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View Full Version : I Can't decide between Max or Modo (a question of marketability)


marco44
07-13-2008, 03:43 PM
I'm trying to decide between Max or modo (My focus is on modeling and texturing).

My main dilemma has to do with marketability of skills. If finding employment wasn't an issue, I would choose Modo (no doubts there). However, I recently did a survey of 3D job postings on various job search engines and found that the majority of positions required 3DS Max or Maya skills. Some said things like 'or equivalent', but it's clear that these two apps rule the market place. I have some experience with Max already, so between those two, I would choose Max (Maya drives me crazy with it's overly technical interface). I've played with Modo and Max enough to know that I could create things much easier in Modo, but I don't want to invest a lot of time into a program if I'm not going to get work. However, it seems that with modeling at least, the tool is less important than the product?

Does anybody have any advice to get me over this hump and into creating!




Much thanks in advance...




Marco

brianod
07-13-2008, 11:53 PM
Well, if you want to concentrate on modeling...

Just my opinion but the big demand seems to be for character movement (IK,FK) which Max and Maya do well but Modo doesn't have yet. This is why online schools like Animation Mentor are doing so well. They only teach movement, they give you the models and they prefer you use Maya.

Modo is the best (IMHO) or at least most intuitive modeler out there. I would have to believe that eventually it will support character animation.

Also, consider price. Modo is way less expensive than the other packages.

Max seems more for gaming, I don't see many 3D animated movies with Max in the credits. Maya seems to lead the pack in feature movie creation.

It's a tough decision but I find that the concepts are all the same from package to package. Changing from one to another is not that tough but can get very expensive. Perhaps you should start with Modo and get going on a good portfolio of images. If and when Modo supports character animation you would be in a good position to make the next leap.

marco44
07-14-2008, 02:13 AM
Brian,

I appreciate you taking the time to reply!
Here is a funny story...
This morning after spending more time researching the postings for 3D jobs, I had decided I had to go with MAX. Not out of love, but just because my second round of research confirmed that a large percentage of jobs required either Max or Maya (some said things like 'or other', but not many). So, with that decision made, I started to spend some time playing in Max and re-familiarizing my self with the package (I used it back in version 7 but never liked the way it flowed). Anyway, an hour latter I was TOTALLY sick of it. No way I could go back to that after having tasted what 3D could be like.
So, it's back to Modo and creative inspiration. To hell with the industry! If they don't come around to Modo they're mental!

Thanks again,

Marco

brianod
07-14-2008, 08:49 AM
I held a 3D studio license for 10 years. It was my first animation program back when the only other choice was Lightwave, which at that time (1991) did not run on a PC (ran only on Amiga). It was DOS program back then and I stuck with it when it went to Windows and became Max. I eventually stopped using it because I felt like I hit a wall with it.

Just recently I downloaded the 30 day trial of the latest Max 2009. The interface hadn't changed at all. I was able to start modeling immediately. It had more functions but ran the same as I remembered it. I didn't like it but was impressed the stability of it and the fast renders. I think Modo's renderer is equally fast or faster but a notch below Mental Ray in quality.

Ultimately, you have to like the modeling workflow of the software you choose because you spend so much time doing it.

Modo is amazingly fun and powerful and I love the overall simplicity of it. I wish it had a more traditional materials system. Like Maya or XSI where you see a diagram of ins and outs of the building blocks of a material or shader. It took me a while to get used to "up" piling of various material layers of Modo. Where a layer is in heirarchy of a material is critical to getting the look you want. Did you notice that Modo doesn't differentiate between types of materials. There are no phong, blinn, metal, cel, glass etc designations? There is just the material, how you layer it and the specularity, reflection, refraction and transparency you assign to get those approximations. Surprisingly, I like this way of doing it. I feel more in control. I still would like a block diagram to edit a material.

Modo is such a young program and has a ways to go but when it is a full featured program I think it might become an industry standard. I read lots of interviews where I see studios talking about how they are using Modo to model before transfering it to Maya or Max in the animation pipeline. That's a good sign.

What's interesting is that because Modo is a SDS modeler when you save out an OBJ file to use in Maya it comes in without the subd's. In Maya you have to use the convert polygons to subd feature (which unlike Modo is a permanent change) to get the model to look like it did in Modo. Freezing helps a little in this in Modo which acts much like Delete History in Maya. Modo has no History function but I think that will change in the future. Freezing an object in Modo really adds a lot of polygons to the mesh.

cresshead
07-14-2008, 07:13 PM
modo is still being developed ..the current materials by what some have said are more placeholder than 'final', i'd expect the material construction to adopt a nodal way of being built in a future version..as fpr 3dsmax it's a mature 3d app capable of full scale film, effect, game and arch tech design work.

brianod
07-14-2008, 07:29 PM
Thanks Cresshead. Nodal is what I meant by building blocks. How popular is Modo in the UK? Any demand for this skill in Great Britain? Is most 3D work done in London? I would love to work and live there.

Martin Kay
07-16-2008, 10:40 AM
I held a 3D studio license for 10 years. It was my first animation program back when the only other choice was Lightwave, which at that time (1991) did not run on a PC (ran only on Amiga). It was DOS program back then and I stuck with it when it went to Windows and became Max. I eventually stopped using it because I felt like I hit a wall with it.

Just recently I downloaded the 30 day trial of the latest Max 2009. The interface hadn't changed at all. I was able to start modeling immediately. It had more functions but ran the same as I remembered it. I didn't like it but was impressed the stability of it and the fast renders. I think Modo's renderer is equally fast or faster but a notch below Mental Ray in quality.

Ultimately, you have to like the modeling workflow of the software you choose because you spend so much time doing it.

Modo is amazingly fun and powerful and I love the overall simplicity of it. I wish it had a more traditional materials system. Like Maya or XSI where you see a diagram of ins and outs of the building blocks of a material or shader. It took me a while to get used to "up" piling of various material layers of Modo. Where a layer is in heirarchy of a material is critical to getting the look you want. Did you notice that Modo doesn't differentiate between types of materials. There are no phong, blinn, metal, cel, glass etc designations? There is just the material, how you layer it and the specularity, reflection, refraction and transparency you assign to get those approximations. Surprisingly, I like this way of doing it. I feel more in control. I still would like a block diagram to edit a material.

Modo is such a young program and has a ways to go but when it is a full featured program I think it might become an industry standard. I read lots of interviews where I see studios talking about how they are using Modo to model before transfering it to Maya or Max in the animation pipeline. That's a good sign.

What's interesting is that because Modo is a SDS modeler when you save out an OBJ file to use in Maya it comes in without the subd's. In Maya you have to use the convert polygons to subd feature (which unlike Modo is a permanent change) to get the model to look like it did in Modo. Freezing helps a little in this in Modo which acts much like Delete History in Maya. Modo has no History function but I think that will change in the future. Freezing an object in Modo really adds a lot of polygons to the mesh.

If my decision depended on fitting in with what's used by an employer I'd probably go for Max, although I think the materials system is odd compared to other systems- I don't like the way Max categorised types of surfaces- it's not necessary and is confusing. Modo is very good in principle, but has an even odder materials system which is buggy and inconsistent.
Modo is fast and has good GI, is a bit buggy and not as mature as Max. Tricky decision.

Martin K

h9k
07-16-2008, 10:47 AM
I would love to join the industry as it's my first love, but i found myself going in another direction workwise to start with.
I am loving Modo and have since i first used it in 1.02 days
I would love to work in 3d somewhere and live in the UK. I have been looking for info of modo training or 3d courses i could take and although i have a fair bit of 3dsmax work behind me and some tinkering with maya i don't like those anywhere near as much as modo.
The other apps i would be keen to learn are of course zbrush.
I have done a fair bit of training from the lieks of 3dgarage for zbrush and modo (along with luxology training) but am struggling to find and one on one traing for either app in the uk!

Does anyone have any ideas as i really want to get into the industry that i love and do a job that i actually want to get up in the morning to do. (i know sounds kinda drastic huh)
David ZW

StrangeSharp
07-18-2008, 08:40 PM
Marco, I feel for you.

3d is just a hobby for me, so I'm not under any pressure to conform to any industry standard. When I was first getting into this, I took a tour of the major 3d applications. Tried LW, and it was hate at first sight. Tried Maya, and it felt like the user interface was slapped together two hours before it was released. Tried Max, and it felt the same. Tried XSI, and it scared the hell out of me. Then tried modo and loved it.

A few months later, and now I own modo 302, ZBrush 3.1, XSI Foundation 6.02, just bought an upgrade to XSI Essentials 7.0, and will probably be buying Silo 2.1 when it's released.

I own it to modo for breaking the ice between me and 3d. But I don't use it as much as I used to. After using it for a while I became more and more aware of its limitations. As cresshead has already mentioned, modo is young and in certain areas it shows.

I guess my point is that starting out with modo is an excellent idea. It's an elegant modeler, and the training material provided by Luxology is fantastic. But you should keep in mind that you will have to expand your horizons someday.

HTH

cresshead
07-19-2008, 02:20 PM
Thanks Cresshead. Nodal is what I meant by building blocks. How popular is Modo in the UK? Any demand for this skill in Great Britain? Is most 3D work done in London? I would love to work and live there.

for jobs advertised in uk it's ususally max or maya as uk tends to be huge on game development and film fx...also with arch viz 3dsmax rules

lightwave has a few studios such as darkside animation for tv ads etc and there's a couple of lightwave based game studios in the uk

xsi is still getting it's foot in the door

zbrush seems to be everywhere except arch viz..ususally they ask for max and zbrush or maya and zbrush...also mudbox as a second app is okay if you don't zbrush.

modo is used for some modeling tasks in studios in the same regard as zbrush as part of the pipeline but not THE PIPELINE end to end as it's not a full app yet.
re modo for sculpting..it's okay for starting points but lacks the polygrunt [poly count detail] of say zbrush.

but if you can model well in modo and also do some good sculpts...just show them and you'll get to talk your way in with your portfolio for modeling and sufacing/textureing.

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