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3D technology is being applied in various fields at an unprecedented speed. Whether it is because of interest or a desire to develop in related fields, learning 3D creation is seems to be a great trend. Facing a variety of 3D production software on the market, beginners may find it difficult to choose which the right one to get start with.

Blender VS Maya

So in this article, XRender will take two popular 3D modeling and creation software, Blender and Maya, as examples, to compare the difference between them, and hopefully, providing you some tips on the software selection.

| About Blender

Blender is an open-source 3D creation software from Blender Foundation that is free of usage. Blender includes almost all basic features for 3D content creation, such as 3D modelling, sculpting, animation, UV mapping, texturing, rendering, as well as digital drawing, video editing, and compositing, etc. In other words, by using Blender, you are having a free access to an all-in-one 3D creation program.

Blender 3.3 splash by Piotr Krynski

The latest stable version of Blender is 3.3 LTS, released September 7th, 2022, brought many facilitating tools and huge newer features. Highlights of the latest update including a new hair grooming system, adding geometry nodes, more possibilities for grease pencil, improve rendering for both Cycles and Eevee and more. You may have an over view with the new version here with XRender: Blender 3.3 LTS Now Available.

All Blender versions released so far are free to download via its official website and runs on Windows, maxOS and Linux. Blender also provides demo files as well as related tutorials that can help users to explore and have better understanding of all the features. You may download many demo files that focus on different creation features from here.

| About Maya

As one of the leading 3D modeling and animation software in the field, Maya is developed by Autodesk, the same company as 3ds Max, Arnold, Revit, AutoCAD and many other well-know 3D creation software.

Scene created in Maya showing an astronaut standing on a crashed space shuttle in a snowy forest landscape

Maya includes almost many dedicated features needed for 3D content creation like modeling, sculpting, rendering, animation and rigging. The program has been published for a long time with stable updates, and has been widely used in fields like animated films, TV series, and visual effects.

VFX Breakdown: Game of Thrones: Season 7 by Mackevision from Autodesk Media and Entertainment on Vimeo.

From TV series, special effects movies, to animation, games and commercial visualization projects, Maya can be found in many well-known works. Among all the stunning works, Game of Thrones is also one of them! Check out the VFX breakdown of Game of Thrones made with Maya by Maxkevision above.

The software supports Windows, maxOS and Linux with its latest stable version Maya 2023. This software requires a license to use it through a subscription and the price starts at $1,785 a year. You may click to learn more information about Maya from its product website, or check tutorials on how to use it from its official learning channel above.

| Blender VS Maya

While both Blender and Maya are good programs for 3D creation, which one should a beginner choose? Below are some points of the two software that we have compared, you may compare and choose according to your actual needs.

Target Group

Maya is more suitable for large-scale projects that needs team cooperation. The software gets a clear division of features and is suitable for multi-software collaboration due to the support for customizable interface as well as workflow.

Maya Customization

In addition, Maya together with some other mainstream software like ZBrush and 3ds Max, form a complete set of Physically Based Rendering (PBR) workflow, which suits more in the whole creation process for many team and studios. That is, using Maya for animation usually fits better in team work. With so many years of precipitation in the field of animation/VFX/film production, Maya has become the unified standard software of countless production companies/studios, and has even become a consensus among the upstream and downstream of the entire industry. Its commercial recognition and market share are extremely high. Therefore, if you plan to take 3D content creation as a career and hope to work in some large studios or project teams in the future, Maya will be a better choice.

XRender render cases.gif

On the other hand, Blender is designed more for smaller studios with less than 100 people, or just individual studios and freelancers. As a rising star, Blender is not necessarily inferior to Maya in the coverage of functional modules. However, its current main user groups are mainly individuals and small studios, and its popularity and workflow adaptation in the industry are still far from Maya. So for beginners who are tending to take 3D creation as a hobby for fun, Blender may suitable more for you.

The following table shows a comparison of some advantages and disadvantages between the two software, you may take it as a reference.


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