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  • Which 3D software should I use Thread?

    Okay everyone, we know that you want to ensure that you are making the right decision as to which 3D you wish to persue when you are presented with a number of options.

    At some point, most of us have wondered - hmmmm.... Max? Maya? Lightwave? XSI? <enter names of all other apps you've heard of but have not yet used>.

    It's only normal that you want to know about these apps and what they are all about. We humans are indeed an inquisitive species.



    To people who really need to make decisions like this, and want to make absolutely sure that they are not going to regret their choice of app, I have a few suggestions :

    - If you are a total beginner, and are deciding on a first program to start out on, try a free one! There are a number of free applications around. That way you can explore what 3D is all about without burning holes in your pockets.

    - Check out the demo/learning edition of the applications. Most of the major ones have downloadable versions, or offer free discs for people who wish to learn the software. Sure, these versions are usually handicapped in some way, but it's nevertheless a great way to get a taste for the program.

    - Try out all the programs that are available! It never hurts to keep your horizons broad.


    Here's a few articles that may shed some light on your 3D experience.

    Choosing the Best 3D Rendering Application for Your Needs (courtesy of Zaon Studios:New for 2004)</font>

    Read article here



    Follow up article courtesy CGtalk.com


  • #2
    Ok bro, I'm interested -- I know nothing about 3D software (unless you count the 3D things in Illy CS), but I'd like to... can you suggest any decent free programs for Mac OSX? Any other advice or suggestions?

    A friend of mine was telling me something about learning openGL...

    I would've taken over the world, but I got distracted by shiny things.

    Ooo! Shiny things!
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
    --Albert Einstein

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Invader!

      Just hop on over to the other thread, downloadable demos and trials.....there's quite a few demos to try out. The big 3 imo is Maya, 3dsmax, and cinema 4d. All 3 have pretty good demos to try out, but the first 2 are quite expensive. Cinema4d is much cheaper and capable of doing the same things in maya and 3dsmax.

      If you want to learn something user friendly and easy to learn I would highly recommend Swift3d. I'm an avid user of Swift and that's how i got my feet wet in 3d. Though not as high end as the others there are quite a few benefits in Swift3d. First of all the price. It's just under $200.00 US you can't beat that. It's user interface is very easy to pic up. They've got a great community over at Swiftdev.com which I am an active member of. Integration with Flash and the ability to export Vector renders and animations. If you are a web guy looking to create things for the web Swift is a great program for this, considering how cheap it is.

      Blender and Wings3d are also great free 3d modeling programs, check out the galleries on their site, there's alot of good work done with these programs. Learning them is always the hard part though, but you got to start somewhere. I would sugeest to pic a few and try the demos, do some tutorials and get a feel for each program until you feel comfortable with one, then decide what you want and how much you want to spend.

      When making these choices find out your needs. will it be a hobby? a career move? If you are just wanting to learn them as a hobby there would be no need to spend tons of money on maya and 3dsmax.

      anyway it's your call, i hope i've helped you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks a lot for the advice, man... I need to take a weekend to check out a few of these, I think. If I run into any other questions or suchlike, I'm sure you'll hear from me on here... =)

        Currently, I work entirely in print, but I'm planning on branching out. A little 3D knowledge could be very helpful in freelance web work, as well as the fact that I've seen a number of 3D design jobs advertised locally (for gaming software houses)... Figured it couldn't hurt to add another skill to my repartoire -- and from what I'm told, the modelling side of it beats drawing texture maps!

        On that note, do companies use those software titles too...? If not, I assume they'd probably be similar enough to let me know what I'm doing, right? It's not a jump I'm planning on making until I'm at least competent. Just doing the ground work... =)

        I would've taken over the world, but I got distracted by shiny things.

        Ooo! Shiny things!
        "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
        --Albert Einstein

        Comment


        • #5
          THe most common software apps used are Maya and 3dsmax. Learning these would be a huge advantage to you, however learning them is quite the task. Cinema 4d is similar to these programs as well. From what i know 3dsmax is typically used for game design but not limited to. If you learn one or the other you would be able to work in both programs because the follow similar concepts. On top of that there are numerous books and tutorials that cover both programs. But as i have said before they are quite pricey! If you are looking to just create models for still images and don't want to spend tons of money i would suggest Cinema4d and Swift3d. But again it is your needs that you need to consider.

          Comment


          • #6
            In my experience, MAX has been the primary dev platform for many games. I've found that in previous version (up to 4.5) it's a little clunky to get things done but it has the best selection fo free plugins and compatibility with previous versions. What I've seen of newer seems to indicate that the workflow has been greatly streamlined which is a good thing.

            More recently I've switched over to using Maya. It seems to be the program of choice for alot of the effects industry and I'd wager primarily because ot MEL scripting and the capabilities it has for customizing the program for a company's specific needs. Personally I prefer the navigation system in maya to that of MAX and in all it's very efficient for poly modeling. I've noticed that SubD gets a little slow at times and there isn't really an easy way to go back to poly once a mesh is converted. Maya has a nice NURBS toolset if you're into that too. another great thing about Maya is the animation system and built in physics engine.

            I've also found that I've been integrating Blender into my workflow more as well. The later versions of this program are really coming into their own with good subd implementation, LSCM unwrapping, and a decent render engine. For a free program I see this having alot of promise. THere are a few catches with blender you need to watch out for especially with the smoothing groups and particle systems but with some tweaking you can get good results.

            I've used Cinema 4d a bit but I was never too impressed with it. Swift 3d looks good for exporting to vector and I've heard rumors that the latest version revamped the toolset, which is really necessary if you want to do anything complex with it as a standalone.

            if you are looking for OSX stuff I'd check out Blender, Wings3d, and Maya PLE. If you are looking at getting a job in the gaming world doing low poly stuff, be prepared to use PC's expecially if you want to learn 3dsMAX.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you are interested in gaming, some software to check out would be: Mirai, Multigen Creator, and Nendo. These packages are use heavily for low polygon modeling for games systems.

              Here are some sites to check out for 3d software:

              www.3dlinks.com
              www.highend3d.com

              Both of these sights have a lot of information. 3DCafe has a lot of free application listed as well as commercial versions.

              One software package that I haven't heard mentioned in SoftImage XSI. I know that it is used almost as heavily as Maya when it comes to special effects and motion pictures. I believe it's also used in the gaming industry but not as much as Maya. The price is right too ($500+/-).

              SoftImage is right up there as one of the Granddaddy's of 3d. It's been around since Maya was just Alias|wavefront. I remember using it on SGI Indy machines (ok I'm giving away my age here). I haven't use SoftImage in years so I don't know what it's like now but it was always a big competitor of Alias|Wavefront. Ther rendering engine (Mental Ray) was famous for being far superior to the Alias engine. Maya may use the same engine now but I don't remember.

              Don't forget Rhinoceros. It's a great Nurbs modeler. It's modeling capabilities are very similar to Alias Design Studio and the price is considerably lower.

              Ok...I'm rambling I stop now.

              -Idaho
              'You want it when? Ok, no problem. Excuse me while I pull the magic wand out of my ass!'
              You want it when!? Well in that case, let me pull my magic wand out of my ass and take care of that for you.

              Comment


              • #8
                OK Tyger you have inspired me to make a serious attempt at learning at least one 3D program. I downloaded Blender (seems like a good first choice since it is free) and installed it on my machine at home. I found a few tutorials and have spent about an hour thus far learning the very basic things about the program. I'll try to keep you posted as time allows for further learning and hopefully post some basic things soon. Thanks Tyger!!


                blah blah blah blah blah blah
                I could give you a dose
                but it would never come close
                to the rage built up inside of me
                fist in the air in the land of hypocrisy

                Comment


                • #9
                  awright bro, good stuff. I'm also trying to learn blender as well...it couldn't hurt. I've tried wings 3d as well and it's pretty good.

                  I'd definitely like to see your progress even if it's somple things. Maybe we can share our blender progressions!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sounds cool Tyger. I'vebeen gettinga lot of freelance illustration work lately and a full time designjob so time is precious, but I'll keep you posted when I can. Thanks again, G


                    blah blah blah blah blah blah
                    I could give you a dose
                    but it would never come close
                    to the rage built up inside of me
                    fist in the air in the land of hypocrisy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just a note... I'm also quite interested in learning this, and really appreciate all the information you have shared, Tyger.

                      <sigh> One of these days!

                      [I]The more people I meet, the more I love my cats.</A>
                      "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

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                      • #12
                        no prob morea, anytime! again i would encourage you to try the demo version of Swift3d, the learning curve is very easy. I picked it up pretty quick with no previous 3d experience.

                        Comment


                        • #13


                          You guys should try eovia carrara, Quite easy to use, has a poser/bryce type of interface.


                          I only just started doing 3d modelling and animation about a few months ago, max seemed


                          a bit too complicated for me so i found carrara to be easy to pickup.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey Kunal, thanx for your input. Actually i've looked at Carrara briefly but not indepth, but i do find it easier to learn than some of the others. However i've decided to just go with Swift3d and Cineama4d for now and get familiar with them. There are so many programs to learn but so little time.

                            I'd love to see some of your work...i'll be posting a 3d showcase thread soon.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yea sure, let me know when you have the showcase up, ill post some of my work.
                              If you do decide to learn carrara or mess with it, let me know if you need any help.



                              Post Edited (Kunal Ambasana) : 3/14/2005 12:05:24 AM GMT

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