so yeh, as the title suggest - Autodesk has released their whole range of software for students around the world to use - 13 months trials are available from their website, as long as you can prove that you are actually a student.
..though I'd let you people know
And a side question - are there ANY benefits of using 3D max over Blender (which I am currently using). I have used Maya before at uni, but didn't like it at all and much prefer Blender mostly for speed.
I would like to learn how to use 3D max, but before that I would like to know if I should spend my time on that or just stick to Blender. Any thoughts?
Well yeah, there are tons of benefits. The polygonal modeling tools are better than other programs (even Maya). It's also more powerful. It's got Mental Ray. And most game companies use 3ds Max.
If you want to work in the industry you'd have to switch to something else anyways. And it's better to start now, Blender's interface is horrible compared to 3ds Max/Maya/XSI the more time you waste on Blender, the harder it will be to switch.
I'm not saying Blender is horrible--if you don't have the money or opportunity to use one of the bigger apps then of course it's a great choice. It can do quite a bit for a free program. But the big programs are much better.
IF you have the resources avlib to learn even for a year? then by the gods, learn! if you walk away from the trial run with the experince under the belt and a nice porfolio to show for it, then it was time well spent learning and possibly getting a position that will use that and as well as some more tools at your disposal to learn and expand upon.
3dsmax is far from industry standard as some would have you believe. Sure it has some decent tools (modifier stack and some simplified tool sets) but it also prohibitively complex in some regards compared to other tools that do the same job more simply.
It's the whole Intel vs AMD / Nvidia vs ATI argument really, the two major players will always be argued about which is best but the fact is both Max and Maya have both strong and weak points that set them apart. Not having any experience with XSI (or very limited) I couldn't judge on the quality of the software really, but I personally started out on Maya and it's what I have stuck with for 8 years (ish).
But I find that I can model just fine in 3dsMax, I think once you have an understanding of how to model and how things are going to look in game then you can pick up most packages and when you have learnt most of the tools you could reproduce it.
Are the Student version crippled in anyway these days? I remember way back with Maya 6 PLE version they disabled any external plug ins and the export functions.
Thanks for your replies - sadly, as I expected there is no definite answer (as Ghiest mentioned)... Learning a new software is good of course, however you must also keep in mind that the time spend learning a new software, could be well spend on making something with the one you already know.
On a side note - the thing that has been bugging me with maya the most, is the fact that it's such a pain in the *** to make faces - you either have to use the fill hole tool or have to extrude, then merge, etc (haven't used it in ages, so probably not using the correct names) - it could have changes since version 8 (I think thats the one I used), but I remember how much that slowed down the modelling process - while in blender, anytime you hit F with 4 vertices or 2-4 edges selected it just makes a face, no questions asked.
And I believe that the software available for students is exactly the same as the copies for sale - the are complete, with no features taken out - the only drawback is of course the time limit.
I prefer Maya for videogames personally... it's much less about "a billion tools for a billion jobs" and more about ~6 tools for a billion jobs and you kind-of get into a groove. Those 6 tools may very slightly person-to-person... but on the whole it doesn't.
But that's just because I personally am better suited to that interface.
That's true, I honestly don't want to use Maya because I've used Max so much. But there truly are some great tools in Max.
Take for instance if you want to make a pipe, in other programs you create a spline, and then a circle, and then you can extrude the circle along the spline as a path. For Max you can do the same, but in Max you can also set the spline to have a thickness, you can change how many sides it has, rotate it around, and still have all of your spline options so you can change the spline and still see it as a mesh. That's one particular feature that has saved a lot of time. And polyboost is just awesome.