Cheaper Software 2?

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Idaho Razor(Posted 2004) [#1]
Well at school i can buy an education version of 3dsmax for around 700$ which is great! but i want to use it for commercial purposes... then i look at the price from and it's 3,500... so i was wondering if there is a way to buy the older versions (commercial liscence) and possibly get it cheaper? like R3.1 or 4?

I did look at other great modellers like Truespace and such but i just like the interface of 3dsmax... are there other modellers that have the same interface... or do i need to just suck it up and learn the other modellers? (right now i'm using Milkshape3D) which is nice but i miss the mesh smooth feature for renders... Thanks Agagin!

BTW i'm sorry about last time someone posted a warez link on my thread and i did not recieve an answer for my question unfortuneatly...

So can we not post WAREZ links and help me out this tome pls? :-( i'm sry again!

jhocking(Posted 2004) [#2]
No other tools have the exact same interface as 3D Studio Max. That would be rather silly, considering the main difference between the various high end 3D tools is the interface. I would recommend Maya (that's my favorite interface) but then I imagine the $2000 for commercial use is still too much.

I've never used Softimage but that's another high end 3D tool and apparently they just released a $500 lite version. You might want to look into that.

Truespace has a crummy interface IMO, and Cinema4D is just as annoying for different reasons. Still, for use with Blitz3D gameSpace (the game development oriented version of Truespace) is a good option because it supports b3d natively.

Ultimately though, my advice if you can't afford the 2 grand for Maya is use a suite of free/cheap tools. You'll get excellent tools/functionality for around $50 with this workflow: Wings3D for modeling (free,) Ultimate Unwrap for texture mapping and file format conversion ($35,) CharacterFX for animating ($15.)

boomboom(Posted 2004) [#3]
yea, i like maya. but try XSI, $400 for full commercial licence and can do everything maya can. try the demo and the tutorial videos for it from :)

Idaho Razor(Posted 2004) [#4]
all right cool, i have bought Milkshape 3D and it seems to be doing great...

What would you recomend for skinning? (Other than Photoshop) i looked into GIMP which looks great but can you use that for commercial stuff?

So i take it you cannot buy 3dsmax R3.1 or 3DSmax 4 anymore?

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#5]
no you can't, and I wouldn't advise max 3.1 its horrible and the interface got a complete overhaul since then. I can almot guarantee you wouldn't like it. Max 4 is about the bare minimum I would put up with today as it was the first release that started to fix the organic modeling problems and workflow. Prior to 4 there were no quad menus, no edit poly, and no gizmos.

jhocking(Posted 2004) [#6]
I recommend GIMP. It is GPL and thus free for any use, including commercial. Paintshop Pro is a popular one, although for the $100 you might look at Photoshop Elements instead.

NTense(Posted 2004) [#7]
Congrat's with the Milkshape purchase.. It's a good piece of software (though it has it's limitations, but for the price.. it's great). I would also suggest getting Wings3D and play with it a bit (go through the tutorials).

As far as 2D stuff goes, another nice free-be if you're running WinXP and have (or can download) the .NET framework is Paint.NET here:

It supports layered image creation, and I've seen some friends do some great work in it, and well.... it's free :)

slenkar(Posted 2004) [#8]

NTense(Posted 2004) [#9]
:) Lol ... Those are pretty rough Slenkar.. :) My friends have done some good work in it though.. Man they should take those things down.

Idaho Razor(Posted 2004) [#10]
yah that looks more like what you can do in MS PAINT, what i would be looking for is something more like gimp so you can make TEXTURES/SKINS for your levels/characters... and not 2D drawings/sprites...

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#11]
My advice:
(at least for making comercial games, as I'd also recommend Metasequoia modeller, and tatoo 3d painting for non comercial projects)

-Modelling: wings3d

-Uv mapping: Ultimate Unwrap (40$)

-Texturing: Gimp for Windows 2.04 (unless you are an other OS user). it now supports without glitches a wacom pen (I tested 2.04 today!) (in gimp for windows section, download the automatic installer, and the GTK module)

-Ui elements, Gimp if 2d stuff, and if need some 3d rendered stuff for buttons, the easier thing is Anim8or, by far :

-Animation: Character Fx (15$).

-Lightmaps: Gile[s] (40$)


a) Same mentioned Ultimate Unwrap. Is more than enough in most of the cases.

b)Deep Exploration. Excelent. But i think is about 250$.has animation conversion like Ultimate. never stops opening files, but stops saving files after 30 days, and of course comercial use is not allowed till purchase. .They also made the fantastic Deep Paint 3d.

c)I could also advice Accutrans converter.has some features not even avaliable in Deep Exploration, though perhaps the best converter is Deep. Accutrans is non limited in anyway, but it's license is shareware. It's a very powerful converter, allowing among other stuff, batch conversion operations (ideal fo asc files for compiling md3,md2, etc) for the low price of 20$.

d)crossroads. Very basic, and never sure if totally freeware.has some problems with some formats. But can do many tasks, seems is free.

In general, the combo Wings3d, Ultimate Unwrap, Gile[s](unless you don't need lightmaps) , Gimp for windows 2.04 and Character Fx use to be a very powerful option.

I know as I have used those (not yet used too much Gile[s], bought recently.But is an outstanding lightmapper. Access to that quality for free to that use to be only with high end packages...)

Well, as you see , matching what many have said.

pd: yep, that means a lot of learning, nothing to similar to Max, and you need to learn also to move between applications, and export issues...But I see not better way, with few bucks.

jhocking(Posted 2004) [#12]
I already mentioned it, as did Bob3D, but I want to stress the recommendation of Ultimate Unwrap. Not only is it a superb texture tool (I routinely use it for texture mapping models exported from other tools even if that other tool has texture mapping functionality, and even when the texture coordinates where set somewhere else Ultimate Unwrap has a lot of tools to aid painting textures,) it's file format support is amazing (among other things, the only tool I know that imports/saves either skeletal animated .x and b3d, and it does both.)

Idaho Razor(Posted 2004) [#13]
i found an older free version of Lithunwrap can i use that for commercial textures?

Falelorn(Posted 2004) [#14]
I would stay away from Milkshape, its in a serious need to be overhauled. Its UI sucks IMO. gameSpace is great for Blitz, and A6, Torque, DBP, etc

jhocking(Posted 2004) [#15]
You can use Lithunwrap, and I recommend it as the best free texture mapping tool available, although you're not getting a lot of the advantages of Ultimate Unwrap (Lithunwrap's shareware big brother.) There's no support for b3d file format, skeletal animation, automatic update of textures, etc.

Rook Zimbabwe(Posted 2004) [#16]
Paintshop Pro is a popular one, although for the $100 you might look at Photoshop Elements instead.

But these are two completely different tools... If you go to:
You will find a lot of freeware graphics (and other interesting) tools... there are shareware tools as well. The Graphics sections are the most interesting because there are several paint programs that are free or shareware and are very good!


boomboom(Posted 2004) [#17]
Bob3d, have you had any luck buying a commercial licence outside of japan for Metasequoia?

ragtag(Posted 2004) [#18] almost got my hopes up there. I've been waiting for proper Wacom support in a free app for ages (other than ArtRage). I downloaded the latest GIMP 2.0.4 now and tested it, and there is still no pressure support. It's just like using the older versions of GIMP with the flag that disabled pressure support ( --ignorewintab or something like that). Is it working with pressure sensitivity for you? And what kind of Wacom are you using? I'm on an A5 Intuos.

Also, the preferences in GIMP don't seem to detect it as an input device. :-(


Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#19] way. Emailed the author several reply.

You can always go to japan...;)
or...use for non comercial
funny is...i don't know the type of license of the's no where, and it only says comercial not allowed for LE version...perhaps he never though of someone supporting mqo format...but if brad did it, the formats specs must be, maybe he doe snot mind...

I mean, if you have that jewel, Ultimate Unwrap, it opens any mqo format so perfectly that is just seamless the flow metasequoia <-> ultimate.

And i have not read anywhere a prohibition of comercial use fo rthat one...

But I tend to be cautious. I only used for distribute , in a mod, this metasequoia, or for free models I gave.

That's why in a moment Meta was better than WIngs (not yet Virtual mirror or magnet (I got really dense asking for 'em ;) )) meta was better. But license stopped me.


I have made myself the proposal of post a bit shorter posts, and more useful...doubted anyone would care bout that detail...

yep, no pressure. But nope, --ignorewintab was not enough even for basic handling. It messed anyway when carrying the cursor to tools bar, and mixing the use with an optical , for me this is a triumph.
I use othe rtools fo rwhat u want. There EXISTS good ones for free.

Open canvas 3.x costs just like 70 or 80$. And it's the best.Imho is better than painter, and of course than Adobe. Even having less features. But the best wacom response out there.

There was an open canvas with japanese menus for free, a free beta , the b71 version. It had even network support, and the pressure support was wonderful. Done free concept art with it.

Is no warez, just was free and distributed for a time. Some of us keep it yet, as was not time limited :)

dunno the license, and can't read japanese anyway, but many digital painters used it.

It0s my fav, and some day will buy the new one.I tested the new and is....GREAT...just go and try it, please... :

sure u can afford 80 dollars for your passion... ;)
30 days trial available.

if you have no money, a not so good option is Pixia. Free.

only thing is..i prefer in all Open Cnavas, and I don't like the flicker when u make UNDO, which I make constantly while drawing.

As I see it, in wacom stroke/speed of response, and accurateness with hand feel+artistic possibilities :

1) Open Canvas (b71 seems to have same feel than 3.x this last has mor eoptions)

2) Painter 7 (dunnot like much 8)
3) Pixia
4) Adobe

I don't count Art Rage. Is a bit slow in response, though is very interesting.The oil efect is the best I have seen ever. I know as I oil-paint ;)

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#20]
oh, sorry, to your question. I have an intuos1 huge a4. But would prefer an a5 or even a6.

ragtag(Posted 2004) [#21]
Thanks for the pointer to Open Canvas. I'm playing with the trial version right now. Looks very good and the price is not bad either. It seems to have all the basic tools I need, plus screen tones which would be great for comics. Need to test it on my home computer (a 733mhz box that runs ArtRage a little too slow).



Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#22]

you do comics too...long years since I did my affairs...but was my main strength long ago...

ragtag(Posted 2004) [#23]
Yep, I do. :)

Checked out ComicWorks and CG-Illustrator too. Both are derived (licensed) of the code of OpenCanvas. CG-Illustrator is currently almost identical to openCanvas, but openCanvas was slightly better (I think it's identical to an older version of openCanvas). While ComicWorks is a comic specific drawing tool, made for drawing black and white (1 bit) graphics at high resolutions for print. It included lots more screen tones, and speed lines and stuff, that are very comic specific...or even Manga specific. While it was nice, it was a little too specific and mainly usefull for doing black and white print illustrations and comics. The only thing it has over openCanvas is that the lines never get "polygony" when you draw fast.

openCanvas on the other hand, is brilliant so far. It has exactly the tools you need and runs nicely on 733mhz. I own Painter Classic (got it with my Wacom), and though it's nice lacks some features. Only compaints I have about openCanvas so far is the "polygony" brush strokes when drawing fast and that there is no OS X port (the new G5 iMac has me tempted). :-)

ragtag(Posted 2004) [#24]
Oh....I've also been looking at the demo of Moho ( ). It's kind of a cool little tool for doing cut out animation and stuff, a little like flash.

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#25]
Hey, ragtag...

opencanvas show no polygonal stroke here, no matter how fast I draw...

I experienced one thing once in a company...nt and xp systems tend to give way better stroke. Same with hardware power.

This pc has zero problems with all painting a pentium 4 2,4 Mghz, 512 ddr400 ram,(ht800 bus I think in motherboard) geforce 4ti 4200 128 mb ddr.And a very fast HD...Also, I tend to be quite freak on optimizing performance, have always my ssytem so, back years ago I had to work with Amorphium and thousand polygons models in Amorphium. -though it may come from my 286 and optimizing those 640 ks in autoexec and config sys XD

When I am working in some project, my hd is allways defragmented, and even I use to have a dedicated partition as swap. Usually using the same for minimum than maximum.Old myths perhaps of my past at photo retouch and press companies.

Yep, try that in a much more modern machine...Open canvas has been and is the favourite of may digital painter artist..some of the best use that, or Painter.
I prefer OpenCanvas, and even more, it's way cheaper..:)

I knew moho...there's something similar, koolmoves, but maybe moho is better.

Some how...i don't actually like it...
i could be preferring doing a quick material color-only 3d quick rig... or just do it in something like Flash Mx.

ToonBoon is very nice and not at the usual price tag of professional tools .Checked the demo of v2, and really liked it.

At the end, I saw there's no magic tool in that field.

In general, I prefer to animate in 3d. I have less work, and more fun ;)

CodeD(Posted 2004) [#26]
There's a program, which I can't remember the name off hand. I think it's called Oni or Omna or something starting with a O and one syllable word maybe? Which is software that converts any format imaginable to any format imaginable. So maybe you could use that in conjunction with the Max Edu version. Maybe some of you on the forums can help me with the name of that program.

ragtag(Posted 2004) [#27]
Just found this site. Links to lots of free tools, as well as cheap and expensive ones for doing graphics 2d and 3d.


Kozmi(Posted 2004) [#28]
Microsoft Paint is by far the most advanced paint program around!! More advanced than even Adobe PhotoShop too. :)

Rook Zimbabwe(Posted 2004) [#29]
Microsoft Paint is by far the most advanced paint program around!! More advanced than even Adobe PhotoShop too. :)
Doc... are you TRYING to get flamed??? ;)