Blender vs. Bryce 5.5 vs. Maya vs. Lightwave vs. 3D Max

So which one’s the best/most powerful? I’m sure comparing Blender to commercial software isn’t popular, and I’m not interested in starting a flame war. I love Blender; my heart goes out to Ton for him not being able to succeed in his business. (Which I believe is how Blender originally became open sourced; by Neogeo/NaN going bankrupt?) This is simply for discussion purposes; I’m looking into purchasing Bryce 5.5, only because its so cheap, which I’ve heard is because it’s on sale now. (Boxed version=$109 or something; that’s my price limits :P.) I’m so new to all this; heck, I can’t even draw, I need to get some books on that. And since I’m so new, I really don’t know the difference bewteen all this stuff, except that Maya, Lightwave, and 3DS Max are the big commercial competitors. But I have vision and desire. That should more than make up for my lack of talent.

Just wanting to know, again, not trying to start a flame war.

Thanks, LC

If you search “blender maya comparison” in the Elysiun search you’ll find quite a few threads comparing Blender with Maya and other high end software. What it comes down to is that Blender is very competetive, but there are some areas where the high end proprietary packages are ahead.

As for Ton not being successful, well, considering the fan base he’s got among the Blender crowd, and the way the Blender Foundation seems to going, I think he’s doing pretty well. In any case, doing the equivalent of going on a Linux newsgroup and expressing pity for Linus Torvalds then saying “I don’t want to start a flame war” is a good way to make yourself look like a troll. Fortunately, this forum is very well moderated and it’s not likely that there will be a flame war.

I think you should probably save your 100 dollars and download Blender and see for yourself whether it does what you need. Maya also has an option to download for free for personal learning use, by the way, although I don’t think it’s as well supported with freely available tutorials and manuals, which make Blender an excellent option for self-study. Looking at these free options is the sensible way to get your feet wet in 3D modeling and animation.

My advice to you is get Blender first
and save your money.
And check out Wings3D.

Also check out all the limited or demo
versions of the apps you are interested in.

I’m not sure if Bryce has a demo
but if they do then get that and
check it out to see if it’s really
what you want.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to “Troll”, and I was referring to Ton’s business before Blender went open source.

I already have Blender; the latest and greatest version…;), and I’m not sure how expressing pity could lead to a flamewar…?)

Going to an art school, I’ve used 3DS Max and Maya. I’ve also used Blender at home or when I feel like logging into Linux in the computer arts building and messing around a bit :slight_smile:

I can tell you that there are some features that are good about all packages and some features that are not so good. Maya, in my opinion, has the best NURBs support of the three packages and dominates the market. However, it also has the highest cost of all three. And I don’t like it’s UV tools, although I’ve heard they’ve changed in version 7. Also, a lot of the functions don’t have default hot keys, you have to make them yourself or otherwise keep going back to the Hot Box menu. It’s a hassle if you want to view some scenes from an orthogonal view that’s not Front, back, side, top, or bottom. This is something that both 3DS Max and Blender let you do, but not Maya.

3DS Max has a less cluttered interface of the three. It’s cheaper than Maya, but still expensive. The general consensus in the Maya V. 3DS Max debate is that some tools are easier to use, but not quite as powerful as they are in Maya. It’s UVing tools are more varied and easier to utilize. However, it took them 8 versions to finally figure out that they need to have native support for exporting UVs! I’m not sure why it took them so long to implement it.

Blender is (obviously) free. I think the biggest factor that makes people over look Blender is that it is free-- it’s the idea that you pay for what you get. A lot people have the notion that if something is free, it’s not as good as the product you have to plop down money for (this goes for things outside of software too! Ever been offered a free car?). The other factor is that some people are scared by its interface. It definitely takes some time to get used to. I do like Blender’s modelling, Sub Surface options, and UVing tools. Personally, I’d like to be able to define my own hot keys without physically changing the source code, but that’s just me :slight_smile:

Overall, no matter what package you use, you will find that they are all awesome in some ways and lacking in others. It’s a matter of which one you’re willing to put up with and if you can afford it. I encourage you to try the trial versions of as many packages as you can. Don’t plop down money yet until you are sure that you are comfortable with the software.

save your money for buy 2.4 manual and Orange DVD :wink:
Blender + workhard > Maya + 3dsmax + Lightwave + Bryce :smiley:

Bryce is a grood program. but it has limited modeling and animation tools. It was created to produce realistic landscapes. You can quickly produce a nice landscape scene. If you are primariy interested in mountains, water, trees then it is worth the $109. I’ve had Bryce since version 3.0 and currently have 5.0. Rarely use it but have done a couple of nice images with it.

blenders new unwrapper is indeed more powerfull also maya doesnt have this feature. but thats actually everyting in which blender beats maya at the moment. i work everyday with maya and blender

Stick to blender, anything you can model in bryxe, you can model in blender, only difference is blender has a better user intererface. Most 3D packages have basically the same modeling tools, including blender. And I am sure at this point you will not be able to flex the limits of both softwares.

The only package worth getting taht is actually innovative is Zbrush, its a totally different type of modeling, and is mean to be used in conjunction with a 3d app.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to “Troll”, and I was referring to Ton’s business before Blender went open source.
I already have Blender; the latest and greatest version…;), and I’m not sure how expressing pity could lead to a flamewar…?)

Hmm … isn’t this ‘flame-bait’ ? It seems to be to me . Anyway , prop’s to this forum for not doing the typical ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to querries of this sort . I could make a few obvious comments … but choose to disregard/ignore .

From what I can gather , Blender is not out to compete with Bryce or Max/LW/Maya etc . I kind’a get the feeling Blender is in a different league , not better or lesser , just a different mind set .

Anyway , good luck to those that are tying to find the 3D application that will set them free .


I would have to disagree. It’s almost exactly on the same track as these other programs. The modeling is the same only different interface. Same basic Materials, even the same type of procedural. Similar basic animation systems (IPO, Keys, Armatures,Lattice).

Now the onlt “3D” app that I can think of that is a different mind set is Zbrush.

You can easily translate a tutorial over from max, maya, bryce, over to blender and it would work all the same. Blnder fits right in with Universal tutorials for 3D apps.

I’d say Blender > Work > Blender+Maya+(why Max?) >Maya + Blender > Maya + Blender > Blender + Maya > Blender + Maya > Blender.

If i remember right it doesnt have any modeling tools… All you can put there are: cone, sphere, cube and maybe a few other primitives. :slight_smile:

On the other hand it has a nice (but slow) rendering engine, and good materials come in the package.

You should try Bryce. Blender is a good modeler–but Bryce is a great raytracer/landscape…thing. I’m a Bryce nut/fan, I think it’s worth owning and that you can make some good looking pictures in Bryce.

Especially if you export from Blender into Bryce, then you are god. :stuck_out_tongue:


You obviously put some thought into that. :smiley:

Erk, I should probably say something constructive.

Every program has it’s goods and bads. Some are more expensive (or less).
Some have a nice UI. Some have excellent tools (better than the “others”). Some have things that are way better than others, it’s all personal opinion. And it depends on what you want to model as well. I only have some experience with max, but if I remember correctly, I didn’t like the UI and it was more of a technical designer. Well, it does come from AutoDesk so what do you expect?

Anyway, that’s just my $.03 (yes 3).

blender and maya have same approach but are used in two different market areas. there where blender hits its limits maya just starts.

if you get excited about teh fluid in blender maybe you should check out waht is possible with mayas particle dynamics or fluids.

seriously at the moment i see blender being able to take over jobs in which maya is not needed. that starts with cartoon rendering, illustrations, and other small jobs. but everything with heavy special fx and heavy workload of rendering i would say blender cannot do it.

quite often the modeling is mentioned. thats right in modeling (poly) blender might be faster more intuitive, so is wings3d, but in maya the models are often than put together and animated. i only model in maya when i need nurbs and trim surfaces.

but beside modeling the material system and particle system in blender is by far not able to even compet with maya at all. through mental ray you have a render engine you can only dream about here. well true maya also has some proceduals but when you are serious about it you code those nodes on your own and integrate them into the shader tree system.

well also in studios you have modelers, animators, coders, and the texture gurus.

in this field i cannot see blender to get ground soon. BUT thats a different situation with game design. i think in this field blender can and ahs the potential to run and get market share. with an integarted game engine i dont know how far that is able to be used for game design, but like for us here at BG we will teach blender for game design, virtual environment, and export the files to blitz3d which is the app in wich the students programm the games like 1.person shooters. for that blender not only comes with the modeling tools and shading tools needed for game design but also comes with a physics engine to quickly test some scenes before everything is brought into blitz3d. that is for us the main reason, next to promote opensource, why we want to integrate blender here.

for feature film, maya still dominates.

I say Blender > Zbrush > Photoshop > Blender + Zbrush + Photoshop > Blender + Zbrush + Photoshop > Blender + Zbrush + Photoshop > Blender + Zbrush + Photoshop > Blender + Zbrush + Photoshop > Blender