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Which 3d app for VFX?

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Nikos Tsimpetonidis
Which 3d app for VFX?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 11:21:20 am

Hello everyone
I desperately need your advice cause i'm confused. I'm new to 3d stuff and I'm doing now my master degree on Audio, Visual and Computer systems for Production and Education. I'm mostly on the audio part and just last year i began to experiment with vfx and similar stuff, but never until now on a 3D application.

For my final project i'll have to make a short movie, in which there will be a lot of vfx. The plot is about wizards, magic and similar stuff, something like the Harry Potter movies. My question is, what 3d application should i use to do my vfx?
for example, there will be a scene with fire and explosions, show should i go with the Fume Fx and 3ds max way, or the Maya and nParticles way? What about Houdini and PyroFx? other scenes will have the wizards doing some magic with water, show Real Flow is the way i suppose, but should i use it as a stand alone application or inside Maya? Generally speaking the vfx i want to do have to do mostly with nature elements, meaning fire, water, air and earth. Also is Cinema 4d or Softimage an option for what i want to do or no? According to your experience, which one of the above programmes and plugins, is easier to learn and use , faster and most important, gives more realistic resaults?
I would be grateful if you could help me , because i'm a bit lost here and time is running... One last thing, unfortunately the capabilitie of my PC are in medium, so i believe that matters also regarding to which application/plugin i'll use.
Here are my computer specificatios in case it's needed:

MB ASUS P5E X38 chipset
GPU ASUS EAH 3870X2 /G/3DHTI/1G
CPU Q9300 Quad Core
Ram 4GB
Hard Disks: 2 WD Raptor ,150GB each
2 Seagate baracuda, 500GB each, in RAID 0 connection

Thanks in advance for any help and info and sorry for my long post and bad english. Also i didn't know where to post my thread so if it is in the wrong forum please forgive my ignorence. Cheers!!


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Michiel Duvekot
Re: Which 3d app for VFX?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:01:35 pm

well, they did use Maya on the HP movies, so it's not a bad choice, and yes realflow is a good idea ff you're going to do a lot of water, but if, as you say, you have "never until now" used a 3D application, good luck.

As far as the computer goes, you don't even mention the graphics card, so can we assume it doesn't have a high-end card? You will need something pretty decent. A quadro card if you can afford it, otherwise something like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 might work even if it's not qualified.


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Nikos Tsimpetonidis
Re: Which 3d app for VFX?
on Mar 12, 2010 at 8:41:23 am

Hello Michiel,

Thank you very much for your advice, i really appreciate it,i'll try the Maya way. As for my Graphics card i do believe i should get a new one, i'll try the GTX295 because as you said i cannot afford a quadro for now, though i know what excellent graphic cards the NVIDIA quadro are.
One Other question if i may, should i increase my RAM size or it's not necessary? I heard that water, fire and generally fluid simulations are big RAM eaters... Thanks again for your advice, it's been really helpful for a newbie like me :-) Cheers!!


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Michiel Duvekot
Re: Which 3d app for VFX?
on Mar 12, 2010 at 5:11:24 pm

4GB is a bit skimpy. You should probably go for 16GB.


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Nikos Tsimpetonidis
Re: Which 3d app for VFX?
on Mar 13, 2010 at 7:38:03 am

Once again, thank you very much for you input, It's been really helpful! Well i think it's time i updated my pc, especally my motherbord, since as far as i know it doesn't support more than 8GB of Ram. Thanks again, if there is something i could hep you with, let me know, cheers!! :-)


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