Question by windstonex: Which is the best software for 3d animation?
I mean, i’m not talking about 3d max or Maya, which are for 3d modeling.
I’m looking for a good software which can help me animate my 3d characters. Like…when i want to create a 3d movie which can look smooth and which can allow me to do more effects….

Can anyone help me? Maybe you are working with Pixar, or any other 3d company…
Thanks~

Best answer:

Answer by TalentedChimp
Take a look at POV-Ray.

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2 reaktioner

  1. Try Blender. It’s open source and free. You can download it from blender.org

  2. There are several choices when you want to animate 3d characters. Let’s have a look:

    Maya
    More or less an industry standard, great character animation tools, but somewhat difficult to learn, and a lack of flexibility. Amazing technology, though. But quite expensive, especially the ‘ultimate’ edition. $ 1999 / $ 6999

    Softimage XSI
    Very professional package, and excellent character animation tools. Steep learning curve, but not as steep as Maya’s. Excellent all-rounder too. With the current pricing, amazingly inexpensive as well (for the basic package). It also supports scenes with an obscene amount of complexity and offers a complete compositing & effects system. If you only buy one package, this will be it, I guess. I’m thinking to extend my toolset with this one myself. The foundations version contains most of the features. The more expensive version include more production studio features.
    $ 495 (foundations) (I can’t believe this!) / $ 1995 / $ 6995

    Maxon Cinema4D
    Again, excellent all-rounder, and with the new version 10 character tools are comparable to those of Maya & SoftImage. Also very easy to pickup. Some say it’s the easiest package to come to grips with. Renderer is great, but not as great as Mental Ray (of which Maya, SoftImage and 3dsMax make use of) Basic package is inexpensive and contains BodyPaint that makes painting of characters a doddle compared to other packages (think Photoshop in 3d). Problem is, you really need Mocca (the character extension module) and the advanced renderer modules, and this adds extra cost.
    685 / 1700 / 2800 (euros)

    3ds Max
    Expensive and based on a workflow & technology that’s pretty old. Nonetheless, good all-rounder and it comes with Character Studio installed, so well catered for character animation. Max can use the in-build renderer or make use of the excellent Mental Ray. Being a popular package, there’s heaps of support and tutorials available for free on the www.
    $ 3,495

    MotionBuilder
    Excellent 3d Character animation app: redefined the industry in some ways… It really is an awesome experience working with the realtime animation tools. However, you do need another 3d app to render the results. There’s a build-in version for 3dsMax: HumanIK.
    $ 4,195 (Ugh! Too bad the freelancer edition is no longer available for $ 200… that one I got.)

    Lightwave3D
    Good allrounder, and with version 9, it’s finally catching up with some of the others. Excellent renderer. Lightwave has proven itself in the industry many times over, but its character animation tools leave somewhat desired. However, combine this with Messiah:animate, and you’ve got excellent character animation tools. Lightwave is inexpensive for what it offers and is easy to learn.
    $ 795

    Messiah:Studio
    The odd one out, since it’s not very well know. However, excellent character animation & renderer. Very low price. Against it are the lack of support on the www. Then again, it can be combined with Lightwave, Cinema4d, 3dsMax & Maya for a powerful combination.
    $ 299

    Hash Animation:Master
    This is the package that’s known as an ‘insider secret’ to people who work in the 3d character animation industry. I’ve read that certain well-known animators at Pixar work with this at home after work and prefer it to anything else. For character animation, this rocks. On the other hand, its modelling system differs from all the other packages, and this might put you off. It’s an inexpensive package, though, and well worth it.
    $ 299

    Blender
    A free 3d package, that gets stronger and stronger all the time. ‘An elephants dream’ (http://www.elephantsdream.org/) was created in Blender, and shows that great animation is possible in this package. An excellent all-rounder, great support and an amazingly quick development process; it seems new versions are coming out every few months. The non-standard user interface mars an otherwise very good app. Steep learning curve when you’re used to other 3d packages. If not, it’s not too bad, though. Blender also includes a complete non-linear video editor, with post effects and all. Only Soft Image XSI can compete with that. And it’s free! (didn’t I already mention that?)
    $ 00.00

    So a LOT of packages to choose from. Whichever should you choose? Well, I’d say download some trials and see which ones you prefer. Some are inanly expensive (such as 3dsMax) which may be a problem.

    In the end, it does not really matter whether some packages are seemingly somewhat ‘weaker’ in the character animation department. I mean, look what Timothy Albee did with Lightwave and Ghost Warrior (http://www.ta-animation.com/).

    So what about me? I work with Lightwave, 3dsMax, MotionBuilder, Blender and Cinema4d. I’ve also worked with Messiah:animate in the past. I like working in Cinema4d & Lightwave best, and love the new character tools in C4d. I will probably be extending my tool set with SoftImage, because the low pricing is just amazing and it is VERY powerful.

    But it’s all down to personal preference these days. If you commit yourself, you’ll be able to create amazing character animation in just about any of these packages; they all have the capability to do just that. You have to put in the sweat, tears, money and time, so git going!

    CHeers!

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