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harveypooka
Oct 16, 2007, 06:06 PM
I'd like to start some 3D modelling, but know very little about it. I tried to use Blender about a year ago but the interface seemed overly complex.

Recommendations of software would be useful.

Or should I stick with Blender and just surf the learning curve? I saw what could be accomplished in Elephants Dream, I'm sure it's a capable bit of software, but I'm not sure if it's a bit too advanced for me?



failsafe1
Oct 16, 2007, 09:49 PM
I am in the same spot. I have tried them all. If all means under a couple hundred bucks. Here is what I have found as a self trained novice.

I have tried the following:
Blender not enough documentation and steep learning curve for newbies
Wings 3D same as above
Animation Master 3D not bad but not all around program
Carrara 6 nice all around program for modeling, and animation
Vue 6 Esprit nice all around program for outdoor scenes and animation
Poser 7 OK program when used with Vue. No good for modeling
Hexagon 2.2 steep learing curve.
Maya PLE don't start with this.
Daz 3D a Poser clone but free. OK if you want to avoid Poser

My recommendation would be Carrara for an all in one solution followed by Vue and Poser for using Poser content and easy animation. All the above can be had for free or for less than $300 each. Cheaper if you have an educational connection. There are other choices as well Cinema 4D, Lightwave, Amapi, Shade etc but these are heavy duty and hard to learn.

failsafe1
Oct 16, 2007, 10:02 PM
Just when I finished typing I got an email from Daz3d.com about a new title for modeling and animation. It is Carrara 3d express. If you join the platinum club at Daz3d.com for less than $30 you can purchase Carrara 3d Express for $19.95. You can't beat that deal. www.daz3d.com

maximile
Oct 17, 2007, 01:28 AM
You might want to have a look at Cheetah3D (http://www.cheetah3d.com/). I haven't used it (I'm a Blender fan) but I've heard some good things about it and it makes a big deal about being Mac-like.

If you choose to stick with Blender, you'll probably end up loving it. There are some pretty good tutorials out there, and there's a good community who are prepared to help people out. But yeah, the interface is very strange and it takes a while to get used to.

theyoda3
Oct 17, 2007, 02:03 AM
I've always been a big fan of 3D Studio Max. You can get a full 30-day trial from the Autodesk website. 3D Studio Max and Maya are the two major animations programs for the 3D industry. With the EDU discount you can get it for under $400, but as I said there is a free 30-day trial to test it out first. I've found it a lot easier to use than Maya and it has a fairly simple interface.

Also, the program has an excellent user manual in the help section.

LeviG
Oct 17, 2007, 05:27 AM
I've always been a big fan of 3D Studio Max. You can get a full 30-day trial from the Autodesk website. 3D Studio Max and Maya are the two major animations programs for the 3D industry. With the EDU discount you cant get it for under $400, but as I said there is a free 30-day trial to test it out first. I've found it a lot easier to use than Maya and it has a fairly simple interface.

Also, the program has an excellent user manual in the help section.

You forgot to mention that 3ds max is windows only :rolleyes:

theyoda3
Oct 17, 2007, 07:26 AM
Yea I did forget to mention that lol, sorry. I really wish they would make a Mac version, that would be a dream come true.

arkitect
Oct 17, 2007, 07:30 AM
You forgot to mention that 3ds max is windows only :rolleyes:

If you are not looking at complex animations I would recommend Rhino 3D. (Also Windows only — although aparently it is being ported to OSX!! :D) It is the only reason I still run BootCamp. But it also works pretty well in Parallels or VMware

Combine that with Maxwell Render and you can get astonishing results… :eek:

LeviG
Oct 17, 2007, 07:47 AM
Yea I did forget to mention that lol, sorry. I really wish they would make a Mac version, that would be a dream come true.

That would be nice (or just the backburner renderer - don't think it supports 3ds max in os-x), even more so if they include solidworks (this is quite an easy modelling package to learn but its more engineering orientated)

kannonbal
Oct 17, 2007, 08:15 AM
if you are just starting out with 3d modeling, you can't go wrong with the free version of Sketchup. Extremely easy to get started and very powerful, especially for the price.

Cheetah3D is a great piece of software. The developer is very active on their forums and updates come often and are always excellent. It's lighting and rendering abilities are awesome, IMO

Cheers, Chuck

j/k/Andy
Oct 17, 2007, 08:20 AM
if you are just starting out with 3d modeling, you can't go wrong with the free version of Sketchup. Extremely easy to get started and very powerful, especially for the price.

Anyone know how Sketchup runs with Intel 950 graphics (either the mini or macbook)?

RichP
Oct 17, 2007, 10:20 AM
Maya has an OSX Port ;)

Yes, it is hard to use, but figuring it is a professional animating tool that films are produced with, it is to be expected to be complex. Alot of these programs have a "legacy" interface from their unix/sgi/etc roots, hence they feel kind of clunky and unintuitive. Mayas help/demos/lessons however, could give you a decent baseline on how to use the application. Its like any professional app, it takes some serious initial effort to operate the program..its the opposite of an "iApp"

Mayas mental-ray rendering is very good too!

theyoda3
Oct 17, 2007, 11:59 AM
Just to clarify that last comment, mental ray is can be a standalone rendering engine and it is not specific to Maya, but it seems like it's only compatible with Autodesk software. A version of it is included with Maya, 3ds Max, and Viz.

speakerwizard
Oct 17, 2007, 01:15 PM
i am a maya user and if you want to get in the industry its the major player, but i do freelance and i am seriously considering moving to modo, 301 release is looking amazing, its got zbrush like features built in, so no plugins exporting and importing to play with as well as the normal maps etc. a great looking modeller and renderer (no native animation yet though you can import animation from say motion builder etc) and its 100% mac, not a port, in fact they put the mac 1st, so it is a very apple like app, not the mess that maya can sometimes be.

technocoy
Oct 17, 2007, 05:12 PM
If you are looking for a good solid modeler and then looking to transition to a package like Maya later, then my recommendation would be Silo from nevercenter.com. Best thing is it's only 150.00 and it has a dual license, so you can run it in OS X and Windows if you are switching around alot.

It uses alot of the same keyboard shortcuts, etc as the major programs so it will be a good starting point for a later migration, but the interface is amazingly convenient and simple.

The demo continues working infinitely as a learning tool, so no rush to stay on top of it if you need to take a look at it and then come back after trying a few others.

It's pretty much only good for modeling though.

I would also have to recommend modo 301 if you have a little more money to spend and need a great all in one.

Hope this helps.

harveypooka
Oct 17, 2007, 05:17 PM
I'm quite stunned at the amount of replies...

I'll come back in 10 years once I've tried them all! As Carrara 3D has been mentioned a couple times I'll give that a download, I'll also try Silo.

Mac Kiwi
Oct 18, 2007, 05:02 AM
Actually you forgot one of the most popular 3D apps being Softimage XSI {windows only} ...its probably about as popular as Maya in studios.


In a lot of situations Max is still only used in game studios....that is changing,but the main modeling apps {with excellent CA animation etc} outside of games seem to still be Maya and XSI at this point.



Modo 301 seems like a great app to me.You get a top of the line modeling toolset and a first class render engine,for about the same price as Maxwell or V ray etc.

ga1lyons
Oct 18, 2007, 05:53 PM
What is your final goal for this? Do you want to eventually work in 3D animation some day? ...or is it more of just a matter of you think it would be cool and you have no expectation of ever doing for pay.

If you are serious about this... spend about $600. $300 for the educational version of Maya Complete. Spend the other $300 for educational resources/books/dvds so that you can learn what you're doing. (note you must be a student for that pricing)

I suggest starting with this as no sense wasting time on a software suite yo wont be using in two months.

Mind you if youre in college, take a class. Even the worst teacher can save you YEARS of pain and time exhausting mistakes.

If you arent serious? THen dont worry about it as the novelty and fad of it will fade in a few months and you can find another hobby. Either way, stay the F&$k away from Bryce or I'll hunt you down myself.

...if you are wanting to learn this for possible eventual career.... go to school for it.

I do not suggest using any of the software which is not in demand. I've never seen an advertisement for jobs which say "must know Blender, Maya is acceptable and will train."

Main thing is decide why you want to learn first, then decide on what package you want to purchase. If you want to mod levels for Unreal, fine but decide what you want to do first. I do 3D for a living and thus suggest go big or go home.

Hope this helps.

Mac Kiwi
Oct 19, 2007, 04:07 AM
Either way, stay the F&$k away from Bryce or I'll hunt you down my self


Hahahahaa rofl


Not a fan of chrome spheres I see :D

weblogik
Oct 19, 2007, 08:25 AM
lol

who hasnt made mountains and spheres in Bryce at some point of their early design life! :D

juanm
Oct 19, 2007, 08:37 AM
If you are not looking at complex animations I would recommend Rhino 3D. (Also Windows only — although aparently it is being ported to OSX!! :D)

It's for real http://www.irhino3d.com

LeviG
Oct 19, 2007, 10:14 AM
lol

who hasnt made mountains and spheres in Bryce at some point of their early design life! :D

Me - I went straight to solidworks, 3ds max and Poser :p
Did try Rhino but after using 3ds max it seemed a bit backwards to use it and the less said about alias the better :rolleyes:

arkitect
Oct 19, 2007, 10:24 AM
Me - I went straight to solidworks, 3ds max and Poser :p
Did try Rhino but after using 3ds max it seemed a bit backwards to use it and the less said about alias the better :rolleyes:

Backwards? Hardly! Depends what you use it for… It is not an animation tool, granted, but its modelling tools are second to none. :D

LeviG
Oct 19, 2007, 11:28 AM
Backwards? Hardly! Depends what you use it for… It is not an animation tool, granted, but its modelling tools are second to none. :D

I didn't mean it wasn't a capable program, its more a case of once you get to grips working one way, trying to adapt to work another way is often more hard work than its worth :D
It's a bit like using adobe indesign after always using quark.

sedarby
Oct 19, 2007, 02:10 PM
Another program that is Mac only is Pixels 3D. I used an earlier version. Not as full featured as others but is cool to mess around with. You probably won't find anyone looking to hire you with this package but it is fun, cheap and not really that bad.

www.pixels3d.com (http://www.pixels3d.com)

mim
Oct 19, 2007, 05:21 PM
It does really depend on what you want to do - as an architect Rhino is simply the best thing out there because it is precise. However, packages like Max, Maya, and Modo are much better for freeform modeling. In particular I like Modo - it's fast, has great tools, a great renderer - but that's just me.