3-D modeling/animation apps

jamie
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Post: #16
Cinema 4D does indeed export as .obj. That imports into Animator just fine.
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Posts: 260
Joined: 2005.05
Post: #17
igame3d Wrote:Why not just link to 3DBuzz?

You forgot:
    Meshwork
    Cheeta3D
    Swift3D
    Poser
    FormZ
    Sphaera3D
    Jpatch
    Pixels3D
    Amorphium
    SketchUp
    and whats that Bryce replacement?
There are so many 3D modellers (with or without animation), but what I'd like to find is one that is comfortable and intuitive enough for occasional use. If I ever get to the point where I build a full-size commercial or at least shareware 3D game, I will either spend lots of time with a modeller myself (that would be in the shareware case) or have a 3D artist do the models (definitely the case for a commercial project), but while I am making test applications, demos and freeware, I need something where I can draft some half-decent models just to have something that fits what I am doing.

I have in the past tried a lot of modellers, most of them obsolete today. I tried Blender, but found it hard. Meshwork, not very powerful and no undo. Wings 3D, decent, could make very simple models with reasonable effort, but when I try again some time later I find that I have to go though the tutorial again. And, I find it slow to work with.

I have the money to buy a commercial modeller, but not the time to learn a dozen programs before decining on one, and definitely not relearning it over and over again after forgetting a clumsy interface after a month of not using it. Is there an "iMovie" for 3D modelling somewhere? Which of the ones in the lists in the thread are the best choices for occasional use?
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #18
OMG!

*OneSadCookie bows very, very low*

Um, to make this on topic, personally I find Wings fine for occasional use. To be fair though, I did spend quite a bit of time on it (evenings for a week I guess) when I first learned how to use it.
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Member
Posts: 78
Joined: 2002.06
Post: #19
Wings3D is superb. I just found that style of modeling very intuitive. It is best modellers at any cost IMO.

But I'm very surprised no one has mentioned Blender . Free and open source. It takes a fair bit of getting used to -- bit like every 3d app. Smile

Blender is incredibly powerful: modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, even interactive games. It also has very good built-in python scripting, so you can write scripts to output data, build worlds or do anything you want. I used a script to output a tree of waypoints from blender, this meant I could create a tree structure linked in 3d easily and then use it to race the AIs in BitRacer.

Blender is also under continuous development, people are funded to work on it. There is usually a new version every two months (which is always exciting Smile). A new version is due out this week, supporting among other things soft-bodies and transform manipulators. Plus there is an enormous amount of documentation (the manual linked below is a good 50mb).

Some Blender links:
Gallery
Movies
Community forums
Documentation

-- Also a generic tip get a multi-button mouse, it is a must for both blender and wings!
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Moderator
Posts: 3,579
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #20
willThimbleby Wrote:Wings3D is superb. I just found that style of modeling very intuitive. It is best modellers at any cost IMO.
I wouldn't say at *any* cost. Maya's modeling tools are real darn nice. Real steep learning curve, and real hard on the wallet, but real darn nice. Not perfect though -I've run across a few minor annoyances and bugs. Once you can get past the steep part of the learning curve, it can be easy to whip out high-quality models with very little effort. The main tool categories are NURBS, Polygon, and SubDiv. I don't use NURBS or SubDiv much since I like to have fine control over the polycount throughout the whole process. The polygonal modeling tools in Maya are really second to none that I've ever used, including Wings3D.

Also, regarding the export formats that Maya supports. Consider it infinite. The built-in exporters are obviously available, but there are two other options. One is going through Maya API, which I've done successfully. It took me a week to figure it out, but it's not impossible. The other is using Maya's embedded scripting language called MEL. I haven't tried that route, but it's entirely possible to write your own exporter without even touching a compiler.

I'm not trying to sell Maya here, but merely describing it a little. My bottom line opinion on Maya is that it's truly the most powerful 3D package available on the Mac, hands down. It's also not very affordable by any stretch of the imagination, as we all know. If you really want to learn to use it and you already have a fair amount of 3D experience with say, C4D, or Blender, etc., then be prepared to budget a solid month of your time to get used to Maya. Is it worth it? I don't know. Unless you have aspirations to get involved in the pro 3D graphics industry you can probably just steer clear of it.
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Member
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Joined: 2002.10
Post: #21
Quote:OMG!

*OneSadCookie bows very, very low*


Nerd deference in action. I presume this is *the* Ingemar...

- Iain
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Member
Posts: 78
Joined: 2002.06
Post: #22
AnotherJake Wrote:I wouldn't say at *any* cost
Well I meant to say "It is one of the best modellers at any cost". Smile Plus there are different philosphies guideing modeling, and subdivision modellers like Wings3d work better with how my brain is put together.
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Posts: 260
Joined: 2005.05
Post: #23
IBethune Wrote:Nerd deference in action. I presume this is *the* Ingemar...
Am I, still? Wow Blush

I am almost embarassed for the lack of new releases since my first son was born, but I won't give up. Making games is fun, and for the moment I *almost* get paid for doing it. And for that, have the need for a tool for some quick-and-dirty 3D modelling.
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MarkJ
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Post: #24
Ingemar, you obviously have an enduring legacy Smile. Your games were a big inspiration to me back in the day, as well as your stuff in Tricks.

Also, yeah. Everyone uses Wings, but Blender is also fairly powerful (except for its terrible user-interface).
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Posts: 522
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Post: #25
Ingemar indirectly helped me get started with "real" programming about 10 years ago with the Sprite Animation Toolkit and Pascal. Thank you!

Now to make this post on topic... currently I'm finding it fairly pleasant to use Cheetah3D and to a lesser extent Blender for modeling, and using Blender exclusively for LSCM UV unrolling.

If you're doing 3D work for games, you are undoubtedly going to want to be UV mapping your models. Blender has really good support for this. You'll have to spend a lot of money to get similar things from a commercial package.

I expect as I become more familiar with Blender, I'll start using Cheetah3D less and less. Cheetah3D is simple to jump into, but Blender seems to becoming more powerful the more you use it, because the relentless keyboard shortcuts become REALLY quick once you learn them. I think I've nearly "peaked" in my productivity potential with Cheetah3D, but I think there is a lot of room to grow with Blender. That said, Cheetah3D is a great value and fun to use. Smile

I don't think the Blender user interface is terrible, it's just unconventional.

-Jon
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Posts: 567
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Post: #26
who is this Ingemar...? (besides this person above)
Is this a dumb question?
Releases? Homepage?

Anyway, I think that Cheetah3D is coming along fine, another couple releases and It'll be ready for game-animation editing/making (thinking MD2s).

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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Post: #27
Nayr Wrote:who is this Ingemar...? (besides this person above)
Is this a dumb question?
Releases? Homepage?
*brutally murders Nayr*

I don't do much 3D modelling, but the little I do I do in Wings3D. It's free and fairly easy.
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Member
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Post: #28
Uh, Josh, do you think, if you are going to take the time to make an lame comment, even in jest, you can take the time to answer the question?

One has to presume the Ingemar is Ingemar Ragnemalm. Who can be tracked down via Google

Not to dis' the guy, but in over 20 years of using the Mac I've not heard of him or any of his work before this thread. Ok maybe I recall MacSokoban...and maybe Bachman, maybe, but not in a memorably. Not everyone around here has been coding for over a decade, hell I don't think Nayr has been out of diapers for over a decade.

Congrats on being a Dad Ingemar, I sympathize with the Fatherhood vs. Game Dev time constraints. I'll share a funny thing Dad to Dad, that happened at the playground this week: My daughter was in the sand box with a little boy and she tells him "I make video games with iGame3D, I'm going to make Tomb Raider.", from the mouths of babes.
Get your little one involved in the craft early, it beats lame cartoons and puppet shows with an ugly stick.

OK back on topic, 3D apps.
Strata just announced Strata Live, which allows 3D interactive content in PDF documents (only in Acrobat). and Bryce 5.5 with lots of fancy features.
Check them out.
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Posts: 260
Joined: 2005.05
Post: #29
Nayr Wrote:who is this Ingemar...? (besides this person above)
Is this a dumb question?
Releases? Homepage?

Anyway, I think that Cheetah3D is coming along fine, another couple releases and It'll be ready for game-animation editing/making (thinking MD2s).
Not a dumb question at all. I hardly expected to be recognized, at least not on first name. My released games and game-related products are quite dated. (I have ported some to OSX to support old supporters, though, so I havn't been totally inactive.)

I'll see if Cheetah3D might be what I want, thanks for the tip!
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Member
Posts: 260
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Post: #30
igame3d Wrote:Congrats on being a Dad Ingemar, I sympathize with the Fatherhood vs. Game Dev time constraints. I'll share a funny thing Dad to Dad, that happened at the playground this week: My daughter was in the sand box with a little boy and she tells him "I make video games with iGame3D, I'm going to make Tomb Raider.", from the mouths of babes.
Get your little one involved in the craft early, it beats lame cartoons and puppet shows with an ugly stick.
That's one of the intentions, or at least dreams, to make games where the kids can be involved in the creation. I don't really believe that they will do the coding soon, but they can do other things...

...for example 3D modelling, if the program was really intuitive (back on the thread!)... but that would be quite a killer 3D modeller!
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