3D Modelling for beginners & nMP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by motegi, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. motegi macrumors regular

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    May 14, 2009
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    sydney.au
    #1
    Ive got a nMP on order, and after all the reading of the talk of CUDA, Open CL etc etc happening in the benchmarks threads, I thought I might delve into 3D modelling. I'm a 10+ year retoucher/designer/illustrator and just interested in making some models and painting textures up.

    What programs work on osx?

    Which are optimised for OpenCL?

    As a complete novice, where should I start?

    I'm totally confused about which programs do what!

    Please lend me your expertise!
     
  2. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #2
    What kind of 3D modelling you're referring to?

    There are some for product visualization, organic 3D modelling and etc.
     
  3. motegi thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Well something useful, eventually 3d graphics for films etc? Happy to start on making models for games (like star citizen etc)
     
  4. DJenkins macrumors 6502

    DJenkins

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    #4
    If you're a designer and illustrator I would recommend Cinema 4D. I find it very intuitive and lends it's toolset to motion graphics quite well.

    As a very broad opinion I would say that it's great for a style where you can get what's in your head out and looking great very quickly. The autodesk programs may achieve a technically better result in the end but the workflow seems more complex.

    People do also use it for all sorts of things covering pretty much the gamut of 3D work (except CAD style stuff really) but I think the consensus is that once you reach highly complex models and simulations it lacks the ultra control and detail of 3Ds max etc.

    Just my thoughts anyway as a Cinema 4D guy ;)
     
  5. Dranix macrumors 6502a

    Dranix

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    #5
    When your background is painting - take a good look at Pixologic Zbrush. Today few things are beyond it. I do only very special modelling tasks outside of it.

    For a good basic try Cheetah3d or Shade3d basic.

    Lemme think what apps are available:

    - Silo (*stay away from this as it has been abandoned by the devs for years*)
    - Vue : good landscape modeller/renderer
    - Cheetah3d : small but rather complete all-around 3d app with good renderer
    - Mudbox : 3d sculpting and painting
    - Zbrush : 3d sculpting and painting (the standard and very mighty)
    - Shade 3d : full all around package, from free to 750$
    - Modo : full all around package
    - Cinema4d : full all around package
    - Maya : the all mighty master of 3d
    - Lightwave : full all around package of Babylon5 fame
    - Blender : full all around package, free but you have to survive the sick ui
    - Houdini : god of vfx renders, VERY expensive, but cheap non-commercial available

    Probably forgotten some...
     
  6. motegi thread starter macrumors regular

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  7. riggles macrumors 6502

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    #7
    The nMP isn't a stellar 3D machine, yet. Although, depending on what you're coming from, it could be awesome in comparison. The issue is OpenCL support. The only 3D app to my knowledge that supports OpenCL natively is Blender with its Cycles renderer. As mentioned, you'd have to deal with it's frustrating UI though. All other apps would need a separate 3rd-party render to use those dual GPUs.

    I'm a MODO user myself. Pretty awesome for modeling and a good value for an all-around package.
     
  8. Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

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    #8
    If you like the thought of sculpture based creation of models using a pen tablet then ZBrush is well established in the industry and has many tutorials available.

    Llearning area:
    http://pixologic.com/zclassroom/homeroom/

    Gallery:
    http://pixologic.com/zbrush/gallery/

    As to what is accelerated with OpenCL, at the moment things that can use time consuming computational processes which isn't really where painting, modelling and sculpting comes in. But saying that, OpenCL is creeping into areas we didn't expect from drawing the the user interface (Core Graphics, Quartz) which is managed by OSX and Apple to real-time rendering engines provided by the software developers. You just have to read up which ones have the support. Saying that it shouldn't hinder you as a modeller.

    If you want something for free just to see if you like it then Blender is great.
    http://www.blender.org/features/

    It is quite early for multi-GPU and OpenCL support but it IS happening and the big sponsors are pushing it harder than ever.

    Anim
     
  9. Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

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    #9
    I'm a 3D Studio Max user myself but I want to move to Mac for the 3D side of what I do, which is anything and everything to be honest. 3D Studio has been out years, way back since MS-DOS which is when I first started using it but I need to find something with a similar toolset for the Mac. I like The Foundry line up of products too so may take a look. 3DSMax is the only reason (well, and games) that I still need a PC.
     
  10. simsaladimbamba

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    #10
    While I am no expert in 3D Studio Max (who still calls it that way), I have come to it with version 2.5 and dabbled with it until version 4 or so.
    Cinema 4D comes closest to the UI and mindset of 3D Studio Max, and it is as easy to learn as that application, which we cannot abbreviate, otherwise Kinetix will hunt us all down.
     
  11. Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

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    #11
    I tried C4D but its like a cut down version of 3DSMax. On a live project it started off great, loved the UI and object heirarchy compared to a stack but i kept finding missing features so went back to Max. Can't remember what they were now, trying to think. It was in the modelling stages anyway, probably cuts, booleans and the sorts you just get used to using.
     
  12. Dranix macrumors 6502a

    Dranix

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    #12
  13. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #13
    Hmm, if I'm not mistaken V-Ray makes use of OpenCL.

    ----------

    Aaah, I'm planning to learn Modo for product rendering but hasn't had the time for it yet. I saw some threads regarding Modo and it seems ppl is hoping they'll add OpenCL support but Luxology is known for dragging their feet in supporting new APIs?
     
  14. willcapellaro macrumors 6502

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    Oct 20, 2011
    #14
    Not exactly what you are describing, but Rhinoceros is a pretty useful 3D modeling program and it's a free beta for mac.

    http://www.rhino3d.com/mac

    But sounds like you want ZBrush.

    3D is the wild west, so many specialized programs, so much technical geekery, a lot of custom UI. I'm sure Industrial Designers would disagee but there needs to be an Adobe in this space.
     
  15. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #15
    The software can be pretty cost prohibitive, especially for someone just dipping their feet into the 3D waters. There are free options out there like Blender, which would introduce you to 3D design without any major investment. Other developers provide educational versions if you qualify or free trials.

    I personally work in Maya and C4D. Maya is a bit more intimidating, but I still prefer it over C4D, but that might just be because I learned that first. But all have their strengths and weaknesses. I would say C4D is great for motion graphic work, especially with its AE integration. That said, I'm still more comfortable with the Maya modeling workflow.

    Only time will tell if any of these programs adopt OpenCL support. The lack of CUDA in the nMP should only really be a concern if you're planning on using a CUDA based rendering solution. That doesn't really apply to my type of work as I'm still using CPU render engines. And while there aren't really any benchmarks out there yet in the various 3D programs, the nMP performance with Maya should be decent as it's always performed well with the Firepro cards.

    ----------

    I'll disagree simply because I'm not sure what you're expecting Adobe to bring to the table that can't be found elsewhere.

    Though with how they're treating AE as part of the C4D pipeline, I wouldn't be surprised if they just bought Maxon.
     
  16. Tim Allen macrumors newbie

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    Dec 19, 2013
    #16
    This may sound like a stupid question but is there a good "cross over program" meaning lets say I want to design something to be implemented into AE but also have the ability to be exported out for a 3D print?
     
  17. Pistol Peto macrumors member

    Pistol Peto

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    Location:
    West of Toronto
    #17
    I'm in the same boat as you Motegi. Just learning to do some 3D modelling and rendering on my nMP.

    I've started with Sketchup, having had some exposure to it in my past work life. It's strength is architectural work. If you find that interesting it may be for you. There are many videos on the site to help you learn the program. There's a free download and a student copy of the pro version.

    I'm rendering with Indigo and am really blown away with the results considering I knew almost nothing a week ago. Indigo makes use of OpenCL but only uses one GPU to help the CPU render. There is talk of dual GPU's for the next update. Even so it's pretty fast.

    You can use a 30 day trial - all rendered images have Indigo watermarks on them.

    Good luck!
     
  18. riggles macrumors 6502

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    #18
    MODO is very good for product renderings. Yea, some of us would really like to see GPU support, but the last time they spoke publicly about it was a few years ago, and they basically said "no, it's not worth it". Honestly, I'm still trying to to figure them out when it comes to development. What's more, I'm waiting to see how their merger with The Foundry effects development, too. Sometimes they seem very deliberate, sometimes just downright slow, and other times ahead of the curve. I'm curious what 801 will bring.
     
  19. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 4, 2008
    #19
    Learn Modo first.

    It's reasonably priced, and the best subdivision modeller out there. Nothing even comes close to the modelling and UV unwrapping workflow. It has an extremely capable renderer built-in (which is almost, but not quite on par with V-Ray).

    And the chances are good that even if you do need more capability then Modo provides, you'll still want to use Modo for all your modelling because it's that awesome at that stuff.

    If you ever do need something heavier then Modo, then your choices are basically Cinema 4D or Maya. Cinema 4D is great for motion graphics and basic character animation, plus some rudimentary SDS sculpting. It's a very well rounded application. Maya is more designed for flexibility (writing your own plugins) and character animation. In either case the default renderers kind of suck, so you'll probably land up shelling out for a license of V-Ray (which is called "VRAYforC4D" on the Cinema 4D side, it's not maintained by ChaosGroup, rather another group called LAUBlab).

    As for OpenCL, relatively nothing supports it. At best, there's a few niche renders out there that MIGHT support it in the future, but I wouldn't hedge your career on it. There are serious issues with different GPU models and/or series returning different results when it comes to a brute-force light tracing renderer (like Octane). This means that you might have issues with network rendering between boxes with different graphics cards in them, and it's the reason why GPU rendering has not been widely adopted by the CG industries (and therefore there is very little interest in it).

    So really, even though you own an nMP, I wouldn't base your software decision on what does or doesn't support OpenCL. If you're serious about CG, it won't matter to you because you'll be more interested in what the software is capable of as a whole.

    -SC
     
  20. motegi thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Amazing. You guys are the best!

    So many options, but I'll trial each one and see.

    It seems Modo, Maya, C4D and ZBrush are the leaders so far
     
  21. Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

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    Macclesfield, UK
    #21
    Quick scan on youtube comes up with quite a few OpenCL accelerated products.

    Maya Bullet Physics Plugin
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hA6GT6Deo0

    Maya Fluids
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv1VMVFwlNU

    I also think Maya Viewport 2.0 supports GPU acceleration

    Mercury engine for Adobe CC (Photoshop, Premiere Pro etc)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6MroxhsLT0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3LwNT1QUPQ
    http://www.examiner.com/article/the-new-features-of-photoshop-cc-version-14-2-update

    Davinci Resolve
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi9d4uEaRYs

    Blender
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=143k1fqPukk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk-N4f9ze4k

    Indigo Renderer
    http://www.indigorenderer.com/indigo3

    Here is an interesting one, fast Facial Recognition using OpenCL
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTErTqOIkss

    So, more than nothing :D and more and more products finding ways to use OpenCL, even WinZip compression now has OpenCL built in.

    Obviously the benefits for 3D are in things like Particle systems, fogs, fluids, special effects / complex materials, physics and dynamics along with realtime renderings so quite relevant and important to the 3D industry, especially as you get gains from 10x to 20x faster than the CPU can do it.

    3D software designers have to take this on board or fall behind the competition.

    It's all quite exciting as we are starting to see some amazing things making use of it.

    Anim
     
  22. wheelhot, Jan 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014

    wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #22
    Hmm, Indigo looks like Keyshot. I wonder how does these 2 compare, though Keyshot looks like it's aimed more towards industrial designers/products.

    I wished Keyshot supports OpenCL, sadly it's CPU based and might be that way for the foreseeable future.

    Regarding Modo and Keyshot, I'm still deciding if I need the extra oomph from Modo or not.

    Indigo looks really impressive, I wonder if they support STEP or not.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  23. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #23
    We're strictly talking 3D here. Half of the links you provided don't apply and others concern plugins or specialty features. OpenCL simply isn't widespread in the 3D world yet, which was the original question posed.
     
  24. TyPod macrumors 68000

    TyPod

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    And Yourself?
    #24
    I use Blender to render and design my game graphics. Very powerful software, and it's free.

    The BlenderGuru is an unreal guy with some great tutorials. Check him out here.
     
  25. m0bus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #25
    On the Maya side we do use OpenCL for the Bullet plugin but the video showing the fluids was just a technology preview. As for Viewport 2.0 we do leverage the GPU quite a bit for doing things like screen space ambient occlusion, depth of field, MSAA and other full screen effects.

    Another area we leverage the GPU is with our GPU Cache technology (basically a geometry cache on disk that's very light weight and performance tuned) and we also have a system called Vertex Animation Caching where we can cache deforming vertices of characters to graphics memory and then stream the data off the graphics card for increased performance.

    The caveat with the nMP is Maya will still only use a single GPU so the other card is basically going to sit there idle mostly. Hope that sheds a bit more insight on the Maya side of things :)
     

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