Is Maya’s implementation of Mental Ray? I did some modelling work at college for a few ‘softies’ and had them show me a bit about XSi rendering while I was there. I couldn’t believe how streamlined it all seemed to be. Looking at things in maya it just seemed like endless attribute rollouts, bizarre new shaders, strange procedures to even get the thing running. A real put-off to anyone who wants to have a go with it. I’m making my demo at the moment and certainly can’t justify spending months learning all these intricasies to incorporate them into my rendering when my time here is almost over. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to…the results from MR are stunning…but the learning curve seems pretty steep and long.
Contrast this to XSi where there seemed to be very little technical things to know, it was more intuative for the artist. For example are all shaders in XSi MR shaders? So everything just works with MR off the bat or do they need to do a fair degree of hair-pulling themselves to get things working? I didn’t see any evidence of that when watching my colleagues and their renders seemed to incorporate GI/FG/Caustics et al beautifully.
I know MR has been tightly knit with Softimage for many releases now so it should be better but Maya’s implementation just seems really half-arsed and overly complicated.
Do people here think that for the typical 3D artist, Maya MR is more complex than it needs to be? It almost seems like you need a technical background rather than an artistic one to get any mileage out of it. Noone’s looking for a 1-click make beautiful render button but at the same time there has to be a more friendly way to get renders than this? Does XSi just give you the bare miniumum to access these features and you need to go ‘in under the hood’ to find all it’s confusing equivalents? Whereas Maya makes everything visible from the start which is a daunting when you first see it?
Is it simply just a matter of time/releases and we will see this slick integration with Maya? Or do the different architectures of the software mean that the Maya implementation will never match XSi’s?