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Maya, Max or XSI ???


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I want to start learning one of these modeling apps.

I'm fairly proficiant with hammer and want to import brushwork into one of these apps, then manipulate the brushwork to add more detail. I know it's not the best way to learn but I can't take any classes atm.

Is this possible?

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I'm in exactly the same boat as cdxx, though I don't want to import any brushes, I want to pick up whatever skills I have from basic modelling at work and expand that knowledge.

After talking to some of my colleagues, it would seem that Maya and of course 3dsMax still are the most used software in the industry, and therefore should be my primary concern. Supposedly Maya should be my first pick, as it has more options/is more user friendly.

I have no idea what you guys started with or if that'd be your assessment of the situation too. Thoughts?

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If you check out job listings these days you'll see that Maya is taking over :o

I've tried max, maya, XSI and wings.

I find max to be very powerful but it has a lot of flaws and inconsistencies (many a time I've accidentially hit a hotkey and then had to spend hours going through menus trying to find the feature I had just enabled/disabled. Usually it won't be where you think it should). I think this is because it has been constantly evolving since day one and has just kinda grown at will. If they take it apart and rebuild everything it'd probably be a lot better / more intuitive, but it'd also piss off a lot of people that are used to it. Max costs ten million quid. It's just as well everyone in the modding scene is so rich. :oops:

Maya is a bit clunky for poly modeling at times, but its interface and stuff flows a lot better. I'm used to max now, otherwise I'd use Maya. Snapping, pivot stuff, alligning and lots of other stuff is so much simpler in Maya compared to max. I don't much care for their hotbox menu, though. Maya has a Personal Learning Edition you can download for free :)

XSI .. I just found to be clunky. I didn't spend enough time on it to form a decent opinion. XSI has the advantage of being able to import .vmf files directly, as it is valve's tool of choice these days. There's a HL2 mod tool version available if you want to give it a go.

The workflow of wings3d is awesome (everything is context sensitive.. no more 10,000 icons) but the app itself is limited in some respects (the viewport renderer is inherently slow, so it chokes a bit at times when you do something complicated).

You can't really go wrong with what you choose I guess. Each package has its charms and excels at something.

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i mostly agree to defrag:

max is powerfull, but it has some strange and complex stuff in it, you can use much easier in maya. for example uv mapping. max needs a modifier to store uv information. maya doesnt need such a thing. it saves uv information directly on each (face-)vertex. you can modify your mesh after uv mapping without fucking up your uv map (what i remeber of my MAX times years before. maybe that has changed)

XSI is pretty cool too. i spent a look on it and it has a feature that allows maya users to run it under a "maya preset" which means: same shortcuts, same camera movement, all like maya.

my personal fav hierarchy:

Maya > XSI > Max

you can surely get great results with all packages, but if you want to work on source games: take maya! pralls exporter allows you an export withing 1 click. everything gets exported. textures, qc file, lod, folder structure. thats something the max exporter doesnt have! i wrote a tutorial on that:

http://www.thomashess.net/exchange/tuto ... rkflow.pdf

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