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Which software do you love the most to work with (for whatever reason)?

Just to get some balance here. Cracks me up

Not which software is objectively the best, or how do they compare, but which 3D or 3D-related software you, personally, love and why.

See the sister topic  Which software do you hate the most to work with (for whatever reason)?


  • Daniel_Swing
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    Daniel_Swing ngon master
    I love working in Substance Designer.
    - I love it because it allows for a very fluid and iterative workflow. I never have to commit to anything. Everything can be changed or tweaked at a later point, without having to go back a single step.
    - I love it because it removes repetitive execution, letting procedural randomness take care of it.
    - I love it because it's so easy to re-use and re-purpose aspects of any graph. Just copy-past a cluster of nodes and hook them up, instead of going through a sequence of operations over and over again.
    *edited, to make more sense
  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx interpolator
    3Ds Max! I am currently working in Blender and learning so much and i love it too. But 3Ds max will always be my baby. It is easy to use and have so many modifiers to save me time.
  • gnoop
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    gnoop greentooth
    How could someone love a content creation software.  They are all  terribly, hideously,  grotesquely, monstrously,  amazingly , inexplicably     tedious inconvenient and in general a huge pain in the a... we all have to  tolerate and adjust rather then enjoy  :)  

    Tell me there is some parallel universe  where we could really enjoy them  and where software engineers are not all crazy scientists or  aliens.

    ok. I enjoy corel painter  and  rebelle   sometimes. :p
    And sometimes Clarisse give me a kind of warm feeling when I imaging what a gigantic  paint in the a.. I would have  trying to recreate  same scene  in 3d max

  • Vexod14
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    Vexod14 interpolator
    I hesitate between Akeytsu and 3D-Coat, both for their intuitive/efficient/"hey, I almost never crash guys!", side. These softs works in two distinct fields of course, but to me it's their philosophy that's "magical ♥", and which makes them great to use all day long. These are part of the kind of software that you are happy to run, at work and at home

    I love 3D-Coat especially for texturing (feels like I'm really free to do whatever I want with a big and smart tool-set in my hands). To me It's really important that it allows the artist being efficient as fast as possible, you don't need to understand all buttons/tools but they are here for latter use, I love messing with its smart-materials system to find the surface look I need, the fact that almost any slider values aren't clamped to dev defaults limits, plus all it can do (I never learnt how sculpting works and started with its retopology panel like 7 years ago, and it still rocks)

    Akeytsu is also deep in my heart, since it has allowed me to develop some personal projects by taking them to the next level in terms of quality. Having the possibility to easily animate objects or characters, in order to simply make a scene more alive, has redefined the limits of what I could create. I also learned to enjoy animating through it. Anyway, I wasn't really a big fan of rigging or animation until Akeytsu came along. Although it's not a tool that goes deep into the rig, it allows me to manage complex hierarchies without the need for a huge technical background and to learn how rig logic works elsewhere in a different, simpler way. I think I now understand better what the rig is thanks to this software. I think it's the demystifying side of it that I've enjoyed the most from the beginning.
  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer greentooth
    I'd say Clip Studio Paint EX/Pro, it works really good with huge brush sizes and it's the best for my needs. 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    Two favorite parts of my workflow are modeling in maya and painting in substance painter. I just find both these programs really intuitive and flexible. I never have to think about how to do something, I can just do it.

    I guess I don't do anything to crazy like you might in a AAA studio, but I never have issues with software crashing so that's not really a concern for me. For me, I am not pushing any boundaries. What matters to me is ergonomics, most of all.

    I also have the benefit of being new to digital art, so my world is still bright and full of possibilities. Every time I learn how to do something new in photoshop, it's like the coolest thing ever.

  • zachagreg
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    zachagreg ngon master
    Image result for balanced like all things should be

    Substance Designer and Substance Painter rock my socks.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    Been a Blenderite for nie on 15 something years. So the app for me now, basically fits like an old well worn pair of jean's, with age gets more comfortable and I think the current 2.8xx version UI/UX design is seriously dope...a no nonsense clean interface pretty much a joy too work with as a hard surface modeller.

    ...also GIMP 2.10, ranks right up there as a 2D painting program :-)
  • ned_poreyra
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    ned_poreyra triangle
    Blender, because everything. If you get the pun.
  • EGGO
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    EGGO polycounter lvl 9
    I have two beloved software... It's Zbrush and Cinema4D... Why I love'em? Because they gives me opportunity to create and be creative without any boundaries attached... I don't need to think about how to do this or that - it's just a straightforward creative process... C4D is a great software for highpoly modelling with a bit of procedural fun no matter that it's not an industry standard in GameDev's world. Zbrush is.... well.. it's a Zbrush you know)))
    p.s.: oh... one thing... C4D never crashes.... ;)
    Cheers, EGGO.
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 15
    Unity for sure.
    -Easy to get into, and highly expandable without needing source code access.
    -Excellent api support for emerging tech
    -Easy for artists to do things that normally require a programmer or tech artist to assist with in other engines.

    Its not perfect and as it evolves the ease of use has declined but of all the tools i use in my daily tasks, unity still gives me results that are consistent, easy to understand and quick to iterate on
  • Alemja
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    Alemja ngon master
    Substance Designer and Painter are probably some of my most favorite software to come out in the last few years. They are just so good.

    For modeling programs:
    • 3DS Max - My first 3D love and it is my favorite when it comes to modeling
    • Maya - I really love rigging and skinning in this program, after taking a deep dive into learning that stuff it's clear that the program was really built with animation in mind
    • Blender - Modeling tools are fairly solid, not quite as robust as Max's but I'm growing to like it for personal work. I never realized how much I enjoyed modeling without a gizmo until I started using Blender. It's also just kind of nice to have a program that has no strings attached and does most of the things I need.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp ngon master
    gnoop said:
    How could someone love a content creation software.  They are all  terribly, hideously,  grotesquely, monstrously,  amazingly , inexplicably     tedious inconvenient and in general a huge pain in the a... we all have to  tolerate and adjust rather then enjoy  :)  
    I can agree with this.

    I do love one aspect of Blender in particular though and that is that it is the only 3D software I have ever used that I feel I can - within limits - entrust my scene to. It has never crashed for weird, inexplicable reasons on me. In fact it crashes so rarely that when it does it tends to take me a while to realise what just happened.

    Sure, if you trigger certain functions under particular circumstances, it'll crash like any other program. But the stuff that you can't reproduce - the crashes when using a basic function on a simple mesh on a Monday morning and BANG, gone in an instant where you never suspected it would (hello, 3ds max - sound familiar to you?) - not seen that so far. Feels nice to deal with something predictable after many years of managing autosaves, testing scene integrity in a parallel instance of the program right after saving and a general wariness about the safety of one's work within the software.

  • spacefrog
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    spacefrog polycounter lvl 11
    Once you are experienced  enough and have solid development skills its just amazing what power the engine gives right into your hands. Dont understand me wrong, this will be the same for  Unreal and many other engines, but as said its the level of specialized experience with such complex beasts thats important. And that happens to be with Unity for me ..
  • BlueBlankey
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    BlueBlankey polycounter lvl 2

    Hear me out, It might not be the most efficient thing ever but its simplicity allows it to feel more "hands on" and in control than most other software. Maybe not great for production work but as an art tool it's fun to work with- no prior concept art needed.
  • Andreicus
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    Andreicus polycounter lvl 3
    Quadspinner Gaea because is so much fun to create terrains with it and it's also very fast and because of that it's great for prototyping and get the overall idea done. 

    Houdini because:

    - You can make the impossible possible
    - Hybrid workflow traditional modeling + procedural 
    - Most indie friendly price plan out there 
    - SideFX

    And finally Maya because I like the sinergy between the modeling tools, it's fast and it is the software that I learned 3d with ( even though I started with Blender but I ditched it for Maya) 
  • kanga
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    kanga sublime tool
    Blender and zBrush. I come from a time when 3D was scifi. The fact that my laptop can perform  this voodoo is amazebuckets. That also goes for Substance, Gimp, Krita, Unity and Ureal.

    These Toys make me a happy little vegemite.
  • Finnn
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    Finnn polycounter lvl 3
    I love the substance designer + marmoset combo
    both programs are easy to use, because they allow alot of iteration and quick changes. Creating materials in substance designer feels very natural, progressive. It has an overall well designed workFLOW.
    Substance Designer with its fully procedural approach is simply amazing. I learned just for fun, because it actually IS fun. Compared to the tediousness of other tools. (I also tried Quixel which felt like a cheap photoshop addon compared to SD. its ~3 years ago, Quixel might have become more stable)

    imo, Houdini is becoming a very essential tool aswell. Procedural generation is the future and Houdini opens up many doors in that regard. I will go dive into houdini at some point, it might just throw SD off the first place in my favourite software list. :)

  • Raybees
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    Raybees polycounter lvl 7
    Maya and Photoshop are my main squeeze. All I need to make beautiful art. I like the low to high poly work flow as it allows me to get get the best low poly model possible which as far as games go that's the most important thing. 
    After college I mainly focused on animation and rigging, Maya is amazing for both. Even now years later as I'm delving in to more Environment and props, I still am finding it faster to quickly model in Maya. I believe a beautiful game can be created with just Maya, Photoshop and a game engine.
  • jaker3278
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    jaker3278 polycounter lvl 7
    3Ds Max and Substance Painter for me. I really like the viewport in max the shading makes modeling easy on the eye. coming from quixel to SP was a huge leap in the right direction. Marmoset toolbag 3 for baking and hot loading of shaders is cool. And who can forget UE4 fantastic tool that you can spend the rest of your life working with. 
  • throttlekitty
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    throttlekitty Polycount Sponsor
    I really do love working in Maya, the amount of paths that I can take on my way to all sorts of creation are all there and then some.

    And even though I don't use it often or with any goal in mind, Verve is just incredibly fun to paint in.
  • Kyetja
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    Kyetja polycounter lvl 3
    Marmoset. Mama mia the bakes this software can make. The UI is not quite to my liking yet but I have good faith they'll get there.

    The fact I can import several OBJ, split up meshes and elements of those meshes, make cages, skew maps and all that stuff in a single software is just amazing.
  • garcellano
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    garcellano greentooth
    Oh, Maya, all the way.
    I use to dream about opening that up for work in the morning for years. I love Maya. I looOOove it.
  • lefix
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    lefix polycounter lvl 11
    Ever since switching to UI/UX, Figma has been my new best friend
  • Chreas
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    Chreas Polycount Sponsor
    Modo! Tried lots of the other 3D modeling software before (Blender, Maya, 3DS Max, Cinema), but when I saw the demo video of Modo back in 2014, I knew I had to get this. It's not that it can do more, but the UI is perfect for me and I just feel good when using it.

    The other one would be Substance Painter, such a joy to work with - especially if I think back to doing textures in Photoshop...

    Thanks for mentioning Quadspinner, never heard of this but definitely have to try it out.
  • Bigg__D
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    Bigg__D polycounter lvl 4
    I have tried basically every 3d software and, as far as modeling goes, I just have the most FUN using 3ds Max. Why? Because the modeling toolset is robust & mature, the environment is clean & makes SENSE there isnt too many modes or layers between you and the object, there really is no noticeable distinction between object & edit mode; it is tool-aware and context sensitive. I also like how the animation tools are easy enough to use to where, even as a non-animator, I can setup basic controls & test out some animations for like a weapon or mech & its just so quick & easy to do.
  • Andreicus
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    Andreicus polycounter lvl 3
    Chreas said:
    Modo! Tried lots of the other 3D modeling software before (Blender, Maya, 3DS Max, Cinema), but when I saw the demo video of Modo back in 2014, I knew I had to get this. It's not that it can do more, but the UI is perfect for me and I just feel good when using it.

    The other one would be Substance Painter, such a joy to work with - especially if I think back to doing textures in Photoshop...

    Thanks for mentioning Quadspinner, never heard of this but definitely have to try it out.
    No problem. Try Gaea out, it's very fun, the UI is modern and the nodes are intuitive. 
    I think that there is a free learning version available to download. 

    I'm one of the earliest "backers" of the software and it's fantastic. Also Dax Pandhi is one of the mind behind it so you can't go wrong for terrains creations.

    Some of the landscapes that I made are on my portfolio if you want to check them out, I also have some breakdown videos on my YouTube channel. 
  • Jakro
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    Jakro greentooth
    Zbrush. It's the most creative part of making props. It's just so fun to sit down and sculpt away without a care in the world about geometry or any other creative dead-weight. I'd like to say blender but tbh my work in blender tends to be less creatively fulfilling. 
  • WilliamVaughan
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    WilliamVaughan greentooth
    Modo is my daily go to and Marvelous Designer is probably the most enjoyable/fun software I use. 
  • huffer
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    huffer interpolator
    I like Unreal Engine a lot. It's easy to use, using nodes is great, either for blueprints and materials and figuring out how to do something and testing and it working is rewarding
  • PollySong
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    PollySong polycounter lvl 11
    Modo. Every time I try modeling somewhere else, I end up missing some feature and can't find a good workaround. Modo isn't perfect by any means, but as a modeler it's still unbeatable imo.

    Edit: And unity. Mostly because I'm very comfortable with it, but I find it very flexible and fun to work with.
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights greentooth
    Simply Blender, because it never fails me. No crashing, no workflow-breaking bugs, and I can safely save my work on a single .blend file without worrying it gets corrupted or anything like that. Fast, lightweight and portable, so I don't need to install it either. Just run it and start working.

    Also, it's a joy to model in Blender, it's biggest strength -> modeling tools. It just works.
  • mazz423
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    mazz423 polycounter lvl 9
    None of them, they're all a waking nightmare!

    In all seriousness, Zbrush, my first software love. However much like love there are certainly a lot of things we don't like about each other, it's a little unstable, it's not updated it's look in forever, and it has... Scale issues...

    But ultimately none of that stops me from looking forward to whenever I get to work with it, love you Zbrush, never change.
  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer greentooth
    For 3D, Blender + addons is in another league. I love working with Eevee, it's just another experience. Something we can't compare with any other 3d app.
  • tsabszy
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    tsabszy greentooth
    - 3ds max - for polygon- and hard surface modelling 
    - Zbrush - for sculpting 
    - Rizom Uv - for uvwrapping complex or midpoly stuff (since 3ds max is becoming laggy easily and it's uv tools are outdated) 
    - 3d Coat + Photoshop - for hand painted texturing 
    - Marmoset toolbag - for baking from high to low poly 

  • Finnn
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    Finnn polycounter lvl 3
    friendz of good software, just throwing a question in here
    What is in your opinion the most important part of a good user experience for design tools ?
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 15
    Dont get in the way of what im trying to do.
    That tends to happen in a multitude of different ways and has to be addressed on a case by case basis but thats the simplest way i can put it.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe polycount lvl 666
    Pycharm is brilliant (so are the other intelliJ IDEs) it's an absolute essential for python development IMO

    Max - it's just better than everything else if you want to make models. 

    Substance designer - it's the bedrock of any sensible material pipeline, its scriptable, extensible and incredibly powerful.

    Substance painter - it's just fun.

    Oh, and a shout for clip studio.  It was there for me when Sketchbook Pro stopped being decent value and I've never looked back. 
  • captainumbrella
    Really love ZBrush. I know a lot of people hate the UI of it and the looks, but I've grown to really like it and find it to be really intuitive and easy to use after understanding certain aspects of it.
  • welbot
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    welbot polycounter lvl 5
    I find myself working in Fusion360 a lot these days. I still do a lot in 3dsmax, but Fusion is great for many things, especially easy dimensional accuracy when it comes to 3d printing :) 
  • DonSmith
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    DonSmith polycounter lvl 3
    Houdini more and more.  And of course, UE4 is handy for all kinds of things. 
  • Kevin Albers
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    Kevin Albers polycounter lvl 15
    Max, because I've used it for ages (so I'm super fast in it) and I really enjoy using lots of spline-based modeling, and Max has a great spline implementation. And Zbrush, which is super fun for improvisational modeling. The combination of the two is a very fun combo.
  • radiancef0rge
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    radiancef0rge Polycount Sponsor
  • haiddasalami
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    haiddasalami polycounter lvl 10
    Sublime Text Editor - Super customizable and easy to install extensions.
    Renderdoc - Helps make debugging shaders quite pleasant. 
    Everything - I never have to use windows explorer to search for stuff.....
    Agent Ransack - Indexes text based files for easy searching. 
  • Pirax
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    Pirax triangle
    I'm a little surprised to not see this one yet, Unreal. Each day i find a little more out about this engine and I'm very excited to soon pickup blender to have a totally free pipeline :-)
  • Finnn
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    Finnn polycounter lvl 3
    zachagreg said:

    I like no button programs B)
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    Ya, PureRef is one sick app :+1:

  • neilberard
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    neilberard polycounter lvl 14
    Houdini. It's crazy how quickly you can whip up something with multi-threaded vex nodes that would have taken eons to traditionally code by hand.
  • cookepuss
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    cookepuss polycounter lvl 7
    I don't "love" any one app. These things come and go, historically speaking. However, I have grown quite fond of Blender over the years. My pipeline used to include lots of single purpose tools. They were amazing to be sure, but moving from one app to the next always took me out of the moment. With Blender, even though its individual workspaces lack some of the shiny doodads of a dedicated app, not having to switch programs when I need to sculpt or texture paint brings me a certain amount of comfort. With a few exceptions, Blender has become a sort of one-stop solution for me and loading it up feels like holding an old, soft blanket. Version 2.8x has only managed to make that experience feel more unified and palatable.

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