Edge: Codeshop: State of the Art Packages

If you wanted an example of how quickly the commercial landscape can change, you'd be hard pushed to find a better one than Autodesk's domination of the 3D modelling, animation and painting tools used by game developers. After all, three short years ago, its only product in the games market was 3DS Max. Granted, it was the market leader – at least in terms of volume – but 36 months and several hundreds of millions of acquisition dollars later, the Media & Entertainment division of the world's largest design software company is in an almost monopolistic position thanks to its ownership of 3DS Max and Maya, not to mention realtime animation package MotionBuilder and 3D sculpting tool Mudbox.

Of course, you can buy other packages – Softimage's XSI, Luxology's modo and Pixologic's ZBrush, for instance – but Autodesk's combined firepower, and sales team, is pretty much dominant.

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