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3D Apps 2013

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

A thread to discuss 3D animation apps.

 

 

 

OK.

 

I've been playing around with several 3D apps for the past two weeks, looking for something to use for work (mainly animated characters, with lip syncing if possible) and something (perhaps the same app) to mess around with.

 

Well...

 

Cinema 4D --  Too darned expensive, especially to get character rigging capability. Nice app, though.

 

Modo -- expensive, but goes on sale for 49% off every now and then, so I gave it a closer look than C4D.  Crashes from time to time with the 3D mouse, requiring reboot, which is frustrating.  Only limited audio (single track playing at any one time).

 

Cheetah3D -- got it 40% off at the App Store.  Not bad, but no audio at all.  A nice learning tool (and more!) for the price.  3D mouse works great.

 

Carrara 8.5 -- just released a couple of days ago, works fine on 10.8.  3D mouse a no go.  BUT: a rather nice all-in-one package (includes environments and animated water) that was rather inexpensive.  I went on and bought it and in a day put together a nice movie.  Has render nodes that are a breeze to install and work perfectly; really speeds up output.  A couple of bugs, though (the install went fine, but some of the parts don't show up).  And the included users guide was for version 7 (I bought 8.5).


Edited by Bergermeister - 8/28/13 at 8:58am

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #2 of 8

C4D has specific customer niches. It is fairly expensive if you want to access many of the solvers. The same could be said of Houdini. The basic version doesn't include their amazing dynamics solvers. If you need something cheaper than modo, why not just use Blender? It's usable even if it would be far better with a more mature renderer (also a weakness of modo back when I did a trial it).

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I may take a look at Blender again some time soon...  I looked at it a while back and for some reason moved on.  I think I wasn't really that interested in 3D yet.  Times have changed...

 

Once I got an install problem sorted out, I'm actually really enjoying Carrara.  It comes with globs of stuff (scenes, shaders, models) and so for the price I got it for it was almost a steal. 

 

With Carrara and Cheetah, I think I'm set for a while.  I can learn the ropes with these and then move on to something a little more intense if the need is there.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Finally started trying to bigger render jobs today and quickly saw the limit of my current render "farm".  I saw "farm" because, in addition to my main iMac, I have aa single Mac mini.  When I set it up I was rendering 2D and it worked great.  Today saw the mini sounding like a wind tunnel.

 

Will certainly be looking at a Mac Pro now. 

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

I may take a look at Blender again some time soon...  I looked at it a while back and for some reason moved on.  I think I wasn't really that interested in 3D yet.  Times have changed...

 

Once I got an install problem sorted out, I'm actually really enjoying Carrara.  It comes with globs of stuff (scenes, shaders, models) and so for the price I got it for it was almost a steal. 

 

With Carrara and Cheetah, I think I'm set for a while.  I can learn the ropes with these and then move on to something a little more intense if the need is there.

None of the low cost options are perfect imo. Cycles has a certain amount of potential, but it can't handle things that would be easy enough in mental ray, vray, etc. With some coding skills you could also go with one of the renderman types. Out of those, Vray is probably the easiest to optimize and offers a lot in the way of sampling overrides out of the box. It's decent on memory use and just really easy to set up with some basic knowledge of raytracers. I never got too far into modo's renderer, as I had a very limited amount of time. I remember the sampler seeming pretty terrible, but it takes some time to figure out what really is really feasible or infeasible. As for overall 3d packages, Houdini will always be my favorite, even if it's not what I primarily use.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Finally started trying to bigger render jobs today and quickly saw the limit of my current render "farm".  I saw "farm" because, in addition to my main iMac, I have aa single Mac mini.  When I set it up I was rendering 2D and it worked great.  Today saw the mini sounding like a wind tunnel.

 

Will certainly be looking at a Mac Pro now. 

I could have told you the mini would sound like that. The new mac pro isn't going to be aimed at this kind of thing. You're still quite limited in stable gpu based renderers.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Carrara doesn't seem to harness the GPU.  When I use my "farm", I get slightly better than double the speed of just using the iMac, despite the specs on the mini being somewhat lower.  It had been some time since I last taxed a machine so hard; it was kinda fun.

 

I haven't really looked at output settings yet.  So much to learn... 

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #7 of 8

Offline rendering doesn't leverage the gpu unless specifically stated for that render package. Even then they are extremely hardware dependent. It makes no difference unless it tells you that it supports gpu rendering and lists your gpu as supported. It also requires that your scene and textures fit within the hardware frame buffer, which is limiting in itself. Otherwise don't worry about it. The typical use of gpus in 3d graphics was real time drawing. They were generally used for OpenGL and nothing else. Unless your software package states otherwise, the value is only seen when modeling, painting, or animating, not offline rendering.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Having tons of fun and still have tons to learn and try.

 

Will probably burn out the Mac mini in another couple of weeks of pushing it this hard.  It will need a long vacation.  :)

 

Hoping the MacPro isn't too expensive...

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
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