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Cinema 4D vs. Maya vs. XSI vs. Lightwave

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Guest pixel_pimp

Out of the Four Major 3D package, what would be best suited for broadcast, DVD and movie trailer GFX. I noticed BNS (yes i love them, and have a big hard-on for there stuff) post a request for 3D artist to send in reel for there NYC office. The ad was seeking animators with Cinema4D and Maya experience. I took some classes in Maya and found it to be way to complex for quick and dirty broadcast and tv spots. Cinema4D can easliy take an Illustrator file, extrude, texture, light, and render in a few hours. You can also bring in the mulitpassed render and do tweaks to light and placed video footage in after effects. How are the studio's at other design studio set-up, work flow, render farm set-up?

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Guest firemind

It all depends on what you want to do.

 

Maya and XSI are complex, deep packages that you can basically do anything with but have the corresponding learning curve that comes with it. C4D doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but has a workflow that seems to appeal to a lot of designers. It gets stuff done fast.

 

Max with it's current price, the amount of 3rd party plug-ins you need to get it up to Maya level and it's inherent instability is becoming less of a viable option with every new release. That package needs a groundlevel rewrite bad.

 

The argument is 'power' vs 'ease of use'.

 

The statement 'but this package is more powerful' really has no value unless that extra power is really useful (how many broadcast designers really go deep into character rigging and animation?) and is fast to learn/use. Otherwise all of us would be using Houdini, arguably the most powerful 3D package on the planet. Just don't expect to learn it in under 5 years :P

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Guest pasto

Hi pixel_pimp, I am a mac user and I started with C4D : speedest 3d app ever on a mac considering raytracing, crappy (slow) opengl display with os X game cards, best multipass on the market.

 

I switched to Maya (whish is way easier than Max cause it is more logical imho), powerfull app casi unlimited (even with the complete version...) and way more flexible than C4D. Can't see any différence in the process of importing illustrator files and extruding them. The shading network system is a master piece. the rendering is slower, but Mental ray can be very nice and speed in raytrace, compared to maya's built in engine. The time line is way better, dynamics are working, particles are very powerfull etc... THE BIG PROB for motion graphics, is that the text tool is useless in Maya. Maya needs a G5 to be comfortable with. Very nice openGL speed even on a G4 though.

 

Now I would never go back to c4d, but it tooks me several months to be operational. You can do simple nice things with C4D in two days.

 

just my opinion.

pasto

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Guest firemind

pixel_pimp, then you can discard XSI and max right away if you're on a mac. Honestly tho, the mac is hardly the ideal platform for 3D. Generally there is more raw speed and better open GL cards on the PC side. Maya on the mac is functional tho a bit more sluggish than it's PC/Linux counterparts.

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Guest vuzz

well pixel_pimp I learned 3d using Maya for doing broadcast work. the FX house was all Maya to the bone and so many high end pros I had a open book on what to learn and who to ask, Maya is the king but even the pros would tell me that with each new version it gets more complicated. However as soon as I tried C4D I was hooked, to me it is what a 3d program should be, easy and fun, don't get this confused with cheap and limited, it can do just about anything you want.

 

Try both, the thing is the price of Maya is the same as C4D once you add on the modules, Maya is used more, and has a really great learning base. I used both and in the end I went with C4D it just works for me.

 

>v<

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Guest vuzz

man sometimes I am a scatterbrain, my advice will confuse you more than anything. I though back to stuff you can do in Maya that C4D can't. Like pasto said the shader network is really great and for doing character animation it rules. Plus maya seems more responsive on a Mac than C4D. Man I'm going to buy Maya now. It's the what is the best software thing,,, neither. It's what you feel works for you.

I'll stop now.

 

try the demos

 

v

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Guest pixel_pimp

I work at a trailer house, and I am tring to do title graphics in the same style as Paycheck, Hellboy, Van Helsening, LXG, Daredevil etc. They all have a close-up shot of a 3D model in the background and then a forground card, either 2d or 3d type. If that helps to clarify what I want to do with these packages. Thanks

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Does anyone know of some newer discussions on this subject? I'm trying to decide between the Maya and C4d and can't find any info earlier than 2006. I need to get a clear answer to which program is best for fast good looking Motion graphics. I don't need any of the other stuff that 3D animators need. I need to do stuff like the American Idol logo and The Daily show open. What's the best way to go?

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All I can say is that a LOT of stuff has happened in c4d land since 2004.

 

new rigging system

new advanced renderer

vray and renderman support

etc.

I agree with you as far as I can tell from doing tutorials and trying to learn both, I just need to make sure I am going the best way so my company doesn't make a big purchase and then we decide it's the wrong software. Also, if anyone knows of a company that does C4D training, I would love to know their website. I've found a few, but they are all for onsite, I've always found that training when traveling works out to be much more effective. I know there are a ton of places to do Maya, but C4d seems to be pretty slip pickings.

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I agree with you as far as I can tell from doing tutorials and trying to learn both, I just need to make sure I am going the best way so my company doesn't make a big purchase and then we decide it's the wrong software. Also, if anyone knows of a company that does C4D training, I would love to know their website. I've found a few, but they are all for onsite, I've always found that training when traveling works out to be much more effective. I know there are a ton of places to do Maya, but C4d seems to be pretty slip pickings.

 

If you are looking for videos, http://www.cineversity.com/ is the main source.

I´ve never been a paying member though, but I bet someone else here have.

 

Other than that I know fxphd have had some stuff in the past.

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Depends what people use in your local market (St. Louis I guess?). Do some research on that first, but also if you're good enough, it ain't gonna matter. Maya tends toward use by larger teams, C4D by smaller groups and individuals, but that generalization will draw all kinds of protests I'm sure. Functionally you're not missing anything in Maya vs. C4D except fluids and dynamics unless I'm forgetting something.

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Depends what people use in your local market (St. Louis I guess?). Do some research on that first, but also if you're good enough, it ain't gonna matter. Maya tends toward use by larger teams, C4D by smaller groups and individuals, but that generalization will draw all kinds of protests I'm sure. Functionally you're not missing anything in Maya vs. C4D except fluids and dynamics unless I'm forgetting something.

 

well...with texturing Maya blows C4D out of the water, IMO. the Hypershade is pretty damn powerful.

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I can't speak for Maya, but I bought C4D approx. four months ago. It is my first exposure to 3D and I've got myself, a book and fxPhd/cineversity/linda.com/tvgrafx/etc. tutorials to help me. So far it has been an awesome experience. C4D is deep enough for me to achieve good results and has a learning curve that encourages me to keep trying different things. As far as I've heard, Maya is terrific. I can't see having experience with it hurting your career. So, that's my take.

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Certainly someone must use Lightwave? :-) The TV station I worked at got a Video Toaster way back when, and Lightwave 3D was a part of that. As a result they always stuck with Lightwave. I wanted to get into it as well, being intrigued by it and all, which is why I got a DPS machine and LW7 at home. I got it in a Christmas bundle which included a pantload of tapes, books, magazines, and the like. Then I realized I didn't have the time to try to self-train on it. Something about motorcycles and cameras being more fun than sitting in front of a computer during my free time.

 

I often thought of trying to get into something more intuitive like C4D, but the days of having that kind of hobby money are long gone. Plus, I already spent more money than I should have on a program that I've done very little work with. I don't want to waste it again. It would be nice to actually go thru some of the training materials I have on Lightwave and build a skill set, then see about C4D (and plead with my boss to buy it).

 

Cf

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i had the same decision to make 4 months ago too. Blender wasn't cutting it any more and we needed a pro solution. Our shop doesn't do character animation and we don't have any devs to code custom tools. I had a look at the training costs for Maya vs C4d and found that on the whole, c4d is cheaper...but I'm sure you could find evidence to support either view.

 

C4d is quick - most people in my office have picked it up after a couple of days. I'm sure Maya is fantastic for indepth, complicated projects - but I'm also pretty sure you said you weren't interested in that sort of work :D.

 

If you really want to hedge your bets, you can always evaluate the trial versions.

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If you're dealing with simple scenes, then C4D is a very solid choice. Personally I use maya on a Linux machine, so I can't speak for mac, but I suspect it's a similar experience. I think it has the most poweful modeling, UV mapping/texturing, particle and animation tools on the market. Someone mentioned the hypershade as well, the node based approach works for me. I also like the GI engine, in fact I prefer it to VRay mainly because of its superior photon mapping. If you're looking to render metalic surfaces, then Lightwave does a great job of it.

Edited by robot0

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