Newbie looking for the right tool


#1

OK …some may have seen my questions in the C4D forum and must be wondering …what brings me to this forum.

The answer is I am still not sold on the higher end applications given my circumstance.

I am a hobbyist, looking to get my feet wet with something beyond Blender, I have experience in 2D animation and want to basically build models, rig and animate in 3D.

My interest is stuff like rattatoulie, the incredibles etc. I know that stuff is difficult, I just pointed to that to show what my interests ares.

I have had some modeling experience in blender but I feel the animation interface is too cumbersome.

My questions regarding Messiah are:

[ol]
[li] When it comes to animating how does the software stack up to the big boys like Maya and XSI which seems to be the leaders in animation?[/li][li] How does it stack up to other lesser apps like DAZ/CARARRA/Electric Image, for animating. I watched a u-tube video found in this forum about DAZ puppeteer feature and saw where this could provide assistant with animating, is Messiah that acomadating?[/li][li] If there is no modeling done with Messiah can it fluidly import models from blender, wings, hexagon etc…[/li][li] if you don’t buy the additional license that allows multi-thread rendering, how slow would it render?[/li][/ol] Finally, I am not trying to start some software war here …I have been reading the forum…I am just looking for information.

Thanks


#2

It stacks up well against the “big” animation packages. There are things that are not there that others have but there is a LOT in messiah that others do not. Armatures, super responsive interface etc. Especially the next version that is right around the corner.

puppeteer looks fun but I think once you have blocked in your rough motion you will always want to get down to the nitty gritty tools that give you the precise control you need. Messiah gives you that.

The range of options for importing are quite large and its as simple as drag and drop into Messiah. Wings is my primary modeler.

Doesn’t the base version only come with two threads? (Sorry I can’t remember off the top of my head.) If you only have a dual core machine than it won’t be any slower than the “pro” version. If you have a quad or 8 core machine then the rendering speed scales with your core count. 4 = twice as fast as two.


#3

thanks for the info.

BTW, I have the demo installed but i am having trouble with the interface …they claim the software is very OPEN GL …not sure how to adjust XP for this if thats the problem. Basically, the the main tabs (file, animate, compose etc) are blank when i launch the software. In fact all the tabs…the directory …add items panels, etc. are all blank.

I am reading the starter doc …and it seems straight forward enough as far as 3D softwares go, thats whats attracting me. I really hope this thing delivers and free up my time to focus on animating and not so much on the software.

Also you said there is an impending update … when? And should I wait to buy, where can I find info on this new release?

How good is the hair-module? Is this where I import a bald-headed character/model from blender and add hair animate and render in Messiah? I guess with the new release the hair module won’t be a freebie …hmm maybe I should just get it now while I can.

R


#4

search around in here and on setuptab for answers to that. Video cards and drivers evolve pretty quickly and its often just a few licks in the settings for the particular card that get you back up to speed. . . but I never remember what they are. Sorry. :frowning:

Yea its very animation centric. Especially with Autorig.

Soon. Its all hush hush for now but very very soon.

Hair is good. . . but again. . . not out yet so no real specifics.


#5

I think this thread is a good starting point for me to come out of the shadows of a long (long looooong) time reader and write something (hopefully) valuable. :slight_smile:

Just a little background: I own Carrara since version 5.x and now what it can do and of course where it behaves more like toybox. I’m also a well trained user – on a daily basis – of Poser since version 4.x and I think I nearly know all glitches in version 6 (to the extend that I will never touch the integrated “FireFly” engine again). My first all over the top and beloved modeler is “Wings 3D”, with “modo 103” and “Hexagon 2.5” in the pocket for more complicated tasks. And I frequently use POVRay/MegaPOV to and extend that I can say I’m a POVRay script nerd. :wink:

This was just for saying, I’m far from a professional 3D artist but an enthusiastic 3D fan. So I am in comparable position like you, truenovice. And as an so to say serious hobbyist my eyes fell onto “messiah” for nearly three years. I own the version 3 but I hadn’t had the time to get in swing with it (I know, I know, shame on me). But of course I had some playtime with messiah. Here are some thoughts, that hopefully get some light onto your questions:

2. messiah compares to DAZ/Carrara
Since I’m a Poser user I never felt the urge to install DAZ|3D and play with it. So no comparison to that. But from what I know from Carrara and the things I have seen in the included scene demonstration files that come with messiah and what I have seen in this forum I must say Carrara is simply no comparison to messiah. Messiah looks more like the heaven for animators. Which is not surprisingly because messiah starts it’s life as an Lightwave add-on for animation. The renderer came later. And the renderer in messiah is Carraras node based render system on steroids.

Cararra feels more like a software where the makers are satisfied by a huge feature list. But if you look closer many features are not well implemented – at it’s best – or are simply buggy or non functional at worst.

In contrast everything in messiah does really work. And it works well. It feels balanced and useful. Of course you must learn how to use messiah – which is true for every application – but after that there’s no hidden “nono” inside the application.

3. messiah import of models
As you know I come from “Poser” and I use “Wings 3D”. So my preferred import format is the .obj format. Unfortunately messiah is a bit picky by choosing a file. For example: Exporting a typical Poser-figure as an .obj from a Poser scene and importing that into messiah simply does not work. You have to import that into “Wings 3D” and simply export that again. After that messiah swallows the wingyfied .obj with no problem (Wings 3D does some re-arrangement of the “group” and “usemtl” statements inside the .obj which messiah likes and most other applications don’t care).

The size of an imported model does also matter. Poser figures are relative small compared to figures designed for 3DSMax or other applications. Taking Poser figures directly into messiah gives strange rendering artifacts (where I’m not sure if I missed a switch somewhere in messiah). By scaling the models with a factor of 100 – which can be during Wings 3D im- and export – the artifacts vanish.

4. messiah speed
Messiah rendering is fast! My god is messiah fast!

Ok, Poser is snail on tranquilizers, that’s for sure. And also POVRay/MegaPOV is not the fastest renderer on earth. By using Global Illumination – which is done with Radiosity – POVRay get’s even slower.

Carrara is an other chapter. But once you switch on Global Illumination inside Carrara, you again find yourself tapping your fingers on the table (or with lesser quality the picture looks bad).

Messiahs Global Illumination is simply fun! :slight_smile:

Conclusion
For me “messiah” was the chance to get the hands on a truly professional application and get the feel of it. Messiah is no toy, it’s a tool. It’s done for people who knows what they do and who want to earn money from what they do. Just from the feeling of what I have seen so far I never ever would try to complete a professional task with Poser or Carrara (hell, really not). But I would love to do one using messiah.

Or in other words: It’s the best toy for that money if you are willing to dive deep into the system and are willing to learn.

Regards,
The Inflater


#6

Wow. Really cool post. Just thought I’d pipe in with an “honest” assessment of your assessment. :slight_smile:

I have used Daz models in the past when I’m in a pinch and those models are specifically created to look great in rendering packages that don’t have any Sub-D solutions. They are so instantly dense with geometry that they throw away any of the speed normally associated with messiah’s animation power. Not to say its impossible to use but its a completely different way of approaching 3D.

And so with your render errors, problems with importing and having to work through wings. . . thats all part of that big difference in “think”. Daz is great in a pinch but not something I’d invest heaps of time in unless your willing to go in there and totally re-work the models.

There are parts of messiah that are honestly. . . used less than other parts. Messiah tends to give the user a lot of options and we all pick one as our favorite and that gets tested like crazy and really fleshed out. But all the other lesser used methods are stull there as options but haven’t had anyone give them the time and attention needed to see them through to the “awesome” feature level. For animation tools thats not really a problem because you can just dive in and re-do custom expressions the way you want them to be. . . but rendering and effects are a mixed bag. Fortunetly there is (soon will be) lots of training material that should walk you through how to get the most out of the renderer.

I think we fixed a problem with OBJ imports so I THINK the next version may allow you to import Daz models without having to go through wings. I know it was an issue with .obj files directly exported from Zbrush. I should test that. . .

Poser models are actually quite big compared to the unit scale of messiah and lightwave (its close cousin). But I think there are export scale tools in Daz Studio and even in Wings3D that help you with that. I just make a 1 meter cube in Lightwave’s modeler and bring that into Wings, import my character and scale accordingly.

Yea the renderer is crazy fast.

Nothing really “toy” about Messiah. Its fun but there isn’t a whole lot of hand holding. I’m trying very very hard to make that transition from other apps easier so maybe you can work with me on what it is you find difficult etc.

I have been using it forever and there are still vast areas that I haven’t even started tapping into their potential. And just when I start to get the hang of it they throw in whole new features that need mastering. :slight_smile:


#7

guys thanks for the feed back.

This is a hobby for me in that ...if I knew then what I know now ...this would be my career. 
With my regular job and all the cut-backs these days someone has to pick up the slack ...so I can't find that block of time to really check out these softwares and answer some of the questions I'm asking.

I have done some 2D ...and have used blender some because of its availability. I'm not gung-ho on it ...but don't know enough yet to say so conclusively. From what I read I am sure you're all light years ahead of me. 

For DAZ, I had my doubts, but I think I've heard enough to put DAZ on the bench. And I was fascinated with C4D, but again ...with my finance, time, family...I felt its best to lay aside those comprehensive packages until I learn some more about whats out there. I still think C4D will be the one I get if I ever decide to cough up the money. 

People seem to be high on Wings for modeling .... I check that out. I also wondered about SILO and Hexagaon. 

Wegg spoke about packages having features most people don't use ...I think anybody who use Microsoft can relate to that. Sometimes I feel when packages have too much features ...especially features that are masked behind hidden drop-down boxes or buried behind 2 ..3 clicks. ...you have that! And it often confuses the user. Blender was like that for me, often its not until I read severral different explanation of doing certain tasks that I find the one missing step that clarifies the exercise. 


But enough ... I'm going to re-install Messiah and see if I  can fix the display problem I'm having .....thanks for your feedback.

#8

Thank you Wegg, for your quick reply. Some more thoughts and information:

Uhm
I fear to say so but
uhm
I’m not using messiah for animation right now. Just for rendering. :surprised So animation speed is not important. :wink:

More important for me is: Are you saying that messiah does the Sub-D process on the fly? Transparent while rendering? I was not aware of this fact which would be a huge improvement for me. I’m doing the subdivision prior to importing in my rendering applications and I was just used to this process so I haven’t even tried to not sub-D when using messiah. :slight_smile:

I’ve not tested with DAZ models but used Poser models for my tries. I’ll do some pictures and will post them in a separate thread this weekend.

As you know I’m using mostly Wings3D as my modeling application which do not have a dedicated measure. Instead it writes the coordinates of the vertices directly into the .obj file. So if you have a cube with an edge dimension of one you can clearly see these one’s in the exported .obj file. A typical Poser figure from head to toe is about – not really sure, I’ll check on weekend – 1.7 units. Export this from Poser to .obj and import this .obj in messiah and you will see the figure is tiny.

But let me prepare a demonstration. :slight_smile:

Oh, nearly forgot to say: I am FAR from blaming messiah for not being able to import Poser figures! :wink:

Regards,
Inflater


#9

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