How diffrent is blender from 3ds Max?

Reason I’m asking is because I don’t want to get really into blender and then when I move onto the big modeling program (3ds max) I have to start all over again because it’s completley diffrent from blender. So for those who have tried both, how diffrent is 3ds Max?

Well, 3DS Max–as of now–has a couple legs up in the feature department, but Blender is pulling up pretty fast.

Interface-wise, Blender’s interface is totally different from 3DS Max, but that’s OK, because if you ever get into a software company they’ll probably switch you between 3DS Max, Lightwave, Maya, and other software–sometimes even proprietary stuff–so it isn’t like you’ll have to be settled with any particular interface anyway.

I move onto the big modeling program (3ds max)
As BlackBoe implied, it’s not really accurate to refer to Max as “the” big modeling program. There are several industry standard 3D applications that cover broadly similar areas of functionality to Blender. The biggest names are Maya, Lightwave, 3DSMax, XSI and Houdini. These range in cost and functionality. The best way to become a good candidate for employment in the industry is to have very good general skills (modeling, animation, etc) and a decent command and familiarity with as many interfaces as you can. Blender is a perfectly good way to build up your general skills, to learn the principles, and to create demonstration work, and the freely available learning editions for other software are great ways to get familiar with other interfaces.

If you show an employer top quality work you did in Blender and also can put on a resume that you have basic familiarity with Max, Maya and XSI (i.e., you know where the buttons are and know where to look it up when you don’t know) then you’ll be a very attractive candidate for employment.

One more little plus about Blender. Although it’s not one of the most widely used industry tools at the moment, part of its perceived disadvantage is that it’s often thought of as being comparatively “difficult”. This is not really true and it’s too bad that it scares some people off, but it does mean that if you show an employer work you did in Blender that is as good as it would be in another program, you may also get some credit for having the brains and initiative to have learned Blender on your own.

Basically, focus on getting good enough that employers don’t care which software you used.

[edited “not” in… see my next post]

Thanks bugman, you really helped me out :slight_smile:

Ooops… I meant to say “although it’s not one of the most widely used industry tools at the moment”… hope I didn’t confuse you there.

Actually, thanks to Vista and Max’s deep ties to Windows, I have a hunch it will be phased out soon by Autodesk. After Microsoft ends support for XP, no studio is going to want to do mission critical work on an OS with a million holes and old patches. They also won’t want to do work on a power hungry and distracting operating system. What they will/are/currently do/doing is switch to Maya or Softimage (or Blender!:D), and run on Linux.

I really hope so. I’m all about open-source/cross platform applications starting a month ago. Soon it will be the end of the line for me using xp, i’m going to switch to linux for good.


I’m specialized in most of the 3d packages out there. I’ve really discovered blender since 2.43 came out and i’ve stopped using the other 3d packaged.

My general oppinion about some of the biggest 3d applications:

3ds max - crap, i feel like it’s not very intuitive, for most of things it requires plug-ins, the interface and general concept not very smart.
maya - much better than 3ds max, but has tons of icons and i’m a hotkey freak and i “smash” the keyboard to get things done… also you pretty much have to use hotbox/marking menus a lot… i feel like this application is not very polyshed for artists… i’ve quit maya because of the modeling tools, annoying to select loops or have things translate/rotate/scale to a custom axis (like normal, local…)… well it can be done, but not as fast/intuitive like in XSI, but those are things definetly most people use a lot and should be more straight forward.
XSI - i like the xsi tools, it’s pretty much like maya, but does everything better and more. It’s a very powerfull tool with no crappy icons, the interface annoys me a bit at some points, as well as the project/asset management stuff and the various types of formats, which i find a bit confusing (i really like .blend files, universal - you can store anything in them :slight_smile: ), advanced version is very expensive, upgrades also.
modo - it’s nice, but you have to give it some time to evolve; it crashed quite a lot and it laks features that i need.
lightwave - eh… it’s ok… but only blender from now on :smiley:

Well, this is oppinion on the short, there are sure a lot more things i can say about each packages, but i think blender it’s way ahead than most packages and evolves very fast.
You can make nice things in each package, anyway, I’m possitive that at some point companies that make those 3d packages will pretty much run out of bussines :wink:

Refering to the marking menus in maya, a friend of mine showed me how he setup his marking menus, and for once he was right. it was blazing fast. even faster than wings3d, which i have grown very quick with.

Elite Mouse:

If you’re new to 3D which it sounds like you are then try a few different apps out. Many have either educational / apprentice type versions / licensing. Why just between Max / Blender?

You could try Modo, Maya, Max, Houdini, blender, XSI…See which one(s) you take to.

The app itself is only one consideration, what about the render engine choices for the app, Modo’s is fast and progressive, Max + Vray plugin is just excellent for many purposes etc. Max + Brazil??

Blender, well you’ll struggle finding a renderer that competes with a commercial application, you’ll find a commercial application has superior modelling tools, sure it’ll be sometime before you push them but also look to which software is used in whatever discipline you might choose to work in. Like architectural (Max, Vray) , industrial design, etc.

Out of the two you mention, it would have to be Max if you’re just starting out.

Good luck.