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Old May 29, 2005, 01:13 PM   #1
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Good App for 3D Design/CAD Noobie

Hi all,
Im looking to get into 3d design and animation for a hobby, I am currently using bryce and I downloaded Maya PLE, It is a bit complicated for me. Can anyone recommend a good app apart from bryce which is simple enough to learn. Then when I get some background skills and maybe some artistic vision I will take up some of the more complicated ones.
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Last edited by Patmian212; Oct 26, 2005 at 04:56 PM.
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Old Oct 26, 2005, 04:56 PM   #2
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No one, better late then never lol
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Old Oct 26, 2005, 06:29 PM   #3
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I use Maya and 3DS Max (they don't have a Mac version)... I would try to learn Maya, its really good software and can do a lot.
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Old Oct 26, 2005, 06:40 PM   #4
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If you don't want to pay a lot (well, if you don't want to pay ANYTHING) you could use Wings3D for modeling, and Blender for rendering/animation. They're both very solid programs, and they're both free.
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Old Oct 26, 2005, 07:33 PM   #5
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I have Maya, Electric Image and Lightwave. Any good 3D app takes time to learn, period. You can look for easy ones but you might find yourself outgrowing them quickly. If your goal is doing this in a good app then start with a good app. Yes, Maya is very hard to learn but I can not think of anything it can't do, it's an amazing piece of software. I no longer use Lightwave because I hate the interface. Electric Image is very good some things but not everything. If you can give us an idea of what you want to do with the software maybe I might have some more ideas on which app would work best.

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Old Oct 27, 2005, 11:09 AM   #6
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MAYA IS FREE TO DOWNLOAD. As a Personal Learning Edition. In case some people didnt get that in this thread.


THOUGH i have to stress there is a reason for this. MAYA IS VERY VERY hard to learn. its not like Bryce where u dont have to know anything to use it, but the more you know the better you are with it.

With maya, you have to learn your way around it, and god help you if you dont have a 4 button mouse at least. Maya is GREAT, extremely well liked in the 3D community and well written about in lots of tutorials and books.

If you want to learn how the "big boys" do 3D modeling, Maya is a good place to start. BUT if you want to have a more powerful 3D program than Bryce (which is a powerful LANDSCAPE 3d tool, though crappy primitives) youll need to look elsewhere for something cheap and easier to learn/use.

I can suggest lots of free ones, but nothing really is as good as something thats a few bucks.

Cimema 4D is 4 stars in my book, its very very powerful but you can do alot by knowing very little.

Carrara is ok, not great but I think its metaball is kinda neat

Lightwave, dont try this maya is better IMO and I dont read much on Lightwave

Infini-D, Classic and OS9 only, awesome precursor to Carrara, very simple but can do alot.

Also, its obvious but not to some, if you want to learn a 3D program, you have to use it alot. I didnt ever read a book on Bryce and I still dont understand its animation stuff or some of its intricate settings, but a book can always fix that. When it comes to Maya, do a hard search on some books and read opinions on their helpfulness and how they are written. Pick up a copy of a good book that you think will best help you. No one can teach you 3D, only how to use it.
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Old Nov 1, 2005, 11:19 AM   #7
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Ok sounds good, I think im gonna try out cinema 4D for now, thanks for all the help.
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Old Nov 1, 2005, 07:53 PM   #8
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I'm actually looking for a new program as well. At the moment I'm using Carrara 4 Pro (at home), and at work I use FormZ. I'd like to get into something new (I'd love to get Maya but it's a pretty expensive program), what other programs are out there that would be more powerful than Carrara but something that doesn't cost the same amount as my computer. Afterall, this is more of a hobby than a work purchase.
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Old Nov 1, 2005, 08:50 PM   #9
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As someone who had no experience with 3D apps, I found Vue 5 Esprit very easy to use. Try the demo.
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 09:42 PM   #10
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 10:02 PM   #11
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i use maya, formz, bryce, and cinema 4d. if you are a starter and are afraid of maya go to cinema 4d. does just about everything maya does but alot more intuitivley and cheaply. its not that maya is so dificult, it just has to be the worst layout an ui of them all. they just dont make it easy to learn. formz is good but doesnt really do animation and all the bells and whistles that maya and c4d. formz tends to be popular with industrial designers and architects and is not all that good with organics. bryce is a toy in comparison to the others and is perfect for the freshman modeler. im going to assume that you are a mac person so your other option of 3dstudio isnt really an option as it is pc only.
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Old Nov 5, 2005, 01:29 AM   #12
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I currently have Maya 5 on my PC, but find it too cumbersome for some types of projects. Awesome app, but animation is really the strong suit.

On the Mac I've always liked Infini-D 4.5; it's extremely easy to use and the results are fairly decent considering how old this application is.
Good luck finding a copy though; it was orphaned years ago.
(Interesting note: Infini-D is provided with both Mac and Windows installers, but the application no longer functions at all in WinXP SP2, but works perfectly in OSX classic)

Carrara sucks IMO. (I'm being generous)

Cinema4D purportedly is an excellent app with a very fast rendering engine.

You might try out the Shade demo; it's a little obscure, but from what I've seen it looks fairly easy to learn.
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Old May 7, 2006, 04:40 PM   #13
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I am new with Cinema 4D and am interested in learning this 3D app. The publisher's web site showed a few different versions of C4D. The base one (around $800) and the bundled version (around $2000). Is it worth getting the bundled version? Or, a base version is suffcient enought?
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Old May 7, 2006, 05:11 PM   #14
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sketchup has a free version you can download. It's very quick, and easy to learn - although hard to translate into the more "professional" 3D apps (i.e. difficult UI), and does not do organic shapes. I typically do architectural massing models in sketchup and export to cinema 4d, 3DS Max or cheetah 3d for final rendering... most of the time i've got about an hour to pull a model together, so I use sketchup a lot. some people don't like it because it doesn't "feel" like a typical 3D app, and the graphical style it outputs... but clients are very impressed when I pull together a model of their building during a meeting.

cheetah 3D is a probably the best 3D modeling/rendering app for under $100. it has a pretty simple UI, and the guy who develops the software is very responsive to any issues or questions you might have... www.cheetah3D.de

hope this helps!

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Old May 12, 2006, 03:52 AM   #15
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i am sooo very keen to do my masters in computer science and new media(animation, visual design). am having a lot of trouble to find the right university. I do have a budget, an average one... but any one has any suggestions as to where i should start???
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