Maya 2018 - Review: Creativity OFF - Efficiency almost ON!


Since my original post was unfairly deleated… and now Autodesk Maya 2018 has already been released with same features i described a month ago… yes, i told you first than anyone on this forum and proved it was a final version with real videos from youtube; then now, i´m proud to sustain my first review:

Autodesk Maya 2018 Review - First review after testing Autodesk Maya 2018

A year ago Autodesk Maya 2017 was released with mixed reactions between both users and companies, Autodesk introduced extra payments for batch render and decided to take a risk by trashing Mental Ray and just plugg Arnold as Maya´s new out of the box renderer, Maya 2018 has been released and what a complete dissapointment, If you where expecting amazing new features, keep waiting for another rather long year, Autodesk Maya 2018 is all about performance and solving issues from Maya 2017, after 1 year of development Maya has almost cero new amazing features and for some people it brings a bit of tragic news.

Autodesk Maya 2018 review:

1 - A few new small features have been released for Autodesk Maya 2018, like: “gear” for making mechanical objects, new polygon primitives for fancy shapes, some new tools for the UV editor, extrude by pressing shift, new dynamic node for mash, new visibility mode for rigs and circulize to create circles over polygons, and thats pretty much it for 1 year of development of Maya 2018, seems like Autodesk urgently needs a new creative development team since most of the production time of new features was spent on fixing old features that were not even developed by Autodesk (Xgen, Bifrost, Arnold, etc).
2 - Impossible to open old scenes without node errors, this is a very surprissing problem with Maya 2018, if you try to open a Maya 2016 or Maya 2017 scene you will find very difficult to load materials right without previous plugins, compatibility issues wont allow you to use any mental ray node, materials become red or black and will require you to manually replace each material by Arnold Materials losing for many cases refraction, specular, bump, displacement and texture configurations, requiring hours of extra work and you wont be able to see MR materials but nodes without many attributes.
3 - SSAO and AAA Cause High Performance Degradation, the bigger the viewport the greater the degradation when SSAO and AAA are enable, also the larger the size of the viewport makes pre-highlighting to become laggy.
4 - Say good bye to legacy viewports, Maya 2018 only works with Viewport 2.0 withouth almost any improvement.
5 - Arnold for Maya 2018 overheats computers faster than Arnold for Maya 2017, try at your own burning risk.
6 - Bath render with Arnold still a pay-per-view tool for Maya 2018, even if Autodesk sold you Maya as a full working tool…

Here some Autodesk Maya 2018 tutorials for you to enjoy:

Extrude/ Slide in Maya 2018
Circulize component for Maya 2018
Animation workflow in Maya 2018
Curl Noise Hologram
Maya 2018 featuresFinal review: Autodesk Maya 2018 seems just a number slaped next to Maya´s name, more than a brand new release, just a simple update with more problems to fix than new exciting features for 1 complete year of wait. Looks like relying on comercial practices and just buy and plug new features for Maya is not working anymore as fast as it did for previous versions, a new phyllosophy from Autodesk making Maya feel designed only for the bussiness sake.


Hi RoccoFx,
Yes , of course you were right. A lot of people know that but most of the people that agree with what you were saying do not voice their opinion here. Maya 2018 from what others say is much more stable. I have not tried it yet and too tell you the truth I am in no rush. Rushing into any version of Maya the last 10 years has proven to be a waste of time. And sinking money into it has also proven to be a waste. You end up paying for using bugs. And then paying again for them to be fixed. So you pay twice. And then Autodesk takes your paid license away from you by changing the “rules” from maintenance to subscription or some crap. Most people will be happy if 2018 proves to be less buggy than all the mostly garbage served the previous years. And I can’t blame them. They need to get work done. Even if it means that they are lacking features that are considered mainstream today. But lets face it. Autodesk has stopped developing Maya a long time ago. Maya has not been cutting edge in a very very long time. It is barely capable of keeping up at all. They purchase third party tools and just shoehorn them in, poorly, and pretend the package is still developing. Perhaps that is a good thing since they are basically incapable of actually developing anything themselves. Maya is just a “container” (even though it doesn’t even have “containers” in the node editor or the hypershade ferom what someone else was just saying today). The just plop third party tools in, just add water, and hope it will magically grow. Don’t waste your time pointing out the obvious. I personally think that it’s very unlikely that Maya will be around for too long. Or if it is it will gradually play less and less of an important role in this industry. It’s losing production left and right to Houdini, C4D and probably even Blender. The reason I mention Blender last is only because it is free. It is not less important. It is probably much more relevant to CG today than Maya has been in a long time.


So far this is looking like the best, most bug-free Maya release ever from Autodesk. That’s not saying much I know ;), but it took a lot less for me to say not much than it did for you.


IMO, the best release in a long time.

Speed and stability are always my top priority features and that appears to be what they delivered


Same as saying cero features but fixes… thanks for agree with me…LOL

we both agree now that Autodesk only made fixes for Maya 2017, a simple update, never a new release as Maya 2016 was and even 2017, Maya 2018 just came out short of creativity on almost any spect but fixing bug department.

What an easy way of avoiding producing more bugs by releasing a new version with almost cero new stuff and only solving old problems… and not delivering almost anything new after 1 year of work, problems that could have been solved in a simple update.


Please tell me what new ‘creative’ features you require to be more productive?


Really? Let’s see:

[quote=]4 - Say good bye to legacy viewports, Maya 2018 only works with Viewport 2.0 withouth almost any improvement.[/quote]If you really need it, then there is an env variable to turn it on as much as I know.

[quote=]5 - Arnold for Maya 2018 overheats computers faster than Arnold for Maya 2017, try at your own burning risk.
[/quote]Did you try this with other renderers or tools that use all cores 100%?

[quote=]6 - Bath render with Arnold still a pay-per-view tool for Maya 2018, even if Autodesk sold you Maya as a full working tool…[/quote]My bath renders fine… well did you really expect this will change only because you do not like it (and everyone else as well)? And it still is a fully working tool, but not in a way we prefer it.

The development of Maya is not a step by step process any more. It is continous development and if it is time, a new extension pack/service pack/release is taken from the main development trunk and released. And let’s be honest: A serious bug fix release with the possibility that we do not have to wait for plugin developers to recompile everything for Maya2018+ is worth a new release. That’s a huge step IMHO.



So…why none of the plugins work with maya 2018? I reinstalled Renderman, 3Delight and mental ray. None of them works with Maya2018.


Maya2018+ means from now the future releases should work, e.g. Maya2018.5 or Maya2019.


plugins for 2018 will work in 2019… they changed the API for future releases…


Cool story bro.

If some here are so convinced that Maya is on it’s way out and other apps are the future then why not go and use those instead and stop whining ? What’s stopping you exactly?

For the record I love Maya. I use it every day and really enjoy the control and power it gives me for my chosen discipline (character animation).
Is it perfect? Of course not… but neither are any of the others, spend any time with them and this very quickly becomes obvious.


I can’t agree more, i use Maya mostly for modelling and uv’s but have used ever area of the program especially when i was working as a generalist and in the last 4-5 years Autodesk have improved every area o the program with new modelling tools , new uv tools, new animation tools, new dynamic system (Bfrost), Xgen, Mash, and so on and this year they’ve decided to focus on stability rather than adding new features and new bugs that comes with them, they’ve even said this is what their customers told them and i see a lot of people preferring a more stable version at a cost of new features. Personally i was blown away when i saw the sculpting video they showed a couple of years ago and have been waiting for those tools\features ever since, i think they are still developing it and hopefully they’ve decided to do this cleanup pass before adding new tools.


It’s great, they should do it more often. Whoever thought of the idea there is a genius. Taps directly into the core functionality of the software and user needs :slight_smile:


After all that years of buggy releases I was hoping, that Autodesk will put the focus on stability in the next version. Now comes 2018, that is promised to be a stable version. And now I feel like:
can it be truth that my demands on maya has shrinked to only having stability? AD made me wear down all these years. Well done Autodesk!!!
Guys, don´t misunderastand me. I´m glad about 2018 , but it´s sobering.
Maybe I should think about trying some other software and hope that it won´t be aquired by AD.


Sometimes I hate being right all the time.

Maya 2009 - solid gold
Maya 2012 - even more solid
Maya 2015 - after the Extension, pure platinum
Maya 2018 - allegedly solid again?

Maya only rocks every three years. Don’t bother again until 2021, if 2018 works for you. :slight_smile:


here we go again, talking the same shit about evil Arnorld wants to burn your house :banghead:
If you could just learn the tools instead of whining all the time and spreading shit. And when i say learn the tools i’m not only talking about maya.


I agree it’s a good release.

Hardly a project goes by without serious bugs with Maya.

random shader loss
instancing / referencing issues
modelling bugs
crashes with the UI and VP2
mayaBatch.exe didn’t work after AD broke it for a few months until update 4
new render layers doesn’t work
old render layers has a serious bug where the master layer settings can be overwritten.

Just some of the battles with getting Maya to work with simple projects!

So for a year to fix bugs is ok with me. The list is very good with the latest release.



The short of it?

I use Maya at work daily. We use the latest most stable build to complete projects.

Opinions don’t matter…latest…most stable build…FULLSTOP.

Long of it?

New releases show you new features, tools, workflow, etc.

New releases that have big UI changes and even new tools come with new bugs.

I’ve been working in the VFX industry since 1995. Today I am using Maya 2016.5 on a gig. Its the 3rd in a row with Arnold. But its not the Arnold that comes with 2017.

Its the 4.2 core. Arnold is better than Mental Ray. That’s a great step for out of the box Maya.

Does that mean that I am going to start using Arnold at home on my own projects? NOPE.

Vray or Redshift for that.

At work I use whatever Maya version that is stable at that facility. I’ve been lucky enough to use the Linux builds and have less ram/memory issues on the bigger projects with all the multiple UVtiled MipMapped to save memory for big displacement shots etc.

I come here and read people being upset about certain things and give most of those posts a read because even the unfairly mean posts are feedback for Autodesk.
It all gets logged as potential software improvement. Though I am still unaware why we have UV chooser instead of simple dropdown on the 2d texture locator saying which UV to use like softimage or any other application. None the less. I know how to use UV chooser.

Most people want feature X,Y, or Z, or the new general application to fit the need they have in that moment a little easier/more stable/ etc. more streamlined.

Meanwhlie back in the production land where most Maya licenses are purchases in bulk I am usually using the Maya version that is named for that same year. We got Maya 2016 in 2015 but I started seeing it in pipelines in 2016. 2017 is the only time where I am still seeing mostly 2016 builds being used. This also happened with 2011 since the QT ui change was a big jump and most pipelines needed extended time figuring out how to integrate whilst testing stability.

And that is basically it. At home I rent when I need Maya per project for the latest… (back in Oct/Nov in 2016 I needed latest) OR use my older permanent license.

I like 2017 and I like the latest RedShift builds and Vray 3.5. I may end up upgrading to 2018 for the new render engines more so than 2018’s list of wonderful features.

I love Maya. I loved Softimage. I had them both updated for a while with Autodesk. I have modo still as well.

New features at this point are gravy. Honestly wondering what more people want that is mission critical? Makes you wonder if they could ever do a dinosour the same way ILM did with old Softimage 3|D on an SGI if they can’t now with the library of features invented since 20+ years ago.

As long as I can get to the latest 3rd party Render engine technology (Renderman, Vray, Redshift) and maybe a few plugins
then I am happy Maya updates exist. But, if I was forced to use Maya 2009, I’d find a way.

Oh look. Asymmetrical sculpting that keeps model symmetry.
Cool. Total gravy and neat we can do that now.
Meanwhile any symmetry needs I have are usually addressed by the long “ye’ olde schkul”, make and instance and scale it -1.0 on x.
Then when I am finished I combine/mergepoints/delete history/zero transforms all with the same ol script still carried over from older Maya. Same script works on Maya 3.0 through 6.5 on the SGI o2.


I am happy Maya keeps growing. Probably the coolest feature I have used regularly is the humanIK integration where I can grab mocap FBX from the many libraries and use the retargeting to previs my personal character animations rather quickly. This wasn’t a feature I was even anticipating as something I would need. Just something I explored and found quite useful. Hopefully before the end of 2017 I’ll get one of the cheaper mocap suits and be able to block in quite a bit of what I need for my own project at home.

I will have time off for the next couple weeks. I think I’ll dive into 2018 and see what the Autodesk elves came up with this time. :slight_smile:


I Hate Autodesk Maya 2018 incompatibility with everything, I lost months of work and now I need to downgrade.

I lost all my Xgen hair materials after updating to Maya 2018, and i spent like 1 month just choosing each character´s hair root and tip color group for a large project and it doesn´t work with Maya 2018 anymore, they rip off those options and all my hairs became white, incompatibility with same plugin?
I also lost all my Arnold skin materials, because Arnold doesn´t have skin materials anymore and you need to use the default Ai material, then why Autodesk/Arnold added a skin material in the first place for Maya 2017 just to delete it for Maya 2018?
All my bump configuration from Maya 2017 became confusing after converting my materials for Maya 2018, the also look different in viewport 2.0 and Arnold render view, it´s so hard to adjust, never happened with MR and lost all my specular configurations, had to redo every material.
When trying to load an scene done with Maya 2017 it´s giving me lots of errors, it even displays a message saying my scenes have MR nodes, like if my scene has a virus LOL and it doesn´t…
Symmetry doesn´t work either with almost any old mesh and this is the Maya version with the least amount of bugs? OMG

Compatibility is a big issue for me right now with Maya 2018, i cant belive Autodesk couldn´t make it easyer to conver all things they umplugged, then people say you need MR or any other plugin to make Maya 2018 work propertly so it´s not a Maya problem, but really, why Arnold couldn´t allow compatibilty between its own product? why skin materials appear as useless nodes? why loosing all bump, symmetry and specular? Every program has compatibility between versions to avoid issues except Maya, yeah genious work Autodesk, anything works on your bug solving dedicated version.

Incompatibility between it´s own plugins, ilogical.