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Geek Culture / 3D Modeller/Renderer (recommendations)

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Stephen Elliott
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 12:01
My old 3d Model and Render program has stopped working and won't re-install (don't ask lol). It was a bit old and clunky anyway.

So any recommendations for a 3d modelling program that can also render to a good standard? It has to be free or reasonably priced.

Thanks.
The Slayer
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 17:44
If you want a great 3D modelling/render program and free, then I guess your best option would be blender 3D. It's free, has everything you'll need for 3D modelling, has many tutorials. Only thing is the user interface, which you'll have to get used to, but I guess that's the same for any other 3D program, eh?

Here's the link: Blender
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Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 18:11
Blender's interface is usually the hurdle and one of the ones that's always kept me away from it. Otherwise, it's a very powerful toolset. I am just surprised over all these years that nobody's tried revamping the UI and controls, with it being open source and all.

If you're looking for cheap, Carrara is a decent program, I had version 5 and is currently on version 8. It can render to a decent standard, animate and so on. But has remained pretty stagnant since Daz3D took over, but still a decent toolset at a decent price. If you can find a download anywhere TrueSpace 7 is another 3D package. It's another one with an unorthodox UI, but preferable to Blender's IMO. TrueSpace got bought out and then kinda ditched, so the software ended up being given away for free if I recall.

If you're looking to use a mix of programs, my own workflow is: Silo3D for modelling & UV Mapping, Sculptris (free) for texturing and Carrara 5 Pro for rendering/animation. But given how dated that version of Carrara is and its lack of FBX support (which is in 8), I may invest in Carrara 8 Pro at some point, or Akeystu, which is great for the animation, but I am not currently looking for any rendering myself.

A big shout out to Silo3D, it is really wonderful to work with as a 3D modelling program, it is designed to be pretty ergonomic and I think is a superior tool when it comes to making the mesh and can be quicker to work with. UV tools are decent enough, but nothing special. Sculptris is essentially a free equivalent to ZBrush. Whilst I never really got into sculpting, it has real time texturing on the mesh and can use textured brushes and is decent enough for that purpose.

The Slayer
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 18:50
Quote: " If you can find a download anywhere TrueSpace 7"

Yeah, I use Truespace now and then...had it installed on my previous rig, but not yet on the new one...I have the install exe on my external HD, but for some reason, my HD doesn't get recognized. Need some recover software to get a hold of all the files on it.

Used Silo3D (trial) and also Carrara (trial). Both are good 3D programs. I've always held back a bit on using blender before, but once you get used to the workflow, it's easy enough. The UI when it first came out was even worse, lol.



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Stephen Elliott
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 21:17 Edited at: 24th Aug 2017 21:33
Quote: "
If you want a great 3D modelling/render program and free, then I guess your best option would be blender 3D. It's free, has everything you'll need for 3D modelling, has many tutorials. Only thing is the user interface, which you'll have to get used to, but I guess that's the same for any other 3D program, eh?
"


Yes I've heard good things about Blender, and haha yes! What is it with producers of 3d modelling software? They never seem intuitive to use! Lots of tutorials sounds good - so it must be widely supported.

Thanks Seppuku Arts, I'm really looking for just one program (to rule them all) and try and master it's (dubious logic and no doubt irritation)...Unless I get too frustrated and so thanks for your recommendations.

Truespace? Is that still going? lol I don't think I want to go down the route of software past it's best and losing support. Before I asked the question I had heard of Bender. If I like it or not is another matter - but it does seem well supported.

Thanks guys.
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 24th Aug 2017 22:02
No worries.

After a little digging, I just came across "Bforartists", which is a project intended to revamp the Blender interface to make it more artist friendly. Just installed it and first impressions are: it's an improvement, still has a Blender feel to it, but good effort. Linky

It may be a less painful option.
Stephen Elliott
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 10:00 Edited at: 25th Aug 2017 10:00
Thanks for your help. lol the interface can't be that bad. Famous last words

Well I've downloaded it and installed.
The Slayer
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 14:50
Quote: "lol the interface can't be that bad. Famous last words

Well I've downloaded it and installed."

Let us know how it goes .

Nah, the UI isn't that bad, it's just different than most 3D programs, so it's more a matter of getting used to it. Zbrush is the same...excellent modelling/sculpting program, but weird interface, lol.
When I first used zbrush, I had no clue where to find what I wanted, lol...there are still some things I don't know in zbrush (mainly because I've never needed them yet), but I'm a lot more confident now in zbrush than I was at first.
Zbrush is one of those programs you can fall in love with, after you've gotten used to . And, same goes for blender.
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Stephen Elliott
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Posted: 25th Aug 2017 20:38
Well I've used Lightwave3d, and that also seemed a bit weird at times. And that hardware dongle? Really? lol....Took me right back to the FAST BASIC hardware dongle on the Atari ST

Look, I'm just looking for a modeller that can render my very basic models lol. Fortunately I do like the simple geometry look.
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 26th Aug 2017 09:17
The good new is that Lightware is now dongle-free. And it's currently on offer by the looks of it. Alas, I am not carrying that kind of money spare to upgrade my own 3D suite.

Quote: "Look, I'm just looking for a modeller that can render my very basic models lol."


Then definitely Blender. Some of the suggestions may break the bank, even if reasonably priced as far as 3D packages go. Carrara is pretty damn cheap, but still $285/£22. The Indie version of Modo is £229.99 (or a £10.99 a month sub), which is supposed to be a more powerful toolset.

But I have been out of it for some time, so there may be some good 3D packages out there that have been released that I am completely unaware of.

After a bit of searching. There's RaySupreme3D, looks like it's got mixed reviews, but is dirt cheap and reviews saying "easier than Blender". It's £29,99 on Steam.
seppgirty
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Posted: 27th Aug 2017 21:07
People like me still use truespace 3d. This link here is to the unofficial truespace forum. https://united3dartists.com/forum/ The guy that is doing the bforartist interface also posts on there. you can talk about any 3d render software you like on there. It's a cool little hang out for 3d artists. Stop on by.
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TheComet
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2017 23:48
Quote: "I am just surprised over all these years that nobody's tried revamping the UI and controls, with it being open source and all. "


It was revamped in 2.50. The 2.49 interface was very confusing, the new one is still confusing to newcomers but when you get used to it it's really good.

@Stephen Elliott I recommend learning blender if you want to take 3d art and animation more seriously. Yes, it's a pain to learn but it's a skill you won't regret learning. I forced myself through Gryllus' online blender design course and highly recommend it. His videos can be found on youtube.

Online Design Course for Beginners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMPGTTVqlUA&list=PLxFrfUat2U5PXSs08AZxLt83Adno4mafw

Cycles Shader Encyclopedia: https://www.blenderguru.com/articles/cycles-shader-encyclopedia
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KeithC
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Posted: 3rd Sep 2017 15:43
I would hold off on Lightwave, as Lightwave Next appears to be approaching soon (no need to buy things twice). Till then; I would add to looking into Blender, as a healthy knowledge of it would be beneficial...no matter what other tool you use.
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Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 9th Sep 2017 13:17
Also, I decided to look a little more in Modo myself, as I am looking to get back into the 3D game. I downloaded the trial and it's a good 3D package. Still learning the UI, one great thing is that it has tutorials to help you transition from packages you've used, at least from Maya, 3DS Max, Softimage or Cinema 4D, having previously used CInema 4D, I may go through that at some point. But the UI is competent enough for me to use. Granted I still prefer Cinema 4D's much more, but I also don't have that kind of money and this to me is a big improvement on Blender's UI

But I'm gonna note a few points. You can get an Indie version on Steam and it's a fraction of the price and gives you the full software but with certain limitations, which don't actually affect me negatively.

Exports are limited to OBJ and FBX and 100k polys
Bake and render resolution limited to 4k
Commands, scripts and command history panel unavailable, except undo & history
No Python editor and scripts
Image format limited to png, jpg, tiff, tga and exr
No Network Rendering
Current indi version is 10.2 and there isn't an indie release for 11, but possible one will come out (as the indie version seems to get updated too)

This still makes it much better software than Cararra Pro but for roughly the same price and nothing within this price range could compete really. And unlike Maya LT, you can have a full copy. But you can pay £10 a month for it on a sub, not always a bonus, but something I may do before I determine whether worth buying it full out.

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