07 July 2009, 06:29 PM
I'm an architecture student, so i understand your concern. Before studying architecure i worked with 3d softwares for 10 years. I never actually thought that my experience within 3d softwares would be that much of a help when i started my course. I'm using Maya, and i have to say that is surely has helped me a lot. Being able to show your ideas visually is critical within architecture, and the better you are at it, the more you will be able to show. When it comes to modeling, i tend to jump between Sketchup and Maya a lot.
These two softwares are the only softwares i use in terms of modeling. And i can create whatever i want using these twp. But when it comes to rendering, Maya is far behind if you compare it to softwares like 3d studio max. I use Mental ray for rendering my scenes in Maya, which is a bit of a pain since it requires a lot of tweeking with the lighting and setting everything up. Especially if you want good results. In the other hand, i've heard 3d studio max has a better option which is Vray. I don't know much about it, but a lof architects out there use it for their final renders. But since Vray will be available for Maya very soon, i have no intention of changing software just to render my scenes. So that is not to worry about.
I would suggest you to learn one of the following softwares for your modeling, either Maya or 3d studio max. Both are great powerful tools and they have their benefits. I've used both, and i found Maya's interface to be more friendly and easier to use, and once you get used to it, you will be able to pull off huge detailed models in short amount of time. I've heard Rhino is a great for modeling as well, but i've never tried it. I think the best way to understand what to use, is to try the softwares out yourself and see which one you like the best. There are trial versions for all these softwares, so shouldn't be a problem.
When it comes to learning the tools, i found the best way was to watch videos of small projects where you get to follow an artist step by step through an entire project. Following these helps you to both understand the tools, and to learn them. There are many sites out there with free videos, but there are also DVD's that can be bought with bigger projects.
Hope this helps you!
07 July 2009, 09:49 PM
My daughter is taking the Advanced Maya intensive at Gnomon School of Visual Effects and LOVES it. She has 6 people in her class! It is a nine week intensive course, eight hours per week, plus some outside work done in studios. Check out Gnomon.
07 July 2009, 09:49 PM
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