Is Blender the right software for me?


This is not strictly speaking a python question but I thought I would get the right audience here.

I am a professional programmer and as a hobby I would like to generate ice skating animations based on choreography steps. The idea is to spend minimal time to setup basic poses in a 3D soft, and generate keyframes using python code I’ve already written to do the same in 2D.

I started using Blender, read 2 books and got Poser in Trial version. I feel Blender is great for the scenes / props, and the UI is very quick. But the built-in characters / clothes in Poser seem much more off-the-shelf (except IK which sometimes suck). Also, the camera controls in Poser feel much more natural (i.e. orbital rotations). And the rendering into videos in Poser also seems way faster.

As it stands, I am ok with buying Poser. Python would generate the pose keyframes and I would probably do the camera keyframes manually + I would create my background with Blender.

I am not a pro 3D artist so I am fine with existing Poser characters but should I nevertheless persist and use Blender?

On a related note, it’s a bit annoying that these softs are tied to specific versions of python. I can work around that by using my existing python code (2.7.2) to generate a JSON file that has all the keyframes specified and then having the built-in python version of Blender/Poser read it and have minimal coding logic.

I see that Blender is a general purpose 3D application, while Poser on the other hand is specialized in characters and scenery. So the real deal is that Blender is weak in this specific area but that does not mean that a functionality can’t be added to it (which is extra effort). In the opposite mindset, imagine that if you use Poser and then you suddenly miss out some of Blender features, like procedural animation with Python Drivers.

In a general aspect I would not get locked in either but rather using both to get the most of out, but Blender as a being general purpose tool it will always come handy, even for some specific work that needs to be done.

The question is how much time do you have for the project? Do you have the models already? Blender has a solid python API that will allow you to do other things. You can get models off of the internet, and everyone who has poser has those same models. I don’t know what the final output is, and audience. You will get more out of Blender, and therefore if you decide to do another project down the road, you would have already overcome the learning curve.

Take a look at MakeHuman. It’s open source and you can use the rigged characters in blender.

I think you gave yourself an answer already.

If the way how Poser works for you is good already with its rendering posing and key framing tools then why bother with something more complicated like Blender.

Personally I would settle for Blender because I would have more control over every aspect of my design.

The tool doesn’t really matter when you are after a certain easy in workflow to be honest.

OK thx guys - it seems I should find out more about how models can be interchanged between softwares.

To answer the question about time/model, well it’s a hobby and I am willing to learn, but I don’t want to invest in learning, say, to make a model from scratch if I don’t have the skills to ever do a nice one + there are already existing ones that are good enough.

My project is mostly about characters. It’s a single skater who will be guided by a sequence of steps. If I do another project in the future it’s bound to be similar, probably for some other sport where movements are determined by choreos (e.g. dance / martial arts / aerobic, as opposed to football or athletics).

And just to clarify, Poser also has a basic python API. So far I managed to set up a wrapper around my existing libs that creates keyframes and that is satisfactory. It’s also quite fast. Besides it’s dead easy to add menu items / buttons that execute python scripts.

The main appeal of Blender for me would be that it’s cheaper + the Blender python integration is much more thought thru than in Poser.

It seems like Poser vs. Blender is a bit Mac vs. Linux…

Also make sure to check out DazStudio (which is free).

Comparable to Poser, but with more scene options.

Yes it looks great and it’s now free. The issue is that there does not seem to be native python support. It’s javascript. Not a big fan of JS but come to think of it I could apply what I wrote above which is to generate keyframes in JSON using python and then have minimal JS code to create keyframes from JSON.