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Maya is a 3D Modeling and Rendering program, similar to Lightwave, 3DMax, Pixar's Renderman, and other professional 3D programs. Along with Renderman, it is considered one of the top programs in its class in the world, and arguably THE top program in its class in the world. Many pictures have received Academy Awards for Visual Effects because their artists used Maya for the film. One of the most recent examples is the Oscar winning "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" - it used Maya for its visual effects throughout the picture. King Kong was also the beneficiary of effects created by Maya.