Last Updated on Sunday, March 3, 2019 by WorldTechpedia

Introduction | Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya, developed by Autodesk, is an industry leading animation software application that offers a comprehensive creative feature set for 3D computer animation a highly extensible production platform. It enables video professionals to create highly professional 3D cinematic animations in the animated film, television programs, visual effects, and video games.

Maya 1.0 was first developed and released in 1998 by Alias Wavefront and later in 2005; it was renamed to “Autodesk Maya” after Autodesk, Inc. acquired Maya. Since its release, Maya has been widely used in the industries of films and video games to create graphics for many Academy Award-winning films and visual effects for games.

Maya 3D animation software offers a creative feature set and tools such as drawing paper and pencils, erasers, paints and brushes, light tables, and transparencies for much better animations.

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About Computer Animation

Autodesk Maya Requirements

Autodesk Maya 2018

Autodesk Maya 2018 software supports the following 64-bit operating systems with minimum system requirements minimum with the following hardware and software:


  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher professional operating system
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.10.5 and 10.11.x operating system
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 & 7.2 WS operating system
  • CentOS 6.5 & 7.2 Linux operating system
  • Nvidia Guide for Virtualization with GRID & VM Ware


  • CPU: 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor with SSE4.2 instruction set
  • Graphics Hardware: Refer to the Maya Certified Hardware page for a detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards
  • RAM: 8GB of RAM (16GB or more recommended)
  • Disk Space: 4GB of free disk space for install
  • Pointing Device: Three-button mouse

Web browser

Autodesk to access to online supplemental content recommends the latest version of the following web browsers:

  • Apple Safari
  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox 

Autodesk Maya Price

The new Autodesk Maya is the new popularity of light versions of programs for mobile and app development and is leaving behind other animated models for games by launching its new Maya 3D tool for game developers. The full price of the new Maya is quite expensive i.e. $50 a month to rent it.

Though the rental price is high, it still attracts dozens of new independent developers who is determined on making 3D animated objects and characters for their mobile and online games.

Autodesk Maya Alternative

Autodesk Maya software is without any doubt, a powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution but it may get addressed to some challenges faced by everyone.

Popular alternatives to Autodesk Maya for Windows, Mac, Linux, Web, I-phone and more are listed below:

  1. Bender: Blender is a free application and an open source for 3D creation suite with everything in common except the look and the render quality.
  2. Wings 3D: Wings 3D is an advanced subdivision modeler inspired by Nendo and Mirai from Izware, Wings 3D developed in 2001, is both powerful and easy to use.
  3. Cinema 4D: It is 3D modeling and design software from Maxon is simple enough for beginners to learn 3D modeling, animation, rendering and motion graphics.
  4. MODO: MODO is a 3D modeling, rendering, and texturing software used by artists who want to explore and develop their ideas.
  5. K-3D: K-3D is free animation and 3-D modeling software that features a plug-in oriented engine making the content versatile.

Also Read: Laptops For Animation

Autodesk Maya VS Blender

maya autodesk vs Blender

Autodesk Maya, developed by Alias Systems Corporation and now owned by an Auto desk, Inc is a 3D computer graphics application, which runs efficiently on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. It is widely used for creating 3D applications like video games, animation movies, TV series, visual effects etc.

Blender, developed by Blender Foundation, is an open source and 3D computer graphics software toolset which is made available in Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. It is widely used for creating animated visual effects in the movies, 3D models and video games.

Maya provides a variety suite of tools of 3D creation work ranging between modeling; animation etc which can be used by the developers to edit and create 3D models in various formats and animate them.

Blender is a non-profit group which has a wide variety of tools which can be used to create animated feature films, games, and interactive application. It is suitable for almost any kind of media projects.

Maya provides software interface which is customizable, helping skilled developers to take their productivity to a greater level. It extends their functionality with Maya where developers can customize the interface, by writing down scripts and macros.

Blender is a cross-platform application having a small set of memory and hard drive requirements compare to other 3D creation tools. Blender’s interface uses OpenGL to provide a consistent experience across all supportive hardware platforms.

There is true that Maya is the standard version for 3D applications there as it is a very powerful program which allows a user to animate, stimulate and render.  Blender whereas, is under the shadow of Maya making it consider as an underdog in the 3D industry. But that does not make Blender is a worse software tool.

Both tools have their own much unique functionality in Blender that to help to speed up the workflow or simply a task easier though, Maya provides certain features which are way superior to Blender.

Differences between Autodesk Maya and 3d Max

The both Autodesk 3DS Max and Maya, owned and developed by the same company, Autodesk, Inc are both 3D computer graphics programs used by developers for making 3D animations, models, and images in TV commercial studios, and architectural visualization studios to create video games, animated film, TV series, and visual effects.

It is mostly used by people who are not interested in becoming professional animators as they are most commonly used in the film and video game industries. If you’re new to either of the programs, here’s a tutorial for 3DS Max for beginners and an introduction to the animation workflow in Maya.

Different industries have their own preferences for 3DS Max or Maya. Many artists prefer to use Maya for the advanced animation and some use 3DS Max, most often used for architects and engineers to easily interact with AutoCad and other Autodesk design tools. Hence, both programs are used equally within the gaming industry, although developers have their own opinions favoring each other:

  1. Ease of Use

While 3DS Max and Maya have their own features in which 3DS Max is favored than Maya, making it the more user-friendly of the two. 3DS Max’s basic functions can be learned in under two months whereas Maya, presents a very steep learning curve.

Many companies hire workers able to master Maya because it is considered the harder of the two programs to learn and you a capable of adapting to a new modeling program.

  1. Functionality and User Interface

The Maya and 3DS Max, are two similar applications with very different features and functions. The 3DS Max interacts with objects where you can learn to name them, move them, rotate them, extrude them, and work with them in your models and has detailed visual effects features that allow for the creation of hair, water and other complex particle systems.

Maya, on the other hand includes a customizable interface that provides a quick and easy way to create and animate characters by using a skeleton rigging feature.

  1. Compatibility

Since 3D artists and animators work with a wide variety of tools and programs, they have to be adaptable with either Maya or 3DS Maya and have the basic knowledge about the way in which these applications work together. 3DS Max is compatible with motion capture software used in video game development whereas Maya is compatible with various effects used in creating realistic environments and advanced lightning rigs. Toda, both Maya and 3DS Max are compatible with current video game development kits, but 3DS Max is considered to have more features and options.


Ignoring the negative reviews you can determine which program will work best for you by trying out the both. If you’re a student with a valid ID or a parent, you will be able to get a full version of Maya and 3DS Max for free with a 13 month from any University bookstore.

Autodesk Maya Download

The steps below will help you install the Autodesk Maya:

Step 1: Determine the version of Maya you need and check your course.

Step 2: Click the link provided below:

Step 3:  Select the Maya software you want to download

Step 4:  Create an Autodesk Educational by clicking the “CREATE ACCOUNT.”

Step 5: Enter the required information with verified email address. Then click “NEXT”. Click “CREATE ACCOUNT” once its complete and check your email for a message from “Autodesk”.

Step 7: Click on the link from your email and close the pop up that says “Account verified.”

Step 8:  Return to the Autodesk Free Software and “SIGN IN” with your email/password.

Step 9:  Select your area of study and Click “NEXT” to continue. After the account is set, Click “CONTINUE”.

Step 10: Your serial number and product key will populate.  Save your serial number and product key which will be required to activate your software. Click “BROWSER DOWNLOAD” to begin downloading the installation file.

Step 11: Open the installation file once downloading is finished.

Step 12:  From the pop-up window, click the colored Install icon or else open Finder and click “Install Maya 2017” from your list of Devices.

Step 13: Click “Open” to launch the installer

Step 14: Click “Continue” and accept the License Agreement.

Step 15: During installation, enters your computer’s Administrator password.

Step 16: Once the installation completes, click “Done.”

Step 17: Open Finder and then Applications, then the Autodesk folder to get to Maya.

Step 18: Select “Enter a Serial Number” when you first launch Maya.

Step 19: Click “I Agree” to acknowledge all the Privacy Statement.

Step 20: To continue Click “Activate”

Step 21: Enter your Serial Number and Product Key from the previous steps then click “Next.”

Step 22: Click “Finish” to complete installation and use your new software.