Autodesk Maya

Powerful 3D modeling, animation and rendering solution

Autodesk Maya is a highly professional solution for 3D modeling, animation and rendering in one complete and very powerful package. View full description

PROS

  • Industry standard 3D animation package
  • Many objects and animations
  • Open Python scripting language
  • Lots of video tutorials
  • 64 bit support

CONS

  • Very lengthy installation
  • Slow startup
  • Hard for beginners

Excellent
9

Autodesk Maya is a highly professional solution for 3D modeling, animation and rendering in one complete and very powerful package.

It has won several awards for professionalism and power and is one of the leading industry 3D animation packages. One of the reasons for this is that Autodesk Maya offers a huge amount of objects and effects to work on your projects and because Autodesk Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted or programmed using a well-documented and comprehensive API (Application Programming Interface) or one of two embedded scripting languages, the Maya Embedded Language (MEL) or Python.

This combination of of openness combined with industry standard 3D visual effects, computer graphics, and character animation tools is more than enough for professional film, television, game development, and design projects.

Although beginners will be completely lost at the beginning, the Autodesk Maya interface is surprisingly well organized for such a huge application and different elements such as dynamics, animation or polygons are directly accessible via tabs. Within these are advanced editing features in fields like rendering, animation and relationships. Finally, the Timeline is at the bottom of the interface and allows you to animate and control the evolution of your modeling project.

If you are new to Autodesk Maya however, there are lots of video tutorials and tips on startups about how to use it. These will teach you a number of things like rotating, keyframe animation, component selection and preview rendering. The Help menu is also full of further tutorials and offers links to extra learning resources.

Note that to get the best out of Autodesk Maya, you do need a three buttoned mouse to complete all of the actions possible. Although Autodesk Maya 2012 isn't a huge change from 2011, it offers plenty of powerful new features and has fixed many of the bugs in the previous release.

Autodesk Maya is a solid 3D modeling application that still keeps setting the industry standards.

Maya provides powerful integrated animation, modeling, simulation, rendering, matchmoving and compositing tools-

Maya 3D animation software offers a comprehensive creative feature set for 3D computer animation, modeling, simulation, rendering, and compositing on a highly extensible production platform. Maya now has next-generation display technology, accelerated modeling workflows, and new tools for handling complex data.

Accelerate modeling workflows with an expanded, integrated feature set built on technology from the NEX toolset from dRaster. New functions:

- Access new selection, transformation, and mesh-editing tools in one place with the new Modeling Toolkit panel.

- Work on posed meshes, with new topology-based Symmetry tools.

- Retopologize meshes using the new Quad Draw tool.

- Reduce clicks with a new Multi-Cut tool that combines Split/Cut Faces and Insert Edge Loop tools.

Automatically center joints in a mesh with the new Snap to Projected Center snapping mode. Create symmetric joint chains with new Joint Tool options.

Create large, complex worlds more easily with new Scene Assembly tools for smarter data that help you:

- Manage production assets in Maya as discrete elements, each with complete support for multiple representations.

- Easily swap between certain different representations, varying levels of detail, so you can select an appropriate balance between fidelity and performance for the task at hand.

- Apply, animate, or query edits at levels in the scene assembly hierarchy.

- Track overrides on assemblies via an improved edits system for better collaborative workflows.

- Use the robust API to customize the toolset to create proprietary solutions.

Mark up animation directly within the 3D scene with the Grease Pencil, an intuitive animation tool that directors, clients and others can easily use to record notes and mark up performances.

Quickly and easily diagnose and fix broken file paths with a new File Path Editor, and work with non-local data with new URI support.

— User reviews — about Autodesk Maya

  • macfanpro

    by macfanpro

    "Autodesk Maya reviewed"

    I am a full-time college student with a major in Game Design and Development, and I have taken six credits worth of clas... More.

    reviewed on November 16, 2009