from blender to 3dsmax or maya?

I’ve been using blender for years and know the ins and outs of how it works. I decided though, that for videos and VFX, 3dsmax is more valuable. I’m not new to moving in 3d space and modeling skills but the lack of hotkeys and shortcuts in 3dsmax is frustrating. Are there and good resources to help me switch over? But I don’t want tutorials just telling me how to navigate 3d space and things like that but rather how the UI of 3dsmax works. Or should I try Maya? Which is closer to blender? I’m a student so I can get both for free. Keep in mind though I want to use it for VFX. I know there are many matchmoving programs for 3dsmax and almost none compatible with blender. Is this the same for Maya? Basically, I’m asking, for VFX and similarity to blender, which is better, Maya or 3dsmax?

Why not try both out?
I have come to prefer Maya over Max… but tbh I’m not entirely sure why anymore. The hotbox is very nice…but I don’t think it’s the reason.
Max has a butt-ton of hotkeys and you can configure either of those packages to have a layout more familiar to Blender. If you want to get into either package, check Digital Tutors getting started videos. They are mostly free but you have to pick through them to skip the “this is X Y and Z” etc… I have had the same problems attempting to transition into Blender… and it can be frustrating. There is a ton of documentation and support out there though. 3d Total has a ton of free tutorials for both as well. If you don’t mind ponying up for a one-month sub to Digital Tutors’ premium content, their up to date “intro to” videos are insanely awesome.

Thanks! Can you set the hotkeys in Maya as well as Max?

Yeah, just make sure you look at the corresponding list to make sure you’re not overriding something important. I can’t remember but I think they give you a warning and a chance to rebind either the original or the new one if there is a conflict. Again… it’s better to check first but yeah.
In Maya it’s Windows>Settings/Preferences>Hotkey Editor
In 3ds Max it’s Customize>Customize User Interface
You can bind just about anything to a hotkey or combination of keys… so if you have a programmable device you can coordinate with that. You can also tell 3dsMax to behave like Maya in Customize>Preferences

Also… pay attention to whether you’re getting 3dsMax or 3dsMax Design… Design has a bunch of Archvis stuff. I don’t use it so it’s basically wasted storage for me…

Thanks. Damn this is overwhelming though. And I probably don’t want to pay for tuts. Autodesk seems like it would be so much slower to model than blender.

I cant speak for max but im a maya user and that is completly due to the animation side of things as that i think is were mayas strengnths are. The interface is alot easyer to learn than blender (and i have been told that max is even easyer) but the interfaces are a world appart. The greatest tutorials i have ever found EVER has to be the maya fundimentals by 3D buzz (they did a max version of the same thing.) They take you through all the 3d space stuff but once they are done with that they dig realy deep in the UI and guide you through a project in wich you create texture and animate a whole scene of a stage and the curtains open and a ball bounces onto the stage and lands on a stool ready to perform. They then move on to another project focusing on nurbs. Then another focusing on polys each time taking you deper into mayas interface. These videos are very emersive and just downright brilliant

Except that both 3ds Max and Maya have a working Bevel tool :stuck_out_tongue: I kid… Do a youtube search of Maya or 3ds Max Speed Modeling. One thing to remember with 3ds Max is if you hold shift while moving, that’s an extrusion.
For 3ds Max to model you go into subobject mode (1 2 3 or 4)
In Maya you hold down the RMB to access the subobjects. You can also hold down spacebar to access any menus without having to go to the top.
Re-read my post, I pointed you to some free tuts too :stuck_out_tongue:
In 3ds Max the biggest things to learn up front are probably going to be the material editor and the carbon tools.
In Maya Hotbox and Shelf are the big items.

I’m liking the sound of maya more. What are the main differences between maya and 3dsmax? that make them two seperate programs.

Navigation… Max is middle wheel, alt middle wheel, and scroll wheel… Maya is Alt + L,M,or R…
Context-based tools … most of this is based on right click for either… but Max has a Quad Menu. You can stuff things into the Quad menu… Maya’s is a little more touchy and you get more customization out of using a shelf.
Editing of mesh… Command panel and select subobject level. You have a visual representation of what would be datablocks in blender of everything from your base mesh up through your modifiers etc. You can also access the subobject levels via hotkeys. In Maya you hit F8 to change basically your focus level… taking you either into Object mode (which is kinda the opposite of Blender… ) or Sub-Object Mode.
Smoothing - 3ds Max has smoothing groups… which you basically make a subobject level selection, click a smoothing group number, then apply the amount of smoothing you want… Maya to my knowledge you handle via topology (edge proximity/density) and you can change your smoothing levels with 1-3. 4-6 controls the level of detail in the textures/lighting/etc.
Dynamics - Maya has probably a slightly more robust toolset for this with the nDynamics stuff. I think Max is still using the old Reaktor based (or whatever it is)… I might be off on this though… I haven’t messed with Max’s dynamics in quite a while.
Rigging - 3ds Max got CAT I think… which is an insane rigging system. I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time with it but it’s like Max’s old Biped tool only on steroids. Maya has Muscle and a few other nice features but for the most part it’s just good old bones (joint tool for them).

Modeling - Carbon tools… 3ds Max was basically Autocad for a pretty long time… and from the start they had a mix of spline-based modeling tools that led into poly tools and a crude NURBS system. Maya is kinda the opposite of this… they started mostly NURBS and went poly later (if I understand correctly). Most of Max’s strengths are in precision modeling vs Maya’s tendency to lean towards more spontaneous and organic modeling. Maya does have a capacity for detail work but it’s not the forte’ if you get me.
Maya can also make an object “live” in which you can draw curves(NURBs lines) along a surface, model on an object, or apply paint Effects directly onto the object.

There’s a LOT more… and the differences are pretty strong but without opening the two and running through each thing to verify that my comparisons are up to date, I will wrap this up.

OH … a pretty big difference. Maya uses Nodes pretty heavily while Max is focused on map slots (basically nodes-lite). I don’t know if nodes were ever added to 3ds Max but it seems to be contrary to the way the software is built. So if you hate Nodes, Max is probably the better choice :stuck_out_tongue:

I prefer vertex based modeling. would that be 3dsmax?

vertex as in polygons? both handle that pretty well but honestly Max has a stronger poly toolset.

Honestly I find modeling in maya incredibly fast and easy. There are different approaches, though. Maya has tools and tools with properties tied to history. Max has modifiers, something a bit more similar to blender in that regard.

In maya you can quite easily layout geometry, snap and relocate pivot points, meshes, create custom tool shelves and basically access anything from within the hotbox.

However since you are going for vfx, maya is the way to go if choosing between the two. Rather, I have seen 3ds max used for vfx in games oddly enough where as lots of film jumps into maya. The nice thing about maya is that if the attributes are not enough to get the behavior you want in regards to vfx, you can click on any attribute and add simple code (expressions) which give you much more power in how you want the particles and other visual information to act.

There are other apps out there as well which can make use of good vfx stuff…I know some compositing studios will use Modo or Lightwave for example.

Sounds like Maya may be for me. What are the best resources for maya? This is more directed towards sainthaven.

I have been trying to learn Maya and max as well. Any good resources for learning? A lot of tutorials I found are kinda pricy.

Sure thing, aside from the commercial tutorials (which im sure if you dont have the money you can find online somewhere) there are a number of free ones.

I really like some of the tutorials Jason Welsh (aka canned mushrooms) has done, he makes them for his students but shares it with the internet. You can find them here and here (better organized)

3D total has a large collection of free advanced project based tutorials:

For vfx: I dont know of many at the top of my head but any youtube search or google search for Dynamics should net you something. Either way you have to master the basics first. =)

Thanks a ton guys. you’ve been really helpful

No worries

Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Other Software”

Also marked as Solved based on the result of the conversation.