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3D Studio Max to Maya - A Transition Guide

software


3D Studio Max to Maya - A Transition Guide

Author: EmEy Druckmann -

This document will familiarize 3D Studio Max users with Maya.

Workflow differences:

By default Maya exposes a lot more to the user with very few presets. 3D Studio Max on the other hand hides a lot from the user but adds more presets and canned solutions.



Traditionally 3D Studio Max is set for a linear work flow with a particular workflow in mind. Maya's open architecture allows the user to work in a non-liner fashion creating personal workflow.

Things to keep in mind:

The menus in Maya are grouped into menu sets. Each menu set corresponds to a module of the software: Animation, Modeling, Dynamics, and Rendering. As a user switches between menu sets, the right-hand menus change, but the left-hand menus remain the same. menu sets can be changed by a drop down menu or by the following hotkeys:

"f2" Animation

"f3" Modeling

"f4" Dynamics

"f5" Rendering

Feature Comparison Spread Sheet:

For your reference, all of the major functional areas of 3D Studio Max are matched with their equivalents in Maya in the table below. This doesn't mean that the suggested tools or workflow are ideal.

General UI and Menu Sets

3D Studio Max 4.0

Maya 4.0

File > Reset

Window > Setting / Preferences > Preferences

Edit Restore Default Settings

Undo

Redo

Ctrl + z or z (lower case)

Shift + z

Schematic View

Window > Hypergraph

Material Editor

Window > Rendering Editors > Multilister

Note: Max users will find The Multilister similar to the Max's Material Editor but should be encouraged to use the Hypershade which represents material connections in a graphical manner

Track View

Function Curves

Window > Animation Editors > Dope Sheet

Window > Animation Editors > Graph Editor

MaxScript

Listener

MEL

Script Editor and/or Command Line

Time Configuration

Animation Preferences

Display >

Named Selection Sets

Display> and/or Show>

Create > Sets >

Note: Maya Has a Layer Editor that can assist in the selection and display of object in the scene


Camera Control and View manipulation

Arc Rotate

Tumble Tool or ALT and LMB

Pan

Track Tool or ALT and MMB

Zoom

Zoom Tool or ALT CTR and LMB

Zoom Extents

View > Frame All or hot key "a"

Min / Max Toggle

Space Bar (quickly tap)


Geometry Types

Polygon Modeling

Polygon Modeling

Subdivision Surfaces - "Mesh Smooth"

Subdivision Modeling - "Hierarchical"

Patch Surface Modeling (Bezier Poly surfaces)

Bezier surfaces (Besier Control for NURBS)

NURBS Modeling

NURBS Modeling

Drawing Curves:

Drawing Curves:

Bezier curves.

NURB curves


Object Creation

Create > Standard Primitives >

Create > Particle Systems >

Create > Lights >

Create > Cameras >

Create > Helpers >

Create > Space Warps > Forces >

Create > Geometric/Deferrable >

Create > Modifier-Based >

Create > ? Primitives >

Particles >

Create > Lights >

Create > Cameras >

Create > Measure Tools >

Fields >

Deform > Create Nonlinear > ...

Deform > Create Nonlinear > ...

Duplicate

Mirror Selected objects

Array

Edit > Duplicate

Scale Object on negative axis

Duplicate Options Box

Dummy Object

Create > Locator

Loft

Extrude


Selection and Transformation

Select Object

Select And Move

Select And Rotate

Select And Scale

Reference Coordinate System

Select Tool or hotkey "q"

Move Tool or hotkey "w"

Rotate Tool or hotkey "e"

Scale Tool or hotkey "t"

Double Click on The Tool

Angle Snap

Rotate Tool has a snapping option

Select By Name

Window > Outliner

Selection Filter

Select By Object Type

Align

Modify > Snap Align Objects >


Animation and Hierarchy

Animate (button) *

Auto Keyframe toggle

* note: Maya does not create keyfarmes until the user creates an initial one.

Track View

Function Curves

Window > Animation Editors > Dope Sheet

Window > Animation Editors > Graph Editor

Animation (Default settings):

Bezier Position

TCB Rotation - Quaternion Based

Bazier Scale

By default Max creates one key frame for XYZ. If user requires separate control he/she must change controller.

Max has no rotation curves. It uses a custom TCB representation.

Animation (Default settings):

Position - Spline Tangent

Rotation - Spline Tangent

Scale - Spline Tangent

Rotation can be switched to Quaternion Based with curve representation.

Select and Link

Unlink Selection

Edit > Parent or p (lower case)

Edit > Unparent or Shift and P

Hierarchy > Pivot > Adjust Pivot >

Hierarchy > Pivot > Reset Pivot >

Hierarchy > Pivot > Reset >

Insert Key to Move pivot

Select By Component Type > Misc. > Local Rotation Axes to Orient Pivot

Modify > Freeze Transformations >

Modify > Reset Transformations >

Group

Used to lock multiple objects under a single node.

N/A

Maya's group is for creating hierarchy

IK:

HI IK (new to 4.0)

N/A

N/A

HD IK - Previous IK

Limb IK

IK:

SCIK (Single Chain)

RPIK (Rotate Plane)

Spline IK

Two Bone IK Source code is given to game customers.

Animation Menu Set
Skeleton > IK ?

Skin:

Max uses an envelope-based system.



Skin editing:

Primarily based on scaling envelopes.

Skin:

Maya uses a Rigid Bind or a Smooth Bind solution. Both systems use a Closest Joint or Closest Point.

Skin editing:

Primarily based on painting weights on components.

Animation Menu Set
Skin >


Modifiers

Modify >

Modify > Modifier List >

Edit Mesh

Channel Box or Attribute Editor
hotkey "Control + A"

Note: Many of these tools are found throughout Maya's menus.

All components (vertex, edge, face etc.) are available to the user by right clicking over the object or by hotkey "f8"

Examples from the Modifier list:

Morpher

Mesh Smooth

Optimize

FFD

UV Coordinates Modifiers

Conversion Modifiers

Unwrap UVW

Deform > Blend Shape

Polygons > Smooth

Polygons > Reduce

Deform > Lattice

Edit Polygons > Texture >

Modify > Convert > ...

Window> UV Texture Editor


Render and Preview

Render Scene

Quick Render

Render Last

Active Shade

Ram Player

Make Preview

Window > Rendering Editors > Render Globals ...

Window > Rendering Editors >Render View ...

IPR (see render view)

Fcheck (external)

Window > Playblast...

Material Editor

Window > Rendering Editors > Multilister

Note: Max users will find the Multilister similar to the Max's Material Editor but should be encouraged to use the Hypershade which represents material connections in a graphical manner


Plugins:

Character Studio

SkeletonWorks (Free on A|W web site)

Cloth Rays

Maya Cloth (Part of unlimited)

Shag Fur

Maya Fur (Part of unlimited)

Tree Factory

Paint Effects (Part of Maya complete)

Deep Paint

3D Paint (Part of Maya complete)


Note: If you are a new to Maya and have difficulty finding a certain tool or function within Maya you can go to help > find menu ? and type in the menu name.


Document Info


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