As a game developing studio we need a lot of 3D models for our games and to make graphic images like you see at the top of this page. To make these models we use a program called 3D Studio Max from Autodesk. We currently use version 3.1. Autodesk is up to version 10 or higher maybe. They stopped with the version numbers after 9 and now use years. The reason we haven’t upgraded our version is simple, don’t fix what isn’t broken.
In reality, to really get to use this software well it takes about a year of continuous tutorials, and use. Even after a couple years you still don’t know but about 1/3rd of the capabilities. We upgraded a couple times, and each time you have to ramp up on the new version. Not to mention that each upgrade is several thousand dollars. If you miss an upgrade cycle you have to pay full boat which is currently $3,500.00 - $5,000.00!
For a while they came out with a new version every 6 – 9 months. Considering the ramp up time for each one this is stupid. So you are stuck between keeping up with the updates to save on money, or saving on the cost of ramp up and interruptions in development at the expense of not having the newest. We have chosen to keep the version we have and understand. There is little we cannot do with this version that the newer versions do anyhow (that we currently use that is).
Unfortunately the old version uses a dongle.This means that it has to be ran on a machine with a LPT port. This is bad since we can’t get a faster computer than a P4 to run 3D Studio with an LPT port since machines after P4 no longer come with them. So in order to upgrade to a faster computer for rendering we will be forced to upgrade to 3D Studio Max 2010 and fork out another $4,000.00. Sigh. Not to mention the loss of money for ramp up time. In any case, for those who ask and wonder why we use the version we do this is why.
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