I want to test out a commercial 3D app...

… just for the fun of it. My dad, for christmass, said he would buy for me up to $100 on any commercial 3D application, and I’m wondering what the best $100 or less 3D app is, besides Blender (which I think is the greatest that you can get for MUCH less than $100). I would also like to get one that works natively on Linux.

There are a few out there but I can’t name them right now but I would recommend downloading the demo version of each of those apps you might be interested in before buying the full <$100 version :slight_smile:

i would say like buy a professional quality Texture CD or book on using Blender, and build on what you know rather than going off in another direction and learning another (very cheap) package that won’t get you anywhere. I think your dad (being one) want to help you move further down the road, and not take a side path. Max and Maya cost thousands, and those would be the only ones worth looking into besides Blender, as far as being able to do anything with them that would help you in the long run. Pre-order Bugman’s and HarkyMan’s books, and buy a Blender hat. That would be about a $100 and actually really help you.

Har, good luck finding a professional commercial 3d package that’s under 100$ and runs on Linux. :stuck_out_tongue: Anyway, the fact that Maya and Max cost money doesn’t make them any better, and Blender is catching up pretty fast. If you want to try a commercial package, try Maya’s PLE or Gmax or something. They’re free, hacked-down versions of the commercial version, just if you want to get a feel for the interface.

Lighting and Rendering, second edition by J.B.
Digital Texturing & Painting by Owen Demers

i agree, you will be better buying some 3d book or training dvd rather than a commercial app.

beside that… there are few 3d apps under 100$ and probably the only one that worth testing is Silo ( http://www.nevercenter.com/silo/ ) and it cost 109$. (and is only a modeling tool!)

if you really want to learn and evolve in 3d, buy some books, or training dvd’s
if you go for the dvd’s i recommend the ones from gnomon (http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/). don’t worry about the fact that the dvd’s are made with maya or 3dsmax cause blender have similar tools.


silo is $109 it has some pretty good modeling tools. give it a try!

its only for modeling though.

i would recommend using blender aswell as other tools :slight_smile:

blender is awesome for rendering/ materials and composition and also dynamics so stick at it.

its also awesome for modeling, but if you want to venture out into other apps, theres no harm done :slight_smile:

I find your post interesting as it reminds me a bit of my own situation as I was starting out.
A few years back I discovered blender (version 1.8) and really got into 3D. Back then there was a great bunch of guys and we had fun but then blender went bankrupt and things looked bad. I had a deal in the works with a publishing company to write a book for version 2.0 and because the NaN was no more, I turned to other apps.
Here is the moral of the story. A few weeks ago, I returned to blender and I can’t help wishing that I’d never left. I work now for a company and use blender every day and to make a long story short, blender has so much to offer that it is not in your best interest to venture out and play with little apps.
As some mentioned, there are books and training DVDs now available and with those, you could step up to the next level which is much better than to learn Hexagon or Silo.

It’s natural to have a graving for other apps but no matter how old you are, the most valuable thing is time. Be smarter than I was, don’t waste it. Blender is too good to be true and as we say at work: “smaller - faster - blender”.

What ever you decide - good luck :slight_smile:

I’ve said this before:

bottled water costs money, yet blender is free - makes the world seem topsy turvy - which it is… in otherwords stick with blender… save your money.

What onemanblend said.

Mr. Bomb just spent four months of his life creating a DVD on modeling a female head, which cost $30, which would be a great addition to your library and really help you be a better modeler, as he shows you what to do for 2 and half hours… http://www.montagestudio.org/Montage%20Studio/DVDs.html

are you a student? many commercial apps give extrodinarily large discounts to students, usualy you can get them for around 200-300 with a school id (even middle school usualy counts). i remember i started out in 3d with animation master, which was good for beginners, but was way to glitchy and didnt contain the features of lightwave or maya. i always regreted my choice. make sure you try the app before you buy it, because you might not like the interface. if you can do it, i’d say get maya or lightwave

For ~$100, I agree buy the mentioned face CD, BugMan’s new book and the new Blender book.

If you want to play with a commercial app, you can download the Houdini Apprentice version from here :


It’s 90% function (limited render size, small watermarks on renders), but it’s extremely powerful … and complex ! It was used to generate the water effects and other effects in SuperMan Returns, as well as the animation for “In The Wild”.

Full version of the package is ~$20,000 … yes Tweny Thousand Dollars. ! The “Escape” version is ~$1,000.


A hundred bucks, but is has to be commercial? That does not make much sense to me. Simply because there is no commercial 3D-software for under a hundred $ which only comes close to Blender. Believe me, guess what i used before i went with Blender. What i find especially repelling with cheap commercial packages is the lack of a helping user community. You don’t wanna be almost alone using your exotic commercial package?

My advice is therefore to continue using Blender, you don’t even have to buy a Video-Tut CD as you can download all that stuff. Buy the Blender-Book and think what kind of 3D- art you are going to do. If you can hardly draw by hand you won’t be very good at character modelling. Modelling a standard head is mainly done by semiautomatic software in the game industry. Maybe you are better of to buy a good lightmapper, or texture tool or terrain editor etc. Or convince your Dad that you need a new graphics card instead. As you know they can be used for a wide range of purposes. :eyebrowlift2:

I think I was misunderstood…
My dad said he would buy for me up to $100 towards a 3D app… And a 3D app only. I love Blender, and I probably won’t get into the other program much, but I just have $100 to spend on a 3D program, and I’m thinking I might as well use it.

I don’t really need a book anyways… Blender has a great community and I can always ask for help here. I’m just wondering what the best way to spend this is, since it can only go to a 3D application.

For $100 you won’t find anything remotely good. With some exceptions.
If I were you, I’d convince my father that most 3D apps costing $100 is below Blender’s standards, so the money is better spent on learning material.
Unless your father is stubborn where that’s concerned or you find a 3D app you really want to buy :stuck_out_tongue:

SIlo is the only thing I can think of but it doesn’t run natively on LInux.

As others have said, you’ll gain a lot more from something like mr bombs dvd. The fundamental techniques are the same, and it’s better to learn things like this earlier on, and then when you can afford it get a program that you need. Yes, yes, blender is great, but you might be helped by experience in a program. If it’s going to be in the future, wait. The program of choice will change, and saying you have experience in an old program will mean less.

Tell your dad it’s much more worthwhile getting the fundamentals, ask if you can use the money for some books on theories of lighting or animation or something.

Found out that at Frys Electronics they sell Bryce for $100… Is it any good?

There’s alot of excellent deals on there, but you’ll still have to pay more that $100 for the better apps.

Bryce kinda sucks. It’s only a landscape modeler/renderer, and its toolkit reflects that. Why can’t you just convince him to get you a couple books instead?