Just a quick opinion about what maya is, how it compares to its competitors & about the convention we attended. Recently I received an invitation to the "2D/3D Digital Creation Convention" ran and organised by McMillan Ireland. As this Convention was invite only, it goes without saying that myself and 2 other Staff members of quake3stuff.com jumped at the chance to go along. When we arrived at the Old Jamesons Distillery in Smithfield (Dublin) we noticed that it was a real Shirt and Tie event. Yes you guess it we were wearing baggy's & Combo's. Could we have stood out any more? I don't think so. =P, Anyway moving on. When we arrived, we got speaking to one of the organisers *nice man* and we arranged a private demo of the latest release of the Maya software (3.0.1). The guy that gave us the private demo worked on the special effects in films such as, Nutty Professor II, Perfect Storm, Tomb Raider Games & the up and coming Tomb Raider Film. *So needless to say we picked his brain for the whole day*. Well anyway the point to this, is that he showed us how powerful the Maya Software package is, demonstrating some NURBS, Polygon modeling, some Dynamics and basic adminations and effects. It really was very impressive. So to explain a little better to those who don't know what I am babbling about. Maya is pretty much the Movie Industries Standerd Special Effects and modeling software. It's power really is not touched, even 3D Studio Max struggles to come anywhere close to Maya. Maya has recently be taken up by the gaming leaders ID Software for the creation of there 3D Models/ingame characters. Also nearly 90% of the special effects that you see in todays major movies, are all created using this Maya software. Now after getting home from the convention i rooted through my CD collection and blew the dust off of my Maya 3.0 CD. Installed nicely, Started up, looked at it for a split second and my jaw drop ped. The complexity of this software is just amazing, They must of had teams upon teams of programmers developing this software. **Side note, Maya is a multiplatform package. so my guess is that it is a Java based product** You have 5 main catergories when you look at Maya, they are: Animation; Modeling; Rendering; Dynamics; Cloth; Each one of these catergories contains a whole host of menu options and toys for the users to play with. To be honest i really can't go into much detail on explaining how to use Maya or all of it's features. Because i would be here for ever and i would need screenshots =P.. But anyway, Only 2 weeks after working with this software and studying there own documentation i have created 2 full working models and animated them, 1 of which will run with the Quake III Arena game. So remember people, even though the software or whatever you are studying may look a little overkill. 9times out of 10 you will suprise yourself at how well you can take to it. **WAIT!!!** Before you run out to buy this product, keep one thing in mind. This software retails anywhere from £4,500 - £8,000(sys Inc). So maybe have a little think about it before you blow a months cash =)
If ever there was a King of 3D animation then Maya would be it. The depth of the program is VERY intimidating for even the most experienced artists, but once you go through the excellent tutorials then whizzing around the screen becomes second nature with a combination of ALT-SHIFTS-CONTROL-SPACEBAR keys and a 3 button mouse; it definately beats the current 3D favourite "3D Max" hands down in this field. You can build anything using it's simple polygonal or nurb building system. On the surface the tools look just like any other 3D app, but select a sub-menu for a tool and you soon realise that you really have to dig deep down to reach full depths of the tool. This is where problems can arise...sometimes you just want to build simply geometry but the complexity of Maya can get in the way. For example, I haven't figured out a simple way to create polygonal text which going through half a dozen options. Once you get over the hang of the tools and learn that Maya isn't as overwhelming as you thought when you first began, you will understand why the big boys like ILM and Pixar use Maya as their workhouse.