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  1. #1
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    3D modelling/rendering programs

    I work in an architectural firm, mostly doing technical drafting and 3D modelling/rendering. It’s the first time I’ve had access to a more robust lighting engine and I’ve been having a lot of fun building scenes with lots of bounce lighting and reflections. It’s made me want to learn more complicated modelling programs in my free time and I was hoping some of you could throw recommendations my way. Right now my workflow is basically 2D AutoCAD, export into Sketchup to turn 3D, and then export to Lumion for textures and lighting. I would post some recent projects but I don’t know if I’m allowed to until they’ve been built and paid for.

    I know Blender is a big name in the modelling scene, but I also have a free license to 3DSMax until my educational pass runs out sometime next year. Does anyone have recommendations for one over the other? What about other engines like Unreal Engine 4 or Maya?
    Sketchbook (last updated June 20th, 2018)


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  3. #2
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    This is all really just personal preference.
    SubD/poly modelling? 3DS Max, Maya, Blender (which is free), Modo... take your pick. Particularily if you're only aiming to create concept art it doesn't matter one bit.
    NURBS(Solid/CAD) modelling? Fusion360, MOI3D
    Sculpting organic creatures? Z-Brush is the industry standard, 3DCoat is a good choice as well and very nuice for auto uv-ing.
    Texturing? Substance Painter is very powerful and not too difficult to learn.
    Rendering? Personally I prefer GPU based rendering since it's so much faster than CPU based rendering, so I use Octane (standalone). But take your pick: vray, corona, redshift, cycles, vray... those are all viable choices that can produce realistic results.

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  5. #3
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    OpenSCAD is fun if you're into programming and math type stuff.

  6. #4
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    Benedikt it sounds like you have a lot of experience with this stuff.

    im mostly interested in poly modelling because that’s what I’m familiar with. I know the main concepts and find myself getting frustrated in sketchup trying to do more complicated builds.
    Sketchbook (last updated June 20th, 2018)

  7. #5
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    I've been using 3D in a concept design/illustration workflow for a while now and am steadily expanding my toolset.

    Sketchup is a great piece of software for very quick concepting, however I find MOI3D is quicker and more intuitive (and more powerful).

    Apart from personal preference, there is always an additional element of how well the software "fits" for what you're trying to do. If you're not a 3D guy and are just using it as a tool for a 2D end, it's often best to pick the software that "likes to do" what you're trying to do.

    NURBS/CAD modellers like fusion360 and MOI really "like" to do mechanical objects, arrays, cuts and such. For those objects, you can't beat a NURBS app. They don't like to do complex curved surfaces or organic forms, however, which is where sculpting apps like Z-Brush or 3D Coat shine.

    Polymodelling apps like Modo, Max or Maya can do it all but are much more complicated to learn and often also quite a bit slower.

    Then there are very specific softwares that only do one thing, e.g. Marvelous Designer, which is great for clothing/costumes etc. or vue which can generate landscapes, but literally nothing else.

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  9. #6
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    a friend of mine writes shaders for modeling his drown animals. I don't know exactly which program he uses you can google some related info
    his works are really impressive

  10. #7
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    Ended up downloading both UE4 and Blender. I didn’t realize UE4 wasn’t really a modelling program, so I actually haven’t touched it yet. I finished my first render attempt on Blender and had a lot of fun- my mind is buzzing with all the things I’ve been wanting to illustrate but haven’t been able to until now.

    So, I guess the next question is, I’m thinking it could be fun to make some simple animations (eg model + moving particle effects, no extensive cinematics or moving camera). Do I want to stick to Blender for something like this, or is Unreal Engine better suited for something like that?

    attached below is the classic beginner donut render I did in cycles. It seemed very well lit on my computer, but now that I’m on my phone it seems really dark and maybe something I should have fixed in post? It’s so hard to tell between different displays what is the true image
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by octopuscats; May 31st, 2018 at 01:40 PM.
    Sketchbook (last updated June 20th, 2018)

  11. #8
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    Maybe another light back behind the camera would help illuminate some of those really deep shadows. I don't really know about Unreal Engine but I found Blender particle effects to be reasonably accessible; (easier than rigging and skinning was, anyway).

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by octopuscats View Post
    It’s so hard to tell between different displays what is the true image
    Step 1: get an IPS screen
    Step 2: Get a calibration device and calibrate your screens
    Step 3: Never have such worries again

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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Step 1: get an IPS screen
    Step 2: Get a calibration device and calibrate your screens
    Step 3: Never have such worries again
    Good advice for the professional, but I seriously doubt the issues of the OP are due to poor screen quality.
    Grinnikend door het leven...

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