In the world of computer graphics, there is no “best” application. The choosing process is influenced by the type of work at hand.
A certain 3D application would be most suitable for a type of work; nonetheless, almost all of today’s software are designed to accomplish most types of tasks, one way or another.
The criteria to think about when choosing your 3D software are:
- Type of work to be done
- Interface and ease of use
Some applications are expensive; others are of a lower budget while some are completely free, open source.
One of these free 3D applications Blender, is getting more advanced every year, yet stays for free.
When it comes to paid software, the decision making would happen based on the “type of work” and “Ease of Use”.
Two of the main 3D applications are, sadly, from the same company: Autodesk. It is inconvenient because no matter how much they are interested in pushing those software, the competition inside the mother company is not the same as an external one.
The two main applications from Autodesk are “3Ds Max” and “Maya”.
Everyone has their own opinion to which one does a better job; nonetheless, 3Ds Max is leaning, with its annual updates, more towards the world of Architectural Visualization, while Maya towards Animated Movies and VFX.
The upside to them being under the same company is that the migration from one to the other is relatively straight forward, and can interact with other software from Autodesk like Mudbox (digital sculpting) and Motionbuilder (3D character animation) which is helping me personally move from 3Ds Max to Maya.
At the end of the day, it really goes down to whichever software you are more drawn to when you weigh those criteria, since the more comfortable you feel with the application, the better the quality of your work will be.
Giuseppe Boschiero Technical Director & 3D Generalist