what is the hardest software application to learn how to use?

Discussion in 'Community' started by jefhatfield, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #1
    what is the easiest? and any suggestions for improvement?

    i find the mac operating systems the easiest to use, then appleworks word processor...clarisworks before it was also good

    the old 4.x netscape navigators were a joy to use but now i use microsoft ie/outlook express but it took a little time to learn how to use since it was not as well designed

    photoshop and illustrator are a mystery to me and i don't have the patience but i am going to take a class for fun one day...i know i got started off on the wrong foot when i was considering buying them and read up on it...one article said that photoshop was the hardest piece of software to learn of all common titles out there on the market...i got it anyway but my wife uses it as well as illustrator and pagemaker...i got her macromedia freehand but i think she prefers illustrator...and another hard piece of software, or at least poorly designed is microsoft frontpage 2000...yeech!

    while microsoft word is easy to use, it has too many features and when i do word processing on the pc, i prefer microsoft works but don't like all the templates

    on my pc laptop, i have windows 98 and i often do maintenance wizard on it to keep it optomized but it crashes every now and then but the whole system does require a system restore once a year or more...so i put on windows 2000 but didn't like it much but it was more stable but not entirely multimedia friendly being built right on top of the windows nt platform...windows xp did work those bugs out and is by far the most user friendly of all the windows versions and maybe in another ten years, they can get it right;)

    my 2 cents

    update: i was just wondering about "common" software titles, not something very expensive and professional only use such as autocad or maya;)
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    I've got most of the Adobe apps down, but I've been using them for nearly 10 years. Being an engineering student, I've had plenty of experience with excel, powerpoint, and word. One program I've come across that I find difficult is maya. I downloaded their free education version and have no idea what to do with it. I suppose I'll have to devote a few hours to reading up on it, then give it another shot.
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #3
    From scratch, probably Logic Platinum, as it assumes a level of understaning of MIDI and audio. The learning curve is very steep.

    After that, probably DVD Studio Pro 1, although It really didn't take me as long as I expected.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #4
    The easiest program to learn, ever, was MacPaint. What a simple, elegant program. It was beautiful. I remember seeing that on my friend's Mac in 1984 and knowing I needed one. I finally scraped up the cash in 1987 and haven't looked back since.

    The hardest programs are probably 3-D rendering programs like Stratavision. Two dimensions are hard enough, but three! That blows your mind. Mathematica is also pretty intense.

    I disagree that Photoshop and Illustrator are so difficult. Once you learn the basic controls, they're pretty intuitive. But maybe that's just because I've been working with them for years.
     
  5. macrumors 68030

    teabgs

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    behind you
    #5
    the hardest app, regardless of platform also happens to be the one with the most code (I dont remember the number but it's definitely over 50 million lines of code...)

    alias Maya. very steep learning curve too. it really takes about 2 years of using it to really start to "get it", and even then there's so much you don't know. Even people that have used it for years always have to learn new stuff and try to figure things out, as you will forget stuff you once knew, theres SO MUCH stuff in it.
     
  6. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #6
    Maya and Renderman are both well up there... I'd also add Flame to the list as well ;)
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    teabgs

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    behind you
    #7
    I've never used renderman...yet...but from what I heard...

    and yeah...never even SEEN flame, but I've heard about it as well...

    I also hear inferno is up there...
     
  8. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #8
    I've only seen Renderman used by someone else, and it looked extremely hardcore.... I'm learning Maya at the moment, but more for motion graphics work rather than character modelling etc.

    3D to me is the most difficult, purely because of the nature of it and what you need to know to do it well...

    Flame is an outstanding app, but to be honest Discreets suite of effects, comp and finishing apps have near vertical learning curves but they're incredibly powerful and personally I enjoy the challenge of using them (when the rare opportunity of using Flame actually arises that is).

    I came very close to investing in a Flame set up a few years ago, but couldn't justify the initial outlay, but to be honest I'm not sure I need something that high end, and I seem to do okay with a mix of After Effects, Combustion and Shake.

    I'm pretty good at picking up any software I try, I'm completely self taught when it comes to software, as my University was more based on concepts and theory rather than technology, so I've always just sat down and figured out how the software works, Adobe for example have nailed their UI if you can work Photoshop, with very little effort you can learn the basics of every other Adobe app.

    If you can work Photoshop it takes very little effort to master Illustrator for example, if you know alittle about After Effects you'd pick up LiveMotion in a day you really can see the effort Adobe have put into making their suite of applications work together and work together incredibly well.

    The one app I think I ever had any difficulty with (as embarassing as it is to admit) was when Flash 1.0 was released, I'd been using Director for a long time prior, and Flash 1.0 was just sooooooooo bad.... really screwy and full of Macromedia's famed idiosyncrasies and compared to Director it was just nasty and seriously unproductive, that took some time to get my head around, but that was more to do with the app been poor than anything else.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #9
    i agree that Maya is very confusing. i have a book i bought to learn from. but Blender IMHO is much harder to learn because the UI is so different.
     
  10. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #10
    I have to put my vote to AutoCAD. I've never used Maya or Renderman etc. so I can't compare, but I bet they're similar.
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #12
    The iApps are the easiest and Maya has to be up there with the most complex, just because of the shear number of options available. Really, any audio, video, or 3D app will seem confusing if you don't have a basic understanding of the concepts involved in the different mediums.


    I found DVDirector (DVD Studio Pro before Apple bought them) to be pretty easy to learn and use. Of course I had the guy who wrote the manual train me, but still... ;)
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Location:
    Northallerton, England
    #13
    WebObjects has one of the largest learning curves i've seen. If you know Java then your more than halfway there but if not it will take a while to learn.

    I'm having to go back to University to learn languages like Java. Unfortunately you can't get to the Java class unless you've taken a Visual Basic and C Programming class. In other words my attempt to learn Java will take 2 years.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    agreenster

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Location:
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    #14
    Maya isnt THAT hard. However, I've been using it for about two years and am still learning lots of stuff. But to get the basics only takes a few weeks. Now if you really want to f*ck your mind up, use the 3D software Houdini. That's some crazy stuff. Its about 10x harder than Maya. Lots of scripting and math--and more math math math. Math!

    Anyway, what makes Maya so deep is that there is so much you can do on the back-end (mel wise) I hardly ever touch any of the Mel stuff because Im just an animator, and the techies deal with that. (bad excuse, I know!) Hopefully I'll get my reel online sometime soon...

    Adobe apps are some of the easiest Ive ever used. You can pick Photoshop up in about 2 weeks if you stick with it. There are just a lot of little tricks that take a while to discover.

    I actually think some of the Apple apps are difficult. I just started using FCP about a week ago (from scratch, had been using Toaster by NewTek<-- good software) and was trying to delete an audio track from a video and couldnt figure it out. SHEESH. Click it and hit delete you say? Wrong. Weird. Ended up doing it in Quicktime pro, which was faster anyway.
     
  15. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #15
    I really have to disagree with you. How much stuff in FCP is hidden away in a DOS-like CLI? Or how about tools not working the same way twice. Or working in 3D and trying to add something, only to find that it's waaay off target because it moved in a different plane? I stand by my assertion that AutoCAD is the hardest to learn program that I've ever used.
     
  16. TEG
    macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #16
    I'd have to say the hardest program I've use on either Mac, PC, Unix is Maple (Or Waterloo Maple to be prosice). It is by far the crappiest, most un-intutive, illogical, mathematics program in the world. The problem, My University uses it to teach Math to students. It took 2 hours to figure out how to graph, and even then it was wrong.

    In the M$ world, I'd say Access, has a steep learning curve for people who never worked with databases before.

    TEG
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    1macker1

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Location:
    A Higher Level
    #17
    Hahaha i feel your pain, maple was confusing at first, but it got easier. I'd have to say AutoCad.
    wait til you have to use Matlab.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #18
    I'm struggling at using dreamweaver, more because i'm learning all of my web design as I go and all of the features as I go so I've got a lot to learn
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #19
    after years of coding html by hand i tried using dreamweaver... i can not understand that program to save my life. guess it's back to JEdit for me.
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    teabgs

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    behind you
    #20
    dude. Just lock the video track that it's attached to select it and hit delete. :)
     
  21. Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #21
    Nothing has been the hardest for me to learn, since I don't know everything about any one application. Though I will say that Flash has been the most intimidating & harder to grasp than anything I've fooled around on.

    I'm quite sure I'd lose my head trying to learn Maya or anything similar. :p
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #22
    The hardest program for me is called Shamrock. It is a pc based app used in the food service department, for keeping track of the students, their purchases, their accounts, etc. Very tough
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    agreenster

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Location:
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    #23
    I think some of the principles of Flash is harder sometimes than Maya! ;) Ive been using Flash for years and years and it still acts totally buggy sometimes.
     
  24. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #24
    Flash is tough sometimes, especially with action scripting - but 3D is even more so.

    I use Lightwave, which is easier than Maya. I got the PLE version of Maya and played around with it, and even with over 10 years of 3D experience it was too frustrating to get the results I wanted fast enough. It has benefits over Lightwave and I'll most likely eventually use it - but for now I can do most of what I want and don't have the time to get up to speed with Maya.

    Someday, though I'll make the switch :D

    D
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    agreenster

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Location:
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    #25
    I felt the same way when I switched from C4D (which I switched to from Maya, lol)

    Maya can be frustrating, especially when rendering. Lots of weird stuff going on there. I still dont like Maya's renderer that much, and use Mental Ray sometimes, but since Im more of an animator, I hate to waste precious hours dinking around with frikkin shadows and raytracing and blah blah blah.

    Isnt Lightwave the software that has a light called skylight or something that does Global illumination at the touch of a button or something? I hate messing with GI in Mantal Ray because its so in-depth. Im a one-button kinda guy! :D
     

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