Mac 3d software recommendations?

wicky

play thing
I'm looking for affordable 3D software to render packaging stills. Animation is not required, but I need realistic/convincing glass, translucent plastics and paper textures. I know Cinema4D is probably the daddy for this, but it's overkill and too expensive for my needs. Is there anything more reasonably priced?

Has any body used http://www.cheetah3d.com, and if so is it any good?

Thanks
 

dodginess

Registered
Hi,

Depending on what Mac you have, the main options are really just Lightwave and Cinema 4D if you need high-quality renders. From a usability view point, I always found Lightwave much easier to model with and Cinema 4D to render with. If you have a dual-boot set-up then 3DS is obviously worth looking at as well.

It might be worth checking out eBay to see there are any legitimate (i.e. not backup) copies for sale - I bought a retail version of Lightwave 7 a couple of years ago off of eBay for about £50, and the only issue was just that I wasn't going to be able to get any support from Newtek if I had any problems as the software had already been registered. Which version you might need will depend on how current your Mac is. Educational copies of *new* versions are fairly inexpensive, but you'll need to be associated with a college or training provider to be entitled to purchase them.
 

wicky

play thing
Thanks for the feedback.

I did a bit more research after posting. Blender looks great Delta, but apparently has a steep learning curve: all the bells & whistles of more expensive programmes but a UI that has evolved in a somewhat unorthodox manner. Having read reviews of Cheetah3D I'm going to try they're free trial. It appears weak of top end features, but the features it does have are well developed, stable and easy to understand. Plus, more features means more clutter, and given what I'm going to use it for I think less is more.
 

RealRobD

Registered
Cinema 4d R14 is a pure joy to use. More so than any other package available (from a beginners aspect). The UI is intuitive, the renderer is amazing. The whole package is just top notch.

As a noob, I took one look at Blender's UI and said "no way", it screamed "hard to use". I'm sorry, but if it isn't appealing and intuitive right from the start, they can keep it.
 

wicky

play thing
Yeah, but my original question said, "...I know Cinema4D is probably the daddy for this, but it's overkill and too expensive for my needs".

Cinema 4d R14 is a pure joy to use. More so than any other package available (from a beginners aspect). The UI is intuitive, the renderer is amazing. The whole package is just top notch.

As a noob, I took one look at Blender's UI and said "no way", it screamed "hard to use". I'm sorry, but if it isn't appealing and intuitive right from the start, they can keep it.
 

wicky

play thing
Thanks Rob. I've gone that way a few times in the past, but not really into it anymore. Too *many* long and tedious telephone calls with deliberately unhelpful admin/support (gatekeepers). I'd prefer to support a less pricey software house if they can provide the features I need. Given that I only need it for product renders, Cheetah is probably well suited and at less that $100 for a proper license it's decent value.

Check out the interface. They've lifted most of the ideas from Maxon :D
 

RealRobD

Registered
I can relate and don't blame you one bit :)

I may look into that Cheetah3d for giggles, it does look interesting.

If you're only rendering packaging stills, then would a stand alone renderer suit you?

I'm sure you've done some thorough searching but maybe have a look here.
 

wicky

play thing
When I said I just need to output renders I also meant modelling & creating the scene... just no need for animation. I'll check out the links too thought, they look interesting.

Thanks for the linkage Rob.
 
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