Switching 3d Software a bad idea?

polycounter lvl 6
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aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
Hey,
I looked on the forums to see if there was a similar thread and I didn't find one (if there is I apologize and I must be blind) but I have been watching a few tutorials and I noticed that Maya looks pretty fun to use, and seems a lot of studios use it. My friend is trying to "Convert" me, and he thinks Maya is way better than Max ect...ect...and I am unsure if Maya has tools Max doesn't... I have been using Max for the past 2 years and I was just wondering if i should just continue using Max? is Maya really worth the switch?

Once again sorry if this is a redundant question, and thanks for your time.

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  • Mio
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    Mio polycounter lvl 10
    if u don't do any art tech and fx stuff, and only focus on modeling /texture, then forgot all the crap talking about those 3d software, just grab something you like and make more and more art!

    then u will have u answer!

    :D
  • Kot_Leopold
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    Kot_Leopold polycounter lvl 5
    If you're comfortable using Max, then why switch to Maya? "is Maya really worth the switch?" - only you can answer that question. But just because your friend thinks Maya is better and is trying to "convert" you doesn't mean you should make the switch.

    It really boils down to what you're comfortable using and whether or not you'd like to spend that amount of time learning Maya.

    Just my 2 rubles.
  • aajohnny
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    aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
    Thank you both. I am just confused as to if Max has the same exact tools as Maya does Modelling wise, or if Maya has better tools.
  • Ben Apuna
    If you are comfortable with Max then it would be fine to give Maya a try. Once you learn the fundamental ideas behind making 3D art (modeling, uving, baking, etc...) it's pretty trivial to switch apps.

    However if you are still shaky with your fundamentals then stick with Max until you aren't.

    That's not to say Maya is harder than Max, just that there's no benefit to switching apps until you understand what you leaving behind.

    Each app has it's own way of doing things. I've learned a lot each time I switched Maya -> Max -> Modo.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    There's pros and cons about every app, I've used max, maya, and softimage, they all do the same things in different ways, there is no better app.
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    Nope, Max has better ones. Anyone giving you the fanboy talk is bound to be ... just a single-minded fanboy (sorry to offend your friend, but so far I've met many of this kind and they all fit into the same archetype).

    You won't get any speed increase by switching over ; at best you might become as fast, but not faster. The Max stack remains the most powerful modeling tool you'll find. Don't waste your time switching over ; Like Mio said, just focus on making cool stuff and working on your art fundamentals.

    I agree with Ben too : trying other things might give you hindsights into original ways of working. Ideally, seing stuff done in other apps lets you improve your workflow in your original app of choice. For instance, I've enjoyed watching Modo and XSI videos in the past, as it gave me ideas on how to speed up my Max workflow.

    So to sum up my point I'd say keep an open eye on what other apps can do, it could give you cool ideas!
  • Bibendum
    They're basically equivalent software, the better one is the one you like more.
  • PredatorGSR
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    PredatorGSR polycounter lvl 7
    You'll most likely eventually use both in your career anyway, so it doesn't hurt to become familiar with them. It will ease some of the transition when you get hired at a studio that uses the other package. Tool wise they are pretty similar, most people who use both will have a preference but can work fast in which ever program they are using at the time.

    There are small quirks in both packages that are better than the other, but you can do the same things with both tools.
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 6
    From what I last heard, the Maya community still hopes one day Autodesk implements the Nex tools for Maya. Unlike Max, which almost in a few iterations, implemented the Polyboost tools off the bat.

    Other then that point, nope, it all depends on you learning the interface of the program more then anything.
  • MainManiac
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    MainManiac polycounter lvl 6
    Have him switch to max, so he can enjoy organized UI.
  • Cody
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    Cody polycounter lvl 10
    Don't switch. The app you use doesn't matter. Just make good work. If you need to switch for a job when the time comes, it's easy. I had to for a job and after a week, I was up to speed, and they were cool with it, that time is for training anyway.
  • Saman
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    Saman polycounter lvl 7
    Bear in mind that these different softwares are like religions to some people. They like to convert people into using whatever software they're using themselves. They do however bring up good valid points to why the software they use is the best which often confuses people. In the end it all comes down to what you feel you're most comfortable with.
    I tend to switch a lot between max and maya because I think the two of them have different pros/cons. I prefer Maya's modeling because some tools are faster and more intuitive. The uv mapping tools in max are however pretty much superior to Maya's.
  • EVIL
    but what if a studio only uses maya?
  • Cody
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    Cody polycounter lvl 10
    EVIL wrote: »
    but what if a studio only uses maya?

    I got hired at a maya only studio, as a max user. Had never used maya. They didn't care, just stress that you have the ability to adapt and learn a new tool. If you have the base skills, you can switch programs easy.
  • Zpanzer
    One thing needs to said though:
    If you're into animating on any "higher" level, I think the general agreement is that Maya's flowgraphs are way better to work with then the one in Max. That's atleast the opinion I've picked up over the years talking to animators every from VFX to games.
  • Permafrost
    as far as differences go i found this article that lists the differences of each program, http://machinimart.com/maya-vs-3ds-max/ , it's for the 2011 versions, i haven't gone in to check and see what changes have been made for either 3ds or Maya. I'm a Maya user myself though, so I can't comment on Max, but I don't see any harm in learning a new program since more than likely if you get a job in the industry you'll be working with either of them.
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 7
    Stick with Max if your a modeller. Maya has most of the same tools but you tend to need a load of plug-ins and scripts to bring it on par with max's out of the box setup. (Nex's tools are quite often clones of max's native tools)


    Sorry to pick on what you said Zak but to be honest Max and Maya are not equal in all departments. I've used Max and Maya in production and there are massive differences between them in certain areas. For instance Mayas rendering, shading and pass system is far superior to max, where as max's modelling tools are far more streamlined and immediate than mayas.
  • Habboi
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    Habboi sublime tool
    They're just tools. If one artist can make exactly the same model as another artist using something else, does it really matter in the end?

    Although I do hear some studios prefer Maya but that may be a thing of the past...
  • JacqueChoi
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    JacqueChoi greentooth
    Max and Maya both have their strengths and weaknesses.

    I find myself going back and force between the programs occasionally to do small things here and there.


    My basic assessment of both:

    3DS Max - A Frankenstein Program that added on an engulfed many other 3rd party and middleware programs, to become this chaotic mess. Generally better modelling tools.

    Maya - A program largely hacked together in the strangest and most unintuitive way to create a giant chaotic mess (usually requires spending a few hours customizing it to become somewhat usable). Way better navigation and 'quick menu/selection' system.

    Maya generally has better UV Tools, but I end up doing most of my Unwrapping in Roadkill anyways (which comes with both a Max and Maya version).


    Most animators prefer animating in Maya.

    Scripters are usually split half/half over which they prefer.

    Most modellers don't really care, because 99% of modelling tools are the exact same thing, just in different areas of the program.
  • aajohnny
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    aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks guys,

    This really helped me. So basically even if a studio uses Maya more then Max I can still use Max?
  • Belinda
  • Mark Dygert
    I haven't read the thread so this might of been brought up already but I think you should become app ambidextrous then use which ever one feels more natural to you or has the things you rely on.

    I've bounced back and forth and I've pretty much settled on max for just about everything, modeling, materials, rigging, animation and FX. But if I did more modeling I would probably use Silo or Modo more often they work a lot faster than max or Maya. Even if you don't plan on using Silo or Modo you should check them out they will give you some great ideas on how to customize max or maya to be much more efficient.

    Most places will only use one package or the other. The reason for this mostly technical. Often places have to write specific tools that interact with the 3D software and setting up and maintaining dual tool sets is a giant pain in the ass. They often get better deals on seats of software if they buy in bulk or on subscription and buying a few stand alone seats for artists who prefer other software isn't always cost effective.

    You also run into the problem of, if all the leads and Sr artists use a different package who do you turn to when you have questions? "sorry buddy I don't use that app? Did you Google it?" is a crappy answer but one you would probably hear a lot.

    I wouldn't mind working at a Maya only studio, I've mostly stuck with max because I've been using it longer and we use it at work. Once you get the hang of both it doesn't take much time to fall back into the groove when you switch from one to the other. There are a few "oh crap what did that shortcut just do?" moments from time to time but really the only way to find out which one is the best for you, is to learn both.
  • nazeil
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    nazeil polycounter lvl 9
    No. A studio will generally stick to a single 3d software, so you would need to switch if you went to a Maya studio. However the switch is a pretty easy one, so I'd say keep using Max for now.
  • Bibendum
    aajohnny wrote: »
    Thanks guys,

    This really helped me. So basically even if a studio uses Maya more then Max I can still use Max?
    Uhh no, more than likely the studio will have one tool and you'll have to use that. Supporting two tools in a pipeline doesn't make much sense.

    In most cases though being a Max user will not hurt your chances of getting employed by a studio that uses Maya. Most applications state you need X years of knowledge in Y program or equivalent 3D modeling package. They'll simply expect you to adapt and learn it when you get a job. The exception to this is if they're late in development and really behind and you're being brought in just to help them speed up production, in which case they might end up going with someone who already has Maya experience if they have that option.

    Also according to the Polycount poll from a while ago, Max is still the most widely used modeling software in the gaming industry.

    I would toy with it at the very least, that way you can get a feel for what it is like and you can tell your prospective employer you at least have experience using it.
  • bugo
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    bugo polycounter lvl 11
    Permafrost wrote: »
    as far as differences go i found this article that lists the differences of each program, http://machinimart.com/maya-vs-3ds-max/ , it's for the 2011 versions, i haven't gone in to check and see what changes have been made for either 3ds or Maya. I'm a Maya user myself though, so I can't comment on Max, but I don't see any harm in learning a new program since more than likely if you get a job in the industry you'll be working with either of them.

    I completely disagree with this article: This guy is using of really low end user to grant Max some of it's useless (nowadays) features, like for an example bi-ped.

    "Complete Package for Game Development" - On my opinion, people don't know Maya enough to say at least what it can be done for game development, I will list somethings here that makes Maya way better than Max on game development as I already listed before in other threads:

    Vertex color painting, channels, paste, paint, baking, etc
    UV channels features, copy, paste, organize, etc
    Transfering attributes from a mesh to another - vertex colors, uvs, position, etc.
    Be able to edit more than one object at once in component mode.
    General UV tools, vertical/horizontal unfolding, packing, soft selection and other features.
    Better viewport for games, lighting and normal maps (taking out Max 2012 that they improved it)
    If you have turtle, which Maya 2012 does, you bake a 4096 AO map in less than 1 min. Max takes an hour!!! Same quality, antialiasing, etc.

    Resuming, learn Maya entirely, and then later tell me if you like it or not. It's impossible to say without learning the whole thing. As Pior said about fanboys, I'm not one, I'm just being obvious. If it was for the sake of speed on modeling, I would go to Modo, which is the best modeling package in my opinion. And yeah, if you already have your own method of workflow in Max? Why changing it?
  • Mark Dygert
    nazeil wrote: »
    No. A studio will generally stick to a single 3d software, so you would need to switch if you went to a Maya studio.
    For the most part I agree but it really depends on where in the pipeline the odd app is introduced.

    If its at the beginning "modeling/materials" then it has a slightly greater chance of being accepted, especially if the studio uses a engine that accepts commonly exported file formats and there isn't a tool pipeline build around the app. Then its just a financial and management issue.

    If its at the end of the pipeline like animation then the answer is probably going to be "use what we're using". Although knowing MotionBuilder does allow you to animate independently of max and maya while supporting both at the same time. If a place is willing to take that on if they haven't already that really depends on the person and how much they want to hire him/her.

    But yea, in general they are going to pick the best candidate that fits the team and the software they use the best.
  • aajohnny
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    aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
    Thank you all. I think I will stick with Max, maybe get on Maya once in a while and refresh myself with it. I might use both, but yeah when/if I get a job that uses Maya only i'll just adapt to it like you guys said :)
  • maze
    I am a max user at the base, but got hired recently in a XSI studio. I think xsi is a kickass app for pretty much everything. And although I feel I am getting used pretty fast... I 'll agree with Pior about the modifier stack in max, that simply rocks.

    But at the end of the day yeah an app is an app. Same thing happened to me for texturing, at this studio its all textured in Mari. And coming from photoshop, I have to get used to but hell is just a tool in the end.

    Also I agree again with Pior when he say you wont really get faster by switching app...


    EDIT: Oh yeah there is actually one thing I hate about xsi, the uv editor. I hateeee it!!! too many colors, too thick selection edges... no textools.... etc! yeah its got unfold... but still...

    SECOND EDIT: ALSO WHERE CAN I FIND A DECENT OBJECT PLACER IN XSI FOR GOD SAKE!!!! (YEAH LIKE ADVANCED PAINTER...)
  • Saman
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    Saman polycounter lvl 7
    I'm curious to how larger studios like Blizzard handle this. Do they allow multiple 3d softwares for modelling etc? I guess the final version of said model should be exported through one program since they probably have in-house software doing that. Anyone?
  • Tenchi
    You can always try it out to see what you think. If not your cup of tea sticking with Max won't hurt you. I made the effort to learn both and I personally find modeling much quicker in Maya.
  • stacy111
    Good views guys i love all of your vies..
  • ParoXum
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    ParoXum polycounter
    For me the deal is simple:

    Animation = Maya
    All the rest = 3DsMax
  • seth.
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    seth. polycounter lvl 8
    I'm a maya user that never realised how cool splines were till I tried max. Defauly I'm a maya user, but Nex is essential. If the need is there I will hapilly use Max though...I will just be a bit slower :D

    on topic....dont switch sortware, just expand your knowledge...you dont have to abandon one in favour of the other. (as long as you have a student licence....if you are buying then I would stick to one and be able to afford food and such :D)
  • xvampire
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    xvampire polycounter lvl 10
    I use xsi for personal, I can use 3dsmax too fairly the same level. because of my job

    and now I want to learn blender . they just got new tool that i think many people will love it http://vimeo.com/26339130
  • okkun
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    okkun polycounter lvl 12
    bugo wrote: »
    I completely disagree with this article: This guy is using of really low end user to grant Max some of it's useless (nowadays) features, like for an example bi-ped.

    "Complete Package for Game Development" - On my opinion, people don't know Maya enough to say at least what it can be done for game development, I will list somethings here that makes Maya way better than Max on game development as I already listed before in other threads:

    Vertex color painting, channels, paste, paint, baking, etc
    UV channels features, copy, paste, organize, etc
    Transfering attributes from a mesh to another - vertex colors, uvs, position, etc.
    Be able to edit more than one object at once in component mode.
    General UV tools, vertical/horizontal unfolding, packing, soft selection and other features.
    Better viewport for games, lighting and normal maps (taking out Max 2012 that they improved it)
    If you have turtle, which Maya 2012 does, you bake a 4096 AO map in less than 1 min. Max takes an hour!!! Same quality, antialiasing, etc.

    Resuming, learn Maya entirely, and then later tell me if you like it or not. It's impossible to say without learning the whole thing. As Pior said about fanboys, I'm not one, I'm just being obvious. If it was for the sake of speed on modeling, I would go to Modo, which is the best modeling package in my opinion. And yeah, if you already have your own method of workflow in Max? Why changing it?

    Um, maybe you should check out max before you make statements about what it can and cannot do. Personally I could go either way as I'm forced to use whatever our clients use. They both have strengths and weaknesses but to claim Maya is "better" for game development because that's the package you work in is pretty silly.
  • bugo
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    bugo polycounter lvl 11
    okkun wrote: »
    Um, maybe you should check out max before you make statements about what it can and cannot do. Personally I could go either way as I'm forced to use whatever our clients use. They both have strengths and weaknesses but to claim Maya is "better" for game development because that's the package you work in is pretty silly.

    Like I didn't check? And what statements I said Max can't do? I'm talking about max fanboys which will always pop up on their minds "oh, max is better for games" but never tried Maya, XSI or others. If you read AGAIN I didn't mention Maya is better for games overall, I'm pointing what I think Maya it is better. I only said the article is not pointing stuff they should be pointing. So who's being silly here?
  • bugo
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    bugo polycounter lvl 11
    xvampire wrote: »
    I use xsi for personal, I can use 3dsmax too fairly the same level. because of my job

    and now I want to learn blender . they just got new tool that i think many people will love it http://vimeo.com/26339130

    That is a TOOL!
  • Kot_Leopold
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    Kot_Leopold polycounter lvl 5
    Goraaz wrote: »
    I'm curious to how larger studios like Blizzard handle this. Do they allow multiple 3d softwares for modelling etc? I guess the final version of said model should be exported through one program since they probably have in-house software doing that. Anyone?
    Vitaly Bulgarov works for Blizzard and he's a XSI user, so I guess they do allow multiple 3d packages on-site. It all boils down to user's preference there, I think. As long as the performance of an employee is sky-rocketing, they won't restrain you to one particular software.
  • moose
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    moose Polycount Sponsor
    Are you a student? You can get both for free iirc, shouldn't be anything getting in your way of trying.

    There is absolutely no harm in wanting to experiment and learn. You won't be disgracing yourself or anyone who uses Max by opening Maya and learning how to use it. The tools we use to create our art aren't countries, and they don't have feelings. Use them all, abuse them, take advantage of them, whatever! Should never feel bad for using another piece of software, but you can have favorites :)

    If your friend speaks highly of it, trust your friend's judgement and try it out. There is no harm in trying, or figuring out if its viable for your workflow. The major point is to try, not to question whether you should try it or not - take the plunge!

    There are pluses an minuses to each - i honestly prefer Maya's UV unwrapping to Max's at times, but then in others i prefer Max's way of handling selection within the UV editor, saving UVs, and having multiple UV channels. Maya's methods of custom keyboard shortcuts and menus is 100000000000000% better than Max, their customize menus are fucking rat traps. Key point is to just try and figure out if you love it or hate it! Granny Smiths VS Red Delicious

    Don't be scurrd! :)
  • okkun
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    okkun polycounter lvl 12
    bugo wrote: »
    Like I didn't check? And what statements I said Max can't do? I'm talking about max fanboys which will always pop up on their minds "oh, max is better for games" but never tried Maya, XSI or others. If you read AGAIN I didn't mention Maya is better for games overall, I'm pointing what I think Maya it is better. I only said the article is not pointing stuff they should be pointing. So who's being silly here?

    Well for one, I just rendered a mental ray AO map in max in about 30 seconds, on multiple objects that I unwrapped simultaneously.

    I can easily switch it around and argue for Maya but the point is they're both solid packages and in the end you can do pretty much the same things in them.
  • bugo
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    bugo polycounter lvl 11
    There you go, now it made sense! :)
    I agree with you. Both can do the same.
  • 1Fort 2Fort
    Oh god switchings hard man. I tried to switch from blender to maya. Cant model diddly in maya. I think ill only use it for jiggle boning. Mayas so easy to use for me it takes maybe an hour to finish easy items now. maya...more like days.
  • DeeKei
    Oh god switchings hard man. I tried to switch from blender to maya. Cant model diddly in maya. I think ill only use it for jiggle boning. Mayas so easy to use for me it takes maybe an hour to finish easy items now. maya...more like days.

    Sentence is a bit weird, but are you saying its hard to model in maya because youve been using blender all this time?

    I admit, I know that feeling. Being a maya user I could never really get used to the blender modelling tools.

    I think it's good to experiment with different 3D programs. While i started using maya, I dabbled abit into the 3dsmax and found modelling inside it quite intuitive. However I eventually settled down with maya since that was what i found most comfortable with. But if a job required me to use max instead of maya, I am confident that switching programs wouldnt be a problem because i know the general bits of how to use max.
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 13
    Just use what you're most comfortable with till someone that pays you wants you to use something else. Then switch over in a few weeks. It's not a big deal. The whole argument about this software vs that is not what it used to be.They're all so similar these days. If anything I would say focus on learning to be an Artist and less on knowing all the 3d programs that companies might use.

    At the end of the day the software is just a tool. You can train a monkey to use a tool. You can't teach a monkey to be an Artist. You need an elephant for that.
  • DeeKei
    jeffro wrote: »
    Just use what you're most comfortable with till someone that pays you wants you to use something else. Then switch over in a few weeks. It's not a big deal. The whole argument about this software vs that is not what it used to be.They're all so similar these days. If anything I would say focus on learning to be an Artist and less on knowing all the 3d programs that companies might use.

    At the end of the day the software is just a tool. You can train a monkey to use a tool. You can't teach a monkey to be an Artist. You need an elephant for that.


    man this forum needs +1 or something, cos id +10 this.
  • metalliandy
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    metalliandy greentooth
    The hardest thing to learn is the fundamentals of modelling. Once you have that down, everything else is pretty trivial :)
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