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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3

    3D Program Dilemma and Concerns.

    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post at 3DBuzz. I want some suggestions for choosing a 3D Application to learn. Please note that I am posting this question because of the following reasons.

    1. I'm more geared towards Scripting, Generative art , Simulations and Audio reactive Procedural Animations. I am not looking for Modelling/Texturing/Sculpting etc., Since this site is programming oriented I want to know opinions of pros.

    2. This is not a battle between applications so please avoid some X beats Y to death type of arguments.

    3. I am looking for somewhat detailed answers, not just "XSI rocks!".

    I have the following in my mind - Cinema4D, Houdini, XSI. I come from a motion graphics background.

    My experience so far: Only After Effects and a bit of blender,C4D. Moderate C++/OpenGL (AE SDK).

    1. Cinema4D:

    The only 3D application I have used for a considerable amount of time. I think its great and can get a lot of work done. I have used it in motion graphics before, and has a great rendering engine. But my gripe with Cinema4D is, after a certain point there isn't much you can do with it. For example, you cannot get audio data to use in scripting/xpresso, but you can use them in mograph which is fairly robust but it doesn't give you much control. Even using Xpresso, sometimes I feel it should be more powerful. I have never tried its C.O.F.F.E.E scripting and C++ SDK, but it does have a pyC4D plugin which allows scripting in python easily. But still, it is limited because its a plugin.

    Biggest Advantage: Jobs. I know a lot of studios which hire C4D animators for motion graphics since I come from a motion graphics background.

    2. Houdini:

    So far this is probably the most ideal application to learn since it has a hell lot of features related to scripting and has a procedural system. But then again, it is very complicated to get started with. I assume it takes me atleast 4-6 months to get the hang of houdini and use it on regular projects. But I literally have no idea of the nature of the jobs/competition etc etc., for houdini. I would love to become a TD(only if i am capable), but I heard its not that easy to find jobs(which might not be true). Since this site is more Houdini based, I would love to hear more thoughts and experinces.

    3. XSI:

    I had no thoughts on using XSI before. But, I have heard and seen a lot about I.C.E environment in XSI. Is it worth learning it? Then again, I have never used XSI and I don't know anything about its capabilities.

    4. Other:

    Blender is great and I love it's game engine and Python capabilities, but finding help and documentation makes it a complete hell. Not only that, I never really liked its particle engine. Maya sounds more for modelling, but almost every 3D job posting I see requires 'extensive knowledge' of Maya. I never usually see a TD like job posting for maya.

    In conclusion, Houdini might be a more logical to learn but I have no idea about the community or anything. I don't know anyone who uses it and I am more worried of my employment in the future. Thank you for taking time to read this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    355
    Given what your interests are I would go for Houdini. I haven't used the other two, but it sounds like ultimately Houdini is going to be a better fit. I have a programming background and find that it helps alot in understanding what's going on in Houdini. I don't do 3D professionally so I don't know which of the 3 are more in demand, but I have heard that in the areas where Houdini is used, there is high demand for people who know Houdini well. I do know that Digital Domain and Rhythm and Hues makes use of Houdini, as well as a number of shops (I think Sony was mentioned somewhere).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,494
    Well I've not used XSI or Houdini but I imagine the speed and learning curve of the app you choose will be of considerable importance to you and with that comes the resources and help that's available. Cinema 4D as you've probably discoverd has a wide support base with lots of dedicated site's around for it such as c4dcafe and big forum communites such as the one over at cgsociety found here. http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=47 . Maybe post your question there as some know c4d's capabilities inside out. ( More here http://www.maxon.net/support/externa...-weblinks.html For mograph and examples there is Maxon's own youtube channel which is rather exciting. http://www.youtube.com/user/MaxonC4D Or alternately you can check out my dedicated blog section on using and learning Mograph.

    You have maybe discoverd these for yourself and you seem to have good knowledge on C4D already and at present there are some areas which are not 100% complete yet, though how many app's are ?? It will be interesting to see what arrives or is implemented into C4D in R12 which is due later this year.. My guess is that there will be a whole host of new things implemented with the Python implementation and some small updates to the Mograph tools. Though I would like to see some more modelling sculpting tools added to it's toolset and improvements to it's material system or additional fluid implentation.
    Scott Moncrieff: Graduate: HND Interactive Multimedia Creation
    Maxon Cinema 4D R11.5 XL + Mograph 2 + Hair |Adobe Production Studio/Photoshop CS6

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    7,120
    Quote Originally Posted by gutsblow View Post

    2. Houdini:

    So far this is probably the most ideal application to learn since it has a hell lot of features related to scripting and has a procedural system. But then again, it is very complicated to get started with. I assume it takes me atleast 4-6 months to get the hang of houdini and use it on regular projects. But I literally have no idea of the nature of the jobs/competition etc etc., for houdini. I would love to become a TD(only if i am capable), but I heard its not that easy to find jobs(which might not be true). Since this site is more Houdini based, I would love to hear more thoughts and experinces.
    Based on the description of what you are looking for I would say Houdini would fit the bill more than any of the others but if your thinking in terms of learning the software and then finding a job your kind of looking at it all backwards.

    In my opinion I would have to say the number one skill someone should learn regardless of the software solution is creative problem solving and what software options are available that helps solve the problem that helps the company do the one and only thing they are really interested in. Get the job done.

    Since you also have an interest in becoming a TD then learning and understanding the language across a broad range of applications would be more valuable to you than the practical experience of a single application and the rest becomes more about confidence and muscle memory.

    What gets you there though is a different subject but the standard is and will always be a drop-dead demo reel as its proof that you can build a result that they are looking for and more times than not you could be hired, given the tools that you need to get the job done, regardless of the software that you use that is designed for obsolesce anyways.

    The creative environment, in my experience, is a highly dynamic environment where knowing something is at most times secondary to understanding what resources and options are available to you and putting to much focus on software is like a carpenter trying to decide what hammer to use.


    Sorry about the rant It’s just on this side of the fence there is no such thing as a Maya modeler or a Max animator

    P.S.

    When has finding any job ever been easy?
    Last edited by Frankie V; 05-22-2010 at 12:06 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3
    Hello all,

    Sorry for the delayed reply and thanks for your detailed replies.

    @Frankie V

    I definitely agree with you. But, most of the times I land in jobs just because I know how to use a certain "X" program. It probably takes a while for me to be the person who decides the workflow and problem solving. I am not trying to label myself as a Maya animator or Houdini artist, but I rarely see Houdini based workflows in Motion Graphics. That's what my concern was, but I guess in the end its all about the final product that matters like you said.

    @Scott M C4D

    There is no doubt that C4D becomes more and more robust and there is no other application like C4D that gets the job done easily when it comes to Motion Graphics. But C4D is again like AE which doesn't have true object instancing which limits many things if you are planning to create procedural type of setups. But, it should be really interesting to see what happens in the coming versions.

    Once again, thank you for all your replies. I think in the end, I will start learning and using Houdini and try my level best not to fall back to C4D atleast for a couple of months. Once again, I love this forum and the amazing stuff you guys did to help newbies. Thank you!

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