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maya? blender? 3dsmax? - FlamingHairball - Apr 5, 2009 11:15 AM

AnotherJake Wrote:Coming down from Maya I searched for a program that would be closest in feel and functionality, and that wound up being Cheetah3D. I tried Silo at the time too, but the UI was more awkward to me than Cheetah3D was (as I recall). Silo was probably my second pick.

Silo's UI is not as native Cocoa-ish as Cheetah3D's, and while this does give beginners(like me) more mess-up potential than Cheetah3D's, once you actually know what's happening, it enables you to work faster.

That said, Cheetah3D is a very nice Mac app.

Quote:I won't touch Carrara with a ten-foot pole. They ruined the interface after Infini-D 4.5 (the previous name of Carrara) and I've never considered buying a product from them again. Haven't tried Modo, but it's in the "expensive" bin to me, so again, I'd go with Maya at that point.

I am actually pleased with Carrara's interface. I'm guessing this is because whenever I use an application that is not Cocoa, I expect a Blender, GIMP, or the like.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - AnotherJake - Apr 5, 2009 12:20 PM

Hairball183 Wrote:I am actually pleased with Carrara's interface. I'm guessing this is because whenever I use an application that is not Cocoa, I expect a Blender, GIMP, or the like.

Glad somebody likes it. I have more to complain about, but I'll spare the drama since they were cool enough to be a sponsor. Wink

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - Carbonization - Apr 8, 2009 09:45 PM

Although over all Maya is definitely a stronger app than modo or Lightwave, it's a weaker modeler. modo is great for modeling & mapping because it was created primarily as a modeler. The animation capabilities are very primitive, although the renderer seems to be pretty good (I haven't used the renderer yet, not too relevant here anyhow). I'd also say Lightwave has stronger modeling tools, and although Maya is without doubt outdoes it in the animation department, Lightwave still has a solid package overall, not to mention much cheaper. I'd also venture to guess from personal experience much more time is spent modeling & texturing than animating, unless you're working for some AAA game dev company as an animator. Although Maya does have a native interface, it was a bit shoddly done. Widget are often cut off by the window width and resizing the window doesn't resize those widgets. Also many of the scrollbars scroll reeeeeally slow, and some tab indexes are out of order. Minor, but after enough time they get really annoying. Platform independent interfaces found in most modelers feel much smoother & more responsive.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - backslash - Apr 9, 2009 10:56 AM

Good points - modelling is what really matters here. I think Maya is very good at that as long as you learn to think the right way. For most people, the app you learn first is probably what determines your idea of a good interface (within reason). Funnily enough, I learned Infini-d first and (like AnotherJake) I thought the Carrara buy-out destroyed a nice app - which is when I also got the chance to learn Maya instead. And then I also settled on Cheetah3D.

Although the Maya interface sometimes has glitches with fitting things in windows properly, the whole interface is programmed in MEL (embedded scripting language) so you can usually sort the bits you need if you really want to. It would be nice if they'd just fix it though. I imagine MEL is probably why it is sometimes a bit sluggish too.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - mikey - Apr 17, 2009 11:37 AM

Art of Illusion

It's so simple to use, yet has capabilities of blender. I love it.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - AnotherJake - Apr 17, 2009 12:23 PM

mikey Wrote:Art of Illusion

Interesting. I can't say I've ever heard of it. I downloaded it and am trying it out right now. The interface is actually decent, I'm impressed! Doesn't look like there are many export options though, just vrml, pov, and obj. It also doesn't appear to have anywhere near the capabilities of Blender, although maybe I just haven't dug into it enough.

One thing I'd like to find is its texture mapping tools. The only thing I've found so far is just automatic stuff like cylindrical, spherical... never mind, I just found the UV coordinate editor...

Wow this program is incredibly nice for being free!

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - backslash - Apr 17, 2009 01:07 PM

Looks impressive - thanks for pointing it out. Unfortunately I intensely dislike being forced to edit objects in a separate window rather than in the scene (and therefore in context), which scores it some negative marks in my book (I haven't found a way to change this behaviour yet, but I admit it may exist and will spend more time investigating later...)
In many ways it is still much better than Blender though.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - Aaron - Apr 26, 2009 09:28 AM

I actually do alot of my modeling now in Modo, I downloaded the trial, and since then, I have been slowly moving away from Blender. Modo, for me, is a lot quicker to use. But, it is not a good beginner 3D program. It's UI is a heck lot better than Blender, but it still gets confusing sometimes. It also lacks good animation, but as said by someone in this thread before, 401 supposedly is going to have some nice animation goodies.

For a complete beginner, use Wings3D. I confess I block a LOT of my low-poly models going into Dim3 using Wings. It is so fast, and so efficient, even if it lacks a lot of features. I can model 2x faster in Wings than in Blender.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - emptythetill - Apr 27, 2009 10:14 AM

Hello. My first post here. Smile

I've been a 3D artist for 14 years, beta test for Maya and Silo and about to start with Softimage. I'd say for the beginner Silo is by far the simplest tool, and for the expert Silo is by far the quickest tool. Smile My workflow always starts in Silo, then depending upon if it's hard body (i.e. Mechanical) or soft body (i.e. Living and Squishy) I go to Modo or Maya. Everything that needs animation ends up in Maya anyway.

I tend to stay away from the cheaper and free tools as they lack the support or features, or simply don't have a great UI (this is just my opinion).

If anyone needs help with 3D please feel free to PM me. I'm currently working on a series of free videos for Vimeo which will run through what each tool in Silo does, and what you can use it for. Each one should be only 2-3 minutes long. I just need to fix my mic. Smile

Oh, choosing a tool also depends on if you are left or right brained. Seriously, do a few tests to work out where you are. If it says right brained go for a solid box modeling approach. If it says left go for the poly-by-poly approach. There will always be people that don't fit this model, but generally it tends to work.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - drvoodoogame - Apr 15, 2010 10:25 AM

You can use any of those really. Personally, I prefer Maya, but that's just because I've been using it the longest. Other people in my group have used 3DS and prefer that, but as long as you export it as an obj file, it really won't matter. The geometry will convert just fine.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - Ingemar - Jun 20, 2010 02:20 PM

AnotherJake Wrote:They ruined the interface after Infini-D 4.5 (the previous name of Carrara)
So that's what happened with Infini-D! I thought it had just passed away, despite being a very popular 3D tool way back.

Good thread. I recently looked for a good 3D tool for a friend (who was using another one that has been discontinued long ago) and of course I found this thread! My conclusions so far is to start with Wings, and if that isn't good enough, try Art of Illusion, Blender and Cheetah 3D. And, of course, if the project size is right, be ready to move up even further.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - mysteriouspants - Jun 20, 2010 03:18 PM

Personally the Blender UI team has to be related to the folks who make Gnome. Complex, obscure, difficult, and as likely to screw up as it is to do what you want.

Blender has a lot of features, but requires a lot of patience to use, not to mention being incredibly difficult to learn to use.

Do not try to use Blender without a two-button mouse.
Do not try to use Blender without a dedicated scroll-wheel.
Do not try to use Blender without one hand on the keyboard. (Ctrl/Alt + click does different things).

When using Blender, split up into four views. Make sure at least three are the standard top/left/front orthogonal, then the fourth view float free so you have some freedom to actually see what you're creating.

Snapping to grid in Blender is fundamentally broken. Don't try it with expectations of success.

Undo button is your bestest friend in the whole world.

Increase the Undo buffer to its maximum. You will need it.

More often than not, a simple texture is better than geometry when you're starting out. You can always go back and edit it later. I do not recommend spending large amounts of time with Blender in single-sittings.

Blender on Mac is fundamentally ********. I have had a much better time of Blender on Windows (just with the whole UI responding and Windows becoming key, etc).

Don't bring your sanity or emotions to a session of Blender. Your sanity will be lost and your emotions will run high.

Those are the things I have learned from my few experiences with Blender. May they aid you well!

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - AnotherJake - Jun 20, 2010 04:35 PM

cmiller Wrote:Personally the Blender UI team has to be related to the folks who make Gnome.

Off-topic: But I like Gnome! They have wobbly windows! Actually, I don't know what older Gnome stuff looks like so you may be correct in that respect, but I've had a generally good experience with Ubuntu Lucid Lynx (uses Gnome by default). They don't get everything right, but it's pretty good for what it is IMHO.

Back to topic: I agree with the complaints about Blender though. In fairness, the GUI has improved greatly since last time I tried it, but it still needs a lot of help before I'll find it acceptable for general production.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - Bachus - Jun 20, 2010 04:43 PM

Blender 2.5 has huge GUI improvements:

Updated GUI:

Custom keyboard shortcuts:

Plus, all the windowing systems are rewritten in Cocoa so they can make it 64-bit on OS X.

EDIT: Blender inflicts Stockholm Syndrome. It takes a while, but you'll really love it once you use it enough.

maya? blender? 3dsmax? - AnotherJake - Jun 20, 2010 04:44 PM

Ingemar Wrote:So that's what happened with Infini-D! I thought it had just passed away, despite being a very popular 3D tool way back.

Yeah, it's too bad because I really liked Infini-D 4.5 a lot! It was a little short on features, but I never understood why they went that stupid "Kai interface" direction (or whatever they call it where they try to dumb it down and stay as far away from a Mac native interface as possible). Rolleyes

@Bachus: yeah, the last version I tried was 2.49 and it was much improved, as I said. It was still rather glitchy and awkward though.