Maya 2019


This is coming from a strictly VFX perspective, but Maya does not do everything it needs to do at the moment.

Its getting surpassed by specialist software like Clarisse, Katana, Zbrush and Substance. Houdini is inching closer and closer to being a true alternative. You can’t expect to stay on top if you don’t innovate.

Anyways, end of rant.


well he is speaking for himself.

I feel myself repeating this endlessly, developpement is not something linear.
Where was Houdini the last decade? almost unused with shitty solvers. Now they did a great job and they are where they are now.

And overall it’s good thing, if houdini is with this low price tag it’s because of Autodesk and at the same if they are working hard on Bifrost etc it’s because of Houdini.
So at the end the competition it’s good for us on every aspect.


Those programs have a market, part of which is bridging assets for major 3D apps together. They can coexist and have been for years. I don’t think Maya needs to match Zbrush or Substance. Those tools are a cornerstone for modelers and texture artists.

However I think a lot of the basic Mudbox tech should be slowly rolled into Maya and Max because that’s all maya/max artists really need. Otherwise they’d rather import their asset back into zbrush for a major revision to have its full toolset

Adobe pulled through their cloud migration and let’s be honest, so will Autodesk. Houdini is great. I’m a huge fan, but it isn’t viable yet as a mainstream 3D app for various reasons. Someday Houdini or Blender may knock Maya and Max off their perch and it will be obvious when the school start exclusively teaching them. C4D and Blender have their niche markets too, but they are still niche.


There isn’t a giant major wow feature added but I would say this is a great release as far as what looks like thought through problem solving in the application throughout.


Oh I fully understand that Maya will never compete with those specialty apps, nor should they. But the list of specialty apps is growing. I use Maya less and less every year at work (large VFX studios). At a certain point you have to innovate and be great at something or someone will come along with a better solution. I am not an animator, so I guess its great at that, but for what i do (asset creation and environments) its falling behind.

As for 2019, I am looking forward to see how the viewport handles large amounts of scan data and if the uv editor can handle a dense mesh. Here’s hoping…


I’m probably wrong, but IMO the main things maya needs to do well are:

  • rigging
  • animation
  • handle assets well (performance and management)
  • high compatibility with bleeding-edge tools
  • flexible framework that’s capable of handling 95% of scenes

IMO maya is the best at that list overall in a very broad sense. Things like modeling tools, render engines, or specialty FX plugins are mostly the same between packages now.

Houdini easily edges out Maya in a couple things on my list, but at a great cost of complexity, artist unfriendliness, and the general lack of solid houdini skills for general 3D from an employment standpoint.

C4D IMO isn’t as strong in any of those areas except for very specific types of procedural motion-graphics shape animation. What it gains in simplicity, it loses on depth and flexibility.

Max isn’t as strong in animation or as flexible (Windows-only, no nodes), but holds its own just fine or even better in other areas

Blender (as always) is catching up in most areas, ahead in a few, obviously not first priority for commercial companies to produce tools for.

Modo seems behind on most of those things on my list from what I know. It seems to excel at a few specific areas of production, but not as solid across the board. Though I’m probably wrong as I mainly only know people who use it for modeling or hobby-type rendering, not full animation production.

Lightwave is legacy these days, still working fine for those that use it, but not much widespread use anymore because it hasn’t kept pace.

Given how much the apps have shifted around, I think it’s smart for companies to not try to make their app do everything well under one software. If Autodesk put all their Maya resources into competing with zBrush, we’d all be screwed. ZBrush won that war and no one would suddenly drop zBrush (which is universally useful to all 3D apps) in favor of Maya’s version of zBrush tools.

Things like the new Render Setup are the heavy duty type of scene management tools are things that no 3rd party will likely create. Even though I don’t yet use Render Setup (my scenes aren’t usually complicated), I see the power it has in managing complicated render layers/passes that would quickly get buried and lost with the traditional Maya Render Layers. So I like that Maya is pushing major scene management tools forward like that, even if it takes 2-3 versions to fully work out the kinks.


Your not wrong. And every area of 3d probably have vastly different needs. I get myopic about things because I only see it through the lense of one particular area of VFX.

Having said that, here’s an example, so in the past in asset creation, or environments at a typical VFX studio, you would have the following pipeline:

Modeling: Maya
Sculpting: Zbrush
Retopo: Maya
UV’s: Maya
Texturing: Photoshop/Mari/Mudbox
Procedural texturing: Maya/Hypershade networks
Lookdev: Maya/render engine of choice
Rendering: Maya/render engine of choice

So Maya had a pretty big piece of the pie.

Here is that same pipeline currently:

Modeling: Maya/Zbrush
Procedural modeling: Houdini
Sculpting: Zbrush
Retopo: Maya/Zbrush (decimation and zremesh for non-deformable things)
UV’s: Maya
Texturing: Mari/Substance
Procedural texturing: Substance/Mari/Maya
Lookdev: Katana/render engine of choice, Maya, or Clarisse
Rendering: Katana/render engine of choice, Maya, or Clarisse

Obviously this differs per studio, especially depending on the size, but this is roughly what the last three studios I have worked at have looked like. Its a greatly diminishing slice of the pie.

I am not slagging Maya here, its still my app of choice. I just feel ADSK needs to be better.


interesting read that is related a bit to maya2019.


At every release is the same story, to much of this or to less of that. This things piss me off every time.
Maya 2019 is damn fast and stable, this is what we ask and this is what we get. But every time what Maya team do is not enough, can you imagine how frustrating can be for their?
Good job Autodesk, keep it up!


Don´t missunderstand me. It´s not the question of missing new features, but it´s the gap between what you pay and what you get for that money. I agree with sentry66 that stability is the most important thing. But why paying thousand of dollars (multiple licenses!!!) for bugfixes?! You already paid money for 2018 to get a app to work with. Now you pay for the bugfixes of 2018 and they call it 2019!!!


Some features takes years in the background as you can see there is development for a new base goin on.
The only thing i could blame Autodesk is that is isnt allowed to talk about those in dev features.


and other vid


Well I must be blind, I haven’t seen anything about that. Link?



I was very excited with this release because of the Cached Playback but now that i tested i realized that sadly it works with “Parallel Mode” and not with “DG” mode witch is bad in my case because my rigs only works in DG mode.

And even then i activate the “Cache Playback” function just to test how fast it performs and it does give a boost in performance but it does not reach 24fps. With two characters that have more than 22,000 faces each in the scene the frame rate just reach about 15fps.

I suppose that is for more lighter geometries or for more powerful hardware…

In any case i cannot use it as i said because after a few minutes using my rig in “Parallel Mode” maya crashes. Which is sad because in that mode the interaction with the rig is so much faster.


New Tech needs new workflows.
Why should old nodes work in the new system.
If you want new tech use it and build a new rig.


The character rig setup that i`m using is from about 10 months ago and it was made using the latest version (at that time) of Advanced Skeleton.

I don`t know if you have used Advanced Skeleton before, but in general terms if a rig setup is not compatible with Parallel mode do you have to build a new rig (using other rig system) from scratch or can you modify the one you have to make it work with parallel mode?


Whats new in Maya 2019 section doesn’t have any fx element. :smiley:


I’ve used Advanced Skeleton rigs for a while, always in Parallel mode, I’ve not noticed any issues with them. I just use the basic biped stuff though, not the face rigging tools. What’s not working for you ?



Thanks Brian.

In my case i`m using not just the body rigging but also the face rigging.

The problem that i have is that with some animation already done selecting parts of the rig with the “body picker” or the " face picker" GUI is somewhat slow. Align from FK to IK also with the GUI or hide the controls is not instant as it is in DG mode.

And after a few minutes manipulating the rig maya freeze and i have to close it with the Windows Task Manager.

But the good part is that manipulating the rig and jumping from frame to frame is way faster…