February 3, 2023 Yen Lily

3ds Max and Maya: which one is better?

Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya are two of the most famous 3D software which artists and studios often use in many fields. They both have different things to offer, and in this article, let’s compare them. We will try to give you an overview of key different between them, and what these two are capable of.

Which one is easier to use/learn?

Both 3ds max and Maya has their own user interface and workflows. However, 3ds max could be a little bit easier to use or learn for beginners where it has most of toolset and modifiers available to ease the modeling process on the user interface.

On the other hand, Maya lacks the availability of small tools on the interface, and demands technical knowledge and a background in coding. That makes it difficult to grasp compared to 3ds max. However, Maya is the one of the most powerful and popular programs you need to know if you want to go far in the video games, animated films, TV series or visual effects because of its ability of character design and rigging.

A very important factor you should consider before learning these two programs is that 3ds max is available only for Windows, while Maya is available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Compatibility with render engines of 3ds max and Maya

When it comes to rendering, both have built-in render engines, and also support third party renderers (like Arnold, Redshift, Octane, V-Ray, etc.) which use GPU power.

Because 3ds Max is very well-known for architectural visualization, it supports some render engines for Archviz as well, such as Corona, Fstorm, Lumion, Twinmotion, Enscape, D5 Render, etc. Redshift or V-Ray are also very famous.

For Maya, it comes with Arnold, which is a strong and reliable render engine. Arnold has proved its power in many feature movies and product, and always can compete with other external renderers. Also, from version 5.3, Arnold has developed GPU rendering option to make use of GPU power. Redshift and V-Ray are also a common choice for Maya, while Octane is not a common pick for Maya or 3ds max.

3ds Max and Maya in the pipeline of 3D

Toolset and 3D modeling

As mentioned above, because of its user-friendly interface, 3ds max is much easier and capable of modeling than Maya if you are new with computer graphics. It allows you to make complex and realistic 3D models with speed and many functions. Moreover, if you are working in architecture or product designing, 3ds max is perfect for them as it has access to robust libraries for 3D design and 3D printing, which could help you achieve more atmospheric visualization.


For animation purpose, 3ds max and Maya are possibly the same. However, Maya is still a preferred choice for many professionals because of its process flow, ease of use hen using for animation, and the amount of tools available. Maya has huge library of animation tools for many purposes like movies, video games, etc. And if you are familiar with language like Python, MEL, you will find the animation work quite customizable in Maya.


Rigging is always a strength of Maya, where it allows you to work in advanced and complex rigs. It can also achieve better results if you do more programming in MEL. 3ds max is easier to rig, but less realistic and less complex if you compared to Maya.

3ds Max and Maya: which one is better?

This is a very hard question because as we explore, both has their strengths and weaknesses in some cases. It really depends on the purposes of use and how skillful you are. While Maya can be a complete package, it still excels in animation, rigging and character design, where you can see it earns its reputation in many featured films.

On the other hand, 3ds max is stronger in modeling, texturing and meshing models. It’s also a powerful tool where you can use for Architectural and product designs. The abundance of library, textures, and render engines used for Archviz will help you to create massive environments and worlds with ease.

Final thought

We have explored the differences between 3ds Max and Maya, from learning/using possibilities, their strengths over the other and their application in 3D pipeline. If you are a beginner and would like to work with Archviz and product design, 3ds Max is more suitable. Maya is more advanced and would be best for someone who want to work in the big industry of featured films, video games, VFX.

Both 3ds Max and Maya often come with third render engines like Redshift, Octane, V-Ray, Arnold, etc.. Whether or not you use any of those render engine, you still can find a suitable package at iRender.

For Redshift, V-Ray and Octane, we suggest you our 2/4/8 x RTX3090s/RTX4090s. For Arnold rendering, you can choose our single RTX3090. 

Moreover, iRender provides single card package for Archviz renderers like Lumion, Twinmotion, Enscape, D5 Render. If you work in 3ds Max with one of those software, iRender is the best option for you.

Let’s see some of 3ds Max and Maya benchmark with Redshift on our package 8 x RTX3090s:

Let’s see some of 3ds Max and Maya benchmark with V-Ray, Fstorm, Arnold:

Not only those powerful configuration, iRender also provides you more services. From NVLink for large scene (contact for more details), to useful and free transferring tool named iRender drive/GPUhub sync. Our price is flexible with hourly rental which has pay-as-you-go basis, daily/ weekly/ monthly subscription with discount from 10-20%. Plus, you have 24/7 support service via livechat with real human who will support you whenever you encounter an issue.

Register an account today to experience our service. Or contact us via WhatsApp: (+84) 916806116 for advice and support.


Thank you & Happy Rendering!

Source: educba.com, sculpteo.com, nbyit.com

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Yen Lily

Hi everyone. Being a Customer Support from iRender, I always hope to share and learn new things with 3D artists, data scientists from all over the world.


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