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  #1  
Old 03-05-2012, 07:28 AM
Benny Profane's Avatar
Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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3d

What 3D programs are the most popular among the agencies that sell this sort of work? In other words, if one was to learn the craft, what programs should that person spend the time, money, and energy to learn?
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:42 AM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: 3d

z-Brush - but it's pricey.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:47 AM
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Re: 3d

Cinema 4D is easiest to learn and can be used for most situations, but then a lot of people still do their modelling in ZBrush. Just reached an ok level in C4D myself.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:08 PM
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Mike Needham Mike Needham is offline
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Re: 3d

I would have thought that the answer kind of depends on, what you want to do with your 3D program, or the type of industry niche you want fill.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:40 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: 3d

I suggest you make sure that you're familiar with an application if it's super common in your market or with a shop you want to work for.

There are certain things to look at, and you need to pay attention on comments to what version they used as things change around to a degree. The categories are typically modeling, sculpting (also modeling but often with a higher polygon limit and more kind of touchy feely toolsets), UV editing, retopology (again part of modeling used to make something deform or smooth correctly), dynamics systems(hard body, soft body, fields, particle engines, etc), rigging systems, animation, and rendering.

Some of it might not be of any concern to you. It's just that this is most of what is mentioned. Things like texturing can be done in photoshop to a degree post UV layout. Keep in mind that it's still common to do photoshop work post 3d. What you see rendered does not have to be your final result. It can be treated much like a raw file.

Keep in mind you should just start out with one basic application that can do as much as possible and add stuff as needed.


Typical 3d modeling + animation + generalized tools apps are Cinema 4D, 3ds Max, Maya, Modo, Blender.

Some have different versions with different features included.

Typical sculpting and painting applications include Mudbox and Zbrush. Some of the others have basic sculpting tools built in.

For retopology/uvs/texturing beyond the basic features of the above applications you've got
3d coat, headus, topogun, Nexx (maya plugin on windows), and 3ds max has reasonably nice retopology tools if you happen to use it already (watched a youtube demo on them, and they looked quite in that you can pretty much draw in connections quickly).


Rendering engines include Mental Ray, Vray, Maxwell Render, whatever modo's is called, renderman, and I can't think of any other common ones. Most smaller shops seem to use mental ray or vray. Brazil, Luxrender, and Octane, are very low cost but less popular ones. Mental Ray is bundled with certain packages. Vray is popular with 3ds max. It basically became popular from architectural and product visualization.

Realistically if you're working on your own, Modo is a very popular modeler assuming you don't require parametric tools, and the rendering engine has gotten pretty good. I don't think it has much in the way of animation. It has sculpting tools, but it can't handle the poly counts of a dedicated sculpting application. Deformers can go a long way though with that kind of construction. If you were building a ship hull and you weren't sure of how to get the curvature moving around vertices, that's pretty much where deformers come in, after which you could just bash additions into your object and create supportive geometry as necessary when you're getting to a refining stage in your model.

Okay I'm tired of typing.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:39 PM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: 3d

Hey, thanks, but my brain hurts. So complex.

What programs are used to create cars and products from wireframes the designers create?
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:14 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: 3d

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
Hey, thanks, but my brain hurts. So complex.

What programs are used to create cars and products from wireframes the designers create?
This is a simplified response. Car and product design usually relies on nurbs modeling features. C4D, max, and maya have nurb functions, but I don't think any of them have things used to gauge curvature continuity like zebra shaders and curvature combs. You can turn on hulls and use those to gauge things. Nurbs/splines aren't that common in most areas. I like them for basic stages of surfacing as you can use spline based curves to output polygon geometry and detail it from there.

Most of the car/product advertising seems to start with manufacturer cad files. They convert the nurbs and all of the trimmed surfaces and fillets and stuff into dense polygon approximations which can be rendered with proper shaders, lighting, and other stuff, then retouched. Most of the rendering engines have pre built layered paint shaders that you can tweak, but you may need some real car paint colors for reference to get a realistic result.

I get the feeling that some of the bigger shops custom program their paint shaders in house, as some of them are very good. CG lighting can get fairly complex too with splitting off passes to tweak certain things separately and making multiple lighting setups combined with shader networks to approximate different characteristics. Really a lot of this stuff is used in video and it's pulling way ahead of print complexities in some ways. I'm not going off track into post compositing, because that's an entirely different topic.

Yes this is a simplified response, because I don't feel like typing for ages. If you can get used to it, you can shape any surface. You'll want to pay attention to things like instancing and duplication functions (or custom scripts) for anything with a high level of repetition rather than assuming you can space things perfectly. Depending on what you want to do, you may not have to remember all of this. Video games use different things than typical visualization work done for advertising (as an example). Like for video games they end up having to bake things down quite a lot with maps given the need for real time rendering from these video cards in computers and consoles. There are quite a lot of things that vary by intended output. Animations seem to avoid things like Lanczos/Mitchell resampling because their sharpening effects tend to cause flickering (not that I'm an expert on this, and some may use them, but they're definitely more difficult to control). They can produce some pleasing results in print if you don't go too crazy with them.

Last edited by kav; 03-06-2012 at 09:15 PM. Reason: typo
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