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I am looking for a universal answer to which program is the 'best' in all aspects of creating 3D digital media. Factors include price, how complicated the program is, which program is used the most in 3D animating studios today (In other words, which program will make me the most money by learning it for a job opportunity), how fast or optimized the program is, and any other creative factors you can think of.

I know there are many different 3D digital media programs including: Autodesk 3DS Max: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?siteID=123112&id=13567410 Autodesk Maya: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?siteID=123112&id=13577897 Blender 3D: http://www.blender.org/

If you have any other 3D programs to add, feel free to help me out.

asked Aug 04 '10 at 03:48

smoothman's gravatar image

smoothman
1111


Blender is a very popular free one. It was used to make "Big Buck Bunny", "Elephants Dream", and a few others. There are many tutorials online (primarily YouTube) for beginners to experts. It's open source so it runs on all major platforms.

answered Aug 04 '10 at 04:05

Joel's gravatar image

Joel
5363515

Don't forget Sintel.

(Jul 23 '12 at 16:16) ClosetFuturist ClosetFuturist's gravatar image

I'ts depends how you personally define a product as best, with 3d modelling, I've known people who just couldn't afford 3ds so they used Lightwave3D and they now thinks thats the best, to say something is the best is only relative to you, what do you want out of a product and how much do you want to pay for it?

but really if your looking for a 3d prog thats has it all, 3ds pretty much tops the list, hands down ^.^

answered Aug 04 '10 at 03:55

Alty's gravatar image

Alty
28681017

Okay, thanks man. I guess what I'm really trying to get at is what program do 3D artists use that make the most money. I know what you're saying, but I wanted to get a sort of universal answer after seeing tons of people give me their 2 cents. Thanks again!

(Aug 04 '10 at 04:02) smoothman smoothman's gravatar image

Gah i hate blender, lol.

I use Maya for animating my characters, and have been for a few months. I miagrated from Cinema4D and found the move quite easy. I use Autodesk mudbox for sculpting instead of Z-Brush as well.

Maya is a very easy program to pick-up. Unlike blender which is un-neccassarily complex, and in all honesty. Stupid. (lol), with maya, you can pick it up with collective knowledge you have gathered from other 3d software packages like lightwave, Modo & 3ds max. And, if its about what other artists have done, Maya & Lightwave were used in Avatar (along with other programs) & Maya is used frequently in hollywood. Although for all the really good functionality with maya, comes from plug-ins and scripts.

answered Aug 04 '10 at 04:11

Luma's gravatar image

Luma
346158

edited Aug 04 '10 at 04:15

But what are the main differences between Maya and 3DS Max? I have only used 3DS Max, so I have no other experience anywhere else and I want to learn the most about other 3D modeling programs.

(Aug 04 '10 at 04:16) smoothman smoothman's gravatar image

3ds MAX is more for still images and design, whilst Maya is more for animation. Modo is more for modelling, whilst Cinema4d is more for 3d compositing. Whilst Blender is more for games.

Some people adopt various different programs into their workflow to take advantage of a specific functionality of one of the programs. E.g. I model a base mesh in Modo, then I sculpt in Mudbox, I rig and animate in Maya, whilst i environment in 3ds Max. I then composite it all together in Cinema4d and paint my textures with Bodypaint (for example).

(Aug 04 '10 at 04:23) Luma Luma's gravatar image

for me I have used both maya and 3ds max and I would have to say, the main difference at least for what I do, maya has a easier to use/ more intuitive user interface (not much else)

(Aug 04 '10 at 04:24) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image

Why do you hate Blender so much? For what it does, it is fantastic.

(Sep 26 '10 at 09:12) HHBones HHBones's gravatar image

I work in a place where Rhino is the 3D modeling program of choice. It works great for rendering as it has connectivity to Vray, Maxwell, and others and does very well creating models for 3D printing.

Rhino3D

answered Sep 26 '10 at 09:48

themoderngeek's gravatar image

themoderngeek
65691421

edited Sep 26 '10 at 09:48

well i m in cg, and i would quote chris that "better is relative" in my eyes they are all same and you should choose the one that suits you best, if u still want recommendation i would say go for maya, download the trial version and start learning it thru manual, you need a lot of reading to become a pro in such apps and most important practise art like sketching, clay modeling in your spare time.

answered Jul 23 '12 at 05:29

bharatkumargupta's gravatar image

bharatkumargupta
646414653

3DS Max is the industry standard.

Maya is almost as popular as Max and maybe more popular with game design.

Lightwave is popular with T.V. production #graphic overlays# and commercials.

Blender is what I use and is the most powerful program I have ever used, but it has a higher learning curve than most. Because it's a software suite it does just about everything that "all" the commercial programs do. The difference is that Blender is more procedural, not quite as user friendly and some tasks can take a little longer. It's a great program though.

answered Jul 23 '12 at 16:15

ClosetFuturist's gravatar image

ClosetFuturist
1.9k91530

3ds max is big in game industry and maya for film stuff, btw all these programs have same capabilities its just that maya was early comer, hence lot of studios have adopted it, trust me they all does the same thing just like our OS windows or OS X, its what suits u best u shud start learning, and u have to read a lot to become master in any one of these apps, blender again is an excellent option. Without learning these apps are very hard to use!

(Jul 24 '12 at 05:59) bharatkumargupta bharatkumargupta's gravatar image

regarding your proficiency in blender - until you learn basics every program is intimidating at first, it doesn't matter if its free or cost you thousands of dollars. There is no difference among these programs and i would learn the one thats industry standard & adopted, thereby learning 1st the basics other things follow! I m in industry and anyone who debates this is better over that doesn't know what he is talking about, and dude maya has evolved so much, so is max, so is lightwave. Again go with one dont switch

(Jul 24 '12 at 06:07) bharatkumargupta bharatkumargupta's gravatar image

Blender has proportional editing...ie Mud Box and Z Brush. Blender has a built in game engine...ie nothing else. What program does ID use? How about Valve? What about the modders? A lot of Max users also use Maya. Max is suggested with Unreal Engine. That doesn't everyone uses it. Max is the industry standard and a very appropriate answer to the question.

I've been doing this a long time. The "basics" are no longer taught.

(Jul 24 '12 at 14:45) ClosetFuturist ClosetFuturist's gravatar image

answered Jul 24 '12 at 16:07

sfrancis928's gravatar image

sfrancis928
2.7k354682

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Asked: Aug 04 '10 at 03:48

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Last updated: Jul 24 '12 at 16:07