Sign in to follow this  
brekehan

Time to upgrade - 3dsmax and maya questions

Recommended Posts

I am currently using Maya 6.0.1 I wasn't very happy with it for what it cost me. The directory hierarchy was very hard to figure out, what is where, and what does what took forever, even after $200 worth of books and videos. I found the interface, especially hypershade and the different "nodes" to be very confusing. When I go to do something like scale an object I am left going, "hmm which one of these 90 nodes on the attribute view has what I am looking for?" I don't seem to be able to use it on my new box: Vista 64 Ultimate Gforce 8800 Ultra I figure it either has problems with Vista or more specifically, uses an older graphics API that the video is not supporting. Am I correct in that Maya uses OpenGL while 3D Studio Max uses DirectX? If so, am I correct that 3DS Max 2009 uses version 9.0c of DX? Is there any speculation on how much time will pass before they create a 3D modeler specifically for DX10+? Also note, I'd really rather not shell out 1000s for the "officially supported" video cards such as FireGL, or Quadro card, as I've never seen any difference between those and the everyday gaming cards. If anything they have less performance for the dollar, but supposedly better drivers? So, I priced the newer versions. I was quoted: $2k for Maya Complete 2008 $3,5k for 3DS Max 2009 So, my question is of course, what am I getting for my extra $1.5k? Which do you guys find easier to integrate with graphics programming and game engines? What's my import/export list going to look like? I've never been successful in getting an .x file out of either, and MS conversion tool didn't work. I am left having to spend months figuring out how to write my own exporter. Which interface do you find to be more intuitive? I understand of course that is a hard question, but if there are blatant problems with either let me know. Any stability problems, liscensing issues, etc? Also, what is the community and resources like? I was quite pissed that the shader library, extras, and tutorials were all made unavailable to me in less than 6 months after purchase of Maya. The bulk of the useful resources available were also subscription based, and an expensive subscription at that. Has any of that changed for either? If I switch to 3DS Max can I expect to have access to official tutorials, scripts, and other resources for a lengthy amount of time? I understand everyone has their favorites so please tend to give me the black and white rather than the subjective. I want to know if there are issues with either before dropping that kind of money. Thanks for inputs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by brekehan
I am currently using Maya 6.0.1
I wasn't very happy with it for what it cost me. The directory hierarchy was very hard to figure out, what is where, and what does what took forever, even after $200 worth of books and videos. I found the interface, especially hypershade and the different "nodes" to be very confusing. When I go to do something like scale an object I am left going, "hmm which one of these 90 nodes on the attribute view has what I am looking for?"

What resources are you using to learn these things? Have you tried the Maya Foundation books? I found learning Maya to be pretty intuitive with the aid of the version of the book geared for version 6 or 7 of Maya, I don't remember which.

Quote:
I don't seem to be able to use it on my new box:
Vista 64 Ultimate
Gforce 8800 Ultra

That isn't a very descriptive explanation of the problem you are having. Have you tried running as an administrator? Are you using a 64 bit version of Maya?

Quote:
I figure it either has problems with Vista or more specifically, uses an older graphics API that the video is not supporting.

The former maybe, but definitely not the latter.

Quote:
Am I correct in that Maya uses OpenGL while 3D Studio Max uses DirectX?
If so, am I correct that 3DS Max 2009 uses version 9.0c of DX?
Is there any speculation on how much time will pass before they create a 3D modeler specifically for DX10+?

Why would you want that? It would surprise me if the current version of Max supports it, but I don't know why the system would be created specifically for DX10?

Quote:
Also note, I'd really rather not shell out 1000s for the "officially supported" video cards such as FireGL, or Quadro card, as I've never seen any difference between those and the everyday gaming cards. If anything they have less performance for the dollar, but supposedly better drivers?

There isn't any real need to do so. Those cards are performance tuned for CAD work, but you don't exactly need one.

Quote:
So, I priced the newer versions. I was quoted:
$2k for Maya Complete 2008
$3,5k for 3DS Max 2009

So, my question is of course, what am I getting for my extra $1.5k?

Take a gander at Autodesk's website and compare features.

Quote:
Which do you guys find easier to integrate with graphics programming and game engines? What's my import/export list going to look like?

Extensive toolsets have been developed for both, as they are both industry standards. It just depends on the engine, really.

Quote:
I've never been successful in getting an .x file out of either, and MS conversion tool didn't work. I am left having to spend months figuring out how to write my own exporter.

Microsoft sure haven't ever made it easy for artists to work with the .x format. See my sticky on my explorations of the format a couple of years ago.

Quote:
Which interface do you find to be more intuitive?
I understand of course that is a hard question, but if there are blatant problems with either let me know.

Any stability problems, liscensing issues, etc?

I prefer Maya over Max, but that is probably because I learned off of Maya initially.

Quote:
Also, what is the community and resources like?
I was quite pissed that the shader library, extras, and tutorials were all made unavailable to me in less than 6 months after purchase of Maya. The bulk of the useful resources available were also subscription based, and an expensive subscription at that. Has any of that changed for either? If I switch to 3DS Max can I expect to have access to official tutorials, scripts, and other resources for a lengthy amount of time?

There are tons and tons of free resources available for both. Check out thegnomonworkshop.com, simply-maya.com, simply-max.com, the list goes on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by brekehan
I am currently using Maya 6.0.1
I wasn't very happy with it for what it cost me. The directory hierarchy was very hard to figure out, what is where, and what does what took forever, even after $200 worth of books and videos. I found the interface, especially hypershade and the different "nodes" to be very confusing. When I go to do something like scale an object I am left going, "hmm which one of these 90 nodes on the attribute view has what I am looking for?"

Not to be a jerk, but you didn't spend your money wisely. Maya has somewhat of a steep learning curve, but is tremendously powerful and customizable. But you can try Max as well.

Quote:
Am I correct in that Maya uses OpenGL while 3D Studio Max uses DirectX?
If so, am I correct that 3DS Max 2009 uses version 9.0c of DX?
Is there any speculation on how much time will pass before they create a 3D modeler specifically for DX10+?

Probably a while. They may add in DX10 support/renderers, but it will be a while until there is any real difference for most end users.

Quote:
Also note, I'd really rather not shell out 1000s for the "officially supported" video cards such as FireGL, or Quadro card, as I've never seen any difference between those and the everyday gaming cards. If anything they have less performance for the dollar, but supposedly better drivers?

Most professional users don't use these, but for OpenGL apps, they make a HUGE difference. Not neccessarily an important difference, since it won't allow you to do anything truly different, but Maya and other OGL apps perform much faster with a workstation card, check out some metrics. But not really needed.

Quote:
So, my question is of course, what am I getting for my extra $1.5k?

Bugs?

Quote:
Which do you guys find easier to integrate with graphics programming and game engines? What's my import/export list going to look like?
I've never been successful in getting an .x file out of either, and MS conversion tool didn't work. I am left having to spend months figuring out how to write my own exporter.

DO NOT USE .X FORMAT!! Now with that out of the way...
Most of the same formats are available for both tools. There's really no difference between newer versions of Max and Maya. As far as what is easier to integrate with game engines, both have their pluses. Both can run dedicated viewports, for example. MEL is stronger than MaxScript and will allow you to do lots, but Max's SDK is more open (so I hear), so if you are mainly using it for pipeline setup and you are a programmer, Max may be better for your purposes.

Quote:
Which interface do you find to be more intuitive?

I have been using Max as a technical artist/animator for the past year after using Maya in college (but starting on Max)... I prefer Maya over Max, but this is highly personal in so many ways. You just need to experiment, it will also matter what sort of work you are doing.

Quote:
Any stability problems

Yes for both :)

Quote:
Also, what is the community and resources like?

Max has more legacy stuff (tutorials, resources (except scripts), etc) than Maya since it was a dominant pro app for a while, but it has been in decline for a while.

If you are discussing the new versions, try out both and go for what you like. Honestly, most of the feedback you are going to get is worthless if you don't know exactly what sort of work you are doing and how your mind works. It is a highly subjective matter, until you get into more fine details. If, for example, you are a rigger, Maya is the way to go, without a doubt. If you are modeling hard surface objects, Max MAY have advantages (though many would argue that such isn't true in new versions). That said, I'd encourage you to go Maya, since Max the professional Max community has been seeing an exodus in recent years in favor of Maya.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are going to need a newer version of Maya or a professional 3d card(which you already stated you don't want) to use your version of Maya under Vista.
The problems with Nvidia consumer level cards i.e. 8800,etc has been mentioned in the Nvidia driver release notes as long as I've been reading them:
"OpenGL Application Issues
The following are known compatibility issues for OpenGL applications developed
under Windows XP:
• Mixed GDI and OpenGL rendering does not work.
A number of applications use GDI to render UI components and object
highlighting. This is not supported in the Windows Vista driver model.
NVIDIA recommends converting GDI rendering to OpenGL.
The following are some applications that are known to have this issue:
• Maya 7.01
• OneSpace Designer Modeling
• Applications, Tools, and Benchmarks not Supported Under Windows Vista
• GLperf
• 3ds max 8 (later releases may be supported)
"
Having used Maya and 3dmax myself I personally prefer Maya even though it has a steeper learning curve due to it's node based architecture. This mean that you can pretty much script/program Maya to do whatever you want whereas in 3dmax it was tacked on later just like they seem to be copying all the other good stuff from Maya like the hotbox. Also, Maya runs on macs and linux if that is a future consideration for you?
Also having used a professional 3D card with these program myself 2 areas that I noticed right away that were quite different that "regular cards is paints effects is faster in Maya and 2-sided shading is pretty cool. That means you can see the inside of a hollow object in realtime whereas with a normal card you won't see anything. So if models you are working with make use of this you really are missing stuff and not seeing the model/scene as it was intended. The Nvidia GeForce VS Quadro White Paper [PDF] link at the bottom of this page has a picture of what I'm talking about. You can pick a pretty cheap Quadro FX card on Ebay these days.

I have no clue why 3dmax now cost more than Maya? when I started using it Maya was way more expensive and there was none of this subscription stuff. Well you figure 3dmax now comes with the mental ray renderer like maya always did so maybe they charge extra for that?
Also, when I started there were alot less resources i.e. books on learning/using Maya than 3dmax but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

p.s. As has probably already been said you can download trials of the new versions and decide which one works for you.

[Edited by - daviangel on July 28, 2008 9:24:17 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by zer0wolf
That isn't a very descriptive explanation of the problem you are having. Have you tried running as an administrator? Are you using a 64 bit version of Maya?


There was no such thing as 64 bit for version 6.0.1 as far as I know.
It is 32 bit.

Problem is the help system ceased to work
The help service is no where to be found
The view panels all grey out any time focus is lost
hypershade greys out half the screen

It worked fine on my XP box, but my XP box is about to be retired.


Quote:
Original post by zer0wolf
Why would you want that? It would surprise me if the current version of Max supports it, but I don't know why the system would be created specifically for DX10?


Because, Vista no longer supports OpenGL at all.
I've also read DirectX 9 s forced to go through emulation and sent through the DirectX 10 pipeline.

I figure a modeler that is using dx 10 is going to give me alot less problems, if such a thing will exist.

Quote:
Original post by Professor420
Quote:
Original post by brekehan
Am I correct in that Maya uses OpenGL while 3D Studio Max uses DirectX?
If so, am I correct that 3DS Max 2009 uses version 9.0c of DX?
Is there any speculation on how much time will pass before they create a 3D modeler specifically for DX10+?

Probably a while. They may add in DX10 support/renderers, but it will be a while until there is any real difference for most end users.


Well, not so much the renderer, but the API the application uses to display its UI, panels, etc. They all use something. I believe most use OpenGL and Windows GDI on top, in the case of Windows anyway.

My concern is that Vista and later has dropped OpenGL, so even if I have a quality video card, the OS has no support for it.

The only modeler I saw that officially listed Vista as a supported OS was Max 2009. It also said it required Directx9.0c, which is why I suppose it uses DX 9 for its UI, panels, and such, as well as its renderer.


Quote:
Original post by Professor420
Quote:
Original post by brekehanAlso note, I'd really rather not shell out 1000s for the "officially supported" video cards such as FireGL, or Quadro card, as I've never seen any difference between those and the everyday gaming cards. If anything they have less performance for the dollar, but supposedly better drivers?

Most professional users don't use these, but for OpenGL apps, they make a HUGE difference. Not neccessarily an important difference, since it won't allow you to do anything truly different, but Maya and other OGL apps perform much faster with a workstation card, check out some metrics. But not really needed.


I read over the white paper, but I don't understand how these are higher quality cards when their specs are lower. All the quadro cards I see have less memory, bandwidth, etc, then the GForce cards. I get that they added a few OpenGL features according to the white paper. but I don't even know if those will be usable on Vista anyway, since Vista dropped OpenGL.

Maybe I have to just get a dedicated Linux box for modeling? That would kind of suck, but it might solve all my problems.


Quote:
Original post by Professor420
If you are discussing the new versions, try out both and go for what you like. Honestly, most of the feedback you are going to get is worthless if you don't know exactly what sort of work you are doing and how your mind works. It is a highly subjective matter, until you get into more fine details. If, for example, you are a rigger, Maya is the way to go, without a doubt. If you are modeling hard surface objects, Max MAY have advantages (though many would argue that such isn't true in new versions). That said, I'd encourage you to go Maya, since Max the professional Max community has been seeing an exodus in recent years in favor of Maya.


I am mainly a programmer. I have zero artistic ability and am lucky if I can model a cube. However, I want a modeler to more or less make some low polly static meshes to test my engine with, and possibly create some simple games with
if my engine ever gets to a usable point. (Its been about 5 years off and on).
I want the potential to make some cool models if I ever get good at it, but its hard to say what kind of things I need, because I am at such a beginner level artistically. I did manage to make some spaceships in Maya after reading about 6 books :) I would like to be able to do things like that. Static space craft meshes, possibly planets, nebula, etc. for a space game idea. I'd love to be able to model characters and skin them with armors and weapons and such, but realistically, I don't know if I will ever have the ability.

I can say I like the key frame animation in Maya 6, but I don't even think it was worth anything, as I cannot figure out how to transfer that into my program yet.

Things like particle effects, lights, etc. are worthless to me, because the engine would most likely do that kind of thing on its own.

[Edited by - brekehan on July 29, 2008 10:59:25 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this