3D modelling tools comparison

Hey guys, is there a big difference between Blender, Maya and Cinema 4D when it comes to modelling?
Also I wonder if there are any limits in polygons in these programs?

What other programs are also nice for modelling alone?
Thank you

Replies

  • kanga
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    kanga polycounter
    I dunno. I reckon the app you start with is the one that stays closest to your heart. I've tried them all basically. I've never encountered a program that was bad, just software I couldn't use properly, or wouldn't run on my modest machine. I'm using Blender atm, mostly because it is fast moving and has a super user community that is large and enthusiastic.
  • rollin
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    rollin greentooth
    I use(d) all three and I would say the modelling is not the decisive point here imo.
    I switched to blender for my personal stuff bc of the money and other areas like animation and scripting
  • GlowingPotato
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    GlowingPotato polycounter lvl 5
    I started in Max, landed on Maya, and I still here after 12 years.
    To me, all the same, diferente menus.
  • oglu
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    oglu sublime tool
    Most artists struggle to nail the design. Modeling itself isnt the problem. Use what ever feels good for you. 
  • SuperFranky
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    SuperFranky polycounter lvl 7
    They all have their annoying issues, and the rest is pretty much the same.
  • Orphydian
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    Orphydian polycounter lvl 4
    Out of the box even I dont like it Max has a very modeling oriented UI and workflow. Everything ties together, modifiers are made to work with each other. Its  a very robust and thoughtful UI and process for modeling.  It encourages you to be methodical and build your models in stages and with more thought in mind. All max needs now is to get his UI standardized and unified once more..one more time. For the moment its a utter mix of different styles of icons, scroll bars, menus etc. Along with a better Ui performance it can be as flawless as it can get for a General 3d packgage.

    Maya on the other hand can be very fast as well maybe even faster  than max but it can be tricky to match certain powerful workflows you take for granted in max. your basic modeling  tools have been greatly refined in the last releases especially the interaction with them. The symmetry mode supports most of them, hotkeys for them are consistent, you have that super dupper Circularize tool (better latter than never), your swisss knife new Cut tool  with a couple of neat features like the perpendicular cut and all the snaps easily activated during the cut process (also a step in the right direction by combining functionalities from multiple tools into one easily accessible with hotkeys), great Quad draw tool etc, decent visual indications helpers when you use the tools. For a straightforward modeling process I would say Maya wins hands down among all the others.

    Cinema 4d has a snappy UI indeed but Im afraid modeling there was pretty much forgotten when comes to development. Now they carry only to their motion graphics crowd. Dev is bad for most of the apps but Cinema wasnt very robust at modeling in the first place to say at least. It had great potential, too bad.

    I dont see anything special to Blender, besides a delusional enthuziasm around it. In fact ,out of the box same as Cinema 4d is limited at every corner. Some say its has the fastest workflow but IMO  Maya has an ideal combination between its robust context menus and hotkeys (fewer keys to memorize also) as well as tools with multifunctionalty to rob even this Blender achievement.  I see now they continue to add features (many of them are barely fixes and  implementation of standard stuff), focusing more on quantity than quality. Ive heard this is intentional because they want to add as much as they can while the funding is still going and big and focus later on refinements. It doesnt really beat maya with its proceduralism either cause its modifier stack its just a gimmick of what Max stack is.  There are  certainly enough addons for it but what i dont like is that even those that have managed to be shipped with the program still depends on the third party author to be maintained, updated and developed. This is something that I dont like about this open source thing. They are all over the place and while developing can be great is still a mess.


    ADDENDUM

    When comes to Edit poly performance check this youtube review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VmTBCFZE6Q

    Out of the bunch Blender  (and Cinema 4d even it wasnt taken into consideration in the video) has the poorest performance. I dont know if they can improve it significantly. It seems rather daunting task.

    When comes to handling objects and such  I was surprised about Mayas performance when playing with the new awesome Motion graphics module MASH. I was able to playback stuff that in Cinema 4d you barely get a couple of fps. And its crazy because C4D is suppose to be the king of motion graphics but its performnce and viewport dont support such claims and ambitions. As a side note MASH in Maya is way more powerful than C4D mograph to begin with and the gap is exponentially widen if you consider other features and powerfull tools of Maya that works along the new MASH which was damn well integrated even it was bought rather than developed by Autodesk. Its definetely the most exciting , fresh, fun and easy to use thing that happen in Maya.  It can be pretty succesfully put to use for some modeling tasks as well if thats more of your interest.

    For retopolgy workflow out of the box Maya wins. Auto retopology is on the public road for both Max and Maya and this will enlarge the gap even more.  The remesher sculpting stuff that is on blender builds was never intended for retopo anyway. I dont see anyhting robust and reliable happening in Blender in this aspect, they seem pretty content to let this matter to third party addons. So stick with Max and Maya.

    Same as for the UV unwraping and editing. For a default UV editor and for a general 3D package, Maya new UV editor (updated several versions ago) is just a state of the art. Max one isnt very far but Maya one got more refined and attention within the last updates. In Cinema 4d and Blender UV editing is just bare bones. I dont see anyhting big happening these areas for these programs.

    Regarding viewports and real time Eeevee make no mistake Mayas viewport will impose new standards very soon. It always been like that. 
  • MarcelDeneuve
    Wow, thank you pals a lot for your opinions especially Orphydian (was very thorough).
    But one last question, Blender has real-time EEVEE does Maya have something like this?
  • Orphydian
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    Orphydian polycounter lvl 4
    Ive greatly edited my post check it out.
  • MarcelDeneuve
    Orphydian said:
    Ive greatly edited my post check it out.
    already did man, so for now Blender at least has EEVEE, but definately I have to check Maya myself
    Thanks a lot!
  • Orphydian
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    Orphydian polycounter lvl 4
    for modeling Elementza 3d has best tutorials on youtube for Maya. See how he uses the contextual menus and various symmetry options in Maya.
  • MarcelDeneuve
    Just checked it, nice tutor
  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter lvl 9
       There is one more aspect that imo should be considered: simplicity , intuitiveness and general convenience.  

      Those old good same  programs like Maya and Max are a mess of kind of code archeological layers, outdated approaches, old solutions.  To master them you have to dig through all that mess,  litter your brain  with lots of redundant and irrelevant information.
       Many important features are hidden deep behind useless interface innovations and too cross-dependent with another hidden features to work properly and which you all have keep in mind or write them down in something like Evernote. 
     They are like a labyrinth of some kind you always have to explore  and would never learn it all.
      
    All that only gets worse  like a rolling snowball with all those years passing and there is no hope something will change in the future.   

    Blender is only soft that imo tries to make it simple.    Not especially successful  but at least they do try.  With latest version it's two steps forward and one step back.  
     
    Still  IMO it's much more simply structured.  

       No wonder you would find  pearls there very quickly and then  surprisingly discover you main MAx/Maya  had always  be capable for same but it was hidden so deep and so inconvenient nobody really ever used it.  

    ps .   There is a weird dependency : more pro soft is pretending to be  , more crazy puzzling and  inconvenient it  usually is.
    My experience with programmers  is that they usually incapable to think simple  and always try to build a huge constructions where it should be like 2x2.    
      
        



      
  • Orphydian
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    Orphydian polycounter lvl 4
    Blender has a fresh, minimalistic and easier to the eye UI but thats about it. The workflow remained mostly the same. Its not a immediate connection between UI symplifying and workflow streamlining.  Thats one of the main reasons Blender still heavily relies on addons. The new UI just blast out the myth that Blender is resource of hidden gems and you only have to give it a chance and get over the non standard UI. Now that been taken out its limits are even more critical visible. 

     I beg to differ here that Blender its the only one that tries to make it simple. Cinema 4d did it and its doing that from the very beginning and maybe thats  the reasons is the only software who can make such claims. And thats no surprise it was made for mograph designers coming from Adobe background who try to put some 3d in their work. Blender by no means doesnt have the same ammount of functionality stuff in there like the others so its far more easier to make its UI seem somehow streamlined. To be honest its just a return to some standards and common sense and its now very similar to the other apps. It can look simpler because there is a lot of less stuff in there compared to the others. 

    If Blender would have the same ammount of functionality like Maya for ex it would also get pretty much compartmented at UI and workflow level like Maya currently is. You have Xgen, MASH, Bifrost, etc. Plus you have all the special editors that are not necessarily a bad UI solution. Maya also has a lot more menu content than Blender and for this reason it conveniently separated them into sets by category.

    I dont know other better solution other than this separation when you have all this level of functionality. I would also argue that this also facilitate the process of learning and consolidation of knowledge within the certain functionalities of the software and its also very convenient when one doesnt want to deal with all the parts of the software but only certain parts. You can even prevent them to Autoload when the software starts just like Blender addons. Stylistically at least Maya almost completely standardized the UI unlike Max.  You have a flat modern design with professional looking and color coded icons. This is not something that happens everyday for such big and old softwares. To be honest for a software of the caliber and oldness of Maya with the refreshing work done at the UI style, its definitely the most modern looking out there. But thats definetely a superficial way to a  valutate a software.


  • thomasp
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    thomasp sublime tool
    gnoop said:
       There is one more aspect that imo should be considered: simplicity , intuitiveness and general convenience.  

      Those old good same  programs like Maya and Max are a mess of kind of code archeological layers, outdated approaches, old solutions. 
      
     
    Yeah I'd agree that these programs are very convoluted, Maya in particular has been a byzantine labyrinth of epic proportions right from the beginning, not the least since it started life as a merger of a bunch of formerly standalone products from different companies.

    Not sure the Blender approach of throwing the baby out with the bathwater every few years is the solution though. I'm currently going through the transition from 2.7 to 2.8 having not really touched my configuration in about three years - and boy did they get rid of stuff or what? What a massacre!
    Imagine any of the big commercial vendors would have thrown out renderers, the entire viewport tech and basic scripting/plugin compatibility in one single major release, affecting the overall performance of their application considerably in the process - and not given any backwards compatiblity options: they'd have to face an armed mob of tech artists and pipeline developers at their gates.

  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter lvl 9
    Yeah. Blender did a step back for sure. I have no idea why they  started to change UI while the old one was perfectly ok.  Now they did same 3dMax always do,  hiding an important things well beneath useless UI decoration.    But the other novelties overweight it .

    As of Maya , I actually didn't touch it much for years already   so may be totally wrong   but what I remember it had always  been kind of "thanks for buying our soft, now kindly hire a programmer".   So addon argument hardly works against Blender here.

    I do believe we perhaps could see some truly convenient art tools if it would be well trained AI behind UI , in-between user and final result.
      But that would probably replace  3d artist altogether as a it would be just designer/director/concept artist >>> AI produced result.  
    Guess it would never happen although.  Ai would continue to do fancy stuff  like putting someone instead of Arnold face but never anything useful.     
  • thomasp
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    thomasp sublime tool
    Nah that sounds just like the Maya I know - you can factor the soon-to-be-hired plugin developer's wage right into the license fee else it's not a fair comparison. ;)
  • rollin
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    rollin greentooth
    gnoop said:
    Yeah. Blender did a step back for sure. I have no idea why they  started to change UI while the old one was perfectly ok.  Now they did same 3dMax always do,  hiding an important things well beneath useless UI decoration.    But the other novelties overweight it .

    You should make it clear that this is your personal opinion. Which I - for example - do not share.
    :)
  • Orphydian
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    Orphydian polycounter lvl 4
    Again this myth about blender hiding stuff from an ugly ui and now from a Scandinavian minimalistic ui lol. There was nothing too much wrong about its Uis. This new Ui stuff is more like a rebrand.

    As for Maya I haven written a line of scripts in my life and  you certainly dont have to so technical minded person to use it for most of its categories of functionalities where traditionally you are not supposed to have that mindset or skills. I even starting to do some motion graphics, particles, playing with the Xgen for hair and fur creation etc and I definitely havent felt like I need to have a degree in programming.  In fact it was quite a fun experience. You might say that many of these where just bought instead of being developed, that they were already streamlined  and production proven third party plugins and such but thats completely another argument and end user dont have to bother too much about it.

    Blender definitely relies on addons more than any others so I dont know why you guys are so ready to bash Maya for this.

    Maya only needs to have more easier control on its history but that only for a a particular the Hard surface modeling purposes and will be absolutely the supreme package if its not already.



  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter lvl 9
    rollin said:
    gnoop said:
    Yeah. Blender did a step back for sure. I have no idea why they  started to change UI while the old one was perfectly ok.  Now they did same 3dMax always do,  hiding an important things well beneath useless UI decoration.    But the other novelties overweight it .

    You should make it clear that this is your personal opinion. Which I - for example - do not share.
    :)
    Of course an opinion,  but what else could we express in such a thread.  I understand some might prefer more traditional UI approach.
    I've just been annoyed  mostly by things like "auto merge"   that had always been in mesh or vertex menu before where it logically should be imo.  And now they hided it somewhere I have to google it each time I need it.
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