A good post about choosing 3d apps

Found an interesting sticky post at scifi-meshes.com about choosing a 3d rendering application. Among other things, the author points out common misconceptions and biases artist tend to have when comparing 3d apps, such as… ahem “Judging 3D software by art you’ve seen done with it”.
Not that we would make such a mistake here, of course. :wink: But the article covers many issues that crop up time and again here, and it explains the pros and cons of various renderers. I found it insightfull.


Great article! Thanks for the heads-up! 8)


I figured it would stir some critical thinking in reguards to Blender.
Always good for it’s development right?

that has been on cgtalk for a while, but it is good. Not that useful for people without money, as many of us are.

Exactly. Unfortunately these software are priced towards commercial users. There is no one person who could buy a copy of maya for ex. around here just to create some cool images at home. The best would be if there was a personal license which would be cheap but wouldn’t allow commercial use. They could monitor unlicensed commercial use better than if someone would just do it without any license at all, but not in any way worse, and they would make money on hobbyists, and everyone would be happy. Unfortunately it’s not this way, so we stick to blender, that is a great software, for polygonal modelling I would still use it if I had for ex. a copy of maya around, but it’s impossible to create animations with it, it dies on high polycount, etc. I tried recently the demo versions of many commercial software out of curiosity, and interestingly blender handles high polycount much better than those middle-class apps, like truescape, where blender is smooth, truescape becomes unusable. O, and the interface of blender is just unbeatable.

Hum. I just stumbled accross it yesterday.
Anyway, Guys, I don’t have the money for Maya or PRman either, but that’s not the point. He addresses some fundemental issues that come up here all the time. And if you’ll notice, he says that price isn’t necessarily the determining factor for deciding which 3d app is better, but rather how well it suits your particular needs and how well it can translate info to a good quality renderer. It’s good information that can be used to improve Blender.

so you need to restart the mac when the GUI crashes?
this guy must be on drugs.

the rest is pretty interesting indeed.


from reading this its got me thinking that the aquis integration is very important from a production pipeline perspective. Bringing renderman compliant output into a blender workflow should bring blender more into the fold. does this make aquis integration more of a priority than yafray integration?

I for one am looking forward to seeing acquis rendering beinging brought into blender for animation work. In the meantime I’m delighted with the improved features of the internal renderer (i still can’t believe its a free download!)

Why does it matter that blenders output is renderman compliant? And why is there not a focus on integrating a more mature raytracer, such as Povray, rather than new open-source projects with very few features?

There is already a script called povanim to render with povray, but it has fallen by the wayside in favour of yafray. I’d be interested to know why yafray was the renderer chosen to be integrated, is it because of it being opensource?

Why does it matter that blenders output is renderman compliant?

I was resonding to reading the article, which stated that a rendering engine should be decided on before a 3d app is chosen, and since one of the 3 major rendering engines adheres to this standard then it must be important strategically to make strides to interface with this standard. From an open source perspective it is fully justifiable seeing as their a couple of renderman compliant renderers that are open source.

There is already a script called povanim to render with povray

does this script work with the latest blender release?

http://jmsoler.free.fr/util/blenderfile/povanim.htm Yes.

Yeah, his comments on OS’s in general seem to stem from as much disinformation as he’s trying to get rid of about 3D software.

it is interesting: but I wondered about the audience it was aimed at!

If you are even thinking about spending that much on 3d software, and don’t know all of that (and more!) already, you’d have to be a bit mad in my opinion…

Disinformation? Could you be more spacific please?
I’m no CG pro, so I’ll defer to those here who are.
I have no expereience with OS X. However, what he says about the other operating systems he mentions jives with my own experience and what I’ve heard from others.

Well, the OS X GUI crashing I’ve never seen or heard of happening, and certainly never heard you restart it separately to the kernel. If it did happen you’d have to restart the whole machine because on OS X you can’t do much without the GUI (even if it is only to open terminals).

But it’s the Linux stuff he’s way off the mark on. The very nature of the way open source development happens means it will be more secure and more stable than Windows, irrespective of how many people use it. In fact, the more that do the more quickly any problems with it get ironed out. There’s a greater transparency whereas MS and Apple have a large tendency to hide any flaws and hope no one notices.

This is different to saying Linux is ideal for all purposes, but his reasons for not using it are false. I’d cite the incredible delays in driver arrival for graphics cards at top of my list of Linux problems, followed by lack of decent paint apps.


Just wondering how Aqsis compares to PRMan in that article. I know its free and open source and doesn’t have PRMan 11 standards. Does Aqsis use micropolygons, does it do good displacement mapping and how well does it handle SubDs and NURBs? Oh and how could I forget. How good is Aqsis’s motion blur?

If I asked this on the Aqsis forum I would get “Aqsis does x perfectly, y perfectly and oh…z perfectly” :wink: