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Autodesk Maya is a 3D graphics editor available on Windows, MacOS and Linux. Maya has a wide functionality of 3D animation, modeling and visualization. The program is used to create animations, environments, motion graphics, virtual reality and characters. It is widely used in cinematography, television and the gaming industry. Originally developed by Alias Systems Corporation, and then purchased and maintained by Autodesk, Inc.
The popular file formats in Maya are .ma and .mb:
Maya Binary (MB) stores all the content in numerical data and stores exactly as it was represented internally. This means it has a smaller file size and faster to read for Maya in terms of performance.
Maya ASCII (MA) the ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange this stores all the content in characters that are encoded in UTF-8. This means the file is plain text and contains characters which when opened in a source editor can be seen as string data.
An important feature of Maya is its openness to third-party developers, who can convert it into a version that is optimal for each studio, preferring to write code that is specific to its needs. Even despite Maya’s inherent power and flexibility, this feature is sufficient to influence the user’s choice.
Maya has a powerful, interpretable platform-independent language: Maya Embedded Language (MEL), very similar to Tcl and C. It’s not just a scripting language, it’s a means and a way to customize and refine the basic functionality of Maya (most of the Maya environment and related tools are written on the MEL). In particular, the user can record his actions as a script on the MEL, from which you can quickly make a convenient macro. So animators can supplement Maya with the functionality they created without even knowing the MEL language, leaving such an opportunity if necessary. For writing external extensions in C ++, there is a well-documented C ++ API. (Maya’s external extensions can be written in any compiled programming language, but C ++ is the most convenient for this.) Also for developers, there is now the possibility of writing add-ons in Python. The MEL language is not tied to the platform, so the code written on it will be executed in any operating system in which Maya runs.
Project files, including all geometry and animation data, are stored as MEL workflows. These files can be saved in a text file (.ma – Maya ASCII), which can be edited in any text editor. This provides an unrivaled level of flexibility when working with external tools. (Similar products of Autodesk 3ds Max)