Rick mate, First off , We're friends, spoke on the phone several times, Hell i would venture to say i'm one of only a hand full of people who have even tried to keep up with you and make sure you were doing ok in the last ten months that being said, Lets make sure we are strait on that My opinion and how it differs from yours in relation to Maya and the pro's and con's of it as a modeling package in whole is just that a different in opinion, not a personal attack against you, if it came across as such i do whole heartedly apologize.
Now, as far as your question to me about my previous experience with graphics packages. I have used Nendo, ( old ass program from the early nineties, ) Rhino, 3ds, I've actually had a college professor about ten years ago show me some of lightwave though i don't recall much of the interface form the 5-6 hours i got to mess with it, i do recall i did not like it. I've used Bryce ( Landscape generation program mainly, though you can model in it) ...I've messed around with terragen, (HAte it) I've dabbled with XSI. I just personally chose to follow the Mayan path. Never messed with Modo much, at least as of yet. So i do have experience with alot of major packages out there, and i have 5 Years and over 3000 projects with auto-cad behind me as a civil draftsman, so i know all about its Tools as well, and you can rest assured that i would never, NEVER use auto-cad for any form of 3d work, Simply because i am
not a structural engineer.
Your opinions on this subject as a Structural engineer are just that, form the point of view of a structural engineer, Not an artist. Perhaps mate, you should open your eyes to the world of art and leave structural design in the past?
Which i believe is a good lead into my next point mate.
You are looking at modeling from an engineers standpoint, or so it would seem, trying to get 'perfect' surfaces for hard surface that you would send to a plasma cutter to cut the shapes out for Assembly at a later date. Maya is a program for artists, which i might say you are a damn good one, But you need to look at it as such, it was never meant to produce structurally accurate representations of anything that could be used for an engineer. Yes sure you can create these things, but that is not its purpose.. it is meant to create objects that are easy on the eyes and look good in movies and games. That's all, and it is damn good at that, hence why it is a standard tool of the industry for Special effects applications. We all know of the short comings of maya here, and you can always feel free to share your opinions on a subject of graphical importance here, as that's what this forum is for, But please, my friend...Please i implore you to be open to hear the opinions of those who read your posts, to see your work, and get your ideas..it should go without saying, that if you are going to share your opinions you should be willing and receptive of those opinions around you as well. IT is not an argument when there is a discussion taking place about the ups and downs of a specific software in this industry. only a simple discussion among friends.
This being said, I hope mate, that this friendly discussion about differing opinions does not hamper our future friendship. I've always tried to stand by you as a friend through some bad times in your personal life as i am sure you recall, But I will state my opinion and the facts as i see them, just as you do..as all friends should