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Is there really a need ? ! ?

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I''ve been wanting 3D Studio MAX for a few years now, this summer I''ll have enough money to get it :-) but now Im not so sure if I want to get it now :-( If there are so many free Modeling programs floating around the net, is there really a need for me to get 3Ds Max? Why should I pay $1000.00 for a modeling program when I can think of many other free programs that seem to be just as good, and are free. And the release of GMAX makes me think even more about not getting 3Ds Max. And heres the big question... Should I get 3Ds Max or not. I''d really like a response from some people to help me out :-)

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Well, this is not legal, but I think it is OK and pretty fair:
just download a ripped 3DSMAX version form the net and test it and compare it to the freeware tools.

If you like it, then buy it.
If you don''t like it, then delete it and use the other product you like most.


Yesterday we still stood at the verge of the abyss,
today we''re a step onward!

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If you''re a student (or whatever) who wants to learn 3D Studio Max: Get the free GMAX package. Its main purpose is learning how to use 3D Studio Max, unless I''m mistaken.

If you''re a professional who just needs to do some work: Try some of the free ones (why not?). If any of them do what you want, keep your money .

If you have to have 3D Studio Max: well, you said it, you have to have it .

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I''ve had 3DSM student version for a year now and I reckon it''s great. It all depends though what you want the software for. Are you a hobbyist, student or serious proffesional. And also what field do you need it for, games, TV, print?

As far as I can ascertain there are a few good alternatives (although I''ve never tried most of them).

-Maya
-SoftImage
-Lightwave 7 (which has been getting good reviews, good alternative to expensive Maya)
-Cinema 4D (good built in radiosity renderer)
-Rhino

Gmax is a fair indication as to what you''ll get with the interface in MAX, with a few features left out. Trying this out first could be a good idea but to learn the interface well I suggest plundering over $100 on reference books. The interface can be daunting, but the workflow makes more sense the more you use it.

If you need 3DSM for games then it''s a must buy. Maya and to a lesser extent Lightwave have been becoming more feasible for game development but MAX still seems to have market dominance. When I look in the jobs section of EDGE and 3D World magazines most jobs want a MAX and Photoshop skills range.

Then again if you want it for TV work Lightwave, SoftImage and perhaps Cinema 4D may do the job. As for Rhino it seems to have some good tools but most people seem to render it out of other programs anyway.

Good luck deciding.





--------------------------
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." -Bill Gates 1981

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I recently had a meeting with Thom Gillespie... this guy KNOWS HIS STUFF. He''s the head of the MIME program at IU and a major guru of game design. (Heh, one of the MIME advisors is one of the creators of Ultima Online).

His advice of what two pieces of 3d Softward to take up... which is what they teach here. Rhino is the absolute best for modeling - but it sucks at rendering and cannot do animation (unless your up for frame by frame). Cinema 4d is best for animation - TV quality actually. Its overtaken Lightwave. Cinema 4d is taught to telecom students because it stresses TV quality animation. Rendering is also great! and animation is fairly easy to learn.

Best advice is still, take a class... get the programs for cheap!!! Cinema is only $175 if you take a 3d animation class here. And, free in every mac lab on campus

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I have to agree with Wolfmanyoda. Blender is simply great. Its an excellent modeler and animator and it is completely free. Click here to get it.

Just a note: Gmax's terms service explicitly state that using the program for anything other than creating content for existing games, i.e. Quake models, is a violation. They don't list how much the developer license costs for Gmax, but it most likely costs less than 3DSMax.





Edited by - yspotua on February 5, 2002 2:04:48 AM

Edited by - yspotua on February 5, 2002 7:47:23 PM

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Although the ones that Dimitri mentioned are all good they still cost alot. I like Lightwave because its modeler/animator but its $2500 so its still expensive. Try Blender its got lots of potential.

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It was once said that Blender is equivalent in power to 3DSmax.
I have never used max, but blender is extremely powerful for pre rendered scenes and animations.

A word of caution, though, one that I didn''t find out until too late - once you make something cool in blender, you''re committed to using blender and nothing else to work on it, because one of the few real problems with blender is it''s import and export scripts. In brief, there is no known way (aside from writing your own sscripts, hard work but quite possible), for exporting or importing a scene of any complexity into or out of blender.

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You''re not stuck with Blender once you start using it.
Go to the Blender site, the forums to be exact, and check out the Python Scripting forum.
Use the Search in that forum for import/export scripts.
There are several available that work great for .obj support.
Obj can then be made into whatever you want with Crossroads3D.
May sound complicated at first, but hell, it''s free.
Actually there is a specific thread somewhere below here that addresses this exact problem and there are a couple of scripts to be found in the thread.

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Blender is not completelly free anymore, all new features will be available to paying customers of Blender Publisher (the lesson: beware of free non open source software).

I think 3D Studio Max is the best around, if you have the money to buy it and still be able to buy food for a couple of months, go for it, I would if I could.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
blender publisher is different that blender creator.
creator is the cool FREE product that people compare to 3DMax.

Publisher lets you make Flash-like web content.

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For 3D modeling and animations the free version of Blender works great. You can do just about everything in it and then export and convert to whatever format you need. I''m still looking to try 3DS Max to compare the two.

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quote:
Original post by TechnoHydra
For 3D modeling and animations the free version of Blender works great. You can do just about everything in it and then export and convert to whatever format you need.



Amen

quote:
I''m still looking to try 3DS Max to compare the two.


Me too, I love Blender and I''ve heard a few people compare the two as being just about equal in features and such.

Actually, I went to the Discreet site and ordered a demo of 3dMax. It''s only a 15 day version, but I guess it''ll help give me an idea.


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Might I suggest Caligari Truespace.
www.caligari.com

It costs a *lot* less than 3D Studio Max, and I personally think the interface is the easiest, most intuitive one on the market.



The Micro$oft has you... Follow the black penguin...

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Another thing. If you are looking for a job in games/media industries then it is much better to learn commonly used software in those fields if you can afford to. ie 3DSM-games, maya-lightwave etc-TV.

Of course if you''re a good artist and can learn these programs fast then they will consider such applicants. Really though if you don''t want to spend the money or can''t afford student versions of such software I recomend creating stuff in Gmax and that upcoming Maya give away. With Gmax (if the shortcut keys are like max) press W in a viewport to maximise it as the only viewport then CTRL-X to go into expert mode (which is a full screen mode) get rid of any grid etc.. that you may not want and print screen, as Gmax will not render. Despite this you will hopefully be able to convince an employer to hire you on the merits of those screen grabs.

--------------------------
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." -Bill Gates 1981

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