Maya LT Is Limited?

I was planning on getting the Maya LT until I heard that it had Game Development related tools removed.

What tools are removed?

That is correct. FBX is still involved but Obj export is not.

This will show you what is limited with LT

With Maya LT 2015 you can export .OBJ files, they added some other features like MEL scripting as well, check:

*Full support for all of Maya’s 3D modeling tools including NURBS and subdivision surfaces

Includes Maya’s Hypershade surface editor

Includes ShaderFX for the creation of HLSL and CGFX shaders

Export to FBX format of up to 25,000 polygons per scene (but the .mlt format allows denser meshes within Maya LT) - This has changed to 65K](

Supports import of .ma, .mb (Maya ASCII and binary formats), .mlt (Maya LT format), OBJ and FBX 3D formats

Supports import of AI and EPS structures drawings as objects

Supports import of BMP, PNG, DDS, EXR, TGA, and TIFF as textures

Supports use of (and export of) normal maps

Skeleton generator

Autodesk HumanIK inverse kinematics - Maya official post]( Says that they added to this somehow

DX11 viewport previews with DX11 shading

Full lighting and global illumination

Texture baking based off of Autodesk Turtle

Rendering of 2D image sprites

Does not support external renderers; cannot render ‘scenes’ or animations

No MEL support, and currently no plugin support or SDK. *According to Maya official post]( **Mel is integrated for subscribers now **

**Source **Toms Hardware](,24010.html) - This is a 2013 post

It depends on your needs. The Modelling and Animation tool in LT are almost excatly the same as in the “Normal” version. For Visual Effects its a different story.

I am trying Maya LT 2015 now, Not impressed at all. They purposely made a new file name so you cannot transfer the work to normal version of Maya, & made it clear you are using a tone down version. At least in the past when they have 2 versions (complete & unlimited (or something along this line), you have the same file name.

GoZ not working. Basic rendering is not available, which you find in every other 3D package.

All these just for an hour of trial.

The Full version is too expensive, & the LT version justed limited, at this point I am thinking of maybe trying out Blender. At least there is a GoB that works with Zbrush, & its free.

I wonder, what is more painful, to pay a decent sum per month for a software that is limited (Maya LT), to pay the full version that is pretty expensive, or just pick up Blender (its not as good as the full Maya or so I heard), but lost time to learn something new, but then it can only improve over time.

I am still in Trial, so I can still think about it, but its quite a disappointment for me.

I have a subscription to Maya LT and it does pretty much everything I need it to. Import/Export FBX/OBJ, Curve editor, rigging, modelling, etc.

Yes it’s a shame there is no rendering engines with it but that’s one of the reasons the full version is so expensive. They have to cut it down somehow, or else everyone who purchases the full version would move over to the new cheaper version that does literally the same thing. Anyways you have UE4 now, there’s no need to wait for slow renders anymore!

We are using Maya LT because it has most of what we need for developing for unreal. It has a render engine (Turtle) which is pretty good for light work, and does a decent job for baking high res normal maps to add detail to lower res objects. Turtle, however, is nowhere near as high quality in rendering as Mental Ray, which comes with the full version of Maya. If you are wanting to create photorealistic renders directly from your modeling application, Maya LT is not going to cut it for you.

The biggest limitation of the software for us is that it does not support Python scripting, only MEL. This means you cannot use the Unreal Engine ART (Animation and Rigging Tools.) This is a pretty big limitation for people wanting to use Maya LT for UE development, and I hope they remove that limitation in the future.

If you use Zbrush in the pipeline, then Maya LT is not so fantastic as GoZ doesn’t work. Also Blender, a freeware, have a complete renderer, & have an unofficial GoB that support to work well.

Also Blender is ever improving, & will get more support when it gets more popular.

I think the main advantage Maya LT have is that many people learn 3D apps in school or otherwise using non commercial version of the Maya Software & wanted to continue using Maya in some form when they wanted to start making commercial game, or their student licence ran out. And maybe the animation tools are better.

Yes, at 30 bucks or higher you pay, depends on where you live, its relatively cheap, but its still a considerable amount, but we did not live in a vacuum, & there are alternatives out there, blender, Modo to name a few.

Also they made a new file format which I believe cannot be read by Normal Maya, so if you wished to make high quality render for your game character, for instead, you can’t just port over to Normal Maya.

Not saying its completely bad. It still have the animation/model tools many people are familiar with. But depends on your needs, it may not be the most feasible choice, which is a shame, as only a few additionals (or maybe they have a version, slightly more expensive, but have more features, & using native Maya file), I will have no hesitation.

I understand they do not want big game studios & movie studios to use it, but from what I gather, they seems to think non AAA studio are only interest in simple visual fidelity characters and environment. While its true for many Indies, but some of us wanted to create high fidelity 3D asserts.

Maya Lt is perfect tool for UE4 development just that python is not supported at that moment , but for sure it will cause that the most requested features on the autodesk feedback website.
so if you are unhappy with the limitation you can still post for new features or vote for the requests that already been added.
Probably python will be added in 2015 extension 3 or into the next 2016.
Goz doesn’t work with maya LT because Goz need to read into the maya Ascii format to communicated between zb and maya, and LT version don’t have an ascii scene format.
you can import obj file with x million of polygons do you baking with turtle or use xnormal, do your retopology in 3Dcoat or what ever you want.
maya LT is designed for game artists, so why do you want a rendering engine ? i don’t understand the point here, cause a game artist would have to have a similar rendering in maya viewport and UE4 engine, so what you have in maya viewport looks the most as possible , how you asset will looking into UE4 .
if you want a renderer you have a nice one no ? UE4 is not a renderer ? you can save HD screen capture.
If you can’t to use ART tool why not to give a try with human IK ?, you can also use the retargeting tool that ue4 is shipped with to apply your animation on the epic skeletal human model if you want.
FBX export for UE4 and Unity has no longer any polygons limitations.

If you ever use GoZ, its hard to go back to pre GoZ days. Its at least improve efficient by 15%. Also OBJ import to Maya sometime breaks the meshes into little pieces, no biggy, but still). Any one who use GoZ actively in their pipeline will understand.

Of course I can get around without using GoZ, just as I can get from point a to b by jumping. An exegerated example, but why do so, when other software, like Modo (which has a better moderling tools), & Blender have support for GoZ (GoB for blender).

Also, while rendering is not that critical, you have to question why a paid 3D software that doesn’t have when just about every software have it, free or otherwise!.

As an existing Maya User, you have to trust me that I wanted to like Maya LT more than you can imagine, but the reality is there are options out there, options like Blender that can only get better, plus its free. Honestly I do not mind paying, even higher, but for my work, its not the most efficient, & since I only have evening (& not all evening), that added 15% time saving is massive.

The only major point of consideration are the animation tool (which I heard are better on Maya), & better FBX, but like I mention, Blender can only improve over time. That and to have to learn a new software, which took time off actually creating content. But learning a new software is hard, but only once.

There is no easy decison, & I am evaluating all options. I am by no means hate Maya, I have 3 massive file containing all the stuff I collected & learn from Maya, over the years.

My only hope is that they add some much requested features Like Pyhon and GoZ support, & I will not hesitate to pay for Maya LT.

I’ve never used GoZ, but have heard about it and recently reading about it. Do I understand correctly that GoZ makes it much easier to create normal maps that add the high-res detail sculpted in Zbrush to a lower res mesh?

GoZ has little to do with Normal map. In any case, Normal map generation in Zbrush is not fantastic other than creating Normal map from a mesh of high subdivision level to its lower sub mesh. It required a significant extra work to project a normal map from one mesh to another that is not related.

What GoZ do is make switching between the 3D app of your choice & Zbrush a breeze.

Say if you wanted to scale & move an object, & we know Zbrush do not have the the most precise transformation. You click GoZ, & the base mesh get send over to say Maya. YOu can then move it in position, Click GoZ in Maya, & the mesh position will be updated.

If I have a character, & wanted to add a ear ring, I can create one, & position it correctly in Maya, click GoZ, & Zbrush create a new subTool from it.

If you wanted to add a horn to a character, for instance, Just send it to Maya via GoZ, Add the horn in Maya, & press GoZ (in Maya), & your high res mesh in Zbrush retain its details but now you have a horn. Its about the instantaneousness that make GoZ such a game changer. Its almost as if the 3D app of your choice & Zbrush are one program.

Hi all,

I completely agree with him (not beacause he is French :stuck_out_tongue: ) but for 30 buck we have great awesome tools such as

– All Great Maya Modeling Tool
– animation tool (graph Editor)
– Humain IK , Skinning tool & Rigging tool
– Contraint Tool
– Send to Mudbox - Unreal Engine etc…
– FBX (65k) & unlimited Obj Exporte
– Script Editor & – MEL Script (give acces Billion Script & plugins)
– Great Texture Deformer
– ShaderFX (same Material Editor Unreal Engine)
– Blend Shape !!
– Render Viewport 2
– Full or Adaptive Pixar OpenSubdiv !!
– Set Driven Key !!

What do you need more ?

I don’t think or i don’t know :rolleyes: if they’ll introduce Python, because ,
you can make what you want as rigid body dynamics and simulator written in python or something else
Autodesk will not agree it , remember only 30 €…
Now , i work at home , i’ll take advantage to Maya LT

Now ! Please , all MayaLT users , ask **Jeremy Ernst ** the ART Tool in Mel Script for MayaLT !! I don’t know if it’s possible ?


He said in the Twitch stream that’s it’s not possible. Maya LT really needs Python. I don’t care how they do it. There are just too many tools written in Python.

oh ok , I don’t know , sorry about that. So I hope Autodesk will integrate Python in MayaLT.

Yeah I wouldn’t call Maya’s modelling tools great… more like the worst modelling 3d package out there to be honest (IMHO of course :slight_smile: ), but for 30 dollars a month it’s ok I guess.

If someone isn’t interested in char animation and just want a good allround package, check out Modo. Maya wins for animation as Epic have their char setup etc tools in Maya already (haven’t used them yet but expect them to be just fine).

But honestly Blender seem like better option than Maya LT either way.

That is pretty neat. I have been working on getting GoZ to connect with MODO 801 tonight, and finally got the kinks worked out. There is no more reason to ever use the sculpting tools inside of MODO!

Have you used Maya’s Quad Draw tools? For my money, quad draw is the BEST modelling tool for creating great models with perfect topology. I usually throw together a bunch primitives, use booleans, stretch vertices in every direction, subdivide as needed and quickly get a pretty close shape to what I want but with very nasty, unworkable geometry. Then I make that shape live and quickly sketch out my perfect topology on it, using the relax tool to make everything straight and correct. I love that workflow.

MODO is pretty great as a modelling tool; maybe the fastest modelling tool available. It is especially powerful when you buy the Mesh Fusion kit, which I swear is magic. If you have ever used mesh booleans in a modelling package then you know how terrible the geometry usually turns out. Mesh Fusion in MODO makes amazing geometry from booleans with chamfered edge loops or beveled edges or whatever you want. You can set up your booleans as schematics which look very very similar to Unreal BPs.

And also, MODO 701 & 801 now have a full animation system. There is even a plugin called “Automatic Character Setup Kit” which looks to be almost exactly like ART tools available for $149. I don’t own it yet, but I am definitely thinking of trying it since we own MODO 801 but not the full version of Maya. If it works well, we may ditch Maya LT completely and just go with MODO 100%, although I am sure we would miss the Quad Draw tools.

Blender is getting better all the time, and FBX export now mostly works. But in my opinion, it isn’t even close to being on the level with Maya. The only thing Blender has on Maya LT is Cycles, and that should be much less important to game developers. And the only thing Blender has on MODO is the price.

Well, I guess you’ve never worked with Blender =) There are things it can do which Maya still can’t. For example if you bake normal map using midpoly (highpoly > midpoly > lowpoly) you just can’t do it in Maya (or Modo) because it doesn’t bake applied normal maps from mid- to lowpoly (Blender does). Blender has cage baking where you can adjust cage extrusion per vertex and bake directions per vertex, where Maya just has a uniform cage extrusion. In fact there’s a plugin for Blender which will soon allow to create baking “sets” so you can save your settings individually for your high- and lowpoly sets of meshes if you split your mesh for baking. Like 3dsMax does you know.

And you also have sculpting tools with adaptive subdivisions (subdivides and cleans up your mesh as you sculpt and adds details where you need it) and a nice set painting tools in Blender.

But, to be fair and not start an app war I’ll mention a thing where Blender sucks =) It has no normal map bake antialiasing. It can bake lots of other maps, with antialiasing. But not norma maps. Yeah, that’s dumb and Blender developers don’t bother fixing it for ages. So you need to bake your normal maps twice the size and scale it down to get some kind of “antialiasing”. It’s not terrible but still so lame…

About Modo. Well, it’s good for modelling, it has nice sculpting (no adaptive topology) and painting tools, it has a superb render engine. And very poverful viewports. For non-skeletal objects. As soon as you add deformers (joints and weighted geo) the viewport dies to 5-7 fps. And I’m not talking about characters like Ceasar (the ape, you know) =) You just can’t animate characters with more than 10-20K polys. Even if you turn off subdivisions. Even if you have (like I do) a GTS680 GPU, a decent HDD and 24 gigs of fast RAM. As you would expect – in Blender you can not only animate such characters, but even turn on subdivs on it and still have your max fps.

This is all from my own experience working as a cg-artist in a mid-sized advertising studio (8 cg-artists and designers), not just quotes from forums. Blender is much more mature than most people think, there’s just not enough promotion from the devs and community (which is another dumb thing).

So, there’s no reason to use Modo or even Maya LT instead of Blender. At least try Blender yourself. It’s a bit different in the way it works, compared to Maya or Modo, but you get used to it quickly =)


Blender is coming along, but lets be honest here; its has horribly subpar viewport rendering. It does this on one slightly older computer with a amazing gpu and one newer with a slightly less capable gpu but very close to other one. I avoid blender because of that, and I can just hear all the blender zealots getting mad, but sorry,its the truth,and even the blender artist website says upfront and factually, that he viewport IS slow; and yes, I mean vs 2.71 which I have. I cant move the without horrible lag, slow viewport mainly in edit mode ( only 128k mesh) and choosing a material color is also,horribly slow. Some might consider that too picky, but when maya , max, art of illusion and anim8tor do not do this, you have to ask whats wrong with blender.

Sculpting in blender and maybe maya or others I don’t know, are NOWhere near what sculptris is,not even close. BLender trys to be all but sometimes it just can’t atm. There is a reason sculptris exists,and this is ONE of them :wink: I’ve tried the supposed adaptive thing in sculpting, and its a nightmare compared to sculptris, which I use daily and this isn’t a war, its about facts.

I get its used by many who may not have this issue, but my systems are running absolutely perfect with ALL other modelers, so do not tell me, its ME )

People deserve to know these things, instead of thinking its their system, when its likely not .

Blender is a godsend for those who can’t afford autodesk tools,we all get that, but people need to know these things too.