Switching to Silo?

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  06 June 2005
Switching to Silo?

Hey guys,
I'm hoping for a bit of advice or input regarding my dilemma to switching to silo. I am currently learning to model in Maya. I know it's not the most popular application for modeling, but it can be done as some master modelers have shown.

Jeff Unay

Kris Costa

Steven Stahlberg

to name a few. Granted, these guys could model you anything with day old mashed potatoes and a spork

So modeling in Maya can be done, so what is it that make people switch to other modeling apps? (like silo)

It must be the workflow that make ppl switch. I'm I correct in this assessment?

I used to use ElectricImage that was like LW in that it had seperate apps to run the modeling mode. I hated that. I would prefer one application that does it all. I was thinking of buying Byron's Poly Tools instead, but i've heard that the plugin won't be updated to future releases of Maya.

Another thing to add, I'm going to be jumping into Zbrush soon, so i see the advantage of using apps outside of your main app when that external app can add value to your work.

With the news of what Silo will be showing at Siggraph, it's got me even more tempted to make the move. I can see it doing most of the leg work that zbrush does.

So what keeps me from switching? Certainly isn't the money ($109 is a great deal)
Also not the learning curve as using the demo showed me how easy it is to use.

The thought that Maya will come out with new and improved modeling tools so that I wouldn't need to go outside maya for poly modeling.
Another thought that goes through my head is the modelers that do model in maya and the whole if they can do it, so can i mentality.

I'm rambling here... I apologzie. I think the best thing to do is wait till Siggraph and see what everyone is offering, then make my decision then. In the meantime though, I'd be very interested in hearing other people's thoughts on the subject and their experiences in making the move to Silo.


God Bless you

  06 June 2005
i dont know!!!

i say that maya its the best for modeling..
fast and its easy...

i guess its the price maya its like $6000
and xsi and 3d max is more cheap

but i always say that if you want the best, pay the best

the price for the best is high
  06 June 2005
It's definately the work flow. It's being able to figure out where everything is fast without having to wade through the manual every five seconds.

Finer stuff, you always have to consult... but the tools are simple in Silo. They're easy to use, and that is entirely why I'm so happy with it. There's so much I don't have to worry about. It also fits in well with the toolset I already have.
  06 June 2005
Yeah for me it's the workflow, in sophisticated complex apps like Lightwave, Cinema etc (I've never used Maya) the complexity can get in the way. Even if you know the app your're constantly thinking about which is the best tool for a particular job and how best to configure it. In simpler dedicated modellers like Wings or Silo, once you know the app (which doesn't take long) you can just concentrate on the modeling. It feels much more like sculpting to me.

It's very personal though, some people dislike the simplicity and equate power with complexity, for certain jobs they may be right. Inorganics/hard surface modeling is not a strong point of Wings or Silo (both are quite capable of modeling cars, buildings, machinery etc though!) For organics though I think they are among the best apps available at any price!

Ultimately you have to decide what works for you though! - Baz
  06 June 2005
silo is great!

I'm a Maya artist, When I picked up the trial vesion of silo, just by curiosity, it took me about 20 minute to start modeling with it. The reason being that for me Silo is workflow is just like Maya but strip to the bare needs. Even the keys and mouse button are config like Maya.
So in my opinion, to work faster, use Silo and then import in Maya for texturing and rendering.
  06 June 2005
Up until about a year ago all I did was model in Maya. But after trying out Silo's demo, I purchased it soon after. It's not just the familiarity of Silo compared to Maya, it's the speed that which you can model in Silo as compared to Maya. Sub-d's, which are essentially the same as a smooth proxy in Maya, are super fast, and I really love Silo's selection toolsets. I still use Maya for certain things, but for $109 I feel that Silo is the better polygon modeler well over Maya's own polygon tools.

I also use Zbrush, so I have an additional program that I model with that also influenced my decision to get Silo. Silo is a lot more responsive with larger meshes than Maya is, at least on my systems. This fact alone has saved me a bunch of work and time.
Online Portfolio
  06 June 2005
My advice; SWITCH YOU FOOL!!

I think you're right Grgeon, its a workflow thing. At the end of the day all of the packages can deal in poly's and a vert is a vert regardless of which program its drawn in. Its kind of like discussing whether you use a biro, an HB, or 3H for sketching; everyone's got a favorite, and a reason. Go for what feels right for you.
IMHO; Maya is beginning to show its age at the moment, and its poly modelling toolset is far behind more current programs such as XSI, Modo, Silo and the like. (According to several sources; nudge, nudge, wink, wink) Alias have shifted focus (as in, number of staff employed) from the development to the promotion of Maya, which means updates are gonna come slower from now on, so I wouldn't hold your breath for many major tool improvements in the near future. (I hope I'm wrong though, as I have to use it everyday!)

Peresonally, I like to keep my workflow very streamlined and clutter free, which is why I've started to use Silo for modelling (and soon for UV-ing, hopefully), Zbrush for detailing, and PS CS for texturing. I'll only go near Maya out of work hours if I need to rig a character, and I still think XSI has got Maya beat on its character setup tools, its just that I know Maya pretty well...
Crafty so-and-so;
http:///www.coriandr.com and http://blog.coriandr.com
  06 June 2005

You definitely beat me to the punch with the jist of your reply...

I was going to say, why use a tool just because a great artist uses it??

We all have a finite amount of time in this world; if it takes say 2-hours to model a head in Maya but only an 1:15 in Silo, for the same head, why use something because it's artsy or elite?

All of these programs are tools - use the one you're comfortable with, use the one that gets your job done with less stress!

The one thing I do believe should be avoided (and is definitely a problem I have) is becoming a >jack of all, master of none<...

I have Lighwave, XSI, ZBrush, Silo and Hexagon, (whoops forgot Rhino v2) and while I'm experienced with all of them, I can't say I've mastered any of them except for perhaps Lightwave since I've had it the longest.

That's what you want to avoid, having average strength in a variety of programs - pick one and focus and get really good...

I can understand wanting to stick with one app, but I don't know if that's really possible or feasible?

For example sometimes you may want to buy a book - say on drawing. One author may have a good book on drawing but not cover some of the things say another author does in a different book - should you limit your knowledge or experience because you refuse to buy the 2nd book? I don't believe that's logical.

Same with animation / modeling tools. Use the tools that get the jobs done in the fastest amount of time >for you< - that's the bottom line.

Good luck!

"With THIS!, you could be like GOD!..." - Kozer, Blake's 7
  06 June 2005
for me maya is the best because of mel. Modeling in maya can be anything you imagine.

But the price tag is too much. At work its fine but at home I'm looking for something cheaper fast and efficient. Silo is lower in price and as far as strictly modeling goes it is much more efficient then maya. I still haven't baught my copy yet, just using the education version to pick it up. I'm also waiting till august to see what developes.
  06 June 2005
"Modeling in maya can be anything you imagine." Modeling in ANY package can be anything you can imagine, that's kind of the point!

I get what you mean about Maya and Mel though. Mel gives you *complete* control over the way Maya works from the ground up. Really powerful. My only problem is that Mel is Maya only. I like the direction XSI has gone, using a third party scripting language (perl, vscript, etc).
Crafty so-and-so;
http:///www.coriandr.com and http://blog.coriandr.com
  06 June 2005
I want to try XSI so bad, I hear so many good things about it. The demo is sooo hard to download though, I hate filling out questionaires.
  06 June 2005
There are so many reasons here... These big name artists are marketing power for Maya. donít get me wrong Maya is an amazing tool, simply awesome.

XSI and LightWave are simply amazing and there are as many good reasons to get them as any other.

But if you are looking to get into modeling in 3D Silo is your best bet IMHO. At the price you get a modeler that ranked higher than most in 3D World and has a very customizable interface. Modeling is a great start to 3D, animation requires a little more attention.

You cant beat that...

Just my 2c

Best of luck!!
Wes Beckwith

Author, LightWave 3D 8: 1001 Tips and Tricks
My NewTek Profile
  06 June 2005
Originally Posted by rev_camus: I'm a Maya artist, When I picked up the trial vesion of silo, just by curiosity, it took me about 20 minute to start modeling with it. The reason being that for me Silo is workflow is just like Maya but strip to the bare needs. Even the keys and mouse button are config like Maya.
So in my opinion, to work faster, use Silo and then import in Maya for texturing and rendering.


  06 June 2005
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