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3DS MAX or Blender for UE4?

Hello All,

A small intro, I am interested in 3D modelling with the intent of environment creation/design within UE4 and am just barely getting started with Blender.

My main question is which software, regardless of price point, has better integration with UE4 in importing the assets and being able to manipulate them within UE4.
This is because I do not want to have to relearn a software because I ad someone recently guide me in saying that 3DS Max is better for importing assets into UE4 and the file type for 3DS is better supported than Blender file types.

I do not want to have to waste time figuring out why a file isn’t working within UE4 and slow down the workflow and go back and forth just to get files working because a mesh or texture isn’t playing nice. On top of that is software performance and workflow, 3DS seems to be slower than Blender in saving and the node structure within 3DS also seems to be a it of a longer process and can get messy. I am unbiased as to which I software I use because of being new to the industry and 3D modelling, my goal is simply to focus on a given software and grow & refine my skills and create a fluent and efficient workflow so that I am not hindered by going back and forth trying to find solution to incompatible file types & issues.

Thank you in advance for any tips/advice on the given software!

3ds Max has a better FBX exporter than Blender. Also, if you wish to work in the industry then you would much more likely find studios working with 3ds Max/Maya rather than Blender so also consider that as well.

Hence me asking @darthviper107, I imagine that most companies would go with 3DS over Blender but wondering what the market share difference would be between the two and if Blender would be viable at all. I am researching it outside of this thread, just want some community experience to see how things fair for UE integration.

EDIT: Another reason is I have seen a few articles for a Blender plugin for UE4 that will help resolve the FBX import issues or something similar? I have not yet looked into it properly, but I know that this is something that has been in the works for a few years, do you happen to know what exactly that revolves around and what it is meant to tackle?

I haven’t messed with Blender export for UE4, but from forum posts here it looks like there can be some difficulty with exporting rigged characters.

In terms of market share of software, I don’t know of any studio that uses Blender as its primary 3D software, I’m sure there’s some out there but I would be surprised to find a AAA studio that uses it. It’s more likely in a small studio but even then most still use 3ds Max/Maya

For the price, Blender is actually pretty robust… but most people I asked would consider it subpar to things like 3DS or Maya.
From my experience, the Blender exporters are indeed pretty finnicky which can cause the kind of frustration you mentioned.

Animation and blend shapes in particular are a lot less reliable in export from Blender compared to Maya. Depending on how you rig your character, sometimes the keyframe does not fully evaluate correctly in Blender which can cause oddities in any export format. It is something I noticed when writing my own exporter not too long ago.

In practice, that means you might see your mesh twist or distort in odd ways because the IK chain did not resolve properly during save.

I also notice the FBX exporter does not respect what I choose for “Up” and “Forward” during export.

If you do go with Blender, I suggest baking every keyframe in the FBX options and letting UE4 deal with cleaning it up on import.

Used to use MayaLT for 2 years, now switched to Blender mostly so I could use my 3D mouse. Find rigging and animating faster in Blender. Need to watch tutorials on setting up Blender for UE4 in regards to exporting. The Blender to UE plugin works for meshes (not tried exporting animations as yet). I also like the AppLinks to 3DCoat and Zbrush. You could start with Blender and to learn the basics and move to 3DS later. Either way you will be watching lots of tutorials :slight_smile:

I personally prefer both, Im getting more comfortable with the blender modeling tools like HOPS and BoxCutter but that said as darthviper107 has said, blender still falls behind when you need to get animation into Unreal. Maya / Max just handle the FBX pipeline better at the moment i feel.

That said i like how blender tools are making it easier for people to get into content creation without having to break the bank (Blender / Unreal) but for serious stuff i still think Max/Maya is the way to go *for now/. *The blender for unreal plugin is neat, animation didn’t work for me tho.

Then again learning more than one GCC will never hurt you.

This.
Zbrush,3DCoat I also use.
Houdini, whilst the HDA’s are very nice to use, the rigging I have yet to spend the required time to learn as yet. But I do believe Houdini is the future and the apprentice version is free for learning.