Moving a pipeline from Maya to Blender

I realize this a very complex and large topic, but I am curious if anyone has had a general positive or negative experience in moving an animation pipeline to Blender from Maya?

I am arguing for caution and pragmatism, but there seems to be a lot of hype around Blender right now.

Any advice, insight or words of wisdom are appreciated.


I only have experience (personal and through a friend from another studio) of modelling departments transitioning to Blender and that part so far seems to be very smooth.

Rigging and animation… I’m not sure myself, more interested in other replies in this thread. I’d love to, I love FOSS and Linux and such, moving to blender for work could make it just a bit easier to daily drive Linux as well :slight_smile: But so far I’m terrified at the thought of the amount of things I will need to re-learn, because of how deeply I got with rigging, scripting\tools dev and animation and vfx in Maya.

That said, after trying to write a couple tools for our studio for Blender I’m amazed about it’s Python API and documentation. It’s much more pythonic and intuitive than anything Maya can offer. What I miss is Qt, however, Blender uses it’s own UI library which complicates transition a bit more.

In short, yes you can, no it isn’t easy but it is very dependent on first understanding what and how things work. So I can’t answer more direct, the biggest issue anyone has it is just finding people.

There is one crucial difference between these two applications. Maya shouldn’t crash tools and pipelines with updates and new versions. At least that is what they are trying to do. On the other hand, Blender developers don’t really care about this. It is open to be edited in any possible way. They can change functions and tools names, API, everything. Nothing is preventing them. They are not going to lose customers because they kinda don’t have customers

Blender has an LTS where they offer feature and API stability.

A sad thing is that you cant really rely on Maya anymore, you don’t own a copy, and cant rely on using a ‘blessed version’ for the length of a production. I was working on a feature film a couple of years back and AD tried to force us to upgrade all our maya licenses mid production. We had a degree of ability to push back but a smaller studio has no leverage what so ever.

I personally recently experienced part of this , is to try to replant animation pipeline to Blender from 3dsMax, for a commercial project.
You will be producing tools for your artists much much faster in Blender with bpy comparing to maxscript but producing HOLY MORE tools than that in max. If you have use features such as corrective shapes in blender you will get that animation is not something that blender organization cares about. You need to get your hands dirty with all the pipeline including animation caching, control rig retargetting ond even FBX exporting, few of them could be solved with paid plugins that might be discontinued in a future major update.
Suggestion is not, untill a widely industry authorized version is released.

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