How many of you have tried Maya?

A friend of mine uses Maya a bit, and i recently got a chance to try it out.

I honestly dont know which i like more, obviously i like blender more, but i am trying to add a buffer zone on the fact that i know how to use the general modeling options of blender… vs nothing of Maya lol.

So i’m just curious if anyone has tried Maya and chose Blender over it, and if so, why? Aside from price tags, what are your reasons? There was something about the “feel” of the interface that was pleasing in maya, but at the same time everything seemed so departmentalized that it drew me away from it.

I’m sure i’ll choose blender of maya, but i just want to be aware of what aspects i should take note of and whatnot.

Sorry if this is a somewhat heated topic, but i personally feel Blender can hold its own so it would be an alright question to ask.

Also take note that i am by far no professional, all i was comparing the two with was modeling styles, what it offered, and etc. I didnt notice anything that screamed better or even more useful than Blender…

Anyway, thanks to any replies :slight_smile:

I tried Maya for a while ago (long while)… and it was pretty easy to use,
not as “easy” initially as eg. 3dstudio max was at the time, if you knew
how to use 3dstudio max…it was a pretty easy switch to Maya.

I bought 3dstudio max (for 5000 dollars!) because I thought it would
bring me a prosperous future in 3d…so it was an investment, but it had
so many flaws and crashed so many times that when I finally where to
make a film-project…I could not stand the crashes. This sort of forced
me to look for other applications after beeing dismayed with 3d for
quite some time.

Incredibly enough I where allowed to transfer my licence to a prospecting
buyer and switched to Blender myself. Never regret that move …ever!

There’s no real difference between these programs other than having
various “handy” features at hand, if anything…My experience dictates
that Blender can handle bigger scenes “realtime” than eg. Max could
at that time, that alone was a relief when working with large sceens.

Another thing… I was capable of modeling faster with Blender, and
it was the only 3D-app. where I managed to “skin” my creatures
properly, I’d had numerous problems with this in 3dstudio max character-
studio as it was “very” unintuitive.

Today…many years later since I switched to Blender, looking back…
I’d probably never switch to Maya or Max again because I’m fine where
I am with Blender. Constantly I read comments like “wow…did you
really do that in Blender…hm…maybe I should switch too”…

…honestly…it isn’t the application that makes the art…but…

…having an application that doesn’t let you down or crash on you
is a SERIOUS asset! Blender fit’s my patience perfectly, it has great
community support - and really “human” coders with an understanding
of our needs…perhaps this is because they have the same needs.
Most of the coders are themselves very artistic and implementing natural
useful features seem to be second nature.

Dialogs with the excellent coders and contributors of Blender is
a real joy. Everyone is friendly, understanding and polite to talk with.
It’s obvious to me that these coders are smart & intelligent people that
does this because they ENJOY doing it.

A community like that - can’t be bought for a million bucks (even though
I’m sure most of us would like a million bucks…he he), and that’s
partially why I’m not looking back. These people listen to their users,
and try to understand. They don’t do what the big commercial companies
often does…like denying all “errors”…no… they see the pride in getting
the code right! :smiley: I love these guys…I truly do!

My 50 cents.

I got a book that came with Maya learning edition 6. I have to say I see why Maya is so popular after doing tutorials for the past month. Some things just WORK. Especially when it comes to NURBS modelling. There are operations you just cannot pull off in Blender - such as “draw surface curve”. This simply means that when two NURBS intersect, a curve is drawn on the surface of another. This curve can then be used as an extrude path, or what-not… but wait there’s more: when you move one of the NURBS, the surface curve CHANGES to reflect the altered position of object.

Other features I liked included the way you can add sections to a mesh - say you have an elongated cube, and you wish to extrude a small section. In Blender, you would use the Knife tool and cut edge loops until you create a face you wish to extrude. In Maya, you can use a properties rollout, and add sections to the length, bredth and depth of the mesh.

Both have a menu linked to a Space Bar hot key, and I like this.

However, when it comes down to modelling technique, I have it down pat in Blender. I know how to switch from vertex to edge to face editing with ease; I know how to convert curves to mesh; and I can create a complex mesh (eg: a human head) with relative ease. Maya’s methods for creating objects differs in some respects. Extruding faces requires three extra steps to achieve!

I have not yet done any tutorials delving into bones and IK, but from what I’ve done with a simple bouncing ball - I was actually astounded as to how quickly and REALISTIC I managed to achieve this.

Go over to CGTALK and check out some Maya tutorials. See if some techniques can be adapted to Blender. I think the true test is in how one program can achieve the same result.

I’ve got to put both on par for now… but I am slowly falling in love with Maya. I feel like a cheating husband, and Blender is my faithful wife!

I’ll say this…

I’ve been into 3d modeling/animation for around a month now, i started with blender and been learning and modeling with that for 3 weeks, but now i tried maya and i have to admit i like it MUCH better. Altough i miss all the convienent hotkeys blender has, maya can do virtually anything you think of, and while blender can do lots of things, it’s just missing out on some of the amazing features maya has. Also the interfaces… I find the maya interface to be a lot easier to use and a lot faster to use since everything is right there but still does’t take up the whole space. Also the “shelves” feature is one of the best things in maya since you can put any of the tools you use most there, and have them ready at a clicks notice.

Thanks for all the helpful comments, and again, i want to make this super clear that i am not asking what kicks blenders ass in a specific field of modeling, solely i am wondering what i should take note of in Maya because i know what i like about Blender however not of Maya.

After posting i went to church, and thought of a very important question for my needs.

This is stuff i can test myself, but seeing as i am in such a amazing infancy state of Maya usage ( to the point where life would be question’d by christians lol ) that i do not even know how to make a complex scene (good or not) and render it. But after that runon sentence.

Which outpreforms the other in Rendering and flat out Verticle Handling ( ie, which one would handle say 500,000 (lol) faces displayed at once the best )

So ya, like i said, im swaying twords blender mostly due to how the startup feels. But if say Maya or even some other software that i would be able to get handles the best, it would be worth trying for me, seeing as my specs are limited and will remain so… though with the pricetags involved i could buy an awesome comp, but rendering engines and how a program handles its vertices will always be important to me lol.

( Note: in reply to JoOngle, i know what you mean about the question. My gfx card sucks because nvidia isnt supporting the drivers, and Maya crashed once cuz of it lol. If it continues, the debate will be over, long live stable Blender lol )

Just a slightly on-topic note from someone who also dables in Maya…

If you like a particular feature or tool in Maya post a feature request for that tool over at ! Blender will never have these tools if you don’t ask for them.

I had the feeling that Maya was more of a large production tool when I tried it out. That the simple individual would have a way to go before they could master a complete animation.

Maya’s shaders and materials are way beyond anything blender has at the moment. Maya’s Artisan tools are also pretty shinny. Mental ray is lightyears ahead as well. And they have a hardware renderer and realtime photo-real preview. On and on.

Blender will probably have most of the features eventually. How long does it take you to learn a soft? How much time and money do you have?

And don’t forget you’ll have to pay get those bugs fixed. You’re locked into the version you buy.

I miss a few things from Maya but I rarely feel the urge to start it back up because it has more problems than it’s worth.

Take subdivision modelling. In Blender, I make a polygon model and click subsurf and I’m done.

In Maya, polygon objects and subdivision surfaces are separate so you have to convert one to the other or choose polygon proxy to do what Blender does.

But, you can’t edit the subdiv surfaces nearly as easily because every time you try and delete a vertex or edge, it gives an error about making an invalid surface or something - I’m forced to delete faces all the time.

The hotkeys in Blender make modelling so much faster than Maya for me. I don’t like the widgets method of modelling (though on occasions it comes in handy in Blender).

Another thing I prefer about Blender is that you can talk to the developers directly. They even added the edge length and angles feature that I now find immensely useful for 2.37. With Maya, there were major bugs that you just couldn’t fix yourself - you have to avoid them.

Maya used to crash for me if I manually inserted the value for the position of a CV point on a curve so I had to use a script to do it.

I miss a few things but Blender’s pretty good so far. I liked how the Maya internal renderer could produce such nice images (even photoreal) from just a basic setup. But you can always use a different renderer than Blender internal. I also miss the node-based shader system, true (+real-time preview) displacement mapping, the numerous deformers, better camera features (transformation and deformation motion blur, dof blur), better AA, better special fx and a couple of other things.

I used to miss NURBs but quickly changed to using polys only. I don’t like that you can UVmap NURBs or edit them easily so Blender not having good NURBs doesn’t bother me.

Maya has too many menus and features are hidden way down.

I kind of preferred Maya’s scripting because it was simpler and more integrated but with Blender’s Python, I’m learning a language that I can use for other purposes.

In summary, Maya can do anything you need but doesn’t do it efficiently and you don’t learn much using it. Because you have to struggle a bit with Blender, you learn so much more and you focus on improving your workflow.

You also have to keep in mind that programs like 3dsmax and Maya have been around a while, and have a company behind them developing it, and have been much longer than Blender has. So naturally, many tools and features are more advanced then Blender’s would be, but it doesn’t mean it’ll always be that way.

The community behind Blender is awesome, and I’m glad to become a part of it. When I discovered this program and started browsing the forums, I noticed the work being produced and the attitudes of the people around it, and immediatly wanted to learn as quickly as I could and contribute.

In my case, I’m developing a project for TV which needed a bit of 3D stuff. Actually I started testing Maya. I got the Personal Learning Edition, and started learning Maya. Yes, of course, it’s a really powerful tool. But I found some aspects being a little bit too confusing for my mind, specially when many tutorials said at some time “oh, it looks the operation didn’t go well… Anyway, let’s delete the History… and… Voilà!”. The History feature is nice, but I think the way Maya organizes its nodes (similar to Blender DataBlocks) can be some times puzzling.

I came across Blender during my Maya learning process. In my case… I gave it a try… And switched at once!

I feel like I¡m comfortable with Blender in the sense I se many buttons, menus, etc. and I kinda feel I understand most of the tools. In Maya, I had the sensation to be an “eternal newbie”, if you know what I mean.

I found Blender much much more handy, accessible, at my grasp. It’s really quicker. And in the other hand, Blender has by far many many features. I really don’t miss anything, even if Blender has no “curves on surface”, surface fillets, or whatever.

In Maya, polygon objects and subdivision surfaces are separate so you have to convert one to the other or choose polygon proxy to do what Blender does.

Yes! I found that extremely annoying, i figure’d i was just doing something wrong though.

+10 Blender lol.

Overall i’m sure i’ll choose blender, im just trying to give Maya a fair shake so i dont miss out on a “good” thing (possibly good i should say).

I also agree with the community, i thought about that long and hard because i didn’t want to just leave such a helpful community, so excepting to the younger kin like myself lol.

i’ve tried the personal learning edition, and its pretty good, but blender is way more familiar for me

I’m in the same boat! I had the option of using Maya, because this client preferred I used a program that is widely known - in case she had to take the project elsewhere. So I got the learning edition… but I opted for Blender because I knew the tools so well and could model these characters and sets in an evening!

I know! What’s with all those nodes? It creates a new tabe each time you modify an object. I could easily lose track of that - and deleting the history every time I was happy with a change? To quote that William Shatner song from “Has Been” - I can’t get behind that!