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Transition 3d Studio Max to Maya


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I'm looking in a new direction on my 3d modelling package, I have used 3d Studio for a long long time, from 3d studio max 2.5.

For some reason I have decided that even tho I like the polymodelling tools in 3ds Max I'm going to try something new, the decision was drawn between XSI and Maya. I didn't go with XSI because even if it has the HL2 support, I'm not that impressed with it overall, 3ds Max has been an industry standard like Photoshop for long time here in western game and movie effects industry, but Maya has gained a nice foothold on the japanese markets, though I know most big Japanese developers use XSI, it's used by teams at Namco, Konami, Tecmo and so on, but somehow the little I have used the XSI EXP for HL2 I have not been impressed by it.

Maya seems like a nice combination of solid tools and innovation with minimum hustle. But the problem is that I can't get my currently undone models from 3ds Max to Maya, so is there a converter that can convert from .max or .3ds files to something Maya understands.

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Maya looks real simple on the surface but once you use it more itll get really complicated, too complicated for too simple things sometimes, in Max its the other way round. Complicated first but to the point afterwards.

Max 6 and specially 7 have obj support by default. Export your file as OBJ in max and import that in Maya, obj is for Maya for what 3ds is for Max

If you have an old Max google around for an OBJ plugin, theres lots of those around to download

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I'm not sure if the abilities of Max and those of Maya are so different. Of course the interface is a bit different and there are some things that Maya can do better (e.g. UV-mapping) and vice versa.

If you want to do a radical change, try out Lightwave, Rhino or Cinema 4D. I'm not sure but I guess there are some varieties. Don't flame me if I was wrong, the only program I really do know is Max. I use it in combination with ZBrush for doing organic stuff and cool normal maps. That's all I need :)

/anyway it's always useful to learn Maya. It has become more and more popular in the game, film and gfx industry.

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What I have heard, user and learned from Maya is that it has simple polymodelling tools just like Max, and polymodelling is the thing I use since most of my stuff is game models, highest stuff I have ever done is something around 10k polys.

But Maya has very complex shader, rendering and animation tools also, in contrast to Max that really doesn't do those on it's own right, they have specific sets for doing other than modelling (e.g. charater studio for animation and reactor for physics simulation), and rightfully so, if you want a complete package Maya is better since it was done that way, but if you want a efficient modeller, then Max is a good choise, but I'm not looking for different packages for any other reason than that it is good to know many types to tools, since variety is an edge in this industry.

At somepoint I'm going to check out XSI, and I have used littlebit of Lightwave.

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