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.