Places to learn 3D software in NYC?

Are there 3D software classes taught in NYC for non-students? Parsons? SVA? Continuing Education classes?

I think your question can be better answered if you know which 3D program you want to learn.

The info below might be outdated:

Pratt Continuing Education Manhattan - offers 3D Studio.

NYU Continuing Education (digital interactive department?) - offers Alias

Rhino3D - check their website they have a VAR in NYC that offers training.

ProE - Kean University in Union, NJ. It is an adult vocational night class.

Solidworks - CDM Institute NJ. Only place I know that is not a college or SWX VAR offering SWX training in our area.

University of Your Own Place - I think buying couple of training DVD and learning it on your own and searching/asking questions online is also a good way. I think for a beginner any question you want to ask there will be an answer available online already.

Thanks for the info.

I am still exploring which 3D software to buy and learn and welcome any insight on pros and cons of each software.

  • this depends see questions below.

What is your ID specialty? Is it product, toys, packaging, exhibit, aircraft interior …

Is rendering realistic images your primary concern?

How much engineering detail is included in your final deliverable to your client?

Are you going to supply your client not necessarily tooling ready drawings but a CAD model that would have all the internal features of the part described (ex. draft, shut-offs, boss, ribs) and explaination of how the mechanical working of the design would function. Also how important is it for you to easily modify the 3D model, because all the programs can model and modify these features, but some like Pro/E and Solidworks makes it somewhat easier. Basically when this is handed to the client’s engineers they would make minimal modifications and are ready to produce their tooling dwgs off of it.

My portfolio ranges from computer related products to consumer packaging. I’m going to invest in a Cintiq 12wx + PC + 3D software.

I’d like the 3D software to get me from free from sketch to modeling to CAD; but if I had to prioritize CAD/CAM would be of lesser priority.

For me ease of use w/ quality modeling is key.

If price was not an object how much better is Alias as compared to Rhino and other 3D softwares?


Rhino has a shorter learning curve, and a good blend of surfacing tools as well as a great file translator for importing/exporting to virtually any other CAD/rendering package.

The bad is that it has a useless default rendering engine, but it does support plugins like Flamingo, Maxwell and Vray. Studiotools has a fairly robust renderer (although it’s rather complicated) as well as some very sophisticated realtime rendering capabilities (often times you can get a real time render thats better than many normal renderings).

Alias has a more complex but very powerful UI featuring marking menus (gesture based command selection), and fully customizable toolsets. Rhinos UI isn’t bad, but it lacks some of the more complex customizations available in Alias.

Both are availble for free trials, Rhinos is 30 days and Alias’s Studio Learning Edition is free but puts watermarks on any renderings you do and uses a proprietary file format so it’s not viable for commercial use. I would play around with both and see which is better. From what it sounds like you’d probably be better off with Rhino to start.

This is good stuff.

If you would choose one 3D software for the long run which would you choose (again, if price was not an issue)? I don’t think I have the time to check out both.

I’m also looking to a software company that would ultimately be an industry leader and innovator with excellent customer support. By the way do you know which 3D softwares is widely used in the auto industry?

Aside from NYU is there other places in NYC to learn Alias? Thanks again.

Geat place to lean software.
Future Media Concepts

They teach 3D Studio Max and Maya
They have an office in NYC.

Alias AutoStudio (the full featured package of Alias Studio) is used by all of the major auto makers for their surfacing. They have been the leader for nearly 2 decades.

Where I work we use Autostudio in conjunction with Pro E to bring products from concept models straight through to production tooling surfaces. Alias’s ability to create very clean surface geometry combined with Pro E’s parametric/solid abilities means you can do just about anything between the two apps.

Of course when you start talking about those two apps you’re now into the price of range of a new car (and a nice car at that) :open_mouth: so it’s hard not to factor the price when thinking about it. But if you want the best I think anyone would be hard pressed to tell you theres a better combo.

Thanks for the quick, informative reply. Of course, price is of a big concern. I’m thinking of selling some of my high end electric guitars for this. :unamused: - Alias software.

At least investing in high end 3D softwares will (hopefully) bring in the dough, or at least make myself more marketable.

Well thats one of the reasons I say it’s worth carefully evaluating your choices. Rhino is still very powerful, and can be combined with something like Solidworks for more power (and a much lower price tag).

For example heres a car done in Rhino (courtesy of

Just because the auto industry DOESN’T use Rhino doesn’t necessarily make it bad. It has some limitations but is still very powerful for what it is. If you check out they have a bunch of renderings of models created with the software to give you a better idea of it’s capabilities.

That’s still very impressive. And, the rhino site definitely offers awesome examples. However, I didn’t see any sketching samples that’s akin to Alias SketchPro.

So, it’d be Rhino ($999) + rendering software.

You can try this to start. It’s a pretty functional cad package for a hundred bucks! I use the more functional version (shark) but via cad is not too far off.

Thanks for link lebeau. I’ll probably stick with Rhino or Alias for their reputation and wide usage.

I’ve noticed that a few places that do train Alias in NY area have dropped the classes due to the lack of demand.