The Case of 3D Softwares

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Abstract

With so many 3D softwares and packages, which ones do we use or when should we use Element 3D over Cinema 4D. Below are factors we should consider:

  • Speed / Deadline

  • Animation complexity

  • Technical

    • Shading

    • Simulations / Dynamics

    • Sculpting

  • Support file formats eg. vector eps obj fbx

  • Interactivity

  • Delivery format: screen, mobile, AR, VR

Comparison table

Element 3D

Cinema4d

Houdini

Blender

Advantages

Real-time renders

Industry-standard

  • Create your own setups / solvers

  • High demand if you are skilled

  • Open source

  • Eevee realtime-renders

Limitations

  • Complex animations

  • Sculpting

  • Foliage

  • Dynamics

  • Simulations

  • Rigid-bodies

  • Atmospheric fx

  • Cloth

  • Constant Shading

  • Pay for better rendering engines such as Octane or Redshift

  • Steep learning curve

Ideal for

  • product visualization

  • Mockups

  • simulations

  • Dynamics

  • Work with masks

  • Text animators

  • Video textures

Learning curve

Easy

Moderate

Steep

Cost

199.95

Billed annually:

  • $719.88 ($59.99/month)

  • $983.88 ($81.99/month) — with Redshift

Expensive

Free

Integration

Unreal Game Engine

Supported 3D Formats

.obj .c4d .obj sequences

Mental model

As projects becomes more complex in animation and larger in scale:

Element 3D > Cinema4D > Houdini

Possible workflows

  • Element 3D as a rendering engine: Animate in C4D / Houdini, export as OBJ sequence to AE for shading in Element 3D