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3Ds Max vs Maya ?


FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 14, 2006
As a seasoned digital painter and unreal mapper (legacy) I've been wondering which program I should jump into to get the hold of static mesh making and high-end character design? I don't care about animation as I will not do it. I do not care about the learning curve or price either.

So which one you use and why? :confused:
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FNG / Fresh Meat
Aug 7, 2007
Maya vs 3ds max
The eternal question ...

I do not know Maya but I think they are exactly the same thing.

I use 3ds max for two obvious reasons:

- I have around me are people who can help me in my learning
- My customers mainly use 3ds max.

I will not speak of interface facilities ... because it is a habit that is primarily the work.
Neither of these software is easier than the other ...

Since 2006 I use this software daily.
Personally, it took me a year to learn to "manage" the software correctly.

Even today, I learn things from 3ds max and I am very far from controlling the entire program.

Patience, time, practice is the only key to success.
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Reactions: Szeder and Hicks


Grizzled Veteran
Jan 19, 2010
I'm learning both at school and I love Max. Maya is a total ***** tbh. The only reason why you should buy it is if you're into 3d movies. But since you are on the RO2 forums, you're prolly more into making 3d stuff for games so I would suggest to pick 3ds.


FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 2, 2009
Have to agree with the above comments, Max is a more commonly used program therefore you have more support if you run into a problem. I used Maya/Gaya for 2 years and I absolutely loathe and detest it, it bugs up and is unrepairable if you make the slightest mistake so you can guess how user friendly it is, Max has all the tools you need on the right side panel and is pretty self explanatory for finding the necessary tool for what ever it is you intend to make, for modeling go for Max.


FNG / Fresh Meat
Oct 26, 2009
I too tried using both. Max was the winner. It was a lot easier to pick up. Maya seemed so daunting with a steep learning curve just to get basic things working. Max is the preferred program in the gaming industry. I would also recommend other 3D apps, but because of ActorX, Max and Maya are your obvious choices but you will get stuff working quicker in Max. It even has some game dev friendly tools that Maya doesn't have stock, like the new Graphite Tools and such.

Since you're a digital painter though, look into ZBrush as well, you can do a lot of quick texturing and detailing with that program, then take your stuff into Max and tweak it to make it game ready.

Retopology workflow inside 3ds max using the Graphite Modeling Tools (Polyboost) - YouTube

Check that out.
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FNG / Fresh Meat
Dec 12, 2005
Canadian in Australia
Well I guess I'll be the black sheep and suggest Maya.

I started to learn 3D Modeling and Animation in college through 3D Studio Max 2.5 (I believe) and liked it at the time.

Then I went back to college after a year or so and they switch from 3D Studio Max to Maya 4.

At first I didn't like Maya and found it confusion and cumbersome..... but once I figured out it's GUI and how things operate, 3D Studio Max to me was limited, even more cumbersome than Maya and I seemed to end up having to do more work to do something that's pretty simple to do in Maya and never looked back.

For me, Maya is far more in-depth..... when it comes to working on Textures, Maya has a crap load more features and abilities to use, which are basically limitless.

I just find Maya a lot better when it comes to navigating, switching views.... and when it comes to modeling something from scratch, be that Poly's, Nurbs or SubDivs.... Maya works a lot better.

I made a tutorial back in the old RedOrchestraMod forums on how to build your own StugIII in Maya, step by step, starting with a mere 4-sided poly cube.

I tried to look for the old forums online and to find that thread again, and while the main page of the forums is located on that WayBack Archive site, nothing else seems to exist. :confused:

Which sucks, cuz I could use a refresher course. Back in the UT2004/ROMod Days, I do believe Maya was the weapon of choice for most users of the Unreal 2 Engine.

But all in all, 3D Studio Max..... Maya..... whatever works for you and whatever flows the best for your tastes is what you go for.

There are piles of resources online for both Maya and 3D Studio Max..... Tutorials, Plugins, Free Models, Textures, etc etc....

^ This site used to be called Highend3d.com back when I was in college, but switched over to this site. Check out the resources / tutorials, as well as other people's samples of work/design.... quite an impressive selection of content.

Both programs have their pros and their cons.... either can look cumbersome and impossible to use, as well as frustrating.... If you don't find the right resources to follow.

If you find the right resources and tutorials to explain things very clearly and straight forward, everybody and their monkey could use either program with ease.

Maya also has a number of brush tools, as well as many pre-loaded effects, etc...... they've also organized their tools bars according to what you're working with and can easily cycle through all the available tools by using the F-keys or going through the various tabs below those.... as well as being capable of customizing your own tool bar(s) to keep all the things you use in one spot, rather than cycling through different sections to use what you need.

For me, the variety, the customization of the GUI, the texture capabilities, the rendering processes, the detailed lighting..... and a pile more things in Maya will always win me over.

Some say 3D Max is more simple to use compared to Maya, which in some cases is quite true..... but for me, it's too simple and sometimes the things I want to do that I can easily do in Maya, are limited and end up being more work in 3D Studio Max simply because its options are too simple..... it limits me.
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FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 19, 2011
Maya > Max for animating

As for modeling, its just personal preference. I find maya a bit harder to use than max though. Theyre both equally as powerful.

Heres my gallery so you can take my input a bit more seriously and with more credit, I asked the same question for years: http://frell262.deviantart.com/gallery/


FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 1, 2012
Thanks for sharing nice information.I have been looking information on difference between 3ds Max and Maya.This discussion has solve my concern to a great extent.I am very grateful.


Apr 13, 2012
Maya > Max for animating

As for modeling, its just personal preference. I find maya a bit harder to use than max though. Theyre both equally as powerful.
like you said. i personal prefer maya than max. and i think max is much harder to learn, then maya. but this is personal preference. both are top and have their "strangeness" like every software ^^.

the question is how fast you get into one of the programms. best is, try out both :)


FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 26, 2012

Here's a little something I made in Maya today. I thought I might just put it here..

Do you know what medal it is? Well, I would have given you rep if you knew.. For now I'll give the one you can't see, atleast. :D
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FNG / Fresh Meat
Aug 13, 2011
I use maya. Why?
I find the interface alot better then any other 3D program.
Its easy to navigate.
U dont have to like in max, make objects in to editeble pollys.
With the interface its easy to change between eges and verts.

The only thing I miss is that in max everytime u make a new thing it makes it in to a differant color.


FNG / Fresh Meat
Oct 16, 2010
I prefer the new versions of blender mainly because of the interface which I feel is much more intuititive then both programs. I guess the issue with blender is its the less unreal friendly of the 3 programs.


FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 7, 2013
You are asking the wrong question? There are faster polygonal modeling tools out there, like Modo. What about some of the others? Anything but the Autodesk pricing scheme?