Blender vs Commercial products

I always wanted to know whay is blender free and yet so good and when maya adm 3ds max cost soo much.
As a student i get maya and 3ds max and many more for free and a 3 years licece.
what do you think about blender vs commercial products like cinema 4d

This question has been posted here so many times …
but yeah, if you want my advice, get the license, try it, work with them, and see for yourself what you like better, nothing is as personal as the artists choice of tools. Most packages have their good and bad things, you might want to mix them together to get best of all worlds.

I tried 3dsmax a long time ago, couldn’t get my head around the interface, guess I was too hard wired for blender already :stuck_out_tongue:
But since I don’t have really any comparison material I would say just try them, in the end you can only benefit from knowing more packages, and the underlying ideas don’t really change regardless of the package used.

Thread moved to ‘Off topic’. This is one of those subjects which has been covered many times so I’d suggest a forum search.


  • your 3 year student licenses forbid commercial usage, blender doesn´t.

use the tools that get the job done, learn their strenghts and weaknesses and use them accordingly. If you need to get a nail into wood you´ll not use a saw unless it is the only tool you know. If you need to build a birdhouse and only know a hammer you´ll maybe somehow finish it, but the result will not be desireable and it will be a stony long road.

The reasons Maya and 3DS Max are so expensive is that the end user is paying for the man hours put into writing the program and of course, the massive profit margin that Autodesk wants.

Blender is free because the programmers and developers who work on it do the work for free – programming man hours. There is no profit margin for Blender.

Blender is comparable to any commercial product out there. It’s a matter of preference.

so behind blender and auto desk, are there the same man hours behind the development?
If blender was commercial what should it cost when looking at maya or 3ds. Not looking at the support just the program?
btw I looked this comparison up and the latest i could find was 2007 and well blender has improved.

i think blender is developed mainly by students of universities and some devs (who aren’t student) who like to work on it for fun.

If blender was commercial what should it cost when looking at maya or 3ds. Not looking at the support just the program?

well indirectly you made a comparison between blender and 3dsmax/maya again. blender is really far more much what you can get in just one software package. as u can see u dont have any sculpting tool in 3ds max and it comes with a video sequencer which i dont think 3ds max comes with. also for people like me 3ds max and other softwares is a luxury because thats darn costly (about 0.1 million for a single user license in my countries currency). so i dont want to sell a kidney or both of them to be able to buy a software.
blender is always improving 2.5x series are just awesome.
i’ll recommend you to try out which software suits you (and ofcourse what you can buy) and try learning that.
its actually a misconception in people that free are things are free because they arent cool. blender, sculptris and linux are clear examples.
blender doesnt actually have any presets like those in 3ds max you have “arch and design materials” in 3ds max. so noobs find it really cool to just click few buttons and get the beautiful render. but in actual practice its impossible to have all the materials and things you want as presets. so that means you have to do a lil practise understanding how stuff works and how to get the desired effect.

OK thats all. hope it helps.
happy blending

you are right. I hate presets its way better to learn how to do something and how it works on your own.


because Blender is open source and free 3D interested programmers can join the team
and practice their coding skill either for fun, or also to build up their reputation when they
want to work for somebody at one point.

It is only so good because it is also the only program out there which is well managed and
has a large user and developer base.

But while Blender does a lot - other applications can do certain things Blender cannot.
So it is not that Blender is equal to the commercial products, and most users claiming the
opposite either do not know what they are talking about, judge the situation this way because
Blender fits their needs and set that equal to a pro system.

There were many heavy debates about this.

The easiest way to figure this out is what do you need for the job and what tool could do it.
If you want to model for iPhone games, well Maya is great but Blender can certainly fill this
requirement. But this is not equal the requirement for a feature film production.

Besides software abilities, also the integration into the Pipeline and usable help and support
is another major important aspect to make the decision for or against a software.

At the end I would rate Blender as a perfect mid-level 3D suite. It offers quite many aspects
from modeling to good animation tools and a set of really decent fluid fur and particle systems.

When it comes to rendering or high resolution 3D sculpting how ever it falls behind, in the area
of rendering dramatically when more then toon or basic rendering is required.

So it all really depends on what you need.

I would say there are less man hours behind the development of Blender, only because Blender doesn’t have the size of team that is working on Maya and Max. I believe the team behind Blender is less than 50 people while Maya itself has a team of over 1,000 people working on it and that’s not including all the people working on plug-ins and other compatible applications (the last I heard, Maya had a core team of around 250 people – they are the ones most directly responsible for its development).

If Blender was commercial it could cost anywhere from $900 to $6,000 dollars. Again it would depend on how much of the programming costs the developers of Blender would want to pass along to the end user and what they want the profit margin to be.

Development dollars you can get a guesstimate from Ohloh

which says 55 million if we were to hire dirt cheap C programmers (C programmer salarys are more like 100k) so a realistic cost would be 100 million dollars worth of development.

Step back and look at the entire computer-software industry as it stands today. On the one hand, there are the established commercial vendors (and the phalanx of commercial customers who buy their wares and who pay for support and so-on …), and, alongside them, there is an equally viable community of “open source.” Far from being mutually-exclusive, and far from being competitors, these two distinct business models have each found their own successful path.

IBM pours millions of dollars a year into open-source projects, and of course reaps the benefit of “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Oracle, Microsoft, and many other companies do the same. Why? Because it’s a great big world out there. You might not be able to anticipate just where and how those seeds will sprout, but … sprout they will.

If you are a motion-picture studio with half a dozen projects underway (each of which has a project life-cycle of half a dozen years apiece), you probably want to buy product from a commercial software vendor (whom, you well know, you can completely boss around). You need to have a traditional customer/vendor relationship and binding legal contracts.

But the world of computer graphics is vastly larger than this, and let’s face it, an entire generation of digital artists are mastering Blender and succeeding with it. Is that “a worthy thing?” You bet it is!! Is that “worthy thing” mutually-exclusive with the for-revenue business model? Absolutely not.

So… the only fallacy of your post, and an innocent one to be sure, is: “versus.”

I can’t see myself using anything other than Blender for modeling in the near future… everything else however… Blender kind of lags behind, especially in dynamics. Over the past week I’ve really gotten into the dynamics system of Maya (namely, the fluid solver!) and it just beats the hell out of Blender… which is free… so pretty much you’re choosing between your money and features, you can’t have both.

That was the point of my comment.

Many set particles in blender equal to particles in pro programs.
And I cannot help as those who make those comments seriously
never really worked with the professional systems on a deep level.

There is a lot of half wisdom you can find here sometimes.

While I must say modeling in Blender is great but also the modeler
lacks some serious functions. Modo in that respect is quite powerful.

But with the advent of 2.5 and scripting tools this gab can be closed.

I have noticed that often Blender will break in a new feature that wows the community (like unwrapping or fluids) that are then developed further by commercial interests. So Blender then languishes with alpha versions of a feature set.

i dont think 3ds max comes with a video sequencer
max does have something called video post but it’s totally retarded !!!

If blender was commercial what should it cost when looking at maya or 3ds. Not looking at the support just the program?
i think it depends on the trade mark at most, xsi was sold for about 600$, but when autodesk bought it it’s price jumped to 4K$, and don’t think as buying the main software it will be the end of it, you WILL need the 1m$ blugs with it :slight_smile:

so pretty much you’re choosing between your money and features, you can’t have both.
instead of spending your money on the feature you want, you can fund a development of it in blender, and the community will share the coast’s.

and IMHO blender will top 3d software in about two years. and what it lacks now most of it are either in a GSoC branches, or being bounty funded to be developed.

an opinion from someone WHO started & worked with max a lot, and learned XSI more than max, and a mid level maya’n

I love the interface of blender

I would say cekuhnen has the most experience to answer this question, and I agree with his assessment. I have to say though, that recently I have ventured into the world of commercial software, and ran scrambling back to my Blender. If Blender were priced exactly the same as Max or Maya, and I had to choose just one to pay for, I’d buy Blender. I’m sure Max and Maya users would choose their familiar packages as well. Being just a two man studio, Blender is the right fit for us. I’m sure if we needed to make Avatar 2, we would use Maya. But I would hate using it.

For the past two years I used Blender because of necessity (financial reasons). Now that I have the funds and have purchased some commercial packages, I want my money back. :slight_smile:

agreed. maya has some really cool dynamics. but for hobbyists and students like me i think blender is best. because it covers all aspects of CG. U can learn modeling, texturing , rendering ,composting all in blender and then you wouldn’t have trouble getting other softwares work. i tried using 3ds max for a while before i switched over to blender and then tried that again and found that i understood the tools lot better after using blender. (although i just dont use 3ds max anymore ;)). its a matter of preference and convenience and yeah dont forget the bucks. (i cant still buy any software :stuck_out_tongue: lolz)

is this the first one someone brings up this topic in this month? i’m shocked

the search button doesn’t bite. Here’s the tl;dr version:

blender is a very powerful and capable package. anyway, it’s your choice and your budget. go look for video tutorials. try the programs and choose.

edit - opinion: If you really don’t want blender and can’t afford some of the major packages, go for Modo. imo the best commercial program for the price