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Naes3d
17/06/2007, 08h59
Rule #1

Make a list of the things you want to be able to do with whichever software you choose.

Most important step IMO. Be as specific as possible and be as honest with yourself as possible. I notice that too many people tend to just ask 'What's the best software?' or 'what's better x or y?'.
If you can't communicate what you want from the software, how are you going to know when you actually have the right one for you?

Rule #2

Ask (post) your question in a way that inquires which programs will accoplish the tasks on your list.

Try not to leave any doubt in anyones mind what it is that you are trying to accomplish, you'll get more targeted answers that way. If you say you want one program to model, animate and render in, people are less likely to recommend Wings3D.

Rule #3

Make sure that you find out if the program requires a plugin to accomplish specific tasks and also if it is included or if there is a separate cost involved.

Some may disagree with me on this point, but if you are going to compare programs please stick with the basics. Your classic K.I.S.S.(keep it short and simple) method. If you go to the car lot and ask to see a car with x amenity standard, how many 'better' cars where x amenity is not standard do you want to see?
Make sure; however, that you have a realistic expectation of what a standard amenity is...

Rule #4

Ask some of the responders if they would be willing to field any questions on their suggested software when you need help.

A little help can go a long way, and there is usually plenty of it out there if you ask nicely.

Rule #5

Download and install a trial version of the most promising of the suggestions.

Unless you just have money to burn, try the trial first and work within your comfort level. Then run like hell back to the forums to get some help.

Rule #6

If you aren't satisfied with the first trial, move on to the next most promising software and repeat as necessary.

Pretty self explanatory.

Suggestions:

Learn the difference between the consumers, the prosumers, the advocates and the detractors. Of the four, the last two are the worst because their opinion is not meant to help you at all. They are more concerned with harming or helping the company that produce a product.

Don't worry about the cost. Once you know which one is right for you, save up until you can get that one. It will actually save you money (in the form of time spent learning more programs) in the long run.

Recognize that there is no one right program but that there can be the one that is right for you.

Just a message I felt I had to pass along...

laughingnome
17/06/2007, 09h08
Excellent advice Naes.
well spoken.


stu