How good is Blender?


#21

It’s also good enough to make 3d game art with. I use it every single day for static 3d objs, to animated playable characters & monsters in my game using cal3d to export them. It’s perfect, I’d never want to buy anything else.

Edit: this is after I tried both Maya6 & 3D max5. I swore I’d never be able to use or WANT to use anything but 3DMax. Turns out I was wrong :slight_smile: Blender was both faster, had a more customizable interface and setup that worked a lot better for me.


#22

thatoneguy,

If you’re on the street, crushed by student loan, poor blender is good enough.

Out of curiousity have you done anything beyond a cursory glance at Blender? I suspect you have no basis for evaluating it.

But I wouldn’t call any of the ‘so-called professional applications’ expensive when you use them daily. Especially when they allow you to work fast enough to take on more projects.

It really depends on the exact feature set you need. Ie are you using cloth heavily every project? Then you probably need to purchase syflex. I don’t see advantages of realflow over blenders fluids asside from its integration with other tools.

You could use paint to create a photo realistic painting, but why would you want to when there is Photoshop?

Blender is very comparable and in some aspects supperior to Cinema 4D and Lightwave.

Blender is perfect for 3d hobbyists who can’t justify the expense of a commercial app. But I wouldn’t recommend it for day to day work. Although based on you post, I’m going to guess the latter applies to you.

And you wouldn’t recommend it based on? It is great if you have some sort of experience base to make this claim on. The biggest point against Blender currently is actually training/retraining time. If you are trained on Blender for many projects you could well end up with a faster workflow in Blender. If you are doing a lot of photoreal work, I’d recommend against using Blender as the rendering tool. If your modeling work flow is Nurbs dependent, or ngon dependent - I’d recommend against using Blender for modeling. If your animation workflow makes use of motion capture, I’d recommend against using Blender for animation.

Excluding those limitations that depend on particular preferred workflows, Blender has a good and fast workflow.

Note: Feature lists are one of the worst ways to compare applications, followed closely by examples of work done in said application. Work flow is what you pay $$ for, not the latest siggraph white paper implementations.

The workflow has a lot to do with integration with existing pipeline, and ‘what everyone here is already familiar with’. There are dedicated tools that the tool speed for a particular task in and of itself is the crucial factor - ie Modo, Silo for modeling; ZBrush for texturing; BodyPaint 3D for painting; Animanium for animating; Particular for simple particle effects. However, the monolithic apps - their performance in any particular task is generally worse than these dedicated tools. The question is, is good and fast enough for 99% of the work I do, and for the other 1% can it be reasonably worked around or supplemented inexpensively with other dedicated tools.

LetterRip


#23

[i]“Out of curiousity have you done anything beyond a cursory glance at Blender? I suspect you have no basis for evaluating it.”

[/i]Personally I have very little experience with Blender. I have a friend who I work with who is an active Blender developer. He implemented the Blender shader system. I defer all my opinions on the subject to him.

“It really depends on the exact feature set you need. Ie are you using cloth heavily every project? Then you probably need to purchase syflex. I don’t see advantages of realflow over blenders fluids asside from its integration with other tools.”

I’ve looked into Blender’s fluid system, I assure you it is no where near RealFlow’s technology. Syflex is by no means mandatory for a good cloth sim. Personally I use neither, so no expense. But even if I needed both, the costs would be insignificant so long as I used it for more than a week or two.

“Blender is very comparable and in some aspects supperior to Cinema 4D and Lightwave.”

I’m not comparing Blender to Paint. I’m just saying you could get the same results out of paint as you do from photoshop. It’s a question of speed and efficiency.

“If you are doing a lot of photoreal work, I’d recommend against using Blender as the rendering tool. If your modeling work flow is Nurbs dependent, or ngon dependent - I’d recommend against using Blender for modeling. If your animation workflow makes use of motion capture, I’d recommend against using Blender for animation.”
So no Nurbs or Polygons… that leaves? I remember the days of no Ngons, you couldn’t pay me to have to go back to that again. If you ask me, stop wasting time on cloth and fluids and implement the damn Ngons, then we’ll talk about Blender’s modeling features. Especially when we have packages like Orion Flame, Modo or Silo which you mention.

And no photoreal rendering? There goes… most of my work. Even most commercial non-photoreal projects are using a number of the same photoreal technologies.

“The workflow has a lot to do with integration with existing pipeline, and ‘what everyone here is already familiar with’. There are dedicated tools that the tool speed for a particular task in and of itself is the crucial factor - ie Modo, Silo for modeling; ZBrush for texturing; BodyPaint 3D for painting; Animanium for animating; Particular for simple particle effects. However, the monolithic apps - their performance in any particular task is generally worse than these dedicated tools. The question is, is good and fast enough for 99% of the work I do, and for the other 1% can it be reasonably worked around or supplemented inexpensively with other dedicated tools.”
Eventually you have to put all these things together. That’s what those monolithic programs are intended to do. To be able to handle the models, the textures and the animations and provide render instructions to a high end renderer. The less you have to import the better. This is why we see programs like Maya being used so extensively in the film industry, they are able to do so much inside of one application without having to break up their pipeline.

ZBrush is mostly replacing physical sculptures and scanning. Models are super easy to import into any 3d app with almost no errors so programs like Modo fit in transparently. Textures are by definition created outside of a 3d program, so BodyPaint replaces Photoshop and Painter. Animanium according to animanium itself replaces motion capture, the built in animation tools are still critical to the quality of a 3d app, this is another area where Blender makes itself unacceptable as an animation platform.

Like I originally said. Blender is a solid 3d app. You can’t regret the expense :wink: It just isn’t, based on what I know, ready for professional work.


#24

About the comment on particles. It isn’t a bad system, but you have to tweak with it alot to get good results, luckily, there are resource files to help you.

Fluid system isn’t nearly perfect, but atleast it’s a start. It will probably be further developed when time is given…


#25

The node shader system? (Ton so probably not) or the original shader system in the NaN days? If the original shader system … hmmm I can’t think of anyone from NaN who would be considered active developers except Erwin, and of course Ton. zr was active this past summer. There are a few developers that are still around but have been fairly quiet as of late - Hans and Njin Zu. Bart and Joeri are still around as well (but were artist side only I think?), admittedly I don’t know the historys of all the active coders, so apparently I must be overlooking someone. (Ah it appears you are refering to the individual who did the unified rendering stuff during NaN he is listed above - just wouldn’t have thought of him as an active dev).

I’ve looked into Blender’s fluid system, I assure you it is no where near RealFlow’s technology.

Just curious when you used it. Did you use 2.40/2.41 or current CVS? (I was comparing to current CVS which has the ability for fluid to break off and become particles, interact with moving objects, etc.) I’m not a realflow expert by any stretch, but i was fairly underwhelmed by its features.

[i]

[/i]I’m not comparing Blender to Paint. I’m just saying you could get the same results out of paint as you do from photoshop. It’s a question of speed and efficiency.

Fair enough, a point you seem to have missed is that users who are familiar with both find Blenders subd polygon tools, ‘speedier and more efficient’ than say Mayas.

So no Nurbs or Polygons… that leaves? I remember the days of no Ngons, you couldn’t pay me to have to go back to that again. If you ask me, stop wasting time on cloth and fluids and implement the damn Ngons, then we’ll talk about Blender’s modeling features. Especially when we have packages like Orion Flame, Modo or Silo which you mention.

Actually no one asked you :slight_smile: Seriously though for those who must have ngons there is wings3d, however I work faster in Blender than in wings3d. I prefer a poly by poly workflow rather than box modeling.

In addition to orion flame, modo, and silo - you forgot hexagon, wings3d, mirai, mesh surgery, and polyboost.

Also lightwave is only getting edge tools and ngons with 9.0. (a reasonable possibility that Blender will have ngons by mid summer) Individuals can be plenty productive without certain features. Basically it comes down to what i said before - how your total speed of workflow is impacted.

And no photoreal rendering? There goes… most of my work. Even most commercial non-photoreal projects are using a number of the same photoreal technologies.

I said I wouldn’t recommend Blender for photoreal. It can be and is used for photoreal, it just is more productive if you don’t need that last 1%.

Eventually you have to put all these things together. That’s what those monolithic programs are intended to do. To be able to handle the models, the textures and the animations and provide render instructions to a high end renderer. The less you have to import the better. This is why we see programs like Maya being used so extensively in the film industry, they are able to do so much inside of one application without having to break up their pipeline.

Are you familiar with the film industry? From my reading the reason Maya was used is because they could replace the suckiest parts with their own solution, and customize the hell out of things - ie it was all about the Melscript. Now that they are able to glue everything together with python that is less critical.

ZBrush is mostly replacing physical sculptures and scanning. Models are super easy to import into any 3d app with almost no errors so programs like Modo fit in transparently. Textures are by definition created outside of a 3d program, so BodyPaint replaces Photoshop and Painter.

Mayas internal paint tools are used for mat painting. So no they aren’t ‘by definition’ created outside of a 3d program. Also BodyPaint replaces Deep Paint 3D, which replaced a quite a bit older 3D painter.

Animanium according to animanium itself replaces motion capture,

Animanium can’t do deformations and such and thus isn’t capable of full animation. It uses the phrase ‘motion capture replacement’ because it is capable of only IK/FK but not of doing deformations.

the built in animation tools are still critical to the quality of a 3d app, this is another area where Blender makes itself unacceptable as an animation platform.

I’m curious how you are deciding this. It has pretty good animation tools. I guess I’m really curious what exactly software needs for animation to be ‘acceptable as an animation platform’, in your opinion.

LetterRip


#26

I am waiting anxiously for round 3. And hoping to see a stunning KO. =)
Seriously, I make a living partly by using Blender. Should I go and tell my customers what they are paying for is not acceptable as a professional work? Acceptability is somehow defined by the software used?
Also, if I showel thousands to 3dsmax or Lightwave or whatever, will it turn my output “acceptable”?
Do you honestly think anyone exept fellow 3d-people give a damn about with what software is used on what project? How big a percentage of the targeted audience of Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Robots or any other commercial 3d animation out there actually even knows what 3d animation is? Yet, they pay to see the story. And they actually would still do so even if it was made using clay animation techniques.
Professional quality is quality that is good enough to be paid for. It has nothing to do with the high end quality. And that is something 3d enthusiasts compare when they debate about refractions on renderengine x versus refractions on renderengine y. Or anything else that focuses on “under the hood” operations and finer nyances of any software.

Since when someone’s professional project is rejected by their customer because “The quality of the software you are using is not good enough for us. Your work, however, would be fine if done with something else”?
Remember, you can produce photorealistic results with Paint.

If a photorealistic image is made with Paint, it is actually more stunning than photorealistic picture made with photoshop. It shows unquestionable skill of the person who made the picture.
Comparison of Blender vs. Lightwave = Photoshop vs. Paint is not a very good comparison, since Blender’s workflow is far from being as tedious as paint’s would be in given example. Actually one can produce results with Blender quite fast, and as noted by Tom in earlier posts, there are people who use other software as well, but still think Blender is the fastest and most efficient to use for modelling.
If you prefer Lightwave and can afford it, go right ahead. Or pick any other software if you wish. I wanted to include 3D graphics as part of our company’s offering and buying a software package worth thousands simply was not an alternative. Using warez was not an alternative either. So I choose Blender.
I am very happy with the choice I made.


#27

Hi Tom, Joat, thatoneguy and everyone else who is reading this =D

Well… Let´s come back to the original question: “How good is Blender?”

The answer to this simple question is, also, quite simple: Blender is as good as YOU are.

This happens because what makes a work professional is THE professional who controls the app.

Unfortunately I don´t know personally any Pixar/Dreamworks/Blue Sky/(put your favorite studio here) artist. If I did, I would (after try to get some tips and autograph, heh) ask him/her to try using Blender to make something good. I think you all may agree that the result will be something VERY professional.

Like Joat Said, if the costumer (or the audience) is pleased with the result you´ve achieved, that´s all you need!

Cheers


#28

[i]“The node shader system? (Ton so probably not) or the original shader system in the NaN days? If the original shader system … hmmm I can’t think of anyone from NaN who would be considered active developers except Erwin, and of course Ton. zr was active this past summer. There are a few developers that are still around but have been fairly quiet as of late - Hans and Njin Zu. Bart and Joeri are still around as well (but were artist side only I think?), admittedly I don’t know the historys of all the active coders, so apparently I must be overlooking someone. (Ah it appears you are refering to the individual who did the unified rendering stuff during NaN he is listed above - just wouldn’t have thought of him as an active dev).”

[/i]Nathan Vegdahl aka Cessen. He implemented the phong, blinn etc back in the day. Right now he’s working on getting the node based materials up to snuff. Much to my annoyance… back to work slave. :wink:

“Just curious when you used it. Did you use 2.40/2.41 or current CVS? (I was comparing to current CVS which has the ability for fluid to break off and become particles, interact with moving objects, etc.) I’m not a realflow expert by any stretch, but i was fairly underwhelmed by its features.”

2.4, I don’t evaluate beta releases of Blender or Commercial applications.

“Fair enough, a point you seem to have missed is that users who are familiar with both find Blenders subd polygon tools, ‘speedier and more efficient’ than say Mayas.”

I wouldn’t disagree with that statement. Maya’s modelling system is terrible IMHO. I would call Silo or Modo or even Wings a near mandatory addition to a Maya pipeline. But that’s like saying “Our bicyle is faster than a skateboard.”… ok… that’s great, but my volkswagen golf is still faster than a bicycle.

“Also lightwave is only getting edge tools and ngons with 9.0. (a reasonable possibility that Blender will have ngons by mid summer) Individuals can be plenty productive without certain features. Basically it comes down to what i said before - how your total speed of workflow is impacted.”

Lightwave fell behind years ago. They’ve sort of settled into a Print and Architecture niche as of late. And like I’ve said. You can do anything in any package. But why would you want to use a worse tool? It’s not a question of whether or not things can be done using said tools. I used to have all the same limitations and more that Blender has now, and still created quality work. But WHY would you want to go back in time 4 or more years when the future is here now?

“Are you familiar with the film industry? From my reading the reason Maya was used is because they could replace the suckiest parts with their own solution, and customize the hell out of things - ie it was all about the Melscript. Now that they are able to glue everything together with python that is less critical.”

That is exactly my point. Maya allows you to build it into whatever you want using its ‘monolithic’ framework as a base.

“Mayas internal paint tools are used for mat painting. So no they aren’t ‘by definition’ created outside of a 3d program. Also BodyPaint replaces Deep Paint 3D, which replaced a quite a bit older 3D painter.”

I’ve never heard of Maya’s artisan tools used to create matte paintings. I’m sure somebody somewhere at some time has, but you’ll have to provide a little documentation to back that statement up. Point being with BodyPaint, it’s not replacing any one of the big 3 apps in the pipeline (Maya, Max, XSI). It’s not even technically creating any 3d data. It’s just creating 2d paintings which could and often are done in photoshop. Another aspect of the pipeline which is easily done offline of the 3d app.

“Animanium can’t do deformations and such and thus isn’t capable of full animation. It uses the phrase ‘motion capture replacement’ because it is capable of only IK/FK but not of doing deformations.”
It’s also not too widely used. For animation the big packages still dominate the field, especially XSI and Maya with Max dragging in third. Why? Simply because they have the best tools and you don’t have to find ways to import your data, it’s just there already in the scene file ready to render.

"I’m curious how you are deciding this. It has pretty good animation tools. I guess I’m really curious what exactly software needs for animation to be ‘acceptable as an animation platform’, in your opinion."

This is one area where I’m going to defer to those who know more than I. I’m not an animator so I don’t use very many of any app’s animation tools. I’m just quoting what I hear in this respect. Most of the problems I was hearing about were related rigging and the defficiency of the tools to do so. But this all hear-say and isn’t really admissable in a court of law ;).

"I work faster in Blender than in wings3d. I prefer a poly by poly workflow rather than box modeling."

I would recommend making the jump leap to box modeling some day. It isn’t a whole bag of hype it really is that much better. And Wings3d isn’t really that great either.

It all really comes down to people were happy and productive before the invention of the wheel. People lived long prosperous lives before the discovery of anti-biotics. I got along just fine before the internet. People created professional 3d work before they could use a mouse. But why would you want to live without running water? How good is Blender? A very good 4 or 5 year old 3d application. If you don’t want to do anything which has only come about in the last 4 - 5 years, it’s perfect. If you don’t want to do high-end character animation it’s perfect. If you want to use a slower 4-5 year old workflow, it’s perfect. If you need the cutting edge, newest and most advanced functionality that the 3d world has to offer, pickup an educational or commercial copy of Max, Maya or XSI.

The quality of the work is dependent on the artist. But it can be limited by the software. Blender has far more limitations than the commercial competitors which is why I wouldn’t recommend it for cutting edge professional work. If Bob has XSI and can do XYZ but I can’t, I just lost money to Bob that just cost a lot more than a copy of XSI.

In the end Maya, XSI, Max, Blender are all just text editors. The only thing you do in a 3d application is generate list of render instructions. You can do everything Maya can do in Microsoft Notepad and load it into Mental Ray or Renderman to be rendered. The only thing these applications do is simplify and speed up this task. So why tie one hand behind your back if you don’t have to.

If it does everything you need to do, Blender is the most cost effective choice, if it can’t, it’s not. It’s really a simple equation.


#29

lol, what a thread :rolleyes: ,

Thatoneguy and Tom both makes good points. And yes Blender is far from perfect but what application is. Like VirgilioVasconcelos said it’s not the application that creates the work its the person sitting in front of it. I belief Blender is also very capable of creating commercial work, and if you run into problems you just have to learn to work around them, thats the fun part in using a any 3D program.


#30

Personally I dont think its fair to compare Blender to software like Maya. Why? Because, in my opinion, they dont compeete in the same market. Yes, they bouth are 3d apps, but Maya is geared towards fotorealistc high-end 3d where as Blender (again in my opinion) is more geared towards 3d-looking 3d (nonfotorealistic, maybe a bit cartoony type). I think you cant compare Blender to Maya in the same way you cant compare Hashs A:M to Maya, they are all different apps with different goals. They eaven differ highly when it comes to modeling, blender is mainly a sub-d modeler, maya a “normal” polygon modeler, and A:M a spline modeler. Which programs workflow and whay to do things is that is better is dependent on the user and his or hers (in 3d a bit to seldom hers :wink: ) personal preferenses.
Maya is in a different league than the other apps (altough Iwe newer used A:M so I can only judge it on what it says on the specs) but what it realy comes down to is what you realy need. I currently study 3d at school and here we use Maya, I still chose to do my graduation project in Blender and as my teaher asks me: Why, when you have the possibility to use a legal Maya license and you know that showning of knowlage in Blender wont land you any jobs, do you want to work with Blender? Simply because Blender has what I need for the kind of animations I want to do! Photorealistic is in my taste boring, and since I want to start my own studio and not work for someone else (exept maybe as an animator, and with animating if your good with one program your good with all) and I feel that I wouldnt eaven use 50% of Mayas capabilitys, so for me to chose Maya as my main software would be like trying to kill a mosquito with a a-bomb. Maya is more powerfull (and those who say that you can do anithing in Blender that you can do in maya havent seriously used maya) but it is power I dont need, a formula-1 car is faster than the bus i take to school but in reality it wouldnt get me to school earlyer in the morning so would I actually get something wtih buying a formula-1 car? (other than the fun of showing it off)
What I also dont like about maya is that, I feel, they realy abuse ther possition on the top. They release uppdates that are buggy and unstabel (in my experience Blenders test builds are more stable than Mayas official releaces) and they take a price for their that doesnt reflect mayas abilitys (if it would then wath my classmates do on maya should look like it is done on software that cost 7000$ more than the work i do in Blender, it doesnt.
to sum it upp: choose the software you need for what your going to do!


#31

[Jerky] -
no, it is not what I meant. by symetric editing I meant having a whole, symetric mesh, and that editing it is done symetricly. like extruding or moving vertices on several places on the mesh (both sides of it) and treating them as if it was mirrored.

(I hope I made myself clear)

tmr232.


#32

I can’t vouch for Blender as I haven’t used it much, and what little I did I remember I found the modeling unintuitive. this was quite some time ago though, so I should check it out again.

however, Wings3d is the best tool for boxmodeling I’ve yet come across, now you mention that it “isn’t that great either”, so I was hoping you could give me some pointers to better software for boxmodeling?


#33

By far this is the longest ongoing pissing contest I have ever seen on CGTalk. Are the mods sleeping on their jobs?

As on the original question: How good is Blender?
The answer is: It is good enough, but are you good enough?


#34

yawn

what a boring thread.


#35

How good is Blender? I say very good for the price. We currently are using it to build models and do animatics for a low budget indie movie. However we are not using it for the final renders because as mentioned above - the renders do not come out looking as good as we want. From the beginning of pre-production I knew that we would end up using a Renderman software for final renders, and for the past 10 months have spent hundreds of hours in front of this computer doing test after test. The initial idea was to use Blender and Pixie, however after countless tests I decided that using the existing Python scripts to export to RIB format just wasn’t able to handle the large number of objects and shaders. Plus the fact that these scripts lacked the complete control over what is written to the RIB file. It would loose shader data during export as well. I mentioned this on a Blender forum. For instance, say you have 50 objects in a scene. And each object had a unique shader attached. This shot would last 4 seconds. Using the Blender export script you would have to hand edit the files afterwards. So this would mean you would have to hand edit 6000 entries just for the shader declarations alone. This movie is 90 minutes long - there are not enough years in a humans life to edit all those files.

So in the end I decided that buying a single copy of Maya would be enough. Plus the Liquid plugin is free and actually is very powerfull export tool. This allows us also to use other features like physics and particles. Yes Blender has them, but due to it’s API there is no way to access this data when exporting using the Python script. Not only that but with the Blender export script, NURBS were not exportable either. With Maya we have the ability to export every single primitive supported by the RiSpec. Shader support is much better, and the whole process is a bit smoother than using Blender to export to RIB format.

But we are still using Blender, because of the fact that we can only afford one license of Maya. So in order for our artists to make objects and sets quickly Blender is the BEST option. Plus the animatic can be worked on by several people.

We wouldn’t be doing all this if it wasn’t for the fact that this is gonna be a live action film with a lot of CG effects, digital mattes, and some total 3D shots. Thus we need photoreal renders, and using software like Pixie (which is Open Source) we can achieve it. But using Blender for the majority of the content is the best option we have, so after all this rambling I can say that yes Blender is good - and more people should use it.


#36

I’m going to put that in my signature


#37

neuromancer1978,

This allows us also to use other features like physics and particles. Yes Blender has them, but due to it’s API there is no way to access this data when exporting using the Python script.

You can bake the physics before exporting, and particles as well I believe (I know that Orange baked pretty much everything before rendering in order to be able distribute the rendering…). Of course most of the baking is CVS stuff.

Not only that but with the Blender export script, NURBS were not exportable either.

Not positive but I’m pretty sure it can be accessed via the curves module.

Using the Blender export script you would have to hand edit the files afterwards. So this would mean you would have to hand edit 6000 entries just for the shader declarations alone.

Why couldn’t they be batch processed after export to add the shaders or alternatively edit the orignal script to include the hader inormation?

Oh well not too critical…

thatoneguy,

Nathan Vegdahl aka Cessen. He implemented the phong, blinn etc back in the day. Right now he’s working on getting the node based materials up to snuff. Much to my annoyance… back to work slave.

Ah Cessen. Blenders shader system, and the bulk of its shaders were developer pretty much entirely independently of him. However he certainly has done some great work in adding shaders, and his work of nodifying some current shaders is great.

2.4, I don’t evaluate beta releases of Blender or Commercial applications.

Fair enough.

I wouldn’t disagree with that statement. Maya’s modelling system is terrible IMHO. I would call Silo or Modo or even Wings a near mandatory addition to a Maya pipeline. But that’s like saying “Our bicyle is faster than a skateboard.”… ok… that’s great, but my volkswagen golf is still faster than a bicycle.

Many users find Blenders modeling tools superior to Wings3D as well. Blenders tools certainly wouldn’t have claims of being ‘the best’ currently, however, you seemed to be implying that most commercial tools are and have been significantly better. Both Silo and Modo are extremely new. It isn’t like people didn’t model before those existed. While Blenders built in tools aren’t the best, they are quite capable, especially compared to other integrated tool sets, and are steadily improving.

Lightwave fell behind years ago. They’ve sort of settled into a Print and Architecture niche as of late.

Lightwave is still a ‘professional tool’ just not a leading edge. Same with Cinema 4D. Our Animation tools are better than the add on packages available for most CAD tools. You claimed that ‘Blender isn’t suitable for professional work’. Yet most of the professional market pays substantial money for toolsets that offer worse functionality than Blender. Blender isn’t leading edge except with the UV tools and few bits here and there in other systems. It isn’t trailing edge either though, and is far from being ‘not suitable for professional work’, unless you are claiming that 90%+ of the professional market that utilizes 3D isn’t suitable for ‘professional work’ either.

And like I’ve said. You can do anything in any package. But why would you want to use a worse tool?

Most 3D tools are ‘worse tools’ than Blender for UV unwrapping. Also, the important question is ‘is the additional per seat and maintenance cost of this tool justified for my needs’, and ‘can I get more value for this dollar by spending it on additional animators, other software that is a bottle neck in production, additional software, or the marginal productivity improvement this software will provide’. It is all about opportunity cost.

It’s also not too widely used. For animation the big packages still dominate the field, especially XSI and Maya with Max dragging in third. Why? Simply because they have the best tools and you don’t have to find ways to import your data, it’s just there already in the scene file ready to render.

Most of the issue is what are our current animators familiar with, what is our current pipeline, and if we need to throw bodies at this project is there a large talent pool available. Those are generally more important considerations than the tools strengths and weaknesses in most categories.

This is one area where I’m going to defer to those who know more than I. I’m not an animator so I don’t use very many of any app’s animation tools. I’m just quoting what I hear in this respect. Most of the problems I was hearing about were related rigging and the defficiency of the tools to do so. But this all hear-say and isn’t really admissable in a court of law.

Ah - 2.37 and earlier the animation tools were quite painful to use. Now mostly they are comparable to modern animation tools, but still some deficiencies (with motion capture tools the biggest hole).

How good is Blender? A very good 4 or 5 year old 3d application. If you don’t want to do anything which has only come about in the last 4 - 5 years, it’s perfect.

It is a bit difficult to judge ‘how far behind’ it is in years - do you judge based on when a feature became available in academic research, or in production code for a movie; or became commercially available in the first product, or implemented in most major 3D packages. Do you base it on Blenders most advanced features (UV mapping is superior to most commercial tools) of least advanced - blenders modeling tools lack of ngons.

If you need the cutting edge, newest and most advanced functionality that the 3d world has to offer, pickup an educational or commercial copy of Max, Maya or XSI.

Most of the cutting edge stuff has been outside those applications. Educational versions of software are of very marginal utility to most users since they generally desire to make some commercial usage of the software which the educational licenses forbid.

LetterRip


#38

BinarySoup,

however, Wings3d is the best tool for boxmodeling I’ve yet come across, now you mention that it “isn’t that great either”, so I was hoping you could give me some pointers to better software for boxmodeling?

You might want to try Silo, Hexagon, and Modo, or wait for the Silo 2, Hexagon 2, and Modo 2 which are all comming ‘real soon now’.

(although box modeling tool improvements for each will probably be modest - most of the focus for the 2.0 releases appears to have been sculpting, uv mapping, and texturing).

LetterRip


#39

“Many users find Blenders modeling tools superior to Wings3D as well. Blenders tools certainly wouldn’t have claims of being ‘the best’ currently, however, you seemed to be implying that most commercial tools are and have been significantly better. Both Silo and Modo are extremely new. It isn’t like people didn’t model before those existed. While Blenders built in tools aren’t the best, they are quite capable, especially compared to other integrated tool sets, and are steadily improving.”

But no box modelling. That’s why if you want to go free, I would say use wings.

“Lightwave is still a ‘professional tool’ just not a leading edge. Same with Cinema 4D. Our Animation tools are better than the add on packages available for most CAD tools. You claimed that ‘Blender isn’t suitable for professional work’. Yet most of the professional market pays substantial money for toolsets that offer worse functionality than Blender. Blender isn’t leading edge except with the UV tools and few bits here and there in other systems. It isn’t trailing edge either though, and is far from being ‘not suitable for professional work’, unless you are claiming that 90%+ of the professional market that utilizes 3D isn’t suitable for ‘professional work’ either.”

I guess my definition of ‘professional work’ is a bit narrow. I guess technically any work where you get payed is professional work, so if you had a really fancy cube you’re getting payed for professional work. Also I’m sort of ignoring the peripheral 3d industries, architecture visualization (huge industry), illustration, industrial viz, 3d matte paintings and just focusing on the film, commercial and cinematics work. The reason I made this distinction is this is where programs like Blender or XSI compete a little more fiercely. Many of these side markets already have an almost dead lock. Also, CAD programs were completely ignored since they’re engineering not art tools.

“Most 3D tools are ‘worse tools’ than Blender for UV unwrapping. Also, the important question is ‘is the additional per seat and maintenance cost of this tool justified for my needs’, and ‘can I get more value for this dollar by spending it on additional animators, other software that is a bottle neck in production, additional software, or the marginal productivity improvement this software will provide’. It is all about opportunity cost.”

I think at this point, just about everybody has a pelt unwrapper or equivalent.

“Most of the issue is what are our current animators familiar with, what is our current pipeline, and if we need to throw bodies at this project is there a large talent pool available. Those are generally more important considerations than the tools strengths and weaknesses in most categories.”

If it gets to the quality point where people would ask to work in it over another application you’ll see studios take notice. Modellers asked for Z-brush this wasn’t some “we grew up with it and that’s all we know” situation. You teach an animator in blender right now and then show them XSI and you just lost an animator.

“It is a bit difficult to judge ‘how far behind’ it is in years - do you judge based on when a feature became available in academic research, or in production code for a movie; or became commercially available in the first product, or implemented in most major 3D packages. Do you base it on Blenders most advanced features (UV mapping is superior to most commercial tools) of least advanced - blenders modeling tools lack of ngons.”

lol. It’s definietely not an emperical definition. I look at it as far as mainstream adoption in the major 3d apps. Ngons, SubD, FG, Non-Linear animation, skinning, bones, batch tools, particles and asset management. But these aren’t things that are necessarily impossible to catch up on pretty quickly. 4 or 5 years ago, 3d Max wasn’t anywhere in the picture except for games, and they’ve really turned around the package development, making it a real contender for smaller studios. If projects like Orange keep going, development will be kept on track, and energy spent on the right points.

“Most of the cutting edge stuff has been outside those applications. Educational versions of software are of very marginal utility to most users since they generally desire to make some commercial usage of the software which the educational licenses forbid.”

I view it as portfolio building. Once you get your portfolio and resume moving, people just hand you software and computers. :wink:


#40

Eh… well, since my name has apparently been dragged into this argument, I suppose I ought to say something on my own behalf.

Blender is capable of doing quite a bit of good stuff, and it is improving quickly. However, it is lacking some things that would be nice to have.

A big one is n-gons. Blender was the first 3d modeling app I ever used, and I used it exclusively for several years, but once I got used to the n-gon box modeling workflow in XSI I realized just how much Blender lacked in that regard. N-gons are really powerful and useful. Perhaps not strictly necessary, but especially for character modeling they make things somewhat less painful and considerably less tedious. Wings3D is popular with many Blender users for a reason.

Blender is also lacking in the animation realm. As with modeling, you can accomplish any sort of animation in Blender, but it’s going to be more difficult and tedious to do so. When animating in Blender it feels like the 3D animation equivilant of doing hand-drawn animation without a light box. Quite litterally, in fact: Blender doesn’t have ghosting (except for bones).
Blender’s animation curves editor is also considerably below par in many, many regards. And Blender doesn’t even have a dope-sheet/X-sheet editor.

On the other hand, the up and coming node system is the best I’ve seen yet. The interface is clean and pleasing to the eye, and it makes the most sense of any of the node systems I’ve seen in any of the commercial apps so far, including some non-3d apps like Combustion and Shake. It just needs more nodes to be added (which I’m sure will come quickly once the architecture is finished).

For me the bottom line is that it’s free, it’s open source, and it’s mostly capable (take a look at project Orange, for instance). To my knowledge there isn’t any other 3D app that can boast all three of those things.
And the open source bit isn’t as insignificant as it might seem at first (you might want to stop and ask yourself why so many studios develop and use in-house software, for instance).