The software animation programs Maya, Lightwave, SoftImage, and 3DstudioMax are the focus of the 3dspline community. 3dspline's tutorials provide a wealth of opportunities for users to expand their animation and software product knowledge. The tutorial topics range from applying advanced applications for professionals to walking more inexperienced users through basic techniques. The site also has an image gallery and links to useful downloads, textures, and plug-ins.
3D Buzz is yet another great tutorial source. With an efficient search engine, users select the software application, category, and level of difficulty to locate a tutorial that suits their needs. The tutorials cover more than 15 software applications from Truespace to Cinema 4D, as well as specific functions such as modeling and rendering images. 3D Buzz also provides links to 43 different 3D discussion forums. In addition, the site houses an employment forum that posts jobs and artist searches in the industry.
3D Café is a great site with a lot to offer, but be warned that it is nearly impossible to access any of these features if you are not a registered member. Site members can read industry articles, view an image gallery, and access professionally written tutorials. A list summarizing the tutorials is available to visitors. Subscriptions to 3D Cafe are available for $39.99 per month or $379.99 per year.
3D Luvr's best feature is the Techzone section that provides hardware and software reviews, questions answered by industry experts, and tips and tricks of the animation trade. The site addresses common problems users encounter while using and running animation software programs such as 3Dmax and much more.
The two main assets of the 3D Studio Web site are its active discussion forums and tutorials. Whether users are interested in lighting or compositing, 3D Studio tutorials cover a wide range of animation topics. The site also contains links to other 3D-related websites, as well as free model and texture categories.
E-eye is an online source for both 3D and 2D animation professionals and "hobbyists." The site features active user forums discussing creative and technical issues, as well as product reviews. Users also can find comprehensive news coverage and an image gallery. E-eye also is replete with tutorials that predominantly focus on animation techniques.
As the name indicates, Simply Lightwave is a resource strictly for NewTek Lightwave users. The site contains access to a host of discussion forums, some of which are limited to registered members only. The site's strong point is its tutorials that focus on animations topics for both advanced and beginner animators.
Luxology is predominantly a source for 3D animation news. It also features interviews with people of interest in the industry. Like most of its online peers, Luxology offers a few interactive tutorials, but it adds a list of job postings within the industry.