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» The Geek Culture Forums!   » The Archives   » The Big Archives   » Lightwave 3D vs. 3ds max

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Author Topic: Lightwave 3D vs. 3ds max
Spiderman

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Icon 1 posted August 12, 2003 18:54      Profile for Spiderman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm considering messing around with 3d stuff...getting some books, taking some courses etc. The material I obtain obviously depending on the software that I use...

Question is, Anyone have any ideas as to the "best" all around 3d app?

The two industry leaders are kind of expensive...Lightwave being around $1500 and 3ds max being around $3000. I also looked into Maya, "Maya Complete" running around $2000 and "Maya Unlimited" running for about $7000.

Question is...not knowing much about these products specifically...what do I need?...I'm hoping to go further than just creating cartoonish shapes...

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Math problems? Call 1-800-[(10x)(13i)^2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x]

Posts: 846 | From: Chicago | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
hey-U
SuperBlabberMouth!
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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2003 05:24      Profile for hey-U     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Need a bit more context, Spidey - like *what* you're thinking of modelling in 3D...

FWIW, a couple of the Interior Designers in the office where I work build their CAD models in MicroSatan then take em through 3DS Viz for rendering etc.

Think Photoshop comes in handy, too...

Walkthroughs/ animations get, umm (sorry for the pun) farmed out.

Posts: 1263 | From: London | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
David Rogers
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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2003 12:22      Profile for David Rogers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I personally recommend Maya. It is a complete package which can be extended with user defined scripts and if you know C++ you can write plug-ins for it. Not having used 3DS Max or LightWave, I cannot make a comparison of features or ease of use.

All of that aside, you need to decide if you are going to learn this on your own, or take classes somewhere. I recommend taking classes, preferably degree program somewhere that teaches the art and design theory that you will need to be competitive in the field. If you decide to take classes either as part of a degree or just as a certification program which teaches how to use the software, then look at what software they are using and go with that. Once you learn the concepts it is not too difficult to learn how to use a different software package to do the same things. Additionally, you may find that you have access to school copies of the software to use for your classwork, which can save you a lot of money while you learn. I am finishing up such a program part time at my community college in the next school year, and the students ahead of us in the program have had no problem finding work.

If you decide to learn on your own, I suggest that you go to sights like http://www.highend3d.com/ to learn the lay of the landscape before diving in. Read reviews, look at some of the work presented by others on the sight, and generally imerse yourself in 3D graphics talk for a while. There are regular book reviews which should be able to point you to good books on 3D graphics and tell you what they are all about. Choose a book or book series that focuses on 3D graphics concepts and techniques. Determine what package they use to demonstrate the techniques and go with that package.

Also I have heard of some freeware/shareware modeling packages. I have no clue as to what they can do or how easy they are to use, but you could look for some of them. I believe one is called Canvas3D, another is called MilkShape, and a third is called Blender. I may be misremembering their names, and I have never used any of them, but they may be a low cost alternative for starting to learn on your own before diving into the professional stuff.

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David Rogers

Posts: 66 | From: Champaign IL USA | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Spiderman

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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2003 13:12      Profile for Spiderman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
David Rogers: Thanks for the advice...exactly the type of info that I'm looking for. I haven't quite decided if I want to do this on a self-study level or actually go to school somewhere to learn it, mainly been thinking of doing it on my own because of difficulties finding schools/colleges affordable enough to learn it at.

Thanks fot the link as well...I've been looking for a site similar to the one you listed.

Ah yes, and thank you for using your third post on the boards to respond to my question (considering the fact that you've been a member since may of '02 [Smile] )

hey-U said: Need a bit more context, Spidey - like *what* you're thinking of modelling in 3D...
Uh, basically anything from exportable content for flash, to abstract computer wallpaper, to photo-realistic animations, to well, uh...basically anything/everything...hope that answers your question... [Wink] [Roll Eyes] [Big Grin] oh yeah, and last time I checked, photoshop didn't have any 3d modelling capabilities...

-SM

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Math problems? Call 1-800-[(10x)(13i)^2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x]

Posts: 846 | From: Chicago | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
David Rogers
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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2003 13:43      Profile for David Rogers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Spiderman:
David Rogers: Thanks for the advice...exactly the type of info that I'm looking for. I haven't quite decided if I want to do this on a self-study level or actually go to school somewhere to learn it, mainly been thinking of doing it on my own because of difficulties finding schools/colleges affordable enough to learn it at.

Thanks fot the link as well...I've been looking for a site similar to the one you listed.

Ah yes, and thank you for using your third post on the boards to respond to my question (considering the fact that you've been a member since may of '02 [Smile] )


-SM

Well, since I work full time as a documentation programmer and go to school about 10 to 14 semester hours each semester, time tends to be a problem. I usually read the forums on the weekends, and usually anything I may have to contribute has already been said by the time I read the post. So I usually stay in deep lurk mode. Of course being between semesters and having a slow day at work, I am finding things to do today and I'm glad to have helped.

By the way, I took a look at the Blender3D site. It appears to be an opensource project and can be found at http://www.blender3d.com/ if you want to look at it. It would probably be a good way to get your toes wet without spending a lot of cash.

I still recomend taking a class or degree program though. The Art portion of the program I am going thorough concentrates on 2D design theory, 3D design theory, and Color theory. Drawing skill is useful, but not of the highest importance. I get by doing simple stick sketches to get my ideas on paper and do the real work in Maya. The most succesful people in this field seem to be able to take a simple concept sketched in a scetch book and turn it into a 3D model or scene. Its the same for the animation side of things. If you can take a simple set of story-board sketches and turn them into an animation that looks good then you are on your way.

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David Rogers

Posts: 66 | From: Champaign IL USA | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Lord of the Chance
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Icon 6 posted August 13, 2003 20:51      Profile for The Lord of the Chance     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
blender, and if you dont mind writing lotsa code or have winders/linux, povray, which is the most mathmatecally accurate. both are free. there is no good povray modeler for mac, so everything must be hand coded.

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"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." -Douglas Adams

Posts: 12 | From: between the toes | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
hey-U
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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2003 23:30      Profile for hey-U     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Spiderman: last time I checked, photoshop didn't have any 3d modelling capabilities...

True; you're very observant. Our guys use it for final tweaking etc of the 3D models they've created elsewhere.
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Drazgal
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2003 04:58      Profile for Drazgal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dont forget Gmax, a cut down version of 3D Studio Max, although it is missing soem features (not that Ive noticed but my work is somewhat primative at best). Tis free from Discreets webpage although you might want to bear in mind that it is for computer game development but it can be worth it to get a feel for Studio Max.

p.s. please dont get Rhino, just don't [Smile]

Posts: 154 | From: Dundee, United Kingdom | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
littlefish
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2003 05:10      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you want to use Maya, and it is only for non-commercial purposes, you can download it for free here. I think it puts a watermark into the graphics you produce, but if you want to learn it, that doesn't matter.
Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
addiew
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2003 16:13      Profile for addiew   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
i dont see whats wrong with using maya in the first place? why 3d max or lightwave?

at least around here (OR) maya is the standard 3d program at most graphic studios etc

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Posts: 823 | From: Oregon | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged


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