Cinema 4D vs. Blender vs. Lightwave

I am in the enviable but difficult position of having to choose a 3D tool to do Motion Design for me and my colleagues. This is a new group we gave just formed. One is a Lightwave fan, one is a C4D fan and one is a Blender fan (me). I want us all to use the same tool so we can exchange files.

I just dont know whether there is enough difference between the three to say one is clearly better than others. Lightwave has been around and has lots of fans, and C4D seems to be one of the primary choices for Motion Design studios.

But I love Blender and feel it can do it all.

Does anyone have an opinion or experience? Thanks!

I am not familiar with the products but I suggest each person to let go of any bias and to find what one will work the most efficient and best for what you guys need it for. The only way to do that is make a test product you need to make and do it in each one and see the time it took and how complex it was that type of thing.

Are you not actually going to discuss this with your colleagues. If you have people who use as least one of those you list wouldn’t this be the sensible thing to do, to discuss what they believe are the pros/cons of each in your particular field of work. You’ll then be getting a view from someone you know rather than some random stranger on a forum.

Yes we are having an active discussion about it. I am just trying to get some perspective so we can make the best decision.

The way I see it is, either way, someone has to learn a new interface, which in my opinion is not fun, especially when you are very familiar with another one.

I wish that Blender had more credibility in the Motion Design community. No matter how many people say it is as good as anything else (better, even) there is this hesitation that I see on people’s faces because they are afraid of using a tool that people in motion design studios will look down on. If you use C4D you have instant credibility, but people are suspicious of Blender because it is free. I think that people cannot believe it is really that good.

Download the trial version of c4d and lightwave. Try each for two weeks to see which one feels better. You don’t have to use one app exclusively. You could use blender for compositing.

Not that hard. BUild up an exercice that would represent a typical future scenario for your team. Then, since you’re only 3, each one show what could be the workflow using his favourite software. Each one explains why this tool or this software organisation is efficient for this task and what could be better.
You’ll end up with a list of pros and cons related to your future work and if one software stands up in front of the others, you might all agree to use it since you all saw the same demo from each others.
Don’t try to stick to blender at all cost, use the best tool for your work, that’s all. And if you can convince your team to think ine the same way, you could decide quickly what the best option is.
And yes, blender is seen like a toy by many professionals even if it’s not true at all, it’s up to you to contribute the the effort of changing people’s mind.

I guess you are all independently wealthy as well, right…?

3 C4D licenses with all the Blender features will run you $11,085 for one year. (you still don’t get any fluid with that). This assumes you need three copies and are not going to buy one and share/steal 3 licenses (which is a violation and commonly done at many boutiques I have visited).

If you do choose C4D you will want to get the Studio version. Anything below Studio does not even have all the features that Blender has.

There are nice features in C4D for working with After Effects. You get full camera matching between apps. You also get the RPF file format which works with all the 3D effects that come with After Effects. Blender can not and probably never will generate RPF files. I doubt lightwave does either (but I don’t know).

Also you get Mograph which is unique and HOT. I have written several AddOns to emulate mograph functionality in Blender, but it always falls short of the real thing.

One thing you get with either Lightwave or C4D is a stable API. Blender does not have a stable API and probably never will. So even if you manage to write a script that turns your guitar into a UFO there is no guarantee that it will work with the next version of Blender. This can be quite disappointing if anyone in your group has scripting talents.

So even if you manage to write a script that turns your guitar into a UFO there is no guarantee that it will work with the next version of Blender. This can be quite disappointing if anyone in your group has scripting talents.
but you can migrate it easily still.

Saying something is easy does not necessarily make it so.
i don’t want to discuss this here in this thread but as it is out off topic, BUT:
i didn’t knew python before blender and i recreated a simple script which had been broken many times and the fix was always one or two lines, i don’t know about yours!

The python API is a lot more stable now than in 2.5 times.
If you can make a nicely coded script, it shouldn’t be that hard to debug if some small parts of the API change in a new version.