Maya LT vs. Blender (and some other questions too)

polygon
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Krato polygon
Hello, 

I own Blender, Zbrush, and most recently Substance Painter. I am considering purchasing Maya LT because I am not made of money and buying Maya proper is way too expensive. I'm not here to ask if Maya or Maya LT is better than blender. What I'm curious about is... is Maya LT sufficient enough to handle everything I would need for modeling. I know it's the budget version of Maya, will that come back haunt me? 

I guess to kind of pin down what I want to do:
-Retopo models from zbrush
-Bake maps (substance painter does this pretty well Imo)
-Prepare files for export into Substance Painter
-Rig models
-Animate models
-Anything else that is unforeseen prior to putting assets into Unity.

Can these core things be accomplished on LT? 

I'm pretty new to all of this and I'm not taking college classes, so there's no student discount for me. Sorry If this is a general question, I'm simply concerned that LT may be too LT and simply used as a hook to get people to buy full Maya (out of need).

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  • Krato
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    Krato polygon
    Well, I came across this on the autodesk site. It compares the features between Maya and Maya LT. So there appears to be a lot of similarities between the products. Maya LT has none of the dynamic & effects and it lacks a good amount of the rendering options of the full version as well as a few other random things. I am obviously a noob with this, but I feel like It would be accurate to say a lot of those features are likely to be irrelevant for me. With my aforementioned tools (Zbrush, Substance painter, and Unity), I should be ok right?

    Additionally, does anyone have any resources they would recommend for learning this program? I'm going to dig around on Gumroad and Pluralsight tonight, but if anyone has any artists or specific recommendations I'd love to know them. 
  • Dataday
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    Dataday polycounter lvl 5
    Hmm honestly I would recommend trying Modo Indie first. Less investment required, $9 a month for 6 months via Steam.

    The reason for this recommendation is it has some very good retopo, UV and baking features. Animation for low poly isnt a problem either. The viewport is PBR based now and has both Unity and Unreal materials.

    With Blender as option, you can invest in the:
    retopo plugin: https://www.blendermarket.com/products/retopoflow
    baketool: https://www.blendermarket.com/products/baketool

    Still Modo Indie covers all the bases.


  • mickeyvpn
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    mickeyvpn polycounter lvl 2
    Thinking on this topic myself. Want to switch form 3D Max though.
    In the near future I want to try Modo Indie on Steam. But some limitations bother me, like that commands and scripts are unavailable. But I think it's still a good choice for me.
  • kat
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    kat polycounter lvl 11
    The question here isn't whether Blender is or is not capable (it is). The question is what you'll be doing with the content you're making... the more likely the need for you to interface with *industry experienced* individuals, the more likely you'll have to offer a pipeline they are familiar with, and vice versa, to make things easy for everyone involved.

    So... if you plan on working in the industry as an employee of a development company then purchase Maya LT (Max et al). If you plan on working with other independent artists with industry experience, similarly purchase MayaLT. If you don't foresee either the above scenarios to one degree or another, you'd be better off doing what @Dataday suggested and purchasing some extensions to Blender.
  • Krato
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    Krato polygon
    kat said:
    The question here isn't whether Blender is or is not capable (it is). The question is what you'll be doing with the content you're making... the more likely the need for you to interface with *industry experienced* individuals, the more likely you'll have to offer a pipeline they are familiar with, and vice versa, to make things easy for everyone involved.

    So... if you plan on working in the industry as an employee of a development company then purchase Maya LT (Max et al). If you plan on working with other independent artists with industry experience, similarly purchase MayaLT. If you don't foresee either the above scenarios to one degree or another, you'd be better off doing what @Dataday suggested and purchasing some extensions to Blender.
    This was a major consideration as well. Every time I worked on something blender the thought of having to eventually learn Maya in the future kind of hung over my head. I did end up buying MayaLT, it seems like a lot of tutorials are based around it, especially once it involves numerous separate programs working together. CGcookie has fantastic tutorials all oriented around blender but as of this time they dont have a lot of options regarding blender>substance painter. Still a great site though for other tutorial paths regardless. 

    Additionally, I want to learn substance painter, and I felt like I wasn't finding something that eased the transition from blender > substance. I came across tutorials but most were focused on setting up and importing from maya, including Allegorithmic themselves.

    I'll be honest I didnt/dont know too much about Modo. I've only heard 3Ds Max, Maya, and Blender passed around. Until this thread I thought modo was on of the myriad of support tools that serve very specific functions.
  • MmAaXx
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    MmAaXx polycounter lvl 4
    considering that Blender is good in everything, best in nothing, every 3d artist should study/support Blender even a little bit, it can really save your back when your beloved software is not around.
  • ivanzu
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    ivanzu polycounter lvl 5
     Blender may not have the best modeling tools but UV editor is one of the best. You can get student version of Maya since you are going to college.  

    PS
    I'm blind and read it all wrong, I thought that you were a student. :smile:
  • Klaudio2U
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    Klaudio2U polycounter lvl 3
    Krato said:
     I'm simply concerned that LT may be too LT and simply used as a hook to get people to buy full Maya (out of need).
    This might be true even though for what you need you might find LT good enough. Most troubles that you could get down the road is regarding scripts, whether that is simple MEL scripts or Python.
    Even though LT suports MEL, lots of people are usually making scripts in full Maya and it can happen using under the hood stuff that LT doesn't have so the script will not work. For Python, there are some really awesome scripts around but LT doesn't support it so you can't use them.
    Eventually you get frustrated enough to just go for full Maya. :)

    Other than that, LT in my opinion, is pretty solid.
  • Krato
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    Krato polygon
    ivanzu said:
     Blender may not have the best modeling tools but UV editor is one of the best. You can get student version of Maya since you are going to college.  

    PS
    I'm blind and read it all wrong, I thought that you were a student. :smile:
    I haven't gotten around to messing with Maya's UV editor, I have however worked a bit with Blender's UV system. What do you think makes it superior? 
    Klaudio2U said:
    Krato said:
     I'm simply concerned that LT may be too LT and simply used as a hook to get people to buy full Maya (out of need).
    This might be true even though for what you need you might find LT good enough. Most troubles that you could get down the road is regarding scripts, whether that is simple MEL scripts or Python.
    Even though LT suports MEL, lots of people are usually making scripts in full Maya and it can happen using under the hood stuff that LT doesn't have so the script will not work. For Python, there are some really awesome scripts around but LT doesn't support it so you can't use them.
    Eventually you get frustrated enough to just go for full Maya. :)

    Other than that, LT in my opinion, is pretty solid.
    Well, someday when I feel like I'm at a point where I can actually justify using Maya's fancy tools I'll definitely switch. Until then, being limited on the useful scripts is kind of unfortunate, but I guess the silver lining is this will teach me to be good at vanilla maya approaches to problem solving. ivanzu said:
     Blender may not have the best modeling tools but UV editor is one of the best. You can get student version of Maya since you are going to college.  

    PS
    I'm blind and read it all wrong, I thought that you were a student. :smile:
    I will be transferring to a large state college in a little over a year, maybe I could look into their programs and see if they have something that allows me to mess around with Maya. Can't imagine I would be able to freelance off of that program though while im a student. 
  • ivanzu
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    ivanzu polycounter lvl 5
    I never used Maya so don't know about it's UV editor, for me Blender has better UV editor than 3DSmax which is pain in the ass for me to use when dealing with complex models.
  • lichyard
    I just had to make this decision, and I stuck with Blender. The reason is, I do hard surface modeling and bake in Substance and now Marmoset 3, which are both capable of doing exploded bakes way faster than was possible before.   Therefore, I needed to get my high poly into external programs. The poly limits in Maya LT and Modo were just a no-go. I'll deal with Blender's funkiness to not have to do a bunch of weird exporting just to get my model into Substance.

    That said, if you have the time, it doesn't hurt to learn some Maya. I find that Blender and Maya have a lot in common with each other workflow wise, so it wasn't difficult for me to conceptually switch. I feel like if I had to switch between Blender and Maya, it would only take a few days to get up and running.  I had a huge problem learning Modo after Blender.
  • 3dmodelmaker

    I'm facing a similar question and wanted to get some thoughts before I drop my hard earned $. I'm relatively new to the game having learnt on C4D at uni but considering a switch given will soon lose my free C4D access. As such have been looking at any and all options including Maya LT and Blender

     I know that these things are super personal, but regardless would love to get views from those of you who have used the different packages in a few areas...

     - Should I even be considering leaving C4D now or does it make sense to stick with what I know? Am I nuts to pay for C4D vs. learning blender or paying less for Maya LT?

    - How hard would it be to pick up Blender/Maya having learnt C4D?

    - Given Maya/Max seem to be the industry standard, especially from job perspective, should I be focusing on them? Even stretching to Maya full vs LT?

    - I get the impression I could do most things I do in C4D in Blender/Maya LT, is that right or is there a limit? I was a big fan of MO graph for instance

    - Any people made the switch from or to C4D to other products? Are you happier now?

  • Sage
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    Sage polycounter lvl 12
    Blender has great modeling tools, so I don't know what you feel are lacking. If your were comparing max to blender in modeling tools, I might say Max is worth it, but... I feel Maya and Blender are pretty similar as far as modeling goes. I suggest not to spend money on Maya lt until you plan to sell models, that requires your to use a specific pipeline that requires Maya. Until then make the best models you can and use that to get a job. I have brought models to Unreal and Unity with Blender. That said i have not tried the rigging tools in Blender. They are nice in Maya, painting weights in Maya is a bit lame, but I guess the more I do it the easier it will be.

    Things I love about blender... you hit r and can type in the viewport what angle you want to rotate... Boom super fast. So if you are good with blender you will miss these goodies. I have grown to enjoy Maya for modeling since the snap tools are really good, but they are good in blender. Blender insert loop tool snaps to the grid. The only thing I dislike about blender at the moment is how it currently does it's constant viewport updates with the uv editor which is super lame.
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