The workflows of 3ds Max?

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  07 July 2013
The workflows of 3ds Max?

Hey guys, so I use several 3d softwares. Maya for its solid animation system, and C4D which I am most comfortable with esp. for its workflow. I like to use each software for what it's especially good with. I was told that running plugins and simulations in 3ds are easier and less complicated than the way you would set up in Maya. So Im wondering if you guys could tell me some workflow advantages that 3ds Max has specifically over Maya? Some of you maybe wondering what my intention is for. I personally want to be good at pretty much everything, be able to create cinematics (dreaming big! ), mainly being able to create things fast while maintaining quality via using each software for its advantages

PS: This is not a war for which software is better, each software has its pros and cons, I love each software, all softwares are capable, my intention is how I approach it and which approach is less time consuming.
  07 July 2013
The advantages you'll find in 3ds Max over Maya are things like Particle Flow and its integration of plugins like Rayfire among others. Some plugins are making their way towards Maya, but they're usually still better in Max since they've been there much longer. The polygonal modeling tools are also better though Maya is improving greatly in that area.
The Z-Axis
  07 July 2013
Historically speaking, a lot of 3ds Max users are more comfortable with Max than Maya simply because they have been using it for 15+ years. Also, just like you and C4D, some people's brains "click" better with one workflow approach than another. But when it comes to plugins, the real factor (for me) is the SDK vs. API story.

In short, 3ds Max ships with an SDK. Maya ships with an API. It sounds like both can be extended the same, but the practice is somewhat different.

An API defines a programming interface to safely access certain features of the software. It makes things safe and clean, but potentially limits the access of the developer to some deeper core parts of the software. The API makes sure the developer cannot destabilize the software and can perform only correct operations. It is usually well-documented and easy to use.

An SDK is a "development toolkit". It allows 3rd party developers to do the same things that the original developers are able to do. It comes with plenty of source code and libraries and so the developer can extend the software in ways an API would never allow. The documentation is often (as in the case of Max) quite a mess, but there is rarely anything you cannot do if you know what you are doing. If you don't, you can make the whole thing crash easily.

As result, over the last 15 years a lot of plugin have been developed for 3ds Max that feel like an integral part of the software because they use the same development techniques available to the Autodesk engineers. In fact, in some cases these 3rd party plugins feel BETTER thought out than the original workflows of 3ds Max.

Some of these 3rd party plugins have been ported to Maya, but the level of integration varies depending on what the Maya APIs allow. There are a lot of things that only Autodesk can add to Maya and 3rd party developers cannot.

There are other factors involved too, but I suspect that when it comes to 3rd party plugin workflows, this fundamental difference affects the user experience significantly.

On top of that, Max and Maya operate differently under the hood (Max has fewer specialized object types, Maya is more flexible in its node graph organization, but that adds another level of complexity in some cases).

Back in the early days of Max vs Maya comparisons we used to say that Max would bring you from 0 to 90% in no time, but the last 10% would be hard, while Maya would bring you from 10 to 100% easily, but is lacking the first 10% of user friendliness
I still feel this is somewhat true... But I am sure Maya users would disagree.

My 2 cents.
  07 July 2013
I don't use maya but when I saw the great facial animation tools in Osipas book stop staring I contemplated going over, but instead I wrote the max equivalents. Took me months ...and they're free in this something about maya has attracted a lot of animators and they prefer to work in maya for animation so I guess that's why they have kick ass tools....what is the equivalent of CAT in maya?
What rigs are available for mayans out of the box.
  07 July 2013
Bobo, and i guess the SDK approach bites you in the back if you want to make significant changes to the (3dsmax)-core?
  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by MGernot: Bobo, and i guess the SDK approach bites you in the back if you want to make significant changes to the (3dsmax)-core?

About once a year, even if the only change is the compiler used
But you have to recompile Maya plugins too.
It is a balance of Pros and Cons.

Another Con in the case of the 3ds Max SDK is that 90% of the plugin code tends to be UI boilerplate stuff, while in Maya controls get exposed automatically, and you can write scripted templates to customize the resulting UI.

That's why the majority of Thinkbox plugins also use scripted UIs. In fact, I think we allow even more complex customization of the User Interface than the Maya templates do.
On the Pro side, MEL covers everything that can happen in Maya. On the Con side, it covers it in quite a machine-friendly (read: not human friendly) way. On the Pro side, MAXScript is pretty much a wrapper around the SDK and it is pleasantly human-readable. On the Con side, it does not wrap everything....
I could go on

Last edited by Bobo : 07 July 2013 at 03:54 PM.
  07 July 2013
Hm... some interesting stuff here. I guess it really comes down to what you have had better experiences with
  07 July 2013
bobo, when will we have python in max? that is simliar to the python workflow in maya?
  07 July 2013
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