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Animation/Rendering program advice?


Hi Russell,

I am using Poser 9, Blender and Zbrush 4r5. I render in Poser, which uses their Firefly render engine.

Can you recommend a stand alone rendering program? I would like to experiment with normal maps, ambient occlusion and procedural textures. Poser actually has simple procedurals and ambient occlusion, but will not do normal maps. Zbrush is not made for scenes ... near as I can tell.

I am a amateur who saves up for nice software, so price is an important consideration ... But soemtimes the right tools cost money. Z brush was totally worth it.

Thank you,


Hi Jim,

Sorry I can't really help you with this question.
I don't use any of these programs at the moment. Currently 'm working on 2D projects right now. I don't keep up with a lot of software I don't use very often. Next time when I work in a 3D program it would probably be what ever the studio I'm working at is using and will learn that on their computers.

Maybe there's a 3D animation expert out there or a users group that can help you make the right decision.



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Russell Calabrese


Technical questions about hand drawn and computer animation techniques and production. Historical questions about cartoons and animation.


30+ years as an Animator, Director and Producer of Television, Feature, Commercial and Independent Animation.

Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Senior Governorof the Animation Peer Group) Executive Board Member of The Animation Guild ASIFA Hollywood

SVA, Rutgers University

Awards and Honors
Emmy Award winning Director 2007 "Where's Lazlo?: Camp Lazlo"
Emmy Award winning Director 1999 for "Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky and the Brain"

Past/Present Clients
Warner Brothers, Disney, Cartoon Network

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