Using Maya instead Of 3ds Max

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  05 May 2013
Using Maya instead Of 3ds Max

Hello,
I plan on creating a small animation short and some of my peers have been advising me to change to Maya for better workflow. Ive been using 3ds Max for years and am familiar with it. From what they said, Maya would be a better program to execute the short because of better plug-ins and animation tools. It also integrates better with other 3rd applications that I might need in the future and offered to teach me the ropes. From what Ive heard from other forums, both programs can do the same work which is why Im hesitate to learn Maya. Should I switch over or stick with 3ds Max?
 
  05 May 2013
this advice is for me. Stick with what you know if your main goal is to create your story. You're going to have a ramp up time and even when you get familiar with maya's workflow and tools, you still won't be as fast for a while. I keep testing out houdini to see how it could suit me for my personal projects, but i should be focusing on telling my stories and sticking with what i know which is maya.

-GC
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  05 May 2013
I would recommend against learning Maya unless you're a masochist.
 
  06 June 2013
Since it is about animation, before Maya 2014 i would say to stay with 3ds mostly because you already using it for year now.
As for modeling part, maya was painful, at least for me, because selection of components was tedious aiming and picking thing to do...now with integrated NEX tools and once you really take your time to learn properly how to use it Maya feels like a whole new, a lot better, software..in my opinion.
...plus, you have some awesome animation tools. I'm not into animation, rigging and stuff.. but i have an interest what people do with maya in that area so i have watched a lot of videos. One thing is for sure...i makes me want to learn animation!

For example something like:
- this mechanical cat rig: https://vimeo.com/51740519
- or this awesome looking muscles: https://vimeo.com/52668394
- and many more...
 
  06 June 2013
I have been in kind of a quandary about this as well over the last few years. There is absolute truth to the fact that sticking with an app you know will allow you to focus on the story. But there are other factors as well.

I started out years and years ago using LightWave, eventually got into Blender for several years and loved the difference in animation. Like night and day.

But then I decided about two years ago it was time to re-evaluate my position on this before I dig into my animation project.

I initially settled on using Softimage. That was great and it is a wonderful tool for me in many ways.

But recently at the beginning of this year I picked up Maya .

In the end my reasoning was the same as your peers. I have now made Maya my central app for animation along with MotionBuilder. It just makes so much more sense.

It did certainly add more time. But the pay off is great and now I would not have it any other way. I do think that if you plan a future in animation that Maya is a very wise choice. And now is the time. And no better way to learn it than to have a challenging project.

You will find that your experience in Max (or any app) will definitely cross over to Maya. You'll learn some new muscle memory for key shortcuts to do things you already know how to do. You'll know what to look for and likely where to find it based on some kind of logic. Because you have been there.

But do yourself a favor and slog through at least the entire portion of the basics section of the manual to get your head around the Maya way of doing things.

The nDynamics system - cloth and hair is really geared toward character animation. I can not compare to Max but compared to other apps I have used there is nothing better for this purpose.

Doing an animation project is no walk in the park. And you really owe it to yourself to have the best tools at hand to do this. In my opinion that's Maya.
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  06 June 2013
Don't listen to what anyone says unless they have actually used both 3DSMax and Maya in a recent professional environment. Most people get their information from forums and have no informed opinion.

A lot of people slate 3DSMax having used it 10 years ago, when actually it has vastly improved in terms of modelling, unwrapping and animation in the past few years.

Having made the switch to Maya last year I can safely say that modelling and unwrapping is much better in 3DSMax, but I can not comment on animation. Funnily enough Maya has just incorporated a lot of the polygon tools from 3DSMax into its default install for 2014 which has improved it a lot, I would still say Max is better.

And there are a lot of plugins for both Maya and Max which mudders the water significantly. In terms of futureproofing Maya certainly seems the way forward for larger studios as it is fully integrated with Phyton.

In short 'The grass is always greener, until you actually step on it and realise it's also full of dog poop'
 
  06 June 2013
Additionally there are a lot of positives to learning two 3D apps. Approaching a new program with vast knowledge of the working processes of another allows you to spot workflow issues.

There are a lot of things in Maya which are really slow compared to 3DSMax and vice versa, if I hadn't spent so many years with 3DSMax I wouldn't have even noticed the problems in Maya and would therefore have never fixed them. Obviously a lot of other people have gone down this path so there are a ton of great free plugins and scripts.

My pipeline in Maya is definitely a lot faster because of my prior knowledge of 3DSMax.
 
  06 June 2013
I have been using maya professionally for many years sitting next to someone using max. There are a lot of things better in both. I feel maya is very strong in group settings where you have many people working on the same project. Max is much stronger for accurate lighting metrics, i/o of engineering data, and georeferencing meshes. Other than those two scenarios I think its a toss-up. If you work solo, but all your friends use maya, that may sway you. Support matters. Otherwise, stick with what you know. With a mixed environment its always easier to tell who worked on something than which package they used. They both make the same end result.
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  06 June 2013
Good points.

I also think it depends on what other tools you want to interface with. That is probably the most drastic difference. In my case Maya hands down over Max. Max interfaces with other tools much better than Maya. So it is a mixed bag that way.

So for me coming from Softimage which is horrible at interfacing with MotionBuilder Maya was a slam dunk.

Also beyond animating there is rendering. There are different rendering solutions available between both apps. And this can in some cases make a drastic difference to the production.
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Richard Culver
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  06 June 2013
I started with 3ds Max and now I work mostly in Maya, althought many times I model in 3d max becouse Im still more used to it and export to maya for animating and effects

So I use both of them but I prefer Maya, really is not becouse of dynamics, 3ds max counts with very good plugins for particles aswell, the reason is much more simple, when it comes to adjust parameters and this happens always when you are animating something, Maya UI counts with large sliders you can tweak very easily, Max sliders are tough instead, small and not handy, most of the time you end up tweaking values by input numbers directly using the keyboard becouse of this, thats the main reason I prefer maya
 
  06 June 2013
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