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3D software for beginner

fai
polycounter lvl 4
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fai polycounter lvl 4
hey, my first post here.
before I go into my question, just wanna say that this isn´t meant to be a classical 'which 3D software is the best'-discussion. I know only the outcome counts, not the tools used.

I´m a complete beginner concerning 3D. I mainly focussed on 2D illustrating and concepting in Photoshop so far. now I want to learn 3D. Currently I´m learning Maya 2016, which I´m slowly but more and more getting into and I like it so far. but I always have a feeling of maybe missing something in another 3D software. My goal is more pure modeling, not so much animating (yet), I think this is an important part.

My information so far is that Maya is really good in the animation part, 3ds max in the modeling part, cinema4d very user friendly and good for beginners (easy to learn) and Modo really up and coming (personally I think Modo looks really interesting).

What would you suggest me in my situation: sticking to Maya, which is the industry standard at the moment if I´m correct (which is an important factor for me) or ..? It´s just a bit overwhelming information on what is good for which part and what will be big in the future (like Modo maybe) for a beginner.

I personally believe sticking to Maya for the beginning wouldn´t be a bad choice, but maybe I´m wrong.

Any tips?

Thanks in advance!

Replies

  • vertex_
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    vertex_ polycounter lvl 4
    Yes, you're right - just stick to Maya for now. I'm a 3ds Max user but you're better off becoming an intermediate modeler in one application before trying to learn both.

    When you feel comfortable with Maya, learn 3ds Max. Both applications are widely used in the game industry (we use both at our studio).
  • Panupat
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    Panupat polycounter lvl 14
    What's the goal you have in mind? Do you want to work in the industry? Any subjects you want to focus on?
  • PolyHertz
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    PolyHertz quad damage
    Stick to Maya, learn other 3d apps later.
    One of the main benefits of Maya (and Max) being the industry standard is that there are more tutorials and information out there for it then basically any other 3D app, which can be really important when learning 3D for the first time, especially for anyone self taught.
  • therenderer
    I started out using Alias Studio which was pretty hardcore, then self taught 3Ds Max. I've never really used anything else since so it's difficult to say. 
    I personally like 3Ds Max compared to Alias because you have more flexibility in modelling tools and modifiers, and 3Ds Max is more industry standard than other applications that I have come across, so maybe it's not a bad thing learning more 3Ds Max in the background.
  • fai
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    fai polycounter lvl 4
    Wow, thanks alot for the answers guys.

    @Vertex_ Like you say, I think I can´t go wrong sticking with maya. Definately thinking about at least sneaking into 3Ds Max in the future.

    @Panupat I definately want to work professionally in the industry. Right now, I kinda want to combine 2D and 3D in my workflow, for example rough zBrush sculpts, which I then overpaint (like Marc Brunet / bluefleyy does alot). But that´s another story, not really concerning maya I guess (even though I think it also has a sculpting tool now). Focus is on characters (humans), maybe also creatures.

    @Polyhertz I think that sounds like a good plan. Totally agree with the tutorial part, it´s awesome.

    @Therenderer Never heard of Alias Stduio tbh. We had an excursion from our course in a game studio where they also used 3Ds Max. That´s why I´ve been torn mostly between the two of them. But I´m more and more feeling comfortable with Maya for now.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp quad damage
    alias studio is not used (much) in entertainment, more of a common product design software, that's probably why you've not heard about it.
    stick with maya until you are pretty good at least. it's not quite the greatest modeller available (cough) but the one industry standard you will stumble over everywhere, particular for character work, again and again. from a career perspective it's worth it to be confident in that clunky thing.

    max sadly is fading from what i'm seeing. still good but less interesting if you want to keep your options open. other tools are more niche. always worth checking out when you are looking for better workflows - but first things first.

  • PolyHertz
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    PolyHertz quad damage
    @thomasp I've started to get the same feeling about Max lately. Maya, Modo, and even Blender seem to be slowly gaining market/mind share while Max is losing it.
  • fai
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    fai polycounter lvl 4
    Again, thanks a bunch guys. Really helped me alot!
  • allengingrich
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    allengingrich polycounter lvl 2
    I started with Blender, then switched to Max, then went back to Blender. Aside from considering Max's use in professional environments, Blender truly is more intuitive to work with. The keyboard shortcuts are unparalleled.
  • Deadly Nightshade
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    Deadly Nightshade polycounter lvl 8
    I have moved over to Max after using Maya for like 6 years and so far I don't really understand why people say it's the superior 3d package - even when just looking at modelling.

    The modifier stack which is supposed to be the spine of this "kickass modelling" everyone is talking about, is only marginally better than Maya's history. Often things just doesn't work and you have to collapse a mesh anyway (Maya delete history). But my biggest disappointment is the native UV tools which are just horrible. You have no shading on your UV shells which makes it exceptionally hard to work with meshes that have a lot of shells - especially shells that needs to stack or partially stack. Lots of very "basic" things missing here: No way to stack UV shells, no way to orient multiple UV shells (not talking about Align to Edge here), no way to nudge UV shells (translate by a very specific value, multiple times over without having to write in the value at the bottom all the freaking time). Now I understand why the UV maps of former Max-using colleagues looked like shit: it wasn't because they were bad artists, but because the tools sucked.

    Maybe I've not yet seen this "kickass modelling" because I never do any high-poly work (studio focus is on lowpoly graphics) but yea... My understanding of Max prior to actually trying it myself was that it was supposed to be faster, and more robust with it's history (modifier stack) - something which supposedly makes modelling more streamlined. Also, working with vertex colors (another useful thing when working with LP graphics), is clearly inferior to Maya where you have a Vertex Face -mode for easily creating gradients ON faces without having to affect everything around them when painting.

    Maya on the other hand is an excellent 3d package - but it requires a lot of customization (hotkeys, marking menues, custom shelf, scripts and misc tools from Creative Crash). My customization of it was VERY miniscule when I first started out and if you wanna stick to her then I strongly recommend heavy customization. Drop me a PM if you want some general guidelines.

    But if you really wanna switch and if modelling is what you want to specialize in, then I would recommend Modo or zBrush over Max.
  • vertex_
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    vertex_ polycounter lvl 4
    @Deadly Nightshade, As a 3D game artist who uses both Max and Maya for development, I can admit that each application has its advantages and disadvantages. I find 3ds Max to be more intuitive and clean-cut than Maya, with its organized UI and uncomplicated modifier stack. I almost always have the modifier stack fully collapsed on any given mesh, but that's just how I work.

    You mention that Max's UV tools are horrible. One thing that bothers me with Maya's UV editor is that the user can only move UVs by vertices - 3ds Max allows manipulation by vertex, edge, face, and element. Also, I believe there are options inside the editor to customize UV face shading.

    However, I do find Maya's UV set manager to be much more logical and robust than 3ds Max's. Also, the transfer attributes function in Maya is an absolute life saver when it comes to transferring UV data from one mesh to another. From my research, this simply can't be done in 3ds Max.
  • blop
    @fai for now stick with what you already started. Learn the modelling principals. Later you can switch you 3D tool [ but I think that with maya, you are totally ok].
    Who knows, maybe in future you develop in different direction in the industry and you will not even use an 3d package : ) 
  • thomasp
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    thomasp quad damage
    PolyHertz said:
    @thomasp I've started to get the same feeling about Max lately. Maya, Modo, and even Blender seem to be slowly gaining market/mind share while Max is losing it.
    i think there's a difference there though. my comment further up was just based on how many jobs i see these days advertised as requiring maya knowledge. also if you work on characters, you are bound to deal with the animation pipeline and that seems universally maya these days. lastly, if you cannot rule out to wanting to work in film/post production at some point, again, it's most likely maya you are going to be using.
    i think in games you can still find max used throughout the pipeline, but less and less so and mostly in smaller/less techy teams. i suppose in most places that were originally all-max based it is now relegated to a modeller application. if you encounter a place that still animates in character studio, it's probably best to run, quickly. :)

    and yes, there's that other thing: that max has stagnated and we do not like what autodesk has done to it. when you are more productive in a version from years back than in latest & greatest, something seems awfully fishy. i would not recommend it to a new artist these days as i do not see it as having much of a future in entertainment. unfortunately.


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