Looking for a Decent 3D Package on a Budget

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Makosuke, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I'm shopping around for a decent 3D modeling and rendering package for a personal art project, and thought it'd be worth asking what people here like using.

    I'm mainly planning on doing (relatively simple) architectural models and some landscape, though I'll probably want to get into some mechanical models (cars and the like) eventually as well. I don't intend to do any character modeling, and I'm not looking for any animation features, just nice-looking rendered stills and as easy to use as possible.

    The two things I don't have much of are time to learn a complex package (it's just a side project) and money to spend (same reason). I remember enjoying Ray Dream Designer way back in the System7 era, but I haven't done any 3D work since then.

    So far the three that I keep seeing come up are Bryce (seems too focused on landscapes for what I want), Blender (free, but apparently difficult to learn), and Strata 3D CX (sounds good, but $400 is pretty steep). I've also checked out VectorWorks, as I use that at work occasionally, but I haven't been impressed with its stability or rendered output for non-CAD work.

    Are there other reasonably priced packages I'm overlooking here, or is that pretty much the state of things? (Oh, and anybody know anything about Amorphium? It's inexpensive, but I haven't found much said about it.)
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
  3. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    Check out Blender 3D, http://www.blender3d.org/, it is free and open source. They have a great community and provide some great tutorials and resources right from their site.

    Blender will do everything that you are looking for. 2.35 just came out. Cross platform too :)

    Blender might appear difficult to learn, as you commented, but all 3D applications have a bit of difficulty to them. The good thing is that most 3D software now share similar processes for modeling.

    I think what you will find is that less expensive means less expressive and less freedom to create while more expensive will provide you with more complexity, with the exception of Blender which is complex yet free. I don't think there is such a thing as an inexpensive, easy to use, 3D modeling application.

    I use Maya and lightwave as well as play around in Blender from time to time.

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