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Blender vs Maya

Journal Entry: Sun Oct 16, 2011, 12:48 PM

I just downloaded Blender and from what I have heard it is a pretty good and reliable free/open source software. I am currently using Maya 2011 and so far it is the only 3D software I have used. If you animate, model etc, what do use or find the best? If you have both programs, which one do you prefer and why?

Also if anyone can share any good tutorials on rigging, modelling, lighting, animating (or know any useful plugins) etc on either Blender or Maya  I would be very grateful =)

and if you know where I can download Unity 3D (preferably free) :paranoid: I will be over the moon (and Zbrush pleeeaaaseeeeee!!!!) And you are not aloud to torrent in NZ, so preferably ones that involve file-lockers )

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jewelup429 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Student Digital Artist
ive only used blender and this site definitely helps alot
blender cookie
aetherfang Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Professional Writer
Entirely done in Blender. I used it a few years ago, but for the time being I am stuck with a computer that can't barely run anything, so here's to waiting for my new comp.
VampyreKisses Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Student General Artist
Oh God, I watched that awhile back and I think I actually cried. So sad.
aetherfang Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Professional Writer
I know, and it was so well done, too!
Salahare Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Professional General Artist
Oh! I forgot that there is an open-source and free alternative to Zbrush called Sculptris at [link]

It is an amazing program, and I was able to export a model from Blender into it to add details and export normalmaps using the computers at my school. My computer at home right now doens't have either the processing power or the memory to handle all the polygons, though. :(

It's fun! Try it out a while, and you don't have to torrent it. :D
Salahare Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Professional General Artist
I went to college and learned Maya, but had already known about Blender before I even entered High School. I was too afraid to touch it until I had mastered the basic concepts of 3D modeling, UVing, and Texture Mapping in Maya. I was even fortunate enough to have one of my instructors for Lighting and Materials who had extensive experience with Blender to be able to tell us some ways Blender was better, and other ways Maya was better.

So now for my thesis I'm trying to manage a workflow between the two programs. I have found it far easier to model and texture using Blender than I ever was able to in Maya, especially since Blender doesn't support n-gons and forces you to think harder about making better models with quads. I do not yet know or understand how to rig in Blender so I import the models as objs into Maya to rig and animate them. I'm hoping that I can export the animation data into a third party program for rendering, but I haven't planned to well for that stage yet.

A really good resource I have found is BlenderCookie ( and The best tutorials on blendercookie are only for paid members, but the free tutorials are astounding and informative, especially when the instructor turns on blenderkeys so you can see the keystrokes they are making in realtime. Blendswap is just a great resource for models and scenes.
S-u-b Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I jumped outta my skin when i saw your journal title...because my name is maya xD
DeviantRoberto Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011
I've only began to use Blender, no experience with Maya here, sorry.
Junket Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011  Professional Writer
I've used both Maya and Blender in the past, and they both have their good points. I believe that Maya is more powerful, but Blender is getting there. If your looking for some good Blender tutorials, try [link] and [link] .

I'm using Blender 2.59 right now, and the improvements from 2.4 are evident. And of course, the fact that it's free is a big plus. I'd keep going with Blender!
San-chan-dancing Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011  Student Filmographer
Hi Moni,
All I really know about is Maya. So I have some tutorial sites you might be interested in (I'm still a beginner.) My teachers say GuerrillaCG has very easy to follow tutorials but for some reason or another their site has gone down, not sure when or even if it'll be back up. You can however still find their tutorials on youtube. [link]

I'm not completely sure about these three sources but I hear they have excellent tutorials, I have yet to try them out. I'm almost pretty positive you have to pay for them though. I've heard countless people tell me is worth the money, if you are are willing to actually use it. I get the other two free through my school. If you are going to school for it or taking classes a good thing to do is go to the library and see what kind of stuff your school has available to you. My school buys subscriptions and has tutorials on CD that you can check out and use.

What I've done when I need help is just use youtube and search and make a maya playlist. Some tutorials are great and some not so much.

This video is basic controls and short cuts- has some cursing in it.

This one of five videos that shows you how to move around and goes more in depth than the first one.

This one teaches you how to put an image plane in.

I have tons more but i'm not sure what your experience level is, if you need more feel free to ask :)
DivyanshuDhruw Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011
Hello moni. I am a computer science engineering student. I would suggest you to go on for the blender. The reason is that even though the blender is small in size but it never compromises with performance. Even the Pixar trusts the blender. It is low resource consuming and the biggest thing is that it is open source.

Open source means if you know even a little bit of programming then you can modify it according to your own needs since the source code is available to you.

But if you don't know programming then too you have a whole community spread all over the world where you can send your requirements and the programmers from all over the world will work on it. It may be new brush or new light pattern or new texture or anything. It will be totally flexible.

And still if you want to know the capabilities of blender then must watch 15 minute movie "SINTEL" ; totally made in blender, and the movie is freely download-able. And you can get the official learning materials in the blender website for free.


and please reply after watching sintel
SirKaeru Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011
I dont do any of those things, But Im going to have to say Blender. My uncle uses it and Ive watched him do some pretty cool things with it
Epiphany347 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Well Considering Blender is free, and I've seen people do some AMAZING things with the software, that are even Pixar worthy, I would have to go with blender. Also you there are lots of great tutorials at
Eyoha Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011   Digital Artist
Haaa Maya is the best so faaar !!! :3
The last one is just like a jewel !
Can't wait to have my new computer to do 3D again !
randomranma Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lightwave? Anyone..? Anybody..?


I took a class that taught using Maya and I became certified for it.
Then I took another class for my college course and they taught using Lightwave. I pretty much had to buy it for home so I could finish it there, so that's what I'm stuck with.
I downloaded Blender, but never really tried it out since I know how to use 2 already.

Maya was easier.
Lightwave's interface is kind of blah.
shikafreekv Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011

i dunno if you've heard of it, but it's just a simple human generator. I know you can take the generated people from there (starts with default and you can alter colour, gender, facial features, age, etc) and put them into blender for your animations and texturing etc. I think it even has the bones already programmed into the generated people.

I've never worked with it personally, but I know someone who has. And I've tried blender, it takes some getting used to. And it gets updated pretty frequently, like you'll have 2.3.1 and then before you even realize it they'll be on 2.3.5 or something, i dunno. You don't really need to update it everytime I don't think.
fuzzyshark5 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Student Digital Artist
omg we just had this conversation in my computer generated art class today :XD:

we decided that Blender was better because (1) its free (2) does exactly the same things as maya (3) even though the user interface isn't as "user friendly" you only need to take some time to get used to it

i hope thats useful to you :meow:
CloudiKitsune Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Maya is what pros like Dreamworks use. I've just been taught the basics on my animation course, alot of the 2nd years I've spoken to like 3ds Max which is similar.
I haven't used blender but its meant to be more 'user friendly'.

If your self teaching start with some basics like modelling simple shapes and attempt to do some textures >< just make sure you remember where you save the files
OreoOutlaw Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
iv only used maya 2011 and i would stick to that personally over max. But tinkering a little in max couldnt hurt xP
Heyriel Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I wish I could tell you anything about those.
Got Blender for a week now and I have less than no idea of how to use it >>
hinootora Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
For modelling, our prof really recommended Blender. But for rigging, UV Mapping, weight Painting and Animating, use Maya.
Kaylectra Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Student Digital Artist
From what I've heard, 3DSmax is best suited for modellnig and Maya is best suited for animation. I'm currently using maya for both modelling and animation but will be learning Houdini this year.
yanxxx Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011
I've been told Blender is as tedious as hell. A friend of mine even asked me to program some additional functions since he found the pre-existing functions sorely lacking (though I never got around to it, I was far to busy at the time).
yanxxx Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011
*too (sorry typo)
EuphBritannia Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I use blender, but Im not good good at animation, so I just sculpt these [link] [link] . If you want help with sculpting I can sort of help but im not used to the newest version.
saragoth Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011
i was trained with maya, but from what i seen usually maya or one of the autodesk programs are the main programs used for 3d or basic program and then you can jump into cinema 4d.

as far as i know if you plan on doing 3d at a professional level , maya , 3dmax and c4d are the ones mostly used and many times combined since render time is faster in 3dmax or from what i was told c4d has a better dynamics and effects like glass breaking than maya but with maya you have more control on how you can make a render look like.

as for the programs i will sent you a note with info but just in case remember that if you do any projects that you could get paid for or 'professional' don't use bootleg programs you can and most likely end in court since they got a pretty close system that when you buy a program you need to register and have an account with each prog and have an updated license.

with that said i will note you some info.
Leloa Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Think of Blender as last year's Maya with a less smooth GUI. It'll do the same thing, but it's not as powerful.

As for tutorials, has a ton of good ones. :)
DarkMuse112 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Professional General Artist
If you find anywhere that allows free downloads of Zbrush I want in on that too! I have had my eye on that program for many a day but it's SOOO DAMN EXPENSIVE!!

I use Blender and I like it. Of course, trying to teach yourself a program like that is never an easy feat, but I enjoy it when I'm in the mood to mess with the thing.

NOW: SOME INFO ON TUTORIALS that I believe you were looking for...
There is a website called Blender Cookie [link] that has a lot of tutorials and I found the one I used to make my character's face there. [link] He still looks exactly like that too and I took this render image like a year ago. >.<

the eyes were a tutorial on YouTube which is great, they are really realistic [link] (I wish I didn't have to keep looking up these tutorials but they're saved on my computer downstairs and not on my laptop.)

And from the eyeball tutorial there's this site [link]

Another site I find helpful (which has tutorials for a multitude of 3D programs not just blender is CGTuts [link]

Once in a while I also like to pick up 3D World: A magazine that includes a lot of tutorials, and image galleries, and usually comes with a CD of practice files. It's a bit pricey at $24 or so USD, but it's worth it, ESPECIALLY when they have a special issue that is CRAMMED full of good info and BEAUTIFUL images :D

Hope this info helps!! :D
Ramib Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011
I use... google sketchup? :iconderpplz:
doggirlinu Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh god if you an find a free copy of Zbrush pass that along to meee~!
Anyhow, I used 3DS MAX when I was in school, but I've been interested to try out Maya. Honesty I haven't heard anything about Blender.
Mark-MrHiDE-Patten Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I prefer Maya personally because I was taught how to use it, and just because something isnt aloud, doesn't mean you cant do it... just make sure nobody finds the bodies.
Imaginary-Ink Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Student General Artist
i've had blender for a couple of months now, nd just downloaded 3ds max from Autodesk student website. so im be sticking with Max for a lil bit. but has good tutorials on blender.
Chys Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011
I heard they teach Maya at those popular 'art schools.' that's all I know of it ;_; Interesting to see comments on how it is.
Hosharu Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011
I have both Maya and Blender on my laptop. I prefer Maya, mostly because that's what I learned in...
ZutaraRaven Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Student General Artist
When I did the majority of my 3D sculpting I used the really old version of blender :S

I've only used the newer version of blender a little, but I find it to be fantastic. One of my friends uses it a lot, and he can do many many things with it...
Blender has implemented some z-brush like tools which I've used a little. It's extremely handy. You can use your tablet and push and pull and add and subtract from the object you're sculpting.

I've never used maya :p I've heard it takes several years to learn the basics.
Cursed-2-Live Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011
Unity is easy to find : P

risshu Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Professional Filmographer
On the Autodesk website you can download the student edition of Mudbox for free; it's similar to Zbrush in terms of sculpting, modeling and painting your characters. This can be another alternative program you can use when modeling a character, I normally switch around using both depending on what I'm making.

11 second club give you nice free rigs and what other people have animated for their daily month contest [link]

This is a nice tutorial for making a character [link]

the-Blueprints give you some reference sheets to model from [link]

Creative Crash has useful tutorials, free rigs and mel scripts you can download from but you have to make an account [link]
Ditchmaster Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011   Filmographer
I use Modo for modeling/UV layout, ZBrush for high poly stuff, and Maya for animation. It works pretty well. Btw you can get a student version of Modo fairly cheap if you look for it. Also, Digital Tutors will teach you anything and everything you ever want to know, for most programs :D
mothquake Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've only used MAYA, and I liked it. Whichever one seems easier for you, though. :)
suuzumi Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011
I use 3ds max and it is the only one that we use in my program (I'm in 3D animation and CGI) It's a little complicated at first, but if you have any experience in 3D you should be ok
StarWisherMidnight Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Student Artist
I've only used Maya once, that was during a summer session in two weeks ... but I'm using 3Ds Max now for my classes ... I want to use Z-brush and Blender, heard it, never tried them
phii-rob Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I tried using blender one day and failed miserably, but i probably just gave up too fast ^^;
SketchedGhost Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I am still newb at Blender myself and still can't figure how to rig and texture x__x but. I sometimes use a thing called Meta Mesh in Blender. it is helpful for when I want to make natural shapes kinda stuff then after I kinda make a rough copy I go in and model it further, really speeds up my modeling ^^. hehe. its fun :P
Grayfoxdie Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I'm a blender user (I also used 3dsmax a lot and maya just for some export plugin). What you'll usually hear (and its true) is that companies (already) use Maya or 3dsmax in their pipeline. I would say that blender is more for the single user or small companies (for now).

Sorry I can't compare to maya since I don't know it very well, but I prefer Blender to 3dsmax. To make it short, what I like blender is : it's free, only +-30mb to download, fast to start/launch, it has sculpting! (quite fun) , great interface (when you know how to use it), the shortcuts (which make you work faster IMO), and a great community.
TheSpiffyNerd Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Student Artist
I tried Blender once. I'm not gifted in 3d modelling :< I didn't even have the patience to figure out the program, so I'll be no help xD
Zekfir Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I've been trying to learn blender. Right now I'm learning 3DS Max and will be learning Maya sometime in the future. I read that Blender is very powerful, it's just somewhat difficult to learn. I can agree to that.

An amazing website dedicated to Blender tutorials: [link]

Unity 3D is free. Just not the pro version. You download one version and then just say you want the free version when you start it up.

Unity website: [link]
HecktickXx Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I use 3DSMAX 2010. I tried Blender before and I couldnt get the hang of it =/ but 3DSMAX seem to be good for me (you have to pay for this one =/) lucky my brother had it.
MysticSteph Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Using Maya at college. My second year using it. The reason why we learn Maya is because it allows you to work for pretty much anyone after since most of them asks that you learn Maya (which they consider the hardest to learn).
CMA3D Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Professional General Artist
I've grown up with Blender just because it's open source, it's a really robust piece of software that is really fun to play with the python code and create plugins for specific tasks that the program may not do exactly what you want it to *or that you want to save time doing* (I did that with a few of my rendered pieces with multiple repeated objects). My university signed up for the Autodesk program so I have access to Maya and 3DSMax, but I'm so lost in how to just start >_< (been looking up tutorials lol)
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