TDT3D is now offering an updated comparison table of 3D tools. I have looked at it few times and they guy is updating the list from time to time. (another good source is of course the compare table of the CG Society ): Here’s what the author says:
If you ever wanted starting in 3D creation today, you probably need to know with which 3D applications package with you will feel better and which is the most suitable for you and business ?
Many new CG artists try many softwares before really starting their 3D business, that’s of courses the best solution to try out and know if you feel coMfortable with one than other, so after you can’t know all specs of all 3D softwares when starting in 3D…
Here is a comparison table with cons. and pro. for the most know today top industries 3D applications. This table isn’t intended to be complete with all softwares features available but try to surround the common today 3D cg artist tasks.
|3ds max||By far the most well know and used 3D dcc applications in the industries all around the world, so the prices for freelance is too much expenssive and old core based. The Bad since version 7 is the price vs poor new features, evolving !|
|Maya||One of the most know by popularity in the Film and VFX industries. Maya downside’s is on learning curve interface not intuitive and !|
|Blender||A good all around application first for freelance. Blender downside’s is on interface, who is not today “industries” common (no drag & drop, poor intuitive tools,…) and structured / centralised documentations, so it’s the best free all arround solution.|
|Modo||Probably the most modern 3D software and it is being developed rapidly. Very affordable and has a super strong user community. Multi-threading and a super flexible user interface And 3D sculpting tools!|
|Cinema4D||Very good all around application suitable for freelance/designer best quality tools for the price ! Not enough popular yet !|
|LightWave||An old but very powerful suitable first for VFX and VIZ market. LightWave downside’s is on Rig tools, so Render engine and shaders are the best you can found !|
|Softimage XSI||No doubt for the prices the Foundation is the best all around, so Imports/Exports is the dark side, but for 450 euro you can’t get better (exlude Blender for free !)|