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cheezi
08-26-2002, 06:15 AM
Hi,

I'm somewhat of a newb and I was just wondering how the defualt renderers for 3ds max 4.2 and Maya 4 compare. I've been messing around with both, and so far it seems that 3ds max's is quicker, more powerful and easier to use. I've been searching the forums all weekend and I can't find anything. I was just wondering if someone could give me some insight based upon speed, ease of use and quality.

Thanks,
Cheezi

say-g
08-26-2002, 11:37 AM
i dont have much experience with rendering in either (only modeling in maya) but cinema 4ds rendering engine is very nice, quick n powerfull, alas it lacks in modeling and animation tools... hopefully fixed in R8

Grey
08-27-2002, 06:44 AM
you have to pay an extra $1500 to get animation tools in Max :D (or $1000 if you opt for Messiah)

frog
08-27-2002, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by Grey
you have to pay an extra $1500 to get animation tools in Max :D (or $1000 if you opt for Messiah)

Not strictly true, you get animation tools with the standard version of Max. The extra 1500 is for character studio. You can make kick-ass animation with Max's standard toolset.

I'm not denying however that Maya's animation tools are better than Max's, that certainly is one area where Maya is superior. However, I do object to people posting uninformed comments such as yours about software you know nothing about. You clearly do not have much knowledge of Max so it would be better all round if you didn't post misguided comments about it which just serve to confuse everyone. :rolleyes:

As for the original question, it is not that straightforward to answer. Both Maya & Max are considered to have "poor" renderers, because neither offered things such as GI and area lights etc. Max 5 now has GI, so maybe it can finally be considered to have a "good" renderer. The truth is that GI is still very slow and you are better off faking it, certainly in animation anyway, in which case either renderer should be able to achieve the results you want. Faking GI takes a little knowledge and practice but there are many tutorials and scripts to help you along with either package. A good lighting setup takes work, and with a bit of work you should get decent results out of which ever renderer you decide to go with.

cheezi
08-27-2002, 04:39 PM
Thanks for the replys. But I heard that blizzard used the default renderer for the Warcraft 3 cinamatics. And they were only using max 3.1. So i think that's impressive. And could maya's produce the same results?

BrandonD
08-27-2002, 11:47 PM
The things that differentiate most renderers these days are control. Some give you more control over different aspects of the rendering process (at least the advanced ones do). This is usually connected to lighting and shading.

The MAX default scanline renderer is an A-Buffer that has its share of problems. While it's very fast, it isn't very memory effecient and tends to really breakdown when your poly count approaches 5 million (though I've gotten it up to 11 million without a crash). The lights are a bit klunky at times, but the controls are quite good. The shadow plugin architecture of R3 did a lot to add more capabilities to the lights. However many of the original problems exist. This is why in the Brazil Render System it adds special Brazil lights and cameras. It's also a bonus that there are quite a few alternative renderers available for MAX.

The Maya renderer is odd in that it's a hierarchical Z-buffer renderer. I don't have as much experience with it to give as detailed a breakdown of what is good and bad about it (I'll leave that for someone else). I have had good results with its lighting and shading controls, though it's been really tough to get good results with shadow maps. It also seems very slow, but there are certain things it still does very efficiently. I'm still very impressed with the speed it processes metasurfaces. Unfortunately I think development on Maya's renderer hit a plateau long ago. But the good news is there are alternatives available (though not cheap) with MTOR/Prman, Mental Ray (excellent integration btw), and a forthcoming version of VRay I hear.

I have seen outstanding work come from both renderers so I am led to believe that personal preference and skill will be more of a deciding factor.

cheezi
08-28-2002, 03:04 AM
Thanks for the reply brandon. I really don't have the money to buy the expensive renders. At the moment I'm trying to get a student version of maya or 3ds max. That's why i wanted to know how their basic renderers compare (cause i'm allready going to pay $600-$1000, maybe more). But it looks like i'm heading more towards 3ds max, it seemed a lot easier to use without intensive research.

Thanks,
Cheezi

and i'm still open to replies (i enjoy learning about these things).

frog
08-28-2002, 09:56 AM
Great answer Brandon, really informative :)

Cheezi: my feeling is that Max is an easier tool for a person working alone, whereas Maya is more suited to teams where it's power can really be harnessed. However if your ultimate goal is to work in a team environment, particularly in film, then you shopuld probably go with Maya. I use Max because I work alone and it suits my workflow better, I don't have TD's to write custom scripts for me and I certainly can't afford a PRman license.

cheezi
08-28-2002, 09:40 PM
Thanks frog,

that was some good insight. Right now i'm working on a solo project for school, so i'll go with max. I know later in life, after college I'll want to be in films, but that gives me 5 or so years to make a definite choice. (i'm a senior in high school).

Thanks,
cheezi

Wiro
09-01-2002, 04:35 PM
I aggree with Brandon and Frog...Maya's renderer is truly slow and I've heard it has alot of bugs. I haven't used it much myself. But in the right hands I think it produces much nicer results than the max scanline renderer, not to mention that the hypershade is much more powerful (but also less straightforward) than the material editor in max.

But most places that use the max scanline renderer (like Blizzard) use alot of post processing to get it right like with glows, color correction, contrast etc.

Wiro

ilasolomon
09-03-2002, 12:46 AM
my feeling is that Max is an easier tool for a person working alone, whereas Maya is more suited to teams where it's power can really be harnessed. However if your ultimate goal is to work in a team environment, particularly in film, then you shopuld probably go with Maya. I use Max because I work alone and it suits my workflow better, I don't have TD's to write custom scripts for me and I certainly can't afford a PRman license.

verry true frog

Wiro, i testes Maya's renderer & it's hard to bring out
a good & resonable image from that rather than max!

dmcgrath
09-04-2002, 10:54 PM
The best thing I can give you from my experience in Maya's renderer in the way it interpolates your data. It reads the Sub D's surfaces and the Nurb's quite well, but YOU have to work harder when dealing with polys. Maya only reads polygons with quad faces correctly, If you use triangular polygons, forget about it, you will always end up with funky edge artifacting. Nurbs and Sub D's are always quad structured so you never have to worry about that. Ive never been able to make anything with a tringle in it not render funky.
Im not too knowledgable on Max, but for intuitiveness and ease of use, and workflow, I would recomend starting with Max. And then when you are comfortable with 3d space, making a shift to Maya in college might not be a bad thing.

Heck

In 5 years this will probably be a moot question anyway.


:hmm:

Jozvex
09-05-2002, 05:39 AM
I find Max's renderer to be much easier to use, much faster, and can achieve better results with less tweaking.

Which is unfortunate because I like Maya so much more for everything else!!!

Though I like Max's Material Editor more than Hypershade.

Maya's renderer just has such weird problems and a lack of features, like it can't motionblur particles, it has weird incorrect fresnel reflections, no volumetric rendering (until version 4.5), it can't render splines etc and it's slow.

I don't mind though, I'd rather AW work on animation/dynamics. Most companies buy a better renderer like PRMan or Mental Ray for Maya anyway.

I can't wait until either Brazil or Vray is available for Maya, then it'll be unstoppable.

Oh and someone said that Maya doesn't have area lights? But it does!!

And I'm fairly certain that Blizzard makes their animations in Max, then renders them with Lightwave. They're changing one of their big teams over to Maya now anyway.

ilasolomon
09-05-2002, 07:35 AM
Blizzard makes their animations in Max, then renders them with Lightwave.

Jozvex, this is the only wrong line in your post!
one of the Blizzard cinematic artists (i don't remember his name)
was onboard here a few weeks ago & he admited that the war3
cinematics were made entirely with max, everything! even no
external renderer.
:beer:

Jozvex
09-05-2002, 09:26 AM
hehe oh ok,

maybe the World of Warcraft ones are?

I'm sure I read that they used Sasquatch for the fur then rendered in Lightwave 7.

but maybe not, whatever they used, they're darn amazing.

mlykke
09-05-2002, 01:19 PM
I know blizzard used shag:hair in the diablo2 cinematics and the crow in war3. Check this:

http://www.chaoticdimension.com/gallery/?viewby=1

ilasolomon
09-06-2002, 12:19 AM
maybe, but shag-hair is not a renderer @all & i don't know what's
crow! ;)

Chris
09-06-2002, 12:23 AM
a crow is a bird, sorta like a cross between a chicken & satan...

ilasolomon
09-06-2002, 12:26 AM
ah! haha, i thought he was speaking about a plugin named CROW!!! :D LOL

Chewey
09-06-2002, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by ila_solomon
verry true frog

Wiro, i testes Maya's renderer & it's hard to bring out
a good & resonable image from that rather than max!

you really testes it? Post an action shot jpeg of you doing this. Wait... on second thought no please don't. lol!

All kidding aside, you just need to spend time tweaking the wicked Maya and you can get pretty nice renders. Max does it with a lot less effort and a lot better than you'd expect given the amount of criticism and bad mouthing Max's renderer seems to get.

ErickG
09-07-2002, 10:04 AM
Having used both the max and maya render engine in production, I can give you my view.

The maya workflow for shaders is a bit convoluted but powerful. It hails from the older Alias PA days and has a lot of control but the you also have a much more complex workflow.

The default maya renderer is not very memory effecient but produces clean results if you crank up the samples. It is slow but will produce a known quality. Nothing too fancy. IPR is nice to work with if you have it set correctly. I hate the maya motion blur!!!!!!!

The Maya renderer parces .txt files which is a real time saver on large scenes because you can hack into the script to do some changes. A great feature.


The Max default renderer just got a small overhall for version 5.X. Shader workflow is both very simple and powerful. It produces some very nice results on low poly count scenes and the active shade is as good or better than IPR.

It is also not memory effecient but produces an on-par quality to maya if you use proper sampling. Overall max is easier to use and I find that you can get the same quality so in that reguard it is better. The minus is that you will have less control over certain shading and lighting controls.

I am currently using max but testing in a 3rd party rendering solution for the back end of our studio pipline. When it comes to doing more and more complex scenes you end up looking for a back-end solution that can handle heaver scenes and gives you more contols to get deep into the system.

For a studio this is a must. For a freelance person this is not.

The short version of the above is I think both are good whan all is said and done. It is really up to the artist. Both can get great resluts.

-Erick

beaker
09-18-2002, 10:05 AM
>>The default maya renderer is not very memory effecient but produces clean results if you crank up the samples.

Alot of this is windows issues, Maya uses 1/4 the ram under the *nix versions. Depth map shadows are the biggest offenders of memory hogging under windows.

Mauritius
09-18-2002, 01:43 PM
Its not Windows issue, but a fault of the coders at a|w. The memory foothrpint of the standalone renderers I use is equal under Windows/*nix.
Another issue are meomery leaks of which the Maya renderer has far too much.

.mm

Dimitrius
09-19-2002, 04:33 PM
I've used both renderers.

Maya's renderer sucks beyond all possible belief. The amount of work it takes to get a decent image is crushing. Who cares if it is fast, if all it is going to do is produce crappy renders?

Max's default renderer is OK. Nothing special. But it doesn't suck tremendously (see above) either.

I use Brazil as a rendering solution within Max. It is truly a fantastic piece of software. Rumor has it that Splutterfish will be beta-testing Brazil for Maya soon.

RoarK
09-19-2002, 10:58 PM
Hi guys, i was wondering if anyone has used Virtual Light renderer with maya? and if so then how were the results? and if there are any pointers ill be obliged :bounce:

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