Blender or other softwares?

All the Blender users out there, has anyone tried using other softwares such as Maya, Zbrush, 3Ds Max, Mudbox? Do they all work the same or do some have specifically more and better features? Would you recommend those softwares or Blender? Tell us what you think here.

I have used all of those, though mostly Modo, Maya and Zbrush. Zbrush and Mudbox cover the areas of sculpting, texture painting, retopology and some baking. So they are more specialty applications that enhance a pipeline rather than contain it.

If we go into specifics, it might start sounding like a vs thread, and right now thats not allowed in these forums. To keep it simple, for general purpose stuff, they can achieve the same goals or rather hit on parts of the pipeline than an artist will need, whether they do a good job at it or offer much needed features within that pipeline is another issue altogether.

I would recommend you experience one or two in order to find what works best with you and also so you can have a more well rounded experience. If your goal is to train up some skills for employment, its recommended you learn software that is more widely used in a studio setting. Generally Maya takes the cake with that one. Also know what industries you are interested in, some are better suited than others. If you want a one app solution for everything, Modo, 3ds max and Blender can cover all parts of the pipeline. I believe 3ds max has a third party plugin that allows painting and sculpting. I would avoid using 3ds max though because quite frankly, relying on it is going to set you up for disappointment, especially if Autodesk chokes it to death in the hopes of generating more maya users.

Modo, isnt as well suited for game art, yet, but is every popular for product design and general purpose modeling. Its got the best modeler on the market in my opinion. Sculpting, painting, dynamics, rendering… it does a bit of everything. Its not as widely used in a professional environment yet so thats something to consider, better suited for freelancers and smaller studios at this point in time.

My advice again is to try and find out how you want to use the software (goals) and if its associated with working for a studio. Also consider if you want to build up on conventional habits. Blender is free to use, so theres no reason to not have it on the side but if you can afford it, I would generally look at some of the alternatives like Modo for a general purpose app, and Zbrush is a must for sculpting.

Ah I get it like some softwares are better for sculpting while others are better in animation. And no haha this is simply just for comparison :stuck_out_tongue: Anyways, what would you say if I am interested in the gaming industry? I guess not Maya and stuff because the sculpting makes too much details right? As for now, I would like to stick with Blender because I’m still a beginner. Just asking this for future references :slight_smile:

If its an actual gaming job you are looking at… Maya is actually the number 1 application you should learn, at least at first. Sculpting applications like zbrush and mudbox are really there to empower the artist using a general purpose 3d package, not really replace them… I mean its possible (sculpt, retopo, texture and bake) for props and stuff inside of the sculpting applications, but for the most part they exist to be part of the general 3d pipeline.

Blender is tough because at the very least you have to know that whatever habits you are learning now, you will have to break them later. If possible, try to work with a Maya keymap at least so you can build up some shared habits… but few applications outside of 3ds max and Blender rely on a modifier stack. What you can do, is find the kind of studio you would love to work at…find out what software they use and what kind of art they make, then dedicate yourself to that starting off.

Well for now you should focus on learning the basics in Blender before shelling out money on software. Modeling, sculpting, UV-unwrapping, etc is generally pretty much the same throughout all 3D software packages. If you can grasp the concepts in Blender you can also do it in Max/Maya/Modo/etc

Then after you have learned more about 3D you can start going into the specifics of what software you should use. They all have their different strengths and weak points and you should choose based on your own specific needs once you know what those are :slight_smile:

hey im actually interested in this aswell,

I want to get into archviz and all im seeing is 3DS Max and vray?
do reckon i should give up blender for 3DS Max?

I know blender so well :frowning:

I’m no master at archviz by any means, but from what I picked up… any software can “technically” do it, though its often bundled with specific renders. The problem on the blender front is the lack of precision with its snapping, grid and component snapping as well. Its modifier stack can help with some stuff, but it doesnt seem ideal. This is just my opinion though, I would certainly recommend asking it in a few CG forums to get a more well rounded answer.

Just to help illustrate the level of difference between Blender and say something like Lightwave for this particular task, check this out:

Modo+Maxwell renderer:
Modo mARCH toolkit:
Snapping 801:

Blender can still pump out some good looking examples, but the lack of some features and pipeline elements might hurt ya.

Thats not to say theres no one trying…

Max is certainly at the top of its game in terms of use and what clients probably expect, but its not really the only option…its a good one, but you shouldnt feel as if your hands are tied depending on expectation. Dont be afraid to mix and match software to get to get the best results, even if it means starting sketchup or a cad application for starters.

Or simply use Blender with vray, if it’s “just” the rendering quality that’s bothering you.

Thanks for sharing that very insightful post! (especially that video! WOW)

Did you say that was lightbox???

And agreed, i am 100% looking at a new renderer (for my first time) and the idustry standerds are showing vray?
Corona was suggested to me, mentalray and lux render im aware of…

i just want to learn what will make my life and career paths easier?
using 3DS Max + vray or blender + corona or what?

with the LWCAD plugin

Interestingly enough, a large chunk of their engineering team left to found Modo. If the LWCAD plugin was in Modo I would have recommended that over the mARCH plugin. Lightwave just got off their oddly long uber sale which had it being only $995 for a full license. Its back up to $1499 but I have no doubt it will go back down again…probably to coincide with Modo’s usual christmas sale.

i just want to learn what will make my life and career paths easier?
using 3DS Max + vray or blender + corona or what?

The only way to figure that out is to sample some other software. Risk of putting effort into new stuff can often come with the reward of finding something better, otherwise staying in your comfort zone will be the immediate “easier” path, not necessarily the long term one.

What exactly is the career you aspire?

Work for a studio that does ArchViz? Then you will have to know the tools they use, which will most likely not be Blender.
Or do the freelance thing and bit by bit establish your own ArchViz studio? Then it’s pretty much up to you what tools you use, as long as the output can hold professional standards and you can establish a stable data import pipeline for your customers’ data.

Well i was kind of too loyal to blender before and ignored any other program,

so what list of things should i try and why?
lightwave + LWCAD looks absolutely kickass :smiley:


  1. lightwave + LWCAD – because it has some awesome modeling features and is quick when you render
  2. Blender? + vray? corona? lux? mental? – because i know blender already?
  3. 3DS Max – cause thats whats expected of me :stuck_out_tongue:
  4. The list goes on :slight_smile:

well im 17, and this is the only thing i love to do other than airsoft and make fire :stuck_out_tongue:

Now i REALLY prefer hard surface modelling over organics, and i definitely have alot more passion to do Architecture than almost any other type of hard modeling.
PLUS ArchViz is probably the most in-demand hard surface modelling job out there.

im currently under-going an apprenticeship though so that means i am eligible for the $200 version :slight_smile:

and to answer the question about the studio or freelance option, i definitely want to experience what a studio is like, and if i feel like going solo is the best option i will.
But first i have to learn the trades ins and outs :slight_smile:

That pretty much answers your question, doesn’t it? Learning the trade will mean learning the tools of the trade. So, crack on doing research what software ArchViz studios in your area use…

I actually switched from 3ds max to blender, because it’s faster for modelling. I don’t see any problems with precision (I usually work with imported 2d drawings from CAD), so it’s just a matter of snapping. 3ds max on the other hand has many plugins that make your life easier.
And finally there’s the question of ready-made models, which is unfortunately mostly 3ds max+vray domain.
If you’re looking at renderers then skip MR, which has a terribly outdated GI and the development is slow. I’d recommend Vray or Corona or if you want to use GPU then Octane is used a lot for archviz, but cycles can do pretty good too.

so lightwave + LWCAD or Blender + Octane?
(i have a gtx titan so to not harness that would be silly :stuck_out_tongue: )

bearing in mind all the studios near me are using 3DS Max + Vray?

Actually it just doesn’t matter… all of the above are extremely viable software packages…

there is no magic bullet…

archvis is dominated by studios using max and vray as you point out… so learning them will allow you to “fit in”… but you can alwasy transfer skills.

If you like blender try blender with vray… or blender and yafaray for a free solution.
but at the end of the day you will get best results fastest by using tools you are most comfortable with.

You can burn a lot of time and effort for very little gain searching for teh magic bullet, learning how to do the same thing in loads of different packages… often you might better spend that time actually doing projects …

Having said that I’ve had a long career and over the years have used max, maya, lightwave, modo, zbrush, mudbox, and blender
honestly any of teh generalist packages are fine for modelling.

i don’t always follow my own advice and have spent a lot of time the last few years @playing@ with renderers… i learned a lot but don’t have as much to show for it as i might had i just done projects…

when it comes to rendering for archvis…

Vray would be a great choice, yafaray too…
cycles is great but slow for interiors… but the material system alone makes it such a go to…
renderman/3delight are great and could work for archivis but they aren’t really for that…

BI is workable but harder to achieve realistic results as you onnly have approximate AO for global illumination

so in brief… just see what you can do with blender and cycles or yafaray… it costs nothing and you already know how to use it.

if you want to do a halfway house buy vray for blender… only one thing to learn and if you ever do get an in house job you’ll know how vray works…

or just jump in and learn what most archvis places use (max/vray)

okay, i think after all these comments ive made up my mind :slight_smile:

keep an open mind and one day experiment with that awesome plugin for lightwave!!!
but for now, play with blender and yafaray, and sometime in the not TOO distant future, get Vray and have a play :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the help guys!