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Old Aug 17, 2004, 09:08 PM   #1
tdbaws
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Animation Programs

What's the best animation program?

Carrara Studio 3

Discreet 3ds Max

Maya 6

i'm sure that there are others, but would appreciate other peoples reviews and suggestions.

Last edited by tdbaws; Aug 17, 2004 at 09:11 PM.
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 08:35 AM   #2
nina
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Maya 6 is definitely awesome - some hold it as the industry standard.

From the Alias website (www.alias.com):

Academy Award® winning Maya® software is the world’s most powerfully integrated 3D modeling, animation, effects, and rendering solution. Maya also adds to the quality and realism of 2D graphics. That’s why film and video artists, game developers, visualization professionals, Web and print designers turn to Maya to take their work to the next level.

If you'd like to try it out, grab a free Personal Learning Edition of Maya 6 here:

http://www.alias.com/eng/products-se...maya_ple.shtml

Actually, you couldn't have asked this question at a better time; the Personal Learning Edition of Maya 6 was just released last week

Oh, and as a sidenote, I may be a little biased. I'm an employee here at Alias HQ in Toronto

Anyways - I hope you try it out!
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 08:58 AM   #3
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If you're just starting out in 3D, Bryce is simple, and limited.

Maxon's Cinema 4D (www.maxon.net) is fully-featured and has just announced a new version shipping in September. They too have a free trail version on their website.

Give them all a go!
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 09:03 AM   #4
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Personally, I'm partial to Lightwave - and they just recently updated to 8.0. Newtek has one of the best modelers and its rendering is awesome. They're not as well used as Maya, but that still doesn't keep from popping up in many projects.

www.newtek.com

I'd also take this question over to www.cgtalk.com - that's where you'll find more info and examples of the work on the different platforms then you'll be able to look at.

D
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 09:08 AM   #5
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Wooo Blender!

No really, I don't consider myself a graphic artist and I've never used any of those other modelling tools (Maya, Cinema 4D) and I'm sure they're better... but you can't beat Blender's price.
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 12:06 PM   #6
tdbaws
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes
If you're just starting out in 3D, Bryce is simple, and limited.
I am just starting, but it's my degree, so I will excel to the professional level quickly.
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 12:38 PM   #7
Wes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdbaws
I am just starting, but it's my degree, so I will excel to the professional level quickly.
If you're doing a degree Bryce is totally out of the question and you move onto the choice between Maya/3dsMax/Cinema 4d/Lightwave, all of which had a pretty similar user base (Maya slightly ahead) according to a poll I saw about 6 months ago on CG talk.
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 01:07 PM   #8
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There are other alternatives

You can also check out Animation:Master (www.hash.com). I use it, and the animation stuff is amazing. It also has incredible spline-based modeling tools. Oh, yeah, it's $299, and you get a 30-day money back guarantee. You can't beat that!

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Old Aug 18, 2004, 04:39 PM   #9
tdbaws
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes
choice between Maya/3dsMax/Cinema 4d/Lightwave
in all these programs, there are ways to not just make 3D images, but yet have the images move, such as having a image dance, correct?

BTW, wes you've done some pretty sweet images. i checked out ur site.

Last edited by tdbaws; Aug 18, 2004 at 04:43 PM.
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 04:43 PM   #10
Wes
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Yes they all allow for Animations.
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 05:46 PM   #11
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If you're a Mac user, 3DSmax is out of the questions - it's PC only. As far as what's available to us Mac users, I've found Cinema 4d to be the overall best choice. Here's what I've found (and these are only my opinions ):

Lightwave - Newtek: When I explored LW as a possible 3D tool, it was at version 7.5. I tried the Discovery Edition Demo and found the whole interface to be counterintuitive and also didn't like the modelor and layout being separate applications. After more research, I found many Mac user disgruntled w/ Newtek's lack of support for the platform. There were, at the time, some features available to the PC crowd that were not in the Mac version. The renderer was also very slow on my TiBook 667 (which yes, I know, is a POS by todays performance standards). Nice thing though, is if you buy it, the CD works for both Mac or PC as does the dongle that it comes with. Newtek is also very nice about selling it or tranfering the license.

Maya - Alias: I tried version 5.0 PLE on Mac and also 5.0 Unlimited on PC. I could tell right away, that this program had a lot of potential. It's probably the most popular 3d app used for movie effects. It's also got a learning curve that's a b!tch and is very expensive. Also, if you were to buy Maya, you could not ever sell or transfer the license - your stuck with it (unless you sell you business and it transfers as a business asset). Also, support on the Mac side is pretty good except for the fact that the Unlimited version is not yet available. But if your intent is to do movies, this is your best choice.

Cinema 4D - Maxon: I got hooked on this program when 3D World magazine gave out the CE (XL6) for free. Even with this old version I was using, I found the interface to be very intuitive, it was very stable (still have never had it crash) and it renders the fastest out of everything I tested. Now that version 9 is out w/ n-gon support, cloth (which is freakin' awesome) and sub poly displacement (not too sure what this is), it's supposed to be on it's way to being one of the elite 3D tools. Maxon is very supportive of the Mac community and has consistently kept the stability and features up to par w/ the PC side. I know that C4D is used in a ton of motion graphics studios and is used by tons of studios to complement other 3D apps like Maya, 3DSMax, or XSI. With the release of version 9, I've heard of a lot of Lightwave users thinking of jumping over to C4D. Also, version 9 is now optimized for the G5 processor - sweet .

Animation Master - Hash: I started 3D with this program about 3 years ago and am not looking back. I don't know how it is now, but a few years ago it was the most unstable POS I ever worked w/. If it crashed on me only 3 times an hour, that would have been a good day. The fact that it uses patches instead of polygons also limits it's compatablity with other programs. And the renderer is pretty darn slow too. Only good thing I can think is it's really good for character animation. Some would say its ablity to rig and animate a character is unmatched.

Really, the best thing to do is to try the demo version of all these programs. As a student, you can buy an academic version of all of these programs except Animation Master, which is so cheap, the full version costs as much or less than most academic versions of the other programs. I'm very partial to Cinema 4D and think that if one were to guess which app has the largest Mac user base, I would guess Cinema 4D.

//flamesuit = on
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 07:23 PM   #12
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Anyone have any experience with Electric Image Universe (now Electric Image Animation System)?

EIAS product page
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Old Aug 19, 2004, 09:55 AM   #13
nina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelGlitch
Maya - Alias: ...Also, support on the Mac side is pretty good except for the fact that the Unlimited version is not yet available. But if your intent is to do movies, this is your best choice.
Actually, if you really need Maya Hair, Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Fur, Maya Cloth, and Maya Live, we just released Maya 6 Unlimited for Mac OS X at Siggraph.

http://www.alias.com/eng/press/press...shipping.shtml

Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelGlitch
...It's also got a learning curve that's a b!tch and is very expensive.
Maya is definitely an extremely complex piece of software. However, the Personal Learning Edition comes with a full set of introductory movies, tutorials, and help docs to get you started.

Just a few of the new features in Maya 6 Personal Learning Edition include mental ray rendering and Adobe Photoshop file integration. Give it a shot - you can't beat the price! (It's a free download)

http://www.alias.com/eng/products-se...maya_ple.shtml
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Old Aug 19, 2004, 10:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumDumGuy
Anyone have any experience with Electric Image Universe (now Electric Image Animation System)?

EIAS product page
I've used it in the past and it renders like lightning...FAST!!! Easy to create extremely realistic stuff. I've heard it's only gotten better.
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