It looks like you're using an ad blocker! I really need the income to keep this site running.
If you enjoy BlenderNation and you think it’s a valuable resource to the Blender community, please take a moment to read how you can support BlenderNation.

Blender Compared to Other 3D Apps


Blender Compared to Other 3D AppsHow Blender features can be compared with other 3d apps? If you always wanted to know that, an article published by Benoit Saint-Moulin at the TDT 3D compares the features of all major 3D apps, and Blender!

The article mentions that all data and information was collected in the last 12 months, with artists and companies responsible for each application. The article is very interesting, and it`s very good to see Blender features compared with other applications. To check out the article, visit this link.


  1. WOW! Blender did much better then I expected. We seem to literally have the only open source 3D app that can DEFINITELY hold it's own against the PAID competition. of course, this is just one view, but I am glad they took the time to consider Blender at all in the first place.


  2. Could we have them change this text?

    A good all around application
    for **hoobies** and freelance , the interface and lake of structured documentations
    is the bad part of this
    application, so it's the best free all arround solution.


  3. Tank you for posting this! I'm a noob and Just the information the animation tools in Blender are poor gave me the notion I shouldn't blame myself whenever I'm having problems with getting along with them. This list should become a 'what to fix next' for Blender developers.

    / Mats

  4. In your article above, you say "compares the features of all major 3D apps, and Blender!" but I really think you ought to be saying "compares the features of all major 3D apps including Blender!"

    A quick skim through the comparison tables (with a pinch of salt in certain areas) proves that blender is more than up there with the big players. The one obvious omission from this table is "Number of Licensed users". I think Blender would top the table with this...


  5. I take it this guy's first language is not English. I'm not mocking but it was hard to follow once in a while. It's not bad but what standard was he comparing these titles against exactly? I kept seeing things like poor and EXCELLENT! but that doesn't mean anything unless there is truly a standard. So thought it's nice and I would agree on the documentation point it's not what I'd call a definitive look at anything.

    In fact his views on the animation system may be biased towards a certain work-flow and so despite his claim that he wanted to be independent of of the developers and their products by this point in time he must have found certain things he prefers but are not actually better or worse than another package's. Which actually became a slight concern when I read in a comment above that maybe it was the system and not the artist himself that was the problem. Unless it truly is a bad system then it's probably both or just the person using it.

    Also he mentions that it takes less than 3 months to become an effective developer in most of the packages but then sites Blender's interface as being not for beginners. Which I find somewhat deceptive. It's not a simple interface by any means and there is a learning curve. But I find that deals more with the initial shock of everything rather than the actual difficulty of the software itself.

    Just something to keep in mind.

  6. that's a pretty good list :D
    I think, it's quite "honestly" written^^
    In some parts, blender really has the best position :D (first, clearly visible, at first glance: the price^^)

    Hum... I wonder, where he has problems, with blender tuts, though...

    The hardest things about the tuts is to find uptpdate ones, I'd say, due to the fast update rate, but basically, I'd say, it's easy to learn from those tuts.

    The Interface is very dependent on the thing, you used first, I think...
    For me, Blender's interface is just fine, as it's the first prog, I used, while other app's interfaces look extremely confusing in my eyes...

  7. I'm sure the 2.50 version of Blender will take care of the interface, this will be surely be a boost for the popularity of Blender.
    I'm sure the problem he has with tutorials is that they are all to be found on forums, not so much in a 'help file' like the other applications have, but seeing as quite some tutorials are uploaded to the wiki but ofcourse the tutorial link in the help section should pretty much take care of that.

    ah well.. i guess the fact that blender is community based instead of being developed behind closed doors also has a few cons, in the end it's up to the user to learn to deal with it.

    ps: yeeeh Blender! :P

  8. * having hard times to find updated docs....
    * too much video tuts that take long to download
    * had problem with the 2.45 zip archive: would close when clicking on "open"...after extraction
    * the question is why comparing blender with other 3d apps which btw are all commercial ones...
    * blender is different because it is not one
    * with a test of honesty while using a non hacked commercial 3d app....
    *long live difference!!!

  9. What is peoples' problem with Blender's interface?

    On first use I found it to be intelligent, logical, and flexible. It's better than what I've seen of 3DS Max. I would rather have self explanatory text buttons than a load of cryptic icon buttons to decipher.

    I hope Blender 2.50 doesn't change the interface too much and compromise it's usability just to please the text phobic icon loving dullards.

  10. Exactly Nobby.
    I too wonder what the hell they all have against Blender's UI...
    People aren't flexible enough. If the UI does'nt look Microsofty enough thy are lost...

    Nice to see Blender look good in these comparisons !
    And that is what i expected !

  11. Hello All,

    First thanks for comments and feedback and sorry for my english if it's poor but i would like release this article into english for evident reasons !

    To reply quickly I like blender and use it since version 1.72 and the famous C-key back age.

    Well when I say Blender is not for beginner there is many reasons :

    - First docs and tutorials are not centralised on a singel web site, new users who don't know where to dig and find it can have difficult to found it.

    - Interface, I know blender interface is like by somes and not by others, the fact is (sorry to hurt you) today students in the major college and cg school are trained on Adobe, Autodesk, ...interface like. Of courses Adobe / Autodesk are not standard defined but are the most used in cg industry by the most cg artists, so inderictly this kind of interface become a standard for the market and into the mind... this is why Blender interface get this score opposed to others.

    F1 for help -> blender open file, shortcut not always the same eg. CTRL-C and V for copy and paste are most of users know results in Blender that's not the same...etc...this is why Blender is hard to learn for beginner in 3D but familliar with CG apps used in industry.

    Again, a fact is many users who switch to Blender (I'm not speacking about old roots here :p) come from others commercial package in many case...

    I hope that's Blender 2.50 interface get a real users customisation (shortcut,...) as I discussed with others pro, many waiting for the 2.50 !

    Interface don't must be change, but more flexible...why not starting with quad view ?

    Why comparing Blender with commercial ?

    Because CG industry can't today ignore Blender features and how he come a really competitor opposed to commercial, why invest in commercial package and not Blender ? many reasons again but the first is probably help desk and training / material.

    Many CG artists don't jump into Blender because they be afraid with ...Interface and to don't know what's blender can really do opposed to commercial package...Opensource is really new for industry, not for users and underground geek like me...

    Spread the words and show the best...get 10 or 20 of the best cg artists into the world and Blender be the first, just because of...celebrity ?

    you all here probalby know Blender better like me maybe, and many do'nt understand why this article whith Blender, but you are in kind of microcosme, don't you think 90% cg artsit don't know Blender existance ?

    I asked from usa, europe and vietnam artists, many say me "blender?" of "Ah Blender the old opensource 3D softwares" or "Ah yes, we prefer paid softwares and don't be alone in your production deadline"...

    Commercial package have structure to help CG artists quickly jump in...I think in futur not so far all commercial editor can offer their softwares for free and base all business on services / help desk support,... :-)

    Blender as no maturity, 2.45 release is excellent, no new features but more robust !! Pro CG Artists don't want all fancy tools, he want to be sure the softwares don't bugs or fail before finishing this case Blender do the right choice with 2.45 !!

    I think put blender into this is probably the best idea I have with this article to brign the "words" :-)

    I don't put Houdin because I do'nt know it a lot...just play with. Again until release 9 Houdini interface is for CG coders, SideFX understand that's and change all to be CG artists friendly !

    Fluid ?

    Blender is sometime most know about his Fluid simulator, some company only use it for Fluid only !

    Well that' of for now I'm tired and tomorrow a new workign day waiting me :-)

    My best to all.

  12. thanks benoit- an excellent, well researched and objective article. In order to improve and attract new users it is essential to know how blender is viewed by others even if we personally disagree. with respect to the lack of support maybe in the future there will be a market for commercial companies problem solving/customising blender for studios?

  13. If Blender 2.50 opens with a quad view I will be very dissapointed. It's a waste of space. Especially when it's so easy to switch to any view in Blender.

    Don't compromise Blender for those who are afraid of the unfamiliar. Blender is better because of its differences to Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk etc.

    Just because students are taught on Adobe or Autodesk is no reason to make Blender the same. It's a very bad student who can't learn an alternate interface or understand the logic of Blender.

    And there are plenty of easy to find and very good Blender tutorials, documents and communities on the web.

    It maybe a good idea if Blender 2.50 has an interface selection menu with presets to match other 3D apps. And a preset to revert back to version 2.45. And the ability to create and share custom interfaces.

  14. Well i myself would love to see a centralized documentation effort... but i know how hard it is! If i was good i'd help, but what help would a newbie teaching others be?

  15. Benoit: The support issue is something I think has been known for a while (e.g. Ton and Bart themselves). Eugene founded some kind of support company, but I haven't heard of it for quite some time. I agree that's a VERY important aspect to take care of because I've been working for some time writing custom software (just simple things) and customers want things to: 1. WORK, 2. BE RELIABLE and 3. RECEIVE THE ATTENTION WHEN NEEDED, IMMEDIATELY!. Their business heavily depends on it, so it's very important for them to know someone they can trust.

    By the way I think 2.50 will change many of your conclusions about Blender! (Jahka Particles, UI redesign, Render API, etc )


  16. Ben, thanks for a nice and comprehensive chart. I think you're mostly on the mark with these comparisons, as far as I know.

    I'm just curious about what, specifically, warranted the "Low" rating for animation tools?

  17. Here is my opinion (from described apps I was using 3 o them: MAX, XSI, Blender) on article:

    In most cases I agree with writer... but:
    Interface rating is horrible... "not for beginners". hehe I would disagree, It's rather not for ppl which are too much into standards (maybe XSI is a bit like blender and also as much robust). Also in this case I wouldn't say that MAX interface is powerful... it's slow... and not clean (because of that funny modifier tree... and options not sorted in logical way. In MAX - when your lost... then your lost... menu bar will not get you out of this situation in many cases. Only that quad menu is a bit of good in MAX interface if compare to known by me standards.

    Author also forgot about sculpting... He only concentrated on export/import from business standard / not cheap sculpting apps. Blender got that advantage... maybe not so highly robust as those in mudbox or... I forgot name at the moment :)
    BUT Blender got it.

    I can't get what robust with Max SDK means.

    And that sum for blender looks like someone can't really get it. This test shows... that
    Blender is very good (and in some scenarios best) developing app for almost everything in industry. The main problem is that industry is not using Blender. :)
    But we do... and small companies started doing it also. :)

    This test in my opinion is a win for blender.

  18. >"the interface and lack of structured documentations is the bad part of this application"

    If this is true then shouldn't the "Learning path to be productive" be longer than "

  19. Shit, double posting...

    Benoit, I just red your words in here. :)
    That cleans a li'l why you rated that way interface(althought i disagree :) ).

    Heh... thx for supporting blender just by puttin it into article.

  20. Merci for the article ;) Even though I'd disagree on some points.

    ""I hope that's Blender 2.50 interface get a real users customisation (shortcut,…) as I discussed with others pro, many waiting for the 2.50 !

    Interface don't must be change, but more flexible…why not starting with quad view ?""

    Maybe not a good example... that's one of the (few?) thing you actually CAN customize in Blender. It's no problem to start in quad view (if it means what i sounds like: like 4 views as in 3ds Max?) by default.

    I don't understand why people criticize the Blender interface so much. It's one of the best things I've experienced in a while. Well, it has some problems, like allowing vertical alignment but not allowing vertical headers or script GUIs that can't be zoomed or dragged/aligned. I think it's great anyway. The layout is actually very customizable, more than other apps I've used. We just have to add some improvements like customizable shortcuts, and (IMO) inconsistent/confusing categories (and other things...see blenderartists forums) in the next release and Blender will have the best UI ever;)
    I switched from 3ds Max and found the Blender UI more intuitive than that of Max... but I guess that's always a question of personal taste. Maybe I just didn't get too deep into the 3ds Max matter.

  21. I'm not also supporting blender with this article :-) I'm using it and speack about to all students I'm teaching each years ! I spread the word because blender is good not because it's blender !

    but myabe Blender in french is a "mixer" I'm curious to now Ton reply on why called it Blender at the NaN age...maybe because that's doing all :-)

  22. Sorry for double posting...

    >"the interface and lack of structured documentations is the bad part of this application"

    If this is true then shouldn't the "Learning path to be productive" be longer than "

  23. longer than "less than 3 months" which is the same as listed for all but one of the other apps?

    But well done to Benoit for even including Blender in a round up of 3D apps.

    I would like to see Modo included in the next one.

  24. A pretty cool article. I definitely see Benoit's perspective, as well as the different industries. Hopefully the Blender dev team seen this and got some ideas. There are things I agree with(like centralising the tuts), and things I don't. One thing I know fi sho is that Blender is a phenominal package and is getting better.

  25. WHAT???!!! Max has a CLEAN, UNCLUTTERED interface???!!! Are you on crack???!!!

    No, I hate the Max interface. Maybe Blender spoiled me, but when I want an interface, I want an interface that DOESN'T cover up what I'm doing when I'm editing the materials. Maya is better, C4D is rather nice, but Blender has the cleanest UI I have ever seen. And, other than the lack of keyboard customizations (taken care of in 2.50, I hope), the most customizable!

    Sorry if I sound rude, but I find that Blender has the easiest to learn interface. When I started when I was 15, I quickly figured out how to use the modeling tools in a week. Now, when I look at the interface, I know what EVERYTHING does, and I can quickly do anything I want. I look at max, and whenever I'm in the ORTHO veiw, I can't navigate without my model speeding off to the side! In Blender I can control that with the 3D Cursor and the C button, but in Max, its guess and zoom! Even if you get the model dead centered into the veiw, and you can rotate around it perfectly, if you let go of the button, then rotate again, it STILL goes off screen!

    No, Max does NOT have a good UI. AT ALL. And there is no VALID argument that can say otherwise!

  26. I thought Benoît's article was fair, and don't apologize for a few slip ups in your English. You are not a native speaker, no need to apologize.

    By "lakes" I think he means "pool". So he probably meant "document pool".

    "What is peoples' problem with Blender's interface?"
    It's bassakwards. Right mouse button to select is unacceptable. I know you can change it but still... and Benoît gives further examples.

    "Just because students are taught on Adobe or Autodesk is no reason to make Blender the same."

    Well, not following industry convention for even simple things like selection or cut and paste is a really good way to marginalize yourself. There is no need to fetishize being "different". It doesn't make one better, just different.

    "why "low" for animation tools?"
    Because they are not up to professional standards. To even participate in the Suzanne Awards you have to download a special version of Blender.

  27. Thanks Ben for all your work. Personally, I don't see Blender as replacing the mainstay 3d apps as opening up the possibility of 3d desktops and 3d networking. I agree that it needs to be integrated more completely into an Ubuntu (Gnome) or Kubuntu (KDE) desktop, or Aqua for the Mac. Sorry, but I think Windows is going to the dogs, arf arf.

    We need to have a complete graphic suite with common keystrokes. I want my 2d app to support my 3d app; the fewer number of new keystrokes the better.

    Blender could have also been compared also to programs like UnReal Editor, and other gamer mod developers.

    Right now, I'm creating free talking heads using Blender, Make Human and Papagayo. That would be a serious chunk of change in the proprietary world.

  28. By "lakes" I think he means "lacks"- is in something missing or a deficiency.

    It seems to me that there is an enormous potential for commercial support of blender. If fast, comprehensive support is the main reason businesses pay thousands for the "big boys" if they could get that for blender I think it would skyrocket to the top overnight.

  29. ""why "low" for animation tools?"
    Because they are not up to professional standards. To even participate in the Suzanne Awards you have to download a special version of Blender." Really? That's interesting. I'd like to download it, where is it?

  30. Although I don't agree with everything on that list and not just for Blender, overall it's a fairly good representation of how the applications compare, as long as you don't put too much faith into its accuracy on some details, especially related to interface and documentation.


  31. @Evan, I said specific. "not up to professional standards" is not specific. The problem with the Suzanne Awards/Special version of Blender is an entirely separate issue. Macouno made the rig for himself and used new features, and only later decided to invite others to work with it. You can most certainly produce professional quality animation with Blender.

    So as I said, if you know of any specific features that Blender lacks to make it up to "professional standards" then, let's hear them.

  32. No, it's not an invite thing. I think just a bit of a mixup. You can follow the whole discussion on this here:

    By the way, this isn't anything to do with participation in the Suzanne Awards itself (the deadline for that is long past). This is just to contribute a brief animation of Macouno's robot for some of the Awards show "in-between" animations.

  33. "It maybe a good idea if Blender has an interface selection menu with presets to match other 3D apps"

    This is the mother of all stupid ideas... and it's not the first time someone has proposed it.

  34. @ noen...

    >"Right mouse button to select is unacceptable. I know you can change it but still."

    Sheesh, get over it or change it then.

    >"By "lakes" I think he means "pool". So he probably meant "document pool"."

    He means lack. As in being without something. If you couldn't work that out then no wonder you struggle with a few non standard key commands. If people find some new key commands and mouse clicks such a big interface hurdle then I'm surprised they get any further than MS Paint.

    And of course I don't just like Blender because it's different for difference sake. I think Blender actually operates better which therefore means it has to be different by necessity.

    @ Duhast...

    Any chance you could enlighten us as to why you think alternate interface presets are such a bad idea?

  35. It is interesting that the interface discussions keeps coming up... And just like I was kind of scared by the blender interface the first time I opened blender about two years ago (it took me about another year to overcome that fear and start learning and using blender) I love it today - like so many others.

    I think the trick could be to think again hard about what people see when they open blender for the first time: it's like those first couple of seconds when you meet a new person - they can be crucial. I also would not like to see any dramatic changes to the blender interface, yet at the same time I am all for making that first blender contact a more happy one for the new users. The idea needed could simply be some slightly different kind of default screen when starting up blender that would work for both the blender pros and the newcomers. How to do this, what it had to be is the big question of course...

  36. *Any* interface can be learned... So just saying that Blender's UI can be learned is not exactly an endorsement.

    Its pretty clear to most people that Blender's UI is readically different than most 3D apps. That's why the UI issue always comes up. And the right/left click controversy is just scratching the surface.

    That people would give Ben a bad time about that specific issue is mind-boggling to me. (Great article, BTW, Ben. As someone who learned English as a 2nd language I certainly appreciatye how hard it is to write in another language)

    I would say that Blender is great *IN SPITE* of its UI, not because of it. (not that anyone has claimed that directly)

  37. Blender's UI sure is different, and the logic is different with mouse too. Has anyone got the same experience than myself, that different UI goes well with different logic? What I mean is, because the UI looks so different, it is easier to keep the different logic away from other applications. If Blender would look like programs from Adobe family, it would be hell of a lot more confusing adjusting the brain to cope with the different mouse behaviour in Photoshop.

    I agree with the documentation part. The summer of documentation project was a great start, but Blender is still far away from being easy to learn. To address this there should be an effort to produce some kind of central hub for all the documentation material. A lot of work should be done to organize the documentation in a meaningful way so that a complete beginner can learn stuff efficiently. All the video-tutorials are a great thing to have, but they should be indexed, organized and rated by their usefulness. There should also be some sort of textual index of the area covered in the tutorial.

    That said, as an open source application Blender is exeptionally well documented. There is a lot of useful information available. And it is reasonably well organized as well. Wiki manual is a great resource. And the best part of the learning experience is the user base who are mostly very helpful and newbie tolerant. There is not much of that typical "RTFM" or "Google is your friend" - mentality, which is great.

    But one thing the documentation lacks is the basics of 3D. A sort of "3D modelling for dummies". Manual teaches the ways of doing things with Blender, but for most of the newcomers it is really confusing just because they don't have a basic understanding of fundamental concepts or the terminology used. I know the need for "3D-101" inside Blender documentation can be easily argued, but the fact is that Blender is a first contact to the world of 3D for a lot of people.

    Somehow it would make sense to try and make this first experience as positive as possible.

  38. Someone has to say that...

    But for a beginner any of the above software UI is outlandish. Put a newbie in front of maya or blender and they will look at you with those "WTF" eyes. For me the fact that one UI is easier to learn than another one is a myth. As such, the part about the UI is irrelevant.

    3D is unnatural for many people, and not only because they lack any artistic motivation or formation.
    A 3D artist is somewhat special. It has to be a technology enthusiast as well as an artist.

    Softwares bring you new technology to integrate in your artistic flow, nothing less. They won't make a Leonard de Vinci from a total newbie. As such, it is delusional to say one software is better for this or that. For modelling and exporting to videogames, Blender could do as much as 3DSMax. It's simply easier for a studio (for now) to find a professional with Max experience than a pro with Blender experience. So the classification is a bit artificial...

    VIZ/Realtime? didn't you mean VIZ/Games?...

    * ponder *

    Ooh sorry. You didn't want to scare Autodesk ;)
    Keeping low profile so we can stab them in the back one day and stuffs... hehehe. My bad.

  39. Hello,

    Lakes is lacks, sorry i will fix it :-) but you can go to the pool if sunshine is at your doors ;-)

    About interface, again, I writed 'Maya interafe is like a forge..' this is not better than Blender Interface (I explain why later) Again Lightwave interface is old and confuse...

    As you can compare nto only Blender interface are in the situation.

    - Why all this on interface ? If you want peoples / CG artists coming to Blender you **MUST** open you mind / doors to help it migration from know commercial package to you think CG artists would like take time to re learn a totaly new interface concept when Ctrl C and V are the same in all industry used interface ?

    The interface isn't a problem itself for new users but from CG artists migration to, How blender can come the best if the best don't come on ?

    Interface text mode is the better choice ! 3ds max, Xsi, Blender, Lighwave,...have text interface, why ? because eg. Extrude is always writed Extrude ! in Icons interface extrude can be eg. Box with arrow, face with extrude line, face with path...

    How do you want CG artists be familliar with not standardised icons ? so it's why text based it's best and most productive...I know new used like fancy interface with plenty colours, shine icons,...but that's come quickly waste of time and shortcut replace this icons quickly...

    Behind interface I'm not speacking about fancy, glassed one, I speack about shortcut, f1 for help, centralised help, why not include blender pdf help,...also the viewport manipulation isn't "classic" method (I love the split area) of work and what's not classic can stop users migration !

    Why not regroup texture and Material ? liek max, maya, lightwave,... Often the new users and olr 3d roots I asked to test blender asked me "Ok I'm in material editor, where is my texture ??", "oh oh shit I can't drag my material over my objects ?", "where is my material presets list?",...

    Other eg ? So the G key, isn't so logical Grab is Move for you ? the only one old age software I know used Grab was Sculpt Animate 4D and SoftFX...Do you think G key is mnemonic ?

    the problems is peoples are brain drilled with "interface" and change it block it.

    Ergonomic interface must avoid more than 3 mouse clicks to do common tasks.

    Don't change Blender interface way to be more accessible to new or migration users and you never go out...

    That's why I said interfacewas lacking !

    - Sculpting : A nice and one of my favourite feature in Blender :-) Why Am'I not speacking of ? I just think Sculpting is a "phenomenon of mode" really few CG artists use it, only organic and characteres at first...(perso, I'm use it for landscape sculpting) The sculpting is powerfull but a bit yound and I prefere to avoid this part...

    Why not adding a brushes presets list opposed to go and back to brush editor ? why not give option to change brushes attributes like Square, Circle, Shape ? Carving tool ? same for the paint tools : Add layer, line and circle drawing tools, texte tool, gradient tool,...

    This both are good but a bit young In my point of view. I tested Silo, I go back to blender sculpting, same as for modo I go back to Blender because Modo interface is Slowwwwww I never know how newtek and luxology use OpenGL for Interface but that's not really a pleasure to work with on high def models...!

    - For Viz / Realtime, yes i mean realtime (web3d, games, virtual visit,...), for this Collada support rocks !

    About Autodesk I'm not want to scare it, Autodesk (I know many here don't like it) have totaly others business, 3D is the low part of their...CAD with AutoCad and GIS products is the most important Autodesk business area...

    Autodesk 3ds max is an excellent all around software, the prices policy is an other subject of discuss ;-)

    Be open use the right tools you need for you business and not because of...

    Dinner time :-) Enjoy you meal !

  40. the animation tools in blender for sure are better than the lightwave ones. :)

    [quote]Right mouse button to select is unacceptable.[/quote]
    i think it's very acceptable. other applications use right click selection too. modo for example!

  41. Hmm I agreed with most of that list there but from my impression, Blender is BEST for being free, and is definitely up there with paid software. (Well, obviously, keep it free please :P) I didn't know that Blender's animation capabilities were low :(

    Yep, all blender developers, use this as a todo list! I wanna see Blender headlines shouting "We beat 'em" in a years time (ok, optimist, sorry, but you get the picture ;) )

  42. @Benoit: thanks for an informative article. I think there will always be points where the users disagree especially when it comes to complex software like 3D Apps. I don't think there is any 3D App which is really intuitive so the UI Part should only be of concern to long term users of other 3D Apps that have to migrate.

    Could you please tell what makes blender animationtools low quality? Since I have only used MAX back at University for some small projects (no animation) I cannot say how the animation tools in Blender compare to other 3D Apps but in order to understand the issue I really would like to know what I'm missing.

    I'm a hobbiest (what ever that means ;) ) so the one asset that makes blender the best 3D App out there is it is free of charge and has a superb community and I know about communities! You get what you pay for so don't expect anyone to jump out of there way to help you when you are unwilling to pay for it... and still there are people in the blender community that do exactly this. :)

    I also think that the wiki gives a pretty good introduction to blender and gets you along quite nicely it's more the reference to some of the functions that is lacking. Maybe sponsoring a documentation contest to improve the wiki is the way to go. And even small steps can improve the overall appearance. Hey I'm a newbie and I have made small changes in the wiki (mostly linking pages to one another!).

  43. Vassilios Boucer on

    For me Blender has the best User Interface!I love it!
    and hey Blender VSE what about this?
    and Blenders Animation capabilities is not low!
    Blender is going to be the most Complete 3d application! (Sculpting..fluids...VSE....Tracking...compositing...GE....and many other new Amazing Features still in development!

  44. For a different perspective, I came from a long background of 2D - CorelDraw's 7 thru 12 to be precise! Sure Blender had an unusual interface when I first started with it, but now I HATE going back to CorelDraw to create UV textures to use in Blender! The interface is so cumbersome compared with Blender - where I can move about, locate, and select objects far quicker than in Corel.

    When I show Blender to colleagues at work (who use multi-thousand dollar So**dWo**s 3D design software), they cannot believe that Blender is free. Or that the interface is so simple and uncluttered. Or the fact that Blender /never/ crashes! Or the fact that I can render near photo-realistic images without having to pay for an add-on!

    For sure, Blender is amazing software. The overriding fact that it's free makes it incomparable to other software. If you're paying $100s or $1000's for software, you'd expect it be good. For $0, you might expect Blender to be a poor imitation - but it clearly isn't.

  45. One thing I'd like to add about Industry standard UI's. Look at adobe's range. Take photoshop, illustrator and indesign. I'll use CS2 studio as an example, since that is version I use.
    For a task as simple as navigating, it uses the scrollwheel/mmb+ctrl/shift/alt combo different in each of these apps! most noticably the most frustrating one is the way indesign handles it, if you scroll sideways, you have to click(which selects or deselects something) to start scrolling up/down or zoom in/out.

    Hotkeys for common actions are different as well. Like copy in place
    If that is "standard" then by all means put a gun to standards' head and pull the trigger. It's antiquated and sluggish.

    Just because a GUI is industry standard doesn't mean it is better or even good to begin with. There have been LOADS of apps lately experimenting with new ways for navigation that work better and more intuitively.
    Industry works on "don't break a working thing" metinks. But artists start to look elsewhere as well.... (zbrush when it was new, modo for instance)

  46. I don't want to join the interface discussion since it's a waste of time.
    People who use Blender frequently and have learnt the interface are happy with its intuitive handling.
    Newbies and people who use it only for fluid sim. (for example) always have to question the UI,
    something I can understand since I had to learn it, too...

    A question I want to pose:
    Imagine open source software like Blender rules the market in a few years and all the film and game studios buy the programmers to use them for their own purposes... do you think that many 'fresh' programmers - who improve the public versions - will follow?
    Maybe Blender better stays down here in the warm and comfortable underground? ^^

  47. @humble, not sure what you're envisioning, but the more people who use Blender, the more developers there will be contributing to it, which is a good thing. The official Blender will always be the one that the Blender Foundation releases. If some studio pays people to contribute code, that's also a good thing (a lot of companies pay programmers to work with open source software for their own purposes, and this is good).

    The UI discussion, yeah, not interested. Old dispute. Easy solution: if you want to use X software, learn to use X software, otherwise don't use it.

    As for learning materials, some comments here have led me to think that people aren't fully aware of what's out there. There are two books (in English) and more on the way, at least 3 DVDs available that I know of offhand, and countless free tuts at BlenderNewbies, BlenderUnderground, Genome, Greybeard's website, Peerless Productions, and many, many more that I can't even begin to list completely. What's more is that they are all indexed and linked to directly from... you guessed it, the website you're looking at right now. Everything you need is linked to from Blendernation.

    So kids, stop complaining about how hard it is to learn Blender and go learn Blender.

  48. One of the things that happens, and you can see it in evidence here, is that over time the users of an idiosyncratic app like Blender develop a certain cliquishness. Years ago I was trying to learn POV and I went to their forums to ask for some help. It was a newbie question but I got reamed for daring to ask such a stupid, ignorant question. I walked away from POV and have never gone back, It will be a cold day in hell before I EVER touch that software again.

    Is that what you want to happen to Blender?

    My main 3D app is Modo and unlike Blender it is a shear joy to use. The difference is like night and day. The only reason I open Blender, and with Modo 301 out it is less now, is for the features that Modo lacks like hair and fluids. The UI issue is a major obstacle and must be addressed if Blender is to enjoy wider acceptance.

  49. I find it incredible that some people would rather have the 'industry standard' two step Copy and Paste method (Ctrl+C and Ctl+V) than Blenders one step Duplicate method (Shift+D).

    It is such a trivial criticism and a backward mentality that only hinders the development and improvement of interface design.

    And anyway, the small amount of learning time saved by having standard keyboard shortcuts for a few common tasks is tiny compared to all the other keyboard shorcuts you could choose to learn for the many uncommon tasks found in all 3D apps.

    Of the many many programs, for every kind of computer task, I have used since 1986 I think, almost completely objectively, that Blender has one of the best interface designs of them all.

    @ noen...

    "clique: noun: a small group of people who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them."

    There is no evidence of cliquishness here or in the large international Blender community. And the Blender forums are packed with people helping newcomers. Your criticism is not valid.

    Like you with Modo, I find Blender a shear joy to use. We can't both be wrong.

  50. Let's not shoot the messenger; Benoit isn't pointing up any criticisms about Blender that haven't been voiced by many others in the past. It's true that most of the complaints people seem to have about Blender have to do with their own ignorance of how things work in Blender. But at the same time, I think that needs to be addressed.

    Looking at this comparison confirms suspicions that I've had for a while. I've never used a 3D app other than Blender, so I can't speak definitively, but I've caught hints that Blender's interface, documentation, animation tools, NURBS and curve tools, and data management tools are /perceived/ as inadequate or lacking. I know as well as anyone that these tools definitely exist within Blender (except documentation, which is abundant on the Internet). But why do people have such a problem with them?

    Reading the comments on this page, I'm beginning to see a pattern. It seems to me that Blender provides one way to do just about everything. And looking at the gallery on, it's obvious that one way is all a great number of talented artists need. But I get the sense that other software suites might provide users with more options, and maybe a little more flexibility, in the areas in which those suites excell.

    Think about the difference between a toaster oven and a microwave oven. A toaster oven has settings for temperature and cook time. A microwave has all kinds of settings for cook time, multi-phase cooking, cooking temperature, along wtih presets for thawing frozen food, popping popcorn, reheating leftovers, boiling water, cooking TV dinners, and so-on. Toaster ovens are better at cooking some foods, microwaves are better for others.

    The same is true for Blender. It's a toaster oven. It's excellent for cooking certain kinds of food. But you have to cook that food Blender's way. Commercial software is like a microwave; perhaps more limited in the range of features you have at your disposal, but maybe a little more attractive in terms of the flexibility and usability of the tools it does provide. I've been using Blender for years. When I started, I was a teenager. Teenagers learn things in their free time that working employees can't necessarily be troubled with. So I think, if Blender is going to /really/ compete, maybe it has to do more than just provide the most features... maybe it has to be more accessible to everyone.

  51. @Nobby:
    You're absolutely right about Blender's Duplicate command. However, I think maybe it migh be nice if we could duplicate things like modifiers, logic bricks, materials, textures and constraints that way. Blender's interface doesn't need to take on standard conventions, but some more consistency with Blender-wide conventions couldn't possibly make things worse.

  52. I am kind of disappointed by their "interface not for beginners" rating. After learning blender, the other programs are just as difficult to pick up. I don't think it got a fair treatment there.

    I don't like all the menu and windows in the other 3D apps I've tried. Even modo, which looks beautiful seemed pretty clunky to me. But surely part of that is just getting used to a few things and finding comfort. This rating is based on more use than I ever gave anything.


    Blender is awesome, but I do wish there were a few things that I could do easily. I know it's open for programming, but I just wish I could get soft shadows easily every time I want them. I don't know if it's just a matter of getting it right once finally and keeping a template for reuse, but it seemed like I spent 2.5 hours last night trying to get soft buffered shadows and I ended up just faking it in another 2D program because I got fed up. Maybe all the pro 3D apps are like that, but seems like it's pretty hard in blender to get good soft shadows. Sometimes, you just want it to be obvious I guess. I'd like an easy mode. I'd like to drag and drop images on to top of meshes and see the texture there and be able to tweak it. I'd like to have preloaded basic textures for things like architectural rendering. Wood, brick, tile, porcelain, shingle, stone, stucco etc.

    I'd also like editable keyboard shortcuts. That would solve a lot of problems for adopters I think. I mean if you could save a collection of shortcuts and distribute them, or just preload them in blender, that would rock. Adobe InDesign had at one point a "mimic quark" keyboard shortcut mode I think.

    I'm really excited for the next version, 2.5 blender. I have high hopes for it, and I hope it comes so very soon.

  53. *in fact blender gui is absolutely not that complicated when you give it a little bit of time
    *i am not a professionnal and my blender's level is still the one of a beginner...
    *and as a beginner i would compare blender with an app like amapi for instance especially the 6.1 version which is free...:with a more than 500 pages of pdf doc it shows how powerful amapi 6.1 is as a modelling tool...there are things which i can do with amapi that can be done with blender but in avery difficult way: helicoide for instance...with a more thna 600 pages of pdf doc fro blender...
    *i believe there are not a lot people who gathered blender stuff like me on this planet...probably 3 or 4 gygabytes...of all blender's related stuff...
    *my only trouble is with new release's docs...
    *thanks for reading
    *again:i meant 'cracked " commercial apps not "hacked"...

  54. Hi,

    I´m a long time Lightwave user, who everynow and then uses ElectricImage, and who wishes to use Blender more, because of it´s newly implemented tools.

    Blender has everything needed to do 3D and VFX, and even video editing, but the interface gets in my way. Like many have said, newbies will find as difficult to learn Blender, Maya, or whatever, it´s just a matter of time and practice, but the main problem comes with the pros who wish to try it because of it´s new tools (fluids, node compositing,....).
    Pro users coming from other commercial apps, are usually very much used to their workflow, and so find Blender akward to use.
    Like the thing with Crtl C and V. It´s a standard feature in the industry, so use it, it won´t break the code.
    I mean, it needs to be flexible and standard with simple things like that, things that you don´t have to look in menus because you expect them to be there.
    Lightwave is very hotkey prone, something that really speeds up workflow, so Blender could use it´s implementation to allow "approaches" to interface usability, like presets. Wings3D has something like that (interface behaviour, i believe it´s called), so if i´m a Maya user i choose the Maya preset and when trying to select some geometry and move it. i´ll do it by heart.
    I´m used to press F9 in Lightwave to get a test render (and sometimes i have pressed that key in other apps, like Word, to print the page i it didn´t work), so i could use remapping to get that (and everything else) in Blender, so presets for behaviour are in mi opinion a smart move to attract pro users.
    If later i need to get to the fluids section, or to node compo, then i´ll take my time to learn where those are, but you can´t have someone trying unluckily to select a polygon in any model, it just moves you away.

    The key concept is not really the UI, it´s the workflow, and if Blender can help by standardizing "normal" uses, the better.

  55. Noen -- "To even participate in the Suzanne Awards you have to download a special version of Blender."

    I was on the judging committee this year to nominate the animations for the Suzanne Awards, and that statement is 100% false.

  56. ok, i like blender a lot, so it's always good if it is presented as beeing better than some other app, but my main app is lightwave and this article says: lightwave: hairs: no, softbody/cloth: no, fluids: no, compositing: no - ok, compositing and the free (aka lite) hair plugin cannot match with blenders, but all these things are in lightwave with its default installation. i wonder how much more mistakes this comparsion shows up if you know the apps

  57. What I'm getting from this thread is that there are a huge number of different 3D apps out there. So users of the least popular ones should be quaking in their boots, because very soon one or two of the big players will start buying-up all the little fish, just like Adobe has been doing for years. You will then be forced to adapt to the big player's interface, like it or not.

    Incidentally, I have been using Adobe Acrobat to edit and markup PDFs for the last couple of days, and its interface is dire (and has been for years). Constantly having to go to menus and click items, even when you know the keyboard shortcuts... which have to be 'turned-on' before they'll work using the cryptically named "Use single key accelerators to access tools" option buried in the Edit > Preferences > General menu. Grrrr... )

  58. Pfff. long topic.

    Spotted by a short gase at the compare 3 things I disagree to, so not going to give it much attention.

    1. obj import in maya is not robust. I always use blender to translate Polytrans STEP file objs to Maya objs.
    2. maya interface robust? hell no. fool around with some imports, add some plugins and the helpline will fill up with undraweble window errors. Maya is very hardware dependant.
    3. Must to have render plugin VRAY ??? HUH?

    Thats it, throwing this compare in the bin.

  59. i was introduced to 3d modelling and animation because of blender (before that i didnt have any idea what 3d modelling as all about. read about blender in a magazine).
    and initially i was discouraged because of interface but after 3-4 months of using blender, i really felt that all applications should work the blender way!! i've also tried 3ds max n maya. Maya is too heavy on system resources, so if u dont have a powerfull computer, u gotta spend a lot upgrading it and add to it the cost of maya itself and it'll discourage you.

    the menu system of 3ds max is horrible!! it takes a lot of time to find certain blender, its few all those who have probs with blender interface, please learn to adjust, or else i think you should wait for 2.50.

    "animation tools not upto industrial standards"
    if they are used carefully and with some brains, they are good enough. no need to complain about that.

    n about the documentations, tuts on wikipedia are coming along quite well. i hope someone compiles them and also some other tuts from other sites into a single file. i'll try to do this once my schooling gets over (in about 5 months).

  60. Well well well - looks like the 'Blender interface' argument has reared its ugly head AGAIN!
    Man, I like blender's interface but even I wouldn't go ao far as to say I don't wish for it to be more customizable and easier for new users!

    As for the other -ves, why complain - all of them are very valid points - just because you believe Blender is the best 3D application since fried bread doesn't mean it is!! All software has its bad spots - if as much effort was put into improving them as was put into arguing about them - and, I hate to say it... refusing to percieve them as problems at all - we could have progressed a whole lot further. Think about it - there's no smoke without fire - if Blender's interface is really THAT much better than any other application and really THAT good, why do people STILL complain about it?

    The same goes for all the other sticking points and tough spots!

    If you LIKE the interface:
    Stop bashing the people who don't and go and document it!

    If you DON'T LIKE the interface:
    Stop complaining and go and design a better one!

    If these two opinions were split into two teams like this - well OK, there may be WAR, but a least something good would come out of it! Come on guys! This is a community - are not communities the very core of open source development?

    ~epat. :)

  61. I just can't wait until the new interface becomes available (along with the hotkey remapping) so we can see what the next round of excuses will be from people who have an aversion to learning.

  62. I think the problem with the interface is its lack of a cohesive workflow. The developers try to fix this, but it doesn't exist at the moment. Look at material editing, you have to switch back and forth between two different interface sections or setup a default interface to focus on materials. Then add in nodes and you have three windows to adjust settings in. Or look at mesh editing where you have two different sections to access modeling tools, right along with the infamous specials menu that has no organization itself. Or Blender having fluid dynamics, particle simulation, hard body dynamics and softbody dynamics all existing seperately from each other. This is the problem with most Open Source software. There lacks a cohesive organization to the structure of the software, despite Ton's excellent managing skills, I'm sure even he would admit that things don't always turn out how he'd like. People code in there spare time and only work on what they would like to work on, not what they are paid to do. Blender would not be nearly as good as it now is if Ton wasn't managing it on a whole. Bless Ton and all his hard work and enthusiasm.

    Keep in mind I love Blender, it works great for me. But I think its wrong to not recognize its shortcomings along with its benefits. Experiment with commercial software and suggest workflow/features you'd like in Blender. Personally I find Silo, Messiah and Modo as excellent examples of smooth workflow. Blender can't touch them in many areas. And indeed Blender has advantages over them as well.

  63. And 2.50 will not have a new interface. But rather the ability to more customize the interface. Its a rewrite of the core for better access. SO don't expect 2.50 to have a radically different interface unless Matt or someone else makes modifications. I expect we'll see a new floating toolbar of some sort, and the cleaner looking inteface showed off in recent builds, but no drastic alterations that will bring enlightenment to the masses. I am looking forward to the possibility of a unified physics simulation that is being hinted at with the coming addition of the new particle rewrite and cloth. But I'm not looking forward to the jumbled panels of the new particle system either. I wish they had thought of controlling it all via nodes, it makes things much more easier to work with when you are approaching it piece by piece.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that Blender is not that closed off from the studios. I know for a fact that quite a few use it for modeling here and there along with uvmapping.

  64. >"Think about it - there's no smoke without fire - if Blender's interface is really THAT much better than any other application and really THAT good, why do people STILL complain about it?"

    Maybe because they...

    ...have never used it.
    ...fear the unfamiliar.
    ...are too lazy to learn.
    ...are to stupid to learn.
    ...have no need to learn.
    ...don't like learning anything.
    ...need a tutor or guide book to learn anything.
    ...don't believe it could be good because it's free.
    ...don't believe it could be good because it's not 'industry standard'.
    ...don't believe it could be good because Pixar don't use it. to complain.
    ...etc. etc.

    I look forward to Blender's interface improving.
    I don't look forwartd to Blender's interface being compromised for the sake of halfwits.

  65. Nobby, that way of thinking is what gives open source projects hard times.
    I could write a longer list with just opposite opinions to yours...and what, you seem to think Blender is good enough, and new users are illiterates who just fail to see how great Blender is. Is that what you mean?

    Oh boy, i get almost everything i need in my 3D gigs out of Lightwave, but i could use some Blender features, like fluids, and not because they are free, just because they are good, but if i find difficulties to use it and to pipeline i just might consider buying something as good, but usable.

    Every software has strong points (and weak ones too) and pros tend to use what serves best in any given need, providing the tool has standard workflow features and it won´t get you stuck.

    Blender is becoming and all around tool, because it has almost everything you might need to carry a production from head to toe, but it needs to massage its workflow.

  66. I read all !

    Just a little react for Benoît / TDT3D :

    about -G- shortcut for "Grab" , or -M- for "Move",
    G is easier to work fast with -S- for "Scale" / -R- "Rotate" / -E- "Extrude" ...etc...
    Sortcuts keys are perfectly well placed for lasy left hand... M could be to far of the other keys

    But I will finish that it will doesn't matter when shortcuts key will be customisable.
    A great feature to wait for !

  67. @ Roundpixel...

    >"Nobby, that way of thinking is what gives open source projects hard times." [sic]

    What "way of thinking" exactly? Don't make assumptions. I did not say that Blender is "good enough" or that "new users are illiterates who just fail to see how great Blender is".

    My list was not one of opinions. I simply listed possible reasons as to why some people's criticisms may not be totally valid and that the fault can sometimes lay more with individual users than a piece of software itself. We have had criticisms in this thread that have been wholly inaccurate. 3D work is complex and sometimes people (including myself) just get things wrong, like you have by making assumptions about what you think I mean instead of just reading what I wrote.

    Of course Blender could be improved greatly. I'm not a blind zealot. Did you miss my comment "I look forward to Blender's interface improving" ?

    My concern is that Blender may change for the worse if it tries to pander to the lowest common denominator. Just like I wouldn't want someone to come and change my gear shift car into an automatic.

  68. Nobby you did say "I look forward to Blender's interface improving. I don't look forwartd to Blender's interface being compromised for the sake of halfwits."

    That could be interpreted in many ways. Perhaps if you specified more it would have come across different. But many of us that wish to see changes to Blender's interface do indeed know the program, just would like to see changes to improve workflow and functionality.

    David laid it out perfectly. Here is a nice monetary example. Would you pay $1500 for a piece of software that offers a workflow thats smooth and easily adapted to from your other software, has technical support, fits within an existing pipeline with other software and having all of this allows you to get the $8000 job completed on time easily. Or would you pay nothing for software that doesn't offer any of those benefits, that you have difficulty adapting too, and doesn't get you the $8000 job. Now I know that the individual/studio that uses this example could adapt their pipeline and bring blender in, but it takes time and many things in Blender are drastically different from the standard (yes standards do exist). In another 2-3 years I think it will all be a different story.

  69. People seem to be going of at tangents from the original criticism that Blender had a "bad interface". It's a sweeping statement that could be interpreted many ways. To say it's a bad interface just because it's not the same as whatever interface you have happened to use before is dumb. Criticisms are only valid if they are objective.

    @ Brian...

    The thread had become about Blender's interface, which is not quite the same as workflow and functionality, both of which I would also like to see improved.

    Your monetary example is not helpful. What one could or would pay is dependent upon personal cirumstance. Of course Blender's workflow could be smoother. But regarding interface design how do you make Blender "easily adapted to from your other software" when that "other software" could be any one of a number of apps all with different interfaces and quite possibly not very good ones? Technical support is a separate issue and "existing pipeline" could mean many things that are not really to do with the interface design.

    I don't really see how my comment "I look forward to Blender's interface improving. I don't look forwartd to Blender's interface being compromised for the sake of halfwits." could be interpreted in many ways. I already specified more when I previously said...

    "I find it incredible that some people would rather have the 'industry standard' two step Copy and Paste method (Ctrl+C and Ctl+V) than Blenders one step Duplicate method (Shift+D)."

    I would regard that kind of change as a compromise for the sake of halfwits.

  70. "The thread had become about Blender's interface, which is not quite the same as workflow and functionality, both of which I would also like to see improved."

    This quote shows your lack of understanding. Workflow and functionality go hand in hand with the interface. But this is degenerating to useless banter. I agree some of my example branched out from your original discussion, but not in regards to the original topic of this post which was a broad comparison of the various applications. Not all of my comment was about what you stated.

  71. >"This quote shows your lack of understanding."

    This quote shows a desire to criticise regardless of what someone actually says.

    Don't patronise. Obviously workflow and functionality go hand in hand with the interface. I did not say they are unconnected. I said it was not quite the same, and your 'hand in hand' comment shows that you appreciate the difference too.

    Please, feel free to stop the useless banter at any time and respond to something I have actually said.

  72. I've used Maya and Blender extensively, and, frankly, I don't see why they have to have an identical workflow at all. I mean, it's like being multilingual; you learn to express yourself in one program/language, and then you learn to express yourself in the other when appropriate.

    I suppose this has something to do with "culture" here. Most artists I know couldn't really give a shit about being proverbially "multilingual"; they just want to "create things." I'd say that the Adobe programs have probably spoiled these types of people, because their interfaces are very similar between each other.

    But let's remember something here: 3D programs are nothing like the world of Adobe. 3DSMAX is considerably different from Maya, which is considerably different from Cinema4D, which is considerably different from Lightwave, which is considerably different from Blender...see the pattern here? So how in the hell is Blender supposed to reconcile all these different programs together, just so certain people don't have to think too hard?

    I'd like to see Blender keep all it's same keystrokes, and maybe have an extensive menu system like Maya does for those who can't memorize all the keys. Other than that, I'm hoping the interface doesn't change too much...but I'll adjust regardless.

    For those having trouble learning Blender and are intimidated by the internet resources, there's at least two good books on this program now ("Introducing Character Animation with Blender" and "The Essential Blender"). I highly recommend the former, in particular, as I find it has far more detailed and practical information for beginners than I ever got from the "Learning Maya" series.

  73. I think this test shows some serious flaws and lack of knowledge about the programs.

    Maya has robust NURBS?
    Maya has a very good NURBS, polygon, and sds system build in. The NURBS tools
    are based on Alias studio tools. More the NURBS tools in Maya are as animateable
    with bones etc as polygon mesh surfaces.

    Cinema 4D has Very Good NURBS?
    C4D has like Blender interactive tools to create some lathe, extrude, or loft objects
    and thats it. I call that rather basic than very good. C4D's focus is on polygon modeling only.

    Blender lacks many good modeling tools. Lightwave I would say has few tools Blender does
    not even have a script for (skinning edges, subsurface system, ...)

    I am not sure if Blenders particle system can compete with what Maya puts onto the table.

    Nodale shading in Blender is a Material Mixing and not a node shading tree system.
    That is a major difference and usability. Look at what Maya offers.

    Maya has no bad learning curve. it offers such a lot. if you want to master all there is a lot to learn.
    if you only want to model you could focus only on learning that. ...

  74. "Think about it - there's no smoke without fire - if Blender's interface is really THAT much better than any other application and really THAT good, why do people STILL complain about it?"

    the menu structure is inconsistent. key strokes are different and duplicated.

    crtl r for look cut or k for cut menu.

    the menu (space bar, headers, ...) show different content.

    this does not help teaching a new program to students. it rather looks like half done.

    the interface looks eye candy but wasts a lot of space. with a 23" screen no big issue.
    on a 13" lap a big issue.

    naming for functions like button window is strange. students have a hard time following
    the systematic behind it.

    the workflow is great. that the strength of blender. less clicks same result.
    however blender also has less features than maya. so less clicks is just a logical outcome.

  75. Well put, Þiðrekr. A real artist is interested in creating stuff, not whether his pencil is round or hexoganal.

    For people worried about Blender being compromised for the sake of unserious users, don't worry. Ton is known to have pretty strong opinions about this, and I think there's not much danger that "ease of transition from Brand X" is ever going to be a top design priority.

    Y'know, though, a lot of young people are now getting started in CG with Blender. I read a quote by a guy from Lightwave saying that he figured users would "move on" from Blender to proprietary apps. Indeed, the proprietary apps have a considerable financial stake in wooing young Blender users to their products. They stand to lose a lot if that doesn't happen.

    So maybe they ought to start redesigning their interfaces to make it easier for Blender users to pick up their apps?

    Just a suggestion...

  76. "Y'know, though, a lot of young people are now getting started in CG with Blender. I read a quote by a guy from Lightwave saying that he figured users would "move on" from Blender to proprietary apps. Indeed, the proprietary apps have a considerable financial stake in wooing young Blender users to their products. They stand to lose a lot if that doesn't happen."

    For me, the switch to Blender came down to pure economics; those proprietary apps are too expensive for this stage of my life. And where I work in media, 3D is not something that has been seen as "necessary," as of yet; so Blender has been a good avenue for me to make things free and legal. Now there happens to have been a shift in management recently, so there's been some talk about purchasing a 3D program, but he's leaning towards getting Cinema4D for me (I certainly know for sure that Maya is out of the equation, due to its high cost). As I see it, it's great! I now get an avenue, where I can be "trilingual" in Maya, Blender, and Cinema4D. ;) Practically speaking, I imagine that even if Cinema4D enters my workflow, it will most certainly be alongside Blender. "Free" certainly has its advantages.

  77. Blender is a good program

    however switching studios is often not that easy.

    a simple problem is when studios have a runnign work flow which uses other plug ins their brand product uses.

    very often those force the company to even use a specific 3d program.


  78. Hi All,

    Thanks to all here who give me feedback on this site or by email.

    After readed all email and suggest, I re read my article and updated somes parts.

    I had also see I have inverted few note (shame on me) I hope your apologize for this as this is a long and hard work to creat this article.

    For Lightwave comments and users who disagree with me, I forget to include saslite hairs and I remove Nurbs (In my head Nurms from Tab key in lightwave was a working like mode) so with no IGES file support, no "real" Nurbs are possible.

    For Blender I add in Top Unique Features the Sculpting and nodals compositing.

    I also splitted Soft bodies and Cloths tools.

    I give more details on animations tools and uv I have worked with...

    Here is updated :

  79. Benoît

    you should change not only that but also your NURBS section.

    Calling Maya Robust and C4D Good and Blender Poor disqualifies you.

    C4D as Blender only support NURBS cuvres (b-spline, NURBS curve) and
    the surface creation tool (Lathe, Loft, Skin, Extrude). Big deal both is very basic.

    Between C4D and Blender is hardly any difference.

    C4D hyperNURBS is nothing else than a subdivision surface modifier.
    It has nothing to do with NURBS, hence why they call it hyperNURBS.
    Blender offers the same feature.

    The major difference is that C4D can also boolean subsurfaces pretty good.
    It simulates for some degree some sort of trimming and curve projecting.

    Both programs use those basic tools as a creation tool. However complex
    surfaces which require control over surface continuity (tangency, curvature)
    are impossible to do in both. Also functions like trim, attach, etc are greatly missing.

    That is where Maya beats them all. Mayas NURBS tool set is very close to what Rhino
    offers. In that term I would call Maya's NURBS excellent and not Robust.

    Specifically Maya can animate NURBS patch objects without breaking seams.

  80. Perhabs someone already mentioned it: it is really stupid to test the 800$ base package of Cinema 4D against
    3ds max and Maya complete, which are at a much higher price. The same holds for XSI fnd.
    For the price of 3ds max you could buy C4D with all modules (and you can buy them at the time you _need_ them). I'm not sure if there's an upgrade path from XSI fnd. to adv. but still XSI ess. is cheaper than 3dsmax.

  81. Hello Claas Kuhnen,

    Do you really found Blender Nurbs powerfull ? not me, or with Vector file import...just try to draw a circle, stars or basic shape is a handle no possibilities to start drawing shape but you get a pseudo pre made 4 points curves..

    C4D or 3ds max or Xsi have all primitives shapes for 2D sections, can start draw curve from scratch, xsi and max can sketch it from zero... using E key to extrude à curves in Blender is a bit strange you don't think ?

    Lofting, Lathing or just trimming Nurbs in Blender is really good for you ? for me it's a nightmare, So it's your point of view and mine, I writed thsi article with my knowledge, I do'nt pretend I know all, but I know a bit and it's not so bad...

    So C4D is really easy to use opposed to Blender in this case of work, and you get more results with than Blender.

    I also specified that's is Hypernurbs to be clear.

    For Maya I agree Nurbs are the best, so near the best...Rhino beat'em. I writed Robust ! Robust is strong near than excellent. XSI is also really good in Nurbs and my two favourites are Moi3D and Amapi3D for design works.

    Here is my point of view, thanks for feedback and I hope that's help others :-)

  82. Hello Knax,

    Why Am I doing this 800$ package comparison to other that's cost 5.000$ ? to show that's the price not always bring the best tools!

    XSI or LW for a fraction of 3ds max prices offert similar and in soem case better tools, so user can compare what's buy with his needing...

    Why buying 3ds max if Lightwave can be enough ? this article is writed also to show to readers what's tools can offer for his budget.

    XSI Fnd for 500 usd is near to 3ds max without some advanced features, I think that's important to show this.

    In the bottom of article I suggest some package suitable for somes task and adjust prices for each. (do your ead article to the bottom?)

    XSI fnd doesn't really have upgrade path, there is just a time special upgrade path from 5 to 6. usually fnd don't have upgrade and you must buy the next release, so for the prices it's just half than others subscription.

    About Autodesk they never changed their prices, they always stay in this range of price. XSI change often prices and changed last weeks again with increase of Essentials prices to 1.000$ more, the goal I think it's to go in 3ds max or maya market prices range. No xsi essential is near than max prices.

    So a day Autodesk maybe try to buy XSI :-) I hope not !! competition is great to give users softwares evolving.

    About Blender, why put it into this article ? first because I'm use it and like it. After to show ignorant that's others and free softwares exist with sames features in some case.

    The thing I don't understand is why Blender community feedback to all this bells on interface? If all Blender users liek it, I normally get feedback like : "shut up Ben, Blender interface is great for all users" So if there so much reactions...there is not smoke without fire !

    I'm happy to do this "Bordelo" ther is good and bad to take from all of this feedback, I hope BLender dev read it and take the good.

    My 2 cents reply,

    Best regards,

  83. Oh I forget to say,

    I'm not afraid with you comments but do you realise that's peoples who read this a day can think Opensource is like closed users group ?

    So opensource is for Open...Open Mind, Open creativities...

    Here I read (sory to hurt) some peoples are really closed into their vision of Blender just because it's not commercial products and marginalised one...don't put blender into a closed and underground vision from new users...

    I sometimes regret Open source users a so close in mind than commercials products company.

    Knick Knack ^o^ regards to ALL !

  84. Well said. Unfortunately many Blender users are pretty closed in regards to any change. Its sad since often change can bring improved workflow and functionality. The interface needs to be improved and not merely to appease users of other applications, but to better accomodate the ever expanding toolset. Being an individual that mostly only uses Blender I recognize this.
    Well said. Unfortunately many Blender users are pretty closed in regards to any change. Its sad since often change can bring improved workflow and functionality. The interface needs to be improved and not merely to appease users of other applications, but to better accomodate the ever expanding toolset. Being an individual that mostly only uses Blender I recognize this.

  85. "C4D or 3ds max or Xsi have all primitives shapes for 2D sections, can start draw curve from scratch, xsi and max can sketch it from zero… using E key to extrude à curves in Blender is a bit strange you don't think ?"

    It is true that C4D provides you with already created spirals, helix etc. But I would not count those very high.
    They are not modeling tools, just primitives the packages comes with. There are plenty of python scripts for Blender to create those as well. So I cannot agree that Max or C4D has a major advantage here Blender could not have.

    "Lofting, Lathing or just trimming Nurbs in Blender is really good for you ? for me it's a nightmare, So it's your point of view and mine, I writed thsi article with my knowledge, I do'nt pretend I know all, but I know a bit and it's not so bad…"

    You cannot trim in NURSB. You can only trim planar curves. Nor can C4D really trim NURBS at all as well.

    Blenders NURBS tools are very easy to use with Lathe, Loft, Sweep Rail1, Extrude. I would say they are quite good for what you need in animation and I do not see a straight difference to difficulty in how they are used in C4D.

    In Blender you draw a rail and a profile and let the profile flow along the rail. What is difficult about that?

    You can create solid pipes so easily - not just skinned pipes. All you need are two circles in one 3D container flowing along one extrusion rail. Damn easy. You even have filled faces and you can bevel the edges.

    The interface is different - yes, but that does not make one program more capable or less.
    The work flow in Blender is fast - because it also has less functions like Maya. In case Blender would have the same tool set it would also be so much more complicated.

    The only thing I wish Blender would have is a more consistent menu structure.
    My students get to often confused.

    And the Button menu looks good but wasts visual screen space - a lot.

    A selection responsive dial menu in edit/object mode would be a very great solution.

    Robust versus Excellent? You visually also emphasis Excellent and not robust.
    With robust you also associate crude. Ne careful with the words you select.
    When robust means the best for you I would not put it next to excellent. Excellent will overpower it.

  86. @ claas kuhnen...

    >"In Blender you draw a rail and a profile and let the profile flow along the rail. What is difficult about that? You can create solid pipes so easily"

    Claas, do you know where I could find a tutorial on how to do this? And do you need to work with NURBS to do it? I have never used NURBS and only build with mesh geometry. I make pipes with mesh geometry by extruding circles and rotating several of them individually to create bends which is not a very quick or easy process.

    >"the Button menu looks good but wasts visual screen space - a lot."

    It took me a while to find that in the Panels menu there is a Zoom Out option which can reduce the amount of space the Buttons use.

  87. @jon: there is a nice video on nurb tubes by matt. Its on the blender site from the last bconf.

    maya is not robust at all, I had it crash on me two times today.

  88. I needed to change my outdated Polaris 180. I used it for 10 years and it was already over eight years previous when I purchased the house. The 280 cleans the pool very nicely with minimal maintenance. I put a 12 inches nylon sock (6 for $1.00 on the greenback retailer) over the exit going contained in the bag and alter it every three-four weeeks. This fashion I do not need to clean the bag. The 280 has a straightforward to deal with bag, a wider suction mouth and the again move device to move it from places to locations in the pool every 5 min. help to make an ideal job. Polaris sent me free of charge a G-9 coupler to hook it up from my outdated .seventy five inch pool wall return.

  89. I will right away grab your rss feed as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you've any? Kindly let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  90. every software has its own capability, advantages and disadvantages whatever. but one thing is for sure, every software has its own very problem with the user who cannot adjust or adopt himself to the software, say in 3D arts in particular, there are many artist whose not capable of using computer extensively, and there is other one that is an artist but a software developer at the same time.

    in short, all 3D softwares are better, but not all users are capable.

    Game Developer
    software used: Blender 3D, Maya, 3DS max, Wings 3D.

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.