View Full Version : Is Maya taking over Max?
Is Maya taking over Max in the gaming industry world? I wonder this because I am seeing much more Maya experience then Max experience as a requirement in these artists jobs. I am trying to land a job a junior artist and only have experience with Max, does this mean I gotta go back and learn Maya to get a job? *Shiver*
12-15-2004, 06:25 AM
i dont think its taking over.. but it seems to be becoming more popular.. Ubi Montreal is pretty much all Max from what I've seen so far. And we are 1000+ people o_O
I don't about how the industry is divided, but you should definitely be able to get a job with Max experience. If you have a good working knowledge of Maya, that would simply open more avenues - as would learning Lightwave or XSI.
I think that if you have a great knowledge of Max, and even just a little Maya experience, you could probably still get hired by a company that exclusively uses Maya, since if they really want your artistic abilities, they will give you some training in the software they use.
Anyway, if you have to use a different program in a working environment, I find you usually pick it up pretty fast, especially if your co-workers are very experienced in it.
12-15-2004, 10:29 AM
This is from a year ago, I wonder how much has changed? Might be time for a new thread on the topic.
Which 3D apps the devs are using (http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~polycount/ubb/Forum8/HTML/003314.html?00022)
(the link might work, might not, depends on Gamespy's server)
12-15-2004, 11:32 AM
Your primary focus should be a creating a kick ass portfolio. That's the first thing anyone is going to notice and get them interested in you. Secondly, work on becoming comfortable in Maya, but not necessarily mastering it. Enough that you can put on your resume that you know it, but be honest about your experience level if they ask.
As far as Maya taking over, I don't think there's ever going to be one app that's going to "take over" the industry. Just try to find out what companies you want to work at are using. I wouldn't worry about the entire industry, it's liking to always fluctuate over time.
I know a few people at DICE who've switched to Maya and they've had nothing to say but bad things about the program. I haven't used it myself - I'm a max user - but I doubt I'll switch.
The funny thing is that Maya really gained a lot of ground on Max about two years ago. Since then, I've noticed a lot of companies switching back to Max. Up in the Seattle area, Msoft went almost exclusively Maya for a couple of years, but now for most of the new projects, the teams have switched back to Max.
I think it's just a "grass is always greener" thing going on with the art directors. Very silly.
Luckily, it seems that some ADs and hiring personnel are realizing that it is the artist, and not the software that gets the job done. Just make a kick ass portfolio, and preferrably have at least a working knowledge of both, and you should be fine, even if you really prefer one package over the other.
12-15-2004, 02:01 PM
Our studio is now only supporting Maya, I started in Max and switched over to Maya when I applied for the job here at EA Canada. I hated Maya with a passion when I first started using it and after a month it was great, that was about 4 years ago now. Like everyone else said if your portfolio is good they won't care what software it was made in but depending on the game you are working on you will have to use the 3d software the pipeline supports reguardless. Also I have worked with lots of people we hired that used XSI or Max and we did not hire them based on their knowledge of Maya obviously, even though that is the software we use, I've met some artists here that hadn't used Photoshop in production work until they started working here. But to address the topic of your post I think Maya has become very mainstream for making games, I remember when I first started learning Maya there wasn't anything on the internet about games modeling in Maya and now there are games related tutorials all over the place for Maya, so I would say the user base has definately increased over time, but who really knows if more people are using it for game production?
12-16-2004, 12:33 AM
We switched to Maya a while back and its been a world of pain trying to get used to it. I've gotten to the stage where I can use the thing, but I still say the interface is well behind that of Max. Its all full of annoying little issues that require work arounds... perhaps Max does too and I just don't notice them any more. There are certainly a lot of nice things about Maya, it just feels like it could use a bit of refinement.
On the definite plus side, we're getting piles of new tools very quickly based on Maya's scripting language. Thats certainly something thats gotta be drawing developers away from Max, in fact alongside more streamlined animation tools, its probably the only reason.
Oh wow what a tremendous surprise that this has turned into a Maya V Max thread!!! LOL!! In a professional production environment, I can think of a TON more reasons why to choose Maya over Max, but Maya V Max isn't what this thread is about!!! It's about which packages are used in games dev. most prolifically! Read the mans question!!!
The numbers must be obtainable, but Id guess Max still has the edge.
RobH: No, If I was looking at someones reel, the very last thing I might look at on the resume is software experience. I dont personally believe it to be an issue. But If you have multiple 3D packages in your experience, more power to you.
If it concerns you, d/load the cutdwon versions of XSI and Maya PLE and familiarize yourself with them. Lets face it, If you spent even a week with PLE you could at least put on your resume something like 'Experience with 3ds Max, some knowledge of Maya' If that makes you feel more comfortable.
12-16-2004, 02:39 AM
I think most people are sticking to the subject. It's probably best to leave personal opinions about which app you like more out of the discussion and just say which one (or ones) your company uses.
I did some research in the Seattle area and there's definitely a Maya bias. Here's my findings:
Art Lead - Photoshop, Flash, Director, 3D Studio Max, and MAYA.
3D Animator Maya
Game Modeler/Texture Artist Maya
Environment Artists Maya
ArenaNet doesnt say
Flying Lab Software:
Character Technical Lead Maya
Gas Powered Games:
Character Modeler/Texturer 3ds Max/Character Studio (preferred), or Maya
Character Animator - 3ds Max/Character Studio (preferred), or Maya
Cinematic Artist - 3ds Max/Character Studio (preferred), or Maya
Animator Maya and MEL
Character Artist Maya
Level Artist 3ds Max
Environment Artist Maya preferred
Animator Maya preferred
Environment Artist - Maya
Lead Artist Maya
3D Model/Texture Artist Max
Level Artist Maya
12-16-2004, 05:06 AM
as far as the tools that are used to model i think max may be ahead , i use maya now , but i remember it was easyer to bulk out shapes in max ... i cant remember what uv mapping was like tho ... but animation in max was a bit of a pain, that was version 4 tho , ad i havnt used it since ...
i suppose my point is that the tools used for making games: poly modeling and texturing , max is a slight bit better, but maya and max will probly be beaten by xsi , it seems to have alot of advanced features .. although quite hard to pick up. .... ramble.....
12-16-2004, 05:40 AM
switching from one app to another and then back again sounds like a really stupid waste of time and money. did those places evaluate at all ? /images/graemlins/wink.gif
unfortunately i've gained the impression that in smaller shops it DOES matter a lot if you are already fit in their app since there's no one who will give you training on the job, great portfolio or not. in larger shops (we rarely have 'em over here, though) this might not be important. i'm quite sure that as a maya artist i'd be starving over here, although a slight shift towards that package is noticeable.
i'd really wish to see more studios where several apps are used in collaboration to get the most out of the tools available.
at times it can be so limiting to struggle with one toolset, where another might do a better specific job in half the time.
12-16-2004, 06:10 AM
I was very restrained, Daz. I lost over 2 hours of good work to your favourite piece of software today.
To clarify my answer, Maya does look to be winning out. There was a long drawn out debate over the which of the two packages would be the best for the future of the company at Tantalus, and it was decided that Maya was the way to go. While this obviously won't happen everywhere, there are a few features that make it pretty easy for people to argue in Maya's favour (curse them).
As for whether its worth trying to learn a bit of Maya, I'd say its a must. I've learned over the last month or so that the two programs work very differently and as much as you want them to work in a similar fashion it just doesn't happen no matter how much customisation you use... drifting off track again. It'll definitely be very much in your interests to get your head around Maya's interface. It'll save you a lot of pain if you wind up in a Maya studio later.
12-16-2004, 08:22 AM
At my studio, we use both Maya and Max and allow the artist in question to use whichever they're more comfortable with. For myself and the Art Director, it's Maya. For most of the others, it's Max. Using conversion programs, we never really have much difficulty working together.
I think it really just comes down to what you're used to. I can't stand Max... just as a long-time Max user probably can't stand Maya.
12-16-2004, 08:39 AM
I can only go by what is happening regionally, San Diego.
Rockstar, formally Angel Studios....Switched from Max to Maya
Sammy Studios, Maya
These are the biggest companies in my County, therefore most likely places to get employment.....need to know Maya.
[ QUOTE ]
Using conversion programs, we never really have much difficulty working together.
[/ QUOTE ]
I'm just wondering why does it matter, since the only things that are program inate are rendering and animation?
3D Meshes can be imported and exported between packages.
People use to go on and on about stability....I've had Maya crash on me just as much as Max....I think Maya is winning out over Max is more to do about the price of the program. Maya is 1/2 of Max price wise. Plus Maya bought out Motion Builder..which is a hell of a lot better then Character Studio.
Oh that's it, Character Studio sucks! I wish Discreet wouldn't force that upon us.
12-16-2004, 11:37 AM
do they? physique seems like it's been abandoned for years in favor of skin, biped is quite usable but nowhere near human ik (r.i.p) and standard max bones are a viable option these days, too.
use of CS nowadays seems to have more to do with people being familiar with the tool and too lazy/too uninformed about the benefits of switching.
OK, I'll try my best to not start a war here, but here's an interesting little example at my company. Our studio runs both Max and Maya, and I've always been a Max artist, as is one of the other environment art guys. Most of the other guys know some Max, but are more Maya people.
Anyway, we begin a new little intro movie project, and were debating about what to use, Max or Maya. Our leads decided that we would model in Max, animate in Maya due to the character artists' request, and then render in Max. Whatever you think of this, it was the decision that was made.
So we do the modeling in Max, which even the Maya biases artists didn't bitch about, which must say something. We export via .fbx, and the animators take over in Maya. We export via .fbx back to Max, but due to some odd tricks that the animators were using, and limitations of the fbx exporter, some of the animation and character weighting is a little screwy.
So, I begin doing a little cleanup, and one of the Maya animators comes over to help. He hadn't used Max in about 3 years, and is quite nervous about the "limitations" in Max. So, I start showing him how to do stuff. He begins to comment, "Oh, that's just like in Maya, I didn't know Max could do that...Oh that's slick! I wish you could do that in Maya...Where's the friggin ___ control?!...Oh, it's called _____ in Max. Why can't you do ____?...Ah, here's a work around for it. Maya's solution is a little better." So, anyway, this goes on for a good portion of the day, and in the afternoon, he asks me "Why the *** didn't we just animate this in Max? I thought Max's animation system was just Character Studio, but I didn't know it had all of these tools now?"
So, after a bit more fixing, there's a change in plans. We decide to render in Maya, to just circumvent these annoying export issues. Originally our leads were worried about this, because a few of us had little Maya knowledge. I was a bit worried myself. So, it's trial by fire for me, and guess what? After one week, I am probably one of the most savvy render artists in the studio. Lights, Materials and Rendering were what I got assigned, and after two days, I was productive. And I also realized that Maya has some nice features. Sure some stuff is a bit more of a pain in the ass, but overall it's not bad to work with.
It's really interesting seeing what happened when a Maya artist was forced to use Max, and vice versa. Especially when considering that the aspects of production in question were considered some of the bigger weaknesses of each respective package. A lot of Max artists bash on Maya's renderer out of ignorance. It's actually pretty good if you know how to use it properly. And it was kind of ironic that the Maya animator was crying that we should start using Max for animation of the project. I even caught him oohing and ahhing after hours as he was playing around with some of Max's animation tools on his own time.
Kind of silly about the whole package vs. package war if you ask me. Art is art, and if any of these tools were so inferior, they wouldn't exist.
"I was very restrained, Daz. I lost over 2 hours of good work to your favourite piece of software today."
IT is NOT my "favourite piece of software".
I would take XSI over Maya or Max any day of the week.
Save often incrimentally and you wouldn't have lost 2 hrs of work. Your tone sounds like youre blaming me for your own lack of foresight here.
I'll re-iterate my view on software:
These kind of threads turn into flame wars because people make statements about X package being a complete pile of shit. Well, some of us no choice and HAVE to use what software were given to work with. Thats why any kind of statements that declare "X package suxorz" are not remotely constructive in any way shape or form and I personally think should be banned from the forum.
*post edited* Im calm now.
12-16-2004, 01:57 PM
I would now like to quote a famous X-Wing pilot, "Stay on target. Stay on target."
If the original question was, "Do I need to learn Maya to get a job?", I think it's been answered. If the question is, "What specfic programs do specific companies use in their production pipeline?", then maybe we should start a new thread and make it sticky. Seems to me that's valuable information.
12-16-2004, 04:14 PM
I'll just diverge from the target once more to smooth things over here. I'm just spiteful Daz mate, I had no intentian to take it out on you or anyone else. What I should have made absolutely clear to begin with is that I've come to see the programs on a level playing field. There are things about each that make one better than the other but they balance out at the end of the day. Take that as the context for my earlier posts and they are rather more relevant and less whinging.
I'll get my coat.
12-16-2004, 05:48 PM
What's there to smooth out?
There's more game studios using Maya now...face it, deal with it, live with it. I'm startn' to see a 50/50 share between Maya and Max in California.....every place else just seems foreign to me.
It's a program not your Binary Babe.
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