Help Which 3d program Lightwave or Maxon?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by yoshiii, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. yoshiii macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2006

    I am turning in a order for my company which is a teen program for some 3d software. We are starting a new 3d program for the teens to learn.
    I looked at Lightwave(their all in one $900 package) and Maxon's Cinema 4d R10($800) package.
    I would like to know which one is going to be the best to have. We want the teens to learn industry standard 3D skills so when they go off to college they will have skills aready under their belt.

    I see that Lightwave only has the one main package and Maxon has a bunch of upgrades. Which is better for having for this purpose of teaching the teens?
    We are pretty much set on one of these two packages, Maya is too expensive and the others are not what we are looking for.

    Help Please!
  2. megapuppy macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2007
    London, UK
    They're both good apps. Lightwave is much more fully featured "out-of-the-box", Cinema4D has the same features but you need to buy them as separate upgrade modules (unless you buy the high-end version of the product). That said, Maxon's features do seem to be really nice implementations, and it has 3D painting in the form of BodyPaint, which is very cool.

    I use Lightwave, and it's a good all-rounder. Maya is much more powerful for character animation but is fairly expensive, while Studio Max is staggeringly expensive - and as far as I can tell not significantly better in any aspect to Maya, so I couldn't recommend it to anyone. Cinema4D is quite nice, but I haven't seen it used much in TV and Film production. XSI, which used to be very popular for that kind of stuff seems to have faded in use in the last 5 years. It's still an extremely powerful app, with excellent Sub-D modelling. And since Avid's price cuts, it's pretty good value for money.

    The majority of TV and Film work seems to be done using Maya and Lightwave. Studio Max (and to a lessser degree, Maya) is used a lot in ArchViz - no doubt due to its closer integration with AutoCAD. Max is still the dominant app for Games developers, though XSI and Lightwave are used too.

    If you're teaching students though, Blender might be worth examining - it's fairly powerful, and of course - it's free!

    On a related note, Zbrush and Modo are two apps that are currently getting a lot of coverage in the 3D industry. They're both too specialised to be considered general 3D apps, but each is very powerful for certain uses. Zbrush for organic modelling, and Modo for poly modelling.

    PS. one thing that Newtek doesn't widely publicise, is that you rarely need to pay full price for Lightwave. They do Companion Upgrades - so if you already own applications like XSI or even After Effects, you get a hefty discount.

    They also offer similar pricing for second or third seats for LW. Give them a call and see what kind of deal you can get :)
  3. samwich macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2007
    I think I could offer my two cents.

    As a high schooler, I learned 3D on Cinema 4D. I found it to be great, easy to understand, and you can create some pretty high quality stuff. Maybe since I have only used Cinema this review may be biased, but I stand by my opinion that Cinema 4d is easy to use, and great to learn on. It offers the hierarchy and object manager to help keep you organized, has all the basic modeling tools necessary to make high quality renders, has a good selection of NURBS, comes with Bodypaint 3D, what is becoming known as the industry standard for UV painting and texturing, and if you get the advance render and mocca modules, my list will get even longer.

    Cinema has gotten a bad rap for character animation, but since the release of R10, and the overhaul of the mocca module, many believe it is on par with all the major 3D apps. I highly recommend getting at least the Studio Bundle which might make the cost go up, but I truly believe Cinema is the way to go.

    Cinema also has a lot of resources to get you started. It comes with a extensive training DVD, that allows you to model, rig, weight, animate, and texture a scene and render it out. Along with the numerous websites and other resources you can find to keep you going. ( is highly recommended)

    Hope this helped!
  4. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Dec 6, 2006
    A World of my Own; UK
    C4D is a quality app which can yield high quality results on a relatively shallow learning curve, as other posters have noted.

    But it is not industry standard. Maxxon's site has any number of quality examples of good work that that's been done with the programme, but it's not industry standard, and the workflow of every 3D app I've seen suggests that one could get really quite good in C4D but this would serve you up no real advantages if you moved to Maya or 3DS or Lightwave.

    In a better, fairer world then C4D would be enough, but it ain't!


  5. faustfire macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2002
    When talking industry standards, you really have to look at what industry you are talking about. For high end character and film animation, Maya is the clear winner. But when you look at other areas, the picture isn't as clear.

    For lower budget television effects animation, Lightwave was the standard for quite a while, but seems to have lost a bit of steam in the last several years. And when you look specifically at the broadcast design/motion graphics industry, lightwave has taken a back seat to Cinema 4D. This is mostly due, in my opinion, to C4Ds superior integration with several compositing/editing platforms, as well as some of its tools specifically created to assist in the creation of motion graphics.

    Long story short, it really depends on which industry you are gearing your class towards. If you plan on gearing it toward broadcast design, I would suggest checking the job postings on, I would say 9 out of 10 postings, if looking for 3d skills, are looking for C4D or Maya.
  6. yoshiii thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2006

    I think I will try to get Lightwave. Does anyone know where I can get training books and videos?

    Thanks for everyone's input.

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