Which 3D Application Should I Use?
OK everyone, we know that you want to ensure that you are making the right decision as to which 3D you wish to pursue when you are presented with a number of options.
At some point, most of us have wondered - hmm.... Max? Maya? Lightwave? XSI? (enter names of all other applications you've heard of but have not yet used).
It's only normal that you want to know about these applications and what they are all about. We humans are indeed an inquisitive species.
However, we are asking that you kindly refrain from posting threads asking which one to use - they almost always end up in wars.
Basically, these threads very rarely actually prove useful, as they tend to end up in (excuse the vulgar phrase) "pissing contests", where the conversation basically degenerates into a "this application is better than that application, just because it is" blah blah blah.
It's both tiring and a waste of time and energy.
So, from now on, we are going to instantly close threads that fall into this sort of general "theme". No more "Which Application?" threads are going to be allowed. This is basically to save everyone a lot of irritation.
However, not all hope is lost!
To people who really need to make decisions like this, and want to make absolutely sure that they are not going to regret their choice of application, I have a few suggestions :
- If you are a total beginner, and are deciding on a first program to start out on, try a free one! There are a number of free applications around. That way you can explore what 3D is all about without burning holes in your pockets.
- Check out the demo/learning edition of the applications. Most of the major ones have downloadable versions, or offer free discs for people who wish to learn the software. Sure, these versions are usually handicapped in some way, but it's nevertheless a great way to get a taste for the program.
- Post questions in the different application-specific forums. If you want to know something about Max, post a question in the Max forum.
- Try out all the programs that are available! It never hurts to keep your horizons broad.
We are asking that you please understand where we are coming from, and comply with this request.
Downloadable Demos & Educational Versions (you'll see that it's not just the "big boys" I've listed here)
The well-known ones:
* XSI Mod - XSI Trial * 3ds Max * Maya Personal Learning Edition * Lightwave Discovery Edition * CINEMA 4D * Houdini
Some cheaper and newer applications on the market:
* Modo * Messiah * Animation:Master * Silo * Carrara Studio * Amapi 3D * trueSpace * Merlin 3D * Vue d'Esprit * Realsoft * Strata * Pixels3D (Mac only) * Electric Image * Form Z * ac3d
* Anim8tor * Animoids * POV-Ray * Terragen (free for personal, non-commercial use) * Blender (free open source GPL) * Art Of Illusion (open source, Java-based modeler and renderer) * Milkshape 3D * Wings3D
One of our own mods here at CG Talk, Ed Harris, has published a book on breaking into this industry, and he was clever enough to add some chapters on this very topic!
The book has a few sections that help people decide what application to choose based on what sort of work they are trying to do and their skill level.