Is Blender right for me?

(sdinenno) #1

I’m a landscape architect who is thinking about getting into 3D modeling. I want to create 3D scenes based on 2D landscaping/architectural plans for sales presentation purposes.
I’m examining different options for software. I have been considering SketchUp but was told by someone with a great deal of 3D modeling experience that it is not very sophisticated modeling software. 3ds Max was recommended but I’m not sure if I want to pay the hefty price for it.
So my questions are: Is Blender better than SketchUp for what I want to do? Will it do what 3ds Max does? Is there another software that I should be considering?

Stuart

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(Eidam655) #2

uhm…

Blender’s level is approximately the same as commercial softwares. even in spite that it lacks some features (compared to commercial softwares), it is a strong tool, which, when mastered, can bring satisfactory results.

the other option is then Rhinoceros, which has intuitive controlling, if you worked in AutoCAD before (and this was confirmed by my father, an architect and not a 3d worker, he confirmed that it’s very similar to the AutoCAD)

i think that’s all i can help you, let’s wait for the other opinions

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(BlackBoe) #3

Heh, you’d probably get a much better opinion of its sufficiency if you tried it yourself. It’s free, so there’s no hassle. Also, the manual is at http://wiki.blender.org

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(RamboBaby) #4

Yeah, Blender is right for you. There’s LOTS of architectural modeling and rendering going on with Blender these days.

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(egan) #5

Awesome architectural rendering done in blender:
http://www.gucias.republika.pl/katalog/katalog.html

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(Ace Dragon) #6

Architectual rendering can be done in Blender, it’ll be easier to model too, once the Bmesh project is complete.

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(LetterRip) #7

I’m a landscape architect who is thinking about getting into 3D modeling. I want to create 3D scenes based on 2D landscaping/architectural plans for sales presentation purposes.
I’m examining different options for software. I have been considering SketchUp but was told by someone with a great deal of 3D modeling experience that it is not very sophisticated modeling software. 3ds Max was recommended but I’m not sure if I want to pay the hefty price for it.
So my questions are: Is Blender better than SketchUp for what I want to do? Will it do what 3ds Max does? Is there another software that I should be considering?

For doing architectual sketches sketchup will have a far shallower learning curve. 3DS Max has excellent support for CAD formats - if you expect the client/yourself to make a lot of changes to the CAD drawings before things are finalized then 3DS will save time there.

If you want photoreal, then 3DS Max has a better selection of renderers.

However Blender has pretty good DXF support and as far as raw power you can get similar results to 3DS Max. Download Blender 2.45 which will be out Monday or so and try the wiki docs (or pick up ‘Essential Blender’ from the store.blender.org ).

LetterRip

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(Clean3D) #8

If you haven’t already, you might try sending PM’s to 3ds Max users on other forums and ask them how well they like it for their work. www.cgtalk.com has a lot of architectural models posted there, so you could contact the creators of those images. Come to think of it, you could do the same with Blender users. There are quite a few architectural images in the Blender.org gallery and in the galleries here.

Some links that may be helpful:


You might also consider the possibility of creating your rough model in Google Sketchup, and then importing this into Blender for more advanced work.

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(IamInnocent) #9

Hi Sdienno.

To answer a question like your with some… efficiency I’d really like to know more about what you intend to achieve.
Give us a topo of your goals and you’ll get a much more precise answer that’ll save you a lot of time and frustration at even short term.

J.

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(sdinenno) #10

I think I have ruled out 3DS Max because of the cost. And most of what I will be doing is residential landscape architecture not based on AutoCAD.
In fact, I won’t always be just expressing 2D plans in 3D, I also want to design directly in 3D.
You say that SketchUp will have a far shallower learning curve. I already figured that was the case. But I’m more concerned with what I can do after the learning stage is over.
I have seen a lot of SU stuff and I know that it doesn’t look nearly as good as scenes produced in other 3D software. But my question is: Does it take much longer to produce the higher degree of realism that is possible with software like Blender?
I’m just trying to weigh the hours vs. realism factor. If I can create a scene that accurately expresses concepts but is not particularly visually appealing with SketchUp in 20 hours but create a scene that is just as accurate and much better-looking with Blender in 30 hours, then it is worth the difference. But if it takes 5 times longer to get a much better look with Blender, then it isn’t worth it.

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(Falgor) #11

I think you should first buy 3dsmax, Maya, Houdini, Softimage XSI, Cinema4d, Lightwave 3d, Zbrush3 and Modo before you try Blender. Only then can you be sure.

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(sdinenno) #12

I just want to express designs for residential landscape architecture in 3D scenes rather than being limited to 2D plans. I know I can do this with SketchUp but I’d like a more realistic look than what I have seen from SU. On the other hand, I don’t know how much longer it takes to get a more realistic look by using other software. As I said before, if it takes 5 times longer than it isn’t worth it to me.

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(sdinenno) #13

Is it worthwhile to do that? Or would it be quicker to begin in 3DS? I don’t know how to use either one at this point, so I’d rather not have to learn both unless it’s going to save me a lot of time.

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(sdinenno) #14

Of course, but I’d rather not spend numerous hours trying to learn something only to find out that it’s not what I really need. That’s why I’m in here asking for expert advice before I begin.

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(IamInnocent) #15

OK.
Since you’ve ruled out Max and since SU by itself won’t let your render with the quality level that you need it is pretty safe to say that Blender is your best choice.
Now that alone is not a full answer. Blender is vast, to say the least, but if you learn to ignore the many temptations it offers to concentrate on what’s essential for you, learning it will be a much simpler affair than one can anticipate at first sight.
More over, you’ll quickly build a library of recurent elements like trees, bushes, people, vehicles and other stuff which, when reused, cut a lot in the design time. Once this is established I don’t think that a project will take anymore time to develop in Blender than in Sketchup.
As for quality, the internal renderer is certainly better than what’s usually uttered, even here. Yafray may be an even better choice, expecially if you can use HDRI lighting. There is even better like the Indigo renderer that is simpler to set up, extremely realistic, but takes a very powerful computer to bring the rendering times down.

Come back with precise questions in the appropriate help forum and you should be up and running in a reasonable time.

J.

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(Mmph!) #16

Blender should be just fine for archetect VIS.

the industry standard application usually is lightwave for this, but blender seems to work just fine.
If you want to pay lots of money for an application I might suggest XSI.

Some guys like Rhino too, I have never tried this tho.

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(Orinoco) #17

Take a look at these three tutorials. bruxy builds and furnishes a house from the ground up. The tutorials run, total, about three hours. There are spots where he pauses the camera, to do some repetitive work he’s already explained, but I’d estimate that those parts probably don’t do more than double the total time. Start to finish, you’re probably looking at 6 to 10 hours of work, for a two story duplex, with furniture.

He’s had practice, so your first efforts would probably take a lot longer, but you get faster the more you do. You’re talking about taking 20 hours in Sketchup, I don’t think it’s unrealistic to think you could do a similar project, including lighting, landscaping and texturing in 20 hours, once you’ve mastered Blender. And as IamInnocent mentioned, you can build up a library of standard pieces, including things like doors and windows, stairs and furniture, that will save more and more time as they accumulate in your files.

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(Clean3D) #18

Google Sketchup’s modeling tools are extremely easy to learn and use. By going through their basic tutorials, I had most everything learned in less than an hour (of course, that was a while ago. I’m not sure about the most recent version). All that you’d really need to do in Google Sketchup, though, is just get the rough shapes done, and then bring them into Blender/3DS and refine them - this is probably where you’d be spending most of your time; and if you have that rough model to work off of, doing the rest of the modeling in Blender should go very quickly.

However, most of the reason I recommend Google Sketchup is just because I don’t know how well those Blender scripts I mentioned are. If they work well, then you could start right in Blender and be just fine.

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(sdinenno) #19

Thank you all for the advice. I think I’m going to download the latest version of Blender and begin there. I don’t see any good reason to begin with SketchUp, if I’m only going to end up modeling in Blender. Can someone direct me to the best place to find Blender tutorials for beginners?

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(IamInnocent) #20

Quite frankly, if I were in your position, I would buy the Essnetial Blender book from the E-shop.
http://www.blender3d.org/e-shop/product_info.php?products_id=96
Like no other tool it will ensure that you start your basic knowledge of Blender is sound. After reading it and practicing the examples you will be able to figure out a project, find the right steps or ask the right questions anyway.

I wish I had that when I started.

J.

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