Making the move, “From Commercial 3D Software to Blender” Part 1

So. I have used software like Maya, Lightwave and Modo for some time now. The reason I could do this is because I have gotten educational licenses for the software. Well, I actually have a commercial license for Modo but anyway…
If I want the latest editions of these packages, I would have to upgrade my educational licenses to commercial, and that is anything but cheap!
My economy these days suck big time, so I soon came to the conclusion that this would be impossible.
So what are my options? Blender!
I have tried Blender many times before, each time there is a new version I download it and goof around in the the viewport, but every time I have been put off by the non-standard way of doing things compared to my other software.

The thing is that Blender IS a bit different from everything else, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
It just takes some getting used to. I have never before actually tried to LEARN Blender, but this time I have seriously committed myself into learning this software.
I will not lie, it has not been all easy, and I still am in the very early stages of “Mastering Blender”, but for each day I learn something new, and discover the cool things that is different, but good.
So, my goal with this series of posts will be to share my experiences with moving from commercial software packages like Maya, Lightwave and Modo to Blender.
I’ll compare features and methods of doing things along the way as I discover this myself.

There are many good reasons for using Blender. These are my reasons:

  • Cost (this one is obvious)
  • In the latest version Blender has gotten bMesh and bSurfaces
  • The integration of Bullet Physics (Same as in Lightwave, Modo, Maya 2013)
  • A very active and vibrant user community
  • Always get the latest innovations for Free (as in beer)
  • Deep support for scripting with Python via the API
  • A new rendering engine with a superb node based shader system (Cycles)
  • Great modeler (once you get used to it)
  • Some of the best UV tools available both commercially and free

So this is a pretty impressive list if you ask me.

I’ll continue sharing my experiences with this project, hopefully some of you will see that there is actually an alternative to Autodesk!

I don’t say that Blender is the best tool for everything, but neither is any of the commercial packages. All has its flaws.
But if you ever thought of switching to Blender, now is a good time to do so! New tools and features makes Blender a serious competitor in the market of professional tools for creating Digital Art.

Happy Blending!


8 thoughts on “Making the move, “From Commercial 3D Software to Blender” Part 1

  1. I’ll be interested to see your progress. But why leave your commercial license to modo? What will you do with the license if you’re not using it?

  2. Welcome to Blender world. I have the exact same thought 1 year ago when I found out about Blender 2.5x. The UI is so beautiful I was in love.

    Anyways, from Maya/Houdini, I found Blender to be a great additional tool.

  3. Hey Baltazaar! I subscribe to your blog a while ago, interested about Maya, Maya on Linux, etc.; and your blog is pretty cool with a lot great information.
    I use Blender since 1999 (almost a blender dinosaur) and already work in a Maya animation project. I had to learn the essential to animate, graph editor, dopesheet, etc. The first thought was: how Maya can be the standard of the market if it sucks so hard to work with it??? lol. After a while I understand the workflow and I realized both workflows, ANY 3d workflow, have bad and good features, process… NONE is perfect.
    Back in 1999, I started in Blender because the Open Source and Freedom philosophy (ok, it was a freeware that time). Now I´m keeping in Blender because it is the best tool with amazing workflow to do my work, my art and pay my bills (and, God knows, my wife bills) doing what I love to do! It is just a tool. But now, IMHO, is the best tool.

    I will follow close your next posts and, anything you need: tips, information, help; please, don’t think twice to ask me! The worst thing I could answer is “I have no idea!” or “I love Justin Bieber”!


  4. Well, Since the bigning of 2012 I made the move to blender 2.6 and I’m freaked out on How great is this program, I work in motion graphic industry (Television, documentry, ads.. etc) and we made some incredible work with it so far.

    I say without a doubt for every comercial user Move To Blender.

    from (3DS Max 9 years / Maya 4 years to Blender)

  5. I was a Max user for a long time. I briefly tried Maya (but it never really worked for me). I had toyed with Blender like most people now and then. Back then its UI was almost alien and not very nice to use.

    But then around 2.5 onwards, the UI just become so amazing. I started to look into Blender again. New features kept getting added.

    Blender out of the box, has a ton of things:

    A compositor (node based), NLE, Game Engine, Sculpting Tool, Python Scripting, GPU rendering, etc..

    But the most amazing thing that I find hard to get over is the SIZE of Blender:

    Around ~27mb!

    Compare this with Max or Maya, which fit onto a DVD?

    But I think the final results speak much louder than words. Recently the level of quality produced by Blender artists have raised the bar, and its certainly more noticeable than before!

    I’ve already stop using Max, and I don’t plan on going back.

  6. Blender is great. We are lucky that years ago people from around the world donated an amazing amount.

  7. Hello Madman, I found your blog useful, when I was thinking about moving to Blender from Max, so keep it going!
    In the last few month I used Blender a lot, but I had to face with the fact that Blender is not really an alternative in some fields, so I started a blog about Architectural Visualisation, Virtual Reality and especially Blender and 3ds Max comparisons:
    It also includes (will include) tips for developers to make Blender better.

    All the best

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