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Question: How far can I get with Blender?

Hi everyone! I'm new here and I'm an aspiring 3D environment artist. I started off in 3D modeling through Blender, and I wanted to know how far I can go with that versus having to take the time and money to learn Maya and 3DS Max.

I'm a student, which means I get Maya for free, but not 3DS Max. How much of a difference is it if I stick with Blender, or should I backtrack to learn Maya? (or even pay for 3DS Max?)


  • Joopson
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    Joopson quad damage

    Blender will get you there just fine; at a future job, you could be stuck using a different tool to fit into their workflows (i.e. Max or Maya, probably), but everything you learn in Blender will apply in principle, so it'll just be about learning UI and idiosyncrasies between the programs at that point.

    But if you're worried about Blender not being as capable— it definitely is capable enough to make professional quality work with, no doubt. And just as easily as with the more expensive programs.

  • Tiles
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    Tiles greentooth

    Imho Blender has in general still the problem that there is always another tool around that does the job much better, faster or at all. And Blender does still too much things ass forward. The whole brush system is for example plain crazy. They made it rocket science to even use your own brushes. And throws you to death with a gazillion brush settings. Eevee has in its current incarnation a performance problem, the bones system is aged, sculpting quits where sculpting starts, in the mega poly range. The asset browser is close to useless in its current incarnation. Materials is always starting from scratch. And so on. Also, Blender remains free, but the whole periphery is commercialized nowadays. No big difference to Max or Maya anymore. Well, currently the Blender addons are still a bit cheaper. But at the same time delivers also the lower quality compared to what the periphery of Max or Maya offers. Starts with the need to use Python in Blender already, while you can do the job in C or C++ for Max or Maya. Performance ...

    But anyways. That's just my personal opinion at it, and i am biased anyways. I look at Blender with always one eye at where it could be improved. And i am also somehow a Blender user. So take my words with a grain of salt. I definitely don't doubt the "you get your job done" part. I just doubt the "easily" part.

    That said, Quality is what counts in the first place, not what tool you use to achieve this quality. When Blender brings you to that point, then everything is fine with that. But as Joopson already pointed out, you might want to work for companies that does not use Blender in their pipeline. When your job requires to use Maya then Blender is of no big help. You create 3D art, not Blender art. So it simply depends.

    Also keep in mind that you never just use one tool. Blender is no Substance Painter for example. And no ZBrush or 3D Coat. And for animation you might want to have a look at other solutions too.

    So go with Blender as far as it can wear you. But keep your eyes and mind open to add other tools to your pipeline at your way :)

    Kind regards


  • OrangeJuices
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    Thanks for the replies! This is exactly the answers I was looking for. I wasn't expecting to stay with Blender for the rest of my life (and I have used programs like Substance painter/designer in my work before).

    It is just nice to know that it isn't just training wheels, and can get me started somewhere while I'm at the beginning of my journey. 😁

  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycount lvl 666

    Blender is fine, I do professional work with it and have had no real problems . I was a long time max and maya user, but switched to blender 3 years ago.

    The sculptng is pretty good, though not as good with higher poly counts. But hey max has not had any decent updates in 20 years, but Blender is leading the way with various techniques.

    The thing that I realy like about Blender is the lack of crashes. Maya will crash if you breathe too loud :)

    The principles of modelling and creating PBR shaders is pretty much universal now, so if you have to learn Bldender first, then move on to some other program if required, you will be fine.

    BUT if you choose to stick with Blender that would also be fine

    Check out Ian Huberts stuff in Blender and then decide :)


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