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Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-23-2001 15:20

I read Das' post: http://www.ozoneasylum.com/Forum11/HTML/000166.html and I'm seriously thinking about buying one of those pro packages. Right now Rhino is the only one in my budget, but I might save up and get Max, Lightwave, or Maya if I need to. I do have a few questions though:

How is Rhino as a modeller compared to say Max? Would Rhino and BMRT (or povray, I'm just under the impression that BMRT is a better renderer) produce images of a quality comparable to Max or Lightwave? Or if I want real ease of use and high quality pics should I up and buy one of the "big 3"

Also, I'll be getting a new computer as I move to college because my parents need the old one. I thought it might be fun to get a SGI machine. (230, 330, or 550) I'd only get it if the software package I chose was compatible though. Is maya the only package that benefits from it? What about max, rhino, and even say Pov Ray? (I'm under the impression that it only helps with the previewing process but doesn't improve render speed, am I wrong?)

One last one Which is the easiest to learn? I tried blended and I got going a little bit, but all that crazy junk you had to do to make something reflective really pissed me off so I pretty much quit on that. I'm slowly but surely learning POV, but not nearly as fast as I WAS learning blender because I'm always having to do preview renders to make sure I moved stuff correctly, and if I type something wrong I have to go back and "Debug" my pic. Not a real pain, but it makes learning it a lil' slower.

Thanks in advance!
Schitzoboy

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 07-24-2001 02:42

Hmmm...I'll start with the hard one...which is the easiest to learn. They all have their own hard part, and little quirks that make life easier. There is no one package that is a easier to learn, but quite frankly if you want information, I'd go for the package/s that have the most tutorials out there to help you, those being MAX or Lightwave. POVRay is next on that list.

Question the second...which one should you get. A good question, cause some packages have good modelling features, like Rhino's easy to use NURBS package, and some have good renderers, like POVRay or Maya. For Maya you're looking at 6k+ to buy it, and that's just the basic package, and to get any quality rendering times, you needs about a 1GHz+ processor (intel, not AMD, because Maya doesn't like AMDs). As for saving up and buying one of the Big 3, they may be used for all the good movies out these days, but they are not exactly the easiest programs to learn. Downright confusing if you are a first timer. No snese in wasting your hard earned money on a program that you can't use. You have to crawl before you can walk, walk before you can run, so work your way up the ladder. One thing that can be said for the Big 3, they have fantastic rendering engines, including cool features such as Raytraced caustics (the ability to manipulate light using a rendered object, bending it, refracting it, dynamically changing it's colour), and scripted particles, allowing cool effects like energy streams moving in dynamic ways, or even sand that responds to the world around it. They also have some great Fur, Hair and cloth simulators. For an example of some of the best work I have ever seen in Maya, go watch the Movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (Which Luxo_Jr and I just happened to go see the premiere of last night. Incredibly cool).

Now, as to the PC, well, a Silicon Graphics workstation is a great 'puter, and Maya isn't the only program which benefits from it. Any 3D or 2D program can benefit from it's custom designed Video Card, large Hard disk and ultra fast processor.

In conclusion, it's up to you what you buy, only buy as far as you think you will need to. No point in buying Maya, and then finding that it is totally unsuited to what you want to do.




In the beginning, there was the word...and the word was 'God', although by the time it reached the other end of the phone line... the word was 'Gznd'

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-24-2001 04:32

Good advice! I'm still confused on one point though. You said "some packages have good modelling features, like Rhino's easy to use NURBS package, and some have good renderers, like POVRay or Maya." Well Rhino outputs to POV so if I get Rhino won't I have one of the better modelers as well as one on the better renderers? And if I do get Rhino, which would be a better renderer? BMRT or Pov (I'm only askin' for a comparison in rendering abilities not the scripting language since I plan on getting a seperate modeller.)

Looks like Maya is probably out of the question I was thinking the cheap version would be somewhere near the price of MAX. I didn't realize $6K WAS the cheap version!

As for the computer, I plan on getting a new one soon so render times shouldn't be *too* much of a problem. (even with a raytracer like POV). The extra stuff SGI adds only helps in real time visulization though? It doesn't improve render times does it?

Thanks again,
Schitzoboy

[This message has been edited by Schitzoboy (edited 07-24-2001).]

Fig
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Houston, TX, USA
Insane since: Apr 2000

posted posted 07-24-2001 05:07

Well, to start on the SGI thing, there's really no reason to even be thinking that direction. Sure, for pure speed it'd be nice, but there's not much out there that won't run on a PC these days and having a PC offers you a lot of flexibility.

As far as software, I'll recommend something else. Check out Inspire 3D from Newtek, the same guys that make LightWave. You can get it for $350 or so online and it has a lot of the same tools and renderer as the old version of LightWave. It'll give you a great toolset to work with and a quality renderer to play with photorealism. For the price I don't think there's a better package out there, and if you decide you want more later on there's an upgrade path to LightWave that'll let you save a few hundred. Hope that helps...

Chris


KAIROSinteractive

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-24-2001 05:36

The SGI machines I was looking at come with either NT or Linux, so it technically is a PC. I wasn't looking at the high end IRIX servers

And here is something kinda strange: With a student discount Maya complete cost $750 while Discreet 3ds max 4 Fundamentals Bundle cost $979.98. Maya unlimited was $1500 and Other 3D max packages were both just above and under that mark as well.

Schitzboy

Fig
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Houston, TX, USA
Insane since: Apr 2000

posted posted 07-24-2001 17:29

Look very carefully at that Maya license, I've heard that some of those are actually for certain periods of time (which might explain the cost). Keep in mind that you technically can't do any paying work with academic versions of software either.

Chris


KAIROSinteractive

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-24-2001 18:10

ARGH You're right! Looks like it is only for a year DANG IT!

I've downloaded the evaluation version of Rhino. I'm gonna start playing with that and see if I like it.

ARGH!
Schitzoboy

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-24-2001 22:27

What about Moray in comparison to Rhino? Its a lot cheaper and both export to POV. Although I'm still not sure which is better Pov ar BMRT.

Schitzoboy

Fig
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Houston, TX, USA
Insane since: Apr 2000

posted posted 07-24-2001 23:37

Let's take a step back. You want to do 3D. WHAT in 3d do you want to do?

And you realize BMRT requires a decent amount of coding and messing around with to get working i hope...

Chris


KAIROSinteractive

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 07-25-2001 00:29

My interest in 3D is mainly character modeling and animation. I went with Max R3.1 and Character Studio. Then again, I also got a deal on it. For my main interest and price, I basically couldn't go wrong.

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-25-2001 01:49

What do I want to do in 3D? I want to fool around and make pictures But I'd like to have a program to help me model the more complex objects I might want to render. I'm not really interested in game design or such, and I think character design is a little beyond me as well.

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-25-2001 01:52

Hehe, I forgot to awnser the 2nd half Yes I do realize that BMRT take a lot of work. Isn't its scripted similar to POV just not quite as elegant?

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-25-2001 03:57

Wow, I'm really liking rhino right now Look at the ducky I made. http://www.2freaks.f2s.com/duck.jpg

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 07-25-2001 04:57

LOL That's great! But there seem to be creases in the eyes.

Hmm.. Rhino, eh?

Fig
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Houston, TX, USA
Insane since: Apr 2000

posted posted 07-25-2001 07:16

Couldn't tell on BMRT vs POV as I've never had any desire whatsoever to mess with POV. 3D for me is about creating the scene, not going thru code to get there. Just my two cents there.

Anyway, now we're getting somewhere. If you just want to model then Rhino would be great for ya, something like Nendo is also a great tool for only $99. Problem is you're left without a renderer unless you use something freeware. As I've already said, my vote for you to start with would be Inspire, you can check out the gallery on the Newtek site here and judge for yourself as far as capability and output. I think Rhino is a great package, don't get me wrong, but it's really just a modeler and you're missing out on a whole lot of other stuff. If all you want to do is model and not get into animation or more complex scenes then go for Rhino, it's an awesome modeler for technical stuff. A lot of the fun of 3D (IMO) is the lighting and shading and stuff, something you're not going to have in a package that just does modeling. Whatever makes ya happy

Chris


KAIROSinteractive

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-25-2001 15:01

Your right. Rhino doesn't really seem fit as a "scene editor". I don't mind learning a little bit of POV or BMRT to assemble the scenes though, but it would be a lot nicer if all that was wrapped up in one package. On the other hand, Rhino is easy and powerful. I'm really liking it as a modeller so far.

Nendo is out of the question since it would leave me in the same predicament as Rhino and I'd rather stick to Rhino. Inspire 3D sounds kinda cool though. I'll have to consider it. I'll probably get the demos of LW and 3DMax to see which I like more. If I like LW more I'll probably get Inspire. The only reason I'm hesitant about LW so far is that it doesn't have undo. and I screw up a lot!

About Rhino being a NURBS modeller. Would I be missing out on a lot if I just used it? Can I do other forms of modelling with it? Like poly modelling.

Oh, and has anyone here used Moray? It supposedly integrates fully with POV so you don't have to touch a line of POV code. If it's a good overall modeller it might be worth it. And it's under $100

Thanks again,
Schitzoboy

Fig
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Houston, TX, USA
Insane since: Apr 2000

posted posted 07-25-2001 18:19

Rhino is a great modeler, especially for technical-type stuff. With Rhino you are "limited" to NURBS modeling tho so you'd be missing out on some cool stuff like subdivision modeling, building out from a polygon (check out Spiraloid for what i mean). If you're willing to invest another $99 in Nendo you could have that ability as well tho, and Nendo's awesome at it.

quote:
The only reason I'm hesitant about LW so far is that it doesn't have undo.



Not sure where ya got that info, but yeah it does. Keep an eye out for info on Inspire too, I've heard a rumor that they were going to update with with some of the LightWave 6 tools but I haven't seen anything concrete on that yet. Any other q's just ask away...

Chris


KAIROSinteractive

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-25-2001 20:38

What I meant by that was you can't go back in a model's history and make changes.

I'm gonna have to donwload Nendo too What kind of modeller exactly is it though. It only does stuff that Rhino doesn't? or can it do NURBS as well? And does it work well as a scene modeller? Rhino seems more focussed on making single objects not putting togethor large scenes. Another modeller I should look into would be Hash I suppose. The renderer doesn't look to nice though but at least its integrated. Is it good at modeling stuff besides organic shapes? I know the scenes I'd be doing would require both organic and primitive models (a dragon in a castle for instance would require something like Rhino or HASH for the dragon, but something simpler for the Castle walls etc.) Correct me if I'm wrong here.

Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure I get whats right for me when I finally do go out and by whatever 3D package I buy. Thanks again.

Schitzoboy

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-26-2001 04:41

Ok, i've been checking out hash and I have some questions again

So far I've heard that its mainly a character modeller. But what about . Were the building and junk made in Hash or is it more likely they were imported from something else. If hash can do both organic character kinds of stuff along with Primitive stuff to set up scenes etc. then its for me. I'd suffer with the not so good renderer or learn to export to POV if I had to.

Schitzoboy

Fig
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Houston, TX, USA
Insane since: Apr 2000

posted posted 07-26-2001 07:22

K, you're kinda confusing terms a bit i think, which is really just based with what you've worked with so far. Any software that's not just a modeler has a part of the package where you arrange the models, surface, light, and animate. That's a pretty major part of the deal.

Nendo is a pure polygon modeler, pushing and pulling polys and points. And the whole model history isn't that great IMO.

Hash is supposedly a pretty good package but it's definitely geared towards character animation. That bg could've been done in Hash or not, no idea, though I'm sure you could do some non-organic work in it. Inspire is better all-around package for lighting and surfacing if you're not doing a lot of character animation. That help?

Chris


KAIROSinteractive

Schitzoboy
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 07-27-2001 00:15

I think I'm gonna start with hash A:M animating could be fun and it's pretty cheap.

Thanks everybody!
Schitzoboy

p.s. I think it was killer bean 2 that sold me

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 07-30-2001 02:22
quote:
The only reason I'm hesitant about LW so far is that it doesn't have undo.



As was said earlier...it does, but if you mean it doesn't have a modifier stack like MAX that allows you to see the modifications you have done to it right up until the last time you collapsed the stack, or a Hypergraph like maya that shows it in a hyrarchy, then no...it doesn't.

LW does have the ability however to modify how many levels you can go back through to undo. The default is 16, bu you can take it right up to 900 if you want. That should allow youi to undo a finished head model right back to the original primitive if you want.




In the beginning, there was the word...and the word was 'God', although by the time it reached the other end of the phone line... the word was 'Gznd'

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