Hello. I'm new to 3d. Can you advise me what programs for 3d may I choose and start studying?
Hi Loki. Great question! The choice of software for certain tasks, in fact, depends on these same tasks 🙂 Nowadays there are at least three most popular packages of tools for modeling, animation and rendering. They are Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Maxon Cinema 4D. The most powerful in all respects, having the most widespread among the CG artists working in all areas of computer graphics is, of course, the legendary 3ds Max. By the way, even today, many mistakenly call it 3D Studio. However, it is in fact not called so for already many years. More details about the versions of this program and years of their release read here. 3ds Max can do everything related to the 3d. The modeling, animation, and rendering. Next in popularity, is a software package from the same company, called Maya. In general, the main fundamental Maya difference from 3ds Max, is the scheme of the workflow. In particular, the part, responsible for creating the animation. For many years, and to this day, because of greater convenience and flexibility of animation tools, Maya is considered as the best choice for animators. CINEMA 4D is essentially the same 3ds Max, but with a somewhat different set of tools and functions. However, this is absolutely a complete tool that provides the ability to create superior images. Yes, it is not as popular and as powerful as Max; yes, it have not such a large number of clip art and 3d plug-ins, but it is absolutely complete. The question arises: why choose a compromise Cinema, when there is a more functional Max? The answer becomes more obvious when looking at the price of these instruments. The price for 3ds Max can vary from 1,200 USD to 3,800 USD. CINEMA 4D costs from 450 USD to 900 USD. Prices vary depending on the type of license and the type of the package completeness. For a beginner 3d artist, the difference between 1200 and 400 will be quite noticeable. But not only newcomers but also large companies also pay close attention to this factor. Not hard to imagine what will be the savings if you want to equip more than one, that is, for example, 20 jobs graphic stations with such software. This factor creates a demand for modest software and for professionals who can work with it. There are quite a compromise alternative, the completely free Blender and Google SketchUp. Of course, their functionality is far more less than the paid programs. The next important criterion in choosing 3d program is the renderer, which comes with the actual software. That is, a program that is responsible for generating images. On the quality of its algorithm, the output image photorealism depends. After all, the image is the final objective for most 3d artists. As you have probably guessed, Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya have the most powerful built-in tools, including the 3d renderer. They have the default built-in 3d renderer of called mental ray. CINEMA 4D has a more simple built-in renderer, but, nevertheless, with certain knowledge, it allows to achieve excellent results. For example, the samples of images obtained by these renderers, you can look on the web sites of these products in gallery. However, it is better to just look at the pictures on third-party CG sites and forums. Somehow, the developers of 3d renderers has developed "tradition" to show the pictures, which are far from the most successful ones, or at least they do not fully demonstrate render engine capabilities 🙂 In any case, all these packages 3d graphics allow you to connect external, more advanced renderers as plug-ins. Of course, for those you must pay separately.
Many thanks for such an extensive and detailed response! I'm an architect, and I was most interested in architecture. The price factor does not bother me, so I probably will choose 3ds Max 🙂
Yes, we believe that for architectural 3d renderings 3ds Max is the best choice 😉