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Best software to start an architect rendering / animation business.
show user profile  Manolo
Hi there,

I've been putting food on my plate doing arch-viz r&a for the last 12 years or so.
I've been considering on either pushing it up a notch or taking another career direction.

One of the main decision issue is the software.

I've been riding the max horse for many years now. The pros: I know a bit of my way around it for my trade, the cons:

a) It's pricing policies, specially if you're thinking in a few people working with you.

b) I feel autodesk's fellows toast laughing "another, seriously?" and start smoking 100 bills.

Sooo, I would like opinions on other tools. Blender, sketchup, cinema4D, maya (I know), mobo, etc.

One point: I love vray as a rendering tool. -for when their own's 3D pack?-
So it would be nice it works with it (I think most of them do)

Some other considerations:

-Easiness to work with autocad, still the client's weapon of choice-, and other platforms. Blender, revit are growing fast.

-The hardware: I'm a little tired of working with "fast", unstable, networking hellish, moneysaving? frankenstein machines. I remember southpark's guys use out of the shelf macs and they're quite happy. For example.

-Altough I don't plan on being right away capable of modelling a realistic scrambled eggs, I'd like a reasonable learning curve. Not too far away from home, if possible.

- The edges: I'd like to keep exploring interusability with AR, 3D, VR, Unreal, unity, etc.

- The output: well, as totally pro as possible.

Well, that's about it.

Any thoughts?



read 567 times
8/10/2016 1:15:39 AM (last edit: 8/10/2016 1:15:39 AM)
show user profile  Manolo
Seems like the traffic has really slowed down!

read 542 times
8/11/2016 1:39:04 AM (last edit: 8/11/2016 1:39:04 AM)
show user profile  donvella
a) yeh that sucks, but in Australia its a tax writeoff so its not so much of a problem unless u have cashflow issues
b) yeh AD dont have the best userbase reputation but ... if there was a better solution im sure you would have heard about it by now. Sketchup + Vray is getting good from what I see but nothing to make me do the jump from 3ds max yet as an archviz guy myself.

- If you love Vray, wait til you try Corona... This changed my entire workflow for archviz, I find myself now focussing more on design less on technical issues

- Fast machines work well with 3ds max, even with +64 cores

- Houdini is a great option for complicated stuff if you need for sims, water, fx etc but as a standalone package can be too much of a headache for archviz users, considering we have stupid short deadlines u barely get time to relearn in-depth software/plugins.

- I am and Im sure alot of the community would agree 3ds max is not enitrely fun to use in certain situations, but its miles ahead of the competition in terms of what we need to do on a daily basis; convert deal with DWG, quick lighting setups, viewport is actually quite good if you optimise on the fly (i spent alot of time fixing peoples scenes that some guys find 'incredibly slow!!' to find out they have a 5billion polly rock sitting under their terrain and they wonder why max is a piece of shit etc.

read 537 times
8/11/2016 3:35:39 AM (last edit: 8/11/2016 3:35:39 AM)
show user profile  Manolo
Thanks a lot donvella.

- I'm sure what you charge for renders is quite better in Australia.
-Is corona as fast and easy like vray for animations?
-Yeah, they do work OK, but networking gets quite tricky sometimes...I don't know if that happens with macs.

I'd like to know what Strat says about C4D, Garp for -modo?

Max is powerful, we know it is. But are there others? I know of some very big architectural firms that are working on sketchup, for example.

Anyway, my question should have been: do you use another tool? Why?



read 496 times
8/12/2016 2:33:29 AM (last edit: 8/12/2016 2:33:29 AM)
show user profile  donvella
Im sure others can chime in, ive used C4d, Houdini, Maya, Max for commercial jobs, dabbled with Modo for half a day (and read Garps reviews) - I still prefer clunky old max, it handles massive scenes with shiteloads of detail like a charm compared. They all have their niche abilities but for archviz 3dsmax its simple.

Corona - you set your frame range and hit render, no need to set any render settings. No subdivisions, no technical issues to fix. Its plug and play, literally my entire workflow has changed, for the better with Corona. I was able to switch our office over in 2 days, unbelievable to be honest and the quality has shot through the roof.

Id like to hear about other tools as well if someone knows of any

read 489 times
8/12/2016 5:56:48 AM (last edit: 8/12/2016 5:57:28 AM)
show user profile  mike_renouf
This is a little off topic - but if you are looking for a programme to substitute for 2D AutoCAD, to assist with your archviz work, I'd recommend giving this a try:

There's a free version which you could trial, and then upgrade to a paid version which is a fraction of the cost of Autode$k's version.

As far as 3D software goes - I'm in the same boat myself. I tried Blender a couple of times and felt terribly upset that such a capable package was saddled with such an awkward user interface, so I've stuck with max. Strangely, I just love using max. There's something about its interface and workflow which clicks with me.

read 480 times
8/12/2016 8:32:55 AM (last edit: 8/12/2016 8:32:55 AM)
show user profile  STRAT
hi mate

dont do much archi-viz these days, try to steer clear of it. too stressful, not much earning potential and not satisfying enough.

that said, i did love it when i was doing it. and yes, C4D/vray and Sketchup are a great combo. i use C4D for all these days, but 99% of my work is rendering and light scene editing. but, tools is tools. These days my colleges are even switching over to Corona. not used it yet (probably too stuck in my ways) but it certainly delivers.

listen to Don - he speaketh good sense :)


read 473 times
8/12/2016 10:18:17 AM (last edit: 8/12/2016 10:19:33 AM)
show user profile  Manolo
Thanks a lot for your thoughts.

Strat, I dig you. Was C4D a good tool for cad importing? What are your pros/cons? Networking? Hardware costs?

Mike, good tip. Checking it out.

Donvella, what about animation? Does Corona delivers? I've seen their portfolio and I feel it a bit more CG than vray. Maybe it's not updated.

Yeah, with max I feel at home too. Damn, as always, It's hard to make a choice.

Bolteon, if you're around, I'd like to hear about you regarding corona- I know you've even shaped up vray.



read 450 times
8/14/2016 3:34:50 AM (last edit: 8/14/2016 3:34:50 AM)
show user profile  STRAT
Hi mate.

C4D -

Cad importing - very good. Similar to anything else on the market to be honest.

Networking/hardware - again, much of a muchness when compared to other s/w on the market, all are up to similar highest standards these days.

Pros - easy to learn. Sooooooo much more intuetive and fun to use than Max. Vray just smeggin awesome. Does a lot more than a lot of other softwares. Better imagery than Max imo. Corona support.

Cons - makes you not as marketable as Max. Not too impressed with the resident renderer - Vray/corona are superb, but an extra cost on top of course.

But as mentioned, all pro 3d software is much of a muchness these days, all used professionally all over the world. They literally are tools of the trade.


read 438 times
8/14/2016 5:09:42 PM (last edit: 8/14/2016 5:09:42 PM)
show user profile  donvella
I used C4D in my first year for Archviz and loved it, its simple to use, quite powerfull and has probably more features than max these days, ask STRAT for details hes a pro - his work looks great.

I personally think Corona is better than Vray in terms of lighting and easily trumps it with Simplicity. You can view my comparison on my blog;

I still use vray for tricky things, just sayn for ease of use when u got better shit to be doing, Corona.

read 425 times
8/15/2016 6:43:42 AM (last edit: 8/15/2016 6:43:42 AM)
show user profile  FX
Vray in Sketchup is kinda kacka poop to use, I tried it yesterday, I guess if your familiar with SU's UI it's not too bad, but I found it bloody awful to navigate, and as far as I know Vray for SU is lacking a lot of features, I didn't stay around long enough to find out.

SU's UI looks like it was designed by someone doesn't use UI's :/

read 414 times
8/15/2016 11:59:07 AM (last edit: 8/15/2016 12:38:27 PM)
show user profile  LionDebt
With regards to 'this place being dead', I wrote a lengthy reply but then realized with time the other more knowledgeable MFers would make whatever I wrote redundant :)
read 393 times
8/15/2016 5:16:19 PM (last edit: 8/15/2016 5:16:19 PM)
show user profile  npcph
On the render engine side, when i was looking to upgrade from Mental Ray, I tried corona. It was a great render engine. It made beautiful arch renders with pretty much no work at all. my problem with it is the lack of support material to go farther then the basics. If you have a question, not a lot of places to get answers. And, I'm not a wiz with creating my own materials and i could not figure out how to make many of them. I would spend hours searching the internet and not a lot of answers or even places to ask the question. If it wasn't for the lack of info out there, i probably would have stayed with corona.

read 378 times
8/16/2016 5:45:53 AM (last edit: 8/16/2016 5:45:53 AM)
show user profile  donvella

This has more than enough information regarding Corona and how to make materials, where to find them and includes the Corona Manual. In fact, probably one of the most useful forums around regarding 3d plugins that I personally have come across, some very very knowledgeable people in there. Might not as been as popular when you gave it a shot I dunno

read 374 times
8/16/2016 7:21:17 AM (last edit: 8/16/2016 7:21:17 AM)
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