Autodesk Maya – First Attempt

Today we were given an introduction to Autodesk Maya, concentrating on specific tools and how to maneuver around the view-port and UI.  This is actually my second time using Maya, however the first time I used it solely for animation purposes and have never actually used the tools available for modeling.


Through previous posts it will be evident that my software of choice is 3DS Max, a program a feel really comfortable in after a year of use.  However, I have always been curious to see what Maya has to offer, therefore I remained open-minded when entering this short lesson.  Building my knowledge of multiple 3D packages would likely be desirable when looking for a job, but would also allow me to identify strengths and weaknesses between them, alongside the different tools they may offer which could aid me in the future.

As an introduction, we were asked to model a vehicle of choice.  As a result, I decided to model a spaceship from imagination as this would allow me to create a mesh without worrying about its overall appearance, therefore allowing me concentrate more on the tools and techniques that were available.

It became evident that tools available were all very similar or identical to that of 3DS Max, these include tools such as:

  • Extrude
  • Connect
  • Symmetry
  • Bevel
  • Insert edge loop

The only difference being is the way you access them through the UI, which could become confusing if switching between software packages.  Also, there may be some more subtle changes which could affect your mesh / modeling more severely.

For example – In Maya, when using the extrude tool once selecting a face it creates a new face directly upon the existing one, meaning you have to manually transform the face outwards / inwards into position.  I feel this leaves you more open to mistakes such as overlapping faces and vertices.

The main problem I had when switching and using Maya for the first time was moving throughout the view-port and knowing where to access the tools I required.  I feel that this is understandable with it being a new piece of software, however with both software packages being created by Autodesk, I do not understand why the settings and controls are not universal across them.


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