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Which 3D package is recommended (Lightwave, Cinema 4D)


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#41 Tom K

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:46 PM

I hope that Turbulence plugin isn't going to be another one like "Dynamite"...that essentially had the developer go awol on his customers.


or shave and a haircut.. :angry:

#42 MattVG

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:52 PM

Well, I must say this has been quite a productive discussion; exactly what I was hoping for :) For now it looks like I'll stick with Blender for modeling and animation and work around the frustrations. I'll save my hard-earned monies to leverage V-Ray 2 for my rendering needs. Oh, Christmas will be good this year.

I still plan on playing with the LW and C4D demos and looking into further animation solutions such as Messiah, but for now I will use what I have and push it to its limits.
Thank you everyone. Now, don't let me kill the discussion, you go right ahead.


EDIT:
It looks like V-Ray 2 hasn't been released yet for anything other than 3DSMax.

#43 haikalle

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:31 PM

It looks like V-Ray 2 hasn't been released yet for anything other than 3DSMax.


Vray 2.0 is not out yet. But if/when you buy standalone. You can get access to nightly builds. And there is already couple sweet features included from 2.0.

Vray 2.0 for Maya is coming early next year and I think that standalone comes then too because it's based maya version.

#44 IKHandel

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 11:11 PM

Some input from a C4D convert.

Upfront I will state that I am purely a hobbiest, not in any way likely to ever use 3D as a way to earn a living. However I too looked at the numerous high end 3D apps, and tried most of the well known ones.

I knew it was going to take about 2 years of saving to afford such a luxury (in my hobbiest capacity) so I really wanted an app that not only made sense to me, that I felt comfortable with, but also one that I could grow into, as my skills developed. A personal preference was that I preferred an app that covered a LOT of areas (just incase I should need some capability that I usually don't need, but may in the future).

I had used most of the usual low cost/ free apps blender/ truespace etc etc. 2 years working with Maya ple... I liked it a lot, it made sense to me and it covered most bases really well. BUT alas the price was just crazy for me as a hobbiest. Blender still just kinda almost but never quite clicks with me, even with this latest beta. hard to explain, it just doesn't float my boat, but for sure it's very capable.

Max... hmmm tried it years ago, and personal feeling was it felt kind of bolted together sort of, it just didn't click for me. Powerful for sure.

So I looked at XSI, Modo, LW, C4D.

my personal summary of why I chose the app I did

Xsi, very powerful, very strong rigging tools, a workflow that made sense to me, the possibility for ICE to do some amazing things.
Lovely interface, very easy to get around.

Modo, I liked it, but for me character animation/rigging was always going to be in a future version, and even then would be unproved, maybe need refined?

LW. No offence but the interface is out of the ark. OK OK I know it,s the tools that matter. Reputed to be a very capable app. What put me off was the sheer volume of people that opted to use Messiah for rigging. I wanted a single powerful learn one workflow kind of app. I did not want to need to update 2 apps. (admittedly for a lot lower cost) I didn't want to learn TWO new apps.

So why C4d. 1st off, because I could buy a basic version plus a few of the most useful modules for me right now. Then I could add the (well I might need that one day) modules in small afforable chunks over the next couple of years. (Which I have now almost done) But principly, Its modelling tools are comprehensive (If a little dated). The rigging tools are lovely just out of the box (yep you can, if you wish, purchase a 3rd party well respected plugin that refines even further the workflow)

You have all the basics, very well implimented, but also nice stuff like muscle flexors etc. Body paint is included in the core app, and is fantastic app in it's own right. Being able to easily paint a model in 3d within the same app as polygon modelling is still refreshing even after 2 years.Because it's integrated, there is little relearning of yet another inferface, etc. It also reads .psd which is a time saver. The projection end of it is totally amazing, but woefully documented. Obviously it has it's own "fairly" comprehensive UV editor.

I bought the advanced render module. Whilst I am a hobbiest, the quality is great for what I want, and it supports GI etc. Baking of textures/ light etc is so easy it's embarressing. particles, rigid,softbody dynamics etc, its all available, and all using the same interface "thinking" throughout the app, it just feels like it was made as a whole, not an app with bits bolted on. The scripting language (coffee) can be easily used even by a non scriptor like me. A python addon is now officially sanctioned by maxon.

So 2 years after purchase am I still impressed?.... Well pretty much YES.

Some things I would note are. The included html type searchable help, is huge,comprehensive, but at times just mubo jumbo speak. The modelling tools get the job done without fuss, but I hanker a little for the nicities of some silo ideas (double click an edge to select an edge loop) that sort of stuff. The principle source of free tutorials is C4DCafe.com Brilliant site, and real nice host too! Ciniversity (Maxons own video tutorial site) whilst it has lots of free vid tuts, it is not long before you need/desire the "members" only tuts, that's expensive (in my view)

The only plugin I found I really HAD to get was riptide, (a free or pro version)for export/import of .obj files in a more comprehensive format than is supplied (groups, material sorting etc). The pro plugin is a pitence. Well worth the money. Native C4D supports pretty well most well known 3D file formats (Currently I am having an issue with Collada export, but it may be the external app that is causing the problem).If I am honest I purchased a seperate program (UVLayout) as my only other "more comprehensive" option. A personal preference of tool set more than anything. Not a MUST have critical replacement.

It's probably the most stable app I have ever used, and I remember black screens with green writing, when bulletin boards was where it was at lol. 300 baud dialup anyone?

Everything about the interface, just makes sense to me, it follows what seems naturely logical to me. Go to say body Paint from modelling and the interface just ties in, it all flows, with no hunting for where did they put that button sort of thing. It's easy to customise both the interface and hotkeys.

Have I used even one third of it's capabilites yet? Not even remotely close, always discovering new capabilities that I hadn't even thought of when I purchased, it's like the most comprehensive toybox/toolbox I ever had :) To be fair the only thing holding back the app is me... and that's why I can still grow into it, exactly what I wanted and what I got.I wanted an app that I wouldn't have to update frequently, but could if I won the lottery.

The only modules I didn't buy were the cell/cartoon shader (can't remember exact name) and mograph. Some of the "effectors" I notice have been sneaked out of the base package and into the mograph module. Hmm thats a pity for future purchasers who don't buy mograph module.

I purchased 1 version update about 6 months after initial purchase. Point upgrade value for money I would rate as just erring on a little pricey for what it included, but not unreasonable.

Approx 6 free updates for bug fixes, but all for bugs that I hadn't even encountered, as I said I find it to be incredibly stable. You just kind of always get what you expect, without any nasty surprises/quirks. Very little in the way of "new" capabilities included in the interim updates.

One thing I have noticed, you never get ANY idea what is likely to be in a future payable point update, Maxon just go quiet for months, and then it gets anounced. (maybe they see what happens over at zbrush hq lol)

Obviously this is all opinion/preference, and I am an amateur. No doubt every high end 3D app has it's enthused supporters, and for good reason, but I must say, C4D is probably the best designed high end app I have purchesed in 30+ years of computer use.

IKHandel

#45 geo_n

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 05:25 AM

Great post IKhandel. I did look at c4d before buying lw 9 and it looked great. The only thing that put me off was the price. Lightwave is used as my hobby too and mostly 3dmax at work. I just couldn't justify paying that high for 3dmax as a hobby so when I saw the complete module of c4d in the same price range of 3dmax, I chose lightwave for its price,performance ratio. I have no doubt the functionality of c4d is more advance. Mograph and the AE integration alone I envy that I don't have in lightwave. Thinking particles is also cool.
You get what you pay for. :D

#46 philnolan3d

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 05:42 AM

AE integration alone I envy that I don't have in lightwave.


I've never used it but Al Street wrote an old plugin that shares motion data between LW and a number of compositing packages including After Effects called Trans Motion Utilities Pack. It's not terribly expensive at $25.
http://www.ats-3d.com/
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#47 MattVG

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 07:02 AM

Vray 2.0 is not out yet. But if/when you buy standalone. You can get access to nightly builds. And there is already couple sweet features included from 2.0.

Vray 2.0 for Maya is coming early next year and I think that standalone comes then too because it's based maya version.


Oh, I thought I saw that V-Ray 2.0 for Max was released Dec. 6th. I could be wrong, but I assume that's the press release I linked to. In any case it's not what I need.

#48 haikalle

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:58 AM

Oh, I thought I saw that V-Ray 2.0 for Max was released Dec. 6th. I could be wrong, but I assume that's the press release I linked to. In any case it's not what I need.


Sorry, my mistake :)

#49 AbnRanger

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 11:06 AM

Well, I must say this has been quite a productive discussion; exactly what I was hoping for :) For now it looks like I'll stick with Blender for modeling and animation and work around the frustrations. I'll save my hard-earned monies to leverage V-Ray 2 for my rendering needs. Oh, Christmas will be good this year.

I still plan on playing with the LW and C4D demos and looking into further animation solutions such as Messiah, but for now I will use what I have and push it to its limits.
Thank you everyone. Now, don't let me kill the discussion, you go right ahead.


EDIT:
It looks like V-Ray 2 hasn't been released yet for anything other than 3DSMax.

I think that approach is the most sensible one under your set of circumstances and needs. You have enough expense with other Graphic Design-related software. Blender is P-E-R-F-E-C-T for any Graphic Designer looking to implement more 3D into their designs (that's sort of how I got hooked on 3D). I think you'll end up in 3D, though. If you have fine art skills, the 3D industry is where you want to be. It's the one area where those skills will not only get fully utilized, but where you can just let your imagination go free. That is not the case in Graphic Art. You are often stuck doing page layout and text editing (in Adobe InDesign or Quark). To me, the Graphic Design Industry is for fine artists, what Internet browsing is to an expensive new Graphic Card. A complete waste of resources.

I have a client/friend who is in such a predicament. I saw some of his personal artwork, which is fantastic, and yet he's been working in the sign and graphic design business for years. He's almost stuck in it because he has a family to support. He should be doing Matte Painting or Concept Design work. But now that I've strayed way off topic...time to return. :) Yeah...Blender's got PLENTY of juice for what you need. If it were commercial, it would likely be priced right about where LW is or higher.

It has exceptional animation/rigging tools, as well as it's own compositor. I think you are also being a bit too harsh on it's native render. It's not bad at all...and should be able to do whatever you ask it to do. Nevertheless, you may be able to contact Vlado over at the VRay forums and ask about an upgrade path to 2 if you buy the stand alone now. There is a good chance he may make the v2 upgrade available for free when it's released.

#50 MattVG

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 02:03 AM

...[In Graphic Design] You are often stuck doing page layout and text editing (in Adobe InDesign or Quark). To me, the Graphic Design Industry is for fine artists, what Internet browsing is to an expensive new Graphic Card. A complete waste of resources.

...

[Blender] has exceptional animation/rigging tools, as well as it's own compositor. I think you are also being a bit too harsh on it's native render. It's not bad at all...and should be able to do whatever you ask it to do. Nevertheless, you may be able to contact Vlado over at the VRay forums and ask about an upgrade path to 2 if you buy the stand alone now. There is a good chance he may make the v2 upgrade available for free when it's released.


Yeah, I'm a Fine Artist who went to Graphic Design, realized I didn't care much for rearranging text and pictures on a page, and now I'm I've come back to Illustration with a focus on 3D and animation.
The Blender renderer can make some very nice renders and soon it will have more features and faster ray-tracing but I can't seem to make it quite reach my vision - again, I need more study on the subject, but I don't think it's just me.
I'll register on the V-Ray forums and see if I can get some info on the upgrade path.

#51 michalis

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 05:01 PM

Blender internal render isn't vray. It can serve you well though. Good SSS is difficult but not impossible and there aren't any templates and ready solutions. Its a long discussion in blenderartists community about these. What BI hasn't is a decent GI. There is one (bl 2.5x) but isn't working well with sss. But for illustrations, its a great and fast enough render (at least in my computer). I wont spent money for a better render, for this purpose, as Ps is the best of all LOL. Even the zbrush renderer is almost enough (but no particles-hair system there)
I'll spend my money on modelers, I love these apps, all of them are useful and have some different approach on our subject. A personal workflow is the best you can achieve. You'll find a way or another to render it. Blender is a fine base and 'Thea" renderer could be a solution, soon. For archi presentations, its already cheeper and I have to say better than vray. Its time to wait (and maybe invest in blender). I tried modo, has a great modeler but I don't like the renderer. I always find it dark and desaturated somehow. BI is better IMO. Just learn how. I could help, always a pleasure.
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#52 cchorly

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 08:34 AM

So MattVG, have you finally decided which 3D package you're going to use?
What were your basis in choosing that particular software for you 3D animation?

#53 MattVG

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 09:38 PM

So MattVG, have you finally decided which 3D package you're going to use?
What were your basis in choosing that particular software for you 3D animation?


I've decided to stick with Blender for now for three reasons: 1) it's within my budget (free), 2) I'm already familiar with it, and 3) It can do what I need it to do I just need to keep working with it. I'm still keeping my eye on Lightwave to see where it goes this next year. Cinema 4D is pretty much out for me with their new tier scheme since what I need is only offered in the "Studio" version. I may invest in V-Ray Stand-Alone as my external renderer, but my budget took a hit during the holidays so I need to recover from that.

I figure most anything I learn in one package can be used in another so unless I hit a definite "brick wall" with Blender I'll stick with it.

#54 mixamo

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:56 AM

Mixamo just published a new CG Resources Finder with links to resources for 3d modeling, texture mapping, rendering and lighting, animation, rigging, dynamics, sculpting, game engines, 2d, sound, training, assets, and more.

This would be great to search for what your looking for. You can suggest more via the widget on the finder homepage.




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