Monday, July 12, 2010

Brief comments on Maya and Blender

Subdivides edges more intelligently. When you're working in squares, it gives you squares.
The vertex selection tools are weaker, lack of occlusion ability ends up selecting right through the object, more orbits needed to check yourself. (Learned there is such a thing as back face occlusion, never learned where it is.)
Nifty sculpt options, but still prefer a lattice.
Nice extruding along a curve. The extrusion can be manipulated neatly after it's extruded.
Animation graph editing is the_bomb.

Prefer the phonetic hot keys to Maya's keyboard placement hotkeys.
Prefer the extrusion in Blender, more hotkey, less pretty graphics.
Less overall crap in your way. Less camera battles selecting things.
Could have to do with 30" monitor at home running 2500 lines vs school 24 at 1900. But them Deluxe Handles in Maya were pretty big.
Googling help generally resulted in more and better examples. Blender nerds tend to prefix every explanation by declaring how easy X is, which I'm less convinced has to do with ease and more to do with presenting their massive E-nis for praise and adulation. But that's how the open source community works, where there isn't a financial incentive there's a posturing incentive. Net result, lots of help in varying shades of pedantic.

So full of options, good luck finding anything. Taking this class showed me lots of things I didn't know even existed and technique I hadn't thought of. Not bad for a weekend class.

Other observation on financial vs social incentives:
A large firm will want pro-paid for dev tools same reason it will want certified staff. Efficiency in standardisation and contracts signed in eloquent legalese for more effective lawsuits should it come to that.
Yes, a significant part of that 4 grand price tag is the cost of lawsuits. (And later learned Mental Ray rendering, which is irrelevant to Blue Mars.)
Smalltime operators may be less worried about suing and more about just getting the job done efficiently and cheaply. Blender will do just fine for a lone gun contractor or developer with no intention of hopping into standardised employment or expanding operations into the realm of Large. For the lone gun, things like Maya or Illustrator or Max or Photoshop are merely marketing points and might as well be classified as an advertising expense for all the difference I can see between the capabilities between them and open source alternatives.

I will probably be buying Flash Pro, though, so brace yourself, as soon as I jump on a wagon it means there's a strong chance it's headed off a cliff over shark infested seas, on waterskis.

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