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Caine777
03-29-2007, 05:06 PM
I like modeling, and I have done my fair share of modeling in CAD programs like AutoCAD and ProEngineer. I have also modelled in Amapi (both nurbs and poly) and Rhino 4 (nurbs).

I am now considering getting a program that is more high-end, that will allow me to realise some of the stuff I've been wanting to do. I've tried several trial versions (3d Studio and Cinema4d, for instance), but I find most of the programs very overwhelming - in the case of Cinema4D I couldn't even figure out how to configure my viewport, so I was stuck in perspective mode.

So I am wondering if someone could point out the strong and weak points of the most common programs. For instance, I like Lightwave's easy-to-use interface, with text instead of buttons with weird symbols, but how is modeling in Lightwave? What about rendering?

I would prefer a program that allows both NURBS-modeling and polymodeling, and if it has things like hair & fur, particles and simulated physics, that would be a big plus. A good animation system would also be a big plus, but the most important thing is that modeling must be easy. I realise that "easy" is very subjective and depends on how well you know the program and what suits you personally, but I'd still like your input. :)

The programs I'm considering are:

3dStudio Max
Cinema4D
Lightwave
Maya (PLE)
XSI (Foundation)

OpenDut
03-29-2007, 06:25 PM
Save your money and give Blender a shot.

It doesn't have much of NURBS modeling, however, in Blender, a lot of things are optimized for you.

Modeling is very easy.

Switching between different view is easy too, just press (on the num pad) 1 for front view, 3 for right side view, 7 for top view and 5 to switch between orthographic and perspective view.

Tracking objects e.g. tracking a camera to an object is so easy, you only need to select the camera then the object and press Ctrl + T and you're done. Your camera will not indefinitely track that object, until you tell it to track something else.

Here's a quick . . .promotion I did for someone else about Blender:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=472189

and if you're thinking of trying out Blender, you can download the program at:

http://www.blender.org/

It's Open Source software so you get all the features for free :)

Caine777
03-29-2007, 06:39 PM
I tried Blender when it was first released, and I tried it again last year. I don't like it, I don't understand a thing about it. Then again I have seen some really great stuff come out of Blender, I just think it's SO hard to get into, at least the versions I've tried. Nothing felt natural, it flet like you were working against the program and not with it. But I'll give it another shot, I see that Blender 2.43 has some new features too. :)

But Maya PLE is also free, you know...

OpenDut
03-29-2007, 06:51 PM
Didn't it feel natural to you ?

For me Blender just feels natural.

It's so easy and fast to use. The hotkeys sounds like what it does.

Example G to grab, S to scale and R to rotate.

Guess you just have to find the right one for yourself. :)

Caine777
03-29-2007, 09:34 PM
Didn't it feel natural to you ?

For me Blender just feels natural.

It's so easy and fast to use. The hotkeys sounds like what it does.

Example G to grab, S to scale and R to rotate.

Guess you just have to find the right one for yourself. :)
Well, I just downloaded the latest version, and I'll try it out. It would be great if I learned how to model in it, since I've seen that it can do some pretty impressive stuff, and it has a very nice renderer too, and all the tools I want. :)

Rhino feels natural to me, and I can model really fast in Amapi, but Amapi is dead now, and Rhino has some serious problems with fillets and things like that. If Rhino only was as great at fillets as Amapi is. :(

kirigoi
03-29-2007, 10:28 PM
To save Leigh the trouble, I refer you to this thread (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&t=19315).

My personal recommendation? Acquire demo versions of the main packages, and have a go to see which one you like. Cost may also be a significant factor depending on what you intend to do.

Patrick210
03-29-2007, 10:47 PM
Why do you say Amapi is dead? Amapi 8 Pro is in development now.

Caine777
03-31-2007, 12:32 AM
Why do you say Amapi is dead? Amapi 8 Pro is in development now.Well, that is certainly great news! Eovia's website has been dead for quite a while, and googling "amapi" only leads to old (VERY old) tutorial pages and to DAZ. That's why I assumed it was dead.

Patrick210
03-31-2007, 01:46 AM
Eovia Europe, creator of Amapi, was bought out by E-Frontier (Poser).

http://www.e-frontier.com/go/amapi_hpl

Caine777
03-31-2007, 03:28 AM
Eovia Europe, creator of Amapi, was bought out by E-Frontier (Poser).

http://www.e-frontier.com/go/amapi_hpl
That's great! I haven't even tried Amapi 7.5, and the changes in that version are certainly all ones I've been wanting for quite some time. Perhaps I won't have to switch applications after all, which would be nice, because Amapi is so intuitive and easy to use. :)

mp5
03-31-2007, 08:08 AM
IMHO Lightwave is the best software in ranges price\quality.

Rendering engine in lightwave is powerful, and modeling tools are very comfortable. Imho - it's the best polygonal modeling tool, compare to XSI, Maya, Max, Cinema..
...
And, by the way, it's easy to learn ;)

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