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Maya vs. 3DS Max

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February 21, 2013 8:57:41 AM

Hi,

I am a newb to 3D Graphics, and I wanted to know about the main difference between the Industry Leading Autodesk's Maya and 3DS Max. I know both are now from Adobe and used for 3D Designing and modelling.

I looked for some answers on the net, but it makes me more confused now. I just want to know simple differences b/w both of them. In terms of their functionality, actual use and why to use one for a specific purpose.

For example, if I want to go for 3D Sculpting, and Modelling, what to use and in case of architectural, and scene design, what should be better. I read somewhere that sculpting a 3D character, like the one we have in games, is more easy in Maya but rather I find 3DS Max more easy for that.

And what about game and movie graphics designing.

So, I am now very confused :pt1cable:  , so knowledgeable people out-there are welcome to differentiate in details.

Thanks :) 

More about : maya 3ds max

February 24, 2013 4:21:17 AM

From a comparison on Autodesk's site http://usa.autodesk.com/autodesk-entertainment-creation... they appear to be similar as far as features go. Finding the differences is challenging as you have already mentioned.
I'm not sure if any of this will help but the links may be worth a look:
http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100319...
http://eat3d.com/forum/general-discussion/maya-or-3ds-m...
From what I can gather 3DS Max is used for games and Maya is used for film.
http://machinimart.com/maya-vs-3ds-max/
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February 24, 2013 11:33:34 PM

cyberpks said:
I am a newb to 3D Graphics, and I wanted to know about the main difference between the Industry Leading Autodesk's Maya and 3DS Max. I know both are now from Adobe and used for 3D Designing and modelling.

First off, neither of those programs are Adobe products and, as you said, are Autodesk. Just making sure that you're clear so that you don't go searching with "Adobe" as a keyword.

Second, functionally, both programs are essentially the same. They do the same things, but in different ways. Choosing between them is really more a matter of personal preference and, more subtly, desired profession. Being the industry leader, Autodesk products are uses the world over. Regardless of which app you choose, 3ds or Maya, you'll find a job.

3ds tends to skew toward the game industry, but that's mostly because the it got into so many studios back in the DOS days. However, you WILL find game jobs if you choose Maya too. That has been steadily gaining ground in that industry for years too.

Maya is highly scriptable, more so that 3ds. Because of that, it tends to be highly used in the film industry. Technical Directors and VFX guys love Maya because you can customize the heck out of it and program it to create just about any effect.

From a user's perspective, some newbies tend to favor 3ds simply because it is far less technical and far more forgiving. The Graphite modeling tools make character creation a fairly simple process for the uninitiated. That's not to say that Maya is more difficult or that it's impossible to make characters. It's just that Maya's GUI is a little more daunting for first timers. There are so many options everywhere that new Maya users can get confused quickly.

If you're into character animation then Maya beats 3ds rather handily. 3ds makes it easy to get up and running with character animation, but Maya is (once again) far more customizable. You can build character rigs and controls in Maya that might otherwise be impossible or more difficult in 3ds.

Being a Maya animator, setting up a character (rigging) also means that you have to learn a fair amount of MEL, Maya's proprietary programming language. 3ds allows you to program via Maxscript, but the app itself holds your hand a little more.

Both apps connect to industry standard rendering engines such as MentalRay, Renderman, VRay, and so forth. As long as you put in the effort, you can get comparable results across the board.

In the long run, a big issue for some people is platform. Maya is available for Windows, Linux, and OSX. 3dsmax, unfortunately, is a Windows only app. So, if you choose 3ds, you'll surely be locked into the Windows platform.

Which to choose.... That's probably what's on your mind right now.

- Want to get a job? Either app will do. Job are plentiful for users of both apps.
- Want to animate characters? Both will get the job done, but Maya will do it better - if you want to go all the way down the rabbit hole.
- Not very technical? Maya may prove too confusing or scary if you're just concerned with getting in and out quickly. If you don't mind the challenge then Maya is for you.
- Want to model characters or scenes? Both will do the job just fine too. Tools can only take you so far. It ultimately all comes down to skill.
- Want to do architectural modeling? 3ds seems to be more of an archvis favorite. You can do it in Maya too though.
- Want to extend the program's functionality? 3ds probably has an edge on Maya when it comes to available plugins. However, there's nothing in Maya that can't be programmed or scripted. Both apps are extensible. HOW you extend them is what differs.
- How much will each set you back financially? Both apps cost about the same - just a bit under that $4k mark If you're a student, however, you likely qualify for a free license. You can't sell images or models you make using a student license, but you can learn and build a bada$$ portfolio with it.

Try the apps. That's all I can tell you. It's really such a personal choice. If you're just a hobbyist then your choice really doesn't matter as much. You can even go for Maxon Cinema 4D, which is like a more streamlined and less cluttered version of Maya. C4D jobs are a bit harder to find, but it is also quite popular in the film and motion graphics industries. You might also be interested in LightWave, which has its fans in studios doing TV stuff. Autodesk also makes Softimage which, while less popular than Maya or 3ds, gets used quite a bit too. Explore your options.
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March 11, 2013 4:22:36 AM

Both programs are great, they are both powerful and they both do what they are built to do.

I Personally prefer Maya over 3DS Max, I prefer the User Interface and general usability, that being said, the animation and modelling tools in both programs are great. It doesn't really come down to which one is better, it comes down to which one you are more comfortable and experienced with.

Everyone has a different opinion, but they are both great at what they are built for.
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April 14, 2013 5:36:49 PM

If you want to do sculpting, the best will be zbrush in my opinion, you can create the raw polygon model in maya and bring it to zbrush for sculpting, it is much more efficient and the result will be better.

Sculpting alone in maya doesn't looks as good, wile zbrush gives you more control and refine results.
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May 19, 2013 10:44:13 AM

both programs are great!until today 3ds was mostly used for games and movies!however maya has been the top lately for movie films animation movies and 3ds max for games as its modeling tools enable you to create many characters in a short amount of time!maya 2014 is said to have all the modelling tools from 3ds max and more advanced so i think maya is the program they are more focused on!maya is a bit more difficult to learn but once you do that it offers you many great and powerful tools that no other program does!but it actually depends on your own point of view nobody can tell you which program you may learn!
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June 23, 2013 6:53:18 PM

cookepuss said:
cyberpks said:
I am a newb to 3D Graphics, and I wanted to know about the main difference between the Industry Leading Autodesk's Maya and 3DS Max. I know both are now from Adobe and used for 3D Designing and modelling.

First off, neither of those programs are Adobe products and, as you said, are Autodesk. Just making sure that you're clear so that you don't go searching with "Adobe" as a keyword.

Second, functionally, both programs are essentially the same. They do the same things, but in different ways. Choosing between them is really more a matter of personal preference and, more subtly, desired profession. Being the industry leader, Autodesk products are uses the world over. Regardless of which app you choose, 3ds or Maya, you'll find a job.

3ds tends to skew toward the game industry, but that's mostly because the it got into so many studios back in the DOS days. However, you WILL find game jobs if you choose Maya too. That has been steadily gaining ground in that industry for years too.

Maya is highly scriptable, more so that 3ds. Because of that, it tends to be highly used in the film industry. Technical Directors and VFX guys love Maya because you can customize the heck out of it and program it to create just about any effect.

From a user's perspective, some newbies tend to favor 3ds simply because it is far less technical and far more forgiving. The Graphite modeling tools make character creation a fairly simple process for the uninitiated. That's not to say that Maya is more difficult or that it's impossible to make characters. It's just that Maya's GUI is a little more daunting for first timers. There are so many options everywhere that new Maya users can get confused quickly.

If you're into character animation then Maya beats 3ds rather handily. 3ds makes it easy to get up and running with character animation, but Maya is (once again) far more customizable. You can build character rigs and controls in Maya that might otherwise be impossible or more difficult in 3ds.

Being a Maya animator, setting up a character (rigging) also means that you have to learn a fair amount of MEL, Maya's proprietary programming language. 3ds allows you to program via Maxscript, but the app itself holds your hand a little more.

Both apps connect to industry standard rendering engines such as MentalRay, Renderman, VRay, and so forth. As long as you put in the effort, you can get comparable results across the board.

In the long run, a big issue for some people is platform. Maya is available for Windows, Linux, and OSX. 3dsmax, unfortunately, is a Windows only app. So, if you choose 3ds, you'll surely be locked into the Windows platform.

Which to choose.... That's probably what's on your mind right now.

- Want to get a job? Either app will do. Job are plentiful for users of both apps.
- Want to animate characters? Both will get the job done, but Maya will do it better - if you want to go all the way down the rabbit hole.
- Not very technical? Maya may prove too confusing or scary if you're just concerned with getting in and out quickly. If you don't mind the challenge then Maya is for you.
- Want to model characters or scenes? Both will do the job just fine too. Tools can only take you so far. It ultimately all comes down to skill.
- Want to do architectural modeling? 3ds seems to be more of an archvis favorite. You can do it in Maya too though.
- Want to extend the program's functionality? 3ds probably has an edge on Maya when it comes to available plugins. However, there's nothing in Maya that can't be programmed or scripted. Both apps are extensible. HOW you extend them is what differs.
- How much will each set you back financially? Both apps cost about the same - just a bit under that $4k mark If you're a student, however, you likely qualify for a free license. You can't sell images or models you make using a student license, but you can learn and build a bada$$ portfolio with it.

Try the apps. That's all I can tell you. It's really such a personal choice. If you're just a hobbyist then your choice really doesn't matter as much. You can even go for Maxon Cinema 4D, which is like a more streamlined and less cluttered version of Maya. C4D jobs are a bit harder to find, but it is also quite popular in the film and motion graphics industries. You might also be interested in LightWave, which has its fans in studios doing TV stuff. Autodesk also makes Softimage which, while less popular than Maya or 3ds, gets used quite a bit too. Explore your options.


Thanks a lot for posting this info. My daughter is dead set on becoming a 3d animator and I know nothing about it other than being in IT and helping with equipment. She's only 9 and freaking me out already with Studio Max but I wasn't sure if it was the right direction. Now we have some great advice.
Thanks.
Mark & Mia.
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July 4, 2013 7:10:47 AM

If you're looking for a simple 3d modelling tool, choose blender because it's free, open source, and easier to learn.
also free versions of autodesk programs that dont expire can be found at http://students.autodesk.com. the only catch is that they're non-profit and non-upgradeable.
  1. [spoiler][quote][/quote][/spoiler]
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July 5, 2013 6:18:10 AM

Max is pretty scriptable too, hence why so many game level editors run on top of Max.

Maya artists tend to be specialists, and do one or two things extremely well. Guys who do rigging in Maya pretty much do just that- rigging in Maya. (watch movie credits for 'Rigger' or 'Character TD', take a few of the names and search IMDB for them, you'll see they do the same job over and over...)

Choose Blender only if you are just doing it for 'fun'. IF you are going to try to work anywhere, they do look for specific software skills and some of the more complex tasks (like rigging) are not completely portable between the pieces of software. Blender's interface is also... less than optimal.
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July 6, 2013 8:36:02 AM

Draven35 said:
Max is pretty scriptable too, hence why so many game level editors run on top of Max.

Maya artists tend to be specialists, and do one or two things extremely well. Guys who do rigging in Maya pretty much do just that- rigging in Maya. (watch movie credits for 'Rigger' or 'Character TD', take a few of the names and search IMDB for them, you'll see they do the same job over and over...)

Choose Blender only if you are just doing it for 'fun'. IF you are going to try to work anywhere, they do look for specific software skills and some of the more complex tasks (like rigging) are not completely portable between the pieces of software. Blender's interface is also... less than optimal.


If you know Blenders inteface you will find out that it is ingenious in its layout. It is hard to learn yes, but when you know it, it is very good. Windows type GUIs are laggy and confusing. When you learn Blenders you realize that YOU DO NOT NEED every single option on the screen at once like many Windows GUIs try to accomplish. Just my 2 cents. Blenders new render engine cycles can do impressive things. BTW I totally agree with the above posters, if your freelance then I am sure most could care less what your using unless they want you to provide them with files that you create. Then you could use Blender, however for jobs they are correct, go maya or 3ds max. Also Houdini is huge in the industry, look at their website and film credits. Its crazy.
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July 6, 2013 8:00:05 PM

Most 3d applications don't even try to present all of their options at once, hence why the menu and toolbars change when you switch between 'Polygons' 'Surfaces' 'Animation' and 'Rendering' in Maya. (and similar in Max, and Create/Modify/Multiple/Detail/etc in Lightwave, etc...)

(Most 3d applicaitons really aren't 'Windows GUIs' either because they are windows conversions of IRIX GUIs that were translated BACK to being more platform-neutral when they needed to make Linux and Mac ports.)

"if your freelance then I am sure most could care less what your using"

You don't want to know the number of times I've been asked if i am using Maya, then. Been freelancing since 1997.

Houdini really isn't that 'huge' in the industry. Its a very specialist package. Yes, it gets used on a lot of a-list feature films... but usually, you will have three or six Houdini guys on those films as compared to literally a hundred Maya guys (or more. Seriously.) and to get the most out of Houdini, I recommend taking *several* programming classes.
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July 25, 2013 11:49:28 PM

Just to throw an intermediate user's opinion out there, versus giving my opinion as to which program you chose to utilize. Anyhow, dude I would start slow and maybe buy several notable books or ebooks to help start you off; and take your time regardless of your decision. These are not programs to be rushed through, so to speak, otherwise you will more than likely miss some of the extremely productive keystroke shortcuts that will make you so, so much more efficient in your productivity. Also, you'll more than likely miss key points concerning modeling, posing, lighting of various types that can make or break a project, cameras and rendering to name some of the most important features to start with, in my personal opinion anyway.

Also, I'd be sure to pick up DAZ3D:4.6, Bryce:7 and Hexagon:2 as they've been available for free for awhile now (just be careful because they really try and push you towards purchasing content through their store to makeup for offering their programs for free). Anyhow, dude, I would highly recommend picking up these progs as well before they start charging full prices for them once again. I spend more time on post work renders from DAZ3Ds 3D Delight engine, than compared to say Poser 2012 renders, or Carrera renders or 3DSMax renders, etc., etc.. It really is dependent on what you're creating and, or rendering. DAZ3D is a great program imho and they've made several improvements to DAZ in the past year or so, especially in the past month when they introduced Genesis2! "can you tell I really like DAZ and Carrera?? haha sry m8"

I learned the hard way and it took me awhile to realize my key mistakes; which was the desire to jump right in and think I could self-teach myself in 3D programs as I've done with photoshop starting in the mid 90's or therein. I still utilize Photoshop CS6 on a daily basis and, once again, I'm always learning new tricks as an old dog. However, I finally wised up and purchased several Photoshop ebooks in 2007 that are notable and well received by individuals to be considered some of the best minds in the industry by critics and peers alike. Same deal with 3D programs, speaking for myself I am always learning something new, albeit it may 'only' be a simple shortcut, but I hold it in high regards nonetheless. There are a TON of books available nowadays so my advice is to also take your time before you finalize a purchase of any book. Do your research and spend time looking for the creme of the crop as they're invaluable educational tools.

Anyhow, my moral to this freaking essay is to take your time, be certain to start out taking baby steps and do not rely heavily on the program(s) included tutorials. Regardless of what path or which program you choose, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!
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July 25, 2013 11:55:02 PM

addendum: misread your initial post and fact you already utilize DAZ3D. You can always save as a .duf file and import to basically any 3D program. Cheers and best of luck, regardless.
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July 26, 2013 10:32:44 AM

Most of the people creating Daz content are doing it using other software...
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July 31, 2013 2:19:36 PM

The Main difference between Autodesk Maya and 3dsmax is in the workflow.
3ds Is a very good tool overall for anyone and i mean anyone to model render and do basics...
However this doesnt mean that necessarily YOu have to be anoob to use 3ds, the fact is that 3ds is very popular so its a very comfortable tool for people who also work to make or import meshes eg architectural or automotive and use a vast massive library of preset materials eg like in metal ray arch design presets or even more vast Vray. Dont spend too much time building and come with the final decent result with least effort possible
May is the total opposite, for a newbie especially, in maya u make all ur self or almost all so on the long run You become very knowledgeable on all that happens ina 3d machine while in 3ds u might spend year sin it make veyr renders of interiors or a nice car and still wouldnt know what u doing really.
For thsi reason who is really advanced in C usualy wil work on maya simply becuase all that wil go inside ur scene they made with their own hands from textures to materials lights particles and on and on so many years of trial and error so many years to learn proper worflow.
You dont need to be a CG expert with a tool like 3ds max design.
So if U wann be an expert and know alot go with maya....if u just need a 3d software that is pretty almost all ready to use and wanna use other people material libraries or content go with 3ds.
As an example if u are an architect an du wann show interiors uf a lounge u made for a new married couple eds wil save u lots fo time to set up ur scene.
If u wanna make (render) the next nike shoe u might as well then go directly to maya cause all that will be in that scene it will be have to be made totally by you and You will have to know precisely what You are doing.
When You know that....then the sky is the limit
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September 25, 2013 3:54:59 AM

The only thing I don't like in 3ds is the viewport controls, it really drag me into crazy. By the way, you'll find something magic? if you right clicking by using wacom.
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