Autodesk Max vs. Maya?

polycounter lvl 6
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Rockley Bonner polycounter lvl 6
Why does Autodesk make two programs (Max and Maya) that do almost the same thing except slightly differently? How is that a good business model?

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  • Ged
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    Ged polycounter lvl 10
    As far as I can tell its because a lot of companies are very invested in max or maya and there are a large number of people who are professional max or maya users who dont really want or need to change over to a new program. It means autodesk gets the money either way, it isnt ideal as this means the software itself is mired in legacy tools and ui but at least people who used it 10 years ago still understand how it works.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm polycounter lvl 7
    Max is Autodesk's own native product, whereas Maya was bought together with Alias|Wavefront. At the time they bought it both systems had established ecosystems: pipelines, trainings, communities, tools & plugins. Killing one or the other would result in quite an upheaval (think people with pitchforks and torches) as both softwares are well entrenched in various industries.
  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    Well Autodesk have bought a couple companies to lessen competition, in Mayas case like said above too many companies was invested in it and they wouldn't easily switch to Max, so they kept it going. 
  • Joopson
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    Joopson Polycount Sponsor
    Well, look at all the people who love max but hate maya, or love maya and hate max. Good luck cutting one out without losing half of the customers.

    And besides, we all know you're just trying to shill for modo ;)

    And anyway, look at car companies. They make tons of different cars that do things slightly differently. And it works out pretty well.
  • Tidal Blast
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    Tidal Blast polycounter lvl 3
    There aren`t many full feature 3D apps out there that can compete with either 3DS Max or Maya. And while a 3D app such as Modo can compete with 3DS Max for 3D modeling, it lacks in performance and 3D animation. Despite their differences, both 3DS Max and Maya can be professionally used for both 3D modeling and 3D animation. And that`s a big advantage for Autodesk, because some users/studios are going to choose either 3DS Max or Maya depending of their needs, but some others will invest also in both. Autodesk makes more money that way and it`s possibly in their best interest to keep it that way. Who knows...
  • RaptorCWS
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    RaptorCWS polycounter lvl 4
    they bought one with a equally large user base  that would riot if they got rid of it.
  • spacefrog
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    spacefrog polycounter lvl 8
    Joopson said:
    Well, look at all the people who love max but hate maya, or love maya and hate max. Good luck cutting one out without losing half of the customers.

    You want believe it, but there are even people out there who love Max and have honest respect for Maya and of course this is true the other way around too. I would consider myself being one of the Max loving guys who have enough knowledge of Maya to see how silly it would be to deny it's power.
  • Neox
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    Neox polycounter lvl 10
    there are people who love max? i mean i work with it, i am using it, i enjoy some of it. but loving it?
    i can understand hating one of them or both. but loving any of them? :D 
  • McGreed
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    McGreed Polycount Sponsor
    Hehe, I know what you mean, I like 3DS Max, however I wouldn't say I love it as I would have said with XSI.
  • Joao Sapiro
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    Joao Sapiro greentooth
    as someone that enjoys non destructive workflows i can honestly say that a program with functioning modifiers is heaven to me. Locking everychoice i make by collapsing history etc is no good :( and that from my experience makes max a very powerfull package. Sure it has some retarded stuff but all programs do.
  • Tidal Blast
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    Tidal Blast polycounter lvl 3
    Isn't it actually important to love the main app that you use, freaking everyday for freaking years? Your whole life? And don't you think it should be important for any employer to make sure that their employees are happy and productive rather than always pissed off and frustrated or annoyed?
  • Joopson
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    Joopson Polycount Sponsor
    I mean, I would say I love Maya; but it's the wise love of spending years together, understanding that neither Maya nor myself are perfect, and accepting that, and loving it all the more.
  • CreativeSheep
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    CreativeSheep polycounter lvl 2
    Oreo makes different versions of the same white creme cookie, why is that a good business model; same with Autodesk.
  • ValN84
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    ValN84 polycounter lvl 3
    Why does Autodesk make two programs (Max and Maya) that do almost the same thing except slightly differently? How is that a good business model?
    Let me answer these questions to the best of my knowledge. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
    1. The programs might look only slightly different but in fact differ a lot on how they are built.
    Max is a windows only program while Maya also has iOS and Linux releases.
    The reason Max is not being ported to other OSes is frankly bad programing as Max was never developed to be modular or easily rewritable. I remember hearing someone at Autodesk saying it's almost impossible to re-write stuff in Max's code due to the complexity. On the other side Maya was always a modular platform. Each "layer" is separated and can be easily upgraded (ex: the switch to Qt for the interface). This means that Autodesk has some big clients who buy Maya specifically because they can write or re-write code for it easier that they would do for Max. 
    2. This is frankly the only reason Autodesk keeps both programs: demand! If it weren't profitable to keep both, it wouldn't have kept one of them and "XSi" the crap out of it. Now if you are to compare it to the ideal situation of having a single development team developing one mega-program to satisfy everyone, this "two program system" might look bad but business models have nothing to do with perceived efficiency, that's not how markets work. The fact of the matter is: as long as they both sell, they will keep developing both!

    Some context PS: I started modeling in Max about 15 years ago. After about 3 years I got my first job and switched to Maya and decided I would never get back to Max... that is until clients and projects demanded it and I had to. Right now I can use both programs but I prefer Maya because UVs, marking menus and better UI.
  • spacefrog
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    spacefrog polycounter lvl 8

    ValN84 said:
    Why does Autodesk make two programs (Max and Maya) that do almost the same thing except slightly differently? How is that a good business model?
    ... Maya also has iOS and Linux releases.
    First time i heard about Maya on an iPhone or iPad :D
  • Neox
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    Neox polycounter lvl 10
    Isn't it actually important to love the main app that you use, freaking everyday for freaking years? Your whole life? And don't you think it should be important for any employer to make sure that their employees are happy and productive rather than always pissed off and frustrated or annoyed?
    as a professional working in your field, you'll realize at one point, that not hating the software you work with is already a big step :D 
    no but seriously, every piece of software has it's flaws. Even your so highly beloved Modo. There is always stuff that could be better, there is always stuff that drives people nuts. The bigger the software is, the bigger the chance that you will have some issues with it.
    It's just how it goes, and correlated to that is that you will find a software that works the best for you for what you do all day. It doesn't matter if that is maya, max or modo or blender or whatever. And if you can work with that software you can be pretty happy.

    But no you don't need to love the tools you are using, they are still just tools. You are a professional, not someone in love with a tool. You will get to work with many tools in your carreer, it would be pretty devastating if you would need to love them to work with them in a professional and enjoyable way.
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 3
    First of all, I'm a loyal and hard core committed Blender user since I started 3D for the first time and I absolutely L-O-V-E it, so my opinions might be biased, I dont know.

    Funny enough, I've been working on two working conditions (a game development school and in a small animation & vfx company). In school we used Max, and I absolutely lost my nerves it getting unexpected crashes and looooooong startup times, even with basic tools for modeling. 3ds Max is bug ridden, crash sensitive and it has it quirks that I just couldn't use it at all. Basically I hate it. :D

    In the small company where I've been working every now and then, they are using Maya. Luckily I'm allowed to use Blender full-time, but there are times that I'll need to get my models to Maya. I've found Maya a lot better than Max though. BUT, it's still not stable enough for me to use all the time. Let's say that Maya is a good servant for Blender, but a bad master if used exclusively. Because it has the same disease (but a bit less) as Max. ;D But I think Maya is okay-ish though.

    I've heard that if you feed both Max and Maya with tons of scripts which work as workarounds, fixes and new better tools, they start to feel enjoyable. Doesn't sound so practical to me, because Blender is fast, super stable, light-weight out of the box. Addons/scripts for it are useful for sure, but I could use vanilla Blender anyday.
  • Obscura
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    Obscura interpolator
    Kwramm said:
    Max is Autodesk's own native product
    Wasn't it by Discreet first? Or Autodesk was called that in the past, and they changed their name?

    Edit - Discreet Logic was a division of Autodesk. Even earlier it was called Kinetix. - based on wiki
  • musashidan
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    musashidan interpolator
    @FourtyNights , your post pretty much sums up how subjective theis subject will always be. As a long-time Max user (since R4) who's used it extensively in pretty much every aspect at some stage, from animation to simulation, from rigging to modeling, in games/vfx/illustration/film-making/mograph.....

    And I can honestly say in all those years Max very rarely crashes on me. As an example, I can't remember a single crash in the last 6 months. You may have used it frustratingly back in school, or heard rumours that it needed a ton of scripts thrown at it just to function (which is complete bollocks) but, your adoration of Blender and hyperbole of Max/Maya may be bordering on the extreme.....the very reason that these types of threads are usually discouraged. ;)
  • Mark Dygert
    First of all, I'm a loyal and hard core committed Blender user since I started 3D for the first time and I absolutely L-O-V-E it, so my opinions might be biased, I dont know.
    Be careful putting your loyalty blindly in something that will not return it. People tend to get attached to what gives they them their first hints of success. People who say "I tried xyz app and didn't like it" probably never used it long enough to get successful results and never used it long enough to get up to the same level of people that have used it to achieve career success.

    That goes for all apps. It also reminds me of this...

    I've used 3dsmax for over 10 years, Maya for 7 years, Modo for 3 years and Blender for 3 months. My impression of Blender matches your impression of 3dsmax and Maya. It's not that Blender is a bad app, a lot of people use it to great effect every day. It's just my success rate with it is far below any other app I've used. They all excel in certain areas but if you encounter success less often, you're going to like it less.

    So yea, perspective. There is a huge difference between trying something and actually using it successfully. Don't let that taint your perception of the world. It will hold you back.
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