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3DS Max Or Maya?

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Is one better than the other? Why is best for games and what are their strengths and weaknesses? I find maya a bit easier to use and 3DS Max I haven't really looked at it very much.

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I've a lot of experience in 3ds max but too less in Maya to compare them. However, I would recomend to check out Softimage XSI first. It's surely the best for character animation, interface is fine, easy to script for and offers cheap basic versions containing the necessary stuff for games.

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3ds max if you plan on going professional. Almost every game development company uses 3ds max to make their models. Almost every movie company uses Maya though.

So if you're going professional games, get used to using max, if you want to go professional movies, keep learning Maya.

3ds max: Easy interface, self-explanatory tools, script, can do anything.

Maya: Easy interface(not quite as easy as max, I find), tools are basically the same as max except in the modeling dialogue boxes has a few more advanced options, I think it has a script, not too sure though, and since it focuses on modeling it can do quite a bit.

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How to Find the Right 3D Program in 5 Easy Steps
1) Rip a sheet of paper into three equal pieces.
2) Write XSI on one, 3DS on another, and Maya on the third.
3) Crumple up pieces of paper and place in a hat.
4) Close eyes, shakes pieces in the hat, and choose a piece of paper.
5) The program written on the piece of paper is the one for you!

Unless you are scripting or rigging, it doesn't matter which program you use, really. Whatever someone says about which has a better interface or workflow, its only because they've taught themselves how to use one program and have adjusted to that workflow and the other one seems 'clunky.' I use both Max and Maya extensively, and have toyed with XSI, they can all do anything, just choose one and go with it.

BTW, what KevinM says is wrong. Its impossible to classify the usage of the programs so easily.

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Original post by Professor420
How to Find the Right 3D Program in 5 Easy Steps
1) Rip a sheet of paper into three equal pieces.
2) Write XSI on one, 3DS on another, and Maya on the third.
3) Crumple up pieces of paper and place in a hat.
4) Close eyes, shakes pieces in the hat, and choose a piece of paper.
5) The program written on the piece of paper is the one for you!

Unless you are scripting or rigging, it doesn't matter which program you use, really. Whatever someone says about which has a better interface or workflow, its only because they've taught themselves how to use one program and have adjusted to that workflow and the other one seems 'clunky.' I use both Max and Maya extensively, and have toyed with XSI, they can all do anything, just choose one and go with it.

BTW, what KevinM says is wrong. Its impossible to classify the usage of the programs so easily.


Very true, 3dsmax have been used in a large number of movies and maya have seen quite alot of use in the game industry, i would still hold on to the claim that neither is suitable for indie developers or beginners (due to the high licence costs).

Currently 3dsmax 9 costs 41995 Kr (SEK) for a single licence (in sweden), which is roughly equal to $6000 (USD)

not exactly the kind of money you want to spend on a single tool as an indie developer.

A student licence is avaliable for 1200 kr or ~$170 but can't be used comercially and is only valid for 2 years.

Maya is a bit cheaper (roughly $3000 for a single licence).

In general you can do just as good rigged and animated models using a free tool such as blender.
Though 3dsmax9 has alot of nice features that really save alot of time, and i would assume that Maya and XSI have aswell. The fact is that as a game developer you don't need all features those programs have to offer. (unless you want to create fancy cut-scenes)

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Original post by Professor420


BTW, what KevinM says is wrong. Its impossible to classify the usage of the programs so easily.



I'm simply going by what the industry says. The majority of major movie companies use Maya, the majority of game companies use 3ds max. If you disagree with that I highly suggest you do some research.

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Quote:
Original post by KevinM
I'm simply going by what the industry says. The majority of major movie companies use Maya, the majority of game companies use 3ds max. If you disagree with that I highly suggest you do some research.

Is that what you stated?
Quote:
Almost every game development company uses 3ds max to make their models. Almost every movie company uses Maya though.

So if you're going professional games, get used to using max, if you want to go professional movies, keep learning Maya.

The majority, maybe. But its nowhere near a cornered market. To say that game companies, a large slice of game companies, don't use Maya or XSI (AAA companies such as Infinity Ward and Valve), or that film studios don't use 3dsmax (many special effects houses, and shorts studios like Blur (which just switched to XSI)), is simply, flat out, wrong.

I suggest you do some research of your own, you can start with Wikipedia. Continue with looking at Artist Job Openings and look at what software they are looking for. You can also look at 3D game art books and look at what alot of studios are using (alot of Japanese companies seem to use Lightwave, believe it or not... at least they used to).

The idea that Maya=film and 3ds=games is a really old fashioned and wildly off the mark assessment that was perhaps true 7 or 8 years ago but hasn't been the case for a while now.

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oh god.. another 3ds max vs. maya debate!
i'll explain once again as i did before in another similar thread.
it does not matter which one you learn!!! if you start with either max or maya and become proficient in it you can then easily move to the other app and be fine. ex. i start with 3ds max, become a good modeler in it, then my new job requires maya, i then spend aybe a month or two and make a very good switch over to maya.
however the decision on which one to start with is up to you and is mainly which one you feel most confortable with at the start. tryout the demos of each to make that decision.
as for how much market 3ds max has? it is nearly half and half with the industry, with 3ds max carrying a slight lead. but who really cares whther maya or max is on top?

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And hell, they're both owned by the same company now anyways.

I started out learning 3ds max, and now need to use Maya for courses I'm taking. It's a jarring switch, I couldn't do jack shit for the first week, but slowly you get used to it. All the same modelling techniques and principles apply to both. It's just a matter of finding where they hid the tools that both products have. It'll probably be weird to go back and start using max again.

But Maya does 10x more random crazy shit to me and the interface is arse. It's fine if you work with someone who really knows their way around it and they teach you all the tricks, but otherwise you are never going to find most of the helpful features because they are generally invisible and often not in the documentation.

Learning Maya without close instruction = clicking every goddamn pixel on the interface with every button combination imaginable to try and find all the menus.

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F1 works awfully well, you know.

I started on 3ds for about 7 months, then switched to mainly Maya for the next year. I basically stopped 3ds all together for 8 months after that, I toyed around with XSI as well during that time. I now use Maya for modelling, texture-testing, rendering, and animation, and 3ds for Biped, skinning, biped animation, and exporting/level design. You will adjust yourself to the workflow of either program, just keep at it. At one point I was going between half a dozen programs in my pipeline and workflow for certain models, the only thing I still seem to confuse are the F1... keys and the Alt/Shift/Ctrl button.

Like I said in my first post, your choice in software doesn't matter (with a few exceptions... scripting and rigging being those exceptions, rigging only because its so closely intertwined with scripting). If you can make quality artwork, that's all that matters. Anyone with an ounce of talent and experience will tell you the same thing.

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Original post by LockePick
And hell, they're both owned by the same company now anyways.

I started out learning 3ds max, and now need to use Maya for courses I'm taking. It's a jarring switch, I couldn't do jack shit for the first week, but slowly you get used to it. All the same modelling techniques and principles apply to both. It's just a matter of finding where they hid the tools that both products have.

exactly!


Quote:
Original post by Professor420
F1 works awfully well, you know.

I started on 3ds for about 7 months, then switched to mainly Maya for the next year. I basically stopped 3ds all together for 8 months after that, I toyed around with XSI as well during that time. I now use Maya for modelling, texture-testing, rendering, and animation, and 3ds for Biped, skinning, biped animation, and exporting/level design. You will adjust yourself to the workflow of either program, just keep at it. At one point I was going between half a dozen programs in my pipeline and workflow for certain models, the only thing I still seem to confuse are the F1... keys and the Alt/Shift/Ctrl button.

Like I said in my first post, your choice in software doesn't matter (with a few exceptions... scripting and rigging being those exceptions, rigging only because its so closely intertwined with scripting). If you can make quality artwork, that's all that matters. Anyone with an ounce of talent and experience will tell you the same thing.

exactly!

"If you can make quality artwork, that's all that matters."
this is also true, that is why, in some rare instances, certain studios will allow the artist a choice of 3ds max or maya. as long as it doesn't hinder workflow (meaning you can export out to the need format...etc) then they don't care, because art is art, who cares how you create it!

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hahha yeah nice question! I am actually using 3d max for school and it pretty much rocks. I haven't really gone into TOO much detail with max, but then about 2 days ago I saw my teacher using MAYA, and it was just amazing! He was doing something with one of his works and there is sooo much detail! He was even making the mouth move to say stuff!!! But then again everyone who posted above is correct! It really doesnt matter which is which, just as long as your work is groovy!!

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Like everyone else has said, they all end up producing the same thing: 3d art dictated by your artistic skill. The quality practices in 3d modeling are the same whether you're using a $6k program or freeware. Edge loops, poly optimization, principles of animation, etc.

Speaking from personal experience, I picked up the Maya PLE and had a horrible go at it, the interface just wasn't very intuitive. I tried 3DSMax7 with some video tutorials and clicked with it right away. Now I'm using Blender, and the only real transition has been finding the buttons again. Once I know which keys relate to the tools I'm used to, it's smooth sailing.

*sniff* (but I do miss single-edge beveling, sigh)

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Original post by BCullis
Like everyone else has said, they all end up producing the same thing: 3d art dictated by your artistic skill. The quality practices in 3d modeling are the same whether you're using a $6k program or freeware. Edge loops, poly optimization, principles of animation, etc.

Speaking from personal experience, I picked up the Maya PLE and had a horrible go at it, the interface just wasn't very intuitive. I tried 3DSMax7 with some video tutorials and clicked with it right away. Now I'm using Blender, and the only real transition has been finding the buttons again. Once I know which keys relate to the tools I'm used to, it's smooth sailing.

*sniff* (but I do miss single-edge beveling, sigh)

may i ask why you made the switch from 3ds max to blender though? but yeah, once you become a good artist when moving to another app its just a matter of figuring out what they call this or that feature and where the buttons are.

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Original post by Jarrod1937
may i ask why you made the switch from 3ds max to blender though? but yeah, once you become a good artist when moving to another app its just a matter of figuring out what they call this or that feature and where the buttons are.


Two reasons:
1)Built a new PC, and the install .msi on my disk doesn't like my version of XP for some reason, and more importantly...
2)It was bootleg, which I didn't have a problem with while I was learning, but in the interest of being able to offer resources to dev groups, I picked up legitimate freeware. And in all honesty, I'm amazed with how robust Blender is for being freeware.

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As someone with extensive experience using both Max(9 years) and Maya(6+ years) I can say as everyone else has iterated that both programs will accomplish what you're looking for. The disparity between Maya and Max users in the industry is not as wide a gap as many might have you believe either. I've worked professionally on 8 games so far. Three of the developers used Maya, four used Max, and one used XSI. And the gap is narrowing each year as more developers explore the possibilities with Maya, XSI, and other 3d apps. Five to ten years ago Max dominated the game industry. This is no longer the case.

That being said, based on my personal experience I prefer Maya for it’s workflow, efficiency, and accuracy, but these are just personal preferences. Having actually spent three more years with Max than Maya I can say with a bit of confidence that I’ve nearly mastered the workflow in Max and almost have acquired a comparable level of proficiency in Maya. Despite my greater experience in Max I can still work faster in Maya because of its workflow. Max has some nice poly tools that I wish Maya would adopt such as target welding, the connect tool, ring selections, etc. but in my opinion these don’t make up for the speed with which I can do the most fundamental and powerful tasks in Maya. Again, this is just my opinion. There could very well be an artist out there who has equal experience with Max and Maya and can work more efficiently in Max.

Either way though, as soon as you learn one 3d app, learning another is really not that difficult. It’s just understanding all the little nuances that takes a while.

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