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I have two options to choose from: 3DS Max or Maya. I am not going into the commercial line.

I need to get advice from users on which thing I should choose provided I am really not going in to character animation. I just want building, landscapes, moving objects, et cetera.

I have to start, so I think its better to ask.

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closed as not constructive by Tetrad Dec 16 '11 at 8:30

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Neither Maya nor 3DSMAX is beginner-friendly in my opinion (convoluted workflows and UIs) and if you're not looking to enter the industry my question is: are you really limited to just those two? –  Oskar Duveborn May 2 '11 at 10:09
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-1, very subjective. –  The Communist Duck May 2 '11 at 14:02
    
Spend a week or so doing tutorials with the free trials of each and which ever one feels more natural and you are able to pick up faster you should actually purchase. –  ClassicThunder Dec 15 '11 at 22:33
    
Manbearshark. I'm super serious, guys. –  Amplify91 Dec 16 '11 at 7:02

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Judging by the fact that you can arbitrarily choose between two $3500 tools to work with, I guess the price doesn't really matter. I don't really think it matters which of the two you use -- I'm sure some UIs/workflows will just click better with some than others.

It seems like you're asking for advice between using a mechanical pencil or a wooden pencil for sketching. I'm sure there are advocates for both who will give you contradictory opinions on why one is better suited than the other for the task. There isn't really a strong reason that I've seen to prefer either of these tools over the other for the task of "just modeling". You can probably use any number of other tools: Milkshape, Wings3D, Blender, etc.

Why don't you find tutorials on how to use one tool and follow them -- get a feel for each program. There are trials available from Autodesk for both. In other words, if 10,000 people tell you here "Use 3DS Max" but it just doesn't click with you the way that Maya does, why use 3DS Max? Vice versa for any tools listed. Do what works, and master your tool. Any of them are sufficient to do what you want.

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thats what i wanted to hear. i have joined a couse of 3ds max , some student told me that maya was better because everything is inside one software but in max , i have to use plugins . he was saying things are easily done in maya . so i was confused if maya is better then i can chnage my course. its just 1 day. i am not biased , if max can make the building model in 10 hours and for maya its 7hr . i would like to prefer maya providing person knows both –  Mirror51 May 2 '11 at 11:54
    
Ultimately it's whichever one best allows you to express yourself artistically. The behind-the-scenes theory (lighting, texturing, animating, etc) is much the same in both programs - just a different interface. Ultimately it comes down to your own vision and skill at constructing that vision. Both programs are large, convoluted and will get in your way. Pick whichever gets in your way the least. –  Leniency May 2 '11 at 15:02
    
3DS is leaning more towards video games. Maya more towards VFX. –  Korchkidu Nov 29 '13 at 19:58

Well, I would like to add my opinions to this discussion thread. I am a self learner & hobbyist in the field of CG not as much learned as you guys. I started by learning Maya only but have tried every software out there even 3ds Max as well. I simply want to mention that it doesn't matter which piece of package you are using to create your own stuffs as far as they are appealing and looks good, the only thing which matters is the comfort in using that software which differs from user to user. I prefer Maya for most of my works coz I find it more user friendly and easy however, some people may find MAX easier than Maya just because they are familiar with it. Both of them are beasts in their respective areas and you will find most of the tools available in both the suites, but its personal preference only. Moreover, the CG industry looks for professionals only and not amateur, so its better to learn only one of them to the full though its not possible to touch every aspect of any of these suites still try to grab as much as you can rather trying to put your hands on each one of them ...

Now a days, Maya has been incorporated in every field like MOVIES, GAMING etc, which was earlier dominated mostly by MAX. So, you can start your career with any one & can switch to a different suite at a later point of time & ofcourse, sometimes it depends upon the requirements of the studio where you are working as per their pipeline structure. So, if you take my suggestion I would prefer Maya ( or if you wish can start with MAX as well ) reason being I find it pretty easy for a beginner to understand the tools as they are pretty much straight forward. I find the UI of MAX a lil bit weird & the most exciting thing about MAYA is its shortcut keys & you can perform a single task in Maya in atleast more than 3 ways :D, so choice is yours, make your decision and put your first step in the industry ..

Wishing you all the best .. !!

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Have you tried Google Sketchup? I think you should try this as well

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Not expensive enough. –  Korchkidu Nov 29 '13 at 19:57

Neither is really better than the other, so try both and use whichever you prefer. Or rather, go with whichever is most convenient to learn on (eg. one is already installed on computers at your school) because it doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

For the record, I learned on 3ds Max but later switched to Maya when that became available on Macs. I still consider them about the same however and actually at my current job I use 3ds Max occasionally because that's what they have.

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