View Full Version : Maya - The Renderer Quality, how's it stack up?

03 March 2003, 12:55 AM
I'm a long time 'Waver who has to switch to Maya now soon at work.

Lightwave generally speaking has a renderer that produces very nice results (even if it's a touch on the slow side).

My question is: How good is the default Maya renderer? and how many of you guys use a third party renderer like Renderman?

I used to hear that the default Maya renderer was kinda average (certainly sub-lightwave in quality) but that was around the time of Maya 2 2.5, what's it like now?

For that matter, what are the best third party renderers for Maya? I'm assuming Renderman and Mental Ray would be the two main ones used by Maya users? And would it be fair to say that of those two Renderman was better?

Anyway, sorry if this sounds a bit clueless, Maya is a little daunting to take in!;)

03 March 2003, 05:50 AM
Default: Slow, requires tons of work to get decent output, doesn't have the advanced options most good renderers have today (GI/radiosity and that sort of thing).

Mental Ray: The connection to Maya is still way to buggy and not nearly integrated enough. Once this is fixed, it'll be a great options.

RenderMan renderers: This is probably your best bet, however, you'll have to put in more effort to get good output. It's not easy like Lightwave.

If you can, just export back to Lightwave. There are some free exporters that'll do the job (FBX and Maya2LW). Check those out.

03 March 2003, 10:42 AM
Of course, you might as well just ditch Maya, it's crap anyway. Anyone who doesn't use lightwave is a retard cos it's quite clearly the best software...

I mean, what's the point in even bothering with a renderer that doesn't have GI? How crap is that? I mean, look at Toy Story, or Monsters Inc. or actually any movie that's ever been rendered: none of them used GI and they're all crap! Lightwave's renderer has been used on, like, millions of good movies and it beat the crap out of PRMan in every case!

Like why bother learning how to use the Maya renderer, learning a bit about anti-aliasing, traditional lighting and some of the theory that would actually serve you well in the future, when you can just click the GI button and be done with it? I can't wait for Lightwave 10's new feature, the "Make Dinosaur" button - gonna be awesome.

03 March 2003, 03:33 PM
"How good is the default Maya renderer? and how many of you guys use a third party renderer like Renderman?"

If you look only at big studios working on feature films, then the majority use other renderers like Renderman. That's been true since before Maya even came out. In the mid-90's, the majority of them upgraded their modeling and animation to Maya to replace Alias and Softimage. The addition of Maya generally didn't affect the rendering or compositing parts of the pipeline.

If you look at smaller to mid-sized shops, including companies who contribute some content to feature films, work on commercials, and develop many other kinds of content, there the majority of Maya users seem to use the Maya renderer. And, some of them are getting great output.

"I used to hear that the default Maya renderer was kinda average (certainly sub-lightwave in quality) but that was around the time of Maya 2 2.5"

Back then, Maya 2 and 2.5, there were some fundamental flaws in basic things like the displacement mapping implementation, many of which have been rewritten and fixed up since. Not that you won't find any bugs or limitations in the latest version, but it's much better with a lot of new code since version 2.


03 March 2003, 06:53 PM
hahah sounding a little bitter there playmesumch00ns. :p

03 March 2003, 09:39 AM
Ahhh you know me:)

ANOther Lamer: whinewhinewhine I put my lovely model on a plane with one point light and it looks crap. Maya's renderer sux!!

ch00ns: *slap*

In seriousness though Angelus, I think Jeremy's said it all. Lightwave's renderer is much easier to get good results from. It seems a lot of people have trouble getting the results they want from Maya, and depending on the sort of work you're doing, i.e. how much time you'll have to tweak settings, that's something you'll want to consider.

Personally I prefer using PRman, but then I'm in the position that I don't have to pay for the thing! There are many good free options for using Renderman with Maya, especially now Liquid has been released, but generally Renderman means more setup time which might be better spent with Maya's renderer.

mentalray is generally good if you want GI, although as CIM mentions, it's not perfect. To be honest I think you may be better off going with CIM's suggestion for the time being: export back to Lightwave for rendering. As well as FBX there's something called beaver which I think does this. At least doing it this way will take the pressure off to allow you to take the time to learn Maya's rendering options

03 March 2003, 02:20 PM
I personally think it doesn't match up to Ligthwave's renderer.

However Maya is amazing in other stuff like Skeleton, skinning, Particle FX, Fluid, colth < no one can match, Fur < again no one can match

I know that lightwave has Hyper Voxel < which is very nice indeed.

but in terms of the creation process Maya is much more flexible not to mention Maya has Polygon, NURBS and sub D < I don't think any other program today has this.

I use both Polygon and Nurbs depending on the nature of work.

Maya also has stuff like Joint painting < to tweak the control of the skeleton, inverse kinematix etc...

Oh my god I can't be bothered to list any more stuff.

the only thing its lacking is a good renderer.

the Maya render is just plain horrible. I have found it to be a pretty buggy one. However I am saving up to get PRMan < YAY!

LOL I spend too much on my com stuff I dont' have decent clothes to wear.

03 March 2003, 07:36 PM
You might want to do a little more research before you post next time.

03 March 2003, 12:45 AM
Thanks everyone for your fantastic replies!:) I think I have a fairly good general idea now of how to go with this. I don't mind learning new lighting or rendering tricks, since lighting and rendering are my favourite areas of 3D, but all the same I think either PRman or Mental Ray would be useful down the line.

Switching from LW to Maya, well so far I've actually found it to be surprisingly pleasent actually. Maya certainly is an elegant program, big but well thought-out (much more so than Lightwave I'm afraid). Takes a little getting used to but that's to be expected I guess.

For me, it's a little like switching from driving a souped-up Toyota Supra to a Ferrari, Maya just feels 'better made'. Don't get me wrong I still love Lightwave, but Maya has impressed me very much so far!

Thanks again!:)

03 March 2003, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by beaker
You might want to do a little more research before you post next time.

please tell me what I said wrong. if its something about Maya not having a good render. believe it or not I have seen Chris Landreth's work. I am talking in terms of quality and speed. It may have pretty nice quality but its tooooo slow on my machine

I have a P4 2.4 B with 512 DDR RAM and a Radeon 9700 pro < perhaps something wrong with my computer like the driver.

Anyways It takes me 10 minutes to render a frame with particles and glowing shaders. it took me more than 12 hours to render this(the animation file below). Oh and also it skipped frames < refer to my post earlier about Batch Rendering < no one replied to it.Batch Rendering Problem ( If I did something wrong tell me I will try to change it.

Sorry for any trouble caused.

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 06:00 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.