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View Full Version : Hereīs my interest rating of a second major 3d app.



prometheus
04-11-2013, 12:41 PM
Well..canīt afford anything right now, but here is a rate order of interest from me of potential apps, with a short note reference on why.
And it is only my POV based on my interest.

Lightwave 12, if it starts to deliver some of what I need, then thereīs no question of adding a second major app really.

Modo and cinema4d are under my biggest focus, and they share almost the same order rank for me.

1. Modo (+ new nice sculpting handling, particle control and implementation with bullet dynamics, volumetric items,subdivs, preset handling of assets,preview renderer, solidworks import) (-Ui..gets confusing and distracting sometimes, some lagging in viewport modeling and overall experience)

2. Cinema 4d (+motion graphics, nurbs, UI, huge polyamount handling, great scultping tools) (-pricing, to much addon features)
--
3.houdini (+ one of the most amazing 3d apps out there, and since I am a big fan of fluid and dynamic effects, this is what I would want) (- pricing& a somewhat alien node aproach
and steep learning curve, though they have improved on it)

4.maya (+fluids,rigging..general workflow,scripting) (-pricing)

5.3ds max (+awesome amount of major league professional plugins,afterburn, krakatoa,fumefx,rayfire,vray, but thatīs about it) (-UI interface,pricing)

6. softimage (great tools, I know to little about it though to give a good +-, It getīs its ranking due to the impression on how hot or cold it seems to be, and this might be unfair..who knows
it might survive and continue to be developed nicely, but Ivé got the impression it will not be so.

7. Blender (+ free) (-UI)

8.True space(+free) (-UI)

As mentioned...I would prefer Lightwave over all of these based on what I already know of course, the general feel and workflow since it gives fast feedback, just some UI fixes, preset handling,polyamount handling,new volumetric items..implementation of core tools, and I wonīt look the other way.
Lightwave 12 will probably be it, or a game changer depending on what will arrive and what parts will be neglegted, based on that I would do an update, or skip some versions this time around, been upgrading since 9.6

Michael

Matt
04-11-2013, 01:07 PM
Obviously I'm interested in what your UI fixes are! ;)

Netvudu
04-11-2013, 01:51 PM
I did take this decision years ago, I mean, working on another app besides Lightwave. Here, I think your best bet would be to focus on your speciality, so that you can complement what you arleady have.
Lightwave has a very good renderer and is a good all-rounder, for generalist work, as we all know. You are pretty obviously and FX artist/TD, as I am. Just a quick look on your threads during the last years confirms it.

You also need an app that will not stop your progress on your specialization. This discards MAX and C4d as their effects are so heavily based on plugins that as soon you go deeper into them you will find the limits pretty easily.
Modo falls because its FX tools are still very far from complete.
Blender mixes cool stuff with half-implemented things which makes it HIGHLY unreliable for effects work. It is currently becoming a very strong plattform both for modelling and for rigging/character animation. FX needs strong implementation of features and fully connected tools...Blender falls short in this area.

Actually this limits the decision to three: Houdini, Maya or Softimage.
I like a lot whatīs going on with Softimage regarding ICE and stuff, but its development is pretty dangerous as you mentioned...we donīt know what will happen.
Besides, if you want the chance to work in a big house you will have to choose either Maya or Houdini, which are the two tools used at those levels at FX departments.

Here it becomes pretty personal. MY feeling is that Maya is slowly leaving FX (though still strong on rigging/animation) and Houdini is strongly gaining new ground.
If you wanna go again for the specialization route Houdini is the better option, but if you want to learn something that might get you also into some other deparments then Maya is the better option.
Finally, if fluids are a factor, then there is simply nothing to consider. Houdini 12.5 sims as many fluid particles as Naiadīs last version did (around 30-60 million for many sims). By the time Autodesk implements Naiad into Maya (give or take a couple of years) god knows where Houdini will already be.
You also post a lot of cloud-related threads. Houdini boasts now Dreamworks clouds tools. Period.

But again, IMHO and considering your profile you should go either the Houdini or the Maya route as an complement to Lightwave. Anything else will give you very similar strong points and weakeness so you would end up with redundant features.

Of course, take into account I AM a Houdini user and have been for the last 7 years or so, so my opinion is severely biased.

prometheus
04-11-2013, 01:55 PM
I will get back on the UI question Matt...I got an hypervoxel fixit doc to do first, but Ivé mentioned the UI before, basicly and important, docking and expand/collapse panel, vpr panel like viper and some smaller stuff.

Absolutly netvedu, houdini would be considered before maya, learning curve and nodes aside, it will be the pricing that decides, flip fluids and openVDB cloud fx tools
are very interesting, need to reinstall a new apprentice version and try it.
If it werenīt for the pricing ..houdini would rank in before modo and cinema4d.

Michael

prometheus
04-11-2013, 02:32 PM
I must set some records straight, Im out of job now, so it might not be that a purchase is anyone near, nor even a job related to 3d graphics, thatīs a bonus but you take what you can to
be self sustaining first of course.
from 2009 till the end of 2012 I used Lightwave for some product renders of gym machines mostly, some addititional graphics works, and 2d illustratrions for adīs and floorplans along with
some computer maintainace etc.

fluids,particles and cloud stuff and environmental nature stuff is what I would love to work on somehow, but realisticly in getting a job here is a little different from overseas, unless jumping
on board some online project or nearby country work.

Michael

cresshead
04-11-2013, 03:00 PM
product rendering, well lw and all of the apps above are great for that but with maya, max, cinema and softimage you may want to add Vray rather than use Mental Ray or cinema's inbuilt renderer - re cinema you could opt for the Prime version and add Vray for example.
modo's renderer is not far away from Vray for products too.
Price wise - Blender and use Cycle renderer.

souzou
04-11-2013, 03:01 PM
But again, IMHO and considering your profile you should go either the Houdini or the Maya route as an complement to Lightwave. Anything else will give you very similar strong points and weakeness so you would end up with redundant features.

Of course, take into account I AM a Houdini user and have been for the last 7 years or so, so my opinion is severely biased.

Hi Netvudu, can I ask a question (which kind of relates to this thread). Do you use both LW and Houdini together in a pipeline or very much as separate programs depending on the project? If together, do they play together well?

prometheus
04-11-2013, 04:06 PM
Modo would be a very good choice for product visualization, and If I would go with what I worked with before, that would be a good choice, If I would have been able to use the solidworks importers and
cad loaders, that would have been awesome at that time, I went with the lightwave route and we converted through deep exploration, but Modo would probably be my choice now with the quad
tesselation engine.
So depends on how the future unfolds on the job market here, at that time I knew lightwave so much more and was very comfortable with it, and I tried the modo demoīs ...unfortunatly it was only 15 days demo
which I have complained on beeing the outmost stupid marketing of a demo, I needed to evaluate it a little longer between the work I did.

The demo limit time for modo might play a part in me simply not picking it up, I think I saw lightwave having a demo period of whole 60 days at one time, only to get back at 30 days, i think
Newtek should consider having 60 days as default for the demo, or better yet..start some sort of apprentice version with watermark and some smaller limitations to gain even more marketing strength.

Now houdini Has the apprentice program with no time limit..and once I set cleaned up and restored another computer ...I will probably start learning it again a little, built in liquid fluids, build in fire and smoke fluids, L-systems parametric modeling, switch from poly,subd, or nurbs, fast volumetric mantra renderer, and now openVDB and cloud fx tools.
I need Time..and focus on adapting the node workflow with sops,dops,chops,vops etc...and the pricing of course.

I managed to create a few liquid stuff in houdini quite some time ago and even exporting to Lightwave for a short moment, but lost track of that process and couldnīt repeat it, also tested some volumetric stuff on full geometry shapes which Is what I would like to see in lightwave of course, currently I donīt have the houdini apprentice installed.

Modoīs particle enhancements of directing and sculpting particles with bullet/recoil interaction and the volumetric itemīs are what impressed me on their 701 showcase.

So If Lighwave still will neglect hypervoxels and particles in the 12 versions, I think My focus will be on other software..provided that My income allows it of course.

Michael

cresshead
04-11-2013, 04:47 PM
if you are currently unemployed then autodesk have an assistance program you can use ANY of their software for free to help you gain
work by learning their apps, there's also free video training.

Autodesk are not all bad.

hang on!


they ended that in November 2012...sorry!

prometheus
04-11-2013, 05:04 PM
if you are currently unemployed then autodesk have an assistance program you can use ANY of their software for free to help you gain
work by learning their apps, there's also free video training.

Autodesk are not all bad.

Assistance program if I am unemployed? and use it for free?...have to check in to that, donīt wont it to interfere to much with lightwave learning though:)
Do you have a link to that assistance program info to find it easier?
And what happens if I suddenly get a job?

I actually went to a 3d max ground course 1998, but no..not that much improvement in UI experience sadly, even though the fumefx, afterburner, krakatoa,vray is very good stuff, I canīt stand it.
Maybe maya or softimage the, but rather go with houdini or modo, cinema.

autocad intergration and vray is of course attractive, and the user base/number of companies using 3dmax here in sweden are overwhelming compared to userbase/companies using Lightwave, but still..I think mostly of the images on the IKEA catalog are done of very skilled 3d max users, I think the ratio of 3d generated images vs real photo in there is in advantage for 3d, Ivé noticed a couple of times they have been searching for artists..knowledge of max and vray a must though.

apart from trying to learn as much as possible still with lightwave within my free hours, You are obligated to be searching for jobs every day within all kind of types of jobs, or at least 40 hours a week, and to showcase searched jobs every month in order to get money from the unemployment insurance.

Ahh..noticed the edit ..no more assistance program from autodesk, well a no brainer then:)

Michael

zarti
04-11-2013, 05:05 PM
Houdini !

the Fluid-RBD-Volumes is not the only aspect of that 3D enviro you will benefit from .

the SOP context is amazing !!

--

in short ; if you need and have time for another 3D app , go into the 'opposite direction' .

you 'd be able to best choose from different approaches for any situation in future .



.cheers

prometheus
04-11-2013, 05:15 PM
Hey guys, give newtek a chance, they got some time till the 12 versions and to fullfill my dreams:) and a couple of others.

Ahh..we will see, probably will clang on to Lightwave for quite a while, just that I might not be updating depending of how it looks on my job market, and how stuff like particles and volumetrics are handled this time around.
Hmmm..it seems that houdini has ended their lite versions?

- - - Updated - - -

I would like to see more of the cloudFX tool, unfortunatly theres not much showcase of it except for written articles with just the finished image, no videos or screenshots of the tools or actions.

prometheus
04-11-2013, 06:43 PM
ahh..the houdini apprentice HD is still there, 99 $ per year.

I would probably learn as much as I can to be comfortable with it with the free apprentice, once I know what I can produce, I might buy in to apprentice HD and render out images
without limit or watermarks, and some animations in HD res, that is enough for personal and showcase studies.
The big money purse will only be employed, once needed for jobs or hired.

Michael

KurtF
04-11-2013, 08:15 PM
Didn't SideFX just reduce the pricing on Houdini? The full version used to be about 12 Grand and now it's $4,495.oo. Still quite a bit, but much more within the reach of the individual artist than before.

nemofish
04-11-2013, 08:45 PM
It's a reasonable list.

Netvudu
04-12-2013, 02:39 AM
Hi Netvudu, can I ask a question (which kind of relates to this thread). Do you use both LW and Houdini together in a pipeline or very much as separate programs depending on the project? If together, do they play together well?

I do use both of them from time to time. A few years ago I created a tool to export camera and objects from Lightwave to Houdini. Now it ainīt needed because FBX works properly. Mdd export also works for deformed objects pretty well.
I wish Lightwave would add Alembic support soon to make their interaction even better.
Nowadays, I would recommend to render most FX stuff (volumes, fluids, etc...)in Houdini and use Lightwave for other organic/mechanic elements on the scene, but to be honest for personal projects I tend to work on separate LW OR Houdini projects to force myself to keep my skils honed in both apps and render engines.

geo_n
04-12-2013, 03:00 AM
Its hard to invest time on appz like modo, blender, etc if your area has scant possibilities of getting work. The money tp buy appz will come with projects.
The safest bet is always to go with what's most used out there or more important, what's most used in your area. Can't go wrong with maya and max. Even xsi, c4d, houdini has fewer opportunities on this side. Truespace is dead its not even a consideration unless its just play.

jburford
04-12-2013, 03:06 AM
misread . .

souzou
04-12-2013, 03:59 AM
I do use both of them from time to time. A few years ago I created a tool to export camera and objects from Lightwave to Houdini. Now it ainīt needed because FBX works properly. Mdd export also works for deformed objects pretty well.
I wish Lightwave would add Alembic support soon to make their interaction even better.
Nowadays, I would recommend to render most FX stuff (volumes, fluids, etc...)in Houdini and use Lightwave for other organic/mechanic elements on the scene, but to be honest for personal projects I tend to work on separate LW OR Houdini projects to force myself to keep my skils honed in both apps and render engines.

Gracias! Interesting, it sounds fairly straightforward to get things from one to the other. How do you find Mantra as a renderer?

hrgiger
04-12-2013, 07:44 AM
Softimage would top my list if it weren't for a few key things.

First of all, Autodesk as its owner. Not that I couldn't overlook that if it was the app I really wanted to use but as has been mentioned, we don't know how serious AD is about continuing development on it. Which is strange because I think ICE is one of the best tools that the industry has seen. Secondly, while Mental Ray is a very good renderer, its just not that user friendly unless you really understand its ins and outs. When I was using XSI, I bought a whole book devoted to using just the renderer. And not being primarily someone who focuses on rendering, that's a pretty steep learning curve. I think lastly, I've come to rely so much on LWCAD as a part of my modeling workflow that it was hard to transition to modeling in XSI. While it is a lot more flexible in a lot of ways becuase of its non-destructive nature, its toolset is far less diverse.

I've tried Blender because why wouldn't you try a free app that seems to be so well featured and I hear people talking so much about? But I found the UI unintuitive and also found working with objects the same. I guess I didn't really invest a lot of time in trying to pick it up.

I used Modo for some time but was ultimately disappointed with the 601 release. 701 seems to have addressed some of the issues I had with it and maybe in time I will consider Modo again either as a second application or as a replacement app for LightWave depending on what I see for LW12 and beyond. 701 seems to focus heavily on the new particle system and effects but I like the animation improvements. More of that and they might just sell me again on it.

I don't consider apps like Houdini or Max simply because theyre out of my price range. And again, I might consider an Autodesk application if it best fit my criteria, but in general, I would prefer not to support an Autodesk application.

LightWave currently best suits my needs for both price and feature set and I'm including LWCAD as a major incentive to continue using LightWave. But in general I'm pretty frustrated with the limitations of LightWave being a split application that I'm really looking to see what kinds of improvements they are focusing on for the next few versions of LW. Not being able to weight or correct deformations in the animation environments are real sticking points. I would also like to see performance improved. IMHO, LW12 would be a better update if it focused on performance and integration issues rather then just another feature list.

prometheus
04-12-2013, 12:57 PM
Its hard to invest time on appz like modo, blender, etc if your area has scant possibilities of getting work. The money tp buy appz will come with projects.
The safest bet is always to go with what's most used out there or more important, what's most used in your area. Can't go wrong with maya and max. Even xsi, c4d, houdini has fewer opportunities on this side. Truespace is dead its not even a consideration unless its just play.


since true space is free, and it can produce very nice images and be a sort of additional graphics tool for creating image content, so why couldnīt it?

The money to buy apps comes from work, graphics o non graphics like making pizza doe or cleaning toilets, or lottery:)

Even though max and maya has the strongest seats here in my country, I rather follow the bliss of what I would want to create and such software that I believe would be suitable for that.
3d max isnīt one of them exactly.

If I were to predict future stronghold ..I would say Houdini. maybe cinema4d, modo might pick up gaining market here too, Lightwave...lesser unless improving europe marketing and something unique
and including innovative new stuff that arent available in other tools.
But here we go off just speculating.

Michael

geo_n
04-12-2013, 01:09 PM
If money and job is not a concern I would pick XSI from all the appz.