Tips on Adjusting to New Software?

As much as I’d like to use blender for everything, that’s just not possible- it’s not exactly looked on positively in the progessional world. I’ve seen a lot of questions and tutorials on how to adjust to blender coming from other software, but I’ve got the inverse question- how do you adjust from blender to other, proprietary software? I tried using unreal 3 (udk) and 3DS max (student edition), and ended up hopelessly lost in both- probably because blender’s interface is like new other software. In preparation for my inevitable move to Maya/Max, anyone have any tips?

Max is very clunky compared to Blender. I’d suggest you pretend to not know anything about modeling for a while, and do the beginner Max tutorials.

Well, one of the worst things about Blender, in its current and past iteration, is that it trains the user to build up unconventional habits. This makes it extremely hard to jump into other software, and why I would always recommend someone either a) learn maya/max/modo first before trying their hand at blender and b) using the maya or alternate keymap.

Far more applications are tool based as opposed to modifier based. So you could spend some time in Blender with the maya keymap, and only use tools (little to no modifiers) to get things done. This should build up some foundation for switching. In the other software of your choice, start simple, try to find the compatible option you would find in blender in the other software package. Start building up the habits and resist the urge to swap back into the application you are familiar with to do a job. With Maya and Max, also prepare yourself to use far more tools in the pipeline…this includes learning one application for sculpting, one for texturing, one possibly for retopology…ect

Also unless its for work (as in maya/max only studios), I highly recommend you consider Modo as an option as well (like blender, it has a large assortment of features that attempt to cover the entire pipeline). You can get the indie version for as low as $299, which surprisingly has very little in the way of limitations.

Get used to doing everything slower and you’ll be fine. :wink:

I learned Max a couple of years ago and did Orinoco suggested. It helped.

And SaintHaven makes a good point about Blender being non-standard, but if you’re learning Max, at least you don’t have to remember which way is up. :wink:

And, yes. As fahr says, go slowly. It ain’t gonna hurt.


@rontarrant, i think @fahr meant “get used to a slower workflow” :smiley:

that’s especially true for modeling

You have a hard time… adjusting from a couple of dozen of modifiers to a couple of hundreds of them.

Today I was watching a tutorial for max in which the guy did in 10 minutes the work that would require a couple of hours in Blender (for Blender fanboys, have a look at this Youtube channel).

I must not understand what you mean, jpb06. Why would it take that much longer with Blender? I’ve seen some really talented people whip out some great stuff in minutes in Blender that I’m guessing could take a while longer in other software with less skilled people. I’m going to go with thinking that it’s the user and not the software.

Well, being a Blender Fanboy, I took a look at that Youtube channel. For anyone who’s wondering, it’s an Autodesk trainer showing how to use some other Autodesk program for modeling (Civil 3D, I assume optimized for civil engineering design work, roads and bridges and such) then using 3DSMax for rendering.

So, yeah, if you do your modeling work in SOME OTHER PROGRAM, then use a plug in (available from Autodesk) to import the model into Max, then Max can do a fine render in no time at all. Well, not no time… you still have to actually render the images… but you can kick it off and go have some coffee or update your facebook.

Look, I have no real beef with Maya or Max. If someone wants to, or has to, use either of them, more power to em. But the example is like saying you can model a realistic human in Blender in no time at all… just import the mesh from MakeHuman.

I don’t quite understand either what would require so much more time spent in Blender. The only thing I can think of is exporting from Civil3D to Blender would be a hassle but other than that I can do everything faster in Blender than in Max (and I started working in Max many years before I even started learning Blender)

Well I don’t think Blender today is non-pro program, I think it is rare used in movies and games, I use Maya, Max and Softimage for about 10 year, and about 2 years I am using Blender, however for my client they use max and I export their things from fbx to blender and I do magic in blender, recently I am using also Unreal Engine 4, the thing in Max is if you want to make a UV map for second Lightmap uv for USE in Unreal, is that you have to add uvmap modifier and see the the uv every time, see in max you have to circle the straight way, but in blender just add uvmap and you every time faster straight can see the uv, beside 3dsmax is heavy honestly and you see blender only 60mb that can do lots of things, I think blender UI is intuitive and beautiful, just in near future will be better, I do not want to fight against any software and I have max in my computer installed just in case of need for my clients, I think you SHOULD NOT DESTROY YOUR BACK BRIDGE, may need it.

if you want to choose between Max and Maya, I think with Maya you have much better controls over character animation while modeling I think both are good, But I say Unreal Engine 4 is amazing honestly.

My tip for getting used to new software is that you need to get used to reacquainting yourself to different software.

Do not assume that this is a blender specific fault. People will tell you that there is consistency out in the world of ‘professional’ software, but they are lying. Yes, blender has some unique ways of approaching some tools, but SO DOES EVERY OTHER PIECE OF SOFTWARE. When you pick up a new tool, there will be some parts that are familiar and some parts that are confusing, and this will always be the case.

Once you have picked up enough new tools, you start to get familiar with the process of re-learning the things that you already know how to do in another piece of software. You have to learn to adjust rapidly and not get thrown too much by things not working the way you expect. If you try to orbit and it pans instead, take a moment to remind yourself of the key combination and carry on from there. you could get frustrated, or you can use it as a reminder that you aren’t as familiar with this program and you need to be a little more careful and pay a little more attention.

There are many apps that are similar in UI and workflow. You learn one and you learn most of them. 2D vector apps like Illustrator, CorelDraw, Inkscape, Freehand… Photo editing apps like Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, Gimp… Office apps like WordPerfect, MSWord… you learn one and you learn most of them.

Not in the 3D world. When you want to learn another, forget about the previous one completely. When I was learning Modo after having spent time with others like Wings3d, Hexagon, Carrara, Blender, etc., I was baffled at first but it eventually clicked. I had to do it. I paid for it and had to make it worth my money. (Modeling is my main app for 3d and Modo is famous for it.) If you’re talking about Maya, which costs 4-5K USD, then you have to. Unless you’re talking about obtaining a cracked version. The motivation won’t be there, as far as I’m concerned.