Kerkitea is a free version of a buying-render-engine, HOWEVER the free version is just fine and supports HDR-lighting.
A freaking powerful in-between-solution, that is FREE.
After finishing a few projects you can buy the heavy-loaded software for 4000£ but honestly, this is something we’re all struggling with.
It’s smarter to invest in photoshop for now since that is the software in which 80% of the image’s atmosphere is built. Not in the modeling or rendering package… Most professionals will agree with me on this. As you get more skilled photoshop and post production will become more and more important.
At this point we do as little in 3D Studio Max and try to go as much in Photoshop as possible, it’s just more FUN and STABLE.
I’d rather reward a software package that is STABLE and without BUGS like Photoshop then to invest in 3D Studio Max first and find out a SHITLOAD of problems and stability issues…
my 5 cents…
Intel 7 - 2.8Ghz
NVidia Quadro 4000 2Gb GDDR5
3D Studio Max Design 2013 x64
Windows 7 x64
I see your point, and I love SketchUp for it’s fast, conceptual workflow but it just doesn’t have the toolset I need. I mean, I could probably get there with plugins/scripts but it would be a real hack and just not ideal at all.
A lot of my work is highly detailed modeling, interiors, furniture, foliage etc and for that I need a tight modeling toolset, UV tools, some decent proxy support and good navigation in high detail scenes. Also whilst the image output and lighting solutions of a lot of render engines are great, it’s the materials and shaders that I need more than anything.
VRay, MR and even C4D’s Advanced Render all have such fantastic shader systems which I’ve come to rely on.
That said, if you work in the whole 20% 3D, 80% Photoshop workflow as you mentioned, then SketchUp/Photoshop is fine, and of course plenty of studios create some amazing images just through a little 3D and a whole lot of 2D comping. I’ve just always worked in the ‘get it as close as possible in 3D’ way, where I’ve relied primarily on the render output and just tweaked things a little in post.
With that in mind, I do need a ‘powerhouse’ 3D app.
It’s been a while since I created this thread and I still haven’t bought Max. I’m just gonna put together my portfolio with my student license and then shop my work out to potential clients, if I get a few callbacks then I know it’s going to be safe to stump up the £5000. However, it’s highly likely at this stage that my £5000 will be going on C4D rather than Max.