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Hello! My second post here, so I have always been interested in video games, animations and what not, I've decided to take a step in that direction. So, what is the best piece of software for a complete newbie to get started? Any tips? I know that I have multiple options, but which one is the best for someone with no experience? (I know a lot about computing software in general, I'm just oblivious when it comes to this particular subject)

Any material I should go through? Could you advise some good books, educational videos, if there are any? Should I start taking classes?

Do I need extra hardware or is a mouse with a high DPI enough?

That's all for now, but I'm sure I'll come up with more questions, thanks.

asked Dec 05 '12 at 14:18

EchoShot's gravatar image


any mouse will work with a 3d modeler since the UI is based on your screen DPI. The only time when you may want extra hardware is when you are using a application such as mudbox (I use mudbox to create high mesh count objects for sample design changes for certain products that I test

mudbox can work with a mouse but if you are making something large and complex, then a wacom tablet or even a 3D pen may be needed

(Dec 05 '12 at 18:45) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image

If you have no experience with 3d modeling then you can mess around with a free 3d modeler. the easiest is probably google sketchup. http://www.sketchup.com/intl/en/download/index2.html

and if you have experience and want a program that you can learn relatively easily and stick with, then check out 3DS Max or Maya



you can then get tutorials here http://www.pixel2life.com/

I personally use maya, and while I don't use it to it's full potential (maya and 3ds max are generally for the visual effects in movies such as iron man, avatar, transformers and many others)

Basically with maya and 3ds max are simple for basic stuff but get hard really fast.

As for the hardware, any modern CPU (even a netbook) and at least 4GB of RAM, and a screen resolution of 1280x800 (minimum and difficult to use at that resolution)

If you need to actually render content then you need a fast CPU or be prepaired to spend weeks waiting for it to render. especially if you are doing ray tracing, reflections and ambient occlusion without and defined limits.

Using Maya 3D Eg a very basic image that I rendered for a forum that I post on took nearly 20 minutes to render at 4096x4096 (all textures were 4K resolution and the character was 2K resolution but broken up into 2 pieces to give the 3D character slightly more of a 3D look)

alt text

For people who actually use these more professional 3D modelers to actually use them for high quality 3D (eg switching between a 3d version of an actor in a movie and the real version and you not being able to tell the difference), a single frame can take nearly a month to render on a more common consumer system (On a old forum (forgot which one) about 3 years ago, a user created a portrait image in Maya 3D that looks totally real, took nearly 2 months to render)

answered Dec 05 '12 at 18:37

Razor512's gravatar image


edited Dec 05 '12 at 18:41


If you're a student Autodesk provides free versions of a lot of their products. It's worth looking into if you're a student and want to get into something like this.

(Dec 05 '12 at 19:24) Zbob750 Zbob750's gravatar image

If you want to make game content, I would suggest Max. It's the most commonly used 3D software for games. id software and Valve both use Maya though. Taking classes is a good idea but I would also suggest being active in a modding community. More importantly; do it every day.

answered Dec 05 '12 at 22:07

ClosetFuturist's gravatar image


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Asked: Dec 05 '12 at 14:18

Seen: 738 times

Last updated: Dec 05 '12 at 22:07