Which software should I use?

ok, let me make one thing clear!
I’m not here to start an all out software war between maya and blender!

I’ve used blender almost 2 years…
So I almost got used to it…

Now I’m planning on seriously learning…
But I can’t choose between Maya or Blender…

One thing to keep in mind, I’ve just started learning…
and I’m not interested in jobs…
so because industry uses maya, I don’t have to, if I can accomplish nearly same result using Blender…
I’m planning to work on my own…

So which one would you all recommend?
If I choose blender will I be able to make cutting edge graphics some 3/4 years from now?
(I’m not amateur, not a professional)

Does blender process the same power as Maya/Houdini Or it’s just blender can’t really compete with Maya?
Which one should I choose?

And if Maya why so?
In which sector maya beats blender?

What sort of things do you want to make? Do you want to make models, or sculpts, or images, or short animations etc? Do you need things like smoke, particles, dynamics, complex rigging etc? It’s important to know this information before choosing software, as different software will be better for different things, and with such complex software there are a huge variety of variables.

For example, if you are serious about making short animations but you want to keep it as a hobby rather than a job then you might be better off looking at something like MODO rather than Maya, as it is much easier to use, cheaper and more self-contained. But if you just want to make images or simpler animations then Blender could be all you need. This is only a basic example however.

in general software comparisons are not allowed in many forums and in this one too.

since this is a Blender forum, Blender will be recommended.

for serious learning… ask yourself this; do you want to throw out your current knowledge to relearn what you already know and get again efficient in using anohter program and waste probably another year or even more for that or strengthen your gained knowledge and get ace in your set time frame?

getting good is bound with experimenting on your own and not relying too much on tutorials, don´t be a slave to tutorials.

look into the toprow and ask yourself is that what you want to archive yourself ?! then do it.

Use the best tool for the job at hand. If you don’t have any particular job in mind, if you want to get hired, or hire other people in the future, it will probably go easier if you go with Maya due to the bigger Maya job market.

On the other hand, Maya is somewhat expensive, and not an all-in-one. To make best use of Maya you’ll need other software too, such as zbrush/mudbox, a decent renderer, compositing software, etc, so make sure your budget allows for them. All the fantastic images people make with Maya are very rarely made in just Maya. This is not to say Blender will cover your every need, it will certainly benefit from extra software.

This is regardless of any technical advantages Maya might have over Blender or vice-versa - vs posts are forbidden in this forum so I won’t discuss those.

Firstly, u are familiar with blender since 2 years now. Using a different software won’t be a good advice. I am not talking about the cons and pros of any software though.
Secondly, think why are you confused with what software to use. If you are not satisfied with any particular feature of blender, say sculpting, then find a sculpting program other than changing the 3d suite you are familiar with.
Thirdly, it’s good to have knowledge about a wide range of softwares so if your budget supports then it would be a good idea.


if you been using blender for 2 yrs you have seen how it gets better and better, in that same timeframe the “other” apps you ask about have had maybe one update (and a few bug fixes rofl )

I know which I’d pick :wink:

If I were you, I’d try out Maya and decide if you think it is worth buying or not. Blender is free, so you can use it either way. But yes, Blender should be able to handle what you’re planning on doing with it if you want to go that route.

I don’t understand the forum rules about software comparision that we are not allowed to point out different features/workflows of software if the discussion stays technical and beneficial to the person who asked. Just don’t go into quoting battles and “my software is better than your software” nonsense.

If I say something like “In Blender I like the UV tools better than in software X, while software X has better box modelling tools, because you can do … and etc.” it should be perfectly ok.

See forum rules, general conduct, 1. e (emphasis mine):

No “versus” threads - Rhetorical comparisons of one software over another are not allowed. These bring needless debate that too often becomes contentious. If you wish to empirically compare render engines, modeling features, or something else of the sorts, this can be fine. Just keep it focused on the data.

Just wanted to point that out.

@Sanne, this is tricky, IIRC, I wasn’t involved in making that rule but can see why it was done (a lot of endless discussion that went nowhere - a lot of negative/snarky comments, borderline trolling, or others interpreting comments as trolling).

@jamius19, please give more details about your use-case / requirements, or this is too much subjective application comparison, against rules here and risks being closed.

I main interest is Rendering, Modelling (For Unity/Unreal and for animation) and VFX…
Which software will be suitable for my needs? :slight_smile:


Modelling: Blender and Modo do just fine. Blender has the modifier system which makes it a bit parametric. But Modo is more user friendly and some nice tools as well not found in Blender. Check MeshFusion + tool pipeline + Fall-offs + Secondary workplane in Modo. 3ds Max is also very good at modelling but it’s cumbersome to learn/use.

VFX: A large topic as well. If you want to do simulations go with Houdini. While Blender can do some sims they are pretty basic compared to what commercial software can do. Modo has some nice particle systems using nodes but doesn’t simulate fire/smoke/liquids. However 901 will have openVDB support(Blender is supposed to get it this year as well) so you can simulate in realflow for example and render in Modo. without importing the mesh. Maya can also do some fluid sims with BiFrost. Speaking about sims, 3ds max has Thinking Particles(separate paid plugin) by Cebas which are awesome.

Unfortunately there is no perfect solution, each software has it’s own issues and strengths.

Yes, I agree, software can be a tricky and sensitive subject, I totally support that rule.

It pretty much boils down to this.

If you are more interested in getting a job and work at an established studio, you have to know Maya for the most part. If you are just working for yourself or freelancing, doesnt really matter what software you use. I’m a big proponent of Modo these days and its picking up usage in studios and for freelancers. With Indie you get a great price point for professional software.

The only way you can really get a grasp of the other packages is to just try them out. One thing to note though is that at the very least, learn and pick up the Maya style navigation as nearly every major application you will come across will probably have it as an option, thus you have the max compatibility with new software via muscle memory.

As other have said, try them out. Use other softwares and see how comfortable you are with them and if they fill your needs.
After that you can have a better opinion of each one of them and see if you need them or not.

Now my opinion hehe
Rendering: Cycles certainly isn’t the best render engine on the market, but it is really good being a free render engine; so in that department you have a great treat for free. I’m saying this because all the big guns in the industry right now can be really expensive if you add them to the price of Maya, Max, C4D or even Modo. So, maybe you don’t want to have Cycles as your main render engine, but it could be helpfull to know it so it can save some money sometimes. It has helped me a LOT with small archviz projects.

Modeling: it has it’s quirks, but modeling in Blender is really good (also taking into account it is free). But for a more complete solution I would go to Modo. Plus, the BGE could be of use to test your textures and shaders before exporting to a game engine.

VFX: …a tricky one. Since VFX almost always includes simulations, you’ll have to find another software, like Houdini or thinking particles. Blender can be used for some basic things, but if you want to put a giant lizard destroying NewYork you’ll have a hard time doing it ALL in Blender (not impossible of course, but it would take some more time to do).
For motion tracking Blender is a really good alternative to Syntheyes or PF Track, so I’ll keep it around for this task.
Composition… There’s a free version of Nuke now, and Fusion has been launched for free too. So I’d go for one of those. Even Natron is shaping up pretty good.

Anyway is a good thing to know other softwares :slight_smile:

changing from one soft to another is not difficult,fundamentals will be same, different buttons,steps…

I’d say if you don’t know at this point, and can not figure it out on your own, then you are asking this question too soon and in the wrong place.

Given that Blender is free, I would suggest continuing to learn Blender until you are familiar with the process enough from experience - not what people say - to make the assessment yourself.

And there will come a time in the future when you can figure this out on your own. And the answer will be obvious for you in your situation for what you need as an artist.

Nothing will be lost by continuing down the track you are on.

thanks everyone for quick reply!
I really appreciate it!
Couldn’t find a better community for Cg…

I guess there’ll be a lot of simulations in my work…
So you’re recommending Houdini for it?
Is blender weak is this sector?

Sent from my Xplorer Z III

which renderer then you’d recommend?

Sent from my Xplorer Z III

Over the coarse of 15 years, I went from 3D Studio Max to Maya to Softimage to Blender. I prefer to be in Blender because I believe in the future of Open Source software and ideologies. That said, having switched software packages so many times, I can clearly say that if I had to do it all over again, I would still be in 3D Studio Max right now. I much prefer Blender to Max (I even much prefer the late great Softimage to Max), but switching, just isn’t worth it and I can clearly see I would have been better off in terms of time wasted and stress added if I had just stayed in Max.

Hope that helps.