Maya LT

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Does anyone have any more information on this? The only source I've found is on Tom's Hardware

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/autodesk-maya-lt-game-development,24010.html

It appears to be a lite version of Maya aimed at game development. Seems like it could be a decent option for freelancers, but a couple of limitations stick out like a sore thumb:

No MEL or plugin support
No SDK
25,000 poly limit per scene for FBX exports (WTF?)

$795 for a perpetual license, or subscription-based license at $50/month, $125/quarter, or $400/year.

Thoughts?

Replies

  • Saf
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    Saf polycounter lvl 5
    no mel in maya??? No thanks! Better just to lower the price of not castrated version. Or add a monthly subscription.
  • Sculptaur
    Yeah, nah. Not for that price. No plugins and with the poly limit makes it a bit useless for game development for a lot of companies. I could see it being viable if it was a lot cheaper.
  • ysalex
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    ysalex greentooth
    I like that they are trying, and I like the subscription model, which would make Maya affordable for an indie outfit or freelancers, but the 25K kills it for me and I assume will kill it for them. Considering the other handicaps, the 25K seems so arbitrary.
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 9
    Haha what, no scripting? I can't believe they even consider that viable for anyone to use... Maya is much harder to use without a bunch of extra scripts.
    And 25k polygons is just weird... It's also slightly too low for what I would consider not an issue in 95% of cases, 40-50k would've been better
  • leslievdb
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    leslievdb polycounter lvl 10
    The no mel, no plugin support makes this pretty much useless for indies who want to setup their own pipeline with assetmanagement. The beauty of scripting is that it enables small teams to batch a lot of work and save time and they completely take that away
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    they must have gotten the date wrong on their PCs in the Autodesk HQ. It's not April 1st.
  • Entity
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    Entity polycounter
    No plugins? Ok....No scripts? Get the hell outta here. Probably the best thing about maya, especially in a dev environment.
  • oglu
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    oglu polycounter lvl 9
    if you are an outsourcing studio and only building background assets it could be a good deal... or a small startup for mobile games...

    im sure you are also able to rent the full maya version on a monthly basis...
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    if you're a startup for mobile and don't have to deliver artwork to a client then even Blender would be a better choice. At least there's scripts available and no weird poly limits.

    But even for outsourcing you're just limiting the jobs you can accept by using this version of Maya. Not to mention you cannot use client supplied tools or implement script based QA checking. Gotta do everything manually at every delivery (YOUCH!). Specific versions with certain features disabled would be a better choice for outsourcers - i.e. if you only provide modeling services then you don't need certain animation or rendering features.

    I'd be hard pressed to suggest a good use for this Maya version. Learning maybe or is Maya PLE still around?
  • haiddasalami
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    haiddasalami polycounter lvl 8
    No scripts is like an instant deal breaker haha though nice to see ShaderFx there :D Hopefully comes out in an extension for 2014 as I dont think its in 2014 though I havent tried it.
  • jfeez
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    jfeez polycounter lvl 5
    I was excited till i saw no scripts/plug ins and a poly limit, stupidly counter intuitive.. Should have just released Maya on a subscription instead this.
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor
    I agree that these seem like some pretty silly limitations. I was all aboard until I got to that part of the article. I suppose I'll be sticking with Blender for the time being.

    With that being said, Tom's Hardware is not exactly known for their coverage of the CG Industry. Until we get an official announcement from Autodesk, I'm holding onto the faint glimmer of hope that there has been some sort of misunderstanding.
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor
    Kwramm wrote: »
    I'd be hard pressed to suggest a good use for this Maya version. Learning maybe or is Maya PLE still around?

    Autodesk does provide educational licenses of their software at no charge to anyone claiming to be a student - even those that are engaging in independant study. So it doesn't even make sense for that demographic.
  • Jerc
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    Jerc greentooth
    The poly limit sounds absurd to me. You are pretty much screwed if you want to create any kind of middle/high end content. Indies != mobile developers.
  • Jon Jones
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    Jon Jones polycounter lvl 13
    Working link:

    http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2013/08/27/Autodesk-finally-offer-cheaper-Maya-indie-edition.aspx

    Yeah, no MEL, no plugins, no SDK, no rendering, and a 25k poly limit? For $795? Pricy and crippled. Lame.
  • fmnoor
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    fmnoor polycounter lvl 11
    At that price, Lightwave or Modo would be better options.

    Who at Autodesk thought this was a good idea?
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 13
    25k too low for indies!? Hah, you guys are too next-gen for your own good.

    No scripting is a bummer.
  • Jon Jones
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    Jon Jones polycounter lvl 13
    If you guys chose which limitations would make a $795 price tag worth it, what would you do?
  • Jon Jones
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    Jon Jones polycounter lvl 13
    Here's my suggestion on creating a usable product out of this for a lower price point.

    KEEP:

    Modeling
    Animation
    Non-commercial plugins
    MEL

    LIMIT:

    Rendering capabilities (stills and perhaps short clips only)
    Non-poly modeling tools (curves, NURBS, etc)
    Animation tools (the film-specific stuff, generally not needed)

    REMOVE \ PROHIBIT:

    Commercial plugins
    Dynamics
    Toon, Muscle, Fluids, Fur, etc
    PaintEffects
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    Jon Jones: with your suggestions they might actually end up with a pretty good product ;) But then again I have the feeling LT is crippled on purpose as not to be a real danger to the full Maya. Although - why make LT at all then...?

    I would make modeling / animation editions. And then throw out the "advanced" stuff: fur, dynamics, cloth, mental-ray, sub-divs, nurbs. Maybe even realtime shaders and compiled plugin support. But definitely no poly limit and Python/MEL must be enabled.
  • Jerc
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    Jerc greentooth
    Jon Jones: Totally agree, but the problem for Autodesk I guess is that what you describe would be enough for most game developers out there, big ones and outsourcers included.
  • haiddasalami
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    haiddasalami polycounter lvl 8
    I wonder if they only meant mel. Though I guess by SDK that means python is out too. Personally I would just keep modeling, animation , basic rendering (no mental ray etc. Don't think you really need it and even if you need AO just use xnormal or something free) and python/C++
  • MM
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    MM polycounter lvl 11
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/6/W/398120/original/MayaLT_Viewport2.png

    that scene itself has 850k triangles.

    i am guessing that 25k limit is only the export limit per export, not per maya scene file.

    also no MEL makes no sense, i believe it has a script editor and you will be able to customize scripts.

    i am not sure what no plugin support mean, but i doubt it mean that you cant install any plugins because that would just be stupid.

    also, agree with Jon's list or limitations.
  • Jon Jones
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    Jon Jones polycounter lvl 13
    Additional thought: Releasing a version of Maya without MEL is like buying a car you have to jumpstart, every time.
  • haiddasalami
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    haiddasalami polycounter lvl 8
    The thing is in that screenshot MM posted there is a script editor :/ or what it looks like in regular ol maya
  • smcclelland
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    smcclelland polycounter lvl 3
    Hey guys!

    My name is Shawn McClelland and I am a product designer over on the games solutions group. I'll pause in case people would like to throw any objects at me upfront.

    I wanted to come in and clarify a couple of things with regards to the Maya LT release and hopefully answer any questions you all might have or listed to your input/feedback.

    As far as the 25k poly limit goes this is purely on export so the FBX file will not store anything larger than 25k. You could stuff a gigajillion polygons into a Maya LT scene and still save out the LT file and have zero issues but when you want to export that out to your game engine it needs to be packed in 25k chunks. We felt that limiting the contents of the scene was dumb but wanted to manage things on export a bit better so that's the reasoning there though we're not adverse to hearing your input and changing this to suit your needs.

    With regards to the scripting I will say yeah it's a bit of a bummer and I totally get the disappointment of some tools guys or folks that like to rely on third party scripts floating out there on the web. We've heard this feedback and it's loud and clear to us that you need a scripting solution as part of this offering so we're going to see what we can do here. There is no Script Editor inside of Maya LT by the way just to clear that up as well.

    JonJones: Your feature list isn't actually all that far off from what LT provides :) We did our best to provide a feature set that was enticing to the non-highend crowd so we removed things like rendering features, dynamics and various other things that cause a ton of UI bloat but aren't really all that useful to the indie, mobile, casual games developer or the freelance modeler. While we don't provide an SDK out of the box we do provide ShaderFX, FBX and Turtle all as pre-compiled included plug-ins. For third-party stuff we have a few ideas we've been mulling about but I don't think I can go into specifics just yet but if there are plug-ins you feel are a necessity to your work please let me know and I'm happy to work with dev on it.

    For Rendering output we're relying on the VP2.0 and playblast options to output essentially hardware renders of your scene. Turtle is also provided for map baking needs as well and we've got a pretty sweet build of ShaderFX included as well that will let you build node networks for surface shaders. I have a few sample scenes I've built up using ShaderFX if people are interested including a version of the DOTA2 Hero Shader I've been working on as a ShaderFX graph.

    Hopefully I've answered some questions and concerns here. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to ask me via these forums or you can reach me direct at shawn(dot)mcclelland(at)autodesk(dot)com. If you're interested in becoming a beta tester you can also email me about beta participation and I'd be happy to get you added to the LT program.

    Cheers,
    Shawn
  • DerekLeBrun
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    DerekLeBrun polycounter lvl 9
    I'm highly interested in purchasing something like Maya LT, but the FBX polycount really kills it for me. Current gen and PS4/Xbone characters can easily exceed 25,000, so it wouldn't be a viable option to me if a client needed an FBX file. Raise the limit to 100,000 and I think that is more realistic for game industry needs.
  • haiddasalami
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    haiddasalami polycounter lvl 8
    Hey Shawn,

    Kinda off topic but any news on adding ShaderFX to Maya 2014 through an extension? Was fun to tinker with in the beta.
  • Jon Jones
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    Jon Jones polycounter lvl 13
    Wow, thanks for the reply Shawn! It's great getting info direct from the source. :)

    A question, if you can answer: What were the primary challenges you were dealing with when choosing features for this product? Curious.
  • monster
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    monster Polycount Sponsor
    Thanks for chiming in Shawn. Being at a 14 person start up I believe I'm your target demographic. The 3 copies of Maya we purchased are the single largest software expense we've had.

    That being said, no scripting support is kind of the dealbreaker here. The reason we chose to use Maya over other software is because of the wealth of community provided tools. I can't imagine using Maya without rigging toolbox or advanced skeleton. Or trying to animate a complex rig without a picker ui.

    Imagine if Unity free didn't have scripting support. Would it be as popular as it is today?
  • Equanim
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    Equanim polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks for checking in Shawn, this definitely has my eye.

    I'm curious as to how closely LT is being developed alongside the full version. For example, Maya's made a number of advances in its modeling tools over the last two years, would LT get those as they come out as well, or would they be released later on?

    I definitely agree that it needs a script editor. Also, by this time next year, the 25k limit may be too small when the next gen consoles are all the rage. The competition, which doesn't have any poly limits, is still cheaper than the full version of Maya by a wide margin.

    IMO, in order to be successful, LT needs to not feel like an advertisement for the full version. It needs to feel like an effective tool that wedges neatly into a pipeline with my other packages. Do that and you've got my money.
  • chiniara
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    chiniara polycounter lvl 7
    Hey shawn if you guys listen all of the sugestions here and implement them , you'll have a guaranteed buyer.
  • fmnoor
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    fmnoor polycounter lvl 11
    Curious about the inter-operability between LT and full versions of Maya.

    It would be nice for a smaller indie studio where a tech artist can use the full suite to create custom tools for artists who just need the LT feature set.
  • iniside
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    iniside polycounter lvl 6
    It's better to learn Blender or modo.

    Autodesk got arrogant to the point beyond any imagination. I'm eagrly await day that something kick them in the butt.
  • shaderfx
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    shaderfx polycounter lvl 9
    iniside wrote: »
    Autodesk got arrogant to the point beyond any imagination.

    Why is Autodesk arrogant?

    I believe most people at Autodesk are pretty aware we miss the mark sometimes and want to do better. I haven't met anybody there who was very arrogant and haven't found the company policies to inspire arrogance.

    Unfortunately we cannot comment on any products that are not officially announced yet, but I do believe managers of said products are very eager to listen to community feedback.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    The fact that one of the big talking points for Max 2014 was the new egg spline leads people to believe arrogance and complacency are problems at Autodesk. :)
  • shaderfx
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    shaderfx polycounter lvl 9
    Warren,

    It is a shame you use those words to describe the problem of Autodesk not meeting your needs because they are pretty poor taste descriptions of a problem I see differently.

    I am sure Epic has had its share of customers who were unhappy with what Unreal provided and could call Epic arrogant or complacent, but in reality the problems are more complex than that.

    I believe if a company wants to make a real effort to do better, arrogance is not the right way to describe it.
  • radiancef0rge
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    radiancef0rge Polycount Sponsor
    +1 to kees.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    shaderfx

    Hey, you asked. I'm just telling you how people in the field see things. I thought you said Autodesk was eager to listen to community feedback? It doesn't always come wrapped in a pretty bow.
  • spacefrog
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    spacefrog polycounter lvl 9
    WarrenM wrote: »
    The fact that one of the big talking points for Max 2014 was the new egg spline leads people to believe arrogance and complacency are problems at Autodesk. :)

    That was no big talking point from the Autodesk side. As far i remember this was only a one-liner in the whats new section . People of course made a big deal out of it ... completely ignroing the fact that Max 2014 is one of the best releases since ages ....

    Regarding Maya LT, well i think it's priced too steep and too limiting on it's features. Maybe indie studios will buy this en mass, but i really can't see this coming...
  • shaderfx
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    shaderfx polycounter lvl 9
    WarrenM wrote: »
    shaderfx
    Hey, you asked.

    Perhaps I was hoping for a more mature description of what would make the product more appealing to people then using derogatory words to describe the company.

    Like some others have done properly in the thread, such as stating to remove the poly cap or add script support or different pricing.

    I understand some here have been let down by Autodesk's failure to meet their product needs. I have certainly been in that position before joining the company. But like I said, arrogance is not at all the atmosphere encouraged by the company.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    But like I said, arrogance is not at all the atmosphere encouraged by the company.
    That's good to hear. I look forward to the future! Max is already an awesome modeling app and the new UI in 2014 looks neat. I hope there's more to come...
  • Bellsey
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    Bellsey polycounter lvl 5
    Shawn was brave to poke his head out, but if people can be patient, we can maybe provide more information very soon.
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 13
    What about a Max LT?

    :::


    The arrogance comes from the monopoly of owning the top competing 3d programs. Then after gaining said programs raising the prices. Now releasing new versions every year that add new bits and pieces through mostly integrating plugins and break others, versus 2-3 years in the past that actually added to the program. Pushing for subscription basis so people will choose over sticking with one version which 10 months after release is no longer updated beyond only fbx support (versus again in past, where SP would continually come out and address major goof ups).

    Thank God they don't have Zbrush or Modo, or we would totally be screwed.
  • iniside
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    iniside polycounter lvl 6
    shaderfx wrote: »
    Why is Autodesk arrogant?

    I believe most people at Autodesk are pretty aware we miss the mark sometimes and want to do better. I haven't met anybody there who was very arrogant and haven't found the company policies to inspire arrogance.

    Unfortunately we cannot comment on any products that are not officially announced yet, but I do believe managers of said products are very eager to listen to community feedback.
    I'm not talking about people. I'm talking about company and establishment that is giving orders the those who are lower than them.

    I'm sorry but biggest updated I saw was adding ribbon to 3ds max. Compared to how fast modo or zbrush innovate 3ds max is parctially going backwards.
    Not to mention it seems like with every update max is getting slower and slower. I though it should be opposite.

    It's topic about maya so I won't be much commenting since I'm not using it for modeling anyway. I tried but it just doesn't work for me.
    That was no big talking point from the Autodesk side. As far i remember this was only a one-liner in the whats new section . People of course made a big deal out of it ... completely ignroing the fact that Max 2014 is one of the best releases since ages ....
    Really ? I haven't found anything that would be better for modeling than it was in 3ds max 2012.
    I just wish, they would remove all that bloat from 3ds max, so it would start in 3s instead of 30 (and i'm running it from SSD!), and add some more modeling tools that work efficiently on high-polygon counts on more game-dev oriented hardware (yes we don't have Quadros or FireGL, we play games we are making)
    Perhaps I was hoping for a more mature description of what would make the product more appealing to people then using derogatory words to describe the company.
    When there will be Max LT gladly. But that probably would invovle rewritting max from scrtach (;.
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor
    Does anyone else think this is getting out of hand?

    Okay, so as of late, Autodesk hasn't had the greatest track record when it comes to updating our favorite software packages. But here in this thread, we have had several developers from the company personally listen and respond to our criticism. This is exactly the kind of thing that needs to happen for development to be steered back into the right direction.

    So rather than using this as an opportunity to dispense vitriol about all of the ways the Autodesk Corporation has disappointed us in the past, we should be having a thoughtful, positive dialogue about the direction the software should take in the future. The former solves nothing, the latter has the potential to benefit everyone.
  • iniside
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    iniside polycounter lvl 6
    Well there is only way to fix our software. Stop paying for it and using it. When sales figures will drop to hell, they will start to improve.
    Developers might talk here. I appreciate that. But they don't have decisive power. They might have best intentions, but they do not make decisions.

    When feature X takes Z time to implement and it's not guaratnee of Y % more profit, then that feature is simply throwed away.

    Simply speaking. If lack of improvments is not treat to our buisness we will not make improvments because they cost to much and benefit to little.
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor
    I agree with you, iniside, which is why I'm sticking with Blender unless these issues are resolved. There is a lot of good criticism in this thread, your post included. Maybe I'm being naive, but I'd like to think discussions like this one can convince the powers that be that maybe these are features that would be profitable to focus on.
  • Brendan
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    Brendan polycounter lvl 6
    25k is probably the most arbitrary limit I've ever seen!


    Why not make it 65,500 polys, like the 16 bit whaddayacallit limit for models (Unity will turn one mesh into 2 meshes if it's above that)?

    It's a practical, somewhat relevant limit for exporting things, possibly enough for a reasonable sized scene, or a decent resolution vehicle (especially if you do the wheels in their own, different, file), or highish res character. Unless you're exporting everything in one big file to the game (useful for final builds maybe, but not a hassle for the design department), I don't think Developer Dave will have too much trouble running into the limit.
  • jfeez
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    jfeez polycounter lvl 5
    The senior tech animator at my studio said this would be great if, instead of removing features that are useful to some people you subbed to the different menus options (like animation, rendering, polygons etc..) so you got the features you need.
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