The soaring development of visual effects in the recent years has created stunning visual pieces in growing avenues for entertainment, medicine, history, and science. From the mind-boggling effects in Marvel's Doctor Strange to the CG reenactments of famous aerial battles in Dog Fights, on the History Channel, to gorgeous 3d projections and light shows in concerts and festivals, the past decade has continued to produce works that challenge the limits of spectacle, both on screen and off, and one of the biggest driving forces behind this visual revolution is Autodesk's, Maya. If you were to recall five of the most visually impressive films, games, music videos, commercials or visualizations you've seen in the past 10 years, you can be sure four of them contained a Maya render or two (or ten thousand, for that matter). Maya's digital footprint in all of these industries is immense, and so deeply indented we'd likely see Maya rendering everywhere for the rest of our lives. What made Maya the leading solution for computer generated visual effects? A user base familiarized with the software that has become today's leading figures in their industry. Almost every shot breakdown of a popular movie, game or advertisement features Maya modeling, Maya animating and Maya rendering (with the integration of render engines like Arnold or V-Ray). Fledgling visual effects artists who study these breakdowns read about them in magazines or participate in forums are pointed down the path of learning Maya by the impressive work, and the knowledge that this is the software that industry professionals use. |
This trend has prompted external service providers such as Chaos Group, Solid Angle, Peregrine Labs, and Joe Alter to provide rendering and simulation solutions closely integrated with Maya to enhance its capabilities and eligibility as the most comprehensive tool for VFX.
Render farms, which host a score of computers to render CG projects simultaneously, have also been sure to include support for Maya rendering, some even only supporting Maya and other Autodesk's products. To know Maya is to dramatically increase an aspiring CG artist's chance for a seat at the Industry Professional's table, and it is for this sole reason that so many young users have accepted Maya as THE program to learn, but is it truly better than its competitors? It would be nearly impossible to argue otherwise, as the ubiquity from being at the top of the CG food chain affords a bigger workforce, more partnerships with relevant leading service providers, and a steady stream of wide-eyed neophytes which would only lead to deeper and more rapid development of the software. The future of Maya rendering and it's pervasiveness in the realm of computer graphics now rests on Autodesk's business decisions, and their forums are a testament to where they're headed.
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