Hash and "hard" software desicions?

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  02 February 2003
Hash and "hard" software desicions?

Okay, since the creation of this forum some very interesting things have been happening. Most noteable - the mass interest in competive upgrades to other software options.
I'll admit it, I strongly conisdered adding lightwave to my tool set- but have opted to stay hash and also with my electric image.
I'm wondering what others have decided to do.
So, please share your software decisions with us!
I'm curious to know how far people are willing to go from hash.

Mike Fitz

The 3D ArtZ Joint Tutorial CD
Joint Set-up and character rigging techniques for

Last edited by 3DArtZ : 02 February 2003 at 04:43 PM.
  02 February 2003
Hash makes it easy

I had wanted to stay with Hash. But these past few weeks have made it easy for me to go. Not that they will miss my $99. The biggest things for me were render quality and some features - hair, particles just never worked right. You could get them working while testing them. But when you try to perfect the look AM usually fights you. I had always had my eye on LW but never took the plunge - until now. I simply got fed up with these features never working. LW works. Simple as that. Not as easy as Hash for animation but - what you lose in animation - you make up with amazing renders, stability and hypervoxels! Yeah baby. Plus you have options - Worley and Messiah come up.

When you compare Hash for $300 and LW for $999. Sorry - I dont mind paying an extra $600 for what LW gives you. Simple as that. I feel bad for those that cant. It seems that they have no real option. So I ma taking LW up on their cross grade. For me Hash dropped the ball.

I wish that the folks at cgtalk not only post here I think for every post on this forum should also be emailed to Martin @ Hash. Whats the use is it for us to gripe here? Lets aemail the hell out of Hash with our ideas to. I doubt Martin comes here. I saw James from Hash psot here. Lets make sure Martin - Ken - Steve - Randy and whoever all see this.
  02 February 2003
I'll probably be switching to Lightwave with the Training Bundle. Either that, or Realsoft3d. Or perhaps Cinema 4D XL 8. Decisions, decisions...
  02 February 2003
I looked at C4D and Realsoft to. I chose LW because it has more full featured app out of the box. C4D still is horrible if you boolean a model you get jagged edges everywhere. Modeling not as robust as LW and Realsoft animation not like LW. Like I said, unless you can get Maya or XSI - LW is great out of the box. It works - pretty simple stuff.
  02 February 2003
koon69: What did you think of Realsoft3d's modelling & texturing tools? I was extremely impressed. The SDS tools in particular sorta blew me away. How would you say they compare to LW (I haven't used LW yet)?
  02 February 2003
Hey Hook

I have use Realsoft and I must say the Subd's really do rock. If you can model in that and export to messiah studio then you might be on to something.
  02 February 2003
dfaris: Have you tried version 4.5? Apparently they improved the character animation tools. From what I understand, the renderer & material system are extremely powerful as well. I wish I hadn't deleted the demo (their site has been down for days).
  02 February 2003
Maya Complete $1,999 - can not be beat at that price.
if not

LW $1,499? and the amazing training set

go for the industry accepted applications, they are used for a reason

To be fair and honest I have not used realsoft (ever)
and until Cinema has better shader support and n-gon support then --->I<--- would have to pass. I think Cinema might start making a real impression at V.9 as they refine their tools
  02 February 2003
The reason I go with ElectricImage :
Fastest and best renderer defenetely
Learning resources and support
Extensible with specialised plug-ins
To sum up,great allround package,fastest&best output
core programm with extension on demand:
plag ins:
for character animation
depends what you want EIU makes it doenon budget and time

and MAYA,o course for that price....definitely
Best regards,
  02 February 2003

I bought Realsoft 3D 4.5 for Linux at Christmas, using Hash as the competitive upgrade option, which only cost me 200, although the Linux version is sold as a comercial beta. My findings so far are that its sub-d's are brilliant, really easy to create with, the material system is really deep. Nurbs are good, has the startings of a construction history system. The character animation stuff is pretty good, the skeleton system is easy enough to get running, but doing stuff like AM's smart skin is possible, but is not as easy as AM. It does not not have any sound options in it but that is supposed to materialise in version 5. It has a powerful animation system similar to Maya's set driven keys. Finaly, the renderer is gorgous, loads of control over antiailasing, global illumination, caustics, subsurface scatering, rendertime displacement mapping, fully multi-threaded for dual processors, unlimited network rendering, etc. Stability wise it has been very good, considering it's a commercial beta! Overall I would recomend Realsoft 3D 4.5 to anyone who cannot afford Lightwave etc. The mailing list is a great place to get help and they don't mind if you complain about their software.
  02 February 2003
I just read a review of Real3D 4.5 somewhere in print (will look for the magazine later) - basically they said it had a lot to offer, but for the price LW or C4D were a better deal.

I like C4D in that you can start cheap and add modules as your needs grow. Gorgeous renders, great features and modeling tools that some swear by and other's swear at. It is growing by leaps and bounds and has great potential.

EIU has a *very* fast render engine and great features as well. Modeling in it can be finicky (take a look at their forum for examples from active users) but it is a capable app none the less. It has some great plug ins available for when you are ready to use them. However, I fell out of love with it when I sent an email to tech support about a mangled on screen font and was told "It's a driver problem - talk to Nvidia, not us." After a few un answered emails indicating I had tried 8 or 10 different driver versions and all had the same issue - and requesting which driver they tested on - I got no where. Well, it turned out to be a Windows Cleartype problem...which I figured out myself after a few hours of hair pulling. When I emailed them back explaining the issue I got a very rapid response of "thanks." Which indicated to me that my previous driver emails were basically ignored...sound familiar? (caveat: my experience was with the demo, they may treat paying customers better)

Lightwave, while some hate the interface, offers a very "clean" workspace and some of the best modeling tools in it's class. It also offers the most complete solution out of the box - particles, net render, etc... which are extras in other packages. In the end I went with LW and added Messiah:Animate (which I probably should have waited on - since I am still learning LW) Lightwave was the "best bang for the buck" in the $1000 range in my opinion.

If I was going to get into 3D for a living though - I would probably go with Maya Complete. Simply because it is apparently tough to learn and, talent aside, knowing it well will give you a nice leg up when job hunting (from what I read at least). It has pretty much all the features you should need and a clear path to Unlimited when you need more.

As a hobbyist user I would be torn between C4D and LW right now. They both offer some really great features at really great prices. Even though I went with LW I still can't bring myself to uninstall the C4D 8XL demo...I love to play around with xpresso and mocca.

I miss some of A:M's simplicity - but refuse to pay for crap. If they ever fix the renderer, *really* address stability and change their attitude towards the community I'll take another look at it. Until then I have several $99 ea. shelf decorations hanging on thumbtacks here.
  02 February 2003
I've used LW since v1.0 (the old Amiga/Toaster days)

I've used Alias since PA 3.4 (you know, before Maya)

Maya since 1.0

MAX 3.0, 3.1

Hash since version 5.

Cinema 4D 5, 7.3 and now v8.

When I was having issues with AM for my comic work I revisited all the above programs. This is what I found.

LW is nice, I just never liked the split between modeler and layout, and it's a bit clicky. I feel like I'm clicking forever to do things. The modeler is great, it's always been great. The renderer is very good, but I still feel I can pick out a LW render out of a bunch. Not that that is bad, but it has a distinctive look. Pretty good for character stuff, but you need Messiah to get it to AM tool levels.

Maya is my old favorite. It's a complex program. You can do anything. Don't like such and such? Write a script (or better yet, get a TD to do it). I like NURBS, but 4.5 complete now has Sub-D's. Character tools are good, but I'd still get Raf's Setup Machine to make it work better. I've done a lot of work in Maya (character and mechanical) from toon guys to rockets (I worked at Lockheed Martin for 5 years) and it can handle modeling anything. I just HATE the renderer. It sucks. It's dull, slow and hard to get a good output, and the anti-aliasing has to be kicked up high to get good results. I miss PA's renderer. Get RenderMan. Increase price tho.

MAX. I've never been a big MAX fan. I think it does everything, but it doesn't do anything excellently. You have to load up on a million plug-ins to get it to be what Maya and LW are out of the box. But I'm just not a fan.

C4D. Wow. Version 7.3 was good. STABLE! STABLE! STABLE!BEST RAYTRACER out of the box of anything. FASTEST RAYTRACER out of the box of anything. (Yes, even EIU). Good NURBS, okay Sub-D's. Crappy character tools. Couldn't do characters without Golem.

Then v8 came out. DANG! MOCCA kicks butt! Character tools are very nice, SoftIK has to be seen to be believed. The renderer is even faster, and the Radiosity is something I've used in production animation. Nice. New Sub-D's with edge weighting and a logical layout makes this program so functional. It runs cheaper than LW with Messiah if you get the XL bundle (we got awesome particles, mocca character tools, 3 node netrender and the advanced renderer for $900 with competitive upgrade from Maya.)

I don't think C4D's bones are as fast as LW, and definately not as fast as AM or Maya, but with a good OGL card, and two CPU's, this program is nice.

That's what I chose, C4D.

These are just my opinions when we looked around for new software, take them for what they are worth, and download ANY demo you can before you decide! Good hunting.

- pjc
  02 February 2003
Nonproductive: Are you sure that was a Realsoft3d 4.5 review you read? Apparently, 3dWorld gave it 9/10.
  02 February 2003
Forgot to get back and update that part :sheepish grin:

It was Digit magazine - January 2003, page 50, They gave it a 3.5 out of 5 with the following summation:

Quote: Version 4.5 streamlines an already strong package. It doesn't quite allow the package to compete with it's more expensive bretheren, and anyone who can afford it will probably want to go for a package such as Newtek Lightwave.

That said, Realsoft 3D has a range of features that isn't available anywhere else in this price bracket - and if you want a package you can learn quickly, but which will be able to make a good stab at pretty much any project thrown at it, it's well worth a look.

Patrick's advice is the best here: Try any demo you can before you buy.
  02 February 2003
For CA work I STILL use AM

I really hate the renderer and instability of Hash but I keep coming back to the damn thing. Part of that is, of course because that was the first user friendly program I ever laid hands on that was tailored for character animation work.

Working as a Multimedia Designer at a University in the U.S. I can get educational discounts on nearly all 3D software, so I picked up Lightwave, Cinema 4D R8(with the main plugins) and I even shelled out standard pricing for Messiah. Also, for work I had access to Max 4 and Maya 3 and 4.

Why keep coming back to AM even though the renderer and motion blur are hosed? (Did I mention the constant crashes to desktop, sometimes when, gulp, saving a model or project)?

First, my dream is to do a looong format animation and the scripts I write don't allow for guys inside mechs sol you can hide the lip synch for several minutes. I have become spoiled on certain features. Splines and muscle actions for facial expressions are so easy. Poses are very flexible and I can repose my original bones/splines without worrying that latger applying a pose will produce bones flipping and polygons wigging out (which happens in ALL the other software)

Here's my lowdown on the situation. Again, this is very particular to the work I plan on doing.

MAYA- Awesome tools, but so hard to use. Also, scenes get heavy real fast. The real strength lies in MEL scripting. Guess what? I but software so I don't have to write software! Also, for the price I(even at the new $1,999) and press the renderer should be ALOT better.

MAX-MAX 5 renderer is great. A fast, easy to use program and you can get every plug in for it. No Nonlinear Animation! Character Studio's Motion Flow is a waste!

C4D- Very easy to use and awesome renderer. Character animation- even with MOCCA still buggy and lagging behind AM.

LIGHTWAVE- Awesome renderer. Very fast feedback. And an interface designed by Martians. It's like having flashbacks to Imagine on the Amiga.

EUI- Used the demo. Nothing the other packages don't do better.

Real 3D- I had this package when I started on the Amiga. If it's the same guys running the company, STAY AWAY!!!!!!! You think Hash has an antagonistic attitude towards the consumer? These guys will shoot you, gut you, pee on you, and ytour dog and then demand that you beg on your knees for another helping. AM may be run by a demagogue, but this program is run by 3 Finnish trolls living in their Grandma's garage!
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