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Best Modelling Apps for Unity

Discussion in 'Formats & External Tools' started by elias723, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. elias723

    elias723

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    Hey everyone. I've been using Blender with Unity for a few months now, but I've finally saved up enough money to buy a modelling application. I've heard that the ones that are best for working with Unity are Maya and Cinema4D, and I have looked at the "what works on what app" page on the wiki. I have a couple of questions about various applications and their interaction with Unity.

    3DS Max - Even though it is decidedly a Windows application, the wiki says it works with Unity in everything. What are the downsides to its use with Unity? Are there hidden things that can't be used with Unity? Is the import harder than other applications because it doesn't run on the same computer as Unity? How good is the support associated with 3DS Max - books, forums, etc? How hard is it to learn? How good are its animation/rigging/character creation capabilities?

    Maya Unlimited - Supposedly, everything works in Unity now. What about hair/fluid effects/fur/cloth - the things that it includes apart from Maya Complete? I noticed that all the models for the tutorial/example projects are made with Maya. Is there a reason why Maya was chosen above other programs? How does Maya compare in its ease of use with Blender or other modelling programs for character creation, rigging, animation, etc? Are its polygon manipulation tools about the same as Blender's? I understand it has a paint directly onto a 3D surface capability - how well does this work?

    Cinema4D - I haven't heard much about C4D, but it looks like a fairly easy to use interface. Is this true - is it as simple to use as say Blender in animation, rigging, vertex painting, character creation, polygon editing, etc? What features does it seem to lack? What parts of it cannot be imported into Unity sucessfully? Are the expansion packs such as hair, cloth, fluid effects imported into Unity well enough to use in a game? How well does the painting directly onto the mesh feature work for texturing?

    Lightwave - I have heard virtually nothing about it. How does it compare to other modelling programs, especially in terms of character creation, animation, rigging, etc? Does it have any kind of special texturing tool attached with it? How easy is it to use? Does it have any advanced tools like hair, cloth, or fluid creation, and if so, how well do they import into Unity? How difficult is it to learn to use?

    If you have any experience using any of these applications, or any other ones that you would recommend to someone who is going to buy a first modelling application, please comment on any of the above questions. I appreciate any feedback I get.[/i]
     
  2. Morgan

    Morgan

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    I am a big LightWave fan--I keep trying other apps and I keep coming back to LightWave. But I can't make a strong recommendation because a) I'm just getting back into LW after time away, b) I'm new to Unity and haven't used LW with it for long, and c) LW relies on Alias' FBX exporter, and I'd prefer native support without some third-party plugin to worry about. (Now, LW 9 is out soon and I don't know what all it might add. Following that, a Umiversal version for Intel Macs is due this year.)

    So LightWave is my tool of choice... just get feedback from people with more LW/Unity experience first.

    I can say that LW has some great sculpting tools and a MASSIVE feature set, including some hair and fabrics. I'd be surprised if hair could export to FBX and Unity, but I'm not sure.

    The editor has its learning curve but is very productive once you get how it "thinks"--which seems to be true of any 3D app. And LW has an online community, including a Mac section of their forums.

    Note: you can try LightWave for free by download.
     
  3. elias723

    elias723

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    Thanks morgan. As a student, I can get some pretty good deals on a lot of software. I'm most interested in Maya at the moment, but could get interested in lots of other things as well. I don't know about 3ds max - it seems like it is used more for stills than for game models, but I'm sure for my purposes it would be fine for games as well. Thanks for the info on LightWave. I'll check it out a little more on the web. Thanks to anyone who has had other experience with a modelling program!
     
  4. thylaxene

    thylaxene

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    cough! splutter! Sorry choked on my coffee. Max is probably the most used game asset creation software out there. It's market share in the game market is why companies like Alias, Maxon started seriously adding features to their software to allow artists to properly create assets for game engines. I'd say Max is still at the forefront here.... certainly seems to have more tutorials about that subject then any other software out there.

    But as a Mac and Unity user I think either Maya or Cinema are you best bets, I'd personally recommend Maya Complete, as it seems to be at a better price point then say Cinema 4D Studio Bundle. Then again an hybrid approach like Modo 201 (Modo 2 has some very well implemented baking/painting/optimisation tools that game artists will fine powerful) and C4D Core could be a good and 'cheap' option as well.

    Don't under estimate the the time saving that having direct scene import that Unity offers with Maya and C4D....

    Also remember to get hair, fluids, fur, etc into unity you will need to bake the animation/dynamics to polygons. Unity (as far as I'm aware) doesn't support those features natively... using hair in realtime would be VERY expensive... Just look at how they had to implement hair/fur in games like Shadow of the Colossus....

    cheers.
     
  5. Lallander

    Lallander

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    And in all fairness look at how utterly awesome the graphics on that game turned out.
     
  6. thylaxene

    thylaxene

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    Sorry I wasn't criticising them. I agree, I have the game and love it! Looks very awsome. What I meant to say was I think you don't need realtime fur/hair if you are creative like they were. I believe Unity has the power (at a minimum Pro does) to create that effect... if one is smart enough to program it! :wink:

    cheers.
     
  7. antenna-tree

    antenna-tree

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    3DS Max is still the 800 Pound Gorilla in game content creation as far as I know, but Maya is a close second and for the Mac I think it's as good as it gets (never had the pleasure of using 3DS Max for more than a couple hours). As a student I think the playing field is flattened out a bit, all the student pricing for these "high end" 3d apps is within a couple hundred bucks of eachother as far as I know. All of them offer trials so I'd play around with each of them and see which one most conforms to your work flow. Of all the high end 3d apps I'd say LightWave is the odd man out. It's a great app but the modeler/scene paradigm is certainly different from the others and can take a while to get used to. I've been using Maya since 1.0 though, so any other 3d app at this point freaks me out a little bit :wink:

    [Edit] What thylacine said about seamless importing into Unity is crucial! C4D and Maya are the only two right now that can do this and trust me it's GOLDEN to just be able save your scene out and have it show up perfectly in Unity. This was the #1 feature that sold me on Unity in the first place. It invites creativity and experimentation when you can so easily try out new ideas and they show up instantly in Unity.
     
  8. elias723

    elias723

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    Sorry about that guys. I was most familiar with 3ds Max being a still-renderer program more than a game program. I've been looking on CGTalk and there were so many 3ds max render shots in there I figured that must be what it is for. I guess it's just because its a decidedly Windows program (like I said before).

    If you have had any experience with Maya, 3ds Max, Lightwave or Cinema4D with Unity, please put your thoughts about the process down here. Thanks to all once again.
     
  9. thylaxene

    thylaxene

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    exactly! and well put sir! :wink:
     
  10. elias723

    elias723

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    Thanks for the info guys! Keep it coming! Thanks again.
     
  11. thylaxene

    thylaxene

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    as far as I see it Maya is our only real choice for 'pro' grade game asset creation on the Mac platform. When it comes to normal map, parallel map, vertex/prelight polygons, baking textures, multi-uv creation/sets, lightmapping and normal map transfer between hi to low polygon models Maya 7 does it all.

    However, Cinema4D 9.6 might do all of the above, but buggered if I can find any info/tutorials online answering those questions. I've actually just posted a Q in support area asking about prelighting in C4D, as I have a colleague who wants to help create assets and he uses C4D.

    Also in Australia, one can buy Maya 7 Complete for a tad under 4k, whereas C4D Studio is 5k+! Granted Maya Complete doesn't have Cloth like C4D Studio, but aside from that they have the same feature set, and Maya's Char animation toolset is an industry standard, whereas C4D 9.6 is lacking a bit (as far as I can tell from the forums ).

    I actually like C4D interface and the way it does things, but to me, Maya represents value for money. And at the end of the day I can always get a job as a Maya TD if my business fails! :wink:

    Please can some C4D gurus get on here and prove me wrong! :D

    Cheers.
     
  12. Thomas-Pasieka

    Thomas-Pasieka

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    Well, as a long time CINEMA 4D user and tester for several applications and publisher of the first C4D magazine I can only give two thumbs up to C4D and Maya.

    You can pretty much do all you mentioned in C4D but I also have to agree with you on the fact that C4D's character animation tools are a tough nut. Baking textures, lighting and all that fuzz is pretty easy and straight forward.

    As for pricing...well C4D can get expensive but then again you are not forced to buy the big production bundle. The core and a few modules should do (depends on what you really want to do with C4D).

    The Maxon guys are really fast when it comes to updates and new features/modules. Maxon probably has the best "Hair" solution on the market today and "Cloth" is also a big success as is Bodypaint.

    I guess the best thing to do is to download a demo of C4D and Maya and test both apps for as long as you can and make a decission based on your experience.

    Thomas
     
  13. thylaxene

    thylaxene

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    Thanks Tank for the reply. Great magazine btw, I bought several issues when I was deciding on which 3d package to buy. In the end I went with Maya for cost/benefit reasons. I still keep half an eye on C4D though, especially if Autodesk doesn't go UB with Maya....

    Pleas could you answer my Q over at support re. pre-lighting/vertex lighting polygons in C4D?

    Cheers.
     
  14. Thomas-Pasieka

    Thomas-Pasieka

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    Thanks for buying our mag ;) I answered your question but will also do it here.

    CINEMA 4D can't do "prelighting" yet. That feature simply doesn't exist in C4D. I am sure it will come though.


    Thomas
     
  15. thylaxene

    thylaxene

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    Cheers.
     
  16. pete

    pete

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    maya, c4d, 3ds and lw all are great tools. knowing 3ds or maya probably help most in terms of looking for a job. lightwave may or may not be 3rd runner up. there's alot of production houses using it (though not as much for games as film/tv). i use lightwave and have grown to love it. as morgan said it takes a bit to get it but once you do, it rocks (same can be said for all).

    agreed - native support of maya and c4d are a big advantage. but reassigning textures in unity doesn't bother me that much. having to export an fbx and dealing with textures are pretty much the only unity import difference. for me maya's just too expensive. haven't looked at c4d. i have lw and it does everything i need (and then some). so i've pretty much stopped looking at other packages for now. the tool set i've pretty much settled on is:
    unity, lightwave, vue, blender, pshop/gimp and zbrush.
    (using gimp and unity indie the total is currently about $1650 US - not sure if you can still get the lightwave/vue bundle though. if not, it's another $600 if you want vue i think. another $1200 or so if you need to buy the CS suite)

    if you have a pc, don't under estimate milkshape. not exactly the caliber of the other apps by any means but put it with the free lithunwrap, blender and gimp and you've got a pretty amazing package for 20 bucks!

    oh and i'm keeping an eye on makehuman. bit of a wait til they're done but what they're doing is really cool. the base mesh they have now is pretty high poly for games but you can make your own low poly or even makecar, makedog, makegun, makefish... really whatever you want!
     
  17. elias723

    elias723

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    I'm using the demo of Cinema4d right now, and I'm playing with the Bodypaint feature (I think). It's really cool and easy to use, but I feel like I saw something on the Autodesk website telling me that they had some kind of 3d painting thing as well. Can anyone who uses Maya confirm this or tell me otherwise? I really don't like the hard work that goes into UV mapping - I would much rather spend my time making the coding and the game as good as possible.

    Also, you said above that Milkshape is a good program for the cheap developer. Can I use it with Unity to get animations/characters/bones, etc into my game? Right now I'm already using Blender and it can do meshes and textures, but as soon as I want to do any characters I'm in trouble. How well does Milkshape go with Unity?

    Thanks for the info!
     
  18. thylaxene

    thylaxene

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    yes Maya has 3D paint, although it does seem underutilized by many. However, I do think BodyPaint is the champ.

    Also get use to UV mapping, it is very important for good results. Modern apps like Modo, Hexagon2, BodyPaint do their best to make that easy for you, but it is a skill worth learning.

    Cheers.
     
  19. pete

    pete

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    >>it is a skill worth learning
    agreed. add zb to the list of 3dpaint/displacement proggies too.

    to your question, first... milkshape is pc only. last i checked around $20US with a fully functional, timed trial available. take it for what it is. it's 20 bucks - don't expect it to be like the other apps you're looking at. [edit to clarify: the modeling tools are good. no fk/ik last i checked but it does have bones. ogl 65k poly limit i believe]

    second... and more importantly, i have not tried it with unity. milkshape now supports fbx import/export. i'm making an assumption that it works and that it will remian a feature for a while at least. the guy who wrote ms has been pretty thorough in my experience. i have it - i'll give it a whirl when i have a chance. (sorry - probably not tonight)

    if you really like blender, you *should* be able to model in blender->export a 3ds/obj ->import then bone/animate in milkshape. unwrap in lithunwrap. texture in gimp. export an fbx from ms. milkshape has an unwrapper and a good modeler for low poly modeling. blender and lith would be a personal pref or maybe blender for higher poly work and some peeps like blender's uving. with this kind of workflow you must be able to uv and paint textures 2d. the 3d paint progs pretty much do that for you but they aren't perfect when a mesh gets deformed such as in an animation. so it's good to understand topology and uvs. though in real time you can get away with a lot most of the time. anyway...

    *end ramble before it gets longer...*
     
  20. elias723

    elias723

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    Thanks a lot for the milkshape info - I hadn't heard much about it, except I noticed it was bundled with the Torque learning book (before I knew about Unity :) ). Tell me how the test goes, pete.

    Also, thanks for the info about 3d paint apps. I knew from my trial with C4D that it wouldn't be very precise, but it's still nice to hear it from more experienced modellers. I would probably end up using it to give myself some well-developed outlines that I could perfect in uv mapping. Thanks for the info.
     
  21. Alpha-Loup

    Alpha-Loup

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  22. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    I've used Blender for a while now, just a couple more bits about it:

    1. The UV tools are actually pretty good, I have Ultimate Unwrap 3D also (Lithunwrap's newest version, not free anymore - $50), but I can do most things in Blender if need be. UUnwrap3D supports more file formats, more unwrapping methods and animation than Lithunwrap.

    2. Blender has 3D paint built in (kind of crude, but it's there).

    3. You can also "bake" textures and lightmaps in Blender using a script called "BRayBaker". It takes a bit to learn to use it, but after some tweaking I've gotten acceptable results with it.

    The big down side to Blender at present is exporting your creation to another app. This is still fairly limited, but improving. Be sure to keep an eye on the Blender community at blenderartist.org for the latest updates.
     
  23. Jonathan Czeck

    Jonathan Czeck

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    The new Maya has this feature that takes a high poly model and a low poly model, and automatically generates a normal map for the low poly model. Does C4D have any normal map generation tools?

    -Jon
     
  24. Morgan

    Morgan

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    Good question--I'd like to know if LightWave can do that. It's used to great effect in UT2007.
     
  25. harrio

    harrio

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  26. Morgan

    Morgan

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    Thanks--I'll check it out.
     
  27. Thomas-Pasieka

    Thomas-Pasieka

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    Yup you can create normal maps in CINEMA 4D :)


    Thomas
     
  28. pete

    pete

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    a guy converted the ati normal mapper into a lightwave plugin. open source/free. actually i think there's a couple. google it. the one that you want is by i guy out of the university of arizona (i think! something like that) that is if you aren't going to buy microwave. i have ati plugin around here somewhere. happy to send to you if you want it...

    [edit: oops - sorry elias! haven't had a chance to check out the milkshape to unity thing.]
     
  29. Morgan

    Morgan

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    Thanks for the tip! I don't need it yet, but I will one of these days and I'll Google for it.
     
  30. taumel

    taumel

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    @Morgan
    If you're after a normal map generation out of a high and a low poly object and you have a window machine then there are free tools from nvidia and ati - just check their dev sections. And for building a normal map just out of a texture i use unity... :O)


    Regards,

    taumel
     
  31. podperson

    podperson

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    Asking which 3D tool is best is a great way to provoke a Holy War. To begin with, 3D programs all tend to have rather quirky interfaces and once you get used to one you find every other one kind of annoying.

    In my opinion, 3D Studio Max is the easiest high end package to use*, and these days it probably has the best overall feature set (/duck!), especially for game developers.

    * Especially if you come from a 2D background. Actually Strata StudioPro is even easier, but much less useful. Basically, in Max you click on something to select it and click in the background to select nothing. A selected object automatically displays handles which let you move, stretch, or rotate it. It's just like Illustrator or MacDraw. Amazingly, this isn't true in most 3d programs :)

    3D Studio Max, Maya, and Lightwave are all extensively used for game development. It might seem like Max utterly dominates, but go visit some Japanese PlayStation developers and you'll think different ;) You also tend to see a lot of folks go from Max to Maya when they strike it rich... (I'm not sure this is a good thing; a lot of folks seem to have Maya-envy.)

    Lightwave is the quirkiest of the top tools (excluding some exotic ones, like Houdini) which is also why its adherents appear to be the most averse to change. If you've used to Lightwave, everything else is bizarre.

    Blender is pretty darn quirky too, but has the enormous advantage of being free. That said, its feature set is falling behind the bleeding edge (where it pretty much started).

    Most packages seem to be converging on 3D Studio Max in terms of their UI. Maya was developed by the Power Animator people and started out almost as quirky as Lightwave (e.g. when I started using Power Animator -- having been working in 3D for several years -- it took me a couple of hours to figure out how to select, deselect, move, rotate, scale, and render a cube). I was playing with it the other day (for the first time in years) and it felt very much like Max.

    In general with 3D tools you need to ask:
    1) How useful and easy is it to learn this program?
    2) Does it do what I need it to do now?
    3) Does it do what I might need it to do soon?
    4) Is it highly scriptable?
    5) Does it import and export the file formats I need it to?

    For (1) your mileage will vary; the answer to questions 2-4 is YES for all the high-end packages: Max, Maya, C4D, Lightwave, and XSI. Blender is iirc missing some important features (e.g. seamless normal map rendering and lightmap rendering). For (5) the answer is almost always NO for something... 3D software has a lamentable history of file interoperability.
     
  32. elias723

    elias723

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    So then what you're saying is that I should focus on what quirks I want in my program to decide what to get. I just need something I can make bones and animations in that would be usable in Unity. I'm not really very worried about high-end capabilities right now, but later I might be more concerned (once I'm better at modeling). I'm only going to be making objects for my games, and I will not be worrying too much about rendering for rendering's sake.

    The main question I have then, apart from the quirks in the programs, is how well does each program integrate with Unity? I know Maya and C4D are supposedly the best, but could I use something as cheap as say Milkshape and still get away with animations and bones?
     
  33. frigginjoe

    frigginjoe

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    Can anyone provide feedback on Cheetah?
    It's linked from this site as being supported and the price is just a tiny bit more than Blender :)
     
  34. IamBob

    IamBob

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    What about modo?
     
  35. podperson

    podperson

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    Modo is a specialized modeler. It has more features than some (e.g. Silo) and is more robust and stable than others (e.g. Hexagon). It's not a complete, integrated package.

    Bones Animation are very tricky subjects in several important respects:

    1. Not all bones implementations are equal.
    2. I mentioned that 3D app UIs are quirky, well when it comes to bones and animation, the quirkiness gets really bad.
    3. One of the key areas of productivity in animation is skinning and rigging, and how well a 3D app does this is absolutely CRUCIAL.

    Milkshape is a piece of junk. If you value your time at more than $0.10 per hour, do not attempt to animate anything in Milkshape. When you buy a mid-to-high end 3D app you aren't paying for features -- the features are pretty much all a given these days -- you're paying for usability.

    All kinds of programs can allow you to attach vertices to bones with a given weight -- heck you can do it in notepad if you want (just type the values in .X text format) -- it's usability, productivity, real-time feedback, and all that jazz you're paying for.

    This is why Maya and Max rock and Blender doesn't. It's also why XSI, in my opinion, is going to die.
     
  36. Marble

    Marble

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    Don't let jeremyace hear you!
     
  37. KarelVR

    KarelVR

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    As for interoperability, things are getting way better than it used to be. With fbx, collada and pointoven you rarely get into trouble anymore nowadays.

    Another question you want to ask yourself when choosing a 3D package is what it's future is. For example: is it worth starting with max or maya at this moment, when there's a big chance they will be discontinued in the near future (and a new better package will come out of it).

    Personal preference is almost key here (hence why users tend to feel the urge to defend their package of choice).
    I was a max user for 5 years, but got tired of the clumsy integration of the tools, and even more the need to rely on plugins that don't work together (not to mention the core isn't suitable for complex scenes anymore).
    Maya put me off because of its workflow.
    So I've been happily using xsi for the past 3 years.
    When doing graphics for games, you're good with either max, maya, xsi and even lightwave. Each has its pro and cons, but you can do the job in any of these.

    So I gotta disagree with the fact that xsi is going to die because of lack in any area (besides no 3rd party renderers and a poor particlesystem). When even valve and ubisoft change their production pipeline to xsi (in valves case even in mid-production), something's going on ;).
    For gamecontent production the last few versions have been improved a lot.
    Ever used the gator function in xsi, to switch weights, uvs, textures and animations between characters? That alone saves an immense ammount of time in game asset creation. Not to mention the way to bake lighting and textures/normalmaps.
     
  38. podperson

    podperson

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    I think XSI's *feature set* is just dandy. So are those of its competitors. The problem is its UI. Obviously this is just my opinion, but I think its UI is less intuitive than Lightwave's, and about as intuitive as Blender's. Given the ferocity of competition in this area ... something has to give.

    OTOH For $500 XSI is impossible to beat in terms of bang for the buck. You can buy XSI and a decent PC to run it on for the cost of any similarly capable competing product.

    Maya and Max may die and be reborn, but there'll be a migration path (just as there was from Power Animator to Maya). Bear in mind that XSI is Softimage reborn ... and still with a crummy UI ;)

    (Yes yes, XSI folks flame away :) )
     
  39. hsparra

    hsparra

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    I have no modeling/artistic background but I find Cheetah easy to use. If you go to the forums there are some good tutorials to suppliment the ones that come with the product. In particular, one user made a video tutorial that I would highly recommend watching. I learned some better ways just to use the tools watching the video. Also, Martin is very responsive and helpful, much like the Otee folks. :)

    <edit>Looks like there a quit a few more videos now if you want to see some more of the modeling, UVing, transparency maps, etc. in action.
     
  40. podperson

    podperson

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    Oh -- how is XSI's FBX support?
     
  41. KarelVR

    KarelVR

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    Hehe, no flaming from me. :)

    Well, yea, but interfaces is a matter of personal preference. Even some ppl truly love the ZBrush and Lightwave interfaces. :wink:
    In max I had to manouvre too much with the cursor to get things done, when i switched to xsi (shortcut based) my production speed increased tremendously.
    And the 500$ is only for the FND version (which is enough for games), for the advanced version you still gotta sell some of your organs.

    The FBX support works perfectly. Does anyone else got the impression that FBX, which was an awesome initiative, is slacking since it went from Kaydara to Alias to Autodesk ? Looks like collada is catching up.

    Now what I'm really looking forward to is the release of Mudbox (but I'm kinda scared of what the price will be). The previews looked soooo awesome I almost wet my pants.
     
  42. islanddreamer

    islanddreamer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Posts:
    473
    I found XSI 5.11 on Safe Harbor for only $399 ($369 as a competitive upgrade). With the Maya QWERTY navigation settings, it's very hard to resist.
     
  43. antenna-tree

    antenna-tree

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Posts:
    5,324
    I wish every 3D app offered this "remapping" of the navigation/hot keys. I tried out Modo recently and was pleasantly surprised to see "Maya Navigation" as one of the options. I think the navigation of 3D scenes is one of the most important aspects of any 3D app. Being able to intuitively navigate the 3D space is the launching point for many other sculpting functions that you're going to use. Obviously every 3D app can't be translated over to every other 3D app, but it would nice to see some standardization.
     
  44. Morgan

    Morgan

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Posts:
    1,223
    Don't forget that Mac OS X lets you edit the keyboard shortcuts for any app (though I've seldom tried it). That's just for menu commands, not for one-key navigation, but it might be one more way to help 3D apps act alike.
     
  45. taumel

    taumel

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Posts:
    5,292
    Hmm i'm not an expert with modelling tools but i would tend to say there is nothing out there which beats XSI foundation price/featurewise in a whole. It's a complete working package.

    The reason i didn't went for it is that i already own a old max licence and so am in no need for a modelling app on windows. I like max for it's cleanness and it has the best sw3d exporter beside of plasma.

    I was looking for a reasonable priced crossplatform solution and went for modo as you get both versions for one price. Another strong point for them is their user centric licence - no begging for keys on other machines! Also after the update to 202 modo needs another update to feel ready in my opinion. Another downside is that there is no animation support at the moment. But this is likely to be introduced in a modo 301 but let's hope for another 203 update before. ;O)

    I never was a fan of maya. Rubbish interface, too expensive, i don't wanna be a mel expert. I don't need it. I also don't know what will happen to the software after Autodesk got it in a mid term perspective.

    Lightwave is kind of outdated due to modo if you're not after quick logo work.

    I also never got into C4D. Since Maxxon started on the Amiga they never did an app i liked.

    Blenders Interface is a pain ....

    Cheetah i only tried out once and it looked like a good app for starters due to the clean functionality and the price. But it's osx only.

    Hexagon for a pure modeller looked great to me. Somehow you simply get stunning looking things out of it but as they were also sold out their future also is unsure and i don't want a dead end product.

    The others i have no idea of but it's true what podperson said. In the end you will have to try it out as workflows of the tools are very different so that one might be better for you than the other one. Look at what you can afford, which features do you need and which of the apps qualifies after this and you like the best...
     
  46. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Posts:
    5,434
    I've heard that a lot, and I think for a long while I said the same thing, but after giving it a try and then looking at Maya, XSI, Max and Lightwave, I just can't agree any more.

    A copy of Blender just sat on my HD for a long time and the closest I came to using it was to check the latest forum posts on Elysiun.com (now blenderartists.org). Then one day I decided to use Blender's Game Engine for a small project, which forced me to -dig- through it's interface, and in a couple of days it started to make sense. It wasn't something I just walked up to and =bang= it suddenly made sense (that was Carrara 4 Pro for me), but after a couple days I was finding the interface pretty darn comfortable. It's also one of the most adaptable UI's you'll find, so it's easy to change it any way you want.

    I downloaded XSI last night (I had looked at it before, but it's been a while) and I've got to be perfectly honest, it's about the ugliest GUI I've seen ever. Now to some folks that might spell "pure functionality", but in my eyes it's just butt ugly. And I'm guessing Softimage knows it and that's why you won't find any screen shots on their website, that would just scare everybody off! ;)

    The "Prettiest UI Award" has got to go to Carrara Pro. There are a couple things that could have been made just a little less "pretty" and just a little more "functional" IMHO, but it's a pure pleasure to stare at that UI for hours on end. Now if they add animation support to their .FBX exporter I'll be in "piggy heaven"...

    And yes, I've always been a sucker for a "pretty face"... ;)
     
  47. islanddreamer

    islanddreamer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Posts:
    473
    I gotta agree with bigkahuna re: XSI's interface. The choice of fonts, those radio buttons, the playback icons are all hideous.

    But on the flipside, the software is extremely responsive, unlike some "prettier" interfaces I've seen.
     
  48. Morgan

    Morgan

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Posts:
    1,223
    Lightwave's UI is 100% drabness (in a retro-Amiga kind of way) but functionally it's great :)
     
  49. pete

    pete

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Posts:
    1,647
    i'm pretty drab - must be why i like it! that and i find modeling in it a breeze.
     
  50. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Posts:
    32,401
    Yeah, I have to admit, one thing that slows me down a little is that I switch between Blender and Unity a lot, and I'm constantly confusing the mouse controls between the two. I have to think about it all the time, instead of just doing it. (For the most part I actively like Blender's interface. Some of the dense blocks of tiny obscurely-labeled buttons are a little off-putting, but the Blender folks are aware of that, and the rest of the program works efficiently and nicely. Plus you can't beat the speed--nothing I do ever has the slightest lag--and the entire app launches in about .25 seconds....)

    --Eric[/i]