I've greatly appreciated this forum and those who aid a helping hand in times of dire need.
Lately I've made the transition to Maya from 3DS. The learning curve hasn't been pleasant as searching for a function in 3DS often yields no result. Example; freezing an object. But all goes forward.
What I've noticed; Maya seems incredibly picky with, well, every aspect. The amount of detail involved in the simplest of tasks is at times, enough to make me want to walk away and pursue another career. But, the final render keeps me going.
I have searched the web extensively and it also appears that much knowledge is locked up in packaged DVDs / tutorials. For example; if you search for 'maya water' you will find a single tutorial for a splashing faucet spread out through several various links.
For 3DS, this is not the case. For one, the manual for 3DS has taught me everything I know. If I have a question, the answers are spelled out. The Maya manual has been a GREAT source of frustration. It does not work the same way - an index search of 'rigid bodies' yields mere definitions, and possibly 1 applied example. Most often, I've found that the Maya manual merely defines a function.
From what I know, children are being taught Maya PLE - at least the software is being handed to highschools. Now this is disturbing, not intimidating. I want those exceptional children to learn and create amazing things.
And I know that Pixar uses Marionette, their proprietary software. Makes sense that they had to develop something much friendlier for the artist. So often, before sleep, I lay in bed awake wondering how on earth animating could be so much better and what these mega animation institutions are doing with their MIT programmers, etc.
Maya is very powerful, and I'm excited to see the end results. But I do wonder why schools like SCAD are choosing it.
Any thoughts or observations would be appreciated.
I used to know max before maya as well. When I started to make the transition I too felt like max was far better then maya. But really that was only because I hadn't yet known the program and for a while thought that it was more complicated then it needed to be.
But after learning it inside out I can honestly say that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. Although I still use max sometimes(mostly for UV mapping), in general I feel maya is just so much more flexible. Shame with the flexibility comes bugs, and annoying little things but I feel now like since I know how to get around these little bugs and quirks that I can't go back to max. Animation alone is just SO much easier to do in maya. Rigging as well is far more fluid in my opinion then it is in max. Max has quite a few bugs in the animation area that can drive me nuts sometimes.
The whole node system in maya can be daunting at first but once u understand it one could only wish max had the same.
Im not gonna say maya is definately better, each program has its strengths and weaknesses so its for you to decide which you want to use. A lot of places don't really care which package you use as long as you're willing to learn the one they use since exporting to and fro isn't so bad anymore....so don't feel down, just get over that initial overwhelming sense of way too many buttons, features etc and it won't be as bad as it seemed at first...hope that helped.
Yes, that IS helpful. There was a documentary on the Science Channel about the Mars explorations. Hearing the scientists talk about the daunting problems made me feel better about problem solving with Maya - may sound crazy.
But I know there are plenty of people who don't complete their challenge and give up; either going back to familiar packages like Cinema 4D or 3DS. To me, that's like using the spare parts from past spaceship designs.
From the start, I noticed that renders in Maya looked incredible. Just that special something about the realism with little effort. Discovering Area Lights was exciting for that.
I did discover that using NURBS as rigid bodies yielded horrible results. Once I converted it to a polygon, it performed the task perfectly...not sure whether others are having this issue. I would love to see the Maya community posting many more solutions online - I hope I can offer help when others need it as well.
Here's a link to a recent dynamics test: