Alias|Wavefront plans to release a Mac exporter plug-in that will transfer Maya content to Macromedia's Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio.

The Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter plug-in serves as a high-speed Maya-scene optimiser and export solution, allowing for rapid refinement of content for the soon-to-be released 3D version of the Shockwave Web

Alias|Wavefront told Macworld that the initial release "is unlikely to be Mac-compatible in advance of the June release of the OS X-native version of Maya". However, it promises a Mac version of the plug-in "soon after".

Director 8.5 was announced yesterday. The application costs £949 and integrates a 3D-animation technology jointly developed between Macromedia and Intel. This technology permits sophisticated animations to be broadcast over the Web over low bandwidths.

Animations created using Director will be viewable using the Shockwave 3D player, a beta version of which is now available for download.

3D breakthrough Macromedia's Peter Ryce, senior director of product marketing, said: "Maya is a widely used solution for the creation of high-quality 3D content, and Macromedia is pleased to provide the means to deliver that content to the Web through our new 3D enabled products."

Mike Wilson, director of Maya Interactive at Alias|Wavefront, said: "The Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter inspects the Maya scene for compatibility with the Shockwave Player and then suggests scene optimizations that will improve performance.

"Moreover, it keeps track of changes and injects only these, as opposed to the whole scene, on subsequent exports. The result is that data conversion, which normally takes a number of minutes, is reduced to seconds."

The plug-in will be available as a free download for existing Maya users.