Comparing 3D modelling programs - Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'Using 3D Software' started by Pendraia, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Seliah (Childe of Fyre)

    Seliah (Childe of Fyre) Running with the wolves. CV-BEE Contributing Artist

    Absolutely! That's one of the reasons I really consider Wings to only be an introduction-to-modeling type of program. It's darn near impossible to get a good poly flow inside of Wings for anything even remotely "soft" like cloth. The topology makes a huge difference in posing; you can see it all over the place just in any shirt that does not bend well when the arms are raised or lowered, for instance. So it makes perfect sense to me, that if the topology doesn't allow for good deforming during posing, that it absolutely would suffer badly during morphing.
  2. Seebee

    Seebee Member

    Hi. I'm new here. I'm thinking Gmax might be a valuable program for those without the real 3DSmax.
    It's a free program and this link:..

    ..shows how it works.
    Sure it's not Max but it may help and it's free forever.

    There are ways to import/export as well and this is easily explained in the Gmax Forums.
    Anyway, just a thought.

    Myself, I use 3DSMax as I have been updating since version 3.1.
    I taught an Adult Ed, night class in Max and was able to get the then Academic Version for under $50 at that time.

    I also use Poser Pro (Game Dev) , the Game creator version as it exports easily into Unity (another program I use) via FBX

    I use Unity for my DK2 VR goggles so's I can walk around and see my Poser/Max models/scenes in VR. Great fun !!!

    Anyone here using an Oculus or Unity or other VR stuff?
  3. Pendraia

    Pendraia Seasoned Contributing Artist

    I haven't but that sure sounds interesting. I didn't realise Unity had VR!
  4. Seebee

    Seebee Member

    Hi Pendraia,
    Unity is probably the most preferred "engine" for the Oculus rift.
    Most demos for the DK2 were done in Unity and several games too.
    No recoding needed. Just an oculus integration package to add. All easy and all free.
    With the new CV1 from Oculus and the native Unity VR option in version 5.xx, things are looking up.

    Poser figures and poser scenes are remarkable to travel through with the rift. To actually move within
    something you've created or modified can be very exciting.
    Pendraia likes this.
  5. Miss B

    Miss B Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time CV-BEE

    I downloaded and tried Gmax years ago, but I didn't really click with it. I may have to download it and try again.
  6. Art_of_Mind

    Art_of_Mind Engaged Contributing Artist

    Home - SideFX

    I downloaded the free version about 3 weeks ago. Been busy creating a product so I've not had much time to play with it. I did not watch any tutorials or read any instructions, played around for a few hours just mashing buttons and was able to fire up the program and get it to do things. I got Dawn in there by exporting her out of DS in different formats and then importing her into Houdini. It renders fast and looked good. When I finish the project I'm working on I'll be spending lots of time in Houdini.
  7. DaremoK3

    DaremoK3 Enthusiast


    I respectfully disagree. It is the modeler, not the tool that would be at introductory level. I have used it for nearly two decades, and have never even utilized Sub-D modeling in it. All straight polygonal modeling based on hand cutting topology, including clothing for both conforming and dynamic cloth usage. It is all about learning proper topology, and how to utilize the tools. Hell, I have even facet modeled in it when I hear over and over it is impossible to do in that software.

    Now, to be fair, I have been using Blender as my main modeler for the past couple of years, and have finally embraced Sub-D modeling. I waited a decade for Blender to finally catch up with Wings3D's pro level tool-set and modeling technology. Still, I find myself having to open up W3D to complete a technique that I could not replicate in Blender, or the work-flow is just too long and convoluted. They work great in tandem.

    All software have their strengths and shortcomings, and is up to the artist to master their craft, so they can utilize whatever is at one's disposal. A master sculptor could create a masterpiece with nothing more than a spoon and a rock, but like many sane artist's would probably opt for what is more comfortable, and could get the job done quicker (without sacrificing quality).
    Pendraia likes this.
  8. DaremoK3

    DaremoK3 Enthusiast


    I am envious of your tools, and experiences. I have been watching Oculus for a few years now, and wondering when it would trickle down to our level. You are the first one I have seen in the Poserverse communities that is using it. I would love to experience 3D work the way you are.

    Also, I have GMax, and it is a great little software. I only play in it once in a while, but I have never tried to use it in a production capacity. I got it when I was demoing 3DSMax 6, so I would have a little bit of Max to use when my trial was over. I am surprised it is still available, and that their is still a community surrounding it. I thought most had moved on to other software in the modding communities. I should dust it off, and give it another play. Maybe actually produce something tangible with it.
    Pendraia likes this.
  9. DaremoK3

    DaremoK3 Enthusiast


    I was confused by all the Houdini free talk going around, so I thought I would finally ask someone who actually downloaded it. Is there an actual free version of Houdini available, because every time I go to their site it just says the "engine" is free.

    I know they had a free PLE version (I had Apprentice many years ago, but never used) a while ago, and then moved to an Indie version. So, definitively, are they offering a free version of Houdini again, or is it just an engine to be used with Unity, and etc.?
  10. Pendraia

    Pendraia Seasoned Contributing Artist

    Thanks for the info...I'll really need to look into it. As a teacher I find VR really exciting as it offers a lot of potential...

    I also tried Gmax years ago but never really got it...mind you at that point my knowledge was very much that of a beginner.
  11. Art_of_Mind

    Art_of_Mind Engaged Contributing Artist

    Yes it is a free version. I'm not at my computer atm but either late tonight or in the morning I'll tell you exactly what the version is. Just from memory free lets you make single renders and the 200 dollar version lets you make animations. I'm very new at this and was able to feel my way around the interface, I found it similar to DS. I've never seen inside Poser so I cant compare there. I didn't try the modeling tools but just for a few minutes and got them to do things. Lightning was ridiculously easy. I couldn't figure out how to look through the camera and drive it around but again I was just mashing buttons.
  12. Art_of_Mind

    Art_of_Mind Engaged Contributing Artist

    okay, it is Houdini FX 15.0.416 and I forgot, I told you all earlier I could not figure out how to drive/look through the camera, I forgot, I did figure it out, just had to open it up again and mess around some more. I've only got a few hours in it, opening up all the tabs and just mashing buttons to see what happens. promise as soon as I finish up the product I'm working on I'm going to apply myself to Houdini. It seems straight forward. The only drawback so far is it don't like cr2's or duf's yet. However DS lets you export out in all sorts of file types, good guess Poser does too.


    messing aroundJPG.JPG
    Pendraia likes this.
  13. Miss B

    Miss B Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time CV-BEE

    The UI reminds me a little of Maya at first glance, though Maya's UI is definitely busier.
  14. Seebee

    Seebee Member

    Hi to all,
    About Gmax: I guess, just like Max or any other 3d program it does take time to gel. :)
    It's ok for us Max folk who are very used to the interface! But it's not too bad to figure out.

    As you will know, Gmax is "only" a modelling tool in that it doesn't "render" in the true sense of the word.
    The perspective window is your output view. But it is a superb modeling/modifying program that also
    allows keyframe and "normal" animation creations as well.

    The main updates that I can see seem to be the add-ons that keen users have created in order to
    import/export to mainstream "game engines" and some material add ons stuff.
    Anyway, it's worth a try I guess. It does require registration in order to receive the serial number.

    I went back to it yesterday to recheck it out and managed to create a nice dynamic skirt for Victoria quite quickly.
    Just a primitve cone with a few more height segments than the default ..nothing complex at all.
    I managed to get it into Poser by FBX although there are many import file options in Poser Pro Game Edition.
    Then the usual workflow in the Poser Cloth room and all was good. So it still does work.

    Good to see that there is an interest in Virtual Reality stuff :)
    Poser and Unity and the Oculus Rift work so well together it's almost spooky.
    I could go on and on and on about it I guess but I thoroughly recommend the experience.

    Unity is free by the way. It does have a paid version but the free version is tops.
    Unity does allow simple mesh modifcations..well transforms...One can move, scale and rotate segments quite easily, but that's about it.
    No difference there, as with all Game Engines, they are not for modelling.

    From exporting your Poser figure or/and animation to actually viewing it through the VR headset
    takes about five minutes and I've yet to come across any probs at all.
    Unity through the FBX format will correctly scale and map exactly as Poser and you intended which
    is quite unique. Other game engines I've used sometimes require quite a bit of tweaking etc.
    Importing your Poser or Max animation into Unity is of no trouble at all either.

    Sorry to have gone on so much. Great to be among some Poser users who have an interest in this.
    I'm hoping that soon Poser might have a VR rendering option so's users can simply choose and view it inside Poser
    without third party intervention!
  15. Art_of_Mind

    Art_of_Mind Engaged Contributing Artist

    here is the viewport
    I really got to shut it down now, I got a product to finish, Houdini is going to have to wait.
    But I really like it, better than,, I like it better than.. should I say it? I'll just say I like it better than one of my other programs.

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  16. Seebee

    Seebee Member

    Yay for your fine work and determination. Great posts, Art_of_mind.
    I must take a look at that program. Looks a fine one indeed.
    Art_of_Mind likes this.
  17. Art_of_Mind

    Art_of_Mind Engaged Contributing Artist

    I hope Houdini gets a few more fans and it's own thread in the software section here.
    Video showing how to download and install,

    Link to Downlaod houdini apprentice
    Houdini Apprentice - SideFX
    and trouble shooting
    Troubleshooting - SideFX

    best of luck
  18. Miss B

    Miss B Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time CV-BEE

    Thanks for the download link AoM, because I couldn't find it on their site last time I looked.
  19. DaremoK3

    DaremoK3 Enthusiast


    Thank you for the detailed feedback regarding Houdini. So, they went back to offering Apprentice. It was several years ago when I last got Apprentice, but I believe I ran into an issue and was never able to get it working on my environment. I want to give it a try again, but I already ran into my first snag, and was unable to even download it.

    I am going to watch your install video (thanks for that), and I hope it will help me along to where I can get it up and running.

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