Report comparing different specialist computer animation software packages
In this report I will be comparing three different software packages. The three that I have chosen are: Blender, 3D Studio Max and Lightwave. The types of things I will be comparing are what they can do, costs involved to install them, what platforms they work on, the quality of work they produce and where they have been used to create something e.g. movie, cartoon etc.
First of all I will be talking about Blender. This is an open-source 3D computer graphics software program. It is most commonly used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications and video games. Blender has loads of different features on board that can be used, some of the best of these are: photorealistic rendering, rendering is the process of generating an image from a model into an ultra-realistic image in the case of Blender. Another good feature used in Blender is fast modelling, with the large amount of modelling tools that makes creating, transforming and editing your models so much easier. In addition, Blender also has loads of realistic materials with the possibilities being endless; they make your image model look even better. An even better feature of Blender is the price, for the latest version of Blender there is no charge involved, yes, all of this is free and available to download. Blender is also available on three of the most popular platforms in the world, these being GNU/LINUX, Max OSX and Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. In relation to feedback of this program, over half the people that have written a review about it rated it 5 out of 5 with the most common themes of positivity relating to the price, cross platform use, good features and easy to learn to use for all levels of experience in animation software packages with the help of them many tutorials. Out of all of the software packages available, it is rated number 10, this figure is based on the amount of people that have downloaded it over a certain time period (last week). Blender has the ability to build high quality pieces of work, like it has done in the past. It helped create the computer game ‘Super City’ along with programs named Gimp and Krita. This program ended up being a very successful game and played by many people all over the world and was even published on social networking site Facebook. Due to the non-existent price there aren’t as many tools available as the other two programmes.
The next software package that I will be discussing is 3D Studio Max. This is a 3D computer graphics program and is used for making 3D animations, models and images. With the creation of the new 2014 edition, you are able to create much higher quality 3D models and visualisations. Some of the other new features included: loading vector graphics as texture maps, composite more quickly and effectively, create and edit to a higher quality and being able to experience more control with its new capabilities. This software package is very good for the previously experience people in this sector and comes at a heavy price; £3,300. To run this program on your computer, you are required to have either Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8; this meets the needs of many people as this is the operating system that they are likely to have. On the same review website as previous, there have been little reviews about this product but the reviews that there is, they are very positive with them both giving the product maximum marks. The comments that were made about the product demonstrate that it is a very high quality product. They also say that it is a very powerful tool and has everything they needed, with tutorials online to help them through and even free student versions available to help dodge the big price involved. The high quality also shows on the ranking of this product. It is rated 3rd on the most downloaded software package this week. This shows that the price of this product does not put people off because they want the high quality work this software package gives them. There are also loads of tools that can be used that can’t on other packages.
The final software package that I will be analysing is Lightwave 3D. This software package combines state of the art rendering, modelling and animation tools. It provides users with high quality 3D tools that will normally cost a large amount of money for a reduced cost. The features on this software package are very similar to those seen on the other two packages; these include: modelling, surfacing, rigging, animation and many more. Another good factor about this software package is the price, its only £600 which in comparison to 3D Studio Max is quite cheap as the features involved are very similar. Similar to Blender, this software packages supports both Windows and Mac, both 32 and 64 bit systems. This is good as it allows more users the ability to download it as this is the operating systems they are running on. Lightwave 3D is a very high quality product that has been used for many important situations such as blockbuster films. For example, it has been used to create special effects in Babylon 5, Star Trek and a science fiction television series. The programs features were also utilized in the production of Titanic as well as Star Wars movies. This straight away without even using the program informs me that this I a very high quality program that has been used in a lot of important situations, as described. This software package is priced second most expensive out of the three I have chosen. In relation to the tools it has most of the tools which Blender has which is expected and some of the tools which 3D Studio Max has. This means that this is fit for purpose for them who want some decent software but don’t want to go over the top on price.