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Comparing startup times for Blender, Lightwave, Maya and 3DS Max


I'm not sure how objective or conclusive this test is, but Twitter user @masu_cganime posted the following video where he times startup times for 4 CG apps. Fun to watch :)

About the Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I had to open max to convert a few files yesterday. pure torture when you are used to blender snappy startup.
    The worst part, as seen in the video, is when it opens it still takes longer for all the panels etc to load.
    I agree with tons philosophy of keeping blenders speedy launch time ( he mentioned it in a blender guru interview i think)

  2. I doubt anyone chooses their 3D program based on startup time!

    If you want stuff to open up fast, get yourself an SSD.

    • Of course, none. But as the practice shows, maya works as good as it loads. Constant crashes and awful glitches. And when you must restart it after the crash multiple times a day, it can be a significant thing.
      By the way, we have maya on ssd and it loads up for 25s. We have a bunch of plugins, of course, but who says it must affect the loading time?
      Oh, and what's more, when the gui is loaded doesn't mean maya is ready to go. It's just like windows. It shows you the desktop, the icons, but you can't do anything, until it finishes some processing under the hood.

  3. That's exactly been my experience and given my working habits of moving between multiple files throughout the day I'm shocked by how painfully slow maya seems to be.

  4. Load time its not an argument for choosing a software but its an extra item to keep in mind, i did spend lots of hours debugging scenes restarting constantly 3dsmax and loose lots of time in crashes, an ssd partially solve that issue but there is not always the possibility to get one or get a hardware update to solve that. Crashing blender an loosing les than 30 segs among restart time and cheking autobakupst that never slow down or halt the software (im not sure if 3Dsmax autosave its still the same today, i jumped to blender years ago) its a huge stress-wise difference in the daily day use of the software

  5. Yeah...loading time is important, especially when using 3d softwares which are subject to crash several time a day, even if from my experience Blender is the most stable.
    Now what about an installation time comparison :) ?

    • Oh god don't get me started on the productivity we've lost dealing with autodesk support just trying to address their licensing server issues that will crop up midway through a project!

      Also the other day maya was crashing opening an fbx exported FROM maya. Blender opened it fine.

      I'm less arguing that blender is perfect than I am how archaic and miserable even my limited experiences with maya have been!

  6. Andreas Klostermann on

    Blender is so fast to start up I basically started using it as a command line application. That approach makes it easy to make sure scripts work reproducibly, because Blender files contain a lot of state and state-as-code.

  7. Yeah and you can even use Notepad to have the fastest startup ever and write your .obj yourself! That's how idiotic such comparisons are.

    Next time do everything from opening to finishing your task.

  8. This affects me enormously. Blender's fast startup time is incredibly important to me: I'm constantly bouncing between Blender and After Effects (and all the others), and that transition time, as the app is waking up, is the time I'm most likely to lose my thread of thought. It's not about losing seconds of my day, it's about losing my drive. In the time it takes After Effects to load, my mind has wandered, and I have to spend another 30 seconds trying to remember exactly which task I was doing, and what the details were that I needed to hold on to.

    I love Blender for this. And I hate AE and Illustrator (etc) for this reason too. Why does AE need to scan every bloody plugin every single time I launch it? Ever heard of caches? And why in God's name does Illustrator need to take so damn long to wake up? They're all launching from SSDs, they all seem to do the same "gotta give the user time to appreciate our splash screen" nonsense

    I think this is one of the most under-recognised UI metrics. Thanks for drawing attention to it. Rant over.

    (I'm speaking as someone with ADD: the struggle to keep on-task is an hourly, sometimes minute-by-minute thing. Moving from Max to Blender made a huge difference)

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