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What is a good cheap alternative to Maya?

What is a good cheap alternative to Maya?

I have Maya 6 but will be looking for a cheaper alternative in the near future.

I'm mainly needing to mold/sculpt polygons into shape, slap on some textures, and do some animation ... everything being eventually exported to directx mesh files.

Any tips?

Thanks
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toddkellerCommented:
Hmm, well, there is lightwave which is decent and cheap, of course Max which is more expensive but a good program.

Check here, there are tons of ads for programs, and various 3d software.
http://www.cgsociety.org/

When i went on there today, there was another program that's been around for awhile, but they have a new release.

http://www.luxology.com/

Kind of interesting, i bet you'll find lots of stuff on that site.  I use Maya as well, and realize how expensive it can get.
t
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Jose ParrotGraphics ExpertCommented:
Hi,

If cheap is something under $ 2500, then Cinema 4D Studio 9.5 is the product of choice. The base product ($695) has a number of addon modules ($395 each) that really complete products: Pyro, hair, mocap, sketch&toon, etc. The Studio version is a complete base bundled with most of the modules ($2495 for competitive upgrade from Maya). It has powerful modeling and rendering engines and very good performance. Great user interface and wide number of features. There are a lot of books around.
http://www.maxon.net

If cheap is under $1500, then trueSpace 7.0 is a great choice. The base product ($595) or previous version 6.6 ($395) are complete products. There are additonal packages ($199 each) for enhancements on rendering, shaders, animation, fx, modeling, illustration.
http://www.caligari.com

I have TrueSpace 6.6 with all the plugins and Cinema 4D 8.5 XL bundle. Both import major formats (LWO, 3DS, DXF, BVH) and allow serious high quality work. Also well stable and allow net rendering.

Jose
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Jose ParrotGraphics ExpertCommented:
Hi,

Just remembered of Amabilis' 3D Canvas Pro is under $100.
If what you need is just to model and anime geometric stuff, this really cheap tool can be a good choice. BTW it makes a bit more than simple polygons!
http://www.amabilis.com/products.htm

And, for free, the trueSpace 3.2. Still a wonderful piece of software!! For rapid animation, probably can solve all that you want. I still have it installed in my PC.
http://www.caligari.com/Products/trueSpace/tS3/resources/default.html

I think your needs will be enough supported by these tools.

Jose
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gran88Commented:
www.blender3d.org

Blender, free, powerful, bit of a learning curve, and useful.
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