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Comparison of 3d tools

Contents

Technical Details

Package Platforms Supported Video Extension Language(s) Price with stated Functionality
3ds Max Windows 32/64 Bit Direct X, OpenGL, Software Rendering, Heidi MAXScript, C++ (SDK) $3,495
Animation Master Windows, OSX Direct X, OpenGL $299


Art of Illusion Any OS that supports Java Software Rendering, OpenGL Beanshell, Java Free soft. (GPLv2) $0
Blender Windows, OSX, Linux, FreeBSD, Irix, Solaris Software Rendering, OpenGL C, Python Free soft. (GPLv2) $0
Carrara Pro Windows, OSX Software Rendering, OpenGL $549
Carrara Std Windows, OSX Software Rendering, OpenGL $249
Cinema4D Windows 32/64 Bit, Intel 32/64 Bit, Linux 32/64 Bit Software Rendering, OpenGL COFFEE, Python, C++ (API) $3,695
Electric Image Animation System Windows 32/64 Bit, Intel 32/64 Bit, Software Rendering, OpenGL Enoch, C++ (API) $895
Houdini Windows, Linux, OSX, 32/64 bit Software Rendering, OpenGL HScript, VEX, Python C++ (HDK) from 100$ up to $7,995
LightWave 3D v9 Windows, Windows 64-bit, OSX OpenGL LScript $795
Maya Windows, OSX, Linux Direct X, Software Rendering, OpenGL MEL, Python, C++ (API) $3,499
Modo Windows, OSX OpenGL, Software Rendering Python,PERL, LUA $895
Mudbox Windows, OSX, Linux OpenGL Cg, C++ (API) $745, Free for students
Silo Windows, OSX ? ? $109
Cheetah 3D OSX OpenGL JavaScript $149
Truespace Windows OpenGL, Direct X, Software Rendering Python, VBScript, JavaScript, C Free soft. $0
Wings3D Windows, OSX, Linux OpenGL Free soft. (BSD) $0
XSI Windows 32/64 Bit, Linux Direct X, OpenGL VB Script, C#, JScript, Python, Perl $6,995
3D Coat Windows, OSX, Linux DirectX,OpenGL $285(30 day discount: $235)
ZBrush Windows, OSX Software Rendering ZScript $489


Modeling Tools

Package NURBS Patch SubD Polygon Smooths 3gons Smooths ngons
3ds Max Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Art of Illusion No No Yes Via Plugin Yes Via Plugin
Blender Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Carrara Pro No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Carrara Std No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cinema4D Yes Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electric Image Animation System No No No No No No
Houdini Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
LightWave 3D No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maya Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Modo No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mudbox No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Silo No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cheetah 3D No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wings3D No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
XSI Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
3D Coat No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
ZBrush No No Yes Yes No No


Workable Polygon Limit (3GHZ p4 (or equivalent), Average 1gb ram, quad polys)

Package 10,000 50,000 100,000 500,000 1,000,000
3ds Max Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Art of Illusion Yes Yes Yes No No
Blender Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Carrara Pro Yes Yes Yes  ?  ?
Carrara Std Yes Yes Yes  ?  ?
Cinema4D Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electric Image Animation System Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Houdini Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
LightWave 3D Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maya Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Modo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mudbox Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Silo Yes Yes Yes Yes  ?
Cheetah 3D Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wings3D Yes Yes Yes No No
XSI Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3D Coat Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ZBrush Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

UV Unwrapping

Package Basic Pelt LSCM ABF++ multi uv sets subsurfed uv
3ds Max Yes Yes Via Plugin No Yes Yes
Art of Illusion Yes No No Via Plugin Yes Yes
Blender Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Carrara Std Yes Yes No No Yes  ?
Carrara Std Yes Yes No No Yes  ?
Cinema4D Yes  ? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electric Image Animation System No No No No No No
Houdini Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
LightWave 3D Yes Via Plugin No No Yes Yes
Maya Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin No Yes  ?
Modo Yes  ? Yes No Yes Yes
Cheetah 3D Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
Wings3D Yes  ? No No  ?  ?
XSI Yes Via Plugin No No Yes Yes
3D Coat Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
ZBrush Yes No No No No No

Texturing and Painting

Package Node Based Texturing 2d paint 3d paint Paint Simultaneously Across Multiple Objects Layer Based Painting Paint Simultaneously Multiple Materials Vertex Paint Paint w/o UVs
3ds Max Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin  ?  ? No Yes
Art of Illusion Yes No No No No No No


Blender Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes
Carrara Pro Yes No Yes No No No No
Carrara Std Yes No No No No No No
Cinema4D Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electric Image Animation System No No No No No No Yes


Houdini Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin No Yes No Yes
Lightwave Yes No No  ?  ? No Yes
Maya Yes Yes Yes  ? No  ? Yes
Modo No  ? Yes  ?  ? No Yes
Mudbox No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Cheetah 3D Yes Yes No No No No No
Wings3D No No No No No No  ?
XSI Yes Yes No  ?  ?  ? Yes
3D Coat No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ZBrush No Yes Yes No No No No Yes

Animation and Simulation

Package Simple Character Particle Physics Softbody Cloth Hair Fluid Smoke Flame Crowd


3ds Max Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Yes Via Plugin Yes
Art of Illusion Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No
Blender Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin
Carrara Pro Yes Yes Yes Yes No Via Plugin Yes No Yes Yes No
Carrara Std Yes Yes Yes Yes No Via Plugin  ? No Yes Yes No
Cinema4D Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin Via Plugin Via Plugin
Electric Image Animation System Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin Via Plugin Via Plugin Via Plugin
Houdini Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lightwave Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin No
Maya Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin
Modo No No No No No No No No No No No
Cheetah 3D Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No
Wings3D No No No No No No No No No No No
XSI Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
3D Coat No No No No No No No No No No No
ZBrush No No No No No No No No No No No

Rendering

Package Primary Renderer RIB Support Other Renderers Net Render # Net Nodes


3ds Max Scanline, Mental Ray, Light Tracer, Quicksilver, Radiosity Engine (Lightscape) Via Plugin Arion Render, Brazil r/s, finalRender, finalToon, Fryrender, Gelato, Illustrate!, Krakatoa, MaxwellRenderer, VRay Yes Unlimited
Art of Illusion Raster, Raytracer, Vector Renderer, Advanced Renderer No No No None
Blender Blender, Cycles Via Plugin YafaRay, Mental Ray, Sunflow, Kerkythea, Indigo, luxrender, Vray, P.O.V-Ray Via Plugin Unlimited
Carrara Pro Raytrace, Hybrid, NPR, Toon II No ToonPro, WireframePro Yes 5
Carrara Std Raytrace, Hybrid, NPR, Toon II No ToonPro, WireframePro No None
Cinema4D Advanced Renderer, Sketch and toon Yes Arion Render, finalRender, Fryrender, MaxwellRenderer, Renderman, VRay Yes Unlimited
Electric Image Animation System Camera No Camera Yes Unlimited
Houdini Mantra Yes Import/Export Air, MaxwellRenderer, Mental Ray, Renderman Yes Unlimited
LightWave LightWave Via Plugin Arion Render, FPrime, FryRender, Kray, MaxwellRenderer, Renderman, Yes 999
Maya Internal, Mental Ray, Vector Renderer, Hardware Renderer (OpenGL) Via Plugin Arion Render, FinalRender, FryRender, Gelato, MaxwellRenderer, Renderman, Turtle, VRayBeta Yes 8
Modo Internal + OpenGL External script Arion Render, FryRender, MaxwellRenderer Yes 50
Cheetah 3D Internal Ray Tracer No Some scripted support for Luxrender and Indigo Yes None
Wings3D  ?  ? YafRay  ?  ?
XSI Mental Ray,OpengGL, Hardware Render (OpenGL / DirectX) Via Plugin Arion Render, FryRender, Indigo, Maxwell, Renderman Yes 8
3D Coat OpenGL, DirectX+AO, AA,<br>DOF, Soft Shadows No No No No
ZBrush ZBrush No No No No

Interface and Customization

Package Screen Layout Key Bindings Mouse Bindings Menus Buttons Shelves Toolbars Custom Views
3ds Max Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Art of Illusion Yes No No No No  ?  ?  ?
Blender Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  ? Yes Yes
Carrara Pro Yes Yes No No No  ?  ?  ?
Carrara Std Yes Yes No No No  ?  ?  ?
Cinema4D Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electric Image Animation System No No No No No No No No
Houdini Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes  ?
LightWave 3D Yes Yes No Yes Yes  ?  ?  ?
Maya Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Modo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  ?  ?  ?
Cheetah 3D Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes
Wings3D  ? Yes  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
XSI Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3D Coat Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ZBrush Yes Via Plugin No Yes Yes  ?  ?  ?
Silo Yes Yes  ? Yes Yes  ?  ?  ?


Supported File Formats

Import

Package OBJ 3DS DXF FBX LWO Q3D VRML MB MA x Collada 1.4 JPEG TIFF PSD AEP BMP GIF PNG EXR HDR .XSI Point Oven AI PLY STL
3ds Max Yes Yes Yes Yes  ?  ? Yes No No Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes  ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Yes
Art of Illusion Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin No Via Plugin No No No No No No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes No  ?  ?
Blender Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes  ?
Carrara Pro Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No  ?  ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No  ?  ?
Carrara Std Yes Yes Via Plugin No Via Plugin No Via Plugin No No  ?  ? Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No  ?  ?
Cinema4D Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No  ?  ?
Electric Image Animation System Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No


Houdini Yes No Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Via Plugin  ?
LightWave 3D Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes No Via Plugin Via Plugin  ? Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Yes No Yes Via Plugin Yes No  ?  ?
Maya Yes Via Plugin Yes Yes No No  ? Yes Yes  ? Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin  ?
Modo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  ?  ? No Yes  ?  ? Yes Yes  ?  ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No  ?  ?
Cheetah 3D Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes No No PDF or SVG
Wings3D Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No No No  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? No  ?  ?
XSI Yes Yes Via Plugin Yes No No Via Plugin No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3D Coat Yes No No Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No No No No Yes Yes
ZBrush Yes No Yes No No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No No  ?

Export

Package OBJ 3DS DXF FBX LWO Q3D VRML MB MA x Collada 1.4 JPEG TIFF PSD AEP BMP GIF PNG EXR HDR .XSI Point Oven AI PLY


3ds Max Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin  ? Yes No No Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes  ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin Yes
Art of Illusion Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes No  ?  ?
Blender Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  ?
Carrara Pro Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No  ?  ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No  ?  ?
Carrara Std Yes Yes Via Plugin No Via Plugin No Via Plugin No No  ?  ? Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No No  ?  ?
Cinema4D Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Via Plugin  ?
Electric Image Animation System Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No


Houdini Yes No Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Via Plugin  ?
LightWave 3D Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes No No Via Plugin  ? Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Yes No Yes Via Plugin Yes No  ?  ?
Maya Yes Via Plugin Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes  ? Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin  ?
Modo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  ?  ? No Yes  ?  ? Yes Yes  ?  ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No  ?  ?
Cheetah 3D Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes No No No No No
Wings3D Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No No No No  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? No  ?  ?
XSI Yes Via Plugin Via Plugin Via Plugin Yes No Via Plugin No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Via Plugin
3D Coat Yes No No No Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No No No No Yes Yes
ZBrush Yes No No No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No  ?  ?

Default Key Bindings

Viewport

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Keystroke 3ds Max Blender Carrara Cinema4D Houdini LightWave 3D Maya Modo Wings3D XSI ZBrush
Primary Popup Menu RMB SPACEKEY RMB RMB Alt+RMB
Pan View MMB Shift+MMB Alt+RMB Alt+MMB, 1 Space+MMB Alt+Shift+LMB Alt+MMB S+MMB, ALT+MMB None
Rotate View Alt+MMB MMB,NUMPAD Alt+LMB Alt+LMB, 3 Space+LMB Alt+LMB Alt+LMB MMB S+LMB, Alt+LMB
Zoom View Wheel Ctrl+Alt+MMB Wheel Ctrl+MMB Wheel Alt+MMB Alt+RMB, 2 Space+RMB Wheel Ctrl+Alt+LMB Alt+RMB Wheel S+RMB, Alt+RMB
Toggle Grid G N/A Space+G None - GUI G
Toggle Shaded F3 Shift+Z Space+W 5 (NUM) Tab None - GUI
Toggle Wireframe F3 Z N~H Space+W 4 (NUM) W None - GUI
Toggle Multiple Viewports ALT-W Ctrl+uparrow/downarrow Space+b F12
Object Manipulation
Keystroke 3ds Max Blender Carrara Cinema4D Houdini LightWave 3D Maya Modo Wings3D XSI ZBrush
Move Tool W G M E, 4(Hotkey) t t w w V
Rotate Tool E R R R, 6(Hotkey) r y e e C
Scale Tool R S S T, 7(Hotkey) e H r r X


Select Tool Q N/A Space s q Default
Toggle Select Mode repeat Q N/A Space 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Select All Ctrl+A A Ctrl/Cmd+A Ctrl+A a Ctrl+A
Deselect All Ctrl+D A,A Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+A N/A Ctrl+Shift+A
Box Select Tool B, LMB LMB drag
Paint Select Tool B, B Selected from GUI W
Object Level Tab F8, 1 F8 (Toggle) Space
Element Level 5 Tab F8, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 F8 (Toggle)
Face Level 3(EMesh),4(EPoly) Ctrl+Tab,3 Enter 4 F11 U, Y
Edge Level 2 Ctrl+Tab,2 Enter 3 F10 E, I


Vertex Level 1 Ctrl+Tab,1 ENTER 5 F9 T
Unified Level
Modeling
Keystroke 3ds Max Blender Carrara Cinema4D Houdini LightWave 3D Maya Modo Wings3D XSI ZBrush
Bridge F M~B, B
Brush/Artisan Menu M~C
Polygon/Edge Chamfer/Bevel SHIFT+Ctrl+C/SHIFT+Ctrl+B Menu M~S
Close polygon hole Alt+P F M~D
Collapse Alt-M U~C


Create polygon M~E


Extrude SHIFT+E E M~T, D
Organic Extrude Ctrl-LMB
Knife Shift-KKEY K
Loop Cut Ctrl-R


Melt U~Z


Smooth Shift M~Y


Weld W, 6 M~Q






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