Maya v. Rhino/Maxwell

I just started a new job where I have the opportunity to buy whichever render software I want. I’m debating between Maya and Rhino+Maxwell. I’m wondering what others think.

I’m working for a heating company and I’ll be rendering heaters and other related products for sales and management purposes. I will be modeling everything in Solid Edge and importing it. I will set up the lighting and scene in the render software.

I’ve used Maya before with extremely good results. I’m comfortable with it, and I already have some shaders that I can import and use immediately. Having said that, I’ve never modeled anything in Maya. This means I will have to create everything in Solid Edge and import it.

I’ve used Rhino years ago in college. I’ve never used Maxwell except for playing with the demo. The plus here is that if I want to use Rhino for surface modeling, I have the option to import that data into SolidEdge.

Right now, I’m leaning towards the devil I know, Maya. What is the learning curve like with Maxwell? Is it overkill for my purposes. Also, I don’t think I’ve seen animation with Maxwell…can anyone confirm that?


What about Rhino and Vray?
I have been learning it and it seems pretty easy.
Has anyone else been using vray?
I have used Maxwell and I didn’t like it.
I think they are both pretty close in terms of quality and speed.

I think more designers use rhino than maya but that is because rhino is easy to download the 30 day license. If designers were to see what maya could do in terms of proving form they would use rhino less. Maya has Sub’s and still has all the nerbs tools plus still imports into your final tool such as solidworkrs or proe.

people use what they know…

With respect to rendering there is no comparison to render tools in maya. Flamingo is a toy in comparison. not sure about the Maxell but will look into it. Thanks for the heads up.

Oh… if your in Chicago… today there is a free demo of maya. I don’t think they will be showing it off with respect to ID but for what its worth I think I’ll go.

Join Autodesk’s Lee Fraser as he demonstrates the award-winning Maya 8.5, taking you through the creation of a sample 3D animation from beginning to end. In addition, Dale Carman, cofounder of Reel FX Creative Studios, will present his latest 3D projects. March 22, 6:00 p.m.

Thanks for the comments. You wouldn’t be pushing Maya because you are an Alias teacher, would you? hehe I already render well in Maya. I’ve played with the nurbs and subdivs a little, but not enough to know what I’m doing. I’ve decided to go with Maya because:

  1. I know it
  2. I seem to be able to do alot in SolidEdge
  3. It seems Maya has more and better standard textures than Maxwell/Rhino

I wish I was in Chicago…I’d love to see a real Maya hacker in action!

no I am the proving form with proe guy. :wink: and last I checked we do a rhino class almost every month. I just don’t like rhino especilly with respect to all the different modelers out there. People still choose rhino.

I’ve never used Maya, but is it difficult creating acurate models? Do you have easy control over dimensions, etc…? I’ve always understood that designers use Maya more as a conceptual tool and as a way to create scenes and render CAD models from other packages.

I’ve done accurate surface modeling with Studio tools. I think you can use a similar work flow in Maya. As far as I see it though, if you want to plug numbers onto your form, pick a CAD program like SolidWorks or Pro E and save the frustration.

The original comment was to render heaters. I am not sure how much time one should want to put into the render. I try to recommend to use the native software so you don’t have to export. Some models takes 10+ hrs to export properly to maya or Alias for a render.

Sometimes a solidworks or proe render is adequate. pro/e wildfire 3.0 has made light year jump in their rendering engine or should I say jump in the interface into the engine. (the engine had capability to do hi-end renders but never had the interface developed far enough. ie procedural maps layered shaders and more control on lights and shadows.

I address the situation like this… If you need fast renders that are good use the solid modeler. If your doing material studies and more then you need maya or alias studio. Image Studio is often too simple but makes fast 30 minute renders and reads most file formats like .prt files. Flamingo has made improvements but it’s not Maya. The sliders and ability to layer the shaders in maya means you have endless control. Do you need endless control….probably not. But that’s what it takes to get to the 105 percent mark. (solidworks was better than proe in renders until wf3.0 and I suspect proe might be better not sure) Solidworks and Pro/E renders will get you to the 67 percent mark and often that is just fine for the customer or yourself. Flamingo and Image studio will get you to the 88 percent mark. It is hard to compete with the Alias and Maya renders but most people don’t have the time to get past the 88 percent mark. I would say maya can get you to the 110 percent mark. Damd… after seeing that Maya demo at the apple store I had to bump her up to 110% because that sh*t is dope.

Well, I never had a problem taking SW models into Maya. I just save as an iges file. Sometimes, surfaces export a little strange, but I just played with the settings or saved as a STEP file. Typically, it works out. In Maya, it is a bit of a pain to navigate through the layers, because it will import each surface onto a seperate layer…but I’ve learned to be quick with that.

Right now, I don’t know what my employer expects or wants from rendering. I showed them my hottest renders from Maya during the interview, so I suspect they might have their expectations high. I have some time to learn a new program, but I’d rather know that I have enough power to continue to impress.

Also, well I didn’t use too many layered shaders in Maya, sometimes it is the only way to get a render right. I remember using it for a brushed aluminum surface with a glossy clearcoat. You never know what the next trend will be!

Lastly, my new employer has invested alot in Solid Edge, so there is no way I can escape from using that as my base modeling software.

Solidedge aint to cool I hear. But if thats what the engineers use I suggest learning that too. You know how hard it is to get those guys to understand your design.

I think like any modeling tool, a rendering package is as good as the end user in some respects. Take that out of the equation and from a purely objective stand point I have to give it Maxwell if only from the stand point that it is a universal rendering package for most of the popular 3D Programs. Down side, and everyone knows this, is rendering time is still too much. BUT just looking through the gallery of maxwell alone its just some amazing results.

It still has some ways to go, and some UI help and an increase in textures. None of the other rendering packages are bad by any strech of the imagination, but its like they took the Sun and put it into the program.

As a personal opinion I would go for Rhino with Vray without ANY hesitation.

1 - Vray has an extended community and support and it’s fast
2 – Maxwell (which has also a vast community) is incredibly slow (since it doesn’t “fake” light as other render engines…but that doesn’t mean that you cannot get the same results in vray)
3 – Innacurancy in maya, slower learning curve
4 – Rhino 4 has a lot of previous rhino 3 frustrations fixed (Booleans for examples)
5 - Exporting from Rhino to Solidworks never been a problem if you export in.STEP
6 – Finally, unsurpassed modeling speed in Rhino

You really wont regret that choice when you will realize that you can do a render 15 minutes before a meeting