Maya for 3D Printing - Rapid Prototyping
In this course we're going to look at something a little different, creating technically accurate 3D printed parts.
# 1 23-06-2003 , 09:43 PM
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Switch?

Well, hi guys!

Long story, so sit back, relax and enjoy it... ;-)

I´m working since November 2002 with 3d Studio Max 5.0. That´s the thing. I´m really keen on modeling characters, animate them, doing adverts, etc. I chose Studio Max back then because many, many people recommended it. It´s the most-used 3d Tool in the Gaming Industry, it´s quite simple to use (if you know what you´re doing ;-) and very powerful. I really love polygonal modeling with subdivision surfaces, it´s that "sculpting" thing, that makes things so easy. I honestly enjoy sitting in front of my Models, moving vertices hours and hours around, until I get the look I´m looking for (whoa, now that´s cool ;-). But then... What to do with the finished model?

You know, animating in Studio Max is REALLY not a simple task. I tried hard. Honestly. I started with bones, got crazy at those confusing IK Settings, switched to Bipeds, discovered that Bipeds are a really cool thing, but there are those annoying little things that are making me crazy. There are some things that I just CAN´T get right, no matter what I´m doing.

Well, I always wanted to try Maya. After all, it´s the oldest 3d program there is, isn´t it? (read something bout a fusion of Alias and Wavefront or something like that)
I know that it´s primary used for movies, that it´s at least as powerful as Smax. And I heard, and that´s the point why I´m really interested in Maya now, that it´s THE tool for animation.

You know, I stumbled over this site:

https://www.flo3d.com/

...and must say that I´m stunned. Now, that are animations I would just fell in love with. Then I looked into the gallery. At the bottom of the page there´s a Maya Biped Setup (at least, I guess it is. Looked the same at the Ice Age DVD Speical Features thingy ;-) and that looks so clean, so soft, so much simpler than in Smax. I guess the black lines are the bones and the rings around the lines are the envelopes. Hope I´m right, so don´t say I´m wrong or I´ll hate you! ;-)

But I also heard that, if you really want to do cool things with Maya, you should have to be such a nasty scripting C++ guy or whatsoever. I mean, dont get me wrong, but as an artist, nobody (at least I ;-) dont want to write millions of lines of code until I get the results I´m expecting. So, please tell me that you can use Maya even if you´re absolutely bad at coding and so on!

To end my little, guess often heard, story, I ask everyone who made the same experiences as I did, if I should switch to Maya. I will not if Maya is a "coding/modeling" tool, because I have absolutely no ambitions of getting conform with C++ or something like that. That´s boring. I want to create worlds, characters, sad/emotional stories, adverts (they bring me the money, hehe ;-), really fluent, nice animations and so on... You get the idea. Help!

Edit: I also want to know if there´s some sort of Global Illumination Renderer for Maya. I tried this Alpha version of Brazil and liked it a lot. If there is something like that, even better... :-)


Last edited by Thomas Mahler; 23-06-2003 at 09:51 PM.
# 2 23-06-2003 , 11:00 PM
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I use Maya, and I dont know A THING aout C++ or any programming language. I can get alot of things done, w/out any knowledge of programming. So what Im saying is, you DONT need to know anything about C++ or a programming language to use Maya.


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# 3 23-06-2003 , 11:40 PM
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Msya is pretty simple.. i am dislecsic and i do pretty well...


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# 4 23-06-2003 , 11:55 PM
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Re: Switch?

Originally posted by Thomas Mahler
Edit: I also want to know if there´s some sort of Global Illumination Renderer for Maya. I tried this Alpha version of Brazil and liked it a lot. If there is something like that, even better... :-)

well, maya (since version 5.0) comes with mental ray as alternative to mayas native renderer. just try maya out for free and download the personal learning editon from https://www.aliaswavefront.com/ - you are not allowed to use it commercially and you have watermarks. the current ple is 4.5 - so no mr, as that is available as free plugin only to the 4.5 commercial version, and included in 5.0.

hope that helps some

# 5 24-06-2003 , 02:54 AM
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I've used Maya pretty extensively for the past 3 years, and I've not written one MEL script. Most of the time, in the industry (either film or games) you've got the "technical artists" who are in charge of producing tools for Maya using MEL and other such tools.

So, don't worry. user added image

# 6 24-06-2003 , 05:42 AM
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Yeah. in pro designing. Your not going to have one guy do all the modeling, texturing, rigging, animation, and scripting. They have seperate people for that. Dont worry. There are alot of free download scipts, and in the pro buisness, other people will write the code for you.

(It looks good on a resume if you know MEL though. And programing is not boring, how dare you! user added image \I took third place in my states High School Programing competion!)


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# 7 24-06-2003 , 06:00 AM
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Re: Switch?

Originally posted by Thomas Mahler
I have absolutely no ambitions of getting conform with C++ or something like that. That´s boring. I want to create worlds, characters, sad/emotional stories, adverts (they bring me the money, hehe ;-), really fluent, nice animations and so on...

I unrstand that you may think Programming is boring, because sometimes it is but also I want you to know that Coding brings you more money than sitting and making worlds, characters, sad/emotional stories like you said

-Emo

# 8 24-06-2003 , 02:10 PM
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Emo's part right. Even though programming in general lands you more of a salery, in today's market, it's getting harder and harder to find a job in that area because of the competition


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# 9 24-06-2003 , 02:36 PM
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Re: Re: Switch?

Originally posted by Emo
I unrstand that you may think Programming is boring, because sometimes it is but also I want you to know that Coding brings you more money than sitting and making worlds, characters, sad/emotional stories like you said

-Emo

First, thanks to all for your kind comments!

I just looked at the Alias|Wavefront Site and saw that Maya is available for 1.999 USD - That´s quite "cheap". I guess Maya Complete will do.

To Emo: Well, you´re surely right about this. But it´s a question of motivation. I´m drawing since I´m a child. I love to create things I can really see afterwards. Something that comes directly from my mind. Coding is more a mathematical approach, less artistic.

I´d also work with 2d/3d Programs if I would not get money at all, it´s just the fascination behind the topic.

Everyone of you helped me a lot. I guess I´ll see what Maya can do, i.e. what I can do with Maya and decide. After all, 2.000 bucks are 2.000 bucks! :-)

# 10 24-06-2003 , 06:15 PM
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Alright, last question.

I hope, someone with Smax and Maya experience will answer this question:

Please compare the Maya Animation Tools with the Studio Max Animation Tools. Which one´s easier to approach, easier to learn, just easier and more intuitive to work with?

As I said, Character Rigging, etc. is such a cool thing but so confusing with some Tools...

# 11 29-06-2003 , 08:29 PM
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Hi. Thomas.
Instead of switching you can try different 3d party solutions to improve the animation functions of max. The new Character studio is a powerful addition.
Or Motionbuilder from Kaydara. One of the most powerful tools for character animation and in my mind EASIER to use than any other character animation solutions available.
And you can get a free 1 year licence of MB until July 1. The interchange between Max and MB works via fbx plugin. Visit 3dbuzz or Kaydara to get more information. It also works well with Maya.
Although I prefer Maya over Max in terms of character rigging and animation, it`s never easy to make a good rig or animation from scratch(cause you often need different rigs for different tasks, or fast rigs but with max control etc). Neither in Maya nor in any other comparable application(XSI, Max, Houdini, Lightwave, Cinema etc). And I think that good rigging needs a substantial knowledge of expressions/scripting.


Last edited by Tenshi; 30-06-2003 at 02:34 AM.
# 12 30-06-2003 , 05:26 AM
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Hey thomas.. just wanted to let you know that i have worked in 3ds max and maya.. and well, maya is just such a nicer program. The navigation that you use to go around the scene is just so much nicer in maya.. and the whole interface is great. I also learned about a lot of tools in max.. and then learned the same tools for maya... some were the same, but for the most part.. maya had an edge. The only thing that max had that i wish maya had.. is the soft tool, where you can gradually select each vertex and then pull up and it will effect each vertex less and less... the same tool is in maya.. but not as easy to see. Booleans are much better in maya.. if you choose to use them. Nurbs are much much better, the surface tools in max are a pain compared to how you work in maya. I guess maya just clicked for me though, as a lot of people love max as well. I hope when you said studio max, that you meant 3ds max. I also did a bit of animation work and i preferred maya, and maya is a lot more powerful in that area (IMHO). I feel that Maya if you work in polygons has a much more powerful smoothing tool than max's meshsmooth technique. The rendering on maya is much more powerful as well.. how max uses their top to bottom rendering isnt quite as good as the paintbucket method by maya. Now maya 5.0 has built in mental ray too user added image. Hope this answers some of your questions.

EDIT : I read your original post and only one thing i can add.. when i was working with max.. it was 4.2.. so i dont really know how much more powerful it is by now. and the site you had that you loved previews all of his work at cgtalk. By the way, do you have any artwork that you have made in max that we can see?


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Last edited by M; 30-06-2003 at 05:30 AM.
# 13 30-06-2003 , 05:35 AM
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arg, sorry for dragging this on so far! Anyways, I dont know if they still have it.. but you should download the Public Learning edition from Alias Wavefront of Maya to see if you like it. Its basically maya, that pumps watermarks on your renders heheh. I also heard that theres things that "Maya PLE" doesnt have that complete would have. But to try out the program, you shouldnt be getting into anything complex anyways. Up to you, it would give you a feel for maya. Or just watch some of the free videos on this site.


"I should call you sugar maple tree cause i'd totally tap that" haha

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# 14 30-06-2003 , 07:15 AM
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@Tenshi, @M:

Well, in the last few days I worked with the Maya PLE and gave the 3dBuzz Maya VTM´s a try. I already found some tools I love... Set Driven Keys, i.e. - That´s a great one and makes Set Keys to a walk in the park.

M seems a little too euphoric, hehe. After all, both tools are quite familiar, 3d is 3d... only the workflow is a little different. With Maya Complete at 1.999 USD, I guess I´m quite happy and will buy this package. Hell, I wish I could also afford a G5... ;-)

I recently downloaded a free pdf Tutorial File from Jake Callery - It´s about setting up a complete character rig. I´ll look into this one, after I created my first "pure Maya" character... :-)

@M: Well, I work with 3d since November 2002. In February 2003 some of my work were shown at german television.

https://www1.giga.de/stories_u4/0,3204,53357,00.html

It´s really not that great and in February I absolutely knew nothing about 3d (What the heck are Material ID´s? How am I welding vertices? Well, afterwards I read a few books - And I´m still reading. Never stop learning...)

Currently I read "3d Graphics and Animation" from Mark Giambruno (because I knew that I´d change to another package sometime soon), I also read 3ds Max Fundamentals and my Animation Bible is Richard Williams Animation Survival Kit. I´m also waiting for Digital Lightning and Rendering, guess I´ll be quite happy with this one!

Well, I´ll keep you updated with my Maya Skills. Thanks for the replies guys! :-)

# 15 30-06-2003 , 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Thomas Mahler
and my Animation Bible is Richard Williams Animation Survival Kit. I´m also waiting for Digital Lightning and Rendering, guess I´ll be quite happy with this one!

Well, I´ll keep you updated with my Maya Skills. Thanks for the replies guys! :-)

I love these books. Both are classics and programm independent!. I´m reading Richard Williams Book at the moment and it`s one of my best animation investments user added image

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