Coming back to maya after 5 years (what I missed?)


As the title says I want to re-learn maya. Originally my weapon of choice allot has seemed to change in demands since 2014. Ive since moved on to motion graphics, design and c4d. But im very interested in moving back to maya or at least re familiarizing my self with it.

Ive done some research on whats new and theres a wealth of information out there, but I kind of what to know whats mainly changed from the users. Things I might not find in a “new features list”

like before I left,
*Ncloth, Particles was being vastly improved
*animation layers was introduced
*Vray was just replacing Mental ray in high quality rendering

I would like to know how Arnold competes with Vray as I use it for C4D &
what other new tools are a must learn?

Thanks for your time


Not that much changed.
In what area are you working?
Animation, Modeling, Rendering, FX…?


Now Maya has bifrost for fluids simulation, mash for instancing, scattering and motion graphics, Arnold instead of mental ray, a lot more stable and versatile, modeling toolkit and new uv editor, much better than the old one. Performance wise, we now have parallel evaluation and animation caching.

Arnold is quite fast in exteriors, but compared to vray in my opinion is still slower in interiors. Quality is somehow similar. I prefer Arnold image quality but it is just a personal preference.


Thanks for your replies, my focus of area would be over all 3d generalist. Knowing a bit of everything. But I do have a slight lean towards rendering anf FX.

Good to hear arnold can keep up with Vray, I pretty much use that for production renders on c4d. I’ll have to check out the new modeling tool kit, and uv editor. Thanks allot


viewport 2.0 is much better
modeling toolkit
render setup is poised to replace render layers
animation caching
misc improvements
Arnold render replaces mental ray, though cannot batch render outside of GUI with included license


Do yourself a favor and skip Arnold. Vray for Maya is much better in almost every way, and much more powerful and tuneable. Of course this is just my opinion, but I was a die-hard mental ray guy until Arnold replaced it, and I had been learning Vray for awhile and Arnold simply isn’t as flexible.


I dont agree here. I use Vray every day and would like to replace it with Arnold.
If you need animations with a lot of motionblur, volumetrics, unique displaced geo with ss shaders Arnold is the way to go.

For big single frame images i would stay with Vray, yes.


Thank you this is very helpful i am already familiar with vray’s workflow, so im sure it wouldnt hurt to learn arnold. How would you say the learning curve is?
also im curious if they implemented tracking or is it still packaged with mocha?


No tracking at all. Mocha is gone.

And Arnold is really easy to learn.


Arnold is super easy to learn, and really great at certain things, but it’s also super expensive cost-wise. The denoiser probably saves it, otherwise render times can be long, especially if the light source is not directly viewable to the models


Yes I certainly didn’t mean to spark a debate. Vray is my personal preference, coming from mental ray. Arnold just has a stupid name and I always found it silly to name something after the Terminator dude. :wink:


Its not that expensive some might think. Arnold rendernodes are software agnostic. If you have an Arnold farm you can render with houdini, katana or maya. And you get volume discounts. But the target are big studios not the single user.


While we’re here. I haven’t jumped back into animation yet. Are animation layers any different then using Trax?


There is the new Time Editor you should check out.
Its the “replacement” for Trax.