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


I have been a Maya user for just over 10 years I beta tested it and have whatched it grow and now I must say I have watched it become very stagnate under the stuartship of the mighty Autodesk. I must say that after seeing the new features list of XSI 7, I think that this marriage is on the rocks my friends. I’m gonna reserve jugment till siggraph and see what Autodesk pumps out for Maya 2009. But if it is anything short of what has been done for XSI 7, Well I’m moving on. I’m tired of rendering being in passes being a pain in the ass. Yes I know there is the “Renderpass toolkit” But that is sorta hammering a square peg into a round hole. And it depends on shders from the which are at best completley undependable when it comes to keeping things up to date.

And the new node based particle system “kinda like particle flow on steroids” and ICE dynamics systems just look too good to pass up.

Just getting tired of having to fight my application, and having to type expresions for things that I should be able to click thru or connect something to it.

I’m and artist not a programer.

If you work for Autodesk and happen to read this. You guys have till Siggraph to get off you asses and wow us or we are leaving you.


You are not alone …



I’m not so much into XSI as I simply can’t deal with it’s GUI.
At the moment I’m excessively testing Houdini 9.X. Great costumer service, even for the HD version sold for 99$. Animation and polygon modeling tools are great. The app is super stable!
The new GUI is a charm!!!
It just lacks a great render engine for stills. I’m also testing Lightwave for that purpose. It’s render engine is great for Raytracing/GI/FG stills, and the Companion bundle for a valid licence of Rhino or even Photoshop is 500$. So I might switch to Houdini and LW.
I will see after 2009…


i can see this becoming a massive flame war again, but i’m in agreement as well.

we have one max guy in our house, he’s running max 2009 sp1. its got a proper output for frame buffers based off the mia_material_x. while i’m grateful max and the people at ctrl studios produced ctrl_buffers, we shouldnt have to rely on a single person for a framebuffer outputs in mental ray.

as a whole i’ll still argue maya is a good overall package, the problems i encounter are always around the mental ray implementation. then again, the new features in xsi are certainly interesting…


While I agree with you on most points, I have to say it’s pretty rare that studios only rely on any one package. I’ve been in many studios, and i’ve never encountered a situation where they didn’t have more than one software. They all have their strong points and weak points for me.


flamewar ? don’t think so.
anyone who uses Maya and have done so for a while knows it’s a good program, but sooooo not worth updating to next version since like v. 6 if it wasn’t for silly things “intel mac support” and such outer-influences.

only a marketing person at Autodesk could honetly defend upgrading to 2008 (so they changed the little navigator box in the viewport and nMuscle or whatever it was called.

I can’t say I wil change software, since I can’t but it’s abit dissapointing that the “major updates” are either some script that always been possible or a “clean up of code”.

look at such things a Blender where occlusion is being rendered out super-fast and super-easy.

looking forward to read next versions features.


2009 is gonna be a really nice release, but, as always, I let the studios I’m working for decide what app I’ll go with. I wanted to switch away from Maya to XSI for quite some time now, since it’s polymodeling tools are just so sub-par, but if Maya is what’s being used at place x or y, I’ll go with it. Gives me much less of a headache.


I hate when people speak for the masses. Don’t include me in your “anyone”. I think 8.5 and 2008 were great releases compared to v6. “Silly things” like intel mac and other things help pay the bills, keep customers around and foster innovation in other areas.

Ignorance is bliss. There are more things to 2008 than the navigator box. Read the feature list. Download the demo. Check out what other people have done. It’s better than looking silly with these comments.

If you’re running v6, I could see where occ would be slow compared to Blender. I haven’t had any issues with speed in AO in 2008. Time to upgrade? Oh wait… in your eyes 2008 only has the stupid navigator box and that silly intel mac thing so why would there be any other improvements. Also, it’s funny you’re complaining about Autodesk adding support for Mac Intel when you have that listed as one of your workstations in your sig.

Didn’t know people still put system specs in their sigs. Oh well.

carry on.


I find that applications are like languages, the more you know the easier it is to learn and the more thoroughly you understand your native language. Maya is my 5th 3D app and my favorite. But 2008 was a major disappointment, even with muscles being awesome. I am really tired of the mental ray implementation and craptastic physics. Im afraid that nucleus is going to be like nCloth, powerful, but slow as shit.

I am going to learn XSI and see if its everything that its cracked up to be. I have my reservations about XSI. Stability and speed are far more important to me than bells a whistles. Houndini looks great, but I work for a living and unless you do strictly FX I dont see a lot of jobs out there for it. XSI seems to be covering more ground.

I don’t want to switch to XSI, I have always loved Maya, but they need to get thier act together or I’m gone.


I have also been with it since wavefront merged with explore; I have been migrating to houdini. I use maya everyday, but really only because I know it too well. I pity people trying to learn it now, since you really have to have an instinctive knowledge of what works and what only works when obey a undocumented order of operations that one only find through a lot of trial and error.
If autodesk comes out with a completely new package, it will be interesting to see how much userbase it will pick up, since most maya and max users with then have a level playing field to choose from (houdini, XSI, autodesk whatever, plus the other apps), and little workflow annoyances will cause people to spend their valuable time elsewhere.



I’m not exactly a super mega ultra awesome artist, but in my opinion (and I think someone else said it here too) every tool has it’s strengthes and weaknesses. If some weaknesses of maya are bugging you, and there is another software that is strong in those areas, sure, go for it. I can’t see myself leaving maya any time soon though, probably becuase I know it better than other softwares. I tried using 3DS Max once and Gave XSI a trial run too but for some reason I just don’t wanna let go of maya. Let’s hope Autodesk does give you a good reason to stay so you can continue your marriage with maya :).


I love maya and would rather stay where I’m comfortable. But the fact of the matter is it is just getting to be a pain in the @$$. for instance you can do crap in maya particles without doing at least a handful of expressions. In 3ds and XSI you can just connect the nodes and configure them as you like and you have great visual refrence to what you are dealing with.

I don’t want to program. I’m and artist for God’s sake! give me a break already. And wiht the new giga poly 2 core in XSI the amount of polycount that you can work with is exactly what we need for our jobs.

Honestly it is going to be really hard waiting for for the 2009 announcement before buying XSI. I just know that there is no way that Autodesk is gonna come thru. It would have to be the biggest update Maya has ever had to keep us from going to softimage. And quite frankly Autodesk is not know for that. Their logic would be “No, this is to0 much stuff we can stretch this out and get 2-3 releases out of it”. It is just not how they do business.

with XSI and Houdini doing so well gain more and more market share and the welth of cheap modeling tools that are really good like Silo. I think that Autodesk better pull a rabbit out of the hat quick or things are gonna start changing.


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’re now the second person to gripe about the programming vs. artistry … What is with you people? A few simple expressions and MEL is that difficult to wrap your head around? I knew nothing about MEL and Expressions but figured if I am going to push Maya outside the box I need to learn it …and now, I cannot live without it (yes, lets hear the responses of … “EXACTLY! I’M AN ARTIST! I SHOULDN’T NEED TO LIVE WITHOUT IT!”), fact of the matter is those two things are tools to be used and everyone is afraid of them. In all honesty, I’m on the fence with considering MEL and Expressions “programming”, it is a script language and is not nearly as powerful as C/C++ and the like.

Maya 2008 has been fine with me, …It’s nice to stay up to date so if or when you do go to a new job that has newer tools in the Pipe you’re in a better understanding of how to fully use them.


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.

I personally think that the node based way works better. I can see it all right out there in front of me. What is wrong with that?


He is talking about this link

It is just an approximation but it is very good and lightning fast.

Blender is getting a lot better but until they get past the there is nothing wrong with the blender interface. you just nee dto learn to do things the blender way". attitude it will never gain wide acceptance. if they open of the interface to make it totaly customeizable down the the mouse keyboard interactions. And get a damn quad viewport for god’s sake.

blender is a sweet peicen of software but It has a long way to go still in the area of usability.


Well, I actually kinda agree that an artist shouldn’t have to learn how to code. It’s kinda like a photographer having to enter a line of code to change his ISO setting every time, though that wouldn’t be very hard to learn, a button that lets you do that is simpler and easier to use, and accomplishes the same task in less time. (the example is kinda absurd but, you get the point).
Ice is a good alternative to coding, of course it will have its limitations but the samples I have seen on softimage’s website so far look promising. It’s kinda like what the “Unreal technology” people did with kismet which I enjoyed using.
My advice to calmasacow would be:
Download 3DS Max 2009 trial (since you mentioned that it’s easier to achieve the same effect in it than it is in maya) and use it for the given 30 days. Hopefully till then (or maybe 2 weeks after the 30 days are over) XSI 7 would have been released and you can give it a trial run as well, and as mentioned by another user giving Houdini a trial run wouldn’t be a bad idea as well. Once you have had a comprehensive “taste” of each software, you can safely make the decision and choose the one that now feels right.
I hope that helped.


You are not alone :surprised :bowdown:


I don’t need any new feature, but I want this program to work with my hardware configuration. I spend 1000$ in a workstation card, I don’t want to have ANY issues with screen diplay. I have XP Pro, and Dual XEONs, I keep my drivers updated according to Autodesk suggestions, so I don’t want my program to shut down. If my app shuts down it has to recover the file like Rhino and Houdini are doing.
I hate Maya’s update and costumer “platinum” what so ever policy. Houdini, Lightwave etc give updates within a 9.0-9.9 rnge for free. Maya gives it’s Extension only to PL members.
Maya 2008 is a nice app, and I will continue using it. But I will defintivly buy a licence of Houdini instead of maya 2009 (if it’s just another cosmetic update). I respect SideFX for rebuilding the whole app for their last release. It needs balls to change basicly everything, but they succeded in satisfying experienced users and their are extremly appealing to newcomers. free learning edition (not comparable to the Maya PLE), 99$ HD non comercial edition and the full app costs as much as Maya does (but daily builds for free if they discover bugs etc!!)
I will use Maya for stills as MR is a great render engine. but I also will risk a license of Houdinin 9.5. Togheter they might be a very powerful toolset.


I totally agree with most of you guys here. I think it’s time Autodesk should refresh some things in Maya in terms of UI ergonomy and artist friendly stuff. Especially in areas like particles and dynamics. There is a similar discussion in this thread too:


there is a similar method in mental ray 3.6 (with a shader in maya 2008 sp1/ext2), pixel cache, passes, approximation :smiley: probably maya need a bit of work, but you have to know also how to work with it…