Digital media practice: 3d software investigation

Digital media practice: 3d software investigation

Digital media practice involves a software investigation

Researching the technology and software used in visual media, will help understand how you can develop as an artist.So far we have explored 2d graphics with Illustrator a vector graphic software, Photoshop  a bitmap graphic software, with both packages we have looked at importing others work to create an image. Choosing the right 3d package depends on your investigation into what you want to do, you won’t by Hudini if  design packaging . This page “Digital media practice: 3d software investigation”, gives a head-start by listing a few 3d software packages you can use to research the different production fields.

Digital Media is technologically driven; advances in computing (both software and hardware) have made possible for the visual media industry to work efficiently  giving their audience:

Photo realistic graphics (print media and web)
films (visual effects and animations)
Games that are engaging and addictive
Working with 3 d packages is advantageous in many ways:

Imagery can be created much faster than with photography; no fuss with  paying for studio, staff.
Products, characters and architectural projects can be created in a flash, with ease of updates, modification – MODELLING
Animation can be done within the software (all in one no, need to work with many software reducing production cost)
Software packages come with plugins and extra that help you light environments and scenes as well as create materials – LIGHTING AND SHADING
Exporting high-resolution image and movies is relatively easy (computer specs must be good)- RENDERING
Most 3d software are allowing to export in different file formats allowing to work with different software packages; if you make a motion graphic in Maxon cinema 4d you could export for use in Adobe
List of  3d software:

Maxon Cinema 4d

Maxon Cinema 4d, my favourite; it’s a no fuss package with a user-friendly interface, and loads of extra plugins. C4d is in my view excellent for motion graphics. Unfortunately it does not come cheap for students and teacher like the Autodesk packages. MAXON is a 3D modelling, painting, animation  software used in the film and game production, science, architecture, engineering and animation.

CINEMA 4D Demo Reel 2011-12

CINEMA 4D Demo Reel 2011-12

Complex motion graphics in the film Oblivion featuring Tom Cruise
Approximately 150 shots in Narnia use MAXON CINEMA 4D camera mapping

Approximately 150 shots in Narnia use MAXON CINEMA 4D camera mapping.

Approximately 150 shots in Narnia use MAXON CINEMA 4D camera mapping.

MTV  Berlin, Germany-based Sehsucht studios produced teasers for MTV’s 19th annual European Music Awards

MTV’s EMA 2012 show package, Zoetrop, exudes powerful creative energy. Sehsucht studios used CINEMA 4D to create the spot!

MTV’s EMA 2012 show package, Zoetrop, exudes powerful creative energy. Sehsucht studios used CINEMA 4D to create the spot!


Autodesk, is the all teachers’ and students favourite because of the array of software it, and free to use for those working in the education sector and students. They make it easy for all of use to get experience with the packages without breaking the bank.  They are also offering cloud technology, you can work easily with the packages on the move. The best voted packages are part of the Autodesk suite (AutoCad/Maya)

Autodesk 2012 Games Show Reel

Autodesk 2012 Games Show Reel

The array of packages from Autodesk:

Autodesk free software for education screenshot

Autodesk free software for education screenshot

  • Autocad
  • Maya
  • 3ds Max
  • Product Design Suite Ultimate
  • Building Design Suite Ultimate
  • And more

The good thing a about Autodesk, is that the company offers a student edition of most packages see the site for more information.






Ligtwave 3d

Ligtwave 3d package was quite famous in the early 90s has been use for an array of movies,  it’s an Award-Winning, modelling,  VFX and Animation software for Artists.  Lithgwave offers a discounted student  edition.

Digital media practice: 3d software investigation

Digital media practice: 3d software investigation


specially known to be used for crowd generation for the film industry. See the list of movies using this package

Massive website banner screenshot

Massive website banner screenshot


specific use – Architecture and landscape

Vue Reel 2012

Vue Reel 2012

Other packages;


Houdini Demo Reel 2012

Houdini Demo Reel 2012

Houdini is quite famous in the film industry and has different types of software packages.


The last version I tried was 12, it is really easy to create characters with this package. I used it in the 90’s along with Bryce to learn the basics of 3d. I don’t know a few people are trying to make people believe that the character they build are all made spending hours when the character clearly say “I was made in Poser”. Maybe this the trick of the trade, like IT programming.

Poser 3D Character Design & Animation Software | Official Demo Video

Poser 3D Character Design & Animation Software | Official Demo Video

There is also a wide use of Open Source packages that are as good as the paid for ones:

Blender: comes with its own game development engine

Blender is the complete free and open source 3D production package, a strong competitor to 3D Studio Max, Maya. It’s also has its own game engine  (C++), and includes support for features such as Python scripting and OpenAL  3D sound.Official website:

Blender 2.5 ~ 2.6 Showreel

Blender 2.5 ~ 2.6 Showreel

Unity 3d:

A 3d game engine and you can create your mobile technology app (game development) . To use for learning game development.

[Unity3D RPG] Project Kyrill 2012

[Unity3D RPG] Project Kyrill 2012

And knowing one of the main stream packages is an added skill. I must warn you that they are other software packages in the industry but, these are out of reach to the commoner.

The Edge Hotel School 2012 Competitons

To celebrate the opening of the The Edge Hotel School in spring 2012 we are giving you the chance to win £1,000 and become a ‘Designer in residence’  with these fantastic compeitions.

The  categories

1)    A “partners” type desk situated in the entrance lobby of the hotel. Download the competition brief for this category    

2)    A “conversation” communal table to seat 16 for the brasserie. Download the competition brief for this category    

3)    A garden bench  to seat 4 people situated within the hotel grounds. Download the competition brief for this category    

4)    A free standing/mobile display/storage piece in the brasserie. Download the competition brief for this category    

5)    A range of front-of-house and back-of-house staff uniforms.  Download the competiton brief for this category

 Download your application form

Who can take part?

The competition is open to all young people under the age of 26 by the closing date of this competition (9 December 2011). 

The entrants can be in full or part time education, apprentices, employed or un-employed. 

Terms & conditions (Download here)




BIS is running an informal design competition for our 2011 e-card among FE colleges and training providers. We’d love your institution to take part. The Secretary of State, Vince Cable will choose the winner. The winning e-card will include the name of the artist and the institution they are studying and be used to send to all our contacts.

We would like to commission a card which reflects the theme of Growth and the Economy in a form that can be embedded within an HTML email. The card should reflect the Department’s ambition (set out in the Plan for Growth to achieve balanced and sustainable economic growth in the UK.

We’re looking for a creative, maybe witty and innovative design treatment (although this shouldn’t carry a political message). Costs of design will be borne by the originator/s and copyright of the winning design will be assigned to BIS for use digitally.

The card should carry the message “Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year”. It should also incorporate the Department’s logo.

Technical requirements:

  • Viewing the e-card should not be dependent on plug-ins i.e. use of animated GIFs or Javascript is OK; use of Flash or embedded content is not.
  • (more…)

Win a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Thomson Lakes Photo Competition

Thomson Lakes & Mountains have teamed up with Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Travel for our first ever Thomson Lakes photo competition.

The rules are simple. Send us your best photo from your travels in Austria, Switzerland or Italy. Should it make our favourite top 10, it will be posted on the Thomson Lakes facebook page where the community will vote to decide the winner in each of the categories. 

Three categories – three chances to win:

There’s a category for each country, so enter your most dazzling photo taken in the following three locations:

  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Switzerland

 How do I enter?

 All you need to do is send us your chosen photo(s) to:

Please include:

  • Your full name
  • Title of photo and location
  • Date photo taken
  • Category for entry (Italy / Austria / Switzerland)

For more information visit their blog