Gaming: Maya or Max


Hi everyone, I hav e a goal to become a 3D modeller in game industry, one month ago I completed my 3dsMax beginner corse, now I think how much does it worth to expand my skills in 3dsMax(up to intermediate or to advanced also)

The problem is that in my country only 3dsMax is widely used as 3D program, but I hope to immigrate from it one day and find myself in game industry(after building successfull career ofcorse).

But which modeling tool is dominant in game: maya or Max

My tutor told me to stick with Max, but as far as I see, the majority of artists use Maya for character modeling in games.

Therefore I hope you will give me precise answers


There aren’t really any precise answers.
Both are used. But it really depends on the studio.
And if its easier to get Max training for you than that might be worth sticking with it. For now.

What you could try is to google a number of studios that you’d like to work at the most.
Then if you check they’re current job postings it will likely suggest which they use currently (under preferred experience)
Now- make a tally and which ever software shows up the most maybe this is the one to learn first.

Whatever you do I would pick one Software to focus on because they both can do the same things.
And later learning the other will be pretty easy.
But learning both while learning 3d in general will likely just confuse you. So I would avoid putting too much on your plate.


Thanks I appreciate your answer very much!


Switching between softwares can be really claustrophobic (make you feel confined) sometimes, but it’s totally doable and you can learn the basics in Maya rapidly while still focusing on Max. Simply being able to navigate in Maya could be really useful. It’s really just all about that Alt key, sometimes I wish every software just worked like Maya. But I use Rhino 3D for much of my modeling and often go back and forth in both, and since I do it so often it’s a piece of cake. You can totally be proficient with Max and Maya, just take some time to play in Maya when you get a chance! It’s tedious at first, and not as much fun as Max, but it’s very powerful and better than Max in many ways.


It’s just not too clever spending time learning 2 similar programs. You’d better add zbrush for example.
It can depend on geographical location as well. In Ukraine for some reason 3ds max is more used in games.


I’d say actually get good at one, then learn just enough of the other that if someone drops you in front of a workstation with it, you’re not completely helpless.


Modeling - just pure 3D modeling - can be done in multiple 3D apps. C4D, Max, Maya, Moi3D, Rhino, Modo, Houdini, Blender, Hexagon and so forth.

As long as the resulting 3D model can be UV mapped, textured and so forth properly, it doesn’t really matter what 3D app it is modeled with.

If you are going down the game route, you’ll need to learn ZBrush though.


I think the question is more about what do the game studios have installed and use today. Because you don’t want to apply to a studio with ‘special needs’ for your first job!
You want to plug right in.

But good point about the Zbrush. Probably the next most important one to know.


I would say it’s fairly even between Maya and 3ds Max. The only case where it would matter is if you’re doing character animation, where it’s more likely to be Maya.
While the models are pretty easy to transfer between programs, animation rigs aren’t.