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CodaKiller

I hate blender...

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I've been using it for about a year now, I've made a few models in it and I've wrote an exporter plugin but I keep forgetting the hot keys, it's really frustrating when I have to spend 10-15 minutes just to figure out how to do a simple function. I've made a post awhile ago about modeling software and I've never been given a good alternative, it seems like most people are using pirated versions on 3DS Max even though no one will ever admit to it, I really want a good free alternative but there does not seem to be any... I'm hoping someone could point me to some alternatives though I don't have my hopes very high...

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Yes I think of myself as being computer savvy and it still took me a while to even figure out how to save or render anything in Blender first time I used it LOL!
I thought newer versions were supposed to be more user friendly though?
Well there's TrueSpace but like anything good Microsoft has like FSX they killed yeah that's Microsoft for you.
I think you can still grab a free copy though.

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As far as modeling and animating goes, blender can do the job as well as any commercial app can do. Now the problems comes at the time of exporting your stuff to cal3d which is the only library available to put what you did in blender into a game. since .37 the exporter got broken and was never fixed. I tried but the blender api kept changing drastically to an extent I gave up tryring.

Get someone to write an exporter for you and you'll fine. That person isn't going to be me. I've lost the will.

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Blender is not a good tool. It's just so incredibly cumbersome to use that it negates any positive quality it might possess. If time is money, you'll end up paying more trying to learn the backwards interface in Blender than if you just buy a commercial alternative.

I don't really think it's a matter of opinion. In the case of Blender the interface goes against every convention and best practices in UI design. It's just plain wrong.

For creating a model for Second life, sure. You can endure the interface for something basic like that. But for a real production there's just no way you can use Blender. You'll end up shooting yourself in the foot.

If you're looking for features versus cost, then Blender is the cheapest.
If you're looking for productivity, then Blender shouldn't even appear on your radar.

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Many artists are my studio like Silo 3D (www.Nevercenter.com), it's fairly inexpensive (less than $160 US) but only does modeling, no animation. Although it doesn't do everything, it does modeling very very well.

If you're looking for a package which contains all the jazz (modeling, animation, rendering, etc...) you're probably going to have a difficult time finding a decent one for less than $1500 (unless you can find an older copy of XSI) or maybe Lightwave ($1000, www.newtek.com).

This is one area of the open-source/software industry that is really lacking competition. There are programs like Wings3D, Anim8r?, Deled?, AC3D, but honestly none in my opinion are as a good as Blender in terms of features.

The biggest problem with Blender is the UI/keyboard shortcuts, but after practice it becomes second nature. IF you want a quick solution to make your UI look more normal (like other 3d apps), press CTRL+Right. Should set up a side bar, animation timeline like 3dsmax (when I showed this to the artists at my studio, their jaws dropped a little). Good luck with everything.

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Houdini has a $100 version.(supports export to Torque among others.)
Get student editions of max xsi or maya if you can they will be in the same couple hundred dollar ball park.

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Bitting the bullet and paying for a commercial 3d digital content creation application, from my perspective, is only productive if you already know how to use that application at a competent level, for someone oblivious to any 3D DCC app the effort would be about the same.

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I like ZBrush a lot but as far as I can tell it doesn't support animation (and all I do is play around in it anyway. Pricey toy but I love it :D)

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