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Best 3D modeling software
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tony21
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Sep 3, 2003, 09:41 PM
 
Industrial Design student, looking for a good 3D design program for product design.
     
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Sep 3, 2003, 09:56 PM
 
Depends what's your budjet. Maya is the best one for mac IMHO. They have a free student edition.

Alias

You could also try lightwave. It is a little smaller, more complicated for no reason but cheaper.

Newtek

I've used Cinema 4D for a few years. It's a great piece of software. The tools are intuitive and the renderer can give amazing results if you learn how to use it. Really worth it considering how cheap it is.

Maxon
     
tomra
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Sep 6, 2003, 05:06 AM
 
You should also check out Electric Image Universe for "hardbody" work. Very fast parametric modeler unit and the animation/rencer software is also very good for hard surfaces.

For modeling there is also Wings3D which is a free polygonal modeler. Dont be fooled by the "odd" interface and the fact that its free...lots of modeling power here!
     
spauldingg
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Sep 6, 2003, 09:18 PM
 
thanks for the wings tip.

just what I needed.
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podragon
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Sep 7, 2003, 01:33 PM
 
Originally posted by tony21:
Industrial Design student, looking for a good 3D design program for product design.
You should check out FormZ v4.0 from auto-des-sys here. It is a brilliant modeller and visualization tool for architecture and industrial design, its been on the mac for years (I used it at art college 10 years ago), and it features a well structured and powerful approach to modelling. Because it is inherently a CAD/CAM app, it lets you derive 2D "blueprints"/production drawings from all axes/viewpoints for any project you create.

They have a downloadable demo with manual/tutorial and I'm fairly sure they offer educational pricing.
     
wr11
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Sep 7, 2003, 02:36 PM
 
I would also put in a word for Carrara. Its more "fun" than most 3D programs. Worth a look too!
     
train_900
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Sep 7, 2003, 05:07 PM
 
I started using Strata, pixel3D, trying to do several things, but soon a realized, that 3D work is becoming part of the regular Labor in GRaphic Design. 3D object, really can make a huge impact in your work. So I started to learn Lightwave. Painfull in the begining, because is diferente logic (you work with polygons, no with path like illustrator, and you work with a new object: the lights and reflection) but after spending some time, i get to the point where a can walk alone learning, like I did sometime ago, with photoshop. Now I use 3D in my work. to learn, Take time, but you really will love it.
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ja
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Sep 8, 2003, 01:36 PM
 
For ID you should definitely try solidThinking
It is cross platform and the new 5.5 version runs on OS X
I have recently started using it for NURBS modeling and it has an incredible feature set with a very intuitive and visual interface
It comes in 3 versions with increasing functionality - 'Forma', 'Design' and 'Vantage' [comparable to say Rhino up to Alias Studio]

It also does polys and sub-d's but I have not explored this side of it
Amazingly this software does not seem to be very well known

Download the demo from their website
I would also have a look at Form Z and Ashalr Veluum Cobalt
sT stood out for me however
     
FauxCaster
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Sep 8, 2003, 01:48 PM
 
Pardon a little thread hi-jacking here. I too and interested in 3-D modeling for industrial design, but I need it more for the flashy mock-up stage and promotional material, than the CAD/CAM precision. The actual specs for production are not the main point for me, but rather ease of use and texture mapping photos/scans to get 3-D design rough ideas together for presentation.

Any suggestions?
     
scottiB
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Sep 8, 2003, 03:47 PM
 
Purchase a student's license of Alias's StudioTools.

Oh, and get a PC, too; no Mac port (yet, at least).

IMHO, you really need NURBs to get a clean surface.
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ja
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Sep 8, 2003, 04:01 PM
 
Purchase a student's license of Alias's StudioTools.

Oh, and get a PC, too; no Mac port (yet, at least)
hey, no need to buy a PC
check how solidThinking compares with Studio

Also sT Design is only $195 for students and Vantage $295

and I'm sure that other able Mac packages have competitive student prices
     
blackbird_1.0
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Sep 9, 2003, 12:55 AM
 
i've been trying to use formz but how the heck do you make a cylinder, i can make a sphere, and a cube, but not a cylinder
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MindFad
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Sep 9, 2003, 02:08 AM
 
Originally posted by scottiB:
IMHO, you really need NURBs to get a clean surface.
Anyone see the nice new HyperNURBS option in Cinema4D to weight your edges and polygons to get your desired edges without having to create a bunch more polygons? It's sweet.

Definitely recommend C4D or Maya. C4D is a bit easier, but really fun and easy to use. Maya is pretty complex, but so powerful.
     
version
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Sep 9, 2003, 05:01 AM
 
Originally posted by MindFad:
Anyone see the nice new HyperNURBS option in Cinema4D to weight your edges and polygons to get your desired edges without having to create a bunch more polygons? It's sweet.

Definitely recommend C4D or Maya. C4D is a bit easier, but really fun and easy to use. Maya is pretty complex, but so powerful.
If you're goign into Industrial Design, then I'd recommend a package which has the best Nurbs implementation, and forget those that use subdivision surfaces, such as Meta/hyperNurbs. thing is though, most packages will come with a sub-d implentation. Once in the work place, you'll end up using Alias studio, or some othe high-end app, so I'd probably go with Maya, or maybe form-z. If you've got a PC, then XSI is the way to go, best thing out there, but it does place more importnanec on the animation side of things.

There's always Rhino too, which was created by some of the people from Alias a number of years ago, and also includes some of the Nurbs tools from Power Animator, and Studio.
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ja
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Sep 9, 2003, 05:15 AM
 
Definitely recommend C4D or Maya. C4D is a bit easier, but really fun and easy to use. Maya is pretty complex, but so powerful
IMO I think that the likes of maya, c4d, lightwave. 3DS, XSI etc are more suited to character/particle etc modelers and animators
solidThinking, Studio etc are better suited to industrial design - powerful NURBS tools, good visualisation and better precision and tie-ins to the solid modeling, engineering side of things like pro/E, solidworks etc ... and to rapid prototyping
but I am no expert - look at architosh cadserver etc
as a very very general rule, websites with CG in their name are probably going to be more character / moving picture oriented and those with CAD in their name more ID, architecture or engineering oriented
having said that certainly look all round because the lines are getting more and more blurred
[to prove myself wrong] CGTalk has some mind-boggling good 3D [and 2D] stuff including things like cars so explore and have a very general look before you make your decision - it really depends on what you want to achieve with your 3d models
     
scottiB
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Sep 9, 2003, 08:47 AM
 
Echoing ja, I proposed Alias because that's being used in the workplace. Regardless of platform (if one's anti-MS, he/she can buy an SGI Octane for $600 on eBay--NFS mount it to the Mac), it's the standard, more or less.

Maya, etc. are not ID packages, though one can export to them for glamor rendering (Mental Ray).

Alias is not that difficult to learn (but it is to master). I'm not a designer (or a visual artist at all) and did the "Building the Greek Temple" tutorial with not much difficulty.

Plus, Apple uses it to design its products (at least it used to). I'd trust Ive et al with their software of choice.

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mfessenden
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Sep 9, 2003, 12:12 PM
 
For industrial design, you need NURBS and I'd go with SloidThinking. Great preogram, and the OSX port is really slick. FormZ is nice too, but suited more towards architecture than form design.

Maya is overkill...you don't need about 80% of the package.
     
tony21  (op)
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Sep 10, 2003, 12:44 AM
 
Originally posted by mfessenden:
For industrial design, you need NURBS and I'd go with SloidThinking. Great preogram, and the OSX port is really slick. FormZ is nice too, but suited more towards architecture than form design.

Maya is overkill...you don't need about 80% of the package.
Thanks everyone for the helpfull info!!
     
Lundstrom Desig
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Nov 4, 2004, 08:56 AM
 
Originally posted by tony21:
Industrial Design student, looking for a good 3D design program for product design.
Check out TouchCAD. TouchCAD is specialized in 3D modeling and unfolding. In other words, you don't just design a shape on the screen, you also convert it into something physically buildable.

Great free-form modeler, very maneuverable and sculptural. Extremely good shape control with dynamic cross sectioning, an absolute must for for example marine design. Built in marine/boat design calculation tools. The TouchCAD web site actually contains a QuickTime movie showing how to model a sail boat, deck, cabin, internal parts, perform marine calculations, all in just 16 minutes!

Very extensive parametric unfolding features, with many specialized features such as seam allowances, alignment marks, automatic panel and point numbering, stretch unfold calculations with tension analysis features, etc. All unfolded parts are dynamically linked to the 3D model and any changes made in 3D are instantly transfered to the unfolded patterns, a key feature when optimizing the use of material and making sure that all parts fit into a given material width.

TouchCAD is also the only program on the market that unfolds super high resolution bitmap images, for example to generate full scale, full color, pre-painted unfolded patterns, for example on very large inflated objects, tents and exhibitions.

www.touchcad.com
ludesign
     
theolein
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Nov 5, 2004, 08:29 AM
 
Might I also add Amapi. I used this years ago, and while it has one weird interface (To be expected, it was made in France ) it is one of the most intuitive 3D working interfaces I've ever seen. You can literally model like you would with putty or clay.
weird wabbit
     
tr
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Nov 5, 2004, 01:57 PM
 
hi, another person hi-jacking an old thread

i'm also an ID student, and my department recommends Rhino and Flamingo, which, of course, is Win-based. i've been looking around, and i'm seriously considering Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt. they have a pdf comparison to Rhino, as well as comparisons to SolidWorks and Pro-E.

so does anyone have any opinion/experience with Cobalt? or anyone have any opinions on their comparison statements? i mean, they are pretty straightforward. then again, they're not gonna say "our product sucks compared to their product"

i'm probably going to download the trial (as well as the trial for solidThinking), but just wanted to see if anyone had any feedback, as i don't know anyone using Cobalt.

tr
     
   
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