What do you use for modeling?

As opposed to rendering?

There seems to be a ton of focus on texturing or applying materials to models, and then rendering them with all sorts of software from the cheapies to the likes of Lightwave, 3DSM, and even Renderman. What no ones talks about is what they use to make the models. I'm guessing most people use the free model/render programs, and, as far as I know, those are all traditional CAD implementations. I saw some people were using parametric solid modeling programs (primarily SketchUp) to do their work.

First off, do you use the same program to model and render?
Second, do you prefer traditional iterative modeling or parametric solid modeling?

I learned on a traditional, actually, the traditional CAD package (AutoCAD). Incidentally, AutoCAD 2007 uses the same rendering engine as VIZ/3DSM. I have tried to do a lot of modeling in VIZ (a slightly stripped down version of 3DSM, I think the only things you loose are a few minor animation-related functions), and find it miserable. I do a ton of modeling in both SolidWorks and Inventor. I find Inventor to be one of the best modeling packages out there, though I want to try ProE. I do more work in SolidWorks since it also has CosmosWorks which I use for engineering analysis, but that's another story. All together, I definitely prefer parametric solid modeling to the traditional method, especially when doing complex, non-NURBS'ed solids. I definitely think programs like Inventor, ProE, SolidWorks, and the like are actually designed for solid modeling whereas rendering software, in my experience does great lighting and materials, but is much less effective at modeling.
Cheers. - F

I've only just started learning to model using 3D programs, and I have determined that my highest priority in a program is the existence of a command line.

I use blender3d for all steps of my workflow, save for texture painting, which I do with my school's copy of PSCS3. I don't have the funds to experiment with other programs, and for the time being as an amateur CG artist, don't need anything else. I am also familiar with GIMP, since I used it for a while, but PS is indeed more powerful for anything above hobby-level CG.

With animation I also use QTPro and iMovie, but still primarily use blender for compositing, audio-sync, and video editing.

I also love Wings3d. It's really not all that great of a program, but it was in Wings that I first did anything graphical beyond Appleworks 6, and I don't think I'll ever be able to dislike it. It does have really quick and intuitive modeling tools. I'm also somewhat fond of the results of Anim8or, although I've never used it. Not sure why I like that one. Perhaps it's my yet-unexplained but powerful urge to constantly root for the underdog.

I spent a lot of time with Pro/E and Solidworks this term as part of university course work. I plan on taking out Lightwave when I go back for break and seeing if it's become any easy to pick up.

I use Mechanisto, because it's free and it's what I know. It's what I used for the ships and weapons I contributed to CTC-F, with some assistance from Photoshop Elements.

I recently downloaded Blender and might try to learn it at some point, since I'll eventually be moving to an Intel platform and won't be able to use Mechanisto any more.

I used to require a command line, and if you are using a traditional package, it's still a must, but I find that with parametric solid modeling, it just gets in the way. When you are an engineer at university, of course, you have all the software packages you could want to play with. It's quite nice. 😃
Cheers. - F

I use Bryce 6 for modeling and rendering. Probably a bit weak in both areas, but it's what I know. It's a bit like using legos to build something instead of drawing it.

I build the model in Sketchup, then export it to Blender. I unfortunatlely do have to divide the model into all the separate pieces, but it's not too hard. And the result is much better. I like working in Sketchup, but it doesn't have a rendering engine. So I use Blender's.

I use a combination of Strata and Wings. I love how easy to use Wings is, it's got a really well-designed control scheme when used with a 3 button mouse w/scroll wheel.

I have a copy of blender, and will try to learn it one day, but it does seem to have somewhat of a steep learning curve.

Blender, I would say, looks considerably more confusing than it is. Find a good tutorial, and you'll be able to work with it pretty well in a few hours. You'll probably never use 3/4 of the options, as well.

I use Blender and Wings 3D. Wings 3D is easier in some areas, while Blender has some functions that do things more efficiently than Wings 3D could do.

This post has been edited by S.S. Valor : 06 December 2008 - 01:28 PM

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