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Old 07-16-2008, 01:20 PM   #1
Zooch
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Default Maya or Max?

I'm sure this question could be introduced into the hall of fame under the 'most frequently asked' category, but I want to bring it to the front again.

I'm looking at different methods of learning Maya and Max, and noticing that a single class costs upwards of 500-1000 USD. I'm WAY too poor for that. So I divert my search to do-it-yourself DVDs, which are 50-200 USD. I'm barely able to afford that.

From what I've seen recently, game companies often trend to using 3DS Max. I have a copy of Maya, and 3DS Max would cost me more than I can shell out right now. I also have poked around in Maya a bit and know a tiny bit more than nothing.

I'm a level designer who's had success on a few different mod teams, but it seems that if you want to break into the industry as a level designer you need some experience in modeling (and texturing, but that's a totally different question).

Is it okay for me to use Maya without restricting my job opportunities? Is Max the better choice? Do serious game companies tend to have converter programs for both Max and Maya? Should I man up and learn them both?

Thanks for your time!
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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Apologies if this isn't relevent, however I remember reading a short article about this in the feature Artistic Enterprise: Advice on Portfolios, Software & Schools.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:23 PM   #3
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That's a good read, especially because it says what I want it to!

Don't take offense when I say I'm going to find more than one source to back this article up, but it was definitely a good read and will help me make the decision. I'll update my OP once I have enough information to stake a claim, and I'll add the answers I've found at that time.

I have another question for now though. What's the difference between Maya 8.5 PLE and a full version of Maya? More specifically, if I buy http://thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/aal02.html how close will his version of Maya (I think that's Maya 7) be to my 8.5 PLE version?

Second, I've been looking a lot at these DVDs on different websites, but I'm now looking for some experienced advice. I'm not rich enough to spend $50 per DVD (there's like 15) or $250 for a DVD with a "bit more" on it. Even more important is that I don't want to spend $50 on a DVD and find it useless.

I'm a hands-on learner (which doesn't narrow it down much) who learns best when he's allowed to ask 'why'. When someone says "Oh let's create a NURBS object so I can show you how to make simple curves", I have 5 billion questions running through my head, such as "What is a NURB? How is a NURB different from a polygon? Why do NURBS make curves? Are polygons not able to make curves? That can't be right because polygons are for games - why are NURBS not used for gaming but polygons are?"

And the whole time I'm trying to block out these questions and solve them in my head and follow along on a DVD I come back to reality and realize the instructor has made a bowl and is placing fruit in it. Well where the hell did that come from?

If you understand where I'm coming from and can guide me as to which DVD styles would suit me best I'd greatly appreciate it. And no, I don't want any medication :P
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:09 PM   #4
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Either/Both. Seriously, different companies or even different teams in the same company will use one or the other. There is no norm to follow unfortunately.

The theory is that transitioning from one to the other is usually fairly easy if you understand the principles in what you are doing rather then learning the tool itself.

Quote:
I'm a level designer who's had success on a few different mod teams, but it seems that if you want to break into the industry as a level designer you need some experience in modeling (and texturing, but that's a totally different question).
That seems a little odd, but if that is requirement, then you are not just restricted to Max and Maya. There are several free/cheaper alternatives out there such as Blender, Wings3D, Milkshape and XSI Mod Tool.

If you are student, then copies of Max and Maya are MUCH cheaper. Failing that, Maya has a Personal Learning Edition (PLE) which is free but restricted in terms of features.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaustar View Post
That seems a little odd, but if that is requirement, then you are not just restricted to Max and Maya. There are several free/cheaper alternatives out there such as Blender, Wings3D, Milkshape and XSI Mod Tool.
I think it makes sense for level design, simply because the designers would be able to produce mock-up prototypes of levels for themeselves. Although, learning any modelling package seems the way to go.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaustar View Post

If you are student, then copies of Max and Maya are MUCH cheaper. Failing that, Maya has a Personal Learning Edition (PLE) which is free but restricted in terms of features.
http://www.studica.com/products/prod...roductid=54448

wow. Just for being a student I can get Maya, Max, MotionBuilder and Combustion as a package for $290 USD. That's opposed to Maya alone costing $3500 USD.

Is there a specific reason for the dramatic cost difference? My uneducated guess would be that the student edition doesn't come with some sort of SDK for Maya? Or maybe it's because the liscense is only 1 year, as opposed to unlimited access?

My final question still stands as well - about the DVDs.

If I have Maya 8.5 PLE (or if I buy Maya 2008 Unlimited), will it be that much different from a tutorial that uses Maya 7 or Maya 6?
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:22 AM   #7
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Not really. Maya 8 has a few added features and requires better hardware, but if you learn 7 the other editions should be not much of a problem unless it's a tutorial on how to use a feature only available in later versions.

My suggestion to you on self learning is to find step-by-step static tutorials where people show each step with a screen shot. That way you have time to think of all your questions. Then write them down and try to pinpoint the specific things you're having trouble with. It makes asking people a lot easier if you know your specific questions. Then you can find a computer graphics or Maya forum, or even a facebook group to ask your questions. Do you have a library near you? They may have some books on how to use Maya stored there you can borrow from. If not, ask the librarian if the library can get it for you.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooch View Post
http://www.studica.com/products/prod...roductid=54448

wow. Just for being a student I can get Maya, Max, MotionBuilder and Combustion as a package for $290 USD. That's opposed to Maya alone costing $3500 USD.

Is there a specific reason for the dramatic cost difference? My uneducated guess would be that the student edition doesn't come with some sort of SDK for Maya? Or maybe it's because the liscense is only 1 year, as opposed to unlimited access?
The student license might have some further restrictions that it must be for non-commercial use.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:49 PM   #9
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Exclamation re: cost

These wont get you exactly where you want to go but i Know there are some free 3d modeling tutorials on www.3dbuzz.com. This might be a resource of value to you.

-Me who is not you because that would be silly
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:07 PM   #10
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I've only used Max, but apparantly Maya/Max are very alike. I've had a brief look at Maya and it certainly looks familiar. I think I'd be able to figure it out- Unreal Editor however, totally baffles me as its 'subtractive' and you 'carve out' designs from a 'block'.

I'm sure whichever you decide, if you end up needing to use the other software you'll pick it up relatively quickly.
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