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tiggle
Dec 3, 2006, 01:13 AM
Please forgive my complete ignorance on this topic!

I have several story ideas for both print publishing and web publishing. The stories are educational stories for kids in the 6-12 year old range and include three animal characters.

I have hooked up with two illustrators previously, but both have decided that the projects will be too time consuming for their present situations. Rather than try to find someone else who wants to get involved, I have decided to do the initial illustrations myself, and hopefully get a profesional job done later.

For the web, I want to have animated sections to the stories, and we were going to do that in lightwave. I have a copy, but really think that I would take too long to learn to use it well, and then never get good results. I have decided to concentrate on the character images (without animation) , which I would like to have as 3D.

Can someone recomend a good 3D package that is not too difficult to pick up yet give good results? I saw one program used once that used basic shapes to make images and then converted them to 3D. I have no idea what it was called! Anyway, any advice would be most welcomed.

Thanks,
Tiggle



tominated
Dec 3, 2006, 03:39 AM
maybe try maya. there it a free edition, but it has a watermark over the image

bartelby
Dec 3, 2006, 04:04 AM
Blender (http://www.blender.org).

It's free!!!

YS2003
Dec 3, 2006, 02:38 PM
I heard Cinema4D is good solid 3D program. I am thinking about getting this one over Maya.

bartelby
Dec 3, 2006, 02:49 PM
Cinema is good and very easy to use.

ATD
Dec 3, 2006, 03:52 PM
For character animation Maya is the best but the learning curve is massive, far more than Lightwave. Most any 3D program that will give you good results is going to take time to learn, period. It took me years of hard work to get an understanding of Maya.

Maybe try Cinema4D.

LeviG
Dec 3, 2006, 05:01 PM
characters, depending on the complexity of the modelling of the characters you may be able to get away with poser (assuming "people" models). True 3d modelling packages can take years to get fully to grips with, I've been using 3ds max for close to 4 years now and I still have only scratched the surface

JackAxe
Dec 3, 2006, 07:22 PM
Hash Animation Master is one of the easiest 3D apps I've owned and used. Everything was straight forward. This was the first 3D app that actually made sense to me. I had used Lightwave prior, and even 3DS back in the DOS days and never really got past the tutorial phase.

http://www.hash.com/

I started using Maya in 2000, but not for proffesional work until a few years back. Some things clicked right away where as others took a while. As a whole, it's by far one of the most complicated app I've used, and there are still areas I don't fully understand. Generally I'll forget things if I haven't worked in it for a month or so. :o

To go back to Hash, it was spline modeling that cilcked with me, then later Nurbs for Maya, which are better IMO. Ironically I use polygons for most things now, because it's actually the easiest way for me to model, more so than sub-ds, which uses many of the same techniques. Things that were a major pain to create with Nurbs, only take a few moments to create with polygons.

Anyway, modeling is the easy part, it's making the model look the way you envision with textures, lighting, and so on that's the pain IMO.

<]=)

YS2003
Dec 4, 2006, 08:19 PM
To run Maya or Cinema4D smoothly, do you need MacPro? Is MBP powerful enough to run those apps?

ATD
Dec 4, 2006, 08:39 PM
To run Maya or Cinema4D smoothly, do you need MacPro? Is MBP powerful enough to run those apps?


Maya can run smoothly on most better machines, but it's always going to run better on a desktop then a laptop. It's the renders that will kill you. The more cpus you can throw into the mix, the better.

YS2003
Dec 5, 2006, 09:18 AM
Maya can run smoothly on most better machines, but it's always going to run better on a desktop then a laptop. It's the renders that will kill you. The more cpus you can throw into the mix, the better.

Thanks for the post. In that case, I will hold off on Cinema 4D till I buy MacPro. Even though I would need to learn 3D from scratch, I know I would need it to run decently as my understanding of the 3D program and skills would develop.

tiggle
Dec 6, 2006, 04:09 AM
Thanks for all the help. I have being trying to download blender, but it always fails! More luck next time..I hope!

bartelby
Dec 6, 2006, 04:10 AM
Thanks for all the help. I have being trying to download blender, but it always fails! More luck next time..I hope!

I can download Blender fine. I just can't get it or Python to run.:(

SwitchingSoon
Dec 14, 2006, 09:48 PM
I thought Maya didn't work for Mac Pros????

Lone Deranger
Feb 3, 2007, 05:15 PM
If you're not going to do animation you might seriously want to consider using modo (www.luxology.com). It's a fairly new 3D application being developed by a group of ex NewTek (LightWave) guys.
Their approach is all about user friendliness and it shows. They're very OSX friendly (one of the first 3D universal binaries out there).

At the moment the app. is modelling and rendering only (and it does both very well indeed). Luxology are currently hard at work implementing rigging and animation so it's definately on the cards.

I use both Maya and Cinema4D at work and Maya is probably a bit overkill for what you're trying to do. Nor is it as user friendly as other apps. Doesn't come cheap either.

As for C4D, I'm personally not too impressed with it. I find certain ways of doing things needlessly convoluted. A matter of taste I suppose. It does offer one of the best 3D paint/texture solutions available in it's BodyPaint plugin. Which is essentially what I use it for at work.

There is also the choice of going with XSI Foundation. It's an amazing program with a very complete toolset and a fantastic render engine. It's renowned for it's Character Animation friendliness.
At $499 you won't find anything more complete/better. The catch is that it's Windows and Linux only, so that would mean BootCamp.
I use XSI (in combination with modo) at home and although I love XSI, the need to work outside of OSX is annoying to say the least.

So basically, If you're new to the game, go with modo. They have an amazing community that will greatly aid you in coming to grips with the program.

dogbone
Feb 3, 2007, 07:09 PM
@=tiggle

Maybe Zbrush will be good for you. You can't animate within it yet but you can easily create posable characters. Best support forum of any software as well.