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Which 3D software to use - Maya, Lightwave or 3D Studio Max?

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I'm already quite proficient with Photoshop, AutoCAD and Sketchup seeing as I use both at work everyday. I've also used Solidworks before.

The things I'll mainly be modelling would be buildings, mechanical objects.

So... I was just wondering if anyone could offer recommendations of any of the three packages, Maya, Lightwave and 3D Studio Max and their advantages/disadvantages/ease of use/learning curve....things like that really.


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Well I'm very keen on 3d meself but I only use bryce, mainly for the atmosphere effects and stuff. There is a Maya Personal Learning Edition that's for free. Also Lightwave and 3d Max are industry standards, Lightwave is used alot in the film industry I believe.

You'll probably find try before you buy demos on the web. I doubt that you'll have any trouble with the learning curve with your previous experience. Have fun!

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  • 3 weeks later...

you should try Maxon Cinema 4D. it's really simple and has a great interface. I've benn really fast at developing a first model, I used to create a Lamborghini Gallardo and it looked great for my first model :)

3ds max seems to me to be very "closed" for newbies. And I used to have a trial of Maya on my PC (512 DDR) and it was unbelievable slow

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I've been using Max since it's R1, it's been up n down ride for but it works for me since I know how to use it than other packages.

Basically, each of these softwares (Maya, Max, LW) use their own set of terminology for regular stuff but once you are aware of basic it's hardly a matter of time you get used to one package.

Like I said, I've been using Max since long and it's mostly used in my work environment... Though we never used LW in our work profiles, it remains my personal favorite over Max. I was able to use it without any guidance (I think I first used LW4 in early 2000), and personally I made two short clips for friend's project using LW.

I guess each of this 3D software has their own learning curve, depending on who's terminology suits you most and features that fulfill your requirement without adding more third-party crap !

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