Mac Maya 4.5 – NO Feature Parity

I just returned from an Apple seminar in Chicago, a demo of Shake 2.5. It was an interesting demo, but I came looking for one specific piece of information on the new Maya 4.5 Mac release. They had a working Maya 4.5 installation, so I found the answer. And it is very bad news.

Alias|Waverfront has been heralding their Mac/PC/Irix products as having version parity. Unfortunately Mac Maya 4.5 is missing one feature that I consider essential to providing feature parity, the EPS import tool 3D Invigorator. If you do any 3D modeling professionally, you know you will be using 3D packages like Adobe Illustrator to make templates for common tasks like 3D beveled type. Maya’s 3.5’s native EPS import tool is broken and often makes huge errors converting type outlines. The tool is completely useless. This problem was solved in PC versions by the 3D Invigorator plugin, which includes a lot of bonus features. Maya 4.5 includes 3D Invigorator for free, but NOT in the Mac version. The Maya docs say it is not included in the Mac version and must be purchased separately. If you check the Zaxwerx site, you will see that they have discontinued 3D Invigorator, it is replaced by ProModeler for the price of $495. But there is no Mac version. $495 isn’t a bad price for a Maya plugin, but hell, it’s free with the Maya 4.5 PC version. What the hell is Alias|Wavefront thinking when they claim feature parity, when the Mac version has no way to reliably import EPS files? Without this single feature, Maya will be difficult, if not impossible to use in a professional workflow.

One thought on “Mac Maya 4.5 – NO Feature Parity”

  1. Charles, in your opinion is maya any way better with 3ds max? i was considering maya before for my 3d renderings…
    [I’ve never used 3ds Max but as far as I know, all the major developments are around Maya. I have long felt like I should remove this message, since Mac Maya did get feature parity (roughly) in the next version after I posted this. But I am rather irritated, I invested heavily in the last PPC Mac, a Quad G5 with a Quadro FX4500 video board ($1600 upgrade) on the presumption I would be stuck with PPC-only Maya for a while. Unfortunately, that was the last PPC version, they went Intel Mac Only, one of the first developers to do so. Now I’m stuck on the old, obsolete version and they never got the video drivers working properly for my expensive video board. –Charles]

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