Can 3dStudio Max do the following? Version?

We need to know if 3D Studio Max sw, specifically, can handling the following:
Converting an existing vector logo into 3D space and than pull 20 .png's at a 0.5 degree arc as separate files.  The logo source file would be a pdf most likely.   We need to know if 3DStudiomax can do this and the version that can do it, before we buy the product and not just because their salespeople say it can.  We are not animators but into printing and some graphic design.  Thank you!
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The first part of your requirements is a pretty sure thing.  3D Studio Max can put vectors into 3D space.  How easy that is in practice depends on what file format the vectors are stored in.  You will find that other packages can do the same thing, Blender for example.  However, Blender is free, 3D Studio Max is not.

I don't understand what you mean by "pull 20 png's at 0.5 degree arc as separate files".  Do you mean something like cross sections thought a model or are you talking about animation?

You're quite right, the salespeople will tell it can do what you want.  They won't lie but they won't tell you about any alternatives or caveats (such as the vector file format).  Thats not to detract from 3D Studio, its a very good program, used by professionals in many industries.

When it comes to versions, Autodesk will only sell the latest version.  Though you probably don't need the majority of what it can do.  The way to get licenses for older versions is through e-Bay.
dee30Author Commented:
Okay I'm IT not A GD or Animator or Developer, although dabble in everything.  I'm trying to get this information for staffers here.  I asked them to elaborate on their original question in hopes of getting more input from EE.  See below:

Since I'm pretty unfamiliar with 3D as a whole I probably don't speak the correct lingo, but what we need to do is to take a .PDF or .AI Vector logo file and extrude it in 0.5 degree arcs for a total 10degree view.  These 20 files than will be processed to create a 3D Lenticular poster.  
I can do the extrude in AI, but only in 1 degree arcs.  This is the problem I have.

OK, trying to sort out the lingo.  Lets assume your logo looks like this:Example LogoIf you Extrude the logo, you get something like this:Example Logo ExtrudedExtruding the logo in an arc of 10 degrees you get this:Example Logo Extruded in an ArcYou mention Lenticular images so what I think you want to do is extrude the logo into 3D then render it from a series of angles.  Something like this:Series of views of extruded logoAm I right?
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dee30Author Commented:
Wow thanks for all that effort.  Here is the respose from the user inquiring about this

"You are correct.  The final diagram is what we need from our PDF logo.  Just 0.5 degree arc views."

So based on that is 3dstudiomax overkill, can we get it done with something cheaper or free(blender I think you referenced above).  We considered Maya 3D which is just about the same cost as 3dStudiomax.  Actually is this something you would actually be willing to do with our logo on a contract basis.  If so we can speak offline.  If you know of anyone we would appreciate a referal to them, too.  Thx
Sometimes pictures are the only effective way to explain.  Besides, it really isn't that much work when you know what you're doing.  For a proper result you would spend a lot more time tweaking the rendered look.  Things like the lighting and the backgrounds.

Yes, Max is overkill, Maya and Blender are too.  Blender will handle it with no problems (and no cost).  Pretty much any decent 3D package in the last 10 years can do this, although the visual quality of the rendering has improved in that time.

Thanks very much for the offer, but I'm a programmer and not really that good as an artist.  I have plenty of work anyway, I write 3D modelling and CAD programs which is how I know Max and Blender, those pictures are from one of my programs.  I do know a few people who will do this well, cheaply and quickly, it's something like 2-3 hours of hours work, mostly adjusting the rendered images.  Professional freelance artists use sites like Freelancer and Guru to find work, they will charge a bit more and the site takes a commission, but its a good source of talent.  If you do want me to ask just mention it here, if you let me know where you are in the world I can try to find one nearby (though it doesn't really make that much difference anymore).

There is time invested in learning of course, no matter which package you decide to use.  If you're likely to be doing anything like this again, it may be worthwhile taking the time.  I would estimate 4 or 5 days to learn enough to get this sort of thing looking good.

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dee30Author Commented:
Thank you very much for you efforts, time, and input.  I will pass your last information along and look into the free options and sites like sologig and the one you mentioned if we infact want to hire someone, while you have a point about the learning curve being worth it if we plan on doing these thing more inthe future.  Thank you again!
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