Guilty Cravings.

Alright, I have to admit that I’ve been craving a high end 3D program. I love Blender, I do, and I can’t help but feel that it has been more of a stepping stone for me than an ending place. So, what I want to ask you all, is where should I start? I’m not going to abandon Blender, but I want something that can augment Blender. I’m debating between Maya 6 Ultimate and Lightwave 8. I’m a student, so the astronomical prices don’t hurt so much. ($700, v. $7000) What do you all think?

i felt the same way. I want to have a successful 3d venture, and that means possibly a career change. I decided to learn how to use max and maya, but after awhile, i leaned towards maya. it is so useful to be proficient in maya in the world of cg. im not leaving blender behind, just pushing it to the side.

as the title says “guilty cravings,” i know what you mean. at first, i felt bad disconnecting myself to blender, but now i realize how much good it did to me. With blender, i aquired a knowledge of 3d graphics in general. i had no idea how 3d graphics were made. it is a great program to pick up easily. if i had started with maya, it would have been disastrous.

maya has features like fluids, cloths, fantastic particles,etc. that blender wont have for a long time. it is a great program to advance your cg knowledge and quality. if you have questions, pm me or landis.

p.s. if you cant afford maya, it is an option to do you know what to get it.


Nothing to feel “guilty” about. You use the tool(s) that are right for a particular job. Just make sure that all of the license-fee costs can be passed through as cost-of-goods to some paying client.

Also have to remember that the student versions have the license where you can’t make money from your work in it :slight_smile:

But Maya is a great program (I hear lightwave is too, the general gist from what I’ve heard though, is that Maya is better).

You could always try and get an older version of a program (eg. Maya 4) and if that is working well for you, upgrade later to the newest version.

I’m on the same page…I’ve been looking into some ‘high end’ programs but I"m not a student so I can’t get the discount…But, with the newly priced XSI Foundations I think I can afford that! Either that or the core release of Cinema 4d 9 is temping also when that comes out. I do use Zbrush2 now and that was an excelent investment (thank you tax returns!) :slight_smile:


**One thing to NEVER do is to get software like this off ebay. I’ve just recently been screwed over buying Maya 5 complete which the sellers said was totally legit and not a copy…well, needless to say he sent me a burnt cd with cracking instructions. Oh boy! My fault though, got giddy when I saw it kind of the situation where you know it could be a fake but you just don’t know for certain… **

dont forget LW has one of the fastests built in renders :wink:

and also, LW speaks more to myself in general, I also was on this road…but since Blender became open source and not being a student, unemployed, a full pricetag is too much for me, so I do it now more as a hobby more than looking for jobs, have been and tried it, it is darn difficult…

I have studies in CG, but not as animation, but as in VR, but it was some years back and I regret it wasnt headed to animation, and VR wasnt for me…

but I think LW (or NewTek) has some very nice student policys…

LW’s gui are one of the best around in my sense :slight_smile:

Blender holds that title! :smiley:

Anyway, I feel the same way. I downloaded Maya5 PLE, but I haven’t really gotten a feel for it. Fortunatley, I’m only 13 without alot of money, so i’ll be with blender for the next 8 years or so!


I must admit that I’m leaning towards Maya 6 Unlimited. I suppose that if I’m going to cough up lots of money, I might as well go ahead and go for the gusto.

Alias Maya 6 Unlimited

Your Price: $ 679.98
(you save $6319.02)

Hot damn! Hard to turn down.

NewTek Lightwave 8
Your Price: $ 395.00
(you save $1200)

Still sweet, but…

I like C4D, but…eh. It is still growing.

I’ll keep y’all updated.

Maya is a bit hard to get used to, especially if you are switching from blender. but if you make the change, in the long run it will be worth it. i think of it as an investment in my cg life.


Depending on what you want…you really can use Blender if you’re
a stand-alone company and want to do 3d (eg. mascots/designs/visualisation/prototyping) etc

But if your goal is to work for Core/Rockstar/ILM/Pixar/insert-favourite-here…then you
probably should go with whatever tool they use.

However…using Maya/Max/XSI/Whatever…is not going to get you better
results as per say…you’d need “knowledge” to do that. And by knowledge
I mean such things as Material/Texture understanding…understanding how
things work and looks in real-life…and an understanding in how to transfer
these things to the world of 3d.

Take it from me… I’ve been using 3dstudio max for over 5-7 years,
but I now use Blender…and furthermore I deliver professional content
with “photorealistic” toon’s/visualisation to companies that pay me to
do so (I work in one now where I’ve already used blender to deliver several
mascot’s now in the print to hang around in warehouses everywhere
in Denmark). Belive me - they would not accept crappy quality on
their HUGE -wall- posters. Blender made the cut (and so did I…phew…for now).

Basically what I’m saying is: You’re not going to be more “pro” if
you use Maya/Max over Blender…it’s your fantasy/knowledge in how
to USE the TOOLS that will separate you from your competitors.
The client doesn’t care at all what tool you use (unless they’re all
using the same software in-house). They want results.

Just a FYI - but you can’t do that with Maya. I’ve checked. The license that comes with Maya is ONLY for the ORIGINAL purchaser. So that means that there is absolutely no way at all you can possibly by a used license. I mean you can pay for it and get the software - but to Alias it won’t mean jack and you won’t be able to upgrade. At least that is what Alias told me when I called and asked.

this should go in the recent xsi foundation thread but…

In my eager pursuit of certain character animation features, I finally downloaded xsi4 foundation trial…I am liking it a lot.

As my main interest is not rendering, but export to game engines, I have installed an x plugin there was for 3, but to my surprise, works in 4 foundation!!

Well, it has joint pinning. :wink:

It generates the joint pinning as tiny objects u can reposition. I had zero knowledge of XSI, and have dedicated exactly one afternoon and a half. This is what i already got :

  • I know now how to add primitives, import meshes, add bone chains to it (chains have by default an ik solver) . Adjust weights. (they have like max skin modifier , and maya, a weights table map, very handy) They have also weights painting.

-Used the autokeyfraiming thing, as I used it too in Anim8or, Character Fx, Blender, Max. (and in thois chronological order :wink: )

-learnt a bit more about their powerful constrains.

-Took me some sweating till I realized I could customize much better the UI than I though, letting interactive gizmos to yes, and doing my own keys setup (only of the most needed tools: c,v,b for rotation, moving, world rotating…p for joint pinning. )

-Exported a very basic biped (I prefered to make my own from scratch and not use a prebuilt one) as x v8 file. Opened succesfully in all of my viewers. Happily, plugin exports are not crippled in the 30 days demo. I saw the extension was *.addon, so supposed was going to be installed as “addon” and not plugin (in case someone is in same situation than I)

And I haven’t have a glance on documentation, help files, nothing… :slight_smile:

I am probaly going to purchase it, 495 $ is something I can afford.

Is a huge thing, very big thing. I have read in a review cheap cards does not get good performance, but who knows if that refers to same problem in Max…not very good performance in 3d cards which haven’t got a dedicated dirver for max, and that are like Quadro Pro and those.

It’s a quite very complex new world.

But is confirmed…I was unable to understand Blender many years ago. had to learn Max, and a zillion others, to find myself again in Blender (with a more “easy” ui years later) finding it even easy to learn.

the more package you use, the more skills and learning speed you get. Or that’s just what i think.

I’ll keep using Blender also, in any case.

The real payoff in using Blender is found in its production workflow. If you mess with Blender enough to get a personal Blender workflow going for yourself you will know what I mean. No one can set this up for you. You have to figure it out on your own. I’m feeling good about Harkymans NLA work and some other new projects in Blender. I have a feeling that character animation in Blender will be sweeter as of this year more than ever.

The folks that talk about Blender with uncertainty have not really gotten a grip on using it as much as they could. I mean if you don’t want to get that deep into Blender you “will” have to get deep into another 3d app anyway. But who will be willing to trade ideas on workflows and more like the Blender community?

No other 3d community has done this to date for a full featured app like Blender. Maybe it’s the spirit of competition, I don’t know. But if you really get into Blender you will always look at any other app as just another 3d app with features for this and that which are part of what makes up your 3d toolset. But Blender is all about community. Real live people working toward one goal of making software that will work great for them.

Other 3d software’s great and all, it’s just not Blender. With Blender you are a part of the software development and the development community. Amazing! You never have to wonder what is going to happen to your 3d app in the future, you know what will happen. And you can taste the future versions of Blender anytime that you want to.

Blender’s animation tools can take the direction of a workflow like Hash Animation Master, Maya or XSI who knows. Or we can get some test bed 3d code that is only a theory that gets coded into something revolutionary for 3d software. That’s open source for you.

Blend on!

So true, I couldn’t have explained that better myself.


I’m aware that blender is a lovely program, and I’m aware of its benefits. There are some great things about it. I’ve learned fairly quickly with Blender.

The fact is that blender has limitations. Other 3D programs have features and tools that blender will not have for a long time. I know that many of you don’t believe that, or don’t believe that it matters, but for me, it does. I love blender. I don’t plan to abandon it. I do plan to upgrade.

I have get in depth -for years- not only into one, but several 3d softwares. Is not that I am avoiding the extra work. I love the effort as much as I like to have the fewer limits possible imposed by the software.

About the comunity thing… of course is cool. I also have been into mods, and doing indy games. And yep, that feeling cool too. I’m a bit more “on my own” now, anyway. Maybe a bit old, also :wink:

And that feeling of being part of development…well, I wont mention the names, but I have helped 4, 3 small packages, and several features were suggestions from mine -quite proud of my part in it- which were polished though many emails and mockups I made. and sent. Unable to do that if I hadn’t used already many different packages. And as in most of the cases was the only one, or the one really putting effort into it, my sugestions were very often implemented.

Yep, it’s true that when you move to a new tool, if has better solutions for what you want, you end ups stopping using it and use the newer…That happened till som eextent to me when moving from Metasequoia LE to Wings3d, and when moving from that ye olde Uvmapper Classic and moved to Lithunwrap, and later to Ultimate Unwrap. Or when switched my animating from Anim8r to character Fx, and then to Max/cs. Is not only good to do so, is also very fun. I like to learn , and I’m in the point I know what workflows I need and want. I’ve done this for a gamejob, maybe that made me very practical .

Using two or 20 tools in a project is not an scene, even if you are a Blender user.

I have enjoyed like a little kid with Character Studio 4.1 while at the company…my inminent purchase of xsi foundation is as I miss certain features and kind of workflows. But I hope to do renders with Blender, too. :slight_smile:

BTW, the xsi package, I tested the demo, is really impressive. And as I said, just got the deal of stuff I need in two afternoons,(way similar to most packages out there, that’s why) and I don’t know, for an artist, is a pleasure to have a very accurate flavour of such a film quality package… And I did not have any problems with Blender. I miss/missed some character animation features, that’s all.

I’d recommend to test the demo…

Yet, I know, most of you don’t need any of the xsi features, and will actually do extremely well with Blender.

Indeed, I am character animation freak, I suppose I carry too far that, but hey…

i dont like that kind of discussions, but…
as been said, if you want to work for a games company or whatever, it will be good for you to learn the software they use. but if you want to just make some freelancer works, any software can do it (if you want). i worked with blender, then i got a huge project that will use max. learned how to use the tools i will need in max in one week, and finished the work. then blender crashed on my mac, and i switched to lightwave. got a lot of cool stuff, but after a few time i got back to blender. the only stuff i can really say is: you cant talk that blender cant do a thing. i see that lots of people (specially from others forums) see some cool renders done in blender and say wow! blender can do this?? or “lets everybody congratulate him, cos he maked it in blender”. the people actually dont know the power of the software. i used two major softwares for some time, and actually i dont lost him for nothing. i also got a partner who uses 3dmax, and i make renders for him in blender sometimes, cos he dont get the time but he knows it will look fine at the end…

Amen. The point here is that if you are serious about 3D then it is imperative that you are able to move from one application to another and still perform. This is something that I really havent seen covered in the thread so I thought I’d jump up on the soap box for a bit.

I myself was forced to learn Maya just so that I could go to school and I must say that I am very happy about it. See, even if I had started out in Maya I STILL would have tried Blender, however, most people will only go so far into a challenge before pulling back which is understandable…there were times while learning Maya that I wanted to go into Blender and knock it out just to get it over with but I knew that was a childish way of looking at it. I actually had to remove Blender from my hard drive for a while so that I wasnt tempted to fire it up!

In short, it is a very healthy habit to try other apps once in a while. You dont have to master them, just poke around and see how they approach similar problems because if you do decide to do this for a living then a company is going to expect you to be able to be flexible, and to show them that you have already taken the initiative to learn on your own is a good thing. I will say this before I go, Maya takes a while to get the results that you can get with Blender and this will become very frustrating, but never stop trying…once you get the ball rolling its on! Think of it as learning to fly a fighter jet as opposed to flying a less advanced figther aircraft…there might be a few more controls to thumb through here and there but once those controls are mastered you discover that you yourself have become a very powerful weapon. Both have a steep learning curve but with one you have an advantage over the enemy. Keep in mind that most of the things Maya has to offer over Blender are quite advanced concepts that assume you have already mastered the basics of 3D. Now, if you dont push yourself to learn those complex ideas than you are not fully utilizing the application (and your own mind for that matter). Remember, always put yourself in the position to where you have the advantage. There are hundreds of artists out there trying just as hard as you are if not harder so you have to use anything in your power to push your work to the next level. You show the employer that you can not only out perform others but you can do so using any application available to you.

Good luck bud…your on the right track. Give me a hollar if you need any help.


most 3D packages have the same basic capabilities at their core, with some having more features for modelling, others with more features for character animation, and yet others with more features for rendering.

but given that one has all of the features needed to do the work at hand, we should all be using software that fits our personal workflow(s) the best.

in the end, we will all ultimately use whatever software suits us, so we can only hope to make informed decisions regarding these software choices. blender users are passionate, and i would be the first one in line wanting to see this great software taken more seriously by the CG community as a whole. It certainly deserves it.

However, in the end, these are still only 3d programs we’re talking about, not life and death, and as someone on another forum so eloquently put it:

software is not a religion