Making a character:Workflow
More frustration! Love!? Hate! Blender 2.8 is turning out to be an amazing program, has a huge feature set and looks very capable. But could it ever really replace Maya? How crazy will I go before learning it all? As I dive into the tools these questions starts enter my mind.
So far my favorite tool set is the sculpting + Dyntopo. It dynamically creates subdivisions where you are sculpting putting details only where they are needed. It can handle quite a bit of geometry and didn't hit any major slow downs despite going over a million faces.
I was painting on a 4k texture on a mesh with over a million faces and it handled it like a champ. Favorite feature here is the cavity mask option. Making it super easy to lay down some rough painting to build off. I have not dived into a lot of the other features yet but so far I'm very impressed.
Also disclaimer, I hate UV mapping so went with an smart UV project which did an ok job for what I was mapping. Will have to revisit before making a more definitive decision on the texturing. Still better than what Maya offers but not quite Mudbox or Substance.
Rigging and Animation
Having only touched the surface of these tools, they are different. Same idea and I was able to figure it out on a very basic level but some things are not intuitive and I found myself having to look up/research most of the steps.
I tried binding a Hi res mesh to a low res cage with no luck. So much for dynamic tendrils for my creatures.
(Anyone that can tell me how to get a wrap like deformer working in Blender I would be eternally grateful!)
Cycles always looked slow (default settings are not optimized) and I thought it would never stack up against other industry stander rendering tools. I mainly use Redshift3d in Maya and it has never let me down and I wasn't looking at Cycles as a serious contender(at least in the speed department). After messing with it a bit I was pleasantly surprised with its abilities.
I haven't gotten a chance to explore Maya newest features to its viewport but based on past versions that I used, Viewport 2.0 got nothing on Eevee.
Beautiful and accurate lighting feedback is key for any good viewport and Eevee to Cycles matches more than close enough.
Too good not to use! Some sharp details and highlights are lost but for the speed gains its definitely worth the sacrifice.
Blender vs Maya
It is still too early to tell if Blender can really hold its own against Maya.
Ill need to test how Blender handles heavy and more complex scenes before really committing.
Overall they are very different programs and handle things differently which makes the switch a bit of a challenge. Blender potentially has the features to compete but lacks (from what I can tell) a lot of the flexibility and access that Maya offers which could be a good thing. A lot of what makes Maya great can also ruin you day if you don't know what you're doing.
Will I be making the switch to Blender 2.8 from Maya for professional content? Depends on the project and scope. Blender is just another tool in the ever growing list of production tools. I will say, until Redshift gets the SSS Random walk features I'll be doing my SSS rendering in Blender (for still images at least).