I refer you to your original statement:
Maya was the first 3d program to handle scripting, come with and api SDK, and be node based.
Surely we can agree that Alias/Wavefront's PowerAnimator, the forerunner to Maya had expressions, scripting (I believe), and an SDK available.
We can. But what you also have to realise was that these packages were node based. They were however broken up into seperate node graphs, and the connections between those graphs were on occasions clunky. Max still has this seperation (the modifier stack), as does Houdini (CHOPS et al). The only improvement Maya made in this regard was that it unified all node graphs into a single DG. Due to the very large number of patents that Alias created in this regard, no other animation package is able to create a similar DG - because they'd get sued until they were bankrupt (Looks towards who bought softimage after XSI was released with ICE.. )
So.. both Houdini and Max both have node networks, and both pre-date maya.
QED: Maya did not change the industry with regard to node networks. Their patents actively prevent the industry from unifying node graphs in the same way.
Houdini and Max also has scripting SDK's prior to Maya's release (Max was released in 1996, Maxscript existed as a 3rd party plugin at that time. A year later it was merged into the R2 release).
QED: Maya did not change the industry with regards to scripting.
Houdini and Max both had plug-in SDK's at the time of their release.
QED: Maya did not change the industry with regards to plug-in SDKs.
Therefore your original statement is false.
CGAL by Peter Comninos? CGAL will not be allowed into evidence because the prosecution Googled it:) What the heck is CGAL?
You need to include it as evidence. It was used as the CG learning tool for the UK film industry prior to maya. There were numerous propriotary animation systems at that time, of which CGAL is one example.
BUT, the defense stipulates that CGAL may have been the first 3d prog to handle scripting.
Did you ever try the DOS version of 3d studio? Or infact any early CG package? Every single one was scripting driven. GUI's are a very recent addition to CG tools.... CGAL was not the first, but it was entirely script driven (although it had a fairly useless GUI).
At this time the majority of the industry was still fighting over Mac or PC and filling and less-filling.
Nope. We were happily using SGI machines. The only thing that changed that situation was SGI's premature and botched attempt to switch to Intel Itanium processors. Something they had to backtrack on quickly with the release of the MIPS based Fuel systems, by which point the industry had switched to 0x86 PC's running linux or windows. Maya for mac didn't appear until version 4 ish IIRC.
A silver gray, pizza sauce stained, Mel handbook for Maya 1.5. purchased in 1998 while my client was enrolled in school. This handbook was part of the Maya Docs library (now long destroyed)which was available to students for a mere $999.00 while Maya was holding steady at $14,000. The Docs also came with the ubiquitous Learning Maya book. Aside from that, there must have been one, maybe two other books printed on the subject of Maya. Amazon did not yet exhist. And may I point out that our most esteemed judge is younger than the telephone.
With the full version of maya you had a massive shelf full of manuals. Go away.
So. You say "This handbook was part of the Maya Docs library" and yet "With the full version of maya you had a massive shelf full of manuals. Go away". The Maya docs library was a rather large collection of books. It filled a shelf. I've still got the ones from 1.0, 2.0 and 2.5. They fill 3 shelfs.
QED: A shelf load of documentation came with Maya.
97% of the industry was not familiar with PowerAnimator. But 97% wished they where:) ( wink to the jury)
citation needed. You are pulling numbers out of thin air....
First. Which production techniques were yet to be developed exactly?
Skinning? (Utah hand, 1972, Catmull)
Blend Shapes? (Ed Catmull, 1976)
FFDs? (Sederberg and Parry, 1986)
Particle Systems? (William T. Reeves, 1983)
I would classify those as production tools as opposed to production techniques.
No. They are techniques. Tools are an implemention of a technique. How you use the tools (and techniques they encapsulate) is called a process, or more commonly in CG, a pipeline.
In other words, how do you use blendshapes and FFDs to create a stretchy and emotive face? A few examples are FK/IK switching with lockable elbows, and independent rotation from shoulder. Broad muscle deformations as opposed to phoneme expressions in facial animation. Muscle deformers and geometry caching. And I could go on but you get the idea.
You do realise we were doing this stuff before 1998 don't you? Sure, we don't use our old foot-lock scripts from packages that are now defunct, but we did have working processes for those things prior to Maya's release.
CROSS EXAMINATION: Mr. Bateman, (I saunter over towards the plaintif), travel back in time to a cool spring day of the year of our Lord, 1998. Where Morphene, Endorphin and Euphoria in existence at the onset of the Maya revolution? Lets pretend they do not exhist today as they didn't in 1998. In reference to the original question; which would you choose? ANSWER THE QUESTION, MR. BATEMAN!!! ANSWER THE QUESTION!!! Your honor, I'd like to declare a hostile witness. The plaintif's needs today should not be factored into the relative quality of the software listed circa 1998.
Back in 1999 I had serious problems authoring runtime game animations. As a direct result I started working on a toolchain to simplify the process. That toolchain still exists, and is now part of morpheme. So. you asked me what package I'd chose out of those 3. My answer is still the same today as it was 11 years ago: none of them do what I need, I'd write my own....
WUT? I have 3 words for you. Middleware, Middleware and Middleware. http://www.speedtree.com/
ARGUMENTATIVE. More stuff to learn and patch together. Not bad if you have the time and resources. But then again, who does?
The vast majority of games companies who buy the middleware.