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Old 06-03-2009, 12:46 PM   #1
Delicieuxz

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3Ds Max vs Maya
Both are owned by Autodesk, yet share the same market. Why is this?

I hear that Maya is a bit more top-end and better for character animations, but also with a steeper learning curve than 3Ds Max. Are there any other differences?
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
Autodesk owns a lot of "overlapping" products, it's more down to personal preference AND/OR what your job needs.

Impossible to say which is "better".

ps. the section you chose to post this in, isn't probably the best
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:18 PM   #3
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
Yeah, though it seemed to be a topic that was in-between forum categories.

If 3Ds Max 2010 still looks like 3Ds Max 2008, then I'd say I much prefer Maya's design, look and layout.
I saw this on ebay, which looks like a smoking hot deal, considering the exact same package sells on Autodesk's website for $6500, instead of $700.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:16 AM   #4
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
It's student edition, so it's "illegal" to sell that to one whom isn't a "student". It's normal price for the student edition.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:00 AM   #5
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
I don't see anything special about maya. Even maya hair, cloth and paint feature are not the final words on creative satisfaction. Maya's popularity is built on proprietary tools and testimonials from ILM, Dreamworks and others. Any 3D package with proprietary tools can do almost anything.

But out of the box without the proprietary tools or Maya unlimited, if you looked at 3ds max 4 and maya complete 4.0, 3ds max a more attractive package to learn and to become a professional in.

Size? Maya install was like over 400MB when I installed it. Max 4 is about 150MB. Again, ports are never as good as natives!

Ease of use? maya has some ways to go. Too many complex operation just for simple tasks.

Power/Speed?, They are both powerful. Some say they are equivalent but max is a Windows native application and a port will never be as good as a native no matter how much you try to justify it. Added to that, max supports DirectX. DirectX is extremely fast, powerful and is only available on Windows!

Features? They both have tons of features but with out of the box modeling and native renderer, 3ds max smokes maya. Case in point? Warcraft 3! Nuff said!

Extensible? Both applications are very deep and extensible. Maxscript is powerful and is far easier to implement. Any programmer who has looked at max scripts documentation knows just how easy and organized it is. MEL on the other hand is powerful but sloppy.

Portable? Maya was built to be portable. 3ds max is not (it only runs on Windows) Simple! Why? Just look at the Mac version of Maya. It makes no marketing sense. The decision was a bad one. The mac 3d market is not big enough or even significant at this moment. Didn't they notice that Steve Jobs never pushed macs as a high end, scalable 3d platform? And since the parent company of Maya (SGI) is in trouble it would be wise to not waste further resources and money on the mac platform and focus on soldifying the product. Discreet choice to stay on a platform with around 90% usage is a good move! Any other reason is like an act of sympathy. Apple is the last company to have any sympathy for!

Finally there's the 64bit computing from AMD Opteron and Intel itanium right around the corner, maya will find it even harder to compete against 3ds max 64bit on Windows 64bit. On IRIX though, it seems to have carved a respectable market with Hollywood. Enjoy it while it lasts!

I hope this clears all the confusion between the two programs. If it doesn't, oh well, I tried. For the record, this will be my last post breaking down 3ds max and maya for a long, long time. I really want to focus my energy and brain power on creating!
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:02 AM   #6
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Exclamation Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
Autodesk own both because they bought other companies that owned them (Discreet and Alias). Note that Autodesk also own Softimage, so that's three programs which have a massive overlap. They've basically got a monopoly on the modelling/animation thing.

All of these programs are rubbish at rendering and basically require you to use third-party plug-ins for decent output (in Hollywood, that's a RenderMan farm).

Personally, I've only used 3Ds max properly (out of 3Ds max and Maya). People complain about Blender (free equivalent, with basically the same feature-set), but 3Ds' interface is no better. In fact, I found 3Ds max extremely unintuitive.

In truth, they're all the same and it's only the differences in the interface that are worth talking about.

Just download the free trials. Most likely, you'll realise that you hate one of their interfaces a lot more than the other.

In the professional world, you'll be expected to switch tool regularly, and new versions have a habit of changing everything around. You can't "become a professional in" (sic) a particular application and stick around very long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intra Dev View Post
max is a Windows native application and a port will never be as good as a native [...] DirectX.
It's all just libraries. 3ds max has been developed as a Windows application, whereas Maya has been developed as a cross-platform application. This is the explanation of why Maya is available on more platforms.

DirectX is just a hardware abstraction library. Using SDL and OpenGL gives you equivalent hardware access, but greater cross-platform ability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intra Dev View Post
Just look at the Mac version of Maya. It makes no marketing sense. The decision was a bad one.
Once you've built your application to be cross-platform, you might as well release it for as many platforms as you can think of.

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Finally there's the 64bit computing from AMD Opteron and Intel itanium right around the corner, maya will find it even harder to compete against 3ds max 64bit on Windows 64bit.
No. Opteron and Itanium use totally different instruction sets (x86-64 and IA-64, respectively) and have both been around for a while. Maya already has a x86-64 version for Windows, so what are you talking about?
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:52 AM   #7
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
To be honest, 64-bit computing/processors are already here, it's not around the corner. Every Core 2 is 64-bit (possibly even the Core processors were).

I'm not sure about the Atom processors, but 64-bit computing is already here.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:10 AM   #8
Crosma

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Exclamation Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
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Originally Posted by lordlonelobo View Post
To be honest, 64-bit computing/processors are already here, it's not around the corner. Every Core 2 is 64-bit (possibly even the Core processors were).
The original Core processors did not support x86-64, while the Intel Xeons at the time had mediocre but functional x86-64 support. But yeah, all of the modern x86-compatible processors support x86-64 well now.

The reference to the Itanium was a little odd, because that processor is basically dead now, and is only supported properly by Linux/Unix.

There is no 64-bit version of Maya for Mac OS X, because the built-in libraries don't fully support 64-bit yet (they will in Snow Leopard).

Personally, I use a 64-bit self-compiled version of POV-Ray for most 3D graphics work on my Mac (which was an absolute bitch to compile, but the performance is totally wonderful in raytracing terms).
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:02 PM   #9
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosma View Post
The original Core processors did not support x86-64, while the Intel Xeons at the time had mediocre but functional x86-64 support. But yeah, all of the modern x86-compatible processors support x86-64 well now.

The reference to the Itanium was a little odd, because that processor is basically dead now, and is only supported properly by Linux/Unix.
That's unusual. Because the Pentium 4s, in their later years, did support x86-64. I would've figured the Cores would've carried that on.

Also, Opteron and Itanium are basically server processors, are they not? In which case, you wouldn't be running Max or Maya on either anyway, as they'd have 4 MB of video memory.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:03 PM   #10
Crosma

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Exclamation Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordlonelobo View Post
That's unusual. Because the Pentium 4s, in their later years, did support x86-64. I would've figured the Cores would've carried that on.
The Core processors were based on Intel's mobile processors, which did not support 64-bit at the time either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordlonelobo View Post
Also, Opteron and Itanium are basically server processors, are they not? In which case, you wouldn't be running Max or Maya on either anyway, as they'd have 4 MB of video memory.
One man's server processor is another man's high performance workstation processor. The problem is that the Itanium does not support x86 anymore, and the older versions that did were terrible at it.

3Ds max has no Itanium-specific version, so you couldn't even run it on a modern Itanium processor without some form of software emulation. That should key you in to how pointless the Itanium is. You're better off with a Xeon. 3Ds max and Maya would both run fabulously on a Xeon.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:33 PM   #11
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
There is Quadro FX 4800 for Mac, which is a professional 3D card, although processor-wise it is a bit slower than a GeForce GTX280. However it has more memory which is usually more needed when you're doing 3D work.

As for the native vs portable part, Max gains nothing from being native since they have remade/skinned all of their controls. So in fact they lose the ability to adapt and support other platforms.

Beyond these, i think (Intra Dev) you're a bit out of date. Discreet is past since years, and SGI sold Alias in 2003.


EDIT: of course personally i prefer Blender since i'm used to it and from all other 3D packages this one is the most intuitive to me :-P.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:35 PM   #12
Delicieuxz

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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
How did all of you learn to use these programs, by messing around with them on your own, or did you have lessons / use tutorials?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intra Dev View Post
But out of the box without the proprietary tools or Maya unlimited, if you looked at 3ds max 4 and maya complete 4.0, 3ds max a more attractive package to learn and to become a professional in.

Power/Speed?, They are both powerful. Some say they are equivalent but max is a Windows native application and a port will never be as good as a native no matter how much you try to justify it. Added to that, max supports DirectX. DirectX is extremely fast, powerful and is only available on Windows!
But they're now up to 3D Max version 9 and Maya version 10.
Does Maya still not support Direct X out of the box?

Quote:
Features? They both have tons of features but with out of the box modeling and native renderer, 3ds max smokes maya. Case in point? Warcraft 3! Nuff said!
Quote:
DirectX is just a hardware abstraction library. Using SDL and OpenGL gives you equivalent hardware access, but greater cross-platform ability.
Forgive the noob question, but can you add your own renderer and switch between which one you'd like to use?


Maya may be the one I choose to learn with simply because 3D Buzz has done over 160 hours of video tutorials on it, going from the absolute basics of the interface to highly complex applications. Since I'm entirely green, I feel somewhat dependent on that resource.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:42 PM   #13
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicieuxz View Post
Maya may be the one I choose to learn with simply because 3D Buzz has done over 160 hours of video tutorials on it, going from the absolute basics of the interface to highly complex applications. Since I'm entirely green, I feel somewhat dependent on that resource.
That many? I saw the USP model. And they've done some with Max, which I tried to use, but I don't find it nearly as "teaching" as, say, their UE3 tutorials.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:33 PM   #14
Delicieuxz

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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
They have the Fundamentals series, which says it's over 80 hours long, and then the Advanced series, which is 116 hours long. Then they have a few additional Maya series.
I just noticed a 3Ds Max Fundamentals series which I hadn't caught previously.
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:56 PM   #15
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicieuxz View Post
How did all of you learn to use these programs, by messing around with them on your own, or did you have lessons / use tutorials?
For blender, both.

The UI has an initial learning curve, which is what puts many people off, but despite what these people thing it is actually a very good and very well thought out interface, which i would like to see in more graphical apps (not only 3D, but also 2D vector apps could benefit from the non-overlapped "fluid" tiled windows idea and an area made of splittable windows and multiple "screens"). Once you go past the initial "shock" phase, you'll realise that everything was designed to take advantage of the knowledge you gain at that initial stage - because everything works the same way. When a new tool is added to the program you already know how to use it because its usage is the same as the other tools (of course you need to know what the tool does :-P).

This is why i said "both": i had to read a tutorial to learn the program, but that was years ago. Since then i just 'use' it and only read the release notes for new versions to see what is new.

Of course i don't use it to the max - i just use it as a modelling tool for some stuff i make. I'm not much of a 3D artist. However all Blender artists i know will tell you the same story :-).
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:29 PM   #16
lordlonelobo

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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicieuxz View Post
They have the Fundamentals series, which says it's over 80 hours long, and then the Advanced series, which is 116 hours long. Then they have a few additional Maya series.
I just noticed a 3Ds Max Fundamentals series which I hadn't caught previously.
Are those paid courses?

Also, is blender comparable to max or maya?
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:23 PM   #17
peoplessi

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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
Well, for me Blender, Maya and 3D Studio Max all are counter-intuitive. Not good.

Whereas XSI, modo and Silo I prefer. XSI has the most obscure UI, but you get used to it. modo is the most familiar one of them all for me, and it has the best UI(for me). That's the end of story.

Both Maya and 3D Studio Max are quite similar - they overlap which each other more in my opinion than XSI with either of those. For both there is plethora of tutorials available. 3D Buzz is good, so is Digital-Tutors - both need you to pay some money for their tutorials.

As for the specialty thing, it's always better to know 1 program really well, than 10 programs not-so-well. When you get the "grips" with modeling, it then easy to switch between programs - as basically the only thing that changes is the UI. {For sculpting(3D Coat, mudbox, ZBrush) you need a bit different kind of take, it's sculpting afterall}.

But, 3DS and Maya cost both A LOT, even the student version. The prices never really justified them for me, 30 trials and that's it.

Since you are a beginner, just start with simple things, try to learn the interface and basic navigation. Do some simple models, really simple, different kind of objects - objects from your house are good learning points. Follow some tutorials, you learn something by watching how other people do things. It's a learning game Also, I wouldn't jump in and buy tutorials just yet, the trials come with a lot of tutorials to get going. It might be that you really find Maya unusable.

As for Blender, the GUI is hideous, unusable, if it was perfect, why would they change it? It's far from perfect, I can't see why it has to be so counter-intuitive, that every time someone mentions Blender, the Blender defendants defend the Blender UI, from the people that don't like Blender UI.

Blender comparable to Maya and 3D Studio Max? Yes, comparable, but not 1:1 replacement.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:18 PM   #18
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
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As for Blender, the GUI is hideous, unusable, if it was perfect, why would they change it?
This is a misconception: they won't change the UI itself, but the backend and redesign the look (check out this sexy image from the development version of 2.5 - if i didn't knew how unstable development versions would be i would be using this right now... however since i know, i'll just wait for a proper 2.5 release :-P) .

The UI paradigm remains the same with only some improvements (basically horizontal layout of mini-panels is considered obsolete and replaced with vertical placement - horizontal panels were used in more than a decade ago when almost nobody had wide screens, but today it is better to align them vertically as shown in the image above).

I suppose this "they will change Blender's UI" thing stems from people who want Blender to become a free 3DS Max or a free Maya. This will never happen because first, Blender has its own (big) userbase and these users already know how to use the program and second, each of these apps while having overlapping functionality also has different goals.

Quote:
It's far from perfect, I can't see why it has to be so counter-intuitive, that every time someone mentions Blender, the Blender defendants defend the Blender UI, from the people that don't like Blender UI.
I can't speak for imaginary others, but i can speak for myself: i defend Blender's UI because i believe it is a damn good UI which i absolutely love, especially compared to other 3D apps, and i think that most people who do not like it are probably misguided or their use of 3ds max have imposed an almost permanent* brain damage to them, making them incapable to use any other 3D modelling application**.

(*=i used to believe that it was totally permanent but after working with some 3D artists, i realized that there is some hope if one is willing enough :-P)
(**=this includes other tools, not only Blender)
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:41 PM   #19
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Re: 3Ds Max vs Maya
I certainly don't want 3DSMax or Maya replica - those are poor UI examples to copy. If it was to take modo's UI - I wouldn't say no. As I said, I don't use Maya nor 3DS Max.

Blender is good in it's own right, but there are certainly better alternatives especially if one has the money to spend on a license. Too bad the redesigned UI is still a convoluted mess. This video says more than enough: Coopervision Illustration Documentary

Again, this is my _personal_ preference, you obviously have your own Good to see alternatives.
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