When you get two strong market contenders the question always arises well which one is the best and what is it that makes it best? The same concept applies to almost any product and the world of animation software is no different.
Therefore, we look at the two major software being 3DMax and Maya. Everything has good and bad points and after all the two products are competitive against each other by their respective owners. The difference here is that both of these dynamic software packages are owned by the same Company. Now that does not make any sense that a company would compete against itself does it? The motive for the acquisition could be to buy the competitor out and then shelve the weaker of the two. This is not the case here however, as Autodesk now owns both 3D Max and Maya and does not intend to take either one of them off the market. It may not sound like it but their concept is very viable.
As we said both of these items, have their strengths and weaknesses but are well liked and well used in the industry. Autodesk simply has decided to take the weaknesses of both and strengthen them with the attributes from its counterpart.
Their strong points.
3D Max is a favorite with the architectural and visualization animators, whereas Maya is the one of choice for TV and film industry. 3D Max has great conceptual modeling tools, large-scale environment creation and works well with other Autodesk product lines to name a few of the main features. Maya on the other hand has amazing character rigging, animation layering as well as motion capture handling capabilities that surpass 3d Max.
Maya has great advantages over 3D Max regarding Nurbs modeling. This is because the software has taken on a different approach in this area, which means it is easier to utilize. Nurbs are complex surfaces it would be the technique you would use to create a polygon for example. The effects that the animator can get regarding fluid are impressive with Maya. It will allow very realistic simulations of fluid and gas reaction in the real and the ocean shader it has implemented produces astounding quality for water animation. In addition with Maya, you can free hand draw and utilize a 3D paint effects that include some special effects as well done with what is called Paint Effects.
To determine which is the best first depends on your budget as 3D Max is more affordable, but if your purpose is Architectural and Visualization then you aren't going to get a bargain because Maya is better suited here. For the special effects in animation then Maya is the choice. Finally, the decision will come down to what your computer can handle. Maya operates on Windows, Mac and Linux with Max being restricted to Window based systems only. In any event, with either one of these software packages you are going to have the best of both worlds.