Modo or Cinema 4D for beginner - please help!

Right right. I can get alias or any autodesk software no problem. Wish alias to be retina optimised as it looks horrible blurry on my laptop. However can you tell me what’s the alias main advantage is over cinema 4d for ID?

Rhino 5 for OSX is a 100% FREE at the moment.

If money is a problem it seems like a no-brainer what software to choose right now :wink:

However can you tell me what’s the alias main advantage is over cinema 4d for ID

Extremely limited NURBS-capabilities

Extremely limited NURBS in Cinema 4D or alias? About to grab rhino now…

ummmm… they aren’t really comparable. I don’t think many people or firms cross-shop the two pieces of software. Ultimately there’s Alias and then everything else.

Sounds like you have some kind of hookup for Autodesk products…(not asking how)…but if this is the case I recommend getting that installed, and then designing your ID project to be very similar to one of the tutorial models. If your instructors give you flak, tell them “that’s the style of learning”.

No hookups at all bro…
Just been at Rhino site checking gallery. No one renders by Keyshot. All I’ve seen was vray, c4d and few flamingos…

hulk2012, you are overcomplicating this

I’m going to collect the (consistent) advice already dispensed here, add a touch of my own, and put it in list form

  1. Stop asking about Cinema 4D, stop thinking about rendering. You’ve got these people here telling you exactly which software is used in the industry and you keep bringing up irrelevant software and making it hard for yourself. Install some I.D. software and just start learning.
  2. That software should be Rhino. Really, it should be Solidworks, but you’re hesitant to install Windows, which leads me to…
  3. You should install Windows. You’re wasting so much time/energy trying to piece together an OSX workflow, even though I.D. is a Windows world. Using Boot Camp doesn’t put any of your existing work at risk (not sure where you’re getting that idea). I’ve used Boot Camp for years, on personal and workplace computers. To be safe, back up all your data externally anyway.
  4. You said 90% of your classmates are on Windows machines using Solidworks and this puts you at a “disadvantage”…do you realize how funny that sounds? “Guys I’m really stuck. I don’t know how to use I.D. software. Unfortunately, everyone around me is using the exact software I need to learn.” You are wasting a valuable resource: co-learning and help from your peers.
  5. Learning curve is going to suck no matter what software you use. modo’s learning curve is not “weeks” for someone inexperienced. NURBS is how the I.D./engineering/manufacturing worlds operate, so you’re going to have to learn it if you want I.D. work in the future. So it’s not a very efficient use of your time to learn polygonal modeling. I think everyone should learn poly modeling, but as a supplementary skill later on.
  6. To summarize: NURBS = Solidworks, Rhino, Alias, Inventor, MoI, etc. At this point just pick one and get to work; it’s a long journey.

I got your point. Any advise in windows bootcamp? If NURBS = Solidworks. Is learning Catia a step further or waste of time? I like an idea of 3D sketching though.

Most software won’t be retina optimized because very few ID professionals who pump CAD are using Mac’s (without bootcamp) for this very reason.

Adjust the display settings from scaled to a fixed resolution and it should sharpen up.

Cinema 4D is a rendering, animation, modelling package in the same class as 3D Studio Max, Modo, Maya. Great for creating “pictures” of products, but not products.

Alias and Rhino are surface modellers which are NURBS based and designed for accurate surface modelling and analysis. Even if other software can build NURBS objects (like Maya can) they are not designed to do it with the level of accuracy and precision that a surfacing tool can. (Maya is derivative of Alias Power Animator, the original tool which was meant for both CAD and animation)

Solidworks, Pro E, Catia, NX, etc are all parametric solid modellers. They have surfacing features built in, or optional plugins (such as ISDX) but they do not have the ability to do the same level of surface manipulation and evaluation as Alias and Rhino do. These tools are the most commonly used in ID since they do a good enough job at surfacing, and quickly translate into 3D solid parts which can be engineered and sent straight to tooling.

Keyshot, Maxwell, Vray, etc are all standalone renderers/rendering engines which create no data, they simply import data and render it out at the end.

Learning an animation package is great for making pictures. Learning a surface package is great for designing products, and handing off that information to either a rendering package or solid package. Solid packages are when rubber hits the road and you need to actually build a product.

So if you just want to make pictures, learn whatever you want. But don’t expect to show up to an ID gig with C4D as the only tool on your resume and have anyone really care. Most ID students graduate with good knowledge of 2 or 3 of these types of packages.

If you showed up to an interview and told me you didn’t know any practical CAD tools and the reason was “because I had a mac and didn’t want to install boot camp” my immediate reaction would be “What other lame excuses will you come up with as an employee?”

Buy a PC laptop. If you can’t afford a PC laptop sell one of your 3 Macs. Or take one of your 3 Mac’s and install bootcamp on it. I’ve run Bootcamp on my Macbook and have no issues with stability or cross platform issues.


I think your best bet is to install bootcamp on one of your machines.

I would not learn Catia. Catia these days is a much more niche program. Solidworks and Pro E are the most widely adopted packages, but Pro E sucks to learn which is why most people recommend Solidworks since it teaches you the fundamentals of solid modelling, allows for some complex surfacing, and has a good UI which is easy to pick up and easy to transfer those skills to other software packages. Likewise Rhino is also very capable, easy to pick up, and doesn’t have all the solid tools to complicate matters, making it easier to focus on designing an object and understanding 3D form rather than tool sets.

Sketching in 3D is kind of a joke - if you think about the nature of sketching on a flat plane, you only have X and Y coordinates, so “sketching in 3D” is usually just a gimmick.

Cintiq’s are great, but if you’re budget constrained I would spend the money on a copy of Rhino before I bought a Cintiq.

I see. Would you recommend rhino or solidworks?

+1 Hatts

Get on with it.

You should pick one by chance (close your eyes and point at one) and just start learning it. It would be utterly irresponsible of you to let the millions of people wait much longer for your life changing products :wink:

MoI (Moment of Inspiration) is another NURBS surface modeller - Created by the creator of Rhino. It’s a streamlined version of Rhino. I’ve played about with it a bit, and it’s very user friendly so it might be an easier way for you to start learning NURBS. That’s just an initial observation though, so look further into it. I don’t know what all of its limitations are, and whether any companies use it in house.

Lots of solid advice here from Cyber and Mrog. Like said, if you intend to get into an ID company, it needs to be NURBS. For vfx/games/archviz it needs to be polys. For marketing product viz you would typically bring NURBS models into poly modelling programs for rendering/animating. Good luck.

Thanks for your input brother. Appreciate it.
One thing i am witnessing is this whole idealisation movement. Company like The Foundry with their Modo trying to move 2d designers into 3d world. Me as a designer (graphic/photography) who is getting into Product Design world is trying to get nothing but right at the very beginning. Maybe somebody explain me why Modo or Cinema 4D market their capabilities and fit for product design industries, for guys like me? What is this all about? What are these amazing designed and rendered products doing there with caption saying “modelling and rendering with Modo 701”?

On the flip side - all your guys valuable advices about getting into NURBS…

Yeah, I believed the 3ds Max for product design thing too. It’s true and false. For concept work, standard poly modelling can be used effectively for simple objects. And it’s quick in doing that and making iterations. I’d say that’s why it’s used in fields such a PoS, exhibition design etc (also mentioned ealier I think). SubD modelling is great for making complex organic shapes. But there are a lot of reasons why polys are not (or very rarely) used in product design, from precision, to production, to a lot of things being more complicated/time consuming to model etc. You’re seing SubD methods cross over into NURBS now, because they are definitely benificial to creating certain forms.

Now, it’s perfectly possible to design and model products using poly/SubD modelling, as you’ve seen. But remember most of the work you’ve seen is by 3d artists, not product designers. They have come from a poly modelling background and have different requirements. On the whole, you’re likely to see better rendered images on a poly website, because material/lighting/rendering is their job. Some designers focus on this too, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg for them.

With all that being said, I’m still very interested in this Mesh Fusion pluging for Modo coming out, for certain concept work :slight_smile:. But don’t complicate it for yourself if you want to get into the ID industry. Take the previous advice here.

They aren’t lying. Someone modeled those objects and rendered them in Modo.

The difference is, they never left Modo and emerged into the world.

Those of us who are designers make things for the real world, not the virtual one. And to get an object into the real world (aside from 3D printing) you need a CAD software that can build objects with tolerances, thickness, features, draft, and complex assemblies. Those are all based on math from NURBS data one way or another.

As a student, I used Maya and sub D’s for lots of projects, because all I needed was a picture or rendering to show the concept.

As a professional, someone has to get the product from the picture to real life, and unless you’re just shipping designs to China to have someone rebuild it for you (thus making them the final owner of the design, not you), that requires knowing a solid or surfacing tool, end of story.

You’ve nailed it… Can you achieve picture rendering in quick time done in solidworks? I am finding Modo being very intuitive with its subD modelling though…

I really learn more out of this forum and your advices then from anywhere else.
Thank you!

I would recomend a Punchcad product. If you want to start cheap you could go with entry level 2d/3d

Then you can move up to professional level products.

I find Shark a nice balance between Solidworks and Rhino and the entry level versions have a lot of the features.

Once you create you model in cad you can export as VRML and render and animate in Cinema.