3D animation software

snickrep
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Post: #1
Hello, I am kind of new to 3D and would like to purchase a good 3D package. When I used to use a PC, I worked with truespace 3D. But I really hated the tools it had. It was confusing. But anyways that was a while ago. On mac I am familar with 3D software such as Maya Personal Learning Edition and Meshwork. Meshwork is a great tool for basic low-poly models for games. Maya PLE is great too, but the watermarks drive me crazy and how you can't use DXF and 3DS importing/exporting. Plus there is no use of me learning Maya since I will never be able to afford it. I can't even afford a student version of maya. I would like to buy a software package that I could learn for game development. But since I am new to 3D, I would like some easy to learn modeling tools. I want to stay away from software like carrara studio, bryce, poser, amapi 3D, and etc since I want more of a professional 3D package like Cinema4D,Lightwave, or Animation Master. Or any other program like those I mentioned. I just want a good 3D package with has easy tools for modeling, good for making game models & tools/features for game development.

Jack
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Joined: 2002.08
Post: #2
there are many threads on this subject, look around. As in all of these, I reccomend Cinema 4d XL...it works well for me and you can look in the other threads for all of my reasons.
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Mars_999
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Post: #3
Not to be a dic* but I started a thread on this awhile ago. Check out the search feature. But on a lighter note welcome to idevgames. Hope you enjoy your stay. Rasp
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #4
Welcome to the site. Indeed we have covered this subject (in this message board) many times. By the way, what is wrong with carrara studio? Have you seen a gallery with art created in version 2? Amapi 7 also has some nice tools.

Cheers

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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snickrep
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Post: #5
oops, sorry ya'll. I didn't see the other posts relating to the same issue. That would be my fault for not looking before I posted. Sorry and thank you for your friendly welcome. Smile

Jack
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #6
Cinema sucks compared to Maya or LightWave. MotionBuilder (for animation) is very good too. Amapi's one of the industry's most powerful modellers. And on the PC, did you ever use 3ds max? Although slow at rendering, it's good (and cheap) for games.

I have Lightwave but if I had the money I would get Maya. Maya's definitely the best 3D app on the Mac, but if you're a newbie, it'll be hard for you to learn it. LightWave will also be hard to learn but there are quite a few good LW books. I recommend New Riders' Inside LightWave 3D 7. Cinema's good, but it's animation tools and modelling tools aren't as powerful as LightWave's. Plus LightWave has things like fur rendering, cloth dynamics, HyperVoxel volumetric objects, realistic skies, a *very* powerful modeller with UV texture mapping and weight maps, and more. Maya has the best dynamics engine on the market, plus Maya has features such as Maya Artisan and Maya Paint Effects (ever wanted to use a graphics tablet to model 3D graphics).


Time passes

I just reread you're post. GET LIGHTWAVE. It just plain rocks, dude. Much better than Cinema and Animation Master. And Maya is the king of 3D apps, but it's way too expensive. If you are a student, you can get LightWave for only $400 from Academic Superstore. That's where I got it.

BTW, I seem to remember saying all this in another thread. Grin
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snickrep
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Post: #7
Lightwave 3D is hard? I was told it was easy to learn?
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #8
Get some tutorials and it'll be easy to learn. Smile

Get some from NewTek , 3D Links , 3D Cafe , and here .

Type "LightWave tutorials" into Google for even MORE tutorials!!
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snickrep
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Post: #9
Do game developers use Cinema 4D? If so what games were created with it? And what games were created using lightwave besides Unreal 2003. Did any developers use lightwave to create games for PSX,N64,Dreamcast,Playstation 2, Xbox, and gamecube?
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Mars_999
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Post: #10
Either Lightwave or C4D are both excellent choices. Get the one you can afford. Myself I might choose Lightwave and yes I have heard that its harder to learn but I would expect that it might have more powerful features do to this. Kind of like C++ vs. C. C++ is harder due to it has added features that C doesn't.
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #11
Maya was used for games such Star Fox Adventures, Tomb Raider 5, Super Metroid Prime, Gran Turismo, Myst 3, and Star Wars Bounty Hunter. LightWave was used in UT2003, Deus Ex, Quake 3, Halo, MechWarrior, Fallout, Diablo, Baldur's Gate, Rollercoaster Tycoon, and others. 3ds max was used in GTA, Starcraft, and MANY others.

Go to http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/ to see how good LW is.

Also, go to http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave..._list.html to see the MANY movies, games, and TV shows LightWave was used in. LightWave was also used in movies such as Toy Story Story 2 and Star Wars Episode 2 (used in conjunction to Maya, Discreet, Universe-which has th fastest renderer-and in house tools)

In case you're wondering, PIxar uses LightWave for modelling.

BTW, what LightWave renders in 42 minutes, Universe renders in 3 min. 3ds max takes over an hour on that same scene.

LW also has features such as weight maps, so you can draw out a level in Photoshop, import that image file into LW, apply it as a weight map to a polygon, and BOOM, you've got your level (well, it's a bit more than that; you'll have to do some twiddling in the Surface Editor, the Numeric panel, the Weight Maps panel, etc.)

No offense, Cinema's for noobs who don't want to spend alot of money (LW cost $1500; you can get it for only $399-899 from an edu discount site, though) on 3D software. But, LW has the best modeller for games and it's animation tools rock. Well, Maya recently got modelling tools that rival 3ds max and LW. But Maya's high end and definitely out of the question (there are only a few people on the forum who use it; most people here use cheap 3D apps or Cinema).

Y'all won;t believe me when I say this but Warcraft 3's cinematics were done in 3ds max. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I always thought War3 was made in Maya but now I have found out how cheap a company Blizzard is. No wonder War3's cinematics weren't very realistic. But how did they do the fur and hair? Yeah, 3ds max has the engine Character Studio, so there one reason Blizzard used 3ds max (Character Studio has things like fluid dynamcs and cloth simulations, plus crowd animations-which can be used for, say, orcs running down a hill Smile)

I think it's weird how Aaron Chan (a cinematics animator at Blizzard) said that all they use is 3ds max. If all Blizzard uses is 3ds max, why does Blizzard require that you know Maya in order to apply for a job there?
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burden
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Post: #12
Quote:Originally posted by AJ Infinity
Maya was used for games such Star Fox Adventures, Tomb Raider 5, Super Metroid Prime, Gran Turismo, Myst 3, and Star Wars Bounty Hunter. LightWave was used in UT2003, Deus Ex, Quake 3, Halo, MechWarrior, Fallout, Diablo, Baldur's Gate, Rollercoaster Tycoon, and others. 3ds max was used in GTA, Starcraft, and MANY others.


Not that this really matters, but Quake3's models were created entirely in 3DSMax.

id is using Lightwave for polymodelling in Doom 3, and Maya for animation (as a result, I would assume, of Fred Nilsson's background in film).

I would expect 3D toolchains for this kind of game to become more varied, as the need for modelled assets (from player and weapon models, to texture-sources, to complex mapobjects) increases.

If you look at screenshots of Doom 3, you'll see entire surfaces that have been modelled at some point in the process, where a generation ago those surfaces would have been purely the domain of 2D art -- of photosource and imaginative painting. As this progresses, I think it'll tend to skew development houses away from "one package" for 3D toward whatever package fits the specific needs of a particular kind of asset.
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Post: #13
>Cinema sucks compared to Maya or LightWave.
I think unless you have actually taken the time to set with the app for at least 6 months, you can't really make the statement. Bottomline: Whether you get Lightwave, Maya, Cinema4D, Universe, FormZ, I'm sure you will be able to make some good 3D art. Then again, I have seen some people with those power apps, who don't know what they are doing, and thus make terrible art. On the otherhand, I have seen people with "low-end" apps create stunning work.

Second point is, unless you plan to try to break into the industry, why concern yourself with what "others" are using? Having said that, if you ARE concerned, then your demo reel will speak volumes I think. Frankly, if I had two artists in front of me, and one had a killer demo reel, yet it was made in Joe3D, and other had a demo of a cube and sphere, yet he/she made them with Maya, I would hire the first person. Sure, the person would have to be trained to learn the in-house apps, but that isn't a big deal IMHO. Teaching "talent" on the other hand is.


>Cinema's for noobs
Looking in this forum, I think we at least 3 members who have made game(s) with this product and have made income. That speaks volumes I would say.

Anyhow, it is like PC vs Mac, Ford vs Chevy, T vs. A...

Cheers

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Max
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Posts: 84
Joined: 2003.03
Post: #14
Quote:Originally posted by burden
If you look at screenshots of Doom 3, you'll see entire surfaces that have been modelled at some point in the process, where a generation ago those surfaces would have been purely the domain of 2D art -- of photosource and imaginative painting. As this progresses, I think it'll tend to skew development houses away from "one package" for 3D toward whatever package fits the specific needs of a particular kind of asset.

The 3D models of Doom 3 look very detailed because they have incredible bump mapping, specular mapping and reflection mapping. But they actually have an average polygon count because the physic engine of the game requires a lot of processing power (the A.I. also). Graeme said Macs equipped with GeForce MX chips will never be able to run the game... Doom 3 uses all those little extra features NVidia and ATI (TruForm, Bump Mapping, etc.) included on the big expensive cards. Ohhh... crap. Wacko

Freelance video game artist and video game compliance tester at Enzyme Testing Labs.
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #15
Alright, Camacho, I'll just say this out then...I don't like Cinema. Smile Same way I don't like the Xbox, same way I don't like Basic, same way I don't like humans in Warcraft 3. Grin

And Camacho, I said Cinema sucks compared to LW or Maya because it's true. I don't see Cinema competing with LW or Maya, although it seems it is.

Scale of major 3D apps:
Maya
LightWave
Cinema
Universe
All the others Smile

I've used Cinema before. I don't like it. I can't stand it. Just doesn't have the awesome animation tools of Maya and LW. Show me cinematics made in Cinema that have the quality of Warcraft 3 cinematics and maybe I'll start using Cinema. But, until Cinema gets tools as powerful as LW or Maya I'll continue using LW. I mean, Cinema doesn't even provide the advanced camera setup options of LW! There's no Sasquatch fur rendering plugin for Cinema. Cinema's polygonal modelling tools suck (well, last time I checked, it got boolean support), no weight maps, no advanced UV mapping, no advanced texture editing, no facial expressions tools, etc.

I mean, many people like LW because it's so easy to make a human. LW's subdivion surfaces modeller and Expressions editor just plain rock. In Cinema, there's no NLE style timeline with drag and drop animation segments, there's nothing to compare to LW's spreadsheet editor, timeline, motion mixer, etc. How much time did you spend in LW?
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