What is the BEST 3D Software? Maya vs 3dsMax vs Cinema 4D vs Houdini vs Blender

What is THE BEST 3D Software?
What 3D programs are used in the VFX industry?
What should YOU learn?

Let’s talk about the 5 main 3D programs out there: Maya, Houdini, 3dsMax, Cinema 4D and Blender!
Hopefully this video will help you figure out what is best for you!

Maya
– The main software used in the VFX industry. Powerful animation capabilities and scripting tools

Houdini
– The new player in the VFX industry. Complex, but powerful procedural 3D software application. Used for destruction, smoke, explosions and organic effects, e.g. disintegration and energy effects.

Cinema 4D
– Learn this program if you want to create title animations and motion graphics. Great for abstract 3D animations and clean looking renders.

3dsMax
– Learn this program if you want to work in the architecture, product design or engineering space.

Blender
– Amazing FREE 3D application. Great for beginners and pros, but not widely used in the VFX industry. IMO, the BEST program if you just work freelance or want to work in indie games or make fun YouTube videos!

Blender Beginner Tutorial Series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5luANNKuEc&list=PLs2aOcA-EaLNX5j2yxVQhEBpFgD3zDR9P

All comments and feedback welcome!

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100 Comments

  1. OrangeAnimation 27/09/2018
    Rispondi

    Blender sediment, maya best!

  2. OrangeAnimation 28/09/2018
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    Holywood can never recreate such german accent.

    • OrangeAnimation 29/09/2018
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      That might be because mine is real 😉 I see a lot of movies getting Americans just talking random words to play off as German haha!

  3. OrangeAnimation 28/09/2018
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    what about 2018 hollywood movies and games, what softwares they used mainly?

  4. OrangeAnimation 28/09/2018
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    It’s really annoying how he says Maiya :))), also 3ds max is not only strength in architecture, it’s a big player in VFX because of the many plugins it has .

  5. OrangeAnimation 29/09/2018
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    Yep, many young studios using Blender now and its a reason for that … Blender is an all-rounder tool! For example new "asian" movie NextGen was made in Blender (about 95%) and it looks astonishing! Project like this movie helps Blender gain new users and thats good. It can also be used as video editor cause when U have images need to join to anim U simply load them into Blender, add sound fx and "render" them in prefered format with one click. In fact Blender 3D is probably only program in the world where You could make movie without using ANYTHING ELSE! And yep, 2.8 will be a game-changer…

  6. OrangeAnimation 05/10/2018
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    This question comes from the novice and beginners, its the equivalent of asking, whats the best hammer to using if i wanna build a house. The most major thing to point out is this, every 3d application aims to achieve the same basic goals. so with that in mind any 3d application can deliver what you want. Which is the best is relevant to your skills, techniques and your own sensibilities towards the applications interface. ANY 3d application can create a Pixar looking movie, Disney or just about anything youv'e seen. SOME do not have specialized features like production level Fluid dynamics. But is available via plugins and or 3rd party applications. And what i mean by production level, means the in-depth fine tuning and accuracy, that can only truly be used by major production studios, who have the computing power to create such over the top content. NOW, that said, some application are more heavily used in certain industry sectors that others, mostly due to their ability to best adapt to a given workplace production pipeline. Maya for instance came from two pioneering cg companies who's software's (alias and wavefront)was merged into one MAYA, the companies themselves merged together. Alias-Wavefront, who was later acquire by Autodesk (along with a number of other 3d companies) to create their monopoly of 3d applications for various industries. Film (maya) broadcast (3dsMax) CAD(3dcad) etc etc etc. But bare in mind, though most film based companies use maya in their pipelines they also primarily use their own proprietary software atop the maya interface, to best suit their own personal needs. In a nutshell the question you really need to ask is what is your goal? and what application is most relevant in that field. because although the technique in all of cg creation is much the same, if your looking to get a job within a specific industry you should be familiar with the tools that most used. Again technique applies to any application, but knowing the software to execute your techniques is key. As such here are the industries and applications most prevalently used. FILM INDUSTRY (VFX MAYA,HOUDINI,MOTIONBUILDER) (Feature Animation: MAYA, APOLLO,PRESTO) INDIE FILM-TELEVISION BROADCAST: MAYA,C4d,3DSMAX,LIGHTWAVE 3d,BLENDER) ARCHITECTURE-DESIGN (3DCAD,MAX,Sketchup,MAYA,C4D,UNREAL3D, MOTION DESIGN: C4D,BLENDER,MAYA, MAX.

  7. OrangeAnimation 05/10/2018
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    Houdini and Cinema 4D should never be mentioned in the same breath again.

  8. OrangeAnimation 06/10/2018
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    XSI

  9. OrangeAnimation 06/10/2018
    Rispondi

    pronounce MY- AH

  10. OrangeAnimation 06/10/2018
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    Where are u from?

  11. OrangeAnimation 06/10/2018
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    Its about the Artist, not about the tool.

  12. OrangeAnimation 07/10/2018
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    blender,因为我喜欢独立做点东西

  13. OrangeAnimation 08/10/2018
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    1:58 Maya’s MEL is a pretty crap language — compare the Python DOM scriptability in Blender. Maya has tried to adopt Python, too, but it is just a straight transliteration of the MEL API.

  14. OrangeAnimation 08/10/2018
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    5:25 You forgot Softimage! Which Autodesk bought and shut down. Not to mention PowerAnimator. And LightWave 3D, back in the day when it was good enough for professional work like the Babylon 5 TV series. So the idea that the big studios are using tools like Maya, 3DS Max etc just because they were always using them is … umm … somewhat nonsensical.

    • OrangeAnimation 08/10/2018
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      Yet, those are the tools that have persevered in the industry – and a lot of it came from them being in the field early and being most widely adopted at that time. Lots of other programs came and went, lots of programs are still around that I didn't mention, but for the most part if you're looking to work in such a big established studio (as is the question I get most often), I'd recommend learning one of the 'staples' of the industry

  15. OrangeAnimation 08/10/2018
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    6:33 You can always hire someone to support you. Open Source means any competent software team should be able to manage it. Any large outfit would have in-house developers with the right sort of skillset, wouldn’t it?

    • OrangeAnimation 08/10/2018
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      You can and open source certainly means anyone can fix it – assuming they have the skills. But if you are a software house with 500 people skilled in the 'staples' of the industry, trying to bring in Blender doesn't make much sense. The cost savings on licensing fees are minuscule compared to the cost of re-training everyone and rebuilding all pipelines to fit around Blender. Hence why Blender has a much better chance to grow into new studios coming up

    • OrangeAnimation 08/10/2018
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      The savings are not just on direct licence fees, but also on compliance costs (keeping track of installations) and the flexibility of being able to deploy extra seats as quickly as you can install the software. And the fact that the artists can run exactly the same software on their own machines at home.

  16. OrangeAnimation 08/10/2018
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    9:00 Bear in mind that the Apprentice version of Houdini cannot be used for commercial work. That would mean not posting your work on commercial sites like YouTube or Facebook.

    • OrangeAnimation 08/10/2018
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      I don't think that is true. Same as for Nuke Non Commercial, making YouTube videos to showcase your skills (or making tutorials) does not qualify as 'commercial work'. I'd have to check the fine print though on the EULA, but I am pretty certain you can make YouTube videos using the Apprentice version

    • OrangeAnimation 08/10/2018
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      So, commercial sites like YouTube and Facebook are allowed to make money off your work, but you are not?

  17. OrangeAnimation 08/10/2018
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    blender shills are always good for a laugh. only because that's the only thing you hobbists can afford it doesn't mean it is the best. in fact, it's awful for anything serious.

  18. OrangeAnimation 09/10/2018
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    Surfaced Studio… just a follow up about my comments that youTube marked as spam… did YouTube offer specifics or was it just a generic algorithm? have you seen mark lanisters recent comments? Smaug, Chamade, etc. pointless untrue and vulgar … i make a point to correct mis information with many example links (9 out of 10 are Youtube allowed content examples… a couple of vimeo links…), while I may use colorful adjectives, I don't curse or use some of the vulgar terms I see listed in other comments on this page, and i always strive to make a valid point in defense…rather than simplistic insults or vulgar rants… somehow youTube misses those, huh? And if it went to your spam, they certainly didn't explain or notify me. Much less offer a chance for me to respond to them directly…(something missing from their options)…. Oh yeah, and while I may be considered to "promote" blender by some… youTube allows others to create channels and post comments to "promote" commercial for profit softwares from which Youtube recieves no direct payment… blender is free software provided by a non-profit entity for the public good… the others are promoting for profit, commercial products for companies that have advertising and marketing budgets of their own that isn't spent on Software development… ironic that Youtube is blaming me for "spam", while allowing other to be abusive and give free advertising for the "for profits and their products".

  19. OrangeAnimation 09/10/2018
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    with realistic render engines cinema 4d is the best now a days

    • OrangeAnimation 09/10/2018
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      All of them have 'realistic' render engines 🙂 Just depends on which one you prefer

  20. OrangeAnimation 09/10/2018
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    C4D hands down. it's easy to use and learn for creative thinking artists. the others are counterintuitive. blender may be free but it's almost impossible to navigate. maya and max require a different brain processing.

  21. OrangeAnimation 10/10/2018
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    big thanks

  22. OrangeAnimation 10/10/2018
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    I just wanted to hear ( it's the easiest ) thank you … it's cinema 4D

  23. OrangeAnimation 10/10/2018
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    so far I can tell somthing is done with digital softwear no matter how good they are "mimicking" real photography …watching any hollywood flick my eye can clearly detect somthing is not quite there **…there really is nothing like a REAL PHOTO capture**

  24. OrangeAnimation 10/10/2018
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    good overall overview of the soft and industry – good job***

  25. OrangeAnimation 11/10/2018
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    Nobody can afford Maya. heck, I can buy a new car for that price.

    • OrangeAnimation 11/10/2018
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      Professionals and big studios can and do afford Maya hence why it's such a big player in the industry 🙂 There are cheaper (and even free) options available though. Just depends on where you're at and where you want to go

  26. OrangeAnimation 11/10/2018
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    Zbrush is awesome but it is strictly a sculpting package. No volumetric lighting, animations or particle systems.

  27. OrangeAnimation 12/10/2018
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    blender has only one job and one job only. and this is. to make other 3d applications more affordable.

  28. OrangeAnimation 12/10/2018
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    i think – Blender and Cinema 4D – because: Cinema 4D crashes barely,Blender has Cycles render engine and it is free,version 2.80 will be released soon and has got realtime render engine Eevee

  29. OrangeAnimation 12/10/2018
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    I wouldn't recomend Houdini for beginners,is quite difficult,i am still learning this,every operator connects to different tree,all polygon operations are being done differently by connecting to the main tree.at the beginning i would recommend 3ds max – it was popular very much in Poland and new Arnold render engine has denoiser and new version has replaced mental ray by Arnold,which for me seems to be faster.

  30. OrangeAnimation 12/10/2018
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    i would also learn Modo and Softimage 2015 SP2 – because they seem to be much more stable: Blender,Softimage,cinema 4D very fast and stable 3D softwares

  31. OrangeAnimation 13/10/2018
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    If blender has a traditional way of operation, it will spread more widely….When I saw the tutorial for the blender, I would say, wow, this is really cool. . . But when I used it, I found that I spent a lot of time fighting with its interface…..

  32. OrangeAnimation 13/10/2018
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    Hi brother, am really eager to learn 3d animation. I have Maya but I dont know where to start kindly advice

    • OrangeAnimation 16/10/2018
      Rispondi

      Sorry, I don't use Maya. However, I have plenty of tutorials for Blender on my channel that can get you started quick 😀

  33. OrangeAnimation 13/10/2018
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    God gave the Blender!

  34. OrangeAnimation 13/10/2018
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    and modo is a good choice

  35. OrangeAnimation 13/10/2018
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    It's very simple. The one that makes you the most money.
    You can hold to Blender but if you want to work in a high end VFX facility you will not get the job unless you are willing to switch to say, maya.
    You can hold onto Houdini as a freelancer but you might lose on a lot of money due to the yearly cost while Blender could do the same for what you do.

    People fanboy a lot over programs. That is the first red flag as someone who hires artist on a regular basis.

  36. OrangeAnimation 14/10/2018
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    I'm using Linux, so blender is an obvious choice for me. And blender is very powerful. Can't wait for version 2.8

    • OrangeAnimation 16/10/2018
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      I'm on Windows so I have plenty of options, but I do like Blender as well 🙂 2.8 is going to be pretty awesome, I hope they add some more features around particles as well (as I like to use them a lot), but there's so much good stuff coming it's hard to complain either way XD

    • OrangeAnimation 16/10/2018
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      My PC runs slow on Windows, had to use Linux. Plan to upgrade next year. Thanks for the video by the way. Before this I only know about blender, maya, and 3ds max

  37. OrangeAnimation 15/10/2018
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    BLENDER

  38. OrangeAnimation 16/10/2018
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    You just can't beat free software.

    • OrangeAnimation 16/10/2018
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      That depends on what your criteria are. If price is the only factor then yup, can't beat free. However, there are lots of features that aren't available in Blender and, if you're looking to work in a studio that already uses one of the big software products, you might be better off using an educational / Apprentice version to learn the tools that are more likely to get you a job 🙂

    • OrangeAnimation 17/10/2018
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      +Surfaced Studio That maybe true but in most of my freelance work, blender and it's plugins have been more than enough for me 🙂

    • OrangeAnimation 17/10/2018
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      If it provides you with all you need then you're in a good spot – and in that case, you really can't beat free 🙂

  39. OrangeAnimation 17/10/2018
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    thank u for your information

  40. OrangeAnimation 17/10/2018
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    thats confused, if you were experienced for long time using blender, but company dont need blender, what should we do? learning maya or 3dsmax for zero?

    • OrangeAnimation 17/10/2018
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      If the company doesn't use Blender and you want to work there you will have to learn the tools you need to get the job. If you're an expert in Blender though and you have an impressive portfolio you can get in almost anywhere – just be prepared to learn 'from zero' if you have to. In the end you should know the techniques, not just the tools so the knowledge should be pretty transferrable

    • OrangeAnimation 17/10/2018
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      in my country, there aren"t jobdesk specialist, most of them are generalist 3d,so you must do riging, modeling and animate at the same time, its terrfying and make me stressfull

  41. OrangeAnimation 18/10/2018
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    I'm with cinema 4d

  42. OrangeAnimation 18/10/2018
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    dont forget 3ds max have a greates plugins for all kind of effects

  43. OrangeAnimation 18/10/2018
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    Blender is power in the hands of the people.

  44. OrangeAnimation 19/10/2018
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    don't focus too much on the tools out there! … they are all good enough and will chance a few times in a career – focus on your skills as an artist thats the key to success.

  45. OrangeAnimation 19/10/2018
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    thanks much help!

  46. OrangeAnimation 19/10/2018
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    still many world class production house using 3ds max

  47. OrangeAnimation 19/10/2018
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    Anything not autodesk.

  48. OrangeAnimation 20/10/2018
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    Excellent overview of all products. Thanks

  49. OrangeAnimation 20/10/2018
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    "lack of support" ….. blender is updating everyday, and everyday, they are taking steps to the new version

    • OrangeAnimation 20/10/2018
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      Please see my pinned comment with clarifications. I am talking about legal liability and SLAs

  50. OrangeAnimation 21/10/2018
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    What about Modo?

  51. OrangeAnimation 21/10/2018
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    Which is the best ?no answer,your answer is the best answer.I get it from your video,thank you very much.

    • OrangeAnimation 22/10/2018
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      No worries. I felt that 'it depends' is the only valid answer you will (and should) ever get if you're asking any sort of 'what is the best…?' question 😀

  52. OrangeAnimation 22/10/2018
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    You explain so detail, which one we should choice for our work exactly Good video

  53. OrangeAnimation 23/10/2018
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    Blender is top class but UI is not easy and hard to remember all shortcuts. I agree with S Studio that Blender directs different learning curves than other traditional 3d program.

    • OrangeAnimation 24/10/2018
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      Blender's UI is getting a big overhaul with the upcoming release of version 2.8 🙂 Shortcuts are really useful though if you can remember them

  54. OrangeAnimation 24/10/2018
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    lack of support is an overstatement.
    The main reason why Blender is not widely used in the industry is because it doesn't have a billion dollar corporation behind it. Autodesk monopolised the whole market with software based on visual effects. some of them are OK some of them are sh….

  55. OrangeAnimation 25/10/2018
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    Lightwave 3D

  56. OrangeAnimation 25/10/2018
    Rispondi

    The only thing about this video that I don't like, is that it doesn't mention Softimage XSI as part of history, Autodesk bought it and killed it, even though its user base were smaller than Maya or 3dmaxs, it was actually BETTER than almost all the competition, only beaten by Modo in the modeling part, and Houdini in the procedural part, which Softimage was second in the industry, but Autodesk Killed it to substract features to 3dmax and Maya, like the procedural materials, and other stuff, that Autodesk is taking FOREVER to implement, half of the new features in Maya, 3dmax, cinema4d and mood, Softimage had it since 2003, but as it is, money move the industry, and not the software, regardless how good or ahead for its time it is.

  57. OrangeAnimation 25/10/2018
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    what about zbrush?

  58. OrangeAnimation 25/10/2018
    Rispondi

    Этот бицепс…

  59. OrangeAnimation 27/10/2018
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    what about After Effects…???

    • OrangeAnimation 29/10/2018
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      After Effects is not a 3D program 😉

    • OrangeAnimation 29/10/2018
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      +Surfaced Studio Right but i heard that we can use element 3d or use cinema4D plugins for 3d and mocha plugin for tracking..

  60. OrangeAnimation 27/10/2018
    Rispondi

    Merde je fous quoi ici ?

  61. OrangeAnimation 27/10/2018
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    This video is really useful / Thank you so much x100!

  62. OrangeAnimation 28/10/2018
    Rispondi

    Hi. I am a Mechanical Design Engineer. I did a 3D model of a factory(Manufacturing plant) using Solid Edge Software. I want to animate the whole factory like a walk through or a fly through. I already have the 3D model built in STEP format. I need to introduce the animation part into it, which application should I go for? Please advice.

  63. OrangeAnimation 28/10/2018
    Rispondi

    I use a blend and never crach this program for my pc

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