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I need a suggestion on which 3d modeling program fits my needs...

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Hello. I am at a point where 3d art is the main thing holding me back when I am doing my own hobby game development. The biggest thing I am looking for is a program that is speedy and efficient. I already have 3dsmax from school, but I have not used it very much aside from basic modeling and texturing, to which the texturing aspect I dont even really remember what I did with 3dsmax's immense interface... So again, speed is my biggest priority. It does not have to be perfect quality models because the only time you will catch me modeling is for my hobby development anyway. I have had suggestions of Lightwave, Silo, Carrara, ZBrush, and Blender, yet that is still very many options and I do not know the strengths and weaknesses of each of these programs. Could anyone possibly give me some input on which of these are most speed efficient, and the strengths and weaknesses of each of these programs to help me decide? Thanks!

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If you have a copy of 3DS Max already, then just use that. ALL of those applications are going to have a fairly steep learning curve because of the shear number of features everyone of them supports.

Actually, if you're just wanting 3d modeling and texturing (but not animation) then I would probably suggest Silo3D, actually, because it is designed for just those purposes. I'm guessing you're wanting to be able to do some animating, though, in which case you'll have a fairly steep learning curve no matter what.

Zbrush would be impossible to control polycounts, Lightwave and Carrara will put you in the same boat as Max, and Blender's interface is a horrid abomination.

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If you have Max, use it. Most 3d Modelling programs follow the same style of interface, and Max is one of the best. It has Modelling, unwrapping, animation, rigging- the works.

ZBrush is a sculpting tool, used for either ultra-high poly models, sometimes used as normal maps for lower poly models. Lots of professional game studios make a low-poly model in Max (or another program) and then a super detailed high poly model in ZBrush.

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Max is a very good program. The more I use it the more I appreciate it.

Start learning that, doing tutorials and the like, and you will build up a knowledge base that you will be able to use in any package, you will just have to learn GUIs from there.

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Blender has an incredibly fluid, powerful, and organic interface... which is to say, the learning curve is fairly steep, but is also fairly short, and the complexity you will have access to is huge, nearly parallel to that of 3DS Max, although not that of Maya.

You'll be able to do things incredibly fast once you understand the interface. With things like Lightwave and Max, there is a long, shallow learning curve that just plain stops once you reach a certain level; you don't get very fast because once you reach a certain point, you're hindered by the interface more than by your own skill.

Blender is 100% free, and there is a massive community out there. It is very easy to script your own export formats through Python, and get whatever complexity level you want out of the export. Blender is also very easy to pick up if all you're doing is low-poly modelling with no in-editor materials.

If you are already comfortable with doing what you need to do in Max, then don't bother trying to learn a new interface. Get grounded in concepts and in modelling technique, and learn another program later if you need to. Knowing how to model is more important than the tool you're using to model.

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Depending on t project I actually use a couple of tools. At the moment I do some modeling in MAX and endup using the UV Texturing tools inside Blender. But as I get better at Blender I am swaying more towards using Blender.

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