Maya by Autodesk is the comprehensive, 3D animation modeling and computer graphic image (CGI) creation software used by the computer and console industry as well as by Hollywood film, cartoon, and television production studios. The software is released in a animation design suite for professionals and students and is based on an engine built in the C++ computer language.
Maya has broad and practical applications in the animation industry. For example, it was used in the creation of the popular computer games Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, and The Sims, and by the entertainment industry for creating effects used in the popular SouthPark, Futurama, and VeggieTales television shows.
The software contains a tool set that designers use in creating key-path, frame, and nonlinear animations. Maya also has tools that integrate with motion-capture, skinning, deformers, and character sets common in modeling for games and animated film and video.
Maya animators use the software for rendering effects including lighting, shadows, textures, and paint effects. Maya plug-ins yield instant effects from simulator engines that create cloth, fur, smoke, fire, hair, and more. Extensive libraries give animators a wide palate of effects to draw from. Maya can also seamlessly import plug-ins and complementary tools from other illustration and design software.
Many animation schools provide fundamental Maya training for use in the professions, while game and film production studios often offer training on a modified Maya or proprietary animation software built atop the Maya infrastructure. The Maya suite has been produced in versions compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.