Software wars! Who will win?

I notice that the most commonly used software programs for high end or “partially” high end 3d artwork seem to be Lightwave, 3d Studio Max, Maya, etc. While others like Truspace, Bryce, Vue, that are good seem to be ignored. I almost never come across them and it makes me wonder what other applications are worth looking at that I don’t even know about. Can anyone give me good comparison between different software programs from the more popular to the lesser know? I don’t mean “in depth” comparisons. Just the greater highlights, as far as what the programs are good for creating. For instance, Vue seems to be commonly used for generating vegetation. Others might be optimized for terrain or atmospheres. Some may have much more advanced particle effects on the line of fire, clouds, smoke, etc.

Keep in mind I’m talking about the more RECENT versions of each programs. I don’t need to know what Bryce was like back at 2.0 in comparisons to Truspace TODAY.

BUT, if certain programs (like Vue) allow you to buy older versions, a rundown on the specs for various versions might be helpful.

It all depends what you’ll use it for and whom do you work for.
There is a “technical” feature comparison chart here: http://wiki.cgsociety.org/index.php/Comparison_of_3d_tools

And of course, Blender will ultimately win all. Even the lottery.

I use houdini for all my stuff. I got a couple of extra licenses if anyone wants, full commercial versions I thought I might use but now I have lying around. oh and I have an extra Mercedes coupe if anyone wants that too.

seriously though, what does houdini have over maya that makes it worth $17,000? a better interface? I’m very curious, I know it has been used recently for superman and xmen…

Some of it depends upon what a particular shop is using now, or if they are a subcontractor, what the firm that wrote the contract requires. Any project involves building up huge amounts of digital data, both models and renders, over a project that might easily last five years or more. That material is worth millions of dollars … no, it’s priceless. It might be necessary, very late in a project, to generate a “patch layer” that must integrate exactly with what was done years before. All of that has to be done, and it indisputably has to work, so that the project can ship on-time. There are no milliseconds to spare.

So… software platforms don’t change too much. A project might even keep exactly the same version of a package, even if that release is “buggy as sin,” just to be sure of compatibility across time.

I worked with a project that kept a particular version of an IBM Fortran compiler and numeric library around just so that it could guarantee that all the data would be computed using exactly the same methods, over a period of several years. I knew of a local University that kept a computer with magnetic core memory functional well into the 1980’s for comparable reasons. “But that doesn’t make sense!” you say? Oh yes, it did.

As a student, you need to be versed on the principles … focus on the “what, not how.” When you get hired, you need to be very, very willing to learn fast and learn well whatever “your particular employer” happens to use. (Stick out your tongue and hold your nose on your own time. On the job: smile, nod, shaddup, and open your mind.)

Honestly, I don’t think you can find, anywhere, a better educational tool than Blender. It’s much more than a teaching tool, of course … it’s indisputably a commercial-grade product in its own right … and you’ll find such a depth to it (and constantly, constantly getting bigger and deeper) that you can positively get lost in it.

It’s not a competition.

Use the tool you enjoy for the work you do and be happy with it.

Why does it have to be a “war”?

Dumb thread.

qft

It also happens to be the 1000th thread on it, but you don’t win a prize.

Small serious cat ITT:
http://vkgfx.com/misc/serious.gif

houdini has better particle effects than maya, so I’ve heard, and particles are being used more and more for effects in movies