Illustration of Maya version control.
April 2, 2021

Maya Version Control For Artists and Designers

Design
Version Control

Version control has become a critical tool for both developers and designers. And if you’re looking to create an expansive new world filled with complex 3D characters, you are probably looking at Maya. But what Maya version control system is best for creatives?

Maya Version Control — What You Need

There are a lot of version control systems out there. It is important to choose one that can manage the large unmergeable assets created in Maya while allowing team members to collaborate.

Git Version Control With Maya

Git is often used for open-source development projects. Git LFS is the extension available to help manage graphic and binary files. These types of files are handled in a separate repository.

But if you are using Git LFS for Maya, you may struggle with performance issues. Due to the decentralized nature of Git, each artist and designer would need to copy down the entire repo. Because Maya assets are huge, this can cause massive delays.

If you decided to break up your Git LFS repo, it will only further complicate your build pipeline. Now you need to pull assets from multiple locations just to run a test.

SVN Version Control With Maya

Other systems — like SVN — have more native capabilities for managing large files. But it can be complex to set up and maintain. Although there are a variety of plugins available, SVN can be complicated when you need to understand what changed in what version.

Many users end up using the terminal to find and upload changes. This adds complexity to the design process. Also, you may end up lagging behind due to lack of a supporting infrastructure.

Git and SVN cannot scale to meet the demands of Maya version control. So how else can teams share and version files?

Simple File Sharing With Maya

The goal of version control is to give teams the ability to share files quickly. But development focused systems are often too complex, leaving many design teams turn to more unsecure options.

Teams end up using file-sharing solutions, like Google Drive, Dropbox, or just email. These are not integrated with any tools and leave artists and designers searching through emails for version 3 with edits from LMH. When creatives are spending more time searching rather than actually designing, your project can slow down.

Photoshop, 3ds Max, Maya Version Control, & More

Virtual production and the game development process also use more than just Maya. Teams need to collaborate on assets created with Photoshop, 3ds Max, and more. As projects grow and teams expand, tracking down files and changes gets even more complex.

If you are working on a top-secret game or movie and everyone is using Google or their own personal email addresses, how can you make sure that your valuable IP does not fall into the wrong hands? With security breaches on the rise, it is important to protect what matters most. This means ensuring that your files are backed up in case there is a major disaster.

File sharing also has drawbacks when it comes to your build pipeline. Scattered assets require a lot of manual labor to pull everything together. Teams may delay integration, which can lead to unwanted surprises when people finally see everything together.

So, what’s the best Maya version control system?

What’s the Best Maya Version Control System?

To enhance collaboration, centralize Maya assets, and secure everything (without unnecessary complexity) you need Perforce Helix Core — the game and media standard for version control.

Of course, Helix Core has been used by leading studios for years. Recently we’ve added another tool Helix Sync — the free desktop client — created just for non-coders. No more unsecure email or DropBox.

Artists and designers can version Maya assets (and more) without needing to learn any new tools. And studios can protect and reuse digital assets with the performance required to manage ever-increasing file size. With Helix Sync, you get a single source of truth, leading to faster builds and seamless collaboration.

Learn how ETC made their short film with Perforce Helix Core >>

How Does Helix Sync Work

Helix Sync offers designers and artists and ideal solution. There is no need to use any new tools. Team members can simply drag and drop assets. It’s easy to get started.

  1. Connect to a Helix Visual Client (P4V) workspace.
  2. Create using the tools you love — Maya, 3ds Max, Photoshop, and more.
  3. Drag and drop assets into a local folder to version. Learn more >>

Because all your digital assets and code and stored in the same place, you get more accurate builds, without having to track down assets.

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