RealFlow is an industry-standard, out of the box fluid simulation software. It is extremely easy to use and incredibly fast and it is compatible with ALL major 3D platforms.
It has unique features such as SPH (smoothed-particle hydrodynamics) which is ideal for highly detailed fluid simulations with tiny splashes and turbulent softwares, RealWave which is a powerful simulation toolset, ideal for simulating small to medium ocean surfaces quickly and effectively, and Caronte which is RealFlow’s cutting-edge built in rigid body and soft body dynamics solver; amongst many others.
RealFlow 2015 1 Floating/Node-locked license is available for 2095$ and includes 1 Maxwell Render license for 1 year. The maintenance for the first year is included with the price. For further years it is 695$ per year. You can check out the purchase page here
You can also try RealFlow 2015 Demo for 30 days. Check it out here
FumeFX is a fluid dynamics engine designed for simulation and rendering of realistic fire, smoke, explosion and other gaseous phenomena. The core engine allows user to interfere with simulation computation at the lowest level. It is available for 3ds max and Maya. With features like RenderWraps, N-Sim, Effectors, etc. nothing comes closer to this application. It has been used in titles like Thor, 2012, Iron Man, Spiderman 3, and various games cinematics such as Warhammer Online, Dante’s Inferno among others.
The standard version of FumeFX 4.0 for 3ds max costs 845$ and it includes 2 FumeFX SL. FumeFX 4.0 Simulation License requires FumeFX Full Version is available for and additional 195$.
The standard version of FumeFX 4.0 for maya costs 845$ and it includes 1 FumeFX SL and 5 FumeFX-mr shader licenses. SintiSati doesn’t offer any trial versions of the software.
Match moving Software’s-
Mocha is a award winning tracking software developed by Imagineer Systems. It follows “pixel patterns” through the most difficult conditions including objects that go off-screen, objects that are partially obscured, and even out of focus footage. It has amazing features like tracking graphics, cell phones and screen inserts, roto masking to isolate, correct and layer, Object removal, clean plates and digital beauty work, camera and image stabilization and tons more!
There are two versions available mocha Pro 4 and mocha Plus 4. mocha Plus is a stand alone utility for tracking and masking and costs 245$ for the full version. It has 2.5D Planer Tracking, Adjust Track Module and 3D Camera Solver along with many other key features. Mocha Pro on the other had is their flagship product with all the features of Plus included and bundled with advanced modules for Object removal, 3D tracking, Stabilization and more. It is available for 1495$ for a floating or node locked license. You can check out the purchase page here
The demo version of the software is also available for 15 days but with limitations. The exports are limited to 10 frame exports only and the render outputs are watermarked and the projects cannot be opened into the fully licensed versions. Check out this landing page for more information.
boujou 5 is an Emmy Award Winning Matchmoving software for VFX. It enables you to add computer generater effects seamlessly into your film or video footage. It takes the headache out of matchmoving. Two clicks and the majority of the shots can be matchmoved automatically. No manual tracking required, saving you time and resources. Features such as an automatic sequential solver, fully functional graph editor, reference frames and target tracker make this software really efficient.
Boujou 5 Node locked version is available for 4750$ which is a full commercial license. You can also rent boujou monthly for 950$. Check out it’s ToolFarm page here. You would also want to try the application before buying it and you can do that here.
SynthEyes is a standalone application optimized for camera object, geometry, and planar tracking, stabilization, and motion capture, with high performance and a huge feature list. You can use this for critter insertion, fixing shaky shots, virtual sets, stereoscopic production, architectural previews, accident reconstruction, product placement, face and body capture, and much more!
Game of Thrones Season 5, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Dark Horse and Wide Awake by Katy Perry, are some of the projects which have used SynthEyes.
SynthEyes Intro seat license is available for 299$ while the Pro version is available for 499$ only for Windows. SynthEyes Pro seat license for Windows, OS X, or Linux is available for 599$. SynthEyes Pro Floating License for Windows, OS X, or Linux is available for 699$. You can check out the purchase page here.
The demo version of SynthEyes is available for a period of 180 days but with limitations. Any and all commercial use, directly or indirectly, of data produced by the demo version is strictly prohibited. Subsequently, the demo version will only export the first six frames of a shot and the final frame. Rest of the frames will not match, as they use the camera data of the final frame. Demo exports are intended to show what exports look like in a target package, and show that the first few frames are alright. You can check out the demo version here.
All the applications listed above offer very similar features. Always remember to try the product first before purchasing it’s license. Autodesk’s 3 year student version is also one of the most best option available for you. Houdini is well known for minimizing user efforts by creating procedural effects that are a blessing for animators and also for game developers. Blender is possibly the king when it comes to pricing.
Once again, try the software you like and work on it for atleast a week. I simply cannot emphasize this enough. Give the application some time, learn about the user support, it’s documentation, check out a few tutorials that are available for the application. Slowly and steadily you will understand which application is best suited for your specific work and which is more comfortable for use. Use that knowledge to shortlist the best suited application and ultimately the winner.
Choose a specialization-
There are endless possibilities of what you might be doing at the studio. For example, you could be a texture artist, specifically working on creating the textures for an asset, or maybe you’ll be a modeller, building the assets. Depending on the studio, you may be required to do only one of these things, and at any other studio your job may include both modelling and texturing the assets. You’ll need to be flexible and this can mean knowing several different fields that are at play.
The options are endless and yours for the taking. Modelling, Texturing, Animation, Compositing, make sure you learn about multiple areas and know the relation to each and every step. Everything related to 3D has a pipeline, a workflow, and you must go through the pipeline followed by your company. Learn about every job in the pipeline and understand how they are connected. This will help a lot in the long run.
Most applications here will help you create visualizations of practically anything – from tiny handheld devices, to vehicles, to spaceships and also galaxies! For visualizations, learning rendering applications like V-Ray, Arnold Renderer and Renderman will also be helpful. When you want to create specific product designs, CAD softwares like Inventor, AutoCAD, Rhino might be more fitting.
All the applications mentioned here, have the tools you’ll need to create the thing you want since they are complete 3D packages with all the necessary tools. What software do you use and why do you use it? Let us know in the comments below.
All the prices are expressed in US Dollars and are up-to-date till March 2016.