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non-3DSMAX 3d modelers/animators/renderers

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You know, all I hear about on these boards in 3dsmax. Is this because it is truly the best out there? I was thinking, I could get (legally, too) a copy of, say, Maya Unlimited or even Softimage3d, for about the same price. Have you ever heard of these? What do you think?

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I''ve heard of Maya, but not of the other one. Don''t get what we tell you to get, but what suites your needs. What is your target file format you will be using? Stuff like that.

JoeMont001@aol.com

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TrueSpace is a fairly popular alternative to the Max...
And a demo is free to download...
I haven''t even installed it yet, but it was recommeneded to me by a friend...
www.Caligari.com

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Maya and Softimage are a little more advanced and hence also more difficult to use (especially Maya). Maya, Softimage and 3DS Max are all very powerful but in game design 3DS Max is somewhat of a norm for reasons unknown to me. Softimage, if I''m not mistaken, is more frequently used in movie fx. Maya and Softimage are also more expensive than Max. I believe a copy of Maya costs $16000. I don''t know the price for the educational version if there is such a thing.

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Pov-Ray has many free three 3d modelers based on its rather awsome engine. Check www.povray.com

-----------------------------

A wise man once said "A person with half a clue is more dangerous than a person with or without one."

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You should try Blender (www.blender.nl). It''s free, multiplatform, and powerful. It has a VERY steep learning curve, but once you learn it, you can work pretty quickly in it.

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Being in (legal) posession of most all of these programs, I feel it''s my obligation to offer a few hints If you have a lower end system then I would very strongly recommend you look into LightWave 3D. It takes a substantially smaller amount of ram and processing power to operate and is very powerful. Any of the other high end programs I would say 256 megs of ram and at least 700 mhz of processing power are required. LightWave and 3DS MAX will run on any recent iteration of the Windows operating system, whereas Maya and Softimage will only work on an NT system. Maya I''ve found to be an incredible system hog. If you''re not running it on an SGI workstation as God intended, I''d suggest a GHz system with at least 256 megs of ram in order for you to actually enjoy it. On the other hand though, Maya is immensely powerful and relatively easy to use considering that level of power. Softimage I must admit I''ve never used much. Hope that helped.

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