What is Maya and is it right for me?

Someone at work mentioned a package called Maya to edit my images. Is this the right thing for me?


Autodesk Corporation’s Maya is a 3D Modeling and Rendering program, similar to Lightwave, 3DMax, Pixar’s Renderman, and other professional 3D programs. Along with Renderman, it is considered one of the top programs in its class in the world, and arguably THE top program in its class in the world. Many pictures have received Academy Awards for Visual Effects because their artists used Maya for the film. One of the most recent examples is the Oscar winning “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – it used Maya for its visual effects throughout the picture. King Kong was also the beneficiary of effects created by Maya.

Many special effects companies use Maya. More notable examples are Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic, and Matte World Digital.

Autodesk has won a total of 5 Oscars itself from the Academy for significant contibutions to the Motion Picture industry. Last year, it won the Scientific and Technical Oscar for Maya’s new Fluid Effects, which allow graphic artists to realistically design better fluid and gas effects on film.

Autodesk’s achievements with Maya are not limited to movies – it has also received many awards from the Television and Broadcasting industries. As another person here pointed out, it is also used in the Gaming Industry for 3D game modeling and effects.

Maya is not on the list of cheap programs, even if you’re a student. The full version runs close to $2000 or more depending on the version and what you get with it. However, you can download a trial version from the Autodesk site.

Simply put though, it is not for the beginner or casual user. You wouldn’t use it for custom challenge coins, for example. It is for those who are professional artists, working at the top of their craft. The same can be said for Renderman, as it has been used by Pixar Animation to create its Oscar winning movies over the years. Many people don’t realize that Pixar was originally a Computer company started by George Lucas.

I would guess something like this is actually out of your league. You probably need something simple. I would recommend looking at Paint.Net, it’s the one I use 😉

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