After Using Maya, What Tools to Learn for (Image) Rendering as a Hobbyist


so here Is a very broad question. After playing around with Autodesk Maya for around 8-ish years during my time as a student (still am), and playing around with Unreal Engine, I have arrived at the conclusion that I won’t be a student forever so at some point I’ll have to figure out what tools I want to learn and use in the future to continue this hobby.

Even though I’m quite familiar with Maya, it would be way to expensive for a hobbyist (some 200€+ monthly) and the only reason I can use it right now is because it’s free for students. And even ignoring the price, I get the feeling that Maya isn’t as popular in the (non-professional?) community so it’s harder to find support / tips & tricks / tutorials / assets and so on.

So I was wondering what 3D tools you would recommend for hobbyists that do have a large community, good support and a large asset market places?

I mainly do static image rendering. Quite often in recent years I worked on rendering interiors, now I do a bit of character rendering as well. I also play around with game development every once in a while so a good connectivity to that branch would be appreciated. In the past I mainly used UE4 for that.

I assume that most tools (Blender, Maya, Max, Cinema 4D) are on a similar level when it comes to render quality? I like working with Maya and Arnold even though it’s somewhat of an unstable relation ship for me. :slight_smile: (Backups. A lot)

I’d appreciate your feedback / recommendations!


Blender 2.8 Cycles or EEVEE