If you are learning 3D Art should you learn how to use Autodesk Maya or Blender software?
You may just have started learning 3D or you may be interested in starting your journey and be questioning whether you should be learning one software over the other. Before I get to the answer I will first point out the benefits of each software.
Pros and Cons of learning Autodesk Maya
The main benefit of learning the Autodesk Maya software is that it is more widely used in the video game industry. Most studios use either Maya or 3ds Max, though the use of 3ds Max has been decreasing through the years. One only needs to glance at any video game job opening description to see that almost always Maya is listed as the software required. Another benefit of Maya is that it has some great animation tools. I am not an animator myself, but from what I have read online Maya has some of the best animation tools in the industry. Other benefits include a friendly user interface, easy to set up rigging tools, and decent vfx creation.
One of the main cons of learning Maya is that because it is the most widely used software in the video game industry, it rarely innovates. You will quickly learn that Maya is always a few steps behind other software, some may argue even Blender, in terms of tools. This is specially evident in their modeling tools. Another drawback of Maya is its price point, which unless you are a student, you will have to pay.
Pros and Cons of learning Blender
The main benefit of Blender is that it's free to use. This means that all you need is download the software and start learning, you don't need to worry about licenses or payments on a yearly basis. The fact that Blender is free is also good when it comes to the number of resources online; because there is no cost of entry there are more people out there who have access to it and many of them are making excellent tutorials. Blender is also more community based than Maya is as you will find a lot of forums, resources, and help from those within the Blender community. Many will also argue that Blender has more robust tools than Maya does; Blender also benefits from having a way to sculpt and texture models within the software. In terms of features you could say Blender has more to offer than Maya, from advanced modeling tools, a game engine within the software, and even video editing capabilities. Without a doubt Blender has a lot to offer and this is very impressive given the fact that its free.
The main drawback of learning Blender is that it is not widely used in the video game industry; you will rarely see a job posting even mentioning Blender within the job description. Because of this, if you learn Blender you have to be ready to transition to a different software, most likely Maya, if you plan on working in the video game industry. Another drawback, and this is a personal opinion, is that the user interface is not very user friendly and the controls within Blender feel a little clunky.
So which should you learn?
The answer is a lot simpler than what you may think. The fact is, whatever you learn in one software can easily be transferred to the next. Sure keyboard shortcuts and names of tools may differ between software, but it should not be too difficult to transition. The real answer to this question is that it really doesn't matter, but although it doesn't matter there are some things to keep in mind. If you learn Blender you should be aware that there aren't many studios that list Blender as a required software. If you get a job in the video game industry you should expect that you will be required to use Autodesk Maya or in rare occasions 3ds Max. As mentioned earlier, this should not be too much for someone who has already mastered the art of 3D modeling.
If we want to get more specific with the answer I will narrow it to this, if your goal is to work in the video game industry professionally you should learn Maya. If your goal is to learn 3D for fun or as a hobby feel free to learn Blender.
The main takeaway from this is that you shouldn't focus too much on the software you learn, but more on the techniques and procedures needed to learn the craft of 3D modeling or animation.
What do you think? Do you agree with my assessment on the matter? Do you think it's best to learn one over the other?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below !