Maya Vs Max for realistic architectual animation
I want to import architectual (mostly residentail) 3dxf files into Maya to texture, animate, and render. Realistic high quality output in needed. Is Maya the way, or should I be looking to Max (or something else)
In all honesty I think maya is the more straight forward solution. I'm pretty much a noob at 3D stuff having only used it off and on for aboot 3 years whilst I have more extensive CAD experience. Max will easily let you import DXF's DWG's and a host of other formats readily available through CAD/Illustrator and Photoshop. Don't quote me on this but after a little research it would seem that a plugin (whose name escapes me just now) was developed for maya which enabled DXF import and conversion and is included with the later releases. I don't know if it's just me, but I've never ever been able to import anything into maya except maya files and common image formats. This obviously put me off as I was designing timber frame houses at the time and really wanted to create some super sweet visualisations. I had just switched to mac and was therefore not prepared to travel to my parents and dig out my old pc for the sake of 3DS. As far as I can tell you need to create an image file from your CAD dwgs and use that as an image reference.
I'm going to go and double check all this though as it was last year I was looking into it.
Thank you for taking the time to responed.
I would rather go the Maya route (cost) but plug-ins seem lees abundent and the render quality seems a bit less. I have had one person tell me Maya can render just as well as Max but it does take more tweeking.
Also I have a Power Mac comming (two 2.8, 4 gig ram) for Final Cut that I would also like to run Maya on... Reading a different thread folks were talking about Mac based Maya having problems. The Mac folks and most of the software providers contacted thus far are all saying there should no probleme runnings all my PC based programs on the Power Mac running windows.
I have also had no luck importing my 3d dxf models into Maya. I am still using the learning edition though. I have been told by an Autodesk sales person Maya will have no problem importing 3d dxf files.
After all this... still not sure Maya or Max
What do think on render quality?
This is only my opinion, and I am certainly no expert but after following a couple of very straight forward tutorials I was able to yield near perfect photo-realistic results with maya. This was less than a week after returning to maya following at least a years absence. I have used max for some pixar style character animation and found it unintuitive. I'm always one for having a dabble and trying out any old material/lighting combination just to see what it gives me and without fail max would reward my efforts with the garbled toss that my uneducated guesses warranted. Flat colours and other basics are achievable for beginers but anything else is certainly going to give you a bit of trouble, at the start. With Maya, if you get something reflective (eg. a blinn), turn on mental ray rendering, choose 'production' for the render quality, then enable 'final gather'(this will automatically change 'production' to custom) go right down to the bottom, I'm pretty sure it's the final box at the bottom, and use an image to light the scene, ( I think HDR's are best but after using those and jpegs I found no difference on full HDTV renders) create a directional light with intensity of zero (to disable default lighting) and maybe play around using a couple of planes as the seat of your compositon and you should be pretty much cooking.
This is basically the jist of a couple of tutorials which I found very usefull. I would suggest following them through after having a mess about with those settings to cement your knowledge more thoroughly. I'm only on dial up when I'm at home so I can't be searching more thoroughly but I'm pretty sure they're both creative cow tutorials.
One is called 'rendering a gear' (something like that, I'm sure thats all I googled last time I looked for it) and the other is a two part one on modelling, lighting and texturing called erm... I don't know but it's an alloy wheel that you produce so thats probably in the title. Both tutorials are absolutley fantastic, I got really stuck on the second one when you have to use trim tool. This is because when you create the circular fillet (maybe not fillet, circular something though... sorry it's late) you need to check the box that says 'create curve on surface'. That one had me pulling clumps of hair out for about six hours. Also I found I got better results for the gear tutorial using a different HDR map than the one supplied with the tutorial.
It sounds like you're in the same boat as me and I'm just about to do my first architectural work with maya. It's pretty much a glass building so I'm gonna need alot of luck.
Hope this helps