Was blender the right first choice?

I started with blender… couldn’t get around the UI…

switched to Maya demo and was completey confuzzled by it (rec. by a friend)

switched to 3DS max and while it seemed easier to understand than maya… I still had issues getting the results the tutorials were trying to show me.

so, I gave up for a bit… and decided to try blender again. I’m actually understanding it this time, and have done some decent stuff for only a week in.

My issue now is… I want to do this as more than just a hobby, and I am afraid by learning a non commercial software package first… I’d be moving backwards instead of forwards…

should I feel this way?

you can use blender for commercial use I believe… I think you should be fine and don’t worry

Like rambo here said, its fine.
and blender is a great software, well, i do beleave maya is better, but its so expensive, and does NOT have a game engine.

The first one i could actually learn on was Silo, then i went back to blender and found it easier to do, now it’s the only one I use any other package will be easier to learn because I know some basics. Similar to learning new languages.
JF

I don’t think you should questions on forums beginning: “should I feel this way?”

unless you think you’re going to have the dedication, obsessive personality and lack of social life required to work for a large company as a project-based freelancer, then the software you use will not make a difference. Your showreel is your only way to show what you can do, and I have seen a total of 0 showreels which list the application used to make each part.

Clients won’t care.

If you’re looking at getting on staff with a smaller company, then the choice of software might make a difference. However if you’re good enough then no-one will care, as long as you pwn with blender.

Your priority should be:

make some cool shit
concentrate on making it cooler
worry obsessively at why it isn’t as cool as everyone elses shit
think about giving up
make a breakthrough
pick up first gig

rinse and repeat. Once you hit a wall with blender, and “package X” does what you need it to do, do some r+d.

finally, technique and craft will pwn tools any day. concetrate on these (regardless of software tool) and you will find that not only is it a piece of piss to transition between packages, but you’ll need to do it less anyway.

oh, and as soon as you get the chance, specialise.

Dan

There is some great insight here that may be of assistance here:

http://blenderartists.org/forum//showthread.php?t=163364

Blender isn’t as likely to land you a studio job as Max or Maya, but it’s as fine a learning tool as any other. A polygon is a polygon and if you really sit down to learn new software and get help from someone knowledgeable, it shouldn’t take too long to add a more commercial application to your list of mastered software. For example, learning the intricacies of subdivided modeling is a skill that takes time, learning that that’s done by TurboSmooth instead of Subsurf is 10 minutes of work.

Of course, you would be frustrated at the bugginess of Autodesk software if you’re used to Blender.

yeah what dan_hin said. Right now you’re not learning package X, you’re learning 3d. 3d has a huge learning curve. If you become good at 3d with blender switching will not be like starting over. Switching packages after you’re good at 3d is like switching cars after you know how to drive. Don’t keep switching packages just because you’re not getting it, 3d is difficult no matter what the package. Stick to one for a few years until you know it well. That’s just my suggestion.

You need to learn to paint, so just choose any old paint brush and start learning. (metaphorically speaking)

There are some pretty big differences between the different software packages, but the core concepts are fairly consistent from package to package. Switching from package to package is possible, but you’ll never truly master a package if you don’t dive into it deeply.

In threads like this you’re going to get a lot of fanboys arguing for package X and package Y, so my suggestion is to find out what software packages the place you’d like to work list in their job postings and start learning those packages. Employers are generally going to choose people that fit their job postings; they’re not very sympathetic to people that have experience in program Y when they ask for experience with program X, specially when the field you want to enter is fairly competitive.

EDIT:
I just want to add, as a new user into the world of 3D animation, I personally would suggest using Maya or 3Dstudio Max. There are a lot more high quality books and video tutorials out for those packages then for Blender; the only downside is you have to pay a lot of money for those books and tutorials. Don’t get me wrong, Blender has a lot of great books and video tutorials, but you’re not going to find something on the level of Digital Tutors for Blender, which has up to date video tutorials for almost all parts of Maya.

Personally I think it is very important to try to find the theoretical foundation behind 3D-programs. Even if the GUI is quite different, the mathematics of 3D-space won’t go away. If you can understand, what your programm eventually does for the vertices, edges, faces, curves, matrices, coordinate axes, and so on, you have laid a non-erasable and re-usable foundation for your work.

I first started out on demo maya, I even bought books and read through them and i still couldn’t do ANYTHING
so after about a year, sort of like you, I tried blender.:smiley:

as far as i’m concerned blender is powerful enough and complete enough to alteast give you a feeling as to what your getting into. Yes it’ll be hard to land a studio job with blender but switching to another program wont be hard; all the tools are there, they’re just in different spots:)

I was just thinking of something to add to this…

3ds max and Maya may very well be “standards” but in industry jobs… how many studios actually use them in their “consumer” form?

From what I have read, most professional studios use proprietary tools, that MIGHT be based on maya/3ds max or an extension of… so you’d still be having to learn a new package in a way even if you went with maya or 3ds max.

My thing is this…

I tried both, and I just couldn’t seem to “Grasp” how they worked. 3DS max seemed to be the more intuitive of the 2… but after using blender… I don’t understand why I should have to “convert to editable” poly… just to extrude some vertices… when all I have to do in blender… is create a cube, select the vertices and press E!

To extrude in blender you have to create a cube, press tab, select a component, then press E.

In max there are 4 steps as well. Create a cube, right click and select convert to editable poly, select a component and press shift+E or ctrl+E.

in max and other programmes, primitive objects are parametric (ie controlled by a list of parameters) and need to be converted to poly objects before you can mess with their shapes. Why? it’s easier to create exact shapes if you can type in measurements correct to like 2 decimal places or whatever, then go in to tweak later. these parametric objects also take up less RAM.

Dan

well…i started off with blender. after a year thought i should try some other apps. so i downloaded max3d demo.suprisingly learning it was way way easier than blender, not because the interface was more clear, but i allready knew all the 3d related vocabulary, all the symbols on buttons made sense right away.
currently i use blender for quick modeling, blenders keyboard shortcuts and simplicity are much better than max´s. Max in my opinion is good for precise stuff.
and i dont know if its only my pc or not, but max render times are much faster, especially when dealing with large textures.
Id like to get some opinions on the google´s sketch up.
after learning blender and max, i decided to try sketch up. to my surprise it mas soo hard to learn. symbols,navigation, keyboard shortcuts etc were so unconventional and different that i never mastered it. one very good feature in GS is the snap-drag line tool. very useful.
then ive tried Z-brush, easy to learn(since its only sculpt and draw tool basically), but its biggest mistake in my opinion is its weird navigation, max,blender, maya, etc behave allmost the same when navigating and rotating with mouse, but zbrush is so different. even the simplest rotation around an axis gets easily messed up.

in conclusion id say how i picked the 3d apps to try out.
if i found a 3D app, first thing i checked its Gallery. if there is even one impressive scene, it says it all(the software is capable, question is, are you?)