Part of the Multimedia and graphics glossary:

Maya is an animation and modeling program used to create three-dimensional ( 3-D ), full-motion effects. Maya incorporates the natural laws of physics to control the behavior of virtual objects in computer animation. Maya can produce videos that are more life-like than has been possible with less sophisticated programs. Versions are available for both IBM-compatible and Macintosh operating systems.

Until the development of Maya (and similar programs such as Fizt ), realistic rendering of certain natural effects, such as smoke blowing in a breeze, the rotation of clouds and dust in a tornado, or the sag and movement of clothing caused by gravity, was difficult or impossible to achieve. In addition to simulating the movements of objects and particles, Maya makes it possible to portray emotions in animated characters by enhancing facial expressions and the realism of body language. Some technical people at animation studios have begun taking courses in Maya. The program has been used in numerous movies, including Twister and Stuart Little .

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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