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Is 3ds Max the Right Tool for My Job?
show user profile  LJS
Hi All,

I have to model a fueling facility for a railroad and then create instructional videos on how the facility works. The fueling facility looks something like a refinery with a lot of pipes, pumps, tanks, and small buildings.

1.) Can 3ds Max handle large models without bringing the computer to its knees?
2.) Does it come with architectural textures and other details or do I need to find those things elsewhere. If so, where?
3.) Is it easy to animate scenes (mostly flying around the facility looking at components)?
4.) Can I put moving characters into my scenes?

SolidWorks was tried before but did not seem to be right for the job. Do you think 3ds Max is the best tool, or is there a better one?


read 358 times
11/15/2011 11:02:27 PM (last edit: 11/15/2011 11:05:23 PM)
show user profile  killerbee2
before the tool I'd say experience would come first for such a task.

read 346 times
11/15/2011 11:05:58 PM (last edit: 11/15/2011 11:05:58 PM)
show user profile  LJS
Yes, definitely. We'll hire a designer with the necessary skills. But the question is, what is the right tool for the job?

read 342 times
11/15/2011 11:08:15 PM (last edit: 11/15/2011 11:08:57 PM)
show user profile  DannyMax
I'm sure autodesk have a few other programs for the sort of stuff your talking about but I cant remember the names. saying that I've made a very detailed power statioin using max and it held up wel,l it was the computer I had to upgrade.

read 333 times
11/15/2011 11:13:40 PM (last edit: 11/15/2011 11:14:45 PM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
Max is probably the tool for the job.

I used to work for a company who produced simulations and animations of this kind of thing. What we`d do is bring the CAD data into max, and then build optimised geometry using the cad as a reference. The cad data was split into layers automatically on import so working on sections was possible. Also, that`s what quadroFX cards are for, handling huge datasets. Texturing and animating is then easily possible after that..

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read 325 times
11/15/2011 11:27:45 PM (last edit: 11/15/2011 11:27:45 PM)
show user profile  LJS
Yeah, AutoDesk has no shortage of products. We're looking at:

- Revit
- 3ds Max
- Maya

We don't need precision. We just need the facility to look reasonably close to reality.

SolidWorks was tried but we couldn't save our animation scenes, it was dreadfully slow modeling, the edges pixelated in the rendered version, and putting a character into the animation was out of the question. We're considering ditching SolidWorks and going with 3ds. Do you think that would be a good move?
read 325 times
11/15/2011 11:31:37 PM (last edit: 11/15/2011 11:31:37 PM)
show user profile  LJS
Yeah Dave,

That sounds exactly like what we'd need to do. SolidWorks was too heavy on the precision and too light on the animation.

Dave, do you work with other tools also? Is 3ds your tool of choice?

read 324 times
11/15/2011 11:36:40 PM (last edit: 11/15/2011 11:36:40 PM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
Yeah 3dsMax is pretty much the industry standard for that type of work.

I also use Cinema4D ( had to learn it for another company i worked for ). It`s a great tool as well, but Max is probably more streamlined for working between for example AutoCad data and visualisation. One other factor for this is that many graphics workstations are specifically set up and optimised for Cad/3dsMax in combination with the NVidia QuadroFX cards.

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read 317 times
11/16/2011 12:07:25 AM (last edit: 11/16/2011 12:07:25 AM)
show user profile  beezy
You might want to just hire a freelance person who has their own software. This scene wouldn't be bad on the computer at all if you keep it low poly (optimized meshes), and use low res textures. All you need is a texture bundle if you want the buildings to be detailed but if not, don't even texture them and save rendering time.

How many instructional animations? I'll do this entire thing for $5k, have your people contact my people.

read 313 times
11/16/2011 12:20:46 AM (last edit: 11/16/2011 12:20:46 AM)
show user profile  LJS
Thanks Dave. It appears we're on the right track.

Beezy, things are just in the planning stages right now. But if we get approval, are we allowed to post the jobs on this forum?

read 304 times
11/16/2011 12:48:22 AM (last edit: 11/16/2011 12:48:22 AM)
show user profile  CarnivoreMan
Autocad may not be bad for the modelling portion.. even Autocad LT or whatever the light version is called these days. You would still need something else for the animating and any sort of digestible renders. But it depends how complex, detailed, and accurate you need it all to be. Autocad is the soup de jour for engineering tasks... but may be massive overkill depending on your needs. Its not for modelling anything squishy, but that doesnt sound like a concern.

Plus Autocad is not something you'd just pick up and learn quick. I'm not familiar with Autocad or Max's latest GUIs, but I doubt much usability knowledge is shared between the too, despite both being from Autodesk.

... so maybe not Autocad. .. hey 3DS Max is a cool app, you should try that.

read 293 times
11/16/2011 1:13:15 AM (last edit: 11/16/2011 1:13:15 AM)
show user profile  beezy
Yeah I don't see a single thing you mentioned that would require CAD models, they typically have more complex geometry so you'd be better off just making it in non-CAD software. Use Blender, it's free.

I'll do the entire thing for $500 rubles, have your kassir banka contact my kassir banka

read 287 times
11/16/2011 1:29:20 AM (last edit: 11/16/2011 1:29:37 AM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
Beezy: Are you for real or just trolling ?

Website | Blog | Contact | Vimeo

read 274 times
11/16/2011 2:09:16 AM (last edit: 11/16/2011 2:09:16 AM)
show user profile  beezy
How can I be trolling when I made a valid response to this topic...the guy should not be using CAD from what I gathered. I also wanted to mention Blender since it could do the entire job.

Are you considering my joke at the end to be trolling? Seems like your post is more pointless than mine...

read 265 times
11/16/2011 3:05:27 AM (last edit: 11/16/2011 3:05:27 AM)
show user profile  Dave
"Yeah I don't see a single thing you mentioned that would require CAD models, they typically have more complex geometry so you'd be better off just making it in non-CAD software. Use Blender, it's free."

I think you need to do a google on "CAD"... Blender is CAD software too brospeh.

"I flew over Egypt once"

read 240 times
11/16/2011 11:07:56 AM (last edit: 11/16/2011 11:07:56 AM)
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