Blender, AC3D, Rhino or...?

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Markus Jakas wrote:

I tend to agree with you on the rendering aspect. The time it takes to render In sketchup with a decent system is almost nill. It looks a lot more stylized rather than looking realistic, and that's how I like it.
Sketchup is about $500 dollars, which is a steal for what it does. But now that it was mentioned in this thread I am going to check out Blender. As for POV-Ray, like I said its a bear if used on its own, but supposedly it is very versatile. How well does Blender do in rendering?
--
Night_Seer

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On Wed, 8 Jun 2005, Night_Seer wrote:
...

I have not taken the time to properly test Blender yet, as I'm in the middle of my graduate studies for now. But as I understand it, the rendering capabilities of Blender can be expanded with plug-ins, there is one for POV-Ray, at least. Modelling and animation, it does.
Of the (few) commercial alternatives I've looked into, It seems like Rhinoceros is the only company that allows their products to be bought at a student discount and later used in professional work. As I was told here that it might not be the best tool for an architect, I'm no longer in a hurry looking for a piece of 3D-software before I graduate.
M.J.
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That is rarely, very very rarely, a good thing.

In the "open" world you can.

Some people are very paranoid about "spyware" to the point of silliness in what they'll deem spyware. Remember "Microsoft is downloading all of your private documents for thier own use"?

For XP users of such as max means just about zip on the software side. max has been "thread per scanline" for ages now and that is all that is required to take advantage of anything on the multi/hyper side of life.

Not even "so to speak." Just plain no.
Unless you're talking "trend" in terms of "I read in Popular Mechanics that in twenty years..."

Except you'll notice that the organic type objects such as demon spawn from HELLLLLLL are poly models due to the sweet poly tools they have these days. I suspect you'll see NURBS tools falling more towards their historic core of industrial design.

Enh... Mostly it just sounds like your info is a few generations old.
Sure, yeah, technically a NURBS model can be completely smooth due to the non-discrete nature of the functions involved. But that's really only "technically".

Nope.
It's easy. Whatever was in the SIGGRAPH procedings five years earlier will show up in everything. Except it'll show up in max one or two years after it shows up in eveything else and people will rant on about how kinetix/discreet/autodesk has abandoned development and they've wasted their thousands of dollars and...

Tremendous advice.
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"Kris Krieger"

In my experience, that seems to depend on what we're talking about. There are different kinds and levels of developer and support. Maybe dialogue, exchange or feedback rather than just support...
What I'm also suggesting is, if there is even a slightly better-from-the-norm amount of direct support from developers, even if small, this may suggest some things about the nature or quality of the project. Nevertheless, support can also work both ways. For example, if I, as a user, make a feature request or file a bug report, it may be important for the developer(s) to ask for elaboration. Rigourous bug reporting potentially helps make a program more stable and useable, and feature requests from the users themselves also potentially help make a program more useable and advanced. Ditto with a developer being able to see the discourse between other users about the software, which can lead to insight.
One possible difference between closed and open source is that a user could more easily become a developer for the same project. But then, in a sense, when you are a user, and are helping other users, filing bug reports and feature requests, you are also a kind of developer.
The closed source model of development seems less condusive to this kind ad hoc flow.

Well I have limited experience, which is with a smaller project, and perhaps with an exceptional group. If so, I imagine there are other exceptional and accessible groups and projects around-- ones that may feel less like a nameless faceless entity and more like the spirit of open source. Then again, maybe my experience is usual.

You don't have to be a mechanical engineer to suggest to one that you want a bike to "do or have that". The useful discussion where the dev and user come in might be where a user might have an idea for a program that the developer hadn't considered, or a user notices some kind of oversight on the developer(s)' part.

I've thus far never heard of one necessary for an open source app and hope I never do.
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QA. Product development.

This model best fits a small shop. Quite possibly a very small shop.
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Art of Illusion, for example, is indeed a small shop, and that's in large part why I chose it. It was a good choice at first to get my feet wet again after some time out of the 3D/CAD loop, and may yet prove to continue to be. But it's getting bigger. It should be interesting to see how it scales, and how everyone, including myself, responds to that.
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snipped-for-privacy@ncf.ca (Richard MacIntyre) wrote in

I'm not saying that it never happens, it's just that, in general, coders make their living coding, and if programmers are taking time aways from programming so as to field support-related questions, they aren't getting their primary work done. That's all. My expereince with 3D and people involved in 3D is simply that it's not realistic to expect programmers to field support questions - unless they're decided to specifically work in the support department. Also, there is no commercial outfit that is going to allow its coders/programmers to discuss confidential matters with customers.
All I'm saying is that, practically, in terms of finding a 3D modeler/renderer that will fit one's needs, about the least important thing would be expecting to talk with the programmers.

As I already said, in so many words, which is why I also mentioned that any decent company provides support. Again, I was focusing my replies to the person who is looking to start doing 3D and is looking for a good modeler/renderer. I'm not talkking about people who've been doing 3D for years and want to start getting involved in development.

As I mentioned, there are ways that this gets done. Most typically, speaking directly with coders is not one of those ways. And a person looking to get started in 3D doesn't necessarily need to place "talking to coders" at the top of the list when looking for a decent modeler.
As I'd mentioned, there are various types on online discussion groups, for example, and some companies do have feedback capabilities in the program. It depends upon the company.
All I'm saying is that someone like the original poster, who is looking for some good 3D software, shouldn't demand an ability to speak one-on-one with programmers. Although it might ideally seem like a good idea, the reality is that there are other feedback mechanisms, plus, it takes a heck of a lot of expereince with 3D and with a program, and programming knowledge as well, to get to the point where the coders might want to speak directly with one.
I've been involved in 3D for 14 years now, and I wouldn't presume to try and tell a programmer their job. If I have a suggestion for a feature I'd like to see in the program(s) I use, I make it through the feedback or support channels. I have had programmers answer me through those channels, but more typically, a beta tester or a support person can handle matters better because they can "translate".

All I'm saying is that, for a person new to 3D modelers, who is looking for a program, needs to consider other factors long before s/he considers whether s/he will be able to double as a developer.

THat's a separate matter.

Well, since a dongle is obviously intended to defeat (or at least postpone) software piracy, of course an open source prog. of any sort, by definition, woulod not use a dongle.
3DSM used to require one. I can't rememebr whether LW did. Not all commercial 3D prog.s use one. It's just something to check.
Re: open source prog.s, they're all fine and good but they're not the absolute right answer for everybody every time. I tried POVRay, for example, and it wasn't what I wanted and didn't do what I needed. I'm not such an idiot that i begrudge others the use of it - I only am saying that each person has to assess their current needs and, wherever possible, future needs/wants, and try the demos, and come to a decision based upon a variety of factors.
--
- Kris M. Krieger

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General rule of thumb programming is that it takes two hours after an interruption to get back into the swing of things properly.

Better : to get to the point where the luser might be useful.

Technically that is true.
And it doesn't matter. Is statistically insignifigant. Encourages users to think of themselves as developers. Might be useful if your product is a tool for programmers. Implies that the screening process for open source developers is scary.

"a kind of"

The truth of the matter is tha programming is hard and not everybody can do it.

Which flow, I guess, some people find to be a good thing. Somehow.
The only beneift I can see so far is that it makes people feel good about their egalitarian values or something.
Of course, the basic argument being made here is that "open is good because it isn't closed. closed is bad because it isn't open." They are two different models of software development and all I've seen to support the "open is good" argument is "open contains the features of open and closed doesn't."
And that last isn't even true. Both systems can point to - software delivered. And that's what software development does: develops software. Some approaches to that are designed to give people (who can't get real jobs in software) the warm fuzzies ("and if you send in a bug report, you're a kind of developer too") and other approaches are designed to get software developed ("No, you can't keep Ken from being productive today to yammer about you just discovered bug #3412-A which in house alpha found six months ago and has been corrected for our point five release next month.").

Thanks
Be
To
God.
See, "spirit".
Do you want an intimate relationship with your chicken plucker? You ARE a nameless faceless entity. The only way around this is to buy in to software used by five people or find the most broken down reseller you can. "Hey, they look like they're about to go out of business next year. I'll bet they give me great support in the meantime."

Far too many of them think they need to. You'll find far fewer programmers and programmer managers who feel the reciprocal need.

You don't have to be a mechanical engineer to write that down and aggregate a wish list for the next time the product designers (note I didn't say "engineers") give a hoot what the customer thinks it wants.

Emphasis on "might."

You've heard.
I've used. My use disagrees with your hears.

Which simple fact is giving me troubling insight into ">>".

The root of my problem is that "it's good because it's open" seems to be the major selling point for most of the customers.
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"gruhn"

Is that a typo? If not, and if that's common, it may be suggestive of why some outfits bomb.

I think it could matter... For one, the new dev is/was also a user, so they have perspectives/insight from both sides. They may be more in tune with and empa/sympathetic to the users, and less likely to make certain typos. ;) They already know the group and their methods/styles/expectations, etc., and the group knows them. And of course they know the software and may even alread have some familiarity with the code. From what I hear, many groups (ie. companies) hire from within first, presumably for some good reasons.

Not necessarily, but in some cases, possibly. Might encourage community and belonging, too. How about apprentice or intern devs? How about 'encourages users to participate in the development process more than they would otherwise with closed source'?

Is this FUD? When I say developers, I am also talking about non-core; scripting, some plugin-writing, and the odd main code mod-- much of which I assume can be integrated at the core-devs discretion and facility.

Different kinds and levels of, sure.

I imagine it can be both hard and easy-- like learning ACAD-- but much of what we learn and do in life in general can be. I think just about anyone could code if they wanted to... and isn't HTML or PHP kinds of programming languages, and haven't more gotten into programming than would otherwise have without the web? Can you build an app in Python?

Read 'feel'.

...
Well I tried.

Information wants to be free... Then again, some businesses make a business out of selling bottled tap water.
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"Kris Krieger" "Richard MacIntyre"

As a graphic designer, I take time away from my work to chat with you. I also find the time to volunteer, cook, eat, rollerblade, mountain bike, socialize, and use, test, report on and discuss open source software.

That's rarely all. :)

Thankfully, there are open alternatives.

I like to look at some phenomenon as potentially suggesting other.

I have yet to have a "tete-a-tete" with a company support person (never mind a coder) on company time, but I suppose it's possible.

Here, I think open source software (OSS) is a better option.

Got money for ACAD? One big advantage to open source is that, one could, for the price of a few seats of AutoCAD, hire (outsource ;) a coder to add a custom feature or two. Then, they'd really get to talk to their coder. They'd also be potentially advancing the program for every user. Money better spent.

I would modify your statement to read: '...would appreciate a greater relative possibility to speak one-to-one with programmers on occasion'. And what's nice about some OSS projects is that you actually can-- and more often, and meaningfully, than I would have previously thought.

You could help a programmer with their job where required and appropriate. Just because a programmer does their job properly doesn't mean that what they make is going to work properly. A programmer who's wet behind the ears might benefit from your 14 years of 3D insight.

Fair enough... and certainly it helps to make as informed a decision as possible... With closed source code, you will likely never be entirely informed.
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snipped-for-privacy@ncf.ca (Richard MacIntyre) wrote in

[ ...much snippage... ]

I'm hoping that what you meant was, if one looks only at commercial programs. The same, however, is true if one looks only as open-source. Although I think it's more accurate to simply say that, as above, one should research, try, and evaluate.
Part of that evaluiation has to involve one's needs - i.e., how one intends to use the program. One size does not fit all. Why do you insist upon claiming it does?
I personally have found (through trying and using various 3D modeling apps) that freebie 3D doesn't offer me the ease and efficiency of use, or the capabilities with lighting, materials, and modeling, that I want and require. I have never claimed this to be true of everyone - I've said all along that everyone is different and people need to try demos and so on, do the informational research, analyse their current and possible future needs/wants, and make their decision based upon that - not upon any one person's opinion, including mine. The difference is that I seek to inform and have never maligned open source, whereas your argument seems to denegrate any and all 3D modeling commercialware (or perhaps just all commercialware period, I'm not sure).
I don't claim that commercialware is "always better for everyone"; nor have I ever claimed all companies offer great support - many companies are only interested in sales and to hell with the customer/user; early on, I eliminated such companies from purchasing consideration. But *not* all are like that. I've been more than satisfied with the app support I've received from the company, and with the mailing list and the forums that the company hosts on its servers. IMO, and based upon my own experience, being able to just call the programmers/coders and, as you'd mentioned, have a "tete-a-tete" with them whenever one has the whim to do so, is simply not the end-all and be-all of 3D modeling, or even of app support - IMO of course; it's possible I've been wrong for the past, what, 14 years, and it's possible that the people I've communicated with have also been wrong - although several of those people earn a good living specifically doing 3D modeling, so I've assumed - again, albeit perhaps mistakenly - that they know whereof they speak.
Also, coders and users very often simply speak different languages.
Be that as it may, the thing that I find to be a disservice to those seeking information is that you consistently seem to argue that "free/open surce is always the best and only choice". That's like saying that the one, best, and only choice for everybody, regardless of use or profession or anything else, when it comes to buying a vehicle, is one certain size class. The simple fact is that a building contractor can't use a Mini- Cooper for the jobs; similarly, a retired person who only goes to the grocery once a week and nowhere else doesn't *need* a Ford F250 truck (although wanting is another matter). One size does not fit all.
For some people, a commercialware 3D modeler is the best choice; for others, open source will meet their needs. As I keep saying, people have to research the information, try the demos, look into *all* their options, and then decide what's best for them. There is no one 3D modeler, *regardless of source*, that can/will meet the needs of everyone. One size does not fit all.
If you personally prefer freeware, if that is what "fits" you, great, that's fine - for you. The problem with your argument is that you posit a great many conditionals - i.e. the various "you could"s and "if"s and "a user might"s and "they ought to"s and so on - and then build your argument upon the those conditionals. Unfortunately, conditionals are at best a shaky foundation, and relying upon them renders the argument specious. One size does not fit all, no matter how much a person might wish it were so or say it is so.
--
- Kris M. Krieger

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"Kris Krieger" "Richard MacIntyre"

I offered it as a close anology to make the point that, if we want to talk about being informed, "closed code" is apparently about as uninformed as you can get when talking about source code.

I am also seeking to inform, and my information may include some added context that I think might be important, and will, in all liklihood, be different from yours and sometimes in disagreement. To inform means just that... Speaking of which...
"Digital information technology contributes to the world by making it easier to copy and modify information... Not everyone wants it to be easier. The system of copyright gives software programs 'owners', most of whom aim to withhold software's potential benefit from the rest of the public. They would like to be the only ones who can copy and modify the software that we use... Digital technology is more flexible than the printing press: when information has digital form, you can easily copy it to share it with others. This very flexibility makes a bad fit with a system like copyright. That's the reason for the increasingly nasty and draconian measures now used to enforce software copyright. Consider these four practices of the Software Publishers Association (SPA): * Massive propaganda saying it is wrong to disobey the owners to help your friend. * Solicitation for stool pigeons to inform on their coworkers and colleagues. * Raids (with police help) on offices and schools, in which people are told they must prove they are innocent of illegal copying. * Prosecution (by the US government, at the SPA's request) of people such as MIT's David LaMacchia, not for copying software (he is not accused of copying any), but merely for leaving copying facilities unguarded and failing to censor their use." http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/why-free.html

... "The term 'freeware' has no clear accepted definition, but it is commonly used for packages which permit redistribution but not modification (and their source code is not available). These packages are not free software, so please don't use 'freeware' to refer to free software." http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html#freeware ... "Commercial software is software being developed by a business which aims to make money from the use of the software. 'Commercial' and 'proprietary' are not the same thing! Most commercial software is proprietary, but there is commercial free software, and there is non-commercial non-free software." http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html#commercialSoftware

Exactly, and where it helps to get a second opinion. :)
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