What is THE best 3d animation program?

Nachohat

je suis donc je pense
What is the best 3d animation program? Is it coming to OS X? Is it lightwave, Maya, Softimage, Flame, 3d studio max?

Price is not a problem :D
 

Nachohat

je suis donc je pense
Can you give me some reasons why either one is better. I read that Cinema 4d has altivec optimisation, what about MAYA?? Which one renders faster?? What about the physics engine?

I would say my biggest criteria would be ease of use/power ratio. So which one is easier to use and will I be loosing some functionality because it's easier?

Obviously there is a tremendous difference in price. Cinema 4d is 2500$ and Maya is 7500$. Like I said, money is not a problem here because I know someone in the industry :D

I have a powerbook G4 with plenty Of ram and I'm often on the road. Will I be able to make some animations on the go or do I absolutely need a Radeon/Geforce2 equiped mac??
 

liThium

Registered
The best example of what maya could do is Disney movie Dinosaur. most of the renderings for that movie was done in MAYA. I too use a Powerbook G4 500 w/512MB it renders fast.

As for the Cinema 4D I only used the beta, so I can not comment on it much but it was faster to work in MAYA, for me anyway cause i am used to its interface, and from what I see MAYA is a richer app. as far as the features goes. But thats my opinion. I suggest you get the demos of the two and use them for a while and see which one is more comfortable for you. and as for the price I think MAYA is worth the hefty tag. :)

LiThium
 

WhateverJoe

echo $row['what_tha'];
Going from my experience with everything from Pixels:3D to Maya, I have grown a new opinion of "Who's the best". I can not stress enough for someone who has not been modeling and rendering for years, that the application that's best, is only the one you first understand.

Only after tons of exercices and completed projects do you grow to a point that the best application to use is the one with certain features that you want for your particular projects....

I have seen people take Pixels:3D although much harder to achive, make animations that you would swear came from a LightWave project. My point is to the orginal post.

If your somewhat new or very new, you have to try different ones out, and find the one that allows you to do something, the one you say "Ohh.. I see how to do it" , cause each one has different work-flows and different way-abouts, but they all (Some with lots of work and less on others) give a similar result.

Maya, Electric-Image are very High end-ed with Lightwave coming up right be-hind if not on the same level these days... Cinema is maturing as well.. and for a start.... at the price Cinema, Pixels:3D and the boys from ILM's http://www.dvgarage.com version of ElectricImage at $269 is a great start.

Again... in the begining you have to find the app that best clicks with you and has the style and work-flow that helps you understand and excel into modeling and animating... each person has their on perception and understanding...

Later down the road... non of that matters because you know enough so that the way tools are layed out and how an app works is just a matter of opinion and the inportant things become the tools and advanced features.

Cheers.....
 

Nachohat

je suis donc je pense
Thank you very much everyone. I'm going to check out a couple demos of the big ones. I'm fairly new to this but I have done some 3d animation before. I'm a bit familiar to Lightwave and 3d studio max.

It's very reassuring that Maya works well on a powerbook G4 as this is my main machine. How did you get to try it out? At the expo? I though it was only coming out in September.

Cheers.
 

serpicolugnut

OS X Supreme Being
Maya is hands down the best 3D application you can get for any platform. It's also reflected in it's $7500 base price for Maya Unlimited. But if you want the best, get Maya.

Second place would have to be a toss up between Lightwave and Cinema 4D. Lightwave get's the nod for having some serious high end features, a great rendering engine, and a wide variety of plugins from everything from hair to particle engines. Lightwave's cons are that it's $2500, almost $1000 more than C4D, and it has a very nonstandard interface, with a very steep learning curve. Cinema 4D is much easier to learn, and has a better interface. It's not as widely used as Lightwave, so there are fewer books on it, and not many companies use it for production work.

If you are intersted in Lightwave you can get it cheaper than MSRP two different ways: 1) Newtek is running a promo for owners of any pro level Adobe app - get LW for $1495 - $1000 off. The other way is to look around on Ebay. I bought my brand new still shrinkwrapped copy for $800, a substantial savings.

Good Luck and Happy Rendering,

SerpicoLugNut
http://www.macosxcentric.com
 

ezra

Super Organism
Originally posted by Nachohat
What is the best 3d animation program? Is it coming to OS X? Is it lightwave, Maya, Softimage, Flame, 3d studio max?

Price is not a problem :D
The proper way to answer this question is to ask you what your needs are? Maya, Lightwave, Max, Cinema4D, they are all good, and excel in different areas. Maya has great tools, Lightwave has great output, Max has tons of plug-ins, and Cinema amazingly fast. All of them can get most jobs done fairly well, but most users have a certain area of interest or need for the package. I personally like Cinema4D it's offers the most bang for the buck, and you can't beat the speed. Also, Maxon is the fastest bunch of programmers I've ever seen. They can completely rewrite any area of the program overnight if needed, and most of their tools are top notch. They are very responsive to customers, something none of the other companies can compare to. I've been testing 3D software for over ten years, and they are the best and friendliest group of programmers I've ever met. Cinema4D is not for everyone though it still depends on YOUR needs. For example if you want to work your way into a production house, you should probably go with LW or Maya. If your interested in game development, probably Max is your best bet. You really need to decide for yourself what you really want to get out of your investment, then invest in the appropriate software that meets your needs.
 

Nachohat

je suis donc je pense
Ok then I have one last question.

What is the easiest to learn complete 3d animation program? Which is the fastest one to get results when making a project?

Thanx for all the kind replies by the way! I'm psyched about this, as soon as I get the time and finish my 18credits of summer courses (coop program, working in September) , I'm gonna learn this cold!
 

ezra

Super Organism
Originally posted by Nachohat
Ok then I have one last question.

What is the easiest to learn complete 3d animation program? Which is the fastest one to get results when making a project?

Thanx for all the kind replies by the way! I'm psyched about this, as soon as I get the time and finish my 18credits of summer courses (coop program, working in September) , I'm gonna learn this cold!
That's a tough one, because the answer is really none of them. I seem to get the fastest results with Cinema4D, because it renders fast and it's work environment is almost realtime. You have to also consider the hardware you are going to run the software on, and usually you are goin to want to go as fast as possible with lots of RAM, 512MB as a minimum. If your running OSX, I think you still have to wait for Maya, and LW versions, but I have Cinema4D XL with BodyPaint running on this machine running OSX right now, it's rendering in the background as I type.
 

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Nachohat

je suis donc je pense
I'll be running it on my Tibook so hopefully it will be fine. If you say you Beige 333 runs almost in real time mine should be fine. Why do you have an old computer like that if you're a 3d freak??? Nostalgia??

I know, I love my old beige too. :D And I will always love my Tibook even when I replace it with the newest and greatest. Unfortunatly, I can't always do that. :D

What are the 3d animation sites you visit the most? I need to find a good place with nice tutorial to learn this cold. I found some good stuff for Photoshop but 3d seems a bit harder to find.
 

ezra

Super Organism
Originally posted by Nachohat
I'll be running it on my Tibook so hopefully it will be fine. If you say you Beige 333 runs almost in real time mine should be fine. Why do you have an old computer like that if you're a 3d freak??? Nostalgia??

I know, I love my old beige too. :D And I will always love my Tibook even when I replace it with the newest and greatest. Unfortunatly, I can't always do that. :D

What are the 3d animation sites you visit the most? I need to find a good place with nice tutorial to learn this cold. I found some good stuff for Photoshop but 3d seems a bit harder to find.
I update my machines every three years or so, so it's been about three years since I last updated. Perosnally, I'm fine with this machine, since I'm using Cinema4D mostly. I get a little frustraighted if I use other 3D packages. C4D also has net render package, and I have three other machines that can handle that load, including a PC that is more than double the speed of this machine. I still prefer to wok on the Mac. I as going to just upgrase to dual 733, but now that the new machines have been announced, I'm not sure I'm going to upgrade. Dual 800's sounds very tempting, or even a single 867 would do nicely. C4D has a bench marking utility called CineaBench, and this machine gets a 4.3SP, while my PC gets a 8.6. Some of the programmers machine get 20+SP. Those are Dual PIII 1.2GHz machines. I'm curious what score a dual G4 800 would get. I'll have to check to see if any have been tested yet.

I don't really go to 3D sites, we're the people that right the tutorials, and test the software, so usually we're to busy working to look around. Unless something ground breaking pops up like this:http://graphics.stanford.edu/~henrik/papers/bssrdf/ We're all very interested in Henrik's work, as he is at the forefront on the software engineering end. A sites that come to mind is www.3dcafe.com but here it's no longer free anymore for the good stuff. I'm sure if you do a search for 3D Tutorials, you'll a boat load of sites. There are a lot of Lightwave tutorials floating around, that are very usable for other packages as well. Research is a big part of being a good 3D artist, so get use to digging around the net for this stuff.
 
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