Where to start doing 3D/Graphics

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Stinger123, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. Stinger123 macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2006

    I recently get a MBP and found the huge potential for working with 3D and graphics on it. Since I for the moment have some extra spare-time I would like to get into that.

    But I have no experience what so ever with that stuff. So basically, if someone could point me in the right direction it would be great.

    What programs would be good and userfriendly and maybe also a good beginners guide.
  2. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    All 3D programs have big learning curves if you want to do anything interesting with them. It's just not an easy subject to master, no matter what program you use. Therefore I'd recommend Blender, because at least it's free and there are lots of resources on the web for learning it.

  3. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
  4. D-rock macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2006
    City of Angels, Left Coast
    I second the blender recommendation, since it's free. If you've never had exposure to 3D before, it would suck to spend 500-2000 dollars on a 3D app only to discover you don't like it ;)

    As a side note for future reference... if you get into 3D and decide you really like it and want to take it to a more serious level, you might as well install Bootcamp and use Windows for your 3D apps. Not that there's anything intrinsically better about 3D on Windows... it's just that there are far more resources for 3D on the Windows side than there are on the Mac. Unfortunately, the 3D industry is definitely dominated by Windows right now. (I use a Mac at home, but use Windows at work for my 3D job... not a Mac in sight... sigh...)

    The internets is a great resource, and you can find a ton of tutorials and beginners guides. Good luck, and have fun!
  5. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    I should also note that Blender is actually quite good, despite being free...there's the notion, frequently but not always valid, that free=lesser quality. Not in this case. I like the workflow, and it's used somewhat in a commercial capacity, though not as much as Maya etc. I did a rendered intro for a game product using Blender (for a small company...didn't make millions off it or anything ;) ).

    To start out, just do really really basic stuff. Make a cube. Play around with the other primitives. Start combining them in weird ways to get a sense of what's possible. Go through a bunch of tutorials. Eventually you could try simple animation, like making an object go from one side of the screen to another. Eventually learn texturing, lighting, etc. Just a little at a time. Don't expect to be making Pixar movies in the first day (or week, or month, or year....).

  6. Stinger123 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2006
    Great answers people. Thanks a lot. I will download Blender right away and search the web for some blender tutorials.

    Thanks again.
  7. Dave the Great macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2004
  8. Coheebuzz macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Nicosia, Cyprus
    Another vote for Blender, although it was a bit unstable when i tried it some time ago. Although am sure it's getting better as development continues.

    If its 3D modelling and rendering you want and not animation then have a look at Cinema4D. A lot of people ignore it but it has the easiest interface of all heavyweight 3d apps in my opinion and the renderer is excellent.
    It also has animation capabilities but i find them a bit modest.

    It's expensive but you can download the trial version and check it out from here. The UB version is also very fast, 2-3x faster than my ppc version running on the G5.

    Another alternative is Luxology Modo. I haven't used it but i only heard good things about it.
  9. darkanddivine macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Another great tip is to get a pen and pad, and start doodling your ideas on paper. Gives you a good idea of whatever it is you are doing before spending hours on it on the machine. Look around on some tutorial sites for ideas, and do some fun stuff like mocking up some CD covers or similar. Most of all enjoy it!
  10. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    I'd start with Blender because it's free plus there are heaps of free online tutorials and user groups developing this program.

    Maya PLE (Personal Learning Edition) is another good one to go for because you can get some very good training resources on the Alias Wavefront web site, most of these you have to pay for but they are worth it. From a copyright point of viewn Maya is a very good one to go with because you can very easily watermark the image through the rendering process (good so people wont rip off your ideas).
  11. macaddict23 macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2006
    MacVille, USA
    I would like to try Blender myself, but I'm having a hard time installing it. I'm currently running OS 10.4.8 on a Dual-Core G5. The version that I downloaded is "Mac OS PPC Python 2.4, 10.3+ (10.3 MB)". The dmg file does mount, but when I click on the Blender application icon, nothing happens? Any clues? Thanks!
  12. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    You probably don't have Python 2.4 installed. Either install that, or download the Python 2.3 version of Blender.

  13. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    There are a million answers to your question so sift them as you will. I have tried Blender and found it to be awkward. It was free so I started there. I also tried Hash Animation Master, Poser, Carrara Pro, and Daz 3d. They all do things differently but I found I like Carrara the best. I like programs that come with easy to use instructions. I found Blender tough to wade through. I had the large softbound book for it but that did not help. Most of the really good programs are expensive. Cinema 4D, Maya and the like are names you have seen I am sure. Carrara makes a $100 version that could be a good place to start. It is also easy to find Hash Animation Master cheaply but I found that program tough. Poser 5 was a free download a couple of months ago but I think that program has ended. It was a plot to get people primed for he new Poser 7 upgrade. I think Poser 4 can be found cheaply also. I don't much like Poser but it could be an easy place to get the basics.
  14. dogbone macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2005
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    Hmmm reading between the lines I have a sneaking suspicion that ZBrush will be right up your alley. Good for 3D and 2.5D and has the best support of any 3D app ever.

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