Best 3D animation program?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Mr-Stabby, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Mr-Stabby macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2004

    At the moment i'm looking into learning 3D animation to make animations for broadcast TV.

    I would like to learn an industry standard 3D animation program, but at the same time i'd also like to find one that was a reasonable price, imported the most kind of model file formats (like 3DS, Lightwave models etc) and was the most like a fully Mac UI, and not a port. Ease of use is also a massive bonus!

    Cinema 4D i've found, but does anybody know of a better one?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    Maya is pretty standard in the animation industry, but pricey unless you can get a student discount.
  3. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    Here in the UK (don't know about anywhere else) we get it for free. What is the end user license on the education version?

    I've been using Blender 2.5 beta. But I'm wondering if using Maya would be allowed for a project for youtube?
  4. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    As others have stated Maya is the industry standard, but its not exactly what one would call user friendly. It takes years to learn, there is a TON of stuff in that program. I only use it for creating models in video games and occasionally a 3D animated short movie and I've only scratched the surface of what it can do.

    Cinema 4D is a popular choice because supposedly it is a lot easier to learn.

    If you want to learn Maya and are a student. You can get a 3 year license on Autodesks website, its the full version and gets all updates. The fastest way to learn it would be to start with a subscription to and work through all of their Maya 2011 videos, this will get you the basics. Then jump to
    to learn much more advanced stuff.
  5. legreve macrumors regular


    Nov 22, 2010
    Cinema 4D
    And for implementing 3D in footage, check out Boujou.
  6. mbrannon47 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    I've used Maya, Lightwave, Cinema, and 3DS. While all of them have strengths, I can easily say that Cinema 4D has been the best experience BY FAR. Texture editor is amazing and the control over detail is incredible. Read all over the net. You'll hear the same opinion thousands of times.
  7. Mr-Stabby thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2004
    Thanks for the opinions so far. Cinema 4D seems to be the one that gets the most done for the least amount of learning. As i'm a user of After Effects and Motion it also seems to be the most like a 2D compositor too. I did try Maya but it was a minefield. I don't really have the kind of brain that could learn that program!
  8. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    I prefer Maya simply because it's what I started with. I've dabbled in others, but I'm at the point where Maya is the most comfortable to use, which is funny because I've always heard Cinema 4D was easier to pick up. I just didn't care for it.

    It is expensive though, so I would look into the educational license.

    Any program will do though. All of them can pretty much do the same things, but the most important part is learning the techniques of modeling, animation, etc. They're universal.

    Boujou is insanely expensive. I would look at Syntheyes instead.

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