Anyone using other tools?

We used wings3d in our last animation.

I’m thinking of using blender, wings and cinelerra for this next one… anyone else using apps that aren’t 3ds max? If so which ones have you found most helpful?

Team 481 used Hash’s animation master and Maya to compliment 3dsMax for our animation. It was mainly because our animators are more used to Hash and Maya, not because they are stronger programs.

The people-in-training used 3DS Max becuase it was the simpler solution. The Video was edited in Premiere 6.5 last year.
This year we plan on using Maya 5 and Shake 3 - Both running on Red Hat 8.

Heh, how’s the price on Maya these days anyways?

I’m thinking I’ll try and do blender still, but I suppose Maya might be worth looking closer at… just don’t think it’s worth the price for the features, I mean, you should export the rendering to aquasis anyways… so why not use another modeller.

Anyways, would be interested to know what a robotics team can get them down too in terms of price.

Hey its free if you use the educational version!

I disdain crippleware. Moving watermark? Ug… export restrictions? (read: no external renders… can’t use aquasis…) limited res? (no matter for this competition I suppose…) Propriatary format?

Give me a break…

Especially when I can get better tools that are Free and free… (using both forms of the word for those of you who differentiate.)

But then again, I did ask about other tools than 3ds, I suppose I shoulda thought about maya. I was kinda aiming to see if anyone else was using an open-source solution.

hmm… deep paint 3d… Adobe premier… PhotoShop, Combustion

I can’t think why u’d want to use wings or blender they are both fairly lowend applications altho if u are a master at them and not max then my props 2 u!
Maya: it’s not that much better than 3ds max … at least not for the level of the animations made here (at FIRST) many people probably don’t use Mayas higher end features.

What does SHAKE do???

*Originally posted by Salik Syed *
**hmm… deep paint 3d… Adobe premier… PhotoShop, Combustion

I can’t think why u’d want to use wings or blender they are both fairly lowend applications altho if u are a master at them and not max then my props 2 u!
Maya: it’s not that much better than 3ds max … at least not for the level of the animations made here (at FIRST) many people probably don’t use Mayas higher end features.

What does SHAKE do??? **

Bull! Wings and blender are quite nice! They are not lowend! Max is horrid, and for that matter, photoshop isn’t great either! I’d never pay for it!

As for saying Maya isn’t better then 3DS max, you’ve got something else coming toward you if you think that…

Please, educate yourself about the utilities before you judge them… have you even ever used them before?

I’ve been using anim8or, you can get it free from
It doesn’t entirely measure up to the big wigs out there, but if you get used to it, and it extremely easy to use, you can get some pretty realistic results. I use it for 90% of my modeling. You can output your robot models from inventor to a 3ds file, and open it in anim8or. Just add some good-quality textures, environment mapping, and ray-trace settings, and you’ll get good results.

okay okay… i’ve never used Wings3d b4 but i have used blender although it was a few years ago i wasn’t impressed… maybe it has improved… as for me saying 3dsmax IS BETTER than MAYA … didn’t say that i said for our purposes there isn’t that much of difference between the two… infact i said it isn’t THAT much better… i.e it is still better but not by that much… come on do you guys really program your own effects… shaders etc… i’m pretty sure not but hey maybe you do …

oh and another thing about maya : If you get 3dsmax w/ the kit is it really worth 600$ to buy Maya??? or does some one at your school know how to use Maya or something…

Almost all the good animators on our team use Wings3d for modelling… it’s worth trying, it’s perfect for it’s nitch. If you’ve used nendo it’s similar.

As for blender, don’t judge it on what you found a few years ago. It leaps forward dramatically with every revision.

I believe it’s the only tool which can safely say that it has a built in sound and video editors.

Premire? I don’t need it… it’s just all right there with everything else in blender. That’s one of the (many) great advantages to it.

i find maya MUCH more intuitive and many more features, but its not so much the program as the person.
As for shake it is one of the best video editing/compositing solutions out there, (I can not think of any better…) unless you have an inferno,flame,flint lab available .:wink:

Or you go and download cinelerra which is another professional video editing environment.

Yes, it’s open-source.

Here’s the requirements to use it if you think it’s one of those small piddly programs that isn’t made for much:


Now Cinelerra is by no means a lightweight program. You’ll need something slightly less sexy than a handheld organizer to run it most effectively.

Dual 2Ghz Athlon.
200 GB storage for movie files.
Gigabit ethernet


Single 2.4Ghz Athlon.
512MB RAM.
No storage.
100MB ethernet with boot ROM

As you can see, it doesn’t bother mentioning something that isn’t a renderfarm for the requirements… however, if you aren’t taking full advantage of what it can do and are doing a low res low quality project. (Like this… as in the world of video editing this is pretty light stuff) Then you can just use it as normal.

Unfortunatly, the UI isn’t exactly the most intutive thing I’ve ever used, but still… worth looking into. Sure beats Shake on price.

:smiley: - yeah free beats anything.
btw- just because it requires alot of cpu power doesnt mean it beats the rest:
Shake 3 Linux

    * 550MHz Pentium III, Pentium 4, or AMD Athlon processor
    * Red Hat Linux 7.2
    * 256MB of RAM or more
    * 1GB of available disk space for caching and temporary files
    * Workstation-class graphics card, such as NVIDIA Quadro2 or Quadro4, ATI Fire GL 8700 or 8800, ATI Fire GL2, or ATI Fire GL4
    * Display with 1280-by-1024-pixel resolution and 24-bit color
    * Three-button mouse

I just can not stand cinelerra’s awful UI its just like Premiere/AFX.

No usually a lot of CPU power required is a bad sign… but the point it is the software isn’t being built for Joe Bob, it targets studios. And it’s nice to see what they use.

As for the UI, compared to Cinelerra’s Premire’s is quite pretty. Lol. But it’s still good quality at what it does if you need high-end. If you don’t then there’s really no need for it and it’s possible that you can get away with the built in video editor. (If your tool has one rather…)

eh- if cinelerra had the same skin as premiere they would look pretty similar. btw- do you know where to find some cinelerra skins? It is supposed to be skinable…

It is, but I think no one’s deved one up for it yet…

OK, SOOOOO… Is my team the only one that uses 3DStudio Max (like it states in the rules)

I’m not against using other stuff, but you guys are talking about using them in the competition. Not sure thats what Autodesk requires.

As far as editing, I want you guys to check out AVID FreeDV or somthing like that. I dont know the limits of it, but its a scaled down version of Express DV. Almost every post production facility has AVID systems. Corporations, TV Networks (Like NBC) have tons of them. If you get an introduction to the software, then there are more opportunities out there for you.

MAYA is the best 3D software out there. If you dont know that then you need to look at the highend pros at places like pixar. But to keep the playing field even for the competition, you need to use 3D Studio. If you have a problem with that, then go knock on Alias’s Door and get them to donate MAYA and provide all the resources and dedication the Autodesk provides. Then we can all use it. Before anyone goes and dis’s Autodesk, they are commited to making this a great experience for you. There are huge logistics that are involved and they arte trying to make it all work.

In the professional work I use Lightwave, because based on Budget and time, and the fact that I started using it 10yrs ago, its the best product for my clients needs. When they need higher end stuff I’ll use Maya.

BTW: Things are free for a reason, its not becuse they are better, there is no way these free products have the features that the other software has that cost several thousand dollars. Its not because it cost more that makes me say that, its because the compaies can hire the best programmers to to the work. I dont know about you, but I couldnt afford to spend all my time and energy developing a product that wasnt going to support my family. So these products dont have nearly the same resources dedicated to them.

Products dont stay in this industry if they are over priced. You may think that a full version of MAYA is overpriced, but its based on the tools it has and the power it has. If it were the same or worse as a free software package or one that is 1/2 the price, how long do you think they’d stay in business? NOT LONG.

Try to use the real deal if you have any desire to work in the field. The experience will get you far.

i use maya for most if not all of my cg work- but “best”- definatly not!
it all depends on what you are doing.
research xsi and houdini before you throw the word “best” around