Future of Maya?

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  03 March 2011
Future of Maya?

Hi all,

first of all, i encourage everyone not to take this post as some kind of starting some war in between of the 3D app's out there, but rather as sharing some industry expirience, and objectice comparassion with other 3D applications.

My question is what do you think will happen to maya? Right now, especially after i saw this latest annoucement, i don't fell that i can use maya for my future work, since enabling me to drive cars in my 2.0 viewport, isn't something i really want...if i wanna play games, i'll do just that.

My main concern is regarding the dynamics. Since i am an FX artist, i would just like to know if anyone out there knows, will i have to struggle for another year, till the release of 2013, and get some major improvements to be able to be productive as an average max user, or it's pointless even thinking Autodesk will ever put some usable dynamics/FX features in maya.
Right now, i am thinking that the best software to have the knowledge right now is Houdini, 3DsMax, Softimage. And i can see a real change of the studios out there looking for FX artist...they are all shifting their desires to that one should have the knowledge of Houdini, FumeFX, Krakatoa. No wonder, since their productivity is waaaaay ahead of artists using Maya.

So, not to elaborate more on this one, i believe that almost every FX artist feels the same way, especially after watching that annoucement for 2012, and my question is pretty understandable.

I have a reasonable feeling that they will just shut down Maya...i know that this sounds crazy 'cause 85 % of (big) studios have Maya pipeline, but i'm sure one financial guy over there will do his-her math, and calculate that it's not so unwanted to invest in changing the pipeline toward Max, Softimage, Houdini, since you are getting effects done faster (i am not saying that they will look better, maybe they will, maybe not), and that means less time spent on a shot, and more money saved for a company...etc...

What do you think will happen to Maya?
Keep walking!

Last edited by spacerweb : 03 March 2011 at 09:16 PM.
  03 March 2011
This is good question.
I'm i same situation as you.
Firtst thing , i don't understand autodesk.
They are pushing all their products , and adding similar functionality to them.
Why is that?
Why not make plan like this:
3ds max will be viz/games app.
maya character animation , etc.
Xsi for visual effects.

For example they have new feature for maya to easily transfer xsi scenes(build with ice) to maya.
So what they expects from me?To work with both apps for achieving effects?

So for me autodesk is unpredictable , and i really decide to slowly shift towards houdini.
Max is good but don't like all this plugin thing.Houdini is out of box good application for vfx , maybe not so good and quick like 3ds max+plugins , but surely more powerfull.
  03 March 2011
i'm annoyed at the bundled packaging deals autodesk has been doing with maya.

Asking people to pay for either a lackluster or buggy update and throw in some extra apps most people won't use.

Then they finally fix bugs and make their previous buggy features work right with 2012 but take away those extra apps. Now if you want them, you need to pay an extra $1500 for them. I'm not even sure if you can buy mudbox 2012 by itself. Looks like you need to buy the package deal to get it, but maybe that's wrong?

Why is xsi being tacked on as an added program and segmenting the market into max and maya?

I think autodesk is trying to unify their products some which is probably a good thing for artists and studios that use multiple 3D apps. I ultimately think autodesk is trying to work towards creating a new unifying 3D app down the road. It's obvious maya is a mess and could really use a complete gutting of several old features like the maya software renderer. Ideally things like mudbox should be integrated into the actual app itself instead of having another app. Right now, it's probably practical for things to be as they are, but it seems like in 10-15 years, we'll all be working with a new app with core pointcloud/voxel toolsets with polys and NURBS being just another modeling tool to use. It's redundant for a single company to have 3 teams working on the same type of animation and modeling tools independently for their respective app.

I don't like that the 3D apps apparently are being segmented into different focuses. They were all general 3D apps to begin with. If one gets certain features that the others don't, that's fine as long as those features eventually do make their way into the other apps.

Last edited by sentry66 : 03 March 2011 at 11:15 PM.
  03 March 2011
Originally Posted by spacerweb: they are all shifting their desires to that one should have the knowledge of Houdini, FumeFX, Krakatoa.

This has been true to some degree for years, maya hasn't been top dog in FX for a while. Not that its not very capable, but its not as well featured for this type of work as XSI and Houdini (and maybe max for Fume and Krakatoa). I don't thing Maya is terrible, just not quite as good in these areas.

Originally Posted by spacerweb: I have a reasonable feeling that they will just shut down Maya

This is a bit of an odd thing to say. Maya is doing very well. FX is only part of a very large industry.

I have to say that in addition to being a great piece of software, we use Maya for staffing reasons. I told a few friends that I needed some temp Maya contractors on Tuesday. I got some phone calls. Did 4 interviews on Wednesday. Picked the two that fit our needs. And they are starting on Monday. There is a great talent pool in the Maya community. I feel that I know what I am getting with Maya artists. Don't underestimate the weight (and value) of culture.

Houdini is amazing, but try and replicate this hiring experience with Houdini artists in Denver.

At the end of the day, if you are in LA, your an effects artist, and you have the time, I would learn Houdini and XSI. They will most likely be a better fit for you.
My Reel -- <YouTube > -- <720p > -- <1080p >

Last edited by rBrady : 03 March 2011 at 01:33 AM.
  03 March 2011
Quote: I'm not even sure if you can buy mudbox 2012 by itself. Looks like you need to buy the package deal to get it, but maybe that's wrong?

no you dont, mudbox is sold by itself.
Heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept were toiling upwards in the night.
  03 March 2011
Mudbox 2011 has been for sale for some time via Amazon, in addition to the AutoDesk online store and resellers.
i7 2.8ghz w7pro 8gb quadro 4000 w/270.51 driver, 600 GB SSD C: Drive
  03 March 2011
Originally Posted by rBrady: There is a great talent pool in the Maya community..

Yes, you are right, but somehow i can't get rid of the feeling that the only reason for maya being so dominant in the studios is just because "she" is so deep into pipelines.
Probably the quiestion is in which software would one studio today choose, if they were just starting business and building pipeline...

Not to be missunderstood, i love Maya 'cause of some stuff, and one of them is rigging and animation, it's pretty stable in comparing to Max, but for the FX, it's standing just where it was basically when it was still at Alias. The only new thing in past 5 years is nNucleus...

In CG, such a behaviour is very wrong, and i don't get people from Autodesk. It's like Maya is their stepdaughter, and Max is their first born son...actually, it really seams like that.

Anyway, i am learning Houdini, 'cause that's the only thing that they are asking today if you gonna work on effects, but i can't shake of that feeling that i wasted a lot of time with maya. Anyway, there were some nice things as well, but when i know that everything that we did in Maya, Max user was able to do 3 times faster...it just su*ks!
Keep walking!
  03 March 2011
Before I start, I mean no disrespect to any of you, and hope you understand my perspective as a tiny construction company employee using Maya solely for arch/viz (professionally) and for my own personal artwork, time allowing.

This conversation is absurd. Your points and questions and ideas: not absurd! But to doubt the future of Maya is to me just plain silly.

It's a tool. It's the most complex, powerful tool of its kind. It's very customizable and powerful. Lots of bugs - but the pyramids aren't perfect either, right? Think those things were built without flaws? Let's make the false statement that the US Space Shuttles were slightly more complex than Maya - and look what happened to them.

But Maya won't explode, get decommissioned, or otherwise disappear, ever. It's way too huge for that. Far, far too many people know and use it, and make it work. Sure, it's a bitch and fights you almost at every turn. Sure, it's old-school (for me, stuck in Maya 2009) in appearance and lacks some features other applications have.

But hey, it works. I just got paid today. I'm going to get paid next Friday, because my company and my clients pay me to make realistic 3D renders of their construction projects. I'm going to keep getting paid as long as people are doing construction - and you can take a guess how long that's going to keep going.

Could someone possibly make a more realistic render than me? I sure hope so! Usually I get about four to eight hours to model, texture, light, and render a project, though... So on my timeline, it's either mental ray or Vray, and that's about it. And I have no competition up here in the residential sector. At the Seattle and Tacoma Home & Garden Shows, the best you can find other than my company would be the Sketchup booth and the Chief Architect booth. Homeowners don't care about the software, but they see the difference instantly when they reach my booth. They just want realistic renders so they can decide which type and layout of tile they want to put in their stupid bathroom or kitchen. Sketchup and Chief never stood a chance.

Maya's a great tool. It's my best screwdriver, my best saw, and my best drill. But I use Rhino for 99% of my modeling - another great tool! And of course Photoshop when I'm getting ready for print. And guess what I use when I'm writing up contracts? Not Maya, believe it.

My point is, this tool works. Maya 2009 works. I get paid. What's the future of Maya, for me? Guess I'll keep getting paid. Now, to get paid what I'm worth... that's a different story!

Pay me more, boss!
Commodore 64 @ 1MHz
1541 Floppy Drive

"Like stone we battle the wind... Beat down and strangle the rains..."
  03 March 2011
This is all true.
For example regarding particles.
Maya particle system is old , build around idea of expressions and scripting(btw expression editor is probably worst made window in maya).
When you think , in max you have particle flow , thinking particles.
In houdini you have vex , which like "visual" programming , that i think it is much better method for making "simple" expression like solutions.And it has "all" nodes required , no need to spent alot time in mel docs searching for functions.

Another thing are fluids in maya.
I was learning maya fluids for months , and i was able to produce some relatively good results , and then in fumefx for 10 days of learning a was able to produce twice better results than in maya.
One thing here is that fumefx is faster and you can tweak things fast.

Btw one thing in maya that is good is nucleus...

So in the end , to make maya good solution for vfx , they will need to change alot of things from ground up , and i don't expect that will happen any time soon.
  03 March 2011
Actually....All things being equal....Maya has better fx & animation tools than Max. Maya comes with a pretty decent fluid solver and particles. Rigid bodies I can agree that are a joke...12 years old and counting. All of this is if you are strictly talking about off the shelf solution.

The only reason Max is still alive is because there are plenty of 3rd party plugins...which you have to pay for if you want a decent package. Without those 3rd party plugins...Max would be pretty much dead in my opinion. There are some companies using these 3rd party plugins in production, but in reality...Maya does not have many 3rd party plugins because most large houses have their own development teams and they extend maya in ways max would only dream of having. That is why you don't see many 3rd party plugins...it is a lost cause since like I said...companies already have teams building custom tools for maya.

Another big reason as to why large fx shops stick with maya is simply prman.Plus it comes with python integrated.....or so they say Last I heard Max is still not python enabled....you gotta do hacks to get it working. That being said...

For single users or small shops...then it might make sense to use max and get 3rd party tools. For large companies....well they are doing their thing.....I for one...think houdini is the best off the shelf fx package out there....although some prefer ice nodes...but oh well...same difference.
FX TD | Software Development
  03 March 2011
Originally Posted by InfernalDarkness: But to doubt the future of Maya is to me just plain silly.

Shake was the best compositing tool out there, Fusion was around with Nuke, and now...Nuke rules...sollely, and Shake is almost dead if you don't count Dneg's rnd department which is keeping it alive a bit more, but i know that even they introduced Nuke into their pipeline.

So why is this so impossible to happen to Maya as well?

I don't think it's a silly idea, it may be a highly unlikely at best, but that's why i started this thread, to get others opinions, and if possible, to shake a bit those head at AD to get a grip.
Keep walking!
  03 March 2011
How come we always have this same conversation?

Someone complains Maya has the same interface for years. Others, particularly those who have invested in building pipelines, applaud the consistency between releases.

More innovation. Fewer changes. Can't please everyone.

"Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results"

<* Wes *>
i7 2.8ghz w7pro 8gb quadro 4000 w/270.51 driver, 600 GB SSD C: Drive
  03 March 2011
One thing that should be good news is the new physx rigid bodies solver. If its like the old plugin than its pretty exciting. There was some unusually awesome functionality in that specific engine. A big one for me was Goal Orientation with its Slerp value. There are many awesome things that can be done with that. Supposedly this version will be hardware accelerated as well...
My Reel -- <YouTube > -- <720p > -- <1080p >
  03 March 2011
Quote: So why is this so impossible to happen to Maya as well?

@spacerweb: I see where you're coming from, but guess I just don't see Maya's future being a mutable thing. Maya still works, still does the job for me, well enough to keep my small company afloat and gain us new clients. The future = still making money, for me. As a tool, it's not going anywhere for my particular field. There are no better alternatives. Max is an equal perhaps, but not better, and no other software offers such rendering speed as mental ray and Vray, so that's a non-issue for now.

The only way Maya wouldn't have a future for me would be if I uninstalled it. Considering I like my job, I don't see any reason to do such a thing!

But I can see how other people with other needs may want to migrate to using other software, if it's more powerful or faster for VFX, animation, etc. I don't use Maya for those things professionally, and Vray for Rhino stinks. I work mostly in residential construction, so the chance of a "big studio" coming in with more servers, faster rendering, etc. is remote - they won't want to do it for $11 an hour, I guarantee that! And they can't do it faster or more accurately than I, since I'm the one who visits the construction sites and takes the measurements, makes the permit plans, manages the projects, and all of that... It's a niche field, but the only thing that would replace Maya for me would be Maya 2012 and Vray over MR.
Commodore 64 @ 1MHz
1541 Floppy Drive

"Like stone we battle the wind... Beat down and strangle the rains..."
  03 March 2011
be honest, Maya 2012 new fancy features are just dust in the eyes, the main renderer "Mental Ray" is still broken and that's one of Maya's main problems i think.

Maya is starting to look like a retarded caveman compared to Captain Excalibur and his high tech shiny nano suit.

The only question now is if Autodesk Maya team is doing that out of stupidness or if all that is part of a martketing plan wiith a financial puropse somwhere.

Just like Maya 2010 and Maya 2011, Maya 2012 is a complete desception for me. I am not blaming team members in the AMT (Autodesk Maya Tream) that worked hard on this version but product developement team leaders and their decisions witch are holding Maya back in the race.

Hold On Maya Users, we will prevail!
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