since 2001 and by all of the top 20 games publishers. In the past decade, Maya has become a creative tool of choice among many of the world’s top production companies and has been used to help artists around the world produce unique and innovative entertainment experiences-from independent productions like Chris Landreth’s “The Spine” to trend-setting visual effects blockbusters like “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Autodesk Maya 2010 Features

Maya 2010 has all the features of Maya Unlimited 2009 and Maya Complete 2009, including the advanced simulation tools: the Maya Nucleus Unified Simulation Framework, Maya nCloth, Maya nParticles, Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Hair, Maya Fur; in addition to its comprehensive modeling, texturing and animation tools, brush-based 3D technology, an integrated stereoscopic workflow, Toon Shading, rendering, an extensive Maya application programming interface/software development kit and Python and MEL scripting capabilities.

New features in Maya 2010 are Maya Composite, a powerful high-dynamic compositing system based on Autodesk Toxik software, which is no longer available as a standalone solution; Autodesk MatchMover advanced 3D tracking and matchmoving system; five mental ray Batch render nodes* and the Autodesk Backburner network render queue manager.

“I use Maya Complete in my day-to-day work and have always had my eye on Maya Unlimited,” said Ivan Turgeon, Maya visual effects artist and Maya 2010 beta tester, Prairie Fire VE. “Now that Maya Complete Autodesk Subscription customers will receive Maya 2010, which contains the entire Maya Unlimited 2009 feature set plus mental ray Batch rendering capability and Maya Composite, smaller shops like mine will be much more viable.”

For more information about the features offered in Autodesk Maya 2010, visit

Autodesk Digital Entertainment Creation Suites

Autodesk also announced the Maya 2010 Real-Time Animation Suite with Autodesk MotionBuilder 2010, as well as the Maya 2010 Entertainment Creation Suite with MotionBuilder 2010 and Autodesk Mudbox 2010. The Suites provide artists and production facilities with access to a more complete range of creative tools at more than 35 percent** cost savings, compared to purchasing each product individually. Used together, these products help artists maximize creativity and optimize productivity. “The Suites combine our most popular 3D tools at a lower price, providing greater creative capability and a more cohesive and efficient pipeline-so our customers can equip themselves with the broader, stronger creative capabilities they need to meet the challenges of these uncertain economic times,” explained Marc Petit.

Pricing and Availability

Autodesk anticipates that Maya 2010 will be available in August 2009. Maya 2010 will also ship as part of the Autodesk’s new Digital Entertainment Creation suites. The Autodesk suggested retail price (SRP) of a license of Maya 2010 will be US$3,495***. Upgrades to Maya 2010 from Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited 2009 will be US$895***. All Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited customers with current Autodesk Subscription will be entitled to the Maya 2010 release. The Autodesk suggested retail price (SRP) for the Entertainment Creation Suite will be US$4,995***. The Autodesk SRP for the Real-time Animation Suite will be US$4,795***.

Operating Systems

The 32-bit version of Maya 2010 will be supported on the Windows Vista Business (SP1), Windows XP Professional (SP2) and Apple Mac OS X 10.5.7 operating systems

The 64-bit version of Maya 2010 will be supported on the Windows Vista Business (SP1), Windows XP x64 Edition (SP2), Red Hat Enterprise Linux (5.3 WS) and Fedora 8 operating systems

Autodesk Subscription is available for purchase with the product license purchase or upgrade. The Autodesk suggested retail price for Autodesk Subscription is US$595*** per year for Maya. Subscription customers have access to up-to-date software, learning resources and an extensive online technical knowledge base. For more information about the Subscription offering for Maya 2010, visit

*Requires a Maya 2010 network license.
** Savings based on USD SRP. International pricing and savings may vary.
*** International pricing may vary.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art Digital Prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

Autodesk, AutoCAD, Backburner, MatchMover, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox and Toxik are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. mental ray is a registered trademark of mental images GmbH licensed for use by Autodesk, Inc. Python is a registered trademark of Python Software Foundation. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

25 thoughts on “Toxik RIP (sort of) + New Maya 2010”

  1. Toxik has many strengths and weaknesses, but its inclusion and integration with Maya is a definitely not a weakness.

    I can see that for smaller primarily Maya based facilities that need to cut costs and seats due to the economy this is a non-issue.

    But its a shame they never ported it to 3D Studio max it would be nice to have a combustion 2008 replacement in my shop or am i now supposed to convert to Maya and or buy a Flame?

  2. just fyi: even thought the press release say ‘Maya Composite’, when you install the software it launches the setup for Toxik 2010, and the program is called ‘Toxik’. It’s not something new ‘based on Toxik’.

  3. Toxik as a standalone application is dead. I currently work for an Autodesk reseller and there has been no subscription update mentioned from Autodesk for people with standalone seats of Toxik 2009 to 2010.

  4. Yes we know, it’s the title of the article: You’re not be able to purchase Toxik without getting also Maya and Matchmover. But Toxik development continues, and when you install Maya 2010, you can choose to only install Toxik, or only Match Mover.

  5. I have a shelf full of EOL products because of all of Autodesk’s acquisitions and product plan shifts: MotionBuilder 7 Standard, XSI 6.5, ImageModeler 3.5, MatchMover Pro 4.0, Stitcher 5.6. etc. Unless you have excess cash lying around to immediately buy into an Autodesk subscription program when change direction or acquire another company, you are just cut off from being able to participate in an important tool’s future development.

  6. i think Autodesk confirm the loose of developpements of midrange compositing package,if autodesk think makes profit with high end products ,h`mmmmm not for long time when u see the fast developpement of eyeone and the foundry.

  7. From an Unlimited user perspective, I couldn’t find a single new feature “inside” Maya so far. Maybe there will be a more complete feature list available later on their website. But for now it seems to me they bundling two software applications with Maya, without any new Maya-features.
    I cannot say I’m disappointed. But I’m confused in terms of “what did the Maya Dev-Team do the past year?”.

  8. you should upgrade immediately so you can get dumped with the comp app that nobody uses. I guess if they can’t sell it to compositors it’s worth trying to force it on 3d

  9. I have been tired of Maya
    since required by Autudesk ,there is nothing new just buying plugins and other softwares to add in this package,

    I want to ask AD,What are you doing with Maya?

  10. Ive been tired of maya for years, maya 7 was the last great leap for me, Nparticles and ncloth are ok but not groundbreaking. Ive been interested in Houdini for a long time and finally made the switch this year. At the facility im working at now they are bringing maya modelers over to help with the Houdini layout team and all of them immediately loved the change.

    sadly i loved the jump from max to maya but now with this latest lack of features release im just convinced it will remain a buggy and lacking package….I mean 2009 finally had muscles and a renderpass system????????

  11. I hear what everyone is saying. Can’t argue to much with most of the comments, but I am excited about the idea of having access to many tools. if you use MAX or Maya getting motion builder and Mudbox for a single price seem very positive. However, as a non Maya user, I can’t comment on what is new or not new, but TOXIK being part of the suite is a positive I am sure. As one of those rare TOXIK users, I can say that, my opinion only, it adds a lot of productive workflow ideas that many people can take advantage of.


  12. The title of this article in an unfortunate spin that might further demotivate talented artists from reaping Toxik’s benefits. I think the bundle strategy is an ingenious response to Nuke’s recently successful marketing tactics, however no great software distribution scheme will succeed in absence of just as smart a PR effort and training program. These are especially important factors amidst the fact Discreet burned early adopters with overpriced and lackluster, prior incarnations of the app.

    No doubt Nuke is great. Adding solid 2D cleanup and live-action comp tools, faster performance and robust Maya integration is Toxik; er, I meant – Maya Composite.

    We have thoroughly evaluated Nuke and Toxik in production. I can assure you the latest version of Toxik is not only a formidable, but possibly better compositor. Nuke users – go ahead and rip up this board with disagreement so we can take this bull by the horns and get the real grit on the table. This fight needs to be had because I’m sick of hearing such glowing reports of Nuke’s crappy features outside of cg compositing.

    And Autodesk – your marketing for Toxik has been a joke prior to this bundle idea. I couldn’t believe that, amidst all your MBA pricing and distribution experts and marketing resources – you pissed away the most incredible opportunity to convert flame users into a practical monopoly on compositing. Your marketing first suffered from the greed of squeezing every last drop of systems revenue and more recently the mistake is slashing human resources in absence of sophisticated screening between good apples and bad.

    Digital Domain artists used to dread Nuke as the system they had to use because management wanted to save money. Operational procrastination is the only key reason the market’s giving you a run for your money today.

    Nevertheless, this bundle is a real shard of hope. It’s a great shot at exposure. Please, please, please promise us the financing, training and PR efforts will be just as brilliant. The opportunity is yours to lose.

  13. that was a solid post Ryan. i had a demo of Toxic awhile back and was pleasently surprised – the UI is gorgeous and the hooks into Maya are really ingenious, as a flame artist, i was jealous of several of the features.(can we PLEASE have Toxic Gmask in Flame!?!?!?) Unfortunately, Autodesk’s schizophrenic marketing department has made me wary of embracing much else than their flag ship product (flame). It’s really a shame, when i got into this business, Discreet absolutely destroyed Quantel with the superior tools in Flame and the agressive desire to refine and make it even better. now it seems to be a bit of repeating the sins of the Father as the strategic positioning of their products seems to be increasingly out of touch with the market.

    next few years should be interesting to say the least…


  14. The development of faster gpu accelerated desktop solutions such as Scratch, Speedgrade, Toxik, Nuke and Fusion and the continued advances that hardware vendors Bluefish444, AJA, Nvidia and Blackmagic are making to provide professional tools and platforms at an acceptable price range leads me to believe that in a few years Autodesk and Quantel will be priced out of the game for their proprietary approach.

    The release of Flare also raises questions for me in the decision to remove Toxik as a standalone app although the $40,000 or so price tag is well, crazy?

    At this rate maybe we will see a move to develop Flare in to a standalone application down the road when not enough facilities buy it as an assistant station?

  15. @ Tim – if you’re in L.A., stop by and see how we’re using Toxik sometime. We migrated from the flame and may be able to answer questions in your language.

    @ ToxikD – hmmm, we’re still having a hard time understanding how Flare is a good bet, even for less than $40K. I think this is the option for larger shops knee deep into flame that need to expand their support workflow for less than the price of more flames. As for pricing, it’ll be hard to undercut a full featured Maya and Toxik license for a sliver under the price of Nuke. Success or failure will come down to whether marketing really takes this bundle seriously, or let’s it go the way of other cg apps former comp systems; Eddy, Wavefront, whatever’s in Softimage these days, etc. The difference this time is Toxik really is a solid platform, rather than something that was designed to add value or was developed too early to take advantage of enabling technologies.

    But hey… adding a flame-worthy, DPX compatible IO & conform module to Toxik as a $5,000 option (plus whatever hardware spec is required)… now that’s enough to shiver some boots.

  16. Did everyone know Toxic cannot import audio. I KID YOU NOT. No audio functionality in Toxic. That makes it a complete waste of time for anything most people do.

  17. Ryan, some good thoughts there.
    Look, Toxik was started as Flame for linux, when Discreet had no idea
    if they could put real Flame on linux. When they did it, Toxik was put to sleep
    for a while, brought back as a hirez film compositor, then brought back again
    as a Maya companion.
    It’s really hard to blame them… They won’t give up their Flame business easily…
    That’s why it’s gonna be a while before a cheap version of Flare shows up.
    But now Toxik looks like a finished product and the closest to Flame
    I can run on my MacBook Pro. Much more a creative environment than
    Nuke – a scripting based, channel passing boring tool. Nothing creative
    or artistic about it. Runs well on a large scale render farm and can be easily
    scripted for a large scale project.
    Ryan, would you mind to show a fellow Venice artist your Toxik setup?

  18. You’re welcome to stop by, just holler.

    Amidst my frustrated tone, I’m not entirely blaming Autodesk; yet. My rant is more a reminder not to screw a good marketing ploy up, because I think amidst Nuke’s smart marketing to date – Autodesk has one shot left at success.

    There is nothing wrong with maximizing profit, but a careful mix of short and long term considerations are required to successfully make it over the long run. Squeezing your profits from incumbent platforms is your best option while developing a next-gen app, especially if the core of that incumbent app requires more work to make competitive with future workflows than the next-gen candidate.

    Sitting on the best or second best next-generation compositor (jury is out) to squeeze more profits at this point comes down to giving up ground to the competition. That choice today is simply, “I’d rather make a dollar today than have any successful compositing application tomorrow.” I know the stakes are high for any CFO from the standpoint Autodesk is taking a hit on Wall Street, so it’s not like the right choice would be so obvious. Frankly, investors are probably even commending all their rapid cuts which just re-enforces and end-game marketing and sales loss.

    As if Wall Street wasn’t enough of a burden, I’m sure it doesn’t require much research to come to the conclusion systems units inside Autodesk will play whatever internal politics possible to ensure their job security, in the short term. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they understand the value of Toxik far better than anyone else inside Autodesk, sans development.

    You have to know your enemy to take a real shot at them, right? If I were in systems today, I’d probably be pulling talented developers off Toxik to patch the hull on a Titanic. I’d be saying we can’t penetrate the market the way we want to because we’re behind on key developments, therefore we need more development to create that sales opportunity. Forget the matter that I’d probably know that at the end of the day, all I’d be doing is trying to make an app that costs at least 25 times what Toxik or Nuke does… to do what Toxik or Nuke does. Maybe when the time finally came, I’d orchestrate a venture capital buyout of the app and put a Quantel sign on the door of my new office. Upon finally exhausting international sales over a couple of years, I’d then retire young. Ahhhhh, what a life.

    Agency clientele care less today about finishing on a flame than ever. Undoubtedly it’s still the finest tool for a supervised online and mastering session, but the price is entirely prohibitive for this purpose alone. Therefore, we see shops handling these sessions on legacy flames acquired on the used market or uncompressed Final Cut Pro systems. I used to be asked all the time, even by music video clients… “you have a flame, right?” I don’t think I’ve heard that question in over 4 years. As for a features standpoint, I think it’s to the point where even some studio supervisors would be concerned if the majority of compositing was occurring in flame. The exceptions would be work such as digital cosmetics, for which the platform is incredibly well suited for; but today’s era of multichannel float EXR comp work and network rendering (even a standard in commercials now) again makes the viability of this platform fractional in comparison to it’s price… even at the flare price.

    I’m out and about all the time. 3 years ago, people looked at me like I was mad when telling them we’ve practically abandoned our flame and are all about Toxik. I also know folks who, at the same time were getting the same looks while they talked about Nuke. Lately I’ve been the one who’s surprised as I’m hearing everyone else talking about abandoning their flames… but it’s Nuke they’re diving into… because they don’t even understand what the hell Toxik is. This trend doesn’t indicate a development problem, but a marketing, sales and PR problem.

    Look, I know I’m slinging mud here – even at a company who’s product I’m 110% behind, but again – the stakes are high and there’s one shot left to get it right. The bundle is an incredible marketing tactic. Right now all these future Maya purchases and subscription updates are about to place a ton of Toxik into great shops. But nobody is going to use it if they don’t know what to do with it. We need to see solid tutorial DVDs, training programs and press. Then we need to see a $5,000 IO & conform module option a la flame, and we need to see that good ‘ol fashioned Discreet Logic sales activity pulling veteran flamers in for reprogramming. After all, it’s them who will be at the end of the pipe complaining about not being able to mod those damn Nuke splines and keys on the fly 😉

  19. Thanks Ryan, I’ll drop you a line if you don’t mind…
    Look, I’m with you. I don’t think our Autodesk friends realize those
    fancy expensive sessions with clients having sushi for lunch every day are over…
    It’s about posting quicktimes and delivering files instead of tapes now.
    But they’ve been putting Flame on sale recently, I heard some crazy
    pricing going on.
    I remember Quantel very well, and we all know what happened.
    Autodesk guys remember it too. But if they cut their Flame profit abruptly,
    they will suffer. Not sure how it will all shape up…

    I think they are right about one thing though. The future is more about 3D package
    with 2D features rather than Nuke rendering 3D. 3D environment, relighting,
    normal mapping and projections is all good, but real time rendering is coming
    and it needs all the 3D info to have a job done. Unless Nuke becomes
    another Maya, it won’t happen there.

    Can’t wait to try Toxik. I’m kind of excited and in the gloomy environment,
    it’s a rare sight 😉

  20. As for maya – everything screams “we do a complete core rewrite”. The API questionary was the final hint. You don

  21. It seems to me that Maya’s hit a bit of a rut. Sure it’s been bundled with extra bits and pieces this time around – but the core app’ just hasn’t received the same level of TLC as other Autodesk 2010 products.

    I just hope that development picks up again, I’d hate to see it slowly die away. Everyone’s got their preference, but mine’s with Maya.

  22. As someone who is getting a new studio off the ground and relying on Maya this worries me. Having that Toxik addition is great- (if we used Toxik but we don’t, and don’t need it) but not when the software doesn’t get any additions. That’s the most pathetic thing I have ever seen. Did they really think that this wouldn’t piss anyone off (or worry them)? I wanna know who it was at AD that didn’t speak up as they were planning 2010 and say “Wait… so we’re gonna try to sell an upgrade to something that isn’t all? Really? Don’t you think this is a bad idea?”

    I would’ve been MORE than ok if AD came out and said “There won’t be an upgrade this year, because we’re overhauling it and rewriting it. It will be 64bit and have these new features etc etc”. If they did nothing but give me a roadmap of what they’re planning, then I could plan accordingly. If they’re just gonna give up on Maya, I’m not going to start my studio with a dying software. I’m gonna go towards something that is constantly listening to its users! Heck, I’d even pay for a roadmap. Take some notes from SideFX or The Foundry.

    If I end up getting screwed down the road because of this, I’m done with AD.

  23. In the near future the only application that can profit AD is Softimage, this because it is the only AD 3D package that was rewritten and now they add face robot into the mix make AD Softimage 2010 even more attractive than Maya. If AD develop ICE, certainly i would take my eyes off Houdini.If I were AD I would invest in one 3D package and that would be Softimage.

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