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Maya or 3Ds Max?

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I'm sorry if this is a beaten to death topic but I have projects coming up in some classes that will require 3D modeling. The professor does not care which program you use but due to some weird circumstances (it would take too long to explain) I can only choose Maya or 3Ds Max. I want Maya because it works on Mac, although I have plenty of windows machines too so the OS isn't a problem, and from what I understand 3Ds Max does not work on mac unless you boot into windows. I will be making some 3d characters for small game projects, nothing super detailed or super hi res. Maya and 3Ds Max would be both good candidates for this correct? Ive researched but I cant seem to find why one would be better then the other. Any help in this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you :)

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Best advice is to download the free trials of each and test the user interface to see which you like more. I've tried 3DS Max but I like Maya's interface more. It's all a matter of preference.

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Quote:
Original post by Chrono1081
Thats the conclusion I came down to was preference. I too like Maya's more. I just didnt know if I was correct.

You didn't know if you were correct in liking Maya more?

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A lot of artists I know seem to prefer Maya. I think that's because they can customise the user interface so much, it makes them more efficient because they put the tools they need somewhere convenient to them. One of the guys I've worked with was a senior artist who also happened to be an adobe certified trainer and used to teach 3dsmax to students, but he also prefers Maya.

Personally Maya is a bit baffling to me. Seems like the design is a bit more confused than 3dsmax which seems very straight forward to me, but then I've been using it since it was called 3d studio and ran in DOS :-) Maybe slightly biased there!

From a programming plugins / customizing workflow point of view I know several companies favoured Maya because of the ability to get to the scene graph which is very important to modern 3d games. Until 3dsmax 2008, 3dsmax did not have a scene graph view, and even now I'm not sure if it's possible to get to it easily from a plugin. Another plus for Maya is that MEL (the maya scripting language) is very full featured and at more than one place I know the game exporter plugin was written entirely in MEL script, which is better documented than max script. Besides with max script you often need a binary plugin 'helper' to actually serialize the relevant data into the game format.

Hope this helps!

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Download the trials and try out both. Personally, I find 3ds max a lot easier, and in my opinion there are a lot more help and tutorials online if you need them.

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Download the trials and try out both. Personally, I find 3ds max a lot easier, and in my opinion there are a lot more help and tutorials online if you need them.

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Try out both, just don't get too dependent with one application, as they are the two leading programs. Since the techniques applied in creating 3D assets are for the most part universal, all it really takes once you're proficient in Maya is learning the interface of Max or vice versa.

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The polycount thread is informative and reflects my experience with the two programs pretty accurately. In general Max is considered to have better modeling and unwrapping tools/workflow while Maya wins out in rigging, scripting, animation, rendering, etc. In general, people who like to use one or the other will tell you that's wrong and one is better at everything. They're both capable tools and most of the time you can find plugins for each to mimic the other.

[rant]
That being said, Maya is the undisputed king of random shit. It will fuck with you whenever it feels like, for no reason at all. Don't want to load a jpg today? Ok. Want to randomly restrict model properties despite not being linked to anything in the scene? Sure. Care to load an interface window with no interface on it? Yes please! I never had crazy random problems with Max but it's pretty rare I ever have a session working in Maya where it doesn't invent some new error.

Additionally a lot of professional artists love Maya because they have people on their development team whose job it is to make custom scripts for them. That's awesome but without that luxury Max starts looking more attractive.
[/rant]

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