A decade later, which software now?


I have Bforartists,
It is my prefered fork for those few times when I want to render some quick stills of Daz content in Cycles.
I Dont Imagine Tiles is “forgeting price” as the OP never mentioned price being a factor in his decison to Drop off ADSK Max
in the first place.

The only thing notable about Blender today in late 2018 is its free price.
and nothing else …literally nothing.

Setting the Horrible UI aside for a moment

Blender does not lead the 3DCC market in any major area.

Its Character animation, motionbuilding,retargeting and editing tools
tools do not Compare to any of the major packages not even Legacy
Apps like Lightwave3D 2015/2018 ,to say nothing of Max or
Maya,Iclone Pro pipeline or even MODO.

Blender’s VFX tools ,( particle based ,smoke,fire ,water), are slow
cumbersome, and cant really match the quality of the output one can
get natively with the Autodesk tools and certainly do not compare to

Right now the free Daz Studio Can do better/Faster cloth sims on a
walking biped actor than Blender.

Blender’s modeling tools are quite good yet Hobbled IMHO by the Horrible UI.

Now indeed for those who can only afford a flat in which to live,
with electricity to run a machine that meets the minimum specs to run
Blender, yes Blender is your default choice.

Everyone else has much…much better options.


My advice?
Go straight to either Unity or Unreal. Frankly both are the future. Hell while you are at in I would jump NOW in the the VR bandwagon and check out some of their content development tools.
And keep in mind that using pre-made content has lost a ton of the stigma it used to have.


I have a feeling that SideFX is going to have a really exciting year :thumbsup:

I’m also pretty impressed with what is going on with Blender 2.8. I couldn’t stand the UI/UX of previous Blender iterations, but I’m liking what I see in this latest update. I’m going to give Blender another chance once the final version of 2.8 comes out, at least for modeling and scene assembly.


I think any of the big three 3D apps would work fine.

Feels strange calling C4D “big” but it has several niches now - motion graphics, medical animation, etc. I think it’s more concerned with a good Adobe pipeline than one with Unity/Unreal


Unity or Unreal is no bad advice. Realtime has a big future in rendering, not only for games. And qualitywise PBR was the game changer. But i would say we will always have offline rendering. Even when it happens at the GPU. And you still need something to create your own assets in case you don’t want to or can’t use pre-made content. Pre-made asstets brings you just so and so far. Well, you can mix them to save some time. Nobody shapes his trees by hand anymore nowadays for example when he can use SpeedTree.

Regarding VR i’m a bit biased. It gets hyped since many years. And since years we get told that NOW it has the needed quality. But it will never go around the VR problems like motion sickness. So for me it’s more a niche.


I have used Bforartists, yes. In fact I have posted many threads here about Bforartists so more people become aware that it exists.

Much, much better than the normal Blender, but as the lead developer Tiles said, it is not the fastest or most suitable 3D tool for this particular job.

I would personally use C4D for doing this kind of project if cost is no objective, because as far back as 10 - 12 years ago I did some city environments in C4D and exported them to VRML and similar.

Houdini is very powerful for this too if you want to it procedurally. However, is Houdini’s UI and workflow approach compatible with how the original poster thinks? I don’t know.

All major 3D apps can do nice cities, or broken-down cities. Max, C4D, Maya can all handle this task. And rendering options between them are similar.

Where the major differences may be felt is when exporting to realtime game engines like Unity, UnrealEngine or CryEngine.

Here you may find that Max, Maya, C4D show differences in how easy it is to get your city out of the 3D DCC app and into the game engine.


Wow, I haven’t been here and years. Good to see we are all still talking about the same things. I love how everyone is crapping on Blender but you guys keep talking about it. Yeah, clearly it’s not a contender. :


Nothing to do with crapping, but being realistic. Blender in its current incarnation is simply not suited for this special task here. Not even 2.8 would. This fish is too big for Blender.

Or do you know a Blender city generator that can compete with the above shown possibilities in Houdini for example? :slight_smile:


Ok, so dude if you take the dive into Houdini from Max I would strongly advise atleast picking up a copy of Silo for modeling and ideally ZBrush. Houdini is improving their modeling tools, but they’re still dirty booty right now.



honestly, I don’t have anything invested in Blender. I’ve used it on a few commercials and I’m aware of what it can and can’t do. And actually, I’m not even recommending using Blender. I don’t really care what people use. I just really object to you speaking in such absolute terms like it’s a proven fact that Blender couldn’t build a city. It’s simply untrue. Not only is it possible but many people have done it. They made a freakin feature film with it and it looks amazing. I mean, seriously amazing. So obviously there’s an issue with what you’re saying if an animation company can make a movie with it. One with a city in it by the way.

The best advice I can give the OP is to use what you’re fastest in. If your fast in Max great. If not and you feel like it’s not fulfilling your needs, download some demos of Maya, Modo or Silo.

Also, learn Substance painter. It’s amazing. :wink:


I really dislike when somebody tries to put words into my mouth and tries to twist what i have said. Please stop it.

I did not say that you can’t do a city in Blender. I say what the OP wants to do regarding a city can not be done with Blender. Since the addons from the Blender bubble are all much weaker solutions compared to the industry solutions. And this counts for other important addons like for foliage like trees and grass too.

The by you linked addon is no exception here, sorry. It is one of those addons that i have meant. Cheaper and weaker than the software and addons that gets used by the industry. At a good hobby level. Not even bad. But not bad is not good enough when you want to make a living of it.

This for example is state of the art, for Unreal. Realtime: http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/cityengine/


Bwahahaha! Are you being serious? Putting words in your mouth? All you did was change “building a city” to “what the OP wants to do regarding a city”, which is build a city!

You know what I really hate? When people Can’t have reasonable conversations because they always have to be sanctimoniously right.

Someone questions you statements and all you can do is blindly attack instead of reassessing your position or strengthening it with facts.

I realize that we are talking about opinions here and that’s there is no “fact” in opinions but I wonder if you do?

I also realize that responding to you like this is just going to cause you to get more inflamed and unreasonable. I’m not going to respond to you anymore in public so if you really need to ‘prove to me that you’re right’ you can do it via private message.

I mean really though, we’re having a conversation about “what software is best.” Can you think of a more optionated soap box topic? Is it really that important?


I’ve been doing CG since the days when a 15" monitor was still considered huge. Let me say this about Blender VS Other apps. I don’t get why people seem so befuddled by the interface? I just don’t.

I was a C4D user for a good 12 years or so and Blender is qualitatively no more or less difficult to learn, master, or navigate. It’s not like going from Photoshop to Gimp where you might have to jump through hoops on occasion to get comparable results.

I’ve been using Blender for some 8 years now and don’t find that I’m any slower or faster than when I was most active with C4D. Every app has its finer points and quirks that separate them. However, in the general case, one just about gets the job done about as well as the other.

Does Blender have its weak spots? Sure. So does Maya. So does 3dsmax. So does C4D. So does LW. So does ZB. So does every other app. No sense in crucifying Blender specifically. It’s a shame that we still can’t leave that “mean girl” app war mentality back where it belonged - in 1997.

The bottom line here, for me, is that a tool is only as good as the person wielding it. A hammer, in the wrong hands, can be used to destroy cities. In the right hands, however, it can be used to build them. I’ve seen people build masterpieces using Froot Loops where others have failed to even do something basic with a full palette of oil paints.

It never ceases to amaze me how some people can still be such elitists. For example, CGS redesigns its site, yet still fails to drag Blender out of the ghetto that is the “Additional Software” sub-section. People don’t post there because it’s buried, relatively speaking.

It’s not like Blender doesn’t have a user base either. BlenderArtists.org has something like 300k users and about 14k+ posts every month. Some amazing work there from amateurs and industry pros alike. Blender users don’t feel welcome here on CGS and I’m not shocked. Just look at this thread. It’s 1997 all over again. Divided into camps.

FTR… The OP’s city project… Everything that the OP wants to do CAN be done in Blender. Vegetation growth. Building destruction. Aging. Particle effects. It can ALL be done and more. The quality of the results and the render depends far more on the user than the app, which is quite capable of delivering on all fronts. Anybody who says otherwise simply doesn’t know enough about Blender. Period.

As far as accomplishing this project on a grand cinematic scale… Possible. Totally. Again, you have to know what you’re doing. You need to know what tasks to prioritize, what to automate, how to layer your detail in passes, what to script, what to composite, and so on. As with Maya or 3dsmax, being skilled at art itself is necessary, but so is having technical background.

It’s not just about thinking outside of the box, but realizing that no app is actually complete right out of the box - if that makes any sense. The more you know how to script, for example, the more you can accomplish and faster. If you’re not technically minded or simply refuse to get your hands dirty, you’re going to limit yourself and your possible projects.

Maybe it’s just me. I look at my task at hand. Before I even pick up a mouse or tablet, I break it down and note the potential problems or bottlenecks. If the solution to my problem doesn’t exist or simply sucks, I’ll just build it myself. Why? Clients and bosses like results, not excuses.

Have a problem? Find the solution. Just because somebody says “it’s impossible” doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. Don’t want to put in the extra work? Can’t? GIGO. Garbage In. Garbage Out.

First and last thing I’ll say in this particular thread. I hate app wars. There are no winners here.


Bwahahaha! Are you being serious?

Geez, fanboys. Shows the most biased and childish behaviour, twists facts and words, flames, are getting personal when you disagree, and talks about a reasonable conversation then.

Again, i did NOT say that you can’t do a city with Blender. That’s plain and simple a lie.

I could do a city with trueSpace 1 from 1992. But i would not recommend to do so at a state of the art and professional level. And the same counts for Blender. It is technically still around ten years behind. And always will be by design.

Nuff said. Think whatever you want. I have better things to do than to talk with an obviously poisoned fellow in search for trouble. Go poke somebody else. Or grow up. Or both.

… and 99,99% of those users at Blender Artists are hobbyists who are already in trouble to texture a cube. And the trouble starts where exactly those folks wants it to be a professional tool with all weapons. That’s not how it works. The tool has to satisfy professional needs, not the professionals to satisfy the needs of Blender. That’s the part that is not welcome here. Blender is.

Have you noticed that everybody agreed with either max or houdini here, since those tools are easily capable of the job? But not with Blender? It’s because the OP asked for the best solution at a professional level. Well, the opinions are always biased. But then there is the requirements too. And that’s where Blender looses here. Not because of biased opinions.

That something can be done with Blender does not mean that it’s the best solution. And the exception does not make the rule. That a family car can make it to the goal in a race does not mean that it is better than a race car when you know what i mean. And you know that Blender hasn’t made it yet as long as every professional useage of Blender still gets cheered. This family car is still a bit too slow for the race.

As told, i am the developer of Bforartists, the Blender fork with usability in mind. A proof in itself that i am everything but a Blender hater, since i have even forked it. I would have been happy to advertise either Blender or Bforartists for this job. Preferable Bforartists. But realistically i simply can’t. I know the weak areas too well. Alone the viewport problems in Blender 2.79 would make the job super hard.


EDIT>>>> Not even worth arguing over here. You can feel free discuss this stuff with me in private if you want, Tiles.


Yes, agreed. That’s the sad part here. This app war doesn’t belong here. This topic was about a particular need. The possibilities for this particular needs are named. The pros and cons are listed. The rest is the decision of the topic starter.


Its sad to me that people still think the software makes the artist.

Once you know the fundamental concepts of 3D it only takes a couple weeks to a month to adapt to a new software.

If a company likes your portfolio they will hire you and train you on their in-house software, if they are not willing to train you, 1. They have a deadline fast approaching 2. Your portfolio is not that good anyway.


Get Blender its free, why spend $?

Create amazing stuff, then after a year or two, switch to Maya/3D Max etc. if you feel you are missing something. Until then you wont be experienced enough to know the differences anyway.

If you CAN’T make amazing stuff in Blender you wont be able to in any other software either.


The one has nothing to do with the other. It’s true that the best tools doesn’t help when you are a bad artist. But It’s like saying a good artist needs bad tools.

It’s both. You need the skills, and you need the best tools. The best CG artist can’t do whole post processing with Paint. Technically impossible. Sculpting is better done in 3D Coat or ZBrush, you will never come even close in Blender. Not in speed, not in quality. And so on.

CG is an area that is in fact highly tool dependant. The tool does play a significant role. That’s simply the way it is.

And in this thread the OP asked for things that Blender simply can’t deliver. At least not for now. For example, the 2.79 viewport is in trouble with high poly content. At least this part will change with 2.8. But then there are still a dozen other points left where other software is simply the much better choice for this specific task.


If a company likes your portfolio they will hire you and train you on their in-house software, if they are not willing to train you, 1. They have a deadline fast approaching 2. Your portfolio is not that good anyway.

This is just flat out not true. There was a time when a company just wanted you to know SOMETHING. Those days are LONG gone. The talent pool is now big enough that there’s pretty much guaranteed to be someone (probably multiple “someones”) with the same level of ability who also already knows the software the company needs them to know. Bottom line, if you’re applying to a place that uses the “industry standards”, you had probably better know the industry standards.


Absolutely! You are handicapping your competitiveness if you are not the only candidate for the same job.
And remember you aren’t necessarily competing against other ‘first timers’ but likely Industry vets too for the same gig.