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View Full Version : Modeling in Maya, got some questions


veclock
11-01-2010, 02:05 PM
Until now, I've only been using 3ds Max, so I'm quite used to Max. But now at school, we're gonna use Maya, so I have to get used to Maya now. And it's painful! I can't stand some parts of this program.

First, the most important question.
In 3ds Max, when you for example chamfer something, you can drag the cursor and thereby get exactly the amout you want. But in Maya, it seems like you have to double-click the chamfer-icon, and write a number to get the amount you want. OMG! That will slow me down by a thousand years! Is there any way to do it in the same way you do it in 3ds Max? Isn't just chamfer, I think bevel and other tools have the same problem in Maya.

Second.
In Maya, why do I have to click the tool-icon again after I've used the tool? In 3ds Max, I can use the tool how many times I want as long as the tool is selected. Any way to change this?

Third.
Where can I see which tool is selected in Maya? Quite annoying sometimes. Well, I can see if move/rotate/scale is selected (in the left-side toolbar) but for example, the extrude-tool isn't selected when I'm using it.

Fourth, fifth, sixth ect.
The Cut-tool in 3ds Max is amazing, do Maya have anything like it? Do maya have a "Slice Plane"-tool? Do maya have "Relax", "MSmooth", "Tessellate", ect ect ect...? Seriously, I love the Edit Polygon and Edit Geometry tools in 3ds Max, so I think you understand my frustration when swiching to a new program where everything works different and I'm afraid that many tools don't exist in Maya, and the tools I've found works bad compared to how they work in 3ds Max. Help me out of this!

Also, it seems like 3ds Max is the future, I mean, they used it when creating Avatar. So I don't really get why we're gonna use Maya.

Anyway, please help! I really need answers right now.

Respawned
11-01-2010, 03:38 PM
First, if you do a chamfer in maya it will keep the history then you can adjust it in the attribute window, with a slider if I remember correctly.

Second, just press g to use previous tool.

Third, you should be able to select the tool you are using from the tool button on the left column.

Fourth, maya you can use the split poly tool (similar to cut faces in max) or cut faces (can be used like slice plane) and there's also the insert edge loop.

I understand your frustration learning maya after max, I have done the same a few times over the past 6 or 7 years but at the end of the day if you can do it one program it's possible to do it in the other, just a matter of figuring it out. I still cant decide which is better, I like them both.

Nyro
11-02-2010, 02:15 PM
First, the most important question.
In 3ds Max, when you for example chamfer something, you can drag the cursor and thereby get exactly the amout you want. But in Maya, it seems like you have to double-click the chamfer-icon, and write a number to get the amount you want. OMG! That will slow me down by a thousand years! Is there any way to do it in the same way you do it in 3ds Max? Isn't just chamfer, I think bevel and other tools have the same problem in Maya.
This only works for some tools/actions in Maya, e.g. the Offset Edge Loop Tool. As Respawned said, for fine control you have several options:
1. If you know the exact value that you want to apply to the tool, then you can doubleclick the tool icon in the shelf or hit the square options box next to the menu item to open up the tool options, then enter the exact value.
2. You can change the value after executing the tool (this also applies to 1.):

With the object selected (select object mode), under the channel box you'll find the Input Node list. Select the corresponding node (e.g. polyChamfer) to expand it, then select the attribute (e.g. Width). With that selected, MMB-click and drag left/right in the viewport to interactively change the value.
With the object selected, you'll find a node in the Attribute Editor that corresponds to the tool/action you just used. In it you'll usually find edit boxes and in most cases sliders which offer you the same functionality as described in a)


Second.
In Maya, why do I have to click the tool-icon again after I've used the tool? In 3ds Max, I can use the tool how many times I want as long as the tool is selected. Any way to change this?
Maya is node-based. It needs to know whether the action you are currently applying belongs to the node you just created (by activating the tool) or to a new node. Nodes offer you advanced functionality once you've discovered how to harness their power. Forget the Undo Queue, you've got Construction History in Maya :)

Third.
Where can I see which tool is selected in Maya? Quite annoying sometimes. Well, I can see if move/rotate/scale is selected (in the left-side toolbar) but for example, the extrude-tool isn't selected when I'm using it.
As Respawned said, usually in the Tool Box to the left of your viewport. But this only works for Tools, not Actions. Hence the Extrude (action) doesn't show up there. But then again, if your short term memory is so limited that you can't remember which tool you just activated 3 seconds ago, then Maya's 'needs-to-get-used-to' Workflow/UI is the least of your problems, if I may say so.
Besides, many tools/actions have custom manipulators which tell you immediately what you're currently doing (e.g. the Extrude manipulator). You'll come to recognise these with experience.
Finally, almost every tool/action creates its own Node in the Input Node list, which takes the place of the Channel Box when you're in Select Component mode. So you can simply read what the topmost node says in order to find out which Tool you're currently using.

You may have noticed me distinguishing between Tools and Actions. I recommend you read up on the differences between the two in Maya's Documentation.
In Maya 2011 that would be: file:///<Maya Install Path>/docs/Maya2011/en_US/files/PC_Switch_operations_between_actions_and_tools.htm

Fourth, fifth, sixth ect.
The Cut-tool in 3ds Max is amazing, do Maya have anything like it? Do maya have a "Slice Plane"-tool? Do maya have "Relax", "MSmooth", "Tessellate", ect ect ect...? Seriously, I love the Edit Polygon and Edit Geometry tools in 3ds Max, so I think you understand my frustration when swiching to a new program where everything works different and I'm afraid that many tools don't exist in Maya, and the tools I've found works bad compared to how they work in 3ds Max. Help me out of this!
All the tools you mentioned have their counterpart in Maya. Don't panic and most certainly don't complain if you don't immediately know which ones they are and where to find them. Maya isn't 3ds Max so you shouldn't approach it as if it were. The Documentation is your friend. And some innate curiosity on your part would solve most of your problems. For example, simply explore the Polygon menu set and all the tools. Most of them have quite self-explanatory titles, and if not: use it and see what happens. Look at the options dialogs for the tools and the node's tab in the Attribute Editor / input node list to see what parameters you can change. You'll quickly see that Maya is quite powerful in this regard.
I don't know 3dsMax but I can tell you at a glance that 'Relax' would be 'Average Vertices', 'MSmooth' would be 'Smooth' (Duh ;)) (or simply press 3 in Maya 2009 and above), 'Tesselate' would be either 'Add Divisions' or 'Triangulate'. It's all there.
By the way, if you want some advanced and arguably more intuitive workflow for some of the most often used tools, take a look at Digital Raster's 'Nex' tools. You can get an evaluation copy here (http://draster.com/nex-1.5/thanks.html). Maybe that will ease your path into Maya a bit.



Also, it seems like 3ds Max is the future, I mean, they used it when creating Avatar. So I don't really get why we're gonna use Maya.
Obviously, you haven't even learned the basics of Maya but you're already judging it as an inferior 3D package? Think about it.
Also, you'll quickly come to realize that comparisons like 'That feature was created with that software, so it must be the best' are really without any merit. I'll bet that it's the productions like 'Avatar' and the likes that usually have dozens of studios working on all sorts of parts of the movie, and you believe they all used 3dsMax? Whats more, you mention one production (avatar). What about the gazillion other high-end features out there, commercials, movies, game cinematics, trailers. You believe non of them were (partially) created with Maya? Or XSI, or even C4D and Lightwave? In fact, most high-end studios work almost exclusively on software developed in-house. So where's the future?

If you have the chance to learn (read: be taught) a new 3D package, then you should take it. Maya, Max, etc. They're just tools. What you should be learning is the trade (Modeling, Animation, whatever it is you want to do). Try to become software agnostic. Chances are, you'll be applying at a studio that doesn't use the software you so cherish (that's right: Studios don't all use 3dsMax...). If you can prove that you've mastered your arts, they will gladly train you in the in-house production tools.

Just try to keep in mind that the major 3D software packages exist for a reason (i.e. they have clients who buy and use them). Thus, it isn't likely that there is one 'program to rule them all'. Instead of being 'afraid that many tools don't exist' in a new 3D package, your attitude should rather be: 'hey, this is a super expensive, super complex, super popular piece of software, there has to be a way to do this/that/somethingelse. Let me read the manual to see if I can find out what that elusive tool is called'

As a final comment: if you need assistance in Maya, there's the Maya subforum below. Use that and you'll address the right people.

veclock
11-02-2010, 03:15 PM
Thanks for the answers! :) I guess I'm unfair when judging Maya. I guess I'll have too fiddle around with the program more.

Nyro
11-02-2010, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the answers! :) I guess I'm unfair when judging Maya. I guess I'll have too fiddle around with the program more.
That's the spirit! :)

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