View Full Version : blender questions

02 February 2012, 10:00 PM
hello mates. i am using maya about 3 years and i am used to it but this doesnt mean i like it =) it is the fist software that i met with 3d. i am trying to specialize in modeling in my 3d career and as you know maya is not a masterpierce for modeling =) what i want to ask is i am now looking for a new software for 3d modeling. i'll not give up maya cause as i said i am used to it. i just want to add an another software to my modeling workflow (which needs to bo solid). i have looked at blender about 1-2 years ago i think and when i saw the ui (old ui) i was shut it down suddenly =) about two days i am inspecting some other 3d softwares. blender is one of it. i watch some videos about it (bsurfaces video and new renderer cycle) and really amazed what it turned into :buttrock: so my main question is why do you suggest blender (i will not ask "do you suggest blender" in a blender forum)? is it good on modeling especially on environment modeling? does it include popup menus (hotbox) like in maya? does it include history like in maya and lastly is it hard to learn?

thank you.

02 February 2012, 10:20 PM
is it good on modeling especially on environment modeling?
Well it lacks ngons at the moment but that's being worked on. It probably has a different workflow from what you are use to, to achieve the same results for certain actions. You would be better off doing a small project than asking as everyone has different opinions on things like this.

does it include popup menus (hotbox) like in maya?
Do you have an example of you mean by pop menus as i've never used maya.

does it include history like in maya and lastly is it hard to learn?
It doesn't have a history stack. Since you've already learnt a 3D software you may find it easier but this is something you can't really give a solid answer to.

02 February 2012, 10:43 AM
Blender is a really nice project, I like his speed in many tasks, and can archive some or similar result to maya, softimage etc. The best "selling point" for blender is the simplicity in the approach, stability and you can doing an entire project without leave it (modelling, sculpt, texture 3d, unwrap, rendering, rigging, animation, composition etc.), so, for personal project you can forgot the import/export stress.

Modelling is a bit (10 years...) old, no ngons, but blender has many and great workaround for this, I suggest to you Blenderella character modelling tutorial, a real great tutorial done but a great artist, also, can check environment creation from CGMASTER. Ngon will appear in 2.63 release (I think around june). You can actually try the bmesh (ngon upgrade name in blender) checking and downloading a beta.

The only blender menu you can call is the content menu (shift+a), where you can select new items (geometri, light, camera, bone...), special operation menu (W key), with smooth, slide etc and some other menu, as well you can customize shourtkey, but cannot customize content . It is under development a piemenu (like modo or maya) customizable, but don't know when will be ready.
Blender has a different approach, more shorcuts and less meny than maya (I mean standard configuration)

Blender don't have any hystory stack alla Maya or Softimage. I think will never have one.

Blender is better then maya for modelling or general purpose? It is a totally different workflow. blender has a different attitude, IMO: it is a more simple approach, without the many and sometime don't so useful options Maya or XSI have. Less option mean less complication for the user (from my point of view), and more stable releases. Never know a crash in a stable blender release.

Some users from other packages when opening blender for first time want find the some attitude, shourtcuts, menu and workflow they have in their previous (commercial) software, so, when didn't found it, they discard the software and mark it like "unusable" or "don't sense" or, more popular "out of standard". The point is blender is not a mere clone of Maya or Softimage. blender has his attitude, and resolving the some issues in a different way than other. Like Modo is totally different in approach and style to Softimage (or maya or 3dsm), blender is different in many aspects. Strangely an user, i.e., from maya, accept this difference of workflow and approach in, another i.e., Modo, but don't accept it in blender. I think exist a racism in 3d software :D

Now blender has a new interface, great customization in it, you can select maya preset so it is not so traumatic. Doing a pair of tutorials (the net is full of blender tutorials), then you can decide if blender is for you or not. Also, blender grow fast, a release every two months, and every release has nice feature and it is very stable. I think Blender will become a must have knowledge for many 3d artist in a near feature.

02 February 2012, 03:46 PM
Thank you very much for your wonderful answers! I only didnt understand the "ngons" part. No ngons means?

02 February 2012, 04:58 PM
No... no ngons in stable release (actually the 2.61). No ngons mean Blender don't recognize, cannot build polygons with more four vertices., did you mean this?
You can find some bmesh (ngon) here: there is not stable release, for testing the new addon/features.
Blender has many workaround for this issue, please, take a look at the good tutorial from Angela Guinette: as all the materials from Blender Foundation, it is free, if you want contribute Blender developers you can buy it.

If you have, like I think, habit to using ngons, blender can be traumatic, but it is only a matters of habits, as I wrote, Angela Guinette e many others artists archive great result and you can see (if look the long Blenderella tutorial) it can be really fast. In any case Bmesh are around the corner.

Bmesh will ready and stable in 2.63/2.64, here you can found a development progress/schedule:

Don't forget the Blender community, really big and supportive. It give a great value to blender, but it is also a curse... I think exist more blender fanboy out there than maya or 3dsm, sometime they has a very bad attitude, I call it the "blender is perfect" syndrome... the biggest community is (, here you can ask any questions you want and will find for sure someone who will help you.

02 February 2012, 06:43 PM
Ciuccio thank you very much for your answers. But doesnt ngons bad for 3d? i have always tried to avoid from ngons when modeling. so why does this a big issue. in my opinion if it doesnt support ngons, this is a plus for blender. am i missing something?

02 February 2012, 06:58 PM
When you will have the proper experience, you will love ngons...
Agree, is preferable avoid ngons in a mesh, especially in a mesh you want animate with deformers. But Ngon permit you a more fast workflow in modelling. Without ngons box modelling is practically impossible, and ngons permits the existence and use of some nasty and useful tools like knife (one of the best knife tool is present in XSI, silo and Vodiworld).

With ngons you can primary sketch shapes, after, when you are happy about you can adjust it like you want, adding details, adjust the shape and topology. In any case if you have ngons in your software you are not forced to use.

One of the better artist in this field is, IMO, Vitaly Bulgarov (check his gnomon DVD), another I like is Glen Southern. Find and study their tutorial, you will learn a lot by this artist independently by the software you use (but you will see, you need ngons).

EDIT: this is a great tutorial for hard surface. Try to doing it without ngons:

02 February 2012, 08:13 PM
Ok got it Ciuccio, thank you. Is there any video about bmeshes that i can look for? Thank you.

Ahh also forgot to ask. Can you provide me some good environment modeling tutorials in blender?

02 February 2012, 09:34 AM
You can simply doing a search on youtube, as I wrote, Blender community is really big, and blender are practically everywhere. Amateur tutorials have a quality fluctuating, some are really good, others are very amateurish.
Only issue you can have about is the different blender version, blender evolve rapidly (a release every two months) nothing so important or difficult in any case.

About environment:

02 February 2012, 10:29 AM
thank you Ciuccio. this tutorial looks very nice. added to list. before go with this tutorial of course i need to understand the basics and interface first =) which tutorial series do you suggest me to start with blender? there are lots of "introduction to blender" tutorial series out there so which one is best and lets say more up to date?

02 February 2012, 11:50 AM
I'm not a fan,. but here can find many nice simple tutorial to start:
this one, commercial, is one the best for start your blender instruction:

02 February 2012, 12:00 PM
Thank you very much Ciuccio!

02 February 2012, 06:15 PM
Btw i have found addon for blender which is similar to Maya's context sensitive menus also found a detailed Maya to Blender keymap configuration. Do you suggest me to use them or stick with the defaults? Do they restrict me to follow blender tutorials? Thank you.

02 February 2012, 07:53 PM
I would recommend you to stick on using the Blender's settings for now, since it'll ease your life in future on following tutorials and getting the best out of Blender's functions.

02 February 2012, 12:42 PM
thank you. here is another question. is there a possibility to add maya like shelf buttons in blender?

02 February 2012, 10:49 PM
You can create your own tool shelf quite easily if you understand just a slight amount of python. You can look at these two addons as examples.

It's quite easy to modify these to add your own tools.

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