Hello. I'm a video editor and looking to dive into animation. I presently use AE and Motion, but looking to get a real animation program. What is the best bang for the buck and the best forward looking program? Maya, Max, Cinema 4D? -Brian
MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
In a very generalized world, you could devide 3D programs in roughly 3 categories:
1. Motion graphic-supporting software. Motion graphic artists in need of 3D renders often go for Cinema 4D. As far as I know, C4D has less features than programs like Maya, Max or Houdini, but is rapidly catching up.
2. All-round animation/VFX work. Maya is great for this. Other software in this category includes Houdini, Lightwave and Softimage.
3. Architectual/product visualization. Max is the big one in this category. Also used a lot in the game industry. Barely in video productions.
That said, there is no 'best' choice. You can probably get along with either program. You can get a long way using Maya for product visualization or Max for VFX. No problem. I chose Maya, because it has a very complete featureset and reduces the chance of having to switch to another program due to software restrictions. Look around you, what do competitors use? What do the people that do the stuff YOU want to do use?