What is the 'best' overall 3D modelling program?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Werewolf, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Werewolf

    aa Werewolf Probably not a real Werewolf

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    Right off the bat, I know this is a not-so-simple question with a not-so-simple answer.

    Basically I want to know, of all the various 3D modelling programs there are out there, which is the best for making props to use in the Source engine.

    For me the single most important factor for picking a program is how quickly I can learn it or use it. I, like most of you, don't have more than a couple hours (if that) in the evening to spend in front of the computer. So I don't want to invest my time and effort into using a feature rich program that ultimately does not meet my needs.

    I don't mind buying a program, I just want to know that the program I buy can do all I need to, even though I don't yet know what I need. Of course if there is a free alternative, or another program that is easier to use then feel free to nominate them.

    I will add here that I already have Blender installed, I just haven't sat down with any tutorials yet to even attempt learning it. Likewise I have Propper but I do want to make curved things too.

    I suppose one way to phase the question would be, "If you had to recommend a program, which would you pick?"
     
  2. Exactol

    aa Exactol Certified Hammer Hacker

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    Both 3dsmax and maya are good. You can get maya for free if you say you are a student (you dont actually have to be) and I think the same is for 3dsmax. 3dsmax probably has the best integration with source with the wallworm tools http://dev.wallworm.com/topic/2/wall_worm_model_tools.html
     
  3. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    generally, they're all bad. that said, 3ds max, being the "industry standard", seems to be the option that presents the least amount of friction when it comes to getting models into source (despite being a buggy mess). It comes at a price tho so be warned.
    I've tried lightwave and c4d, both were nearly viable in source's workflow. Tried blender as well but never made it to the export process (yes, blender was that bad in my opinion. But hey, it has worked for others).
     
  4. MaccyF

    aa MaccyF Notoriously Unreliable

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    as fubar says, 3DS max is generally seen as "best". Blender works fine too, but its much harder to learn due to being almost entirely hotkey based. The exporter works really nicely though.
     
  5. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Blender will be able to do everything you need. It's really just personal preference, they all work to varying degrees, it depends on which one you prefer working in. They can all (at least, the main 3 - blender, maya and 3ds max) can do everything you'll need.
     
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  6. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    If we're talking industry standard, I was almost confident that title belonged to Maya.

    Blender is free, and is a lot better than it was a few years ago, at least UI wise. I'd start with blender.
     
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  7. MaccyF

    aa MaccyF Notoriously Unreliable

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    haha, blender was ass when i first started with it (5 or so years back) this was way before cycles, and the documentation was only just getting good.
     
  8. Moonfixer

    Moonfixer L5: Dapper Member

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    I would have to go with Maya as well.
     
  9. Fantasma

    aa Fantasma

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    Here's a quote I remember hearing a while ago (paraphrased):

    "If you're new enough to be asking for the difference between Blender and 3DS max, it doesn't matter which you use"

    (Plus, blender is free)
     
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  10. Werewolf

    aa Werewolf Probably not a real Werewolf

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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I didn't realise 3DS Max and Maya were made by the same people and cost quite so much! I think I will give Blender a try, so does any one know good starting tutorials to try?
     
  11. DioJoestar

    DioJoestar L2: Junior Member

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  12. Werewolf

    aa Werewolf Probably not a real Werewolf

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    Also how feasible is it to create the basic shape of a prop in Hammer using Propper, then import it to blender to add in details? Then of course back to Source?
     
  13. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    hammer has this feature called dxf export. Not sure if blender can import those out of the box but it's a really fast way to get things in your 3d editor.
     
  14. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    If not, there is a great Source import/export plugin
     
  15. Uncuepa

    aa Uncuepa

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    Last time I used blender was 2010. It was a mess.
     
  16. henke37

    aa henke37

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    The last time I tried blender I couldn't even find the modelling mode.
     
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  17. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    Blender is still a mess.

    Apparently Maya can be used to model with? tbh both blender and maya seem incomprehensible to me.

    Zbrush has, hands down, the worst UI for a program I've ever seen. It reinvents every aspect of UI in a new and different and shit way. I don't think Zbrush understands what artists use it for, and it's trying to be something that most people don't use it for.

    3DS Max is what I've used for years and seems to do everything I've ever tried to do in a fairly sensible way.

    Modo seems nice but I know virtually nothing about it

    Cinema 4D seems more aimed at rendering


    tl;dr: All 3D software is bad in different ways (mostly through bloat and the fact that they all want to be able to do everything: see blender being a games engine.... wtf?), they're all good in different ways, excepting blender they're all expensive as hell (though student versions of 3ds max and maya can be obtained for free)


    My recommendation:
    If you're serious about learning to model get max or maya (max) as a student version
    If you're not serious, get blender
     
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  18. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    "The typical problem with geeks writing free software: once they get something that proves they can solve an interesting puzzle, they lose interest in making the software usable. There's nothing wrong with [that], but it's a lot like a car that's nothing but an engine, wheels and gas tank on a frame, with a rope for steering and a milk crate to sit on." - a former Audacity developer
     
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  19. Werewolf

    aa Werewolf Probably not a real Werewolf

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    So I presume this is directed at the Blender devs? Are they no longer supporting the program or something? I'm not quite sure what that statement is meant to imply here.
     
  20. FerJox22

    FerJox22 L1: Registered

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    I've been using Blender for almost 2 years now and still no regrets. It is still in active development. There're plenty of good tutorials out there (many are uploaded daily to YT). It's pretty stable btw. Plus, this exists. Anyway, it's free on Steam right now and, hopefully, will remain like that forever. I recommend you give it a try at least ;)
     
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