Maya, there’s something about your splash screen you need to know NOW
It’s the image of you that haunts me every day. My feelings have changed. Why aren’t you beautiful anymore?
I still remember the first time I opened Maya 8 in 2006 and saw the splash screen. That moment of awe, similar to the first time you see a gothic cathedral. It looked monumental. It intimidated and inspired me.
It made me feel like people who use this software make amazing things.
I wanted to be one of them, and I hoped that one day I could make something so impressive. In my mind, the software itself took on the characteristics of a dragon, it seemed powerful and full of immense potential. And, let’s face it…cool.
“Dragons are always cool” my naive young self thought…
But the days of opening Maya and feeling inspired were short lived.
With Maya 2008, a corporate entity, that shall remain unnamed, was done raking its claws through the guts of the software, and its ugliness spewed out of Maya’s front end.
The days of the dreaded keychain logo splash screen had arrived.
And those dark days were here to stay. Soulless, inert, stereotypically corporate and objectively ugly imagery had taken the place of artwork.
They kept the dragon, but it was so painfully not cool, they made it something that nobody would aspire to recreate.
It was all downhill from there.
Up to and including Maya 2013, the dragon splash screen got worse and worse and nobody foresaw the gaping chasm that was at the bottom of the hill.
Maya 2014 came around. I double clicked Maya.exe and…the dragon…was …gone.
My emotions were a mixed bag of relief and emptiness. I was consoled that the ugly keychain logo was gone. Slowly I started to realize where the emptiness came from: the new splash screen was completely devoid of anything that could communicate on an emotional level.
Sterile greys with some menthol green on a nondescript surface.
Nothing to see here, no identity, no hint at potential or purpose.
The same image could sit perfectly on a bottle of detergent, or any other type of uninteresting, uninspiring, not intended for creative use product.
Yet on our beloved Maya’s “face” it sits, blandly ever after, since no one has cared enough to change it so far.
Rareș Tujan, Senior Brokenhearted Artist at AMC