StudioTools or Maya?

I been asking this question for a while.
I’m an industrial designer. Basically most IDers recommend ST as the ultimate 3D soft. for product/automotive design.
On the other hand, Maya has been proved to be the perfect package for modeling, rendering, and animation, tho its complexity.
So I wonder, if I were to spend the hell lot of time in one software, which should it be?
Or would be that one complement the other?
I’m willing to put all my efforts in learning Maya, but seems that most ID firms adopt ST or Rhino. (not comparing w.UGX, Pro/E, SLW, Catia and such).
I have greater interests in Design Viz/Presentation and Animation over surface modeling.
Is Maya compatible w. Pro/E and such?

The question comes up often. The truth is Maya is GREAT as a visualization tool, but in an ID firm it will be much more essential to be fluent in a surface/solid modeller.

I would not spend time learning Maya’s modelling. Learn to model in another tool (Rhino, Solidworks, and Alias are all good) and then you can learn how to render in Maya to create the pretty images. I think an employer will also value if you know a surface modeller AND a solid modeller (Rhino/Alias vs Solidworks/Pro E). Even if they don’t use the program you’ve learned, you’ll understand all the basics you need.

Maya will be compatible with just about everything, but it’s a matter of finding the right file format for transferring data. Rhino is excellent in that it seamlessly integrates with virtually every program in existance.

from an enrolment perspective I have notices a shift for id’ers learning maya. It is hard to beat these curve tools in Alias or Rhino however many of the same nurbs tools are there in Maya as well. Except designers get the power to polygon modeling. And that turns over well to nurbs thru subd then nurbs surfaces. This month we have three industrial designers all from Texas learning maya and non learning Alias.

I agree w. cyberdemon that is more practical in an ID enviroment to learn a surface modeller. But in my case I already use Rhino, SLW and 3dmax, so I have ‘some’ knowledge in this area.
however, with the shift of company, it is used the other 3 packages, alias, Maya and Pro/E. in my thinking, Maya is the best when in situations you want to catch the eyes of the client at the first glimpse. or to propose an idea or conecpt.
I have no doubt Alias and Pro/E are great as well. and essential to the design processes. but i think if i can present any ‘crappy’ design in a very dynamic and stylish way (thru photo-realistic rendering or + animation), I think could win over a client(s).
so I wonder Desing-engine, what are the motives for the 3iDers to learn Maya? perhaps same reason as mine?

Maybe the answer is not so simple. We have a major telecom company in for training this week learning Maya. They look over at the other end of the training center and see others on Pro/E handle shapes with draft easily while Maya struggles (polygon speaking) with draft. Adding draft with NURBS tools is a royal pain in the arse … Alias and Maya alike.

The more experiance I have the more I would not be happy with just one package. I want to choose the best tool for the right job and that takes the kind of investigation and skills learning your doing.

Comparing Maya and Alias Studio… Some of the same workflow game is in place but Alias Studio ‘got the grip’ on NURBS functions over Maya. The Maya NURBS game and workflow is more cumbersome but do-able. I have not watched anyone do polygons in Alias Studio with success but MAYA polygon modeling game is so cool. Especially because…. Then to convert to SUB’D then to NURBS then to Pro/E all in MAYA is bad ass. So impressive.

To add to the mix, I saw at Fisher-Price the last month some Sensible Free Form users blast in Draft like no bodies business. I was silently amazed.