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Blender Compared To the Major 3D Applications

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  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:59AM (#20807367) Homepage Journal
    I've always thought Blender to be a solid but completely useless application because for whatever reason, the developers created the most heinous god aweful UI known to man. It's a freakin eyebleeding headache that leaves one happily shelling out the hundreds or thousands of Dollars for a modelor with a usable GUI.

    It's a shame. Because Blender could be a contender, but since the developers live in their own little world with the attitidude that their app is made for a "certain group of people and not everyone", the application is basically a sick joke. If you're looking for a free 3D package and don't care how painful it is to use it, Blender might be for you. Otherwise, go with Maya or Lightwave. Also, Modo is a good modeler with a great UI, if you just want to model and not animate/render.
    • by l0ungeb0y (442022)
      Just checked out modo again, haven't touched it since V1, seems they added a renderer and animation abilities now.
      And at $900.00, it's an affordable solution for the amateur or hobbyist but goood enough for pros.
      Download Blender and download Modo, I'm sure you'll be shelling out money for Modo and ditching Blender right away if you start getting serious.

      Now, if the Blender team could ever pull theierr head out of their ass and bring in a UI developer and stay out of the way... they might have something.
      But
      • by flewp (458359)
        I use modo almost exclusively for work. It's still a growing app, so sometimes I have to jump back to Maya, but I will often go weeks without needing it. I mostly do print based ads, so I really don't need to animate. modo currently lacks rigging and whatnot, but it's absolutely great for just about everything else, and at what I found to be a great price point.
      • by 4e617474 (945414) on Monday October 01, 2007 @10:12AM (#20809763)

        Now, if the Blender team could ever pull theierr head out of their ass and bring in a UI developer and stay out of the way... they might have something. But it's been ears coming and I doubt we'll ever see Blender become usable.

        I've actually seen an interview with a Blender developer (a Linux magazine I flipped through, I can't remember which one) from when Elephant's Dream came out that discussed why they made the interface the way they did. Being the in-house application of NeoGeo, it was geared towards how they worked, and the developers gave the animators what they wanted - maximum productivity after learning the application when used the way that particular group of people liked to use it. The developers came to them and offered them an easier to learn interface - they were told "No, you idiot. We're going out of business and have to try to finish our last few projects. We're not going to hire anyone new. Now add this highly unintuitive key sequence to shortcut this arcane task that no novice has ever heard of." After it was released for widespread consumption, ease of learning became a common request, but there were still people learning the interface it had and wanting to be able to use it the way they had learned to. After almost ten years since its shareware release, and five since its release under GPL, this hypothetical easy-to-use, powerful, intuitive 3d modeling software that someone must have their head up their ass not to have delivered on a silver platter by now would probably have to take the form of a completely separate front-end, a fork, or a complete rewrite with some of the nuts and bolts used over.

        And there are people [blenderart.org] out [blendernation.com] there [blenderbuilds.com] who think that Blender "has something" [graphicall.org] just like it is. If a hobbyist or student wants gratis open-source 3d modeling with an easy to use interface, they should try Art of Illusion [artofillusion.org]. It's nowhere near as powerful, but it's easy and intuitive enough for someone to learn on, and it can export into formats used by the big boys. According to TFA, Blender has the same "Learning path to be productive" as the others, even with the less familiar and intuitive interface. If someone is "getting serious", there isn't really a way around having to invest the time to learn something. And of six packages the article reviewed, only one could be learned in the single month they give you to try modo, and I'm sure those figures are for people who aren't squeezing it in on a part-time basis.

        Oh, and there's a few gotchas with modo. They support both platforms - Mac and Windows! Should I download the trial and see if I can get it to work under Wine? Let me click on the "Try Modo" link - "Interested in trying modo? As a result of modo 301 now being available, all of our website bandwidth is being focused on supporting our registered modo customers. Sign up to create an account and you will be informed just as soon as the new evaluation version of modo 301 is available. If you already have an account you're already on the list to be notified." What? If I have an account, I'm on a list to be notified that there's a trial version available? Oh, they want $400 for an upgrade (which they're ready to sell you sight-unseen right now). Okay, let me see if I can figure out if I can use modo to turn blueprints into 3d models the way they do here [opendimension.org]. Hmm... not too big on the import/export capabilities are they? Looking over the so-called tech specs [luxology.com] (looks like they hired some marketing people and got out of the way) I can only find "modo is able to harvest animation data from other 3D applications in order to render it. modo reads .MDD files for this purpose." Maybe it

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bob-taro (996889)

        Now, if the Blender team could ever pull theierr head out of their ass and bring in a UI developer and stay out of the way... they might have something. But it's been ears coming and I doubt we'll ever see Blender become usable.

        Hey, I do UI development and I'd love to work on Blender! How much do they pay? ... Oh, yeah.

        I suspect that's why so many free software projects have poor usability. That last bit of "polish" can be pretty expensive in man-hours, and I think the volunteers on these projects tend to be more interested in the challenging work of adding new features than they are in mundane usability work (I know I would be).

    • by Max Littlemore (1001285) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:12AM (#20807443)

      Some people don't like blender's UI like some people don't like vi.

      Once you spend the time (say a day or two) it's really quick and productive. The UI is a major asset.

      • by paganizer (566360) <thegrove1@NoSpAm.hotmail.com> on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:31AM (#20807735) Homepage Journal
        This is a rebuttal.
        Background: My very first job, in the late 70's, was as a Draftsman. I used the very first version of Autocad, back in '83(?). I've been using 3dstudio since before it was a actual product. I used Lightwave on an Amiga in '91 (VideoToaster rocked).
        I changed careers, and only play with 3D these days. But I play with everything, Vue d'esprit, Poser, Maya. I've tried pretty much every 3d application I hear about just to see if it's worth parting with my limited hobby money. Never had a problem figuring out the wildly different UI's (except Maya, a little. I was overthinking it).
        Do you get what I'm saying here? I figured out Truespace from a german language version. I don't read or speak german.

        I tried out blender first when it was shareware.. 2001 I think. The UI was a nightmare. I had a decently new copy of 3ds, so shook my head and forgot about it.
        Then the game "The Movies" came out. I got hooked. after poking around, I found out that the only import/output scripts for customization were blender scripts, so i grabbed the latest version of blender.
        I tried. I really, really tried. I grabbed the tutorials, FAQ's. I bought "The Official Blender guide". I even had a "Blender Guru" come on to my system in VNC to walk me through the (allegedly) simple process of opening a file, applying textures, and exporting using the plugin. it took 3 flipping hours.
        Blender may be a great engine. But the interface is a crime against logic, nature and makes me revise my opinion on whether or not true Evil exists.
        If you are thinking of getting into 3D software in some way, as a career or a hobby, keep this in mind: If you waste your time learning the Blender interface, you will not be able to use that "knowledge" with ANY OTHER APPLICATION.
        • by Aladrin (926209) on Monday October 01, 2007 @06:01AM (#20808055)
          I have never been a professional, but this exactly matches my experience.

          I wrote a program that converts TheSims models to OBJ format and back again. As part of that, I had to 'learn' a modeller and chose MilkShape3D. I say 'learn' because it took only a few minutes. I've also played with a few other modellers and they all had the same concepts, and the basic functions were all easy to find. (Add polys, move vertexes, apply textures, etc.)

          I picked up Blender because I'd heard such good things about it. I spent 2 hours trying to figure out how to apply a texture to a model, another half an hour searching the web for the info, and another hour following a tutorial step by step to figure it out. I tried again without the tut and had lost it already.

          Blender's UI is so completely anti-intuitive that it's impossible to just use, you MUST be trained. (Or self-trained.) This may be acceptable for those who never use computers and only want to use Blender, but the rest of us expect to be able to figure it out without a printed manual.

          I wonder if it's just chance that the Gimp also has tons of interface complaints?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by s4m7 (519684)

            I wonder if it's just chance that the Gimp also has tons of interface complaints?

            Pretty much. The GIMP was designed from scratch as an open source product. Blender, though open source now, was originally a commercial (but free) product. some Blender history. [blender.org]

            The GIMP knows it has problems, and has asked UI design professionals to evaluate and contribute to a redesign.

            I really don't see what everyone thinks is so "hard" about blender's interface though. It's definitely different, but I thought it was much easier to learn than the maya interface. I will grant however that blen

            • by Aladrin (926209)
              I will admit that my main complaint was the texturing. What little I did with shapes and actual modelling wasn't that bad, but everything I tried to do with texturing, even after fiddling with it for hours and -thinking- I had it down, was absolutely amazingly painful. At the time, I only persevered because Blender is free and Milkshape3D (what I'd normally have used) doestn't work on Linux. (Never tried Wine.)

              After a few hours, I finally gave up on it.
              • by MenTaLguY (5483)
                Texturing was what I got hung up on too. I did eventually get the hang of it, more or less, but that was a while ago and I'm not really looking forward to re-learning it.
                • by MenTaLguY (5483)
                  (That said, I did find learning it worthwhile in the end. Which is still not a defense of some of the UI choices.)
        • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NOsPam.hotmail.com> on Monday October 01, 2007 @06:43AM (#20808213) Journal
          Background: My very first job, in the late 70's, was as a Draftsman.

          We have very similar backgrounds. I was a Surveyor in about the same era, and got into 3D modelling via mine design and surveying software (Surpac, DataMine). I started my own 3D software collection with Imagine, then Lightwave on the Amiga. I used Truespace from a coverdisk, tried C4D, and a few other packages.

          I still haven't settled into using a single tool. My collection includes Hexagon modeller, Sketchup Pro, Bryce, Cinema 4D, and yes, Blender.

          Each has their strengths. For some people, the time cost of learning the tool is higher than it's worth. It sound like that's the case for you. For me, I like being able to be productive anywhere and on any computer, and Blender on a thumb drive does that for me.

          In any case, now that I'm used to it, I find there's things I can do quicker in Blender than with the other tools

          • You know what's great about every decent application and isn't true about blender?
            You can become very productive with it if you learn how to use it well, memorize all the shortcuts and keystrokes, basically "learn to use it right"
            And if you haven't done that yet, you can still do something. (pick anything. Anything you actually want to do. No, something you learned on a tutorial and are only doing because the tutorial showed you how, but you otherwise wouldn't have independently come up wanting to do, Does
        • by gaspyy (514539)
          I agree with the parent...

          I too have learned Corel Draw 2 in German without even knowing German, so I consider myself as having patience and intuition.
          I've been working with 3d apps over the years (since 3d studio 3 - yeah, in the DOS era), now mostly 3ds max but I've also tried Lightwave, Maya and all the smaller 3d apps. Except for Blender, I never had any problem picking a 3d application and do some modelling in it. Heck, I modeled my first car in Rhino 1 beta in 2 hours, without even reading the help.

          T
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          the interface is a crime against logic, nature and makes me revise my opinion on whether or not true Evil exists.

          Funnily enough, that's what I thought the first time I encountered vi....

          It's a shame the interface doesn't work for you. I'm not a professional graphics guy, sound is more my bag, but I used to do compositing for a living and my brother currently does 3D graphics professionally and both of us agree blender is an excellent tool - especially in terms of productivity. Once you get past the need t

          • by paganizer (566360)
            Good point; I know that some of the problems I had were due to issues with the openGL interface.
            If i can ever get over the pulsing headache i get when I think about it, I'll give it a shot on my Slackware box.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by grumbel (592662)
          ### Blender may be a great engine. But the interface is a crime against logic, nature and makes me revise my opinion on whether or not true Evil exists.

          Could you elaborate on that? I mean, I can understand that people have trouble with the Blender UI, it certainly has issues due to being heavily focused on keyboard shortcuts, but "crime against logic"? There is nothing in Blender that makes opening a file hard, its not the standard OS file dialog, but its not all that different either. Applying a texture, o
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by carlmenezes (204187)
          Thank you. You have just described my experience with Blender as well. There is no denying the power behind this application. There is also no denying that this app is like a car whose accelerator is the handbrake. I for example love modeling the interiors of buildings as a hobby. I have no background in architecture and none in graphics but I could figure my way out in 3dStudio Max, Lightwave, Maya, Poser & Sketchup to create pretty realistic versions of real world interiors. I love open source and at
      • by sabernet (751826)
        Interesting analogy. So say I have limited time, lots to do and this teh choice between Vi and Open Office to draft a legal document.

        Guess which one I'm picking.

        I've done 3D. I still do 3D. I don't want a Vi. I want an app that doesn't require constant referencing of various ways to do a command, a way only logical if you manage to trick yourself that it is, a UI that insists on impossibly keeping all pieces of information on toolbars rather then dialogs and windows, as well as not require more effort t
        • by notthe9 (800486)
          You've done 3D. You still do 3D. That doesn't sound like you have a limited time to pick up a skill to do a task.

          I'm not defending Blender. I've barely touched Blender. I've now and then opened up Maya or 3ds Max or Blender and have in all instances been pretty confused. I don't know if it has a legitimately bad interface.

          I can tell you that initial intuition isn't the way to measure that. Powerful tools need to be learned. vi, for example, is a simple, powerful tool. It does not hold my hand—it trust
      • "Once you spend the time (say a day or two) it's really quick and productive."

        You made a typo, so I'm going to politely fix it for you. I think this is what you meant to say:

        "Once you spend the time (say a year or two) it's really quick and productive."

        If you have all of Blender's enormous number of key combinations memorized, then it is indeed very quick to get around. I started learning to model over a year ago by using Blender, and it's been a love-hate relationship from the beginning. I love that Ble
      • Where have I heard this argument before... Oh yea from almost every Open Source Application out there. Open Source Developers tend to be good programmers and horrible UI designers. There are many factors here.

        Factor 1. Some OpenSource Developers are Students/Professors of educational systems. These institutions encourage people to try to think about new ways at looking at problems and the people in these institutions are use to change... This is a good thing usually. But for UI Development it could cause
      • Some people don't like blender's UI like some people don't like vi.

        The thing you have to realize is that nowadays it's not vi vs. emacs. It's vi vs. the world. Blender is even worse than that.

        I know vi. I know Emacs. I know Visual Studio. I know notepad. I much prefer to do quick edits on notepad. I do longer coding projects on emacs, visual studio or even eclipse. The only time I use vi is when I'm stranded on a command line with nothing else handy.

        Likewise I know blender and I don't know any other 3d graphics tools except superficially. But even I can tell the interface

    • by bky1701 (979071) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:26AM (#20807497) Homepage
      I thought the same when I started using it. Actually, you can read my complaints on their forum. The thing is, after I made the commitment that I was *going* to learn it, and after I stopped trying to do things the old 3ds ways, it started to come naturally. Now I can do far more impressive work than in 3ds, much faster.

      It's painful to LEARN, not use (though there are a few UI annoyances, like the non-standard save/load menu). I'd suggest if you really want to learn it, throw the tutorials (they often offer irrational, hard or just bad ways of doing things) and old knowledge out the window and learn it. Once you know it, you may understand why they kept the interface.
      • by sabernet (751826) on Monday October 01, 2007 @07:23AM (#20808373) Homepage
        But they have to decide whether they want to please their niche or appeal to the greater audience. The niche may like it enough to stick with it. But a great many people, some with influence, some just with experience in industry apps, don't. And not everyone has time or the ability to throw those out the window.
        • by zotz (3951)
          "But a great many people, some with influence, some just with experience in industry apps, don't."

          Surely these people have the option of kicking in some moola and hiring some UI designers and coders and making it so. Right now. They can begin today. Especially industry people.

          And I say this as a person who has tried getting things done in blender without too much (or any) success so far.

          all the best,

          drew
          • by sabernet (751826)
            But then you still have the issue of "Big company willing to support me on a tested and true product and have it already figured out." or "Small group, it is free yes, but the UI sucks so badly we'd have to design our own out of our pocket, rely on people who actually -like- that godawful UI for help, of which there won't be any, having modified the UI and all, so we'd have to keep the UI designers around longer for that kind of support, and dive into this head first and hope for the best."

            Big people with b
            • by zotz (3951)
              "But then you still have the issue of "Big company willing to support me on a tested and true product and have it already figured out.""

              Yes and I fully understand this thought as I face it now in another area.

              "Big people with big money won't even think of it as an option."

              Could be and could be their loss. They could get together and probably kick in an extra 5% to 10% of their budget for these aps for a few years and end up with a jointly owned company to develop and support their spanking new blender codeb
      • Awesome, professionals have some wonderful open source software to use. My problem is that I'm not a professional 3D artist, and when I need to use it, I also need to re-learn everything. The last time I used blender was over a year ago, and the next time I might need it might be tomorrow or next year. I will have to learn everything again.

        Such a shame that amateurs who might use a 3D package once in a while don't have anything free to use, because of that darned UI.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:31AM (#20807523)
      I think there are a lot of people who start with the closed source ones and a closed mind and from there on in the open source UIs are always "wrong". Having learning the GIMP without becoming indoctrinated into photoshop and hearing all the catatonic whinging about the GIMP UI, I somehow think that I will be fine with Blender. Sure, photoshop has more high end features, but as people say, unless you need the print colour range, there isn't actually that much difference other than the price and amount of whinging.

      Also, not only are these programs 4 stars to the industry leader 5s (and often beating them in many features), for people starting out with the blender or GIMP in highschool, 15 yrs old say, they have to factor in that blender will undergo 5 or more years of development before they hit the job market after uni. They'd be insane to learn a closed source one, which might go bust in that time, as opposed to coming into the market with 5 years of Blender and GIMP under their belt (and blender and gimp with all those new features).

      So basically if you are already in the game, keep using the industry standards photoshop and maya etc. Remember they only got the blender sourcecode in late 2002, so as much as it's improved since the first open source release it will improve again in 5 yrs. And with a larger user base and more devs, it will likely move even faster.

      Spend $30 on a good book for blender another $30 on the gimp, maybe another $30 on a python book to script both apps way further than your peers using close source stuff - go to the forums and make some good friends above and at your skill level for other advice. Then with the $1000s you were going to spend on close source edu versions and expensive manuals for them, don't forget you have to upgrade when you graduate, into something else maybe an investment account. You'll end up with better skills, better software, more friends and more money.

      Industry people your calculation is simple, to stick with your software till you feel the open source stuff is good enough for you to make a move. Simple as that. But one thing you should do is shut the fuck up discouraging other people from using it like there is a chosen way.

      It's the future ppl. kthxbye.
      • by ajs318 (655362) <(sd_resp2) (at) (earthshod.co.uk)> on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:50AM (#20807821)
        Mod parent up.

        Too many people confuse "hard to learn" with "hard to use". For example, typing less-than, e, m, more-than followed by text to italicise then less-than, divide, e, m, more-than is much quicker -- once you know how to do it -- than highlighting the text (an operation requiring leaving the keyboard, getting hold of the mouse, manoeuvring it with pixel precision, clicking and dragging), either clicking on an icon (invariably an italicised "i") or selecting something from a context menu (involving a tricky finger-swap or possibly even a keyboard operation), and then returning to the keyboard.

        Also, anything that was hard to learn will be even harder to forget.
        • by 6Yankee (597075)
          Of course, Ctrl-I, text to italicise, Ctrl-I is even faster. It even makes sense.
          • by ajs318 (655362)
            OK, I'll sort-of buy it ..... depends on the application, of course. If you're writing X?HTML, then you need to use HTML codes (and the "ctrl+I" shortcut isn't likely to be implemented in anything but a dedicated HTML editor). Anyway, "EM" makes sense once you know it's short for "emphasis". (In non-visual media [e.g. voice synthesis], or visual media incapable of rendering italics [some character terminals], a different form of emphasis might be used. The tag is the same. That's the point with H
        • Italics (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Per Abrahamsen (1397)
          Should you use <i>text to italicize</i> rather than em? <em> is for text you want to emphasize, rather than text you want to force a specific slant on.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          anything that was hard to learn will be even harder to forget.

          Wise insight. Like learning to ride a bicycle.

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday October 01, 2007 @05:03AM (#20807867)
        Just because you can learn to use a harder system, doesn't mean it isn't harder. Since car analogies are popular let's go for another one: The difference between a stick and an automatic. I drive a stick, always have, always will if I can get away with it. I'm an ace at it, never causes me any problems. I don't even think about it, I just do it. However there is no way I can argue that it isn't harder than driving an automatic. There is simply more to do, more to learn, and I remember how painful learning to drive on a stick was. It certainly isn't an unusable or unlearnable system, and once you've learned it well you are plenty efficient with it, but it is not as easy as an automatic.

        Well same deal with interface. Not all choices are arbitrary, it isn't as though all UIs are created equal. There really are things that make it easier and things that make it harder. Just because you spent the time learning it and now don't have a problem, doesn't mean it is easy.

        Also, some things are easier for computer people than non-technical people. I've seen many things that make assumptions in relation to a level of understanding of how computers work that if you lack that, you are really screwed. A good example would be regular expressions. If you understand how a finite state machine works, regular expressions are likely to be easy for you. I remember when I learned about them and as soon as I was shown the syntax, a light bulb went off. I found them quite easy, once told how they work, but then I'd been tinkering with FSMs before I knew that term. However a non-technical person could be hopelessly lost on them because they just don't understand the logic behind them.

        Trying to defend bad UIs in OSS does no good for anyone. People don't want excuses and they certainly don't want to be told that it is their problem.
        • But that's the OSS nut way! It isn't the fact that they couldn't design a good UI to save their lives most of the time, it's that the darn user isn't smart enough to figure it out!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by caseih (160668)
          Yeah you're right. That is a horrible analogy, and pointless one. Why did this get modded +5, insightful?

          An 18-speed heavy truck unit is not only a stick shift, but has unsynchronized gears, requiring training, skill, and also an inherent understanding of how the transmission works (expected rpms at shift points, etc) to drive adequately. By your flawed analogy, this is clearly an overall negative thing that is adversely impacting the trucking industry in general.

          Seems to me that if there really are thin
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by babyrat (314371)
          furthering your analogy, while an automatic is easier to drive than a standard transmission, there are things you acn do with a standard transmission that you can't do with an automatic. So yes there is a steeper learning curve to driving a standard and it is certainly 'harder' to drive a standard than an automatic at any given point in time, but when you need the features of a standard transmission and all you have is an automatic, then you are screwed.

          Trying to defend bad UIs in OSS does no good for anyo
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mcvos (645701)
        But one thing you should do is shut the fuck up discouraging other people from using it like there is a chosen way.

        I have no experience with 3D modeling at all, but I'm interested in it. If Blender really is that hard to use, I want to be discouraged from using it, because I don't want to waste months trying to learn it.

        I don't mind an unintuitive interface. Vi took be about 10 minutes to get the hang of, but it was the standard editor at my university at that time, so we got a list of all the impor

        • by azrider (918631)

          If Blender really is that hard to use, I want to be discouraged from using it, because I don't want to waste months trying to learn it.

          No one has said that it is hard to use. A lot of people have said it is different.

          I don't mind an unintuitive interface.

          Unintuitive is in the eye of the beholder. Any platform you use will have it's quirks. Any package you use will have it's quirks.

          If I wanted a package that works like Autocad and not doing so will be a deal breaker I would buy Autocad.

          If I wanted an

        • is there a good tutorial that shows me the ropes?

          That's a harder question than it sounds.

          I didn't get much from the tutorials on the blender.org site, apart from the basic interface tutorial [blender.org], mostly because they don't clearly separate learning 3D from learning Blender. If you already know how to visualize and work in computer 3D, the wikibooks [wikibooks.org] manual is better. If you don't know how to work in 3D at all, I'd suggest starting with Google's Sketchup [sketchup.com], which is an unconventional 3D architectural modeler cap

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by grumbel (592662)
          ### Vi took be about 10 minutes to get the hang

          I have used Vi (a little bit here and there) for ten years and still absolutely hate it. On the other side I never had all that much issues with Blender.

          Anyway, one of the big problems with Blender is that its lacks 'explorability', it can get near impossible to find a certain feature of your own or figure out what a button does without looking it up in the documentation, since a lot of functions depend on certain pre-conditions and if they are not met they wil
      • by gaspyy (514539) on Monday October 01, 2007 @06:59AM (#20808285)

        [...]they have to factor in that blender will undergo 5 or more years of development before they hit the job market after uni. They'd be insane to learn a closed source one, which might go bust in that time, as opposed to coming into the market with 5 years of Blender


        Sorry, I disagree.

        First, all the major 3D apps have very strong markets; it's highly unlikely to see any of these disappearing any time soonn. Even when Autodesk purchased Maya, they didn't kill it, but rather refocused the programs a little: 3ds max for games and architectural visualisation and Maya for film.

        Second, by learning any of these programs (I'm thinking of Max, Maya, Lightwave and XSI) a student would more easily jump to another program than from Blender.

        Third, if a graduate goes to an interview and says he only knows Bldender, their chances of being hired would drop dramatically.
        • by jefu (53450)

          But for learning, it may not hurt to learn another system, even if the UI is rather different. Learning a UI (even a quirky one like Blender's) is generally much easier than learning how to do what you need to do. Once you know how to build a (ferinstance) truck in one such system, you should be able to do in in any of the others after spending a day or three learning the UI

          The kind of logic presented here is the kind of logic that says that every programmer should learn exactly one language (and this

    • by deniable (76198) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:37AM (#20807539)
      The UI wouldn't be half as bad if they provided some decent documentation for it. As others have mentioned, the tutorials aren't a good source of help. Once you learn how to use Blender, it's pretty good, but the learning curve is really steep.

      It's been a while, so maybe they have better resources now. I'd be happy if they did.
      • by BrynM (217883) *

        The UI wouldn't be half as bad if they provided some decent documentation for it.

        Spot on. I'm a Maya user and it's UI has quite the learning curve as well (remember trying to keep things straight in hypergraph the first few times? How about outliner vs hypergraph vs hypershade?). The advantage is that there are countless videos, tutorials and online discussions about everything from the basics to UI customization to Maya's more arcane features. Once Blender gets the documentation to catch up to the featur

      • by Bemopolis (698691)

        It's been a while, so maybe they have better resources now. I'd be happy if they did.

        Trust me, they do. I had two false starts at learning Blender in earlier days, but I found around v2.3 that the online community's press for good tutorials and other resources was paying off. And, in the two years since I finally cracked that nut, it has improved substantially

        As to the general bitching about the UI I see in the comments: it's a complicated piece of software. Try using Photoshop with no prior knowledge

    • modo 201 has a (really) good renderer and modo 301 has animation.

      Regards
      elFarto
    • by xtracto (837672)
      I've always though [THE GIMP/Jashaska/Audacity] to be a solid but completely useless application because for whatever reason, the developers created the most heinous god aweful UI known to man. It's a freakin eyebleeding headache that leaves one happily shelling out the hundreds or thousands of Dollars for an [image editing/Video Editing/Sound Editing] software with a usable GUI.

      It's a shame. Because [THE GIMP/Jashaska/Audacity] could be a contender, but since the developers live in their own little world
    • I love open source software. Just thought I would get that out there but ease of use is one of the strengths of the closed source model.
      Everyone talks about how you can make money on support with open source. With closed source every support call costs money.
      It pays to make the UI so easy that people don't have to call or call often. With OpenSource the UI often stops at the, "It isn't pretty but it works stage".
      I have heard that Blenders UI is much like vi and or emacs. Really steep learning curve but once
    • I happen to like the UI. But it's completely alien to anything else on the market. Once you get up to speed on the new way of doing things, it is no longer "painful". I would equate it to learning a new OS or learning to touch type on a different keyboard layout.

      Plus it's hard to beat the price of blender.
  • On the Interface (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Smerity (714804) <smerity@smerity.com> on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:10AM (#20807433) Homepage

    First off, the name is a tad misleading, it's more "Major 3D Applications Comparison (including Blender)" as opposed to a focused against Blender - but that can be easily forgiven. What is good is that the author has used a wide range of industry standard tools (Maya, 3ds max and Lightwave etc) in everyday tasks, so it's not a fanboy style review where the outcome was and always would be 'Blender best'.

    Blender is maturing well, especially considering if you look at the progress they've made since the code was first open sourced, and I'm confident that they will be able to continue this progress in to the future. I won't comment on the feature to feature comparison, I will just reiterate what the author said early on in the article - it's the artist not the tools - and in this case the an open source and free tool is sufficient to create some stunning art. Check out Elephant's Dream [wikipedia.org] to see an example.

    And my one note to those commenting later - the interface. Many people complain about the interface, how it's difficult to learn. Unfortunately, many of these people are trying to 'learn 3D' over the weekend - and I'm sorry, that won't happen, regardless of the package. To become truly proficient in any 3D software package takes a long time.
    I also see many people compare the UI disaster to that of GIMP - I don't think that's really an accurate comparison. Read reviews of people who have actually mastered the Blender UI and they will confess that once learned it is very effective. The author in the article also states this, with him saying that it's a "Fast workflow, (but) can be more intuitive".
    I'm not saying the Blender user interface is perfect, or that improvement can't be made, merely that even in its current state, once learned and mastered it is a powerful tool.

    Overall however, I'm glad that Blender has progressed so well, and look forward to seeing it's progress in the future. Without it I would never have begun my exploration into 3D at all.
    • Apparently you didn't read the article. The author knows 3d graphics, gave every tool a fair chance and still says blender has a crappy UI.

      Just covering your ears and screaming "i'm not listening" isn't going to change the fact that everyone agrees blender's UI sucks.

      Yes, it has great workflow features, blah, blah, blah. But the UI still sucks.
  • by Dubbie99 (1024375) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:11AM (#20807439)
    Comparison lists like this are very misleading. The devil is in the details. It's not about how many buzzword columns an app can check, it's about whether the app has had a userbase that has thrashed the software through years and years of real production work and had the software evolve into a powerful tool. It's very easy to add a feature in a 3D app. Most interested hobbiest weekend coders could whip up most functions found in any given 3D app. Whether that feature is production ready is another story. Going by the list it would seem that something like Blender of C4D is on a par with Maya and Max. They're not. They don't have the huge in-depth expert user communities and the benefit of thousands of users pushing them to the limit day in and day out. If you're choosing a 3D app, talk to some real 3D artists who have been in the industry for years and depend on their 3D application system for their living. Don't compare checkbox lists.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LetterRip (30937)

      Comparison lists like this are very misleading. The devil is in the details. It's not about how many buzzword columns an app can check, it's about whether the app has had a userbase that has thrashed the software through years and years of real production work and had the software evolve into a powerful tool.

      The professional user base for Blender is fairly large, it is just a different target market.

      It's very easy to add a feature in a 3D app. Most interested hobbiest weekend coders could whip up most functions found in any given 3D app.

      The fluid dynamics was a number of full years of developer time. You've clearly never developed any significant feature for a 3D application.

      Whether that feature is production ready is another story.

      All of the features listed are used in production environments, the feature animation movie Plumiferos made use of pretty much every feature including fluids, cloth, the particle system, etc.

      Going by the list it would seem that something like Blender of C4D is on a par with Maya and Max. They're not. They don't have the huge in-depth expert user communities and the benefit of thousands of users pushing them to the limit day in and day out.

      Actually Maya and Max don't have that either - the number of users for the

  • "LightWave downside's is an old and slow splitted interface and a bit confuse menu / parameters."

    Just because you dont understand the setup, doesnt mean its broken. Not everyone works on one monitor these days. Lightwaves split between modeler and renderer is a great setup to keep your scenes properly separated from your models. If you're working on a single static scene, yeah, it's kind of clunky. But if you're working on multiple scenes with dozens of different models, the setup is perfect.

    I've always
  • It's all bunk (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:30AM (#20807509) Homepage Journal
    pushing polygons is wrong. It's a short term solution to a long term problem. Keeping to a poly budget is grunt work that should be done by the tool not by the artist. Programmers who think bitrot is bad should have a look at the "asset rot" of 3d models. The deprecation of graphics assets is so fast that it's a stretch to use the word "asset" to refer to them at all. A character model from a AAA title from six months ago has some value, to B quality games, but mostly none of them are reused.

    For 3d models to earn their name as "assets" they need to be created with infinite resolution. This is not hard. Constructive Solid Geometry [wikipedia.org] is a well understood technique for modeling and is typically used in CAD applications. An object described even at what would be considered a course level of detail of typical CSG modeling is orders of magnitude higher resolution than the typical game model. What's more, they can be incrementally improved, whereas the b-rep [wikipedia.org] that is typical for a game model today is a one shot affair.

    Today, the vast majority of CSG models are created for raytracing architectures which, although they give stunning results [yafray.org], are too slow for realtime applications such as games. Even the attempts to create realtime raytracing systems are aimed at rendering b-reps because of the opportunity to perform an acceleration stage which greatly reduces the scene complexity. B-reps are a win for realtime applications, but just because your application requires a b-rep doesn't mean artists need to get their hands dirty pushing polygons.

    Two solutions exist which can render CSG models in realtime.

    The image-based rendering algorithms with implementations (such as OpenCSG [opencsg.org]) which take advantage of z-buffer and stencil-buffer hardware in popular GPU cards. The image-based systems are more compatible than raytracing with the current 3d graphics rendering state of the art, but still require intricacies to integrate that have prevented them from appearing on the market.

    The other option is the automatic generation of a b-rep from a CSG model. This has the advantage that it requires no change to the 3d graphics rendering in games and the algorithm can be parametrically tuned to produce b-reps that are fast for different applications. For example, the same CSG model can be used to generate b-reps of different Level Of Detail for when the object is close up vs far away, or for pre-rendered applications such as cut scenes or trailers.

    It just happens to be really hard.

    • Re:It's all bunk (Score:5, Informative)

      by big4ared (1029122) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:53AM (#20807587)

      Not exactly.

      I work in video games, and ultimately the graphics cards render polygons. There are definitely tools that can down res, but have you ever seen what a 40k poly mesh looks like when you use an auto-down-res to 20k? It gives you a good start, but you still have to remesh it and tweak it by hand.

      As for CSG, it's ok for CAD, but not practical at all for games. The realtime stuff is useful when comples models need to be edited in realtime (like for designing car engines), but the approaches like OpenCSG are too slow because each primitive needs to be drawn a bunch of times.

      As an example, if you have the expression (A+B+C)*(D+E+F), you have to break the expression into sum-of-terms form which is AD+AE+AF+BC+BE+BF+CD+CE+CF, so that's at least 18 draw calls (acutally more). Alternatively, you could just precompute the CSG model into a triangle mesh. There are other techniques (like Blister) but they're still too slow.

      CSG is used in moderation in games for tasks that make sense. For most applications, it doesn't. Imagine trying to model Wolverine with CSG. But even if you use CSG, at the end of the day, you still need an artist to tweak the vertices (which artists can do very quickly).

      Not to mention, you also need to be able to lay out UVs.

      If you really want your model to look good at higher resolutions, you can always subdivide your triangle meshes, which is robust (unlike triangle reduction). Up-resing meshes is easy. Down-resing takes artist work.

      • by carou (88501)

        I work in video games, and ultimately the graphics cards render polygons. There are definitely tools that can down res, but have you ever seen what a 40k poly mesh looks like when you use an auto-down-res to 20k? It gives you a good start, but you still have to remesh it and tweak it by hand.

        He said it should be a tool's job, not that it actually is a tool's job today. If downsampling a 40k poly mesh to a 20k poly mesh looks bad, that's because the tools are insufficiently advanced. Given time and developme

        • by jackbird (721605)
          I see no reason that a computer shouldn't be able to handle this problem any worse than it could jpeg compress a photo into a file 1 tenth of the original size, with little noticeable difference.

          How about the fact that our visual systems can handle heavily degraded color information (JPEG crams the and b color channels into lower bit depths while mostly leaving luminance intact) much better than heavily degraded shape information? After all, we walk into changing lighting conditions all the time, but barr

    • Re:It's all bunk (Score:4, Insightful)

      by KDR_11k (778916) on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:50AM (#20807817)
      CSG is just a means, you could just as well use NURBS or subdivision to represent a highpoly model. The problem is that you have to downres it to a point where it's not just fewer sides on a cylinder or something but where the entire surface has to change. Details must be removed from the geometry and put onto the texture instead. Some things will be faked with alpha. The software would have to automatically recognize which details are important and need to be kept. Even worse, for organic objects it has to understand where and how the object will deform and how to make that look good. And finally, it's just unnecessary work to model every little detail on a model when 90% of them will be lost in the downressing anyway, that just wastes time and time is money.
    • by fontkick (788075)
      Solid modeling is fine for what it's designed for - accurate 3D representation of an object. In a game, there are a lot more issues though - namely texturing and the deformation of the polygon mesh for animation. Since every 3D engine made for games requires a polygon mesh (usually a watertight mesh - meaning no holes anywhere), you might as well start with one. Facial animation requires a low resoultion base mesh with polygon edge loops in exactly the right place - which an automatic conversion from a Soli
  • Blender UI :-( (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Orthuberra (1145497)
    I use 3DS Max and Blender myself and I definitely have to say Blender's UI is horrible and I mean that. I don't know what the developers are thinking, but damn they need serious help in making that user interface more friendly. The only time a I use Blender is for when I do some modeling and art for open source games and mods that have and export function for Blender (such as xmesh in Vega Strike). Other than that its 3dS max for me, though from what I've seen Maya is great too. Lightwave used to be a great
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Mystery00 (1100379)
      Strange, I've used Max as well, and I feel the same way about Max as you do about Blender... I wonder why that is.
  • Blender UI (Score:2, Informative)

    by garphik (996984)
    I think Blender's UI is very efficient, not friendly but efficent.

    Its good that Blender is looked upon a viable option these days!
  • by delire (809063) on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:08AM (#20807655)

    I've used 3DSMax and Blender extensively though learnt to be proficient in Maya.

    Blender's interface is difficult at first but once learnt I found it more efficient for many tasks - especially rapid mesh-modeling. Moreso, I found Blender's interface much easier on the hands over long periods of working, namely because it prioritises keyboard useage over mouse, has one-key accessible menus (3DSMax has terrible problems here) and distributes mouse input over all three buttons. RSI is a real problem in 3D modeling/animation related work and it's here I think Blender has the one-up. Blender's many keyboard shortcuts need to be learnt for Blender to realise it's real capacity as a tool.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As previous Max user, working on game models and animation, I have to say that I was stunned with effectiveness of Blender. Interface is a nightmare - ONLY when you encounter it for the first time (especially if you have used some other software previously). BUT, that said, if you take 2 days time by doing same of the basic tutorials, you will learn the shortcuts and way things are organized.

      Doing that, I'll have to say that my productivity is better, in magnitude of 3X, in comparison with 3DS MAX. This app
    • Why not just assign some shortcuts in 3DS? Sounds like that'd solve every issue you have with it.
  • I say the best thing about Blender is its renderer. It has such a unique ethereal look.
  • by solios (53048) on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:50AM (#20807813) Homepage
    ... the fact is, Maya's UI sucks. 3d Studio's UI sucks. Power Animator's UI sucks. Cinema 4d's UI sucks. Rhino's UI sucks. Nendo's UI sucks. Silo's UI sucks. Softimage's UI sucks. Lightwave's UI sucks. ALL 3d application UIs suck ass until you get up on the learning curve, because all 3d applications do fundamental things differently.

    I "grew up" with 3d Studio MAX - Maya, Rhino, etc. all make my brain BLEED - not just because they're Not MAX (the way The GIMP is Not Photoshop) but because they're Not MAX the way Emacs is Not Vi.* 3d is HARD, dammit - hard to code, hard to learn. I'm picking up Silo pretty fast, but mostly because Silo seems to make it a point to do intuitively a lot of really basic things that are a massive assraping pain-in-the-ass to do in 3d Studio MAX.

    That said, I have only two complaints about blender.

    1. The open/save dialogue (as has been said elsewhere) does suck a load of flaming ass. Weapons grade Anthrax ass.

    2. Like almost all modern 3d apps, you need a three button scroll-wheeled mouse to get ANY use out of the app at all. Which makes the app unuseable if you're using an input device, with, say... two buttons [kensington.com]. While that's all fine and good, it ought to be fairly trivial to poll the bus, check for pointing devices, and pop up a nice little "FOR OPTIMAL USE PLZ ATTACH 3-BUTTON SCROLLWHEEL THINGER. [DIAGRAM WITH FUNCTIONS OUTLINED]" if inadequate hardware is detected. If Blender did this, it would put it well ahead of commercial apps for first-impression useability.

    * Pick any two apps that generate the same results but go about it using completely contradictory and counterintuitive methods. Same principle.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by edwardpickman (965122)
      You can learn anything but the Blender UI does suck and it is the least intuitive of the group. Lightwave is pretty straight forward for basic navigation and Maya is even easier in most ways. Maya is only difficult because it's so powerful. The main exception is Hypershade which I still find a headache to use. My rule of thumb for Maya is the hard stuff is easy and the easy stuff is hard. Things like physics are a pain in most packages but childsplay in Maya. Rigs are slow to set up but really easy to use o
  • Robust? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by starwed (735423)
    I looked at the comparison table, but couldn't figure out whether "Good" or "Robust" was a higher score...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by solios (53048)
      Robust has more options than good.

      Much the same way 3d Max's implementation of mental ray has a LOT more granularity and options than its default scanline renderer. The problem for people like me is that you can flip a few switches in the scanline, wait a couple of hours, photoshop for ten minutes, and get something that would have taken you DAYS of messing around with mental ray. :P
    • by PhilHibbs (4537)
      The whole thing is written by someone whose first language is not English, and hasn't gone through a native English-speaking editor. Robust is probably a literal translation of a French word that is commonly used to mean "very good".

      "you probably need to know with which 3D applications package with you will feel better", what a mess! "the most know today top industries 3D applications"?
  • standard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sergevi (859358) on Monday October 01, 2007 @06:03AM (#20808065)
    I'm an active blender's user. And i find the interface very productive too..like any other "real" blender user. However, we are in a big world and , yes, THERE IS other 3D apps over there.. People spent a lot of time learning these apps, and these apps tried to UNIFY their UI. Actually,If you do ctrl+c it does copy something . When you alt+mouse , the 3D view does something.. Well, not in blender. And that's the problem, and that's why the next version is all about the new CUSTOMISABLE UI :) Take care of blender.. it's one of the best real open source projects actually. congrats tom, you're a big guy !
  • Blenders UI is fine. I've been using it since 1.8 and the fact that it appears like a 3D version of Emacs is because a professional grade 3D programm is loaded with features. 3DSMax, Houdini and whatnot have a simular learning curve when it comes to the UI. Softimages UI sux big time - allways has - but it has top grade NLA tools. That's why professionals bite the bullet and learn how to use it. In the end it enhances their workflow greatly. Same with Blender.

    3D kits are *complicated* and so are their UIs.
  • by astralpancakes (1164701) on Monday October 01, 2007 @07:57AM (#20808537)

    I'd like to know how many of you complaining are actual 3D artists (of some sort, be it pro/student/hobbyist) of even an intermediate skill level, who actually made an honest effort learning Blender. No, opening it up, finding your left and right mouse buttons swapped, then giving up and going back to your pirated copy of Maya doesn't count.

    I _HAD_ to learn Blender for an animated short I worked on over the summer. I had about 9 months of 3ds max experience behind me, and grasping the basics in Blender took me less than a week, using Tony Mullen's book Introducing Character Animation with Blender [amazon.com] as well as whatever tutorials could be found online. Yes, the documentation is sometimes lacking (nothing new there, considering it's free software), but that mostly applies to more advanced features (NLA editing, linking animation files together, stuff like that) where you end up having to discover many things by trial and error (which is horrible if you're working to a deadline to be sure). In my experience there's no shortage of resources targetting beginners though. Just don't expect to become a master sitting around reading tutorials -- the reason 3D graphics in general and animation in particular is hard is because IT IS HARD. And it's hard even after you've mastered whatever application you're using. Getting past the user interface is the easy part.

    At this point the only thing I could say 3ds max is outright "better" at is pure modelling, since Blender lacks n-gons, and even then I'd rather use Blender because the interface is just that much nicer. I haven't really used hair and fur much in 3ds max, but my understanding is that it's a fair bit more advanced than what's currently in Blender as well, although you can expect that to change soon as the Peach project gets underway. Textures, rigging, animation, lighting, rendering, compositing are all things I find much easier to do in Blender.

    Yes, the Blender interface is "unintuitive" in the sense that it doesn't look like anything else, but compared to the hodgepodge that is max it's a shedload more consistent and logical. Once you grasp the basics (A selects/deselects all, B border selects, G moves, R rotates, S scales...) all 3D windows, node views, curve editors and what have you work exactly the same way which is just lovely. Add to that a completely customizable workspace layout and completely zoomable/pannable windows. I cannot tell you what a shock it was to go back to 3ds max and discover that to move and zoom the timeline you had to use combinations of ctrl, alt and mousebuttons, when you're used to doing all of that the same way you zoom and pan 3D windows: scrollwheel and middle mouse button. Or that the damn thing loads for a minute and a half even on a top of the line machine, while Blender takes about 2 seconds to start. :)

    That's not to say the Blender interface couldn't be improved. The default keyboard shortcuts are WEIRD -- Ctrl-W to save, anyone? -- and more importantly, not customizable. The default view control options are pretty confusing as well if you're used to basically anything else ever, but these can at least be changed. I think changing the defaults (but making it easy for advanced users to change back) would go a long way towards improving Blender's image at large, but I'm not so arrogant as to assume that the Blender developers (who btw are excellent, pay attention to users needs and release new features at a mindboggling rate) aren't aware of these things.

    (Struggling with the formatting here -- first post, sorry.)
  • That's all well and good but the fact is, you never entirely "master" a 3D application. There's just too much stuff to learn, and if you work in an environment where you use other apps as well, there are so many things you need to remember it's impossible. A good UI should be self-explanatory enough so you can find things quickly even if you don't remember *exactly* where everything is. And blender has one big fault here, which is that because of the way its interface panels are limited by size, it has to c
    • That's all well and good but the fact is, you never entirely "master" a 3D application. There's just too much stuff to learn, and if you work in an environment where you use other apps as well, there are so many things you need to remember it's impossible. A good UI should be self-explanatory enough so you can find things quickly even if you don't remember *exactly* where everything is. And blender has one big fault here, which is that because of the way its interface panels are limited by size, it has to cram too much information into not enough space. So you get in each panel a hodgepodge of barely-sorted buttons which are labeled with concatenations and meaningless invented terms like "spin dup" and "innervert" and "shadbuf" because there isn't enough space to write the real term. The tool tips are a quick fix, but are not a good solution.

      Also, the interface is supposedly customized for speed and so is very different in basic operation (context menus, mouse selection and such) from most applications. But if you use it in conjunction with other applications - for example, when you use GIMP and Blender to texture a model - the mental gear shifting is so jarring you just get slowed down by the completely different interaction paradigm. And you almost always use more than one application in any normal professional workflow.

      True, that - when switching between the two I often find myself wishing Gimp worked a bit more like Blender... And certainly there are a lot of people out there who wish Gimp worked more like Photoshop...

      But this whole idea of "one paradigm to rule them all" doesn't work for me. I think it's premature. People are still figuring out better ways to do things in UIs and - here's the clincher for me - what's best is domain-specific. If you're writing, say, an e-mail application - there's a certain set of t

  • About my article (Score:4, Informative)

    by bsm3d (1164947) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:22PM (#20813639)
    Hello,
    I'm the Benoît Saint-Moulin (the badboy) who writed this article :-)

    First thanks to all for comments and email, I hope my article goal is reached : discuss about how improving softwares and what's can be offering us for our needs.
    I'm CG technical artist and teacher in 3D College (HEAJ-Belgium) and try to stay independant into that's writed article. (sorry for my english...)
    To writed this, take a long and painfull 12 months of works, I hope it's well understanded.

    I read all comments, so here is few replies :

    - I'm not Pro Blender or not, I tried to stay indepedant into my article, I'm using Blender because there is powerful tools inside, not because it's free or not. As teacher / trainer I can say today industries interface use ""standard"" shortcut, F1 for help, well organised docs,... in Blender it's a bit uncentralised and new users never done 3D before must probably loosed to found the info when he need...
    To Blender be an industries and Film used softwares, replacing maybe some old dinosaurs, he must adapting his interface to be more CG artists friendly and open to artist's today kind of pipeline working, artists say not technical geek like us.

    - I'm not anti-Lightwave, I have it (9.2 dvd), used from LW 3.5 and the famous LightRave dongle until today for such task others can do ! I also writed this words on LW with LW-europe dev.support.

    - I'm not cons to text interface, I really prefer text interface, that's more faster to work with than vivid Icons as each softwares icons are not the sames ! text stay the sames...like in xsi, lw,...

    - This article don't to tried to compare Blender opposed to the world. Blender is include in because to industries can't simply ignore Blender potential and great work who can be done by Opensource software. (no licence troubles, no network installation issues, no per year subscription...)

    - Blender have a now a place to be in this kind article and I really don't like work with Nurbs in Blender, so each softwares are good for one tasks, try to do all with one is mayeb not the best to do !

    If blender is really good today, he must evolving (as free it's the best) he as somes lacks on somes BIG datas projects. I know just because I'm worked with, why somes highend 3d softwares is again today so highly priced and in somes case that's really justified ! in many not :-) cheers, Ben (BSM3D)
  • by objekt (232270) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:05PM (#20814271) Homepage
    Will it blend? http://www.willitblend.com/ [willitblend.com]

PLUG IT IN!!!

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