New Alias owner Autodesk has no intention of ending Mac support in Maya, the company told Macworld last night.

Autodesk finalised its take over of Maya-maker Alias on January 10, since which some users have expressed concern for the company's future plans for the Mac versions of its industry-standard software.

Rob Hoffman, the company's senior entertainment product marketing manager, told Macworld: "I understand that some users are concerned about our future product plans," he said, "they have nothing to worry about," he explained.

"We have an outstanding relationship with Apple, we speak with the company. This will not change in the future," he explained.

Mac users aren't just a small sideline for the firm, he stressed. "Twenty per cent of Maya sales are Mac," he said. "We'd be insane to leave the Mac market."

Speaking at NAB 2006, Autodesk stressed that it remains committed to uninterrupted development for both Maya and 3D Studio Max. This remains the case - for both 3D Studio Max and Maya.

"Both products have three year product road maps," he explained. "As far as Maya goes we have no plans to change the platform support - we will continue to offer the product for Mac OS X."

He added: "Everything we planned to do before the acquisition remains intact. In fact, we will be focusing more effort on cross-platform interoperability," he explained. (Hoffman came to Autodesk from Alias during the merger).

He also discussed the development schedule for Maya, explaining that it's dictated by what users demand.

"When we released Maya 6, one of the big games developers approached us and explained that they were focusing on developing for next-generation console games. They said they needed various functions in Maya to help them with this. We turned around and released Maya 6.5 six months later, which carried the features they wanted," Hoffman explained.

Technological convergence continues to develop his company's market, he explained. "We are seeing demand from all over the place - movies, broadcast, product and games design," he said.

He observed that audiences are demanding ever-bigger, ever-better special effects, driving movie industry demand for new innovation within Autodesk's range of 3D design solutions.

Hoffman had no promise that 3D Studio Max will be released for Mac OS X, but once again stressed his company's focus on customer need.

"If enough customers want it, we'll support it. We had demand from Mac users to bring Maya to the platform, and now the Mac version accounts for a significant chunk of the application's sales," he said.