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Maya OpenGL export - MrLee - Aug 4, 2008 11:12 AM

Hello Folks.

Basically I have been looking for an OpenGL exporter for Maya PLE, or an example of one, which I could use to create my own. I have read some good things about Deep Exploration which is a windows only tool, and was wondering if there were a mac equivalent. So far I have not found one.

If anyone knows of anything similar for the Macintosh your help would be greatly appreciated. I just need something to dump the OpenGL information into a file so my App can read it.

If I have worded any of this wrong, please correct me. I really want to create a simple game without using a third party tool such as unity or torque. However, if this is too hard, or stupid, I will consider using Torque again.


Maya OpenGL export - AnotherJake - Aug 4, 2008 04:36 PM

I haven't used Maya PLE in years, but last I checked, you can't export anything from it (because of the learning edition restrictions). You might be able to get a few lines out of the MEL script window if you have a script to do that.

My personal suggestion would be to use something else like Cheetah3D to export obj files from. Cheetah3D is pretty affordable and it's native-Mac. It also exports FBX if you know how to use the FBX libs in your game. (I haven't been able to figure out how to use FBX myself yet.) Plus Cheetah3D has scripting abilities so you could output something more elaborate than obj if you need.

If you want free, then Blender is a very powerful 3D package, not quite Maya but pretty good, if you can stand the UI.

[edit] Oh yeah, Cheetah3D can even export models directly into a .h file which you can include directly in your app.

Maya OpenGL export - OneSadCookie - Aug 4, 2008 06:37 PM

Wings3D also deserves mention as a good free-and-not-completely-crippled modeler.

Maya OpenGL export - Justin Brimm - Aug 4, 2008 07:36 PM

What's wrong with Blender? Years ago, Blender could barely compete with the poorest of 3d modelers, but as someone who's spent time with Maya, 3ds Max and Blender, I can say that Blender is now fast and powerful, and a definite contender. It also has the added bonus of supporting plug-ins written in Python so there's a large community continually adding and/or improving features.

AnotherJake Wrote:If you want free, then Blender is a very powerful 3D package, not quite Maya but pretty good, if you can stand the UI.

Blender is an interesting program, in that its UI is horrendous from a design layout standpoint, with hundreds of small buttons everywhere. However, from a functional design standpoint, I don't think any 3d modeler does a better job. Every single function has a corresponding button in the UI, every button has a pop-up label making it clear what it does, and buttons are smartly grouped by function. Additionally, every function also has a corresponding key-command, which makes common functions amazingly fast and easy to use once you use them for a while. This does wonders for productivity.

Maya OpenGL export - FlamingHairball - Aug 4, 2008 07:41 PM

…And the UI is not great, as AnotherJake said.

Maya OpenGL export - AnotherJake - Aug 4, 2008 07:56 PM

Justin Brimm Wrote:What's wrong with Blender?

The UI. If you're used to the funky ways of a Windows environment then it might be more familiar to you, but it's just downright awful to me. Blender simply isn't as easy to use as Maya in my experience and I see no reason to beat myself up over struggling with its UI when Cheetah3D does most of what I need for game dev. I don't mind the relatively small fee for Cheetah just so I can have a Mac-native UI. I'll use Maya once in a while if there's some high-end feature I really need, but I'm trying to avoid using Maya anymore because I don't wish to support Autodesk. Haven't used it in months and I have no plans to upgrade to future versions -- unless they drop the price by an order of magnitude of course. I'd like to get into Blender, I really would, but it just kills me with utter frustration every time...

Maya OpenGL export - Justin Brimm - Aug 4, 2008 08:16 PM

Don't get me wrong, Blender does have an awful interface and it did turn me off for the longest time (remember that I haven't ever owned a Windows box until recently, for games and Windows development). Easy to use and intuitive interfaces are top in my book.

I'm just playing devil's advocate by mentioning that in the world of 3d modeling programs, most programs have awful UIs, and while that is no excuse, Blender is a long way from the worst, and they do at very least, attempt to (and with mixed success, do), have inroads for users to learn and understand the UI. I have to say though, the simple fact that every single function has a corresponding button or menu item, and nothing is buried deep, accessible only by long chains of odd key-pressed and clicks, makes Blender much more usable.

I want to reiterate though; don't take me wrong, Blender doesn't have a good interface. It is not a program you can pick up and understand anything without either playing around for a long time or reading the free tutorial book. It does however match or surpass many programs in many other ways, and with a price tag of 0.00, I think its worth an extended practice tryout.

By the way Jake, why do you hate Autodesk? I'm not saying I like them (I've heard stories of how they treat long-term customers), but I'm interested in what pushed you over the edge.

Maya OpenGL export - green_ghost - Aug 4, 2008 08:28 PM

I also am using Blender and Cheetah for my mac game, soon to be released, hopefully within the next month or so.

Blender (UI) is difficult to get use to, and I find myself saving all the time to be safe, but once you get use to it, it is powerful, especially for Rigging, and UV unwraps, modelling not so much. I also use Silo3d for most of the modelling. I recommend Silo3d as a low budget modeller, it's pretty awesome.

Maya OpenGL export - AnotherJake - Aug 4, 2008 09:01 PM

Quote:By the way Jake, why do you hate Autodesk?

Autodesk's track-record against the Mac is astonishingly dismal and I've seen absolutely nothing to suggest to me that they've changed their negative view toward the platform, even after they bought out Maya. How long Maya will remain on the Mac is anyone's guess, but I'm not putting my money on that bet. Forget it, I ain't playing with Autodesk.

About Blender: That's cool, I can appreciate your standpoint. I'm not trying to dog down on Blender for anything more than it's awful interface. But the UI problem is so huge for me that I have been unable/unwilling to invest the time to overcome my misgivings with it. I have tried at least three times and have fallen back to Maya/Cheetah3D each time. Here's how it goes:

Hey, Blender has super-kick-A$$-industrial-strength features, awesome, let's go give it another try! Grin

A few hours later: Sigh, why did I bother? This is going to take *weeks* to get used to. Why did they do this most important feature (X) in this butt-ugly-dumber-than-a-sack-of-wet-mice-way? I can't do this, I don't have time for this. Never mind the money, better to use what I already have invested major time into. Blender->Trash->Empty Trash... Better luck next time Blender. Sad

Theoretically Blender is great, and I can't deny that. I've heard *lots* of great things about it from guys I know who are 3D nuts and have worked with every industrial 3D package known to the western world. In practice though, to me, it takes a certain mind-set to jump into if you've been spoiled by better UI's. I want to use Blender, but... The pain! The pain! Must get past the pain! Mad

Maya OpenGL export - Justin Brimm - Aug 4, 2008 09:32 PM

I think you just made me realize the difference why I managed to stick with Blender when I gave it another shot a while back, instead of dumping it like I have before.

All of the other modelers I've used in the past have grown increasingly worse over time while Blender has done nothing but improved. I don't expect this to change and is the reason I've fully abandoned the other modelers I've used to use (and I've used a few, thanks to student licenses).

Maya OpenGL export - MrLee - Aug 5, 2008 11:26 AM

Thanks for the responses Guys,

I have taken a look at Cheetah 3D and was impressed with the program. After watching some of the videos (the tutorial I bought) I decided to purchase the program, so I can play around with it a bit more when I have the time. For now I think it will be suitable for my needs, as it can export into a format I can / will use. This is a better solution for me than dumping money / time investments into other programs that are not as Mac friendly.

Also, I do not find anything wrong with what Blender can do, as it is a very powerful program which I have used before... I just cannot wrap my head around the UI, as I find myself always second guessing which hot keys to use. Cheetah 3D seems a bit more streamlined to me, but then again I could be crazy. Time will tell.

Again, thank you.