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Autodesk - trial software for students

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  • Autodesk - trial software for students

    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?

  • #2
    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.

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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        This is awesome, I'm downloading 3DS Max right now, thanks for the heads up...

        Comment


        • #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              No, you're not allowed to use them commercially...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ghiest View Post
                3dsmax is far from industry standard as some would have you believe.
                For games--yeah, it pretty much dominates. And with the addition of the Polyboost tools in Max 2010 and 2011 it has the best polygonal modeling tools of any program.

                Now, Maya on the other hand dominates movies, since it has better tools for animation, NURBS and integration with Renderman. But that's a non-issue here since this is for games.

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                • #9
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GRoss View Post
                      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.
                      This drawback for maya still exists but you can extrude (have it hot keyed btw) so you can just select a face/vertices/edge and extrude out just like max. But it's all about what you learn on for efficiency, I prefer maya because it's what I learnt on. Although I can use both blender and 3dsMax (and use max almost exclusively at work) I still prefer to use Maya if I have the choice to, as I can quickly and effectively do what I want without any hassles. This is purely because I have set up my Maya how I want with almost all the modelling hot keys changed to alt and ctrl modifiers for Q,W,E,R,T,A,S,D so I don't even need to use the context sensitive menu (best thing about maya btw :P) or the hot bars.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by darthviper107 View Post
                        Now, Maya on the other hand dominates movies, since it has better tools for animation, NURBS and integration with Renderman. But that's a non-issue here since this is for games.
                        Animation is not part of game development?

                        Originally posted by GRoss View Post
                        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.
                        Append polygon tool.

                        Originally posted by Ghiest View Post
                        This drawback for maya still exists but you can extrude (have it hot keyed btw) so you can just select a face/vertices/edge and extrude out just like max. But it's all about what you learn on for efficiency, I prefer maya because it's what I learnt on. Although I can use both blender and 3dsMax (and use max almost exclusively at work) I still prefer to use Maya if I have the choice to, as I can quickly and effectively do what I want without any hassles. This is purely because I have set up my Maya how I want with almost all the modelling hot keys changed to alt and ctrl modifiers for Q,W,E,R,T,A,S,D so I don't even need to use the context sensitive menu (best thing about maya btw :P) or the hot bars.
                        Not to forget you can bind your own scripts and make your own context sensitive buttons if you have to.

                        -----------------------------------

                        To use Maya you need to be ready to dive under the hood, if you don't know what you're doing at a lower level the program tends to be crash prone and might feel limited. If you understand how it works though it's almost as unlimited as you want it to be. I believe Houdini is the only application which is more flexible but then it has a steeper learning curve. 3dsmax on the other hand has great base features for less technical savvy artists but its flexibility in regards to extension is a lot less. With that I mean that 3dsmax is not as strong when it comes to making your own pipelines in production. (This is not based on my opinion alone but rather what other professionals in the industry is stating on several high profile communities like Gamasutra, Tech-Artists, CgTalk including people I know working in other studios and projects.) 3dsmax has stronger modelling tools. Maya has better animation tools. You have to consider what tools you have to use and not the guy beside you. If you're a modeller, great! Use 3dsmax, Modo, Silo together with Zbrush, Sculptris or Mudbox. On the other hand are you a technical artist/animator? Use Maya, XSI, Houdini together with MotionBuilder. Add programs like Photoshop, xNormal, CrazyBump, Topogun and you have an efficient pipeline. Of course there's a lot more out there but you have to find what you need for your pipeline.

                        If you want to be an efficient artist you need to learn to use several applications and not get rooted to just one. That's just shooting yourself in the foot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Denny View Post
                          Animation is not part of game development?
                          Yeah, some companies use Maya for creating animations for games, but otherwise they rely heavily on 3ds Max



                          In any case, considering that most of the engines nowadays supports both Maya and 3ds Max, it's more to a point of finding out which program is more comfortable. They can all do the same stuff, but often in different ways.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by darthviper107 View Post
                            Yeah, some companies use Maya for creating animations for games, but otherwise they rely heavily on 3ds Max.
                            I've been in three studios so far that exclusively works with Maya. I know several major studios that does as well, Naughty Dog being the first one coming to mind. You also have Softimage that is used by several of the big boys in Asia; Capcom, Konami, Studio 4c and Kojima Productions.

                            If you search at any of the job listings for game development, places like Gamasutra, CGHub and the like and search for Maya, 3dsmax, 3d studio max and softimage you'll see what software experience employers are looking for.

                            Gamasutra:
                            Softimage 2
                            3dsmax / 3d studio max 23
                            Maya 69

                            CGHub:
                            Softimage 1
                            3dsmax / 3d studio max 3
                            Maya 8

                            Some studios are migrating, new ones are popping up and many are going with Maya. It would be nice if you could state some sources as well.

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