Rhino and Maya


Question for the experienced users of Rhino and Maya. I am a relatively experienced user of Rhino, and need to know what Maya has to offer in comparison. I am speaking of modeling characteristics here and not rendering differences so much.

For instance, what about surface matching quality? Does one or the other work better in this respect? Surface creation tools as well. I have used Alias Studio Tools as well so how close is Maya to this?

Let me know.

Pencil Pusher

which version of Maya?

Version 5, I think this is current.

was asking Maya Complete or Unlimited.

but either way comparison makes no sense to me. cant just ask Which is better. how do you model? what is output? tool off surfaces or reference in a CAD package? better to get a PLE version or trial of Unlimited than to ask question no one can answer.

which is better: butter or margarine?

Butter baby butter

Wow. I thought that someone would have had some more complete opinions on this subject.

From what I’ve gathered about both programs, they both work quite a bit differently. Both are nurbs modelers, but there are differences in how surfaces can be changed in Maya for one thing. Rhino does not have associative change in surfaces or history, so the surface has to be rebuilt from the beginning.

I would fathom a guess that Maya works a lot more like 3D studio as a modeler, and has many other options that are in line with character design, as opposed to Rhino which is more connected to product design.

I guess a better question would be this: “If Rhino works for me, do I really need Maya? Would purchasing Maya provide me with a significant upgrade in modeling tools?”

Because there are differences in workflow and individual tools. There are some differences in options of how models can be built as well.

If anyone has a more defined review of the software in question, please post. I really don’t think that I was being unrealistic in any way, or asking questions that do not have answers. It is possible that because people work in one or the other, that is is difficult to say. However, if anyone has some real input here, feel free to respond.

BTW. I am speaking of Maya Unlimited, latest version.


Sorry I can’t give you a detailed reply but from my research and experience, if Rhino works well for you (for product design), you don’t need maya. I understand maya is more focused and suited for animation, etc. I don’t know how well Maya exports to other programs we’d need for our process (pro-e, SW, etc) but Rhino is a widely accepted tool that should do those things. Widely used 3-d programs for ID are (in no order): Alias+Rhino (surfaces) and Pro-E+ Solidworks (solids). You have exp. w/ alias and are proficient in Rhino, I wouldn’t waste time w/ maya if just for typical “plastic part” product design. If you want to learn a new program, learn pro or sw so you can have the complete 3-d design thing going on. Hope this helps.

they are two different software tools…if u are in design u shouldn’t really using maya…allthough u can, its not designed for designers its made for the animation/gaming/SFX industry…if u are in design u use Alias’s design tool…Studio…its quite simple really.

All though u can say that Stduio’s render is kack so u could use alias to model and maya/max/image studio/lightwave…etc to render which is fair enough

But if u wana get in to high end surfacing then ICEM surf is your choice of tool for that job.

“If Rhino works for me, do I really need Maya? Would purchasing Maya provide me with a significant upgrade in modeling tools?”


cant compare to Rhino 3 so dont know. used Rhino 2 but not all the tools.

both have things other doesnt. i prefer single-surface modeling. simplest NURBs tool works for me. dont need much. and single-surf goes best into Pro afaic. patched models always req extra work to zip gaps. but some people dont do single-surf. all curves and surf patches and maintaining continuity. individual pref. and no eval tools in Maya. i dont need them. Studio didnt use to have them. no big deal to me. some people have to have them.

if Rhino works for you stick with it. $7k is alot for tools you maybe dont need or use. agree your better off trying SW or Pro. cost is lower. advantages greater.

First of all, thanks for the help. I don’t need to collect new modeling software that isn’t going to provide a significant improvement. I admit that I have not “pushed the envelope” with Rhino, which may or may not be saying a lot.

I think half of the struggle with software is learning to make it do what you want. Once you’ve done that, you lose the need to acquire other software “solutions” because you think they will do more for you than you have been able to pull out of what you currently use.

Someone mentioned “ICEM”, and could you elaborate, I’ve heard of it, and is this something an individual could purchase and use? Does it run on a Pentium 3.2 Ghz, is it a solid/surface modeler? More info if you have it.

Also, YKH mentions “single surface”. I am assuming you are speaking of the final part, which is actually a set of many complex surface components, all curvature continous, joined into one polysurface. Just hope I am reading that right.

I was reading an article on Design Engine I think talking about a recent software showdown in Chicago, including Maya and Rhino, mabye ProE and Solidworks as well, and I really don’t think anyone came to a complete answer on what worked best, depends on individual.
Oh well…

I was at that software showcase in Chicago. Summary was pretty much “if you can use it well and it can translate well to other formats, you’re fine”. And the general concensus was:
-Pro-E, tops for solids. New Wildfire seems promising. Better interface or somthing.
-SW, good up+coming, nipping at Pro’s heels. Company is more open to change so may be serious competitor to pro, especially for the price compared to pro.
-Alias studio, tops standard for surfacing. Auto guys use it, best control over surfaces along with a whole lot of other diagnostic tools.
-Rhino, excellent surfacer, exports well. Similar results as alias but lacking the extensive diagnostic tools of alias. Considering the results you can get for the incredibly low price (a couple of shovelled sidewalks in your neighborhood should cover it), an unbelievable deal. Will want to export to something else for the phat-sack renderings like max or maya.

“single surface”. I am assuming you are speaking of the final part, which is actually a set of many complex surface components, all curvature continous, joined into one polysurface. Just hope I am reading that right.

no. one and only one surface. not like Alias Studio tutorials. start with one surface and modify it. requires lots of CV and hull and isoparm work. but there are no issues with maintaining continuity. or importing into solid modeler. or surface join breaking when curve is tweaked. hated Alias “curve networks”. some impressive stuff is done this way. almost positive Symbol does this exclusively.

dont need lots of tools bells and whistles to do this either.

yeah but u cant realy keep to you design intent that way its more like sculpting clay without knowing what your gona make. If u haev a design and want to model it wour will generaly stick to the methods that are taught…unless the thig u are trying to model is an organic blob…lol

ICEM surf is used by the big boys in the motor industry i dont know alot about it but i know my mate who worked at BMW used it alot fid out more here: http://www.icem.com/

yeah but u cant realy keep to you design intent that way its more like sculpting clay without knowing what your gona make.

inexperienced student talking i see. in the U.S. this is called Talking out your ass.

i worked with Curt Croley. he consulted once. i worked for him once. when i knew him everything was single-surface. do images here look like “organic blobs”? does Symbol have trouble keeping design intent?

Designers at Symbol Technologies use StudioTools to start with a concept sketch which is built on top of data received from mechanical engineers. Designers build forms comprised of a single surface that goes all the way around the device. This keeps the data set small. At the same time, complexity is brought to the design by adding StudioTools control vertices to various points where they are used to push and pull the surface.

looks like Symbol needs to listen to dawolfman!

fair enough…each to there own i guess…but it does say:

“…so they can sculpt graceful, innovative, yet technically true forms as quickly as they can think of them…”

and what did i say…“more like sculpting clay” …so ahem… i am still right about the sculpting wrong about the blobs…its just some of my uni mates model this way and all they seem to get is organic blobs

wasnt “sculpting like clay” that was problem. it was derision of using the technique. would have helped if you had mentioned your mates couldnt do it. maybe they suck. but unqualified comment misinforms people.

single-surf has real advantages for going solid. some gaps just dont zip on import. with SS there are never gaps. another advantage is updating surfaces. if import is first feature in Pro can update surface outside and reimport/replace. features built on top usually work if not major change. fixing a seam complicates update process. mainly if Pro wont close on redefine. thats my experience. i’m decent at zipping gaps. mainly for others since i do all my own 3D.

sculpt like clay isnt true either. Maya has brush deform tools for sculpting like clay. lacks control. extremely organic. but using CV’s, hulls and isoparms is very very different. very precise. tedious as hell. but worth it for production parts.

Wow. I didn’t realize that one could work a single surface and keep it so fluid & precise. I’ve noticed the number of surfaces in my models has decreased significantly since I started using Alias. I have a question though, does anyone know if there is a tutorial in building surfaces like this available, either for free or for purchase?

sorry. i’ve never seen any. maybe someone else has.

i use solidworks

i haven’t a clue about rhino - can you acturatally model parts?

and if your making a part from surfaces - dose the part have wall thickness?

or is it just a shell - that you render to show a client an idea or can the part go strat to the tool maker?

student with no idea :confused: