When comparing Blender vs Autodesk Maya, the Slant community recommends Blender for most people. In the question“What is the best 3D modeling software?” Blender is ranked 1st while Autodesk Maya is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose Blender is:
Blender is licensed under the GPL.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free and open source
Blender is licensed under the GPL.
Pro Python extensibility
Blender embeds Python 3, which can be used to write add-ons, tools, extend the interface, rig characters and automate tasks.
Pro Powerful animation suite
Blender provides a full rigging system, and automates animation by interpolating between keyframe positions.
Pro Wide import and export format support
Support lots of modern 3D formats including DAE and FBX - ideal for game developers.
Pro Supports both low-poly and hi-poly modeling
Pro Regular release schedule
Releases are made every ~3 months.
Pro Has a good rendering engine
Blender runs the Cycles path tracing engine under the hood. Cycles is a very powerful rendering engine capable of full path tracing (light fall off, caustics, volumetrics). It is mostly compatible with OpenCL and CUDA rendering, and is implementing mycropolygon displacement features.
Pro Keyboard shortcuts
Good keyboard shortcuts for everything. Keep your left hand on the keyboard and your right hand on the mouse.
Pro It has sculpting and 3D painting features
Although blenders 3d painting and sculpting tools (mostly painting) are not at par with specialized software like Substance painter, z brush, or mari; it is more than capable of getting most jobs done if the user takes the time to learn and understand it.
Pro Includes video editing & compositing tools
Blender's node-based compositor has comprehensive video sequencing and post-processing features.
Pro Node based modeling support
Pro Very useful for a freelancer
It offers a round solution (it covers many areas and professional fields) for a freelancer, for free, constantly updated, very polished, and allowing high quality results that clients do require. After some learning, it becomes very useful for professional work.
Pro Coherent and streamlined workflow / internal use logic
The trick with Blender is to get used to its usage philosophy, as it keeps consistent through all the application. Once you get it, every feature or addition is learnt naturally, almost effortlessly.
Pro Myriad of features
Has an extensive list of tools for modelling, look development, rigging, animation, rendering and exporting.
Pro Combining powerful, realistic rendering with ease of use
Arnold is now the default interactive renderer, which can be found in the render settings. Solid Angle's global illumination ray tracer is used by many Hollywood studios.
Pro Industry standard
Maya has been the industry standard for 3d modelling and animation for years.
The MEL language allows one to either write custom scripts or to download them.
Extensive support from Autodesk and users around the world.
Con Steep learning curve
Blender is not a very intuitive 3D modeling software. It has its own ways of doing things, and it is often hard to guess how to achieve simple tasks.
Con Poor particle system
The Blender particle system can at times be a little limiting and finicky (and buggy) to get working. Even if it can get most straight forward jobs done, it is far from the most advanced system, and could benefit largely from advancements.
Don't expect to get Maya cheap. It is considerably more expensive than lesser 3D programs.
Con Difficult to learn
Expect to look at tons of tutorials.
Con Poorly organized interface
The menu organization doesn't make sense, and leaves you searching all over the place for functions that should fall under one category. For example, the option to bake your animation isn't under the Animation menu.