Recently i was having a play with XSI and it made me realise Maya rather behind. I still love Maya for it’s UI (universal navigation controls for each editor is one of the really nice touches), it’s workflow, the Hypershade, graph editor, dynamics, lighting and has the SINGLE BEST extrude poly tool of any program that I’ve used. However, XSI has so many other features that seems to be drawing me away. Sure you can find scripts to add some needed features, but sometimes it can be real tough to filter through the good ones and the poor ones (you also got to wonder why some things so simple aren’t added by Alias in the first place).
Here are some things i’d like to see in the next version of Maya, and i’m wondering what other people would like to see too.
-Poly modelling tool improvments. Things like a propper bevel (XSI’s bevel is amazing), select ring, something like Max’s Edit Poly connect, etc.
-Smooth Proxy with creasing. Sub Div surfaces are way too slow, and not just in framerate but in useage (you can’t even select contiguous edges on a sub div surface). Maybe even something like LW’s metanurbs or XSI’s sub division. It’s just nice to be able to go to a subdiv and back by hitting tab (LW) or plus and minus (XSI) and seeing the cage’s edges on the proxy.
-More control in the channel box with input nodes. Being able to delete/remove or collapse/freeze any input node within the channel box would be nice.
-A UVing unwrap tool like Wings 3d’s. Absolutely amazing system (if you’ve seen it, you’d agree), pity getting a model into Wings 3d can sometimes be an extraordinarily painful experience.
-Skin overhaul. Skin is way behind IMO. Having to save skin weights as an image is just rediculous. Not being able to alter the geometry after assigning a skin bind is seriously annoying. I’d really love to be able to having some interactive slider with a real time update on the weights. etc…
-A propper pose system. Assume Bind pose has NEVER worked for me propperly (esspecially with extra controller objects).
-Trax editor that works as well as XSI’s animation mixer and on normal objects not just Characters
-I would LOVE something like XSI’s Rig guide. (With the last 3 things, i wonder what they’ll be solved with Alias’s aquisition of Kaydara )
-More diverse axis options (not just local, global, gimbal, etc), but others like Parent, Refenence, etc. Be nice if Scale could use these too.
-If somehow they couuld implement a kind of temporary Transform node for selected components so you can enter nurmerical values in the channel box like on an object level.
-Temporay axis for components made a little less temporary (changing tools should not reset it. Deselecting/reselecting should).
-Better implementation of Quaternion (be great to be able to change an object’s rotation type to Quaternion and get the extra W ‘axis’ in the channel box and graph editor).
All in all, i love Maya, ever since it rescued me from the evil clutches of 3ds max. But it seems to be really dropping behind in the smaller things.