considering a divorce after 10 years with Maya, if 2009 isn't spectacular

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  07 July 2008
Changing a software package is surely an investment, I would only do it if I feel save that with the suggested relief does not come additional pain. As always when something new is introduced in CG, people seem to glorify it as if it is the promised land. Didn`t want to say it on the XSI thread, so here I go: A main feature of this ICE thing is supposed to be artist friendliness, so a certain group of people who refuses to use MEL and/or Python or whaetver progr./scripting language can get by without coding. this is good per se, but my suspicion is, that to create stuff that is more than trivial needs understanding of technical things, especially data types and/or basic mathematical understanding when you want to create FX that moves stuff around in 3d space. And as many nodes in the ICE thing are like "Quaternion to euler" helper nodes, the artist who does not want to code would need an understanding of what this stuff does or else will be more like scratching on the surface of the full potential of a system like introduced here. So, I think this ICE system looks promising but the artist friendliness is rather relative. But the GUI looks good though. As a humble Maya user I`d find it already a great progress to have a connection editor that can handle array-attributes better than it does now.
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  07 July 2008
I totally agree and loved your post

Originally Posted by swardson: As I have always believed...

Use the software that best fits your need. If XSI has something you need that Maya does not. By all means, use it if it's an option. Same thing goes for 3DS, Houdini etc. And of course comfortably with the program plays a big part too.

To me productivity is the most important thing. It is all about what can you produce in the least amount of time possible. If there is a way to do what you do faster elsewhere and you have the means to switch, then by all means switch.

I think switching software purely because the new feature lists being advertised are not as impressive is pretty counter productive. I for one welcome bug fixes, performance enhancements and new small tools and work flows being developed to increase productivity. However, if Maya lacks something that another program has and you really need it. Switch, buy both, who cares... but all of this whining about "look what 'X' company is doing... why can't my 'Y' company do that or better. I don't like you anymore, I am leaving. It's like leaving your girlfriend or boyfriend purely because some other person has more money, or nicer clothes or something.

Again, its all about the tools, I don't use a hammer to screw in a screw. I buy a screwdriver or drill to do it. If Maya is the hammer and you need to screw in a screw, buy the drill, but don't justify buying the drill because it is shinier than the hammer if you don't have a screw to screw in.
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  07 July 2008
Originally Posted by swardson: Asnip...
I think switching software purely because the new feature lists being advertised are not as impressive is pretty counter productive. I for one welcome bug fixes, performance enhancements and new small tools and work flows being developed to increase productivity. However, if Maya lacks something that another program has and you really need it. Switch, buy both, who cares... but all of this whining about "look what 'X' company is doing... why can't my 'Y' company do that or better. I don't like you anymore, I am leaving. It's like leaving your girlfriend or boyfriend purely because some other person has more money, or nicer clothes or something.
snip...


I agree with this as well, but I think a lot of us that have been using maya 10 years now can see rather annoying features that we had hoped would be fixed in the next release... then the next release, etc... Then there are some basic things that make basic workflow way more complex than it needs to be. I will give an example. Say you have an object animated on a path, and you want to swap out the path objects. It is rather easy to do, but in the connection editor you have to weed through all of the possible outputs to find worldSpace[] and hook that to .create. Now explain that to a newbie. NOw try it in houdini (or xsi or even max I suspect). It's just simple.
Maya's nodes are there for you to look at but difficult to manipulate. You have to use external tools (basically aw provided mel scripts) to do things like change the membership of deformers, etc.
The soucre of frustration is more that maya is almost there in many respects and while the underlying engine works great, the ui needs an overhaul; and I am not really sure how they could pull it off without making a whole new package.
MD
 
  07 July 2008
Originally Posted by luxwork: I agree with this as well, but I think a lot of us that have been using maya 10 years now can see rather annoying features that we had hoped would be fixed in the next release... then the next release, etc... Then there are some basic things that make basic workflow way more complex than it needs to be. I will give an example. Say you have an object animated on a path, and you want to swap out the path objects. It is rather easy to do, but in the connection editor you have to weed through all of the possible outputs to find worldSpace[] and hook that to .create. Now explain that to a newbie. NOw try it in houdini (or xsi or even max I suspect). It's just simple.
Maya's nodes are there for you to look at but difficult to manipulate. You have to use external tools (basically aw provided mel scripts) to do things like change the membership of deformers, etc.
The soucre of frustration is more that maya is almost there in many respects and while the underlying engine works great, the ui needs an overhaul; and I am not really sure how they could pull it off without making a whole new package.
MD


You make a valid point and I agree that there are frustrating things in Maya. I have my list of things that irritate me as does im sure everyone else. However, I have never been irritated by your motion path issue, not because it doesn't exist, but because I just have never had to swap obects on a motion path like that. I usually attach locators or Nulls to motion paths and then my objects to them to allow easy swapping. Again, may not be the "1 button" switch that other software offers, but the workflow is there and relatively easy.

In a hypothetical land lets say every Maya user has 10 things they want changed or added. Try pitching that feature request list to any development team and see them come back the next day. This of course assuming that each of those users actually voices their requests (which most don't, not officially at least). Most of which have a work flow that may just not be as "intuitive" as you might think. Problem is that to other people it is completly intuitive.

The funny thing is that I would bet that while you may be treated with some features of ease by moving to XSI you would probably run into an equal amount of frustrations in other areas. After switching you will undoubtably come across a situation where you say "Man, this is really easy to do in Maya, why can't XSI do this." This is not saying Maya is better or worse then XSI, but each has their features and each will do things better or worse in different peoples opinions. As long as the tools you are using allow you to get the job done as efficiently and gleefuly as possible then why switch. Again, if 'X' tool does something that you absolutely cannot live without, switch. Otherwise you are left with 3 options, ask the developers to help you, deal with the issue and it's work arounds, or figure out a way to fix it yourself. All of which are valid options but each carry their own consequences.

Brad
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  07 July 2008
Yep, the glory days of the Maya UI are over.

The days where people praised marking menus - the hotbox etc are over.

Get rid of the kindergarten UI, with colors that are too eye distracting.

Get rid of the UI that wastes too much screen space.

Get rid of the beveled muscle shelf bottons. This kind of eye candy is for kids on msn.

It's been 10 years but Maya still tries to compete with an UI
that would prevent any possible workflow improvement.
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  07 July 2008
I like and hate Maya at the same time. It's a great all round 3d tool, but I find it so weak and unstable - it can't handle much geometry, and a 2 monitors setup is a nightmare. Also, since I started using Houdini, I realise how much time I wasted fixing Maya bugs and writing MEL to do very basic things. As soon as I can, I will switch to Houdini completely - it's simply the best software I ever used .
 
  07 July 2008
You guys are bitching about Maya's UI yet you're considering jumping to XSI which is nothing but eye candy and gumdrops? Man. You're complaining about icons for the muscle system yet everything in XSI is a little bubble msn bullshit icon. Look at Max, that UI is atrocious in my opinion but I guess that doesn't matter, ...why? ...because I am not a Max user and therefore it means nothing to me.

Nobody will ever be happy with what is available to them... I suggest the "artists" learn to use the tools they're provided and be glad they have something they can work with or go make their own tools. You don't see painters bitching about their paint brushes not being crafted properly forcing them to go and make their own from scratch.

If you guys don't like the software then quit procrastinating and use something else, simple as that. Whining on a forum gets you nothing in the long term.

I'm done with this thread, .. hahaha, you guys can sit in here and moan about shoulda-coulda-what if's all you want, that shits getting lame...
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  07 July 2008
Originally Posted by azshall: I saw a demo of this last year when it was called Moon Dust at the now closed down EA Chicago because a lot of the artists (excluding fx people) were using XSI. I can honestly say, the idea of node based particles is great but what we got demo'd was very unimpressive. Again, this was a little over a year ago so I am sure things have changed (hopefully for the better) but looking at the stills they just released, ... well, Particle points, heh, ... Give me a break.

The showed one voxel render which should be compared to Lightwave's since it is not physical fluid dynamics (which probably makes it loads faster) however I'd have loved to see some of their "fire" examples which were rendered with lame points and a stupid ramp going from yellow->orange->red ...

I'll reserve anymore comments on that until more in depth stuff is released, ..Its nice to see them make an attempt at their dynamics engine though *coughcoughmayacough* ...


You saw it a little over a year ago, in a demo, and you are trying to yank that from
the cobwebs of your mind to use as mud to sling against ICE? Just trying to be clear
on what your intent is. I doubt it's constructive, since you go so far as to use
the wonderfully helpful *coughcoughmayacough* thing when comparing the two.

So, if you have never used it, nevermind used it in production (I have used ICE in
production for months now) and you are clearly a Maya fan, why even comment?

I continue to use what works, whether that be Maya, XSI or Lightwave or anything else
that will get the job done. Many times it makes sense to do things in 2D out of
After Effects or Shake. Does that mean I am less of an artist since I use something
other than one application? Not in the VFX business. In this business, as you probably
know, you use what works for each project or even shot-to-shot.

I cannot tell you what leaps and bounds ICE has made since I began alpha testing it
nearly a year ago. We couldn't do the simplest things, because tools were still being
coded, added, changed, moved around, etc. This was the end of August of last year.
The improvements made to ICE when it hit beta were nearly on a weekly basis.
Its exciting how fast it became not only useful, but something that I actually used
in production.

I have been a Maya user since the alpha version of version 1. I used it (and continue
to use it) on production work ever since. I happen to like XSI for my main application
because it is more stable than Maya, and I don't have to worry that renders might
die for no apparent reason. It's not perfect, but then, nothing is. I switched to XSI
years ago because Maya was having so many render and referencing issues that
it became a liability to my business to continue to use it as the main application.

But yet, I still use it, because it is really good at some things, and I can get in there and
do those things quickly. I hate when software lets me down (any software, not just
the usual suspects). To me, this is a valid reason to switch to another application.

In my opinion, your comments, based upon no apparent first-hand expierience with
ICE, are childish at best and misleading at the worst.

Makes me wonder what people would have said had I described all the problems
Maya had in Alpha testing all those years ago. Who cares how something in Alpha
worked or didn't work. I's an ALPHA for a reason. What we have now is a fully
working product that is usable in production and is way more than meets the eye.

But that doesn't mean anything to you, since your eye is still stuck on a demo
of an Alpha you saw over a year ago.

I guess there isn't anything rational that will help when that is your point of referenece.

Last edited by harovas : 07 July 2008 at 11:26 PM.
 
  07 July 2008
yeah well that is one thing about Maya that I would miss. I love the Marking menus and Hotbox. I'm not sure if something similar like custom right click menus or something may be possible. That is why we are evaluating it and have been for a couple weeks now, with 6.5.

The 7.0 Announcement caught us totally by surprise. But basically we have just been converting some of our maya projects over and reworking them to get a hold of how things are done. We are prolly missing alot of the speed issuse out of the interface as for the most pard we ahve been going thru the docs on how to do specific tasks. But XSi seems to handle really large models very well. I am constantly dealing with scenes in the 10's of million s of polygons. And guess what the booleans actually work in XSI. Booleans in maya are about the worst that have ever been created. I woud say they prolly work somthing like less than 1% of the time.

I totally agree that there is soo much potential in maya but I think autodesk is just squandering it.

Believe me I never thought that I would ever even consider using another application. I have been using Maya since the early beta stages and I cut my teeth on alias PA8. But Maya has failed me a few times in the last year and a half. The program is nowhere near as stable as it used to be back in the 7.0.1 days. sometimes I wish I was still using that version.

I mean what have they really added since then? hoestly? nCloth and HLSL shaders. that is it. Everything else they bought or licensed "MR". Othere than that they just copied some peoples of the internets scripts.

mean while real things like implementing all of the features of the rendering engine. why not add teh high poly display abilities of Motion builder? Hell why not make motion builder part of maya?, and having working booleans to model with go totally untouched. oh wait I take that back I think that added a slider to control the precision of the boolean if by some miracle it happens to work. "noticed how that never got demonstated that on anything more complicated than the union of 2 cylinders?" cause it doesn't work on anything more complicated than that.

Anyway we are not gonna jump just yet but so far we have been liking what we have been seeing. And by that I mean in 6.5. The stuff in 7.0 is just making it look that much sweeter.
 
  07 July 2008
Originally Posted by harovas:
Originally Posted by azshall: I can honestly say, the idea of node based particles is great but what we got demo'd was very unimpressive. Again, this was a little over a year ago so I am sure things have changed (hopefully for the better) but looking at the stills they just released, ... well, Particle points, heh, ... Give me a break.

In my opinion, your comments, based upon no apparent first-hand expierience with
ICE, are childish at best and misleading at the worst.


Rigthfully entitled to your opinion as I am my own. I clearly stated the development I saw was old and acknowledge that things have more-or-less changed in the span of over a year. Should I apologize for not being impressed back then and still not being impressed now with whats been made publicly available? ...

Originally Posted by harovas: So, if you have never used it, nevermind used it in production (I have used ICE in
production for months now) and you are clearly a Maya fan, why even comment?


The marketing stills they provided to the public showed me nothing but simple particle points, sorry for not going bat shit crazy over it. They obviously have something far enough in the pipe to where they're simulating, why not show some quicktimes if you're going to announce it? My point was, they're announcing a very large new feature yet, in my opinion they skimped HEAVILY on showing its power. If there is videos that I was too blind to find then show me the light.

As for a Maya "fan", ... I wouldn't go that extreme but I can openly come out and say "yes, I do like using Maya." forgive me.

Originally Posted by harovas: Makes me wonder what people would have said had I described all the problems
Maya had in Alpha testing all those years ago. Who cares how something in Alpha
worked or didn't work. I's an ALPHA for a reason. What we have now is a fully
working product that is usable in production and is way more than meets the eye.


What do you mean? I've worked with plenty of people from the Power Animator days who shit all over the alpha, beta and first version of Maya. Funny thing is, ...they still used it and got the job done, didn't change anything.

Are you a rep for Avid or Softimage? You seem very hurt by my opinions. I never bashed ICE for sucking or saying it was shit. I said I was unimpressed with it a year ago for what they were showcasing and after seeing the marketing stills, as stated above, my beliefs on the system were in the same spot.

Originally Posted by harovas: But that doesn't mean anything to you, since your eye is still stuck on a demo
of an Alpha you saw over a year ago.


You're 100% correct!

Originally Posted by harovas: I guess there isn't anything rational that will help when that is your point of referenece.


Ok.
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Last edited by azshall : 07 July 2008 at 12:22 AM.
 
  07 July 2008
Originally Posted by harovas:
In my opinion, your comments, based upon no apparent first-hand expierience with
ICE, are childish at best and misleading at the worst.

I guess there isn't anything rational that will help when that is your point of referenece.


Ok so after all of your drivel, how are his comments about ICE "childish at best"? Why do people throw old phrazes out there like they're going out of style when they're not even used in the proper context. Stop it.

Please let us know when you have something with a bit more meat to provide to this thread than to bash someone for their opinion while you provide a passive aggressive stance with your opinion.

Honestly it's still too early to determine whether or not ICE, by itself, will actually impact people's budgets this year or even next. A lot of people talk a lot of smack when new products come out. Yes, as I said before, a knee jerk reaction. I can almost guarantee 85%-90% of the people thus far in CGTalk alone who have commented about dropping their software for XSI 7, just because of the marketing hype they've seen on ICE, will in fact NOT buy XSI 7 and will stick with their respective applications.

Will I play with the demo when it comes out. Yes. Will I spend $5K on a license just because of ICE, eeh probably not. There better be more compelling reasons than that to have me shift production software and take time out to learn it to the point where I'm at now with Maya. It's not just "ooooo ICE... *shudder* clean up on isle 5!" There has got to be more to it than that.


oh yeah.. and I agree with swardson and buexe

Last edited by inguatu : 07 July 2008 at 12:34 AM.
 
  07 July 2008
Originally Posted by azshall: The marketing stills they provided to the public showed me nothing but simple particle points, sorry for not going bat shit crazy over it. They obviously have something far enough in the pipe to where they're simulating, why not show some quicktimes if you're going to announce it? My point was, they're announcing a very large new feature yet, in my opinion they skimped HEAVILY on showing its power. If there is videos that I was too blind to find then show me the light.


Yes, there are a few videos there. Here are the direct links:

http://webrel2.softimage.com/open/v...rticle_h264.mov

http://webrel2.softimage.com/open/v...deform_h264.mov

http://webrel2.softimage.com/open/v...lstuff_h264.mov

And another one on this page called Introduction To ICE:

http://softimage.com/products/xsi/ice/default.aspx


Originally Posted by azshall: As for a Maya "fan", ... I wouldn't go that extreme but I can openly come out and say "yes, I do like using Maya." forgive me.


OK, you are forgiven.

Originally Posted by azshall: What do you mean? I've worked with plenty of people from the Power Animator days who shit all over the alpha, beta and first version of Maya. Funny thing is, ...they still used it and got the job done, didn't change anything.


I mean it isn't worth writing about an alpha when an alpha, by definition, is
going to be feature-poor, largely in flux and sometimes unimpressive.
When someone is so gung-ho Maya in a post taking pot-shots at alpha software
and didn't even bother to look at the movies on that same webpage,
you have to think that person is looking to prove something. Seems silly, that's all.

Originally Posted by azshall: Are you a rep for Avid or Softimage? You seem very hurt by my opinions. I never bashed ICE for sucking or saying it was shit. I said I was unimpressed with it a year ago for what they were showcasing and after seeing the marketing stills, as stated above, my beliefs on the system were in the same spot.


I'm not hurt, I'm annoyed. It's annoying when you hear people talking about
something they don't know much about but know enough to make a judgement
about it's worth. Hell, I wouldn't have made an honest judgement about ICE
during Alpha myself had I come to the same conclusions, since it would have
obviously been an Alpha, and therefore unfinished. Kind of like when a client
comments that they don't like an effects shot, even though it's only wireframe
cubes and stand-in objects. Seems kinda dumb to get worked up at that
point, when there is so much left to be done, thats all.

And no, I am not a rep for Avid or Softimage. In fact, if you look a bit you can see
I even spent a year of my life co-writing a book about Maya 8 years ago.
People thought I was an Alias rep then. Wow, things have changed!

Anyway, you were on your way out, sorry to extend your stay here.

Take care, and you might want to get that *cough* looked at by a Doctor.
 
  07 July 2008
Originally Posted by calmasacow: It is not difficult to wrap my head around I have been doing it for years I just think that it is coumbersome in the way it is implemented. It should not be the only way to get something done like it in many 99.999% of the time when using particles in maya.


What I as a programmer find troublesome with MEL and expressions is the lack of a good editor/ environment. Anyone that has use editors like Visual Studio, Eclipse or even dreamweaver knows how easy scripting gets when you have things like word completion, syntax highlighting etc.

This alone would make Maya scripting so much easier and accessible.

So, yeah, I agree with you.

McWolfe
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  07 July 2008
agreed. something like cutter built into maya would be nice.


but yeah I sort of agree in someways that maya has fallen behind a little. i remember the first time seeing paint fx back in v2.5 and wetting myself with glee over it's possibilites.
maya does need a few tweaks, but i dont think it's that bad that one has to change apps over.
not yet anyway :P
 
  07 July 2008
Originally Posted by azshall: As for a Maya "fan", ... I wouldn't go that extreme but I can openly come out and say "yes, I do like using Maya." forgive me.


That's how it is... You like Maya, you are a "fan" and that's obvious here.
You just don't like to be included into the "I'm a Maya fan" category... but that don't make you less "fan".

So no matter how powerful ICE is... you will be always saying the same thing until the moment you stop and decide "ok I'm gonna try this thing for real".
Dream that the software you use is perfect is just holding you back, that is for sure.

besides.. remember that "XSI Non Linear Animation" was supposely just marketing too, and in the end Alias ctrl+c/ctrl+v the XSI AnimationMixer from the bottom up, and awfully renamed it to "TRAX editor".
So try to do not speculate on things you haven't tried or you didn't fully understand.
ICE is actually a very well designed engine, and XSI has a bright future here.
Adsk has a LOT of work to do in Maya... they could start at least doing a decent polycore that don't crash when you deal with large meshes.

Now about ICE... It's really awesome concept for artists and technical people. Very well integrated across the application, top workflow, amazingly scalable... they really got the guts of XSI and exposed it.. very clever.
And don't think that you'll "need" to know mathematics and fundamentals of computers just to take advantage of ICE. It's actually very artist friendly.

Just watch this quick capture of a bi-directional mesh-on-mesh deformation compound
http://www.xsi-brasil.com/XSI_7/mes...sh_on_mesh.html

Still if you want to go math and manipulate low level data. It's all there.
The amazing thing is that it is really endless, I can see in a couple release cycles how they will revamp many areas of XSI powered by this new framework.

The other features in XSI 7 are really cool too. Non Linear Color space is just a bless.
gigapoly core II with faster viewport... Deltas are even better now...

I hope you will all can try it when they get the trial version.
 
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