This stuff only looks easy in those tutorials because these are artists with years of experience.
Programs like Maya and 3dsmax are considered industry standards. That’s mostly because the biggest, oldest studios have been using them since CG’s earliest days. The apps are “entrenched” and deeply tied into long standing pipelines.
Point of fact, these apps are all fundamentally more or less equivalent though. They all differ in some ways and on finer points. One may be better at this and worse at that. One may include this special feature that the other doesn’t. However, at the end of the day, they’ll all get the job done. It all comes down to skill.
If you’re finding that it takes too long to model stuff then I can only suggest that the problem isn’t Blender, but you. That’s not an insult, but a basic statement. Character modeling is an advanced topic, as is animation. One great model is built on the corpses of hundreds of really bad ones. It’s the old “10k hours to master a skill” idea.
Can Blender be used to create something akin to that “League of Legends” trailer? Absolutely. I don’t see why not. In that trailer, you’re effectively looking at a short film. Blender has been used to create far more complex works. Again, it takes time and lots of talent. Plus, if you want to complete it in short order then it also takes as many people as you can get on-board to help you.
IMO, there is no best 3d app. How so?
If you’re working for or want to work for a company like EA or Pixar then the best app is the one that they use. That’s the one that’ll earn your your paycheck. That’s the best 3d app.
However, if you’re a hobbyist, freelancer, or run your own studio then the best app is the one that works best for you. Nobody can tell you what to use when you’re calling the shots. Whatever fits your style… THAT is the best 3d app.
See what I’m getting at? It all depends on your situation. Also, just because you use “x” at work doesn’t mean that you can’t use “y” at home. Lots of 3d artist know and use multiple apps.
At this point, you’re months into your 3D journey. I wouldn’t necessarily sweat app choice. Once you master one, learning another is a pretty trivial affair.
I’ve been doing CG for just shy of 30 years and literally know dozens of apps. That first app… THAT was the hardest for me to learn though, especially since there was no YouTube back then and practically nobody shared their knowledge; Tutorials are common now, but that stuff was once considered “trade secret” back in the day.
IMO, stick with Blender for now. Master as much of the terminology and techniques as you can. That stuff is portable. Subdivision surfaces are subdivision surfaces no matter what app you use. UV mapping techniques are universal from app to app. Rigging and animation concepts are pretty much the same across the board. ETC and so on. What you learn here in Blender will serve you just as well if you ever move to Maya or 3dsmax later on.
The reason why I suggest that you ride Blender out for a bit longer is simply because you’re going to set yourself back. Learning CG is hard enough if you’ve got no foundation. Learning it AND app hopping just makes it extra tough.
I get how frustrating it must be. You see all of this cool CG and wonder, “Why doesn’t my stuff look like that?” Then you wonder, “Maybe it’s the app I’m using? Other guys make it look so easy.”
Again, it only looks easy because these artists went through the same exact frustrating process that you did. They once banged their heads against the wall as much as you are right now. They still bang their heads against the wall. Just over different, more complex stuff.
You’re going to make a LOT of bad models early on. That’s fine. Just keep on making them. Keep pushing yourself. Every new model or animation you make will suck just a little less than the last. That’s how the process works. There is no top to this mountain. You’re always going to find new challenges. You’re always going to see an artist whose work makes you want to be so much better. That’s part of the process too. As long as you keep forging ahead then that’s all that matters.
Personally, I don’t think that Blender’s the problem. I don’t. The program itself is more than up to snuff. Blender’s not the easiest app to learn. However, as a newbie, you’ve got no real point for comparison. You’re a tabula rasa.
Sad to say, but the problem is you. Again, that’s fine and to be expected. You’ve just got to pay your dues and suffer. Every program is going to kick your ass at this stage of the game. You probably suck and, well, that’s okay. Everybody sucks early on. I can’t tell you how unbelievably bad my early stuff was. And my first full character… Terrible even by 1997 standards. (I was doing more mechanical and architectural stuff in the years before that.)
FWIW, if Blender REALLY is the problem and you just can’t deal with it… Switch. Blender might not be a prefect fit for you. Just don’t make it a habit at this stage in the game. You’ll only stunt your overall development if you hop around too much.
Again, I suspect that your woes are just tied into you being a newbie. That app stuff is secondary, imo.
Don’t compare yourself to others. I mean, it’s okay to know where the bar is and what you can strive to achieve. However, you should only really be competing with yourself. Everybody develops and grows at their own pace.