For one, it seems like mentalray is no longer a thing and hardware rendering is all the rage (cycles, redshift). I’ve been out of the loop with 3D for quite a while. Has Maya changed significantly?
obviously yes, check the documentation for each release and look at the “what’s new” tab
What do you think about alternatives to autodesk maya? Found only this https://alternativemaster.com/alternatives-to-autodesk-maya
There are many alternatives depending what you are trying to do, for film work and game Maya is still the standard software in the industry and the most capable.
i am stuck to maya 2013 since i have tried maya2016-2018-2019 and dislike arnold
i would not use last maya versions only tuning layout and removing essential features such as mental ray
best maya versions are 2008/2009/2012/2013 : stable, fast, packing whole cg resources in kernel
latest maya multiply useless gadgets embedding known process
Maya 2020 is rock-solid and very wonderful, with tons of new features that I use all the time. I went from Maya 2009 to 2012 to 2015, then waited five years to update it until they had features I liked and wanted (MASH, mostly).
As for rendering engines, I use Vray and also don’t care for Arnold, but Arnold can do everything mental ray could so there’s really no reason not to upgrade. It’s also much, much faster (so is Vray) than mental ever was.
i consider mental ray faster than arnold furthermore none of mental ray shaders is processable through arnold needing to reset whole scene
Mental ray is faster than Arnold, no doubt. But it is also full of bug and needs a ton of workarounds. I used mental ray for 10 years and after the switch to Arnold my life became way easier.