Help me decide what 3D modeling software is the best fit for my needs

Hi, I’ve been reading a lot lately about differences between some 3D modeling softwares, mostly between Maya and 3DSMAX, and I’m still undecided about which one would be the best fit for my needs. The only use I will give it is to be able to create the assets needed for a game I’m starting to develop.

This are the considerations:

  • My models wont have complex animations.
  • I need to do some landscapes, nothing very big though.
  • I’ve never used any 3D modeling software before.
  • I have no humanoid characters, only some creatures maybe.
  • the textures used in the game wont be of a high complexity nor have a realistic aesthetic, think of something like Super Smash Brawl level of detail.

Any help is welcomed!.

any modelling software will fit your needs, the best advice would be to try them both and find the one your most comfortable using.

I personally find 3ds more user friendly, but as mentioned, the best way would be to try both of them. :slight_smile:
Also make sure to check out this article: ://blog.digitaltutors/3ds–vs-maya-is-one-better-than-the-other/

I was going to choose , but then I’ve read that Epic themselves use Maya (and they did a ART tool specifically for it) for everything and I thought it was a good idea to learn it instead of . But I could be wrong.

That’s a nice article , I will read it.

They also use 3ds :wink: But yep, when you want to use the art tool, you will have to learn maya.

From the sounds of your post, I am assuming you don’t want to spend 3+ thousand dollars on a 3D application.
So, Google for a free or cheap 3D Modeling Program.
I would suggest Blender, I think it exports to Unreal Engine.

Theres a third which is Blender! I keep hearing its as good as 3DS and completely free, no licenses to deal with etc

Yep, blender is awesome (it’s my main 3d program that I use) -> free, no licence, in my opinion pretty easy to use, has nearly all features that 3ds or maya have,… :slight_smile:

Any 3D program will do what you need, just choose what is most comfortable to you.

Most game use 3ds or Maya and you couldn’t go wrong with either of those if you’re ultimately looking for a job though.

Thank you for all of your advises, I will consider all the options and eventually start with one of them.

As a user, I vote for Blender.

I used to think was better, but I am finding Maya LT surprising productive.

Certainly there is a learning curve with any 3d package, and they may look daunting at first.

If cost is your main factor, of course Blender is free, and Maya LT is an affordable $30/month. is good, but I’m not sure it’s THAT much better than the other options.

In terms of ease of use for a beginner, I think is the easiest, then Maya, then Blender.

If you want to talk about quality, they are all pretty close in terms of what you can produce. Good art is a lot about your skill and less about the tool.

For me, though, Maya LT met all the requirements and I feel like the skills you learn with it can directly apply to a pro gig using the full version.

The prudent thing to do regardless would be to push ahead and start with Blender, and when you’re more comfortable in 3D, then have a look at and Maya to see what they are offering over above the free goliath that is Blender

If you’re going to commit to a 3D program, it’s best to start with the one you really want to use, luckily you can try all of them and see which you like best. Most skills are transferable, but the workflow/UI will be different. And there would be a bigger difference going from Blender to or Maya

I tried 3DMax (a few years ago), recently MODO a few days and then Blender. I’m now a Blender addict.

I use LightWave, can’t really say I want to support companies like Autodesk if I don’t have to. One forced rental of software is enough for me with Adobe.

Modo is good for modeling but with The Foundry going up for sale, who knows what kind of future it has. Blender is a viable alternative and you can’t beat the price.

Maya LT 2016 was just released today actually (March 26th 2015) which improved upon a lot the limitations people were unhappy with. However, imho, it is looking more similar to blender now with its integrated sculpting tools, etc that they added.

I have been debating about using the new Maya LT 2016 (mostly for the seemingly more powerful animation tools) over Blender. Frankly I can’t seem to decide.

Any thoughts between the new Maya LT 2016 and Blender, especially with ease of integration with getting stuff into UE4? Also detailed models/animation workflows (Mostly bipeds)?

(P.S. I am not trying to hijack your thread, just didn’t want to start my own since we have very similar questions).

EDIT: I am especially worried about rigs and animation, I have heard that the rigs used in Blender have a hard time getting translated to UE4 and they aren’t as robust as HumanIK that comes with Maya LT 2016. I think both could model anything I need. Animation I am not sure of.

Until they put an editable stack into Maya or Blender 3DS will always be the modeling king. .02

I am equally proficient in XSI Blender and Maya when it comes to Modeling and Animation. And I have used Blender for I’d say about 8 years starting with version 2.49. I still use Blender every day for various tasks. But from experience as a Maya user which is my current tool, I would not consider it at the top for Modeling. Though it is very capable. But for animation hands down, beats them all. There are also rigging tools for Maya from Epic that are very nice looking. But just in general for rigging and painting weights and all of that stuff, Maya outclasses Blender by a long shot. And I am saying this as someone who can use them both with equal proficiency. I am not bias just because one is more familiar. HIK as you mentioned is far more robust a tool than anything you will find in Blender especially if you are going to be working with Mocap data. MotionBuilder is my preferred tool there. But a lot of the same functionality is in Maya with this system. So if animation and rigging is your main concern, it is a very complex and taxing work. Don’t sell yourself short. :).

Check out Sculptris for 3d sculpting, making basic models. Then export it into blender to rig it up.