3D animation software

Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #16
The DOOM3 models were modeled at a very high poly-count, then reduced to the few thousand polygons you see on-screen. The bump-mapping makes up for the rest.

DOOM3 can't use Truform because it interferes with stencil shadows. In fact, the game can run fully-featured on an original GeForce, though you're not going to get useful framerates Smile

Mostly what the newer cards add that benefits DOOM3 is fill-rate and texture units. Each light will take five passes on a GeForce/2MX/4MX, where it will only take two-three passes on a GeForce3/4Ti, and only one pass on a Radeon 9700.
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Max
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Posts: 84
Joined: 2003.03
Post: #17
"Stencil shadows"?!?! Is that what they call shadows rendered in real time? As for TruForm, I'm quite sure Graeme said the game use that feature.

Freelance video game artist and video game compliance tester at Enzyme Testing Labs.
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #18
Stencil shadows is a technique (really a family of similar techniques) for generating shadows in real-time. It's not really anything new, Quake III can do them for characters (/cg_shadows 2 or something), what's new are the techniques for applying them to the whole scene and the fill rate on the cards to make it work fast enough.

I'd be very surprised if DOOM III used Truform. I do know that the Unreal Tournament engine could/was hacked to use it at some point, and that RtCW's engine can use it.
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Member
Posts: 118
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #19
Quote:No offense, Cinema's for noobs who don't want to spend alot of money (LW cost $1500; you can get it for only $399-899 from an edu discount site, though) on 3D software. But, LW has the best modeller for games and it's animation tools rock. Well, Maya recently got modelling tools that rival 3ds max and LW. But Maya's high end and definitely out of the question (there are only a few people on the forum who use it; most people here use cheap 3D apps or Cinema).

Y'all won;t believe me when I say this but Warcraft 3's cinematics were done in 3ds max. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I always thought War3 was made in Maya but now I have found out how cheap a company Blizzard is. No wonder War3's cinematics weren't very realistic. But how did they do the fur and hair? Yeah, 3ds max has the engine Character Studio, so there one reason Blizzard used 3ds max (Character Studio has things like fluid dynamcs and cloth simulations, plus crowd animations-which can be used for, say, orcs running down a hill )

First of all...Danlab, probably the most succesful developer on the board (in terms of making *successful* games) uses Cinema 4d to model. David, who made lugaru, the best 3d game on the messageboard, uses Meshwork and Cinema 4d. I think it is tough to make an argument that it is for "noobs". Sure, you can say that a lot of commercial dev studios don't useit, but lets be frank...none of us are commercial developers.

Also, go here Macmall and you will see that Cinema 4d XL R8 is $100 more expensive than Lightwave...So it is hard to say that "they" just don't want to spend a lot of money, also, on academicsuperstore.com Cinema 4d is a bit cheaper...sounds like the best of both worlds to me.

And why do all of danlab's games, and lugaru and such look better than h2o?

I am not saying that Lightwave is a worse program, but I am saying a lot of what you said wasn't true.

And to the bit about 3d studio max and blizzard: I think that holding what 3d program blizzard used against them is a bad idea, warcraft 3's cintematics were just plain old amazing.
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jamie
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Post: #20
As for cinema vs any other 3D package or any one program vs another for that matter, it comes down to how well each individual user uses that software. For me Cinema 4D is the most intuative 3D package I have ever used, I immediately took to it and understood how it worked easily and quickly. That may not hold true for everyone, but it was so for me. It's modeling and animation and rendering are all perfect for my needs. While maya may be 'more accepted' or some may think it does better cut scenes, I'm not going to be producing the next toy story in cinema so that is not a concern for me. And in the end, any package is only as capable as the user(s). Cinema has been used in many studio (movie) productions and I'm sure will continue to be.

In short I'd recommened at least trying the demo of cinema it may suite your needs perfectly as it did mine.
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Member
Posts: 57
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #21
Quote:Originally posted by jamie
As for cinema vs any other 3D package or any one program vs another for that matter, it comes down to how well each individual user uses that software.


Agreed; use whatever program makes the most sense to you. Just about any major 3D package on the market now will be enough for most people's needs, and while each one has its own strengths and weaknesses it's hard to go wrong choosing any of the programs that people here have suggested. Most of these programs have demo versions available, so try a few of the demos and see which one you like working with the most. Ultimately, the quality of your artwork depends on you, not your software, and while a good 3D package certainly makes things easier, it's possible to create something in Cinema 4D or Universe or FormZ that looks just as good as anything created in Lightwave or Maya.
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #22
I didn't use LW in H2O, Shivers!!! Grin I used Flash for all the art and After Effects for the cinematics. Anyway, the current screenshots on the H2O site are old and the game looks a whole lot different. I've been using LW for something else actually, on of my Director projects for this summer (I've been using. And I just said you could get LW at a low price. Every academic store has LightWave more expensive than Cinema. Actually, NewTek has different licenses on LW so prices are going to be different (but, you don't use LW and haven't experienced the "hell" of LW licensing. Just kidding.).

Danlab's Cinema stuff isn't very realistic.

I don't think David used Cinema in Lugaru. Just Meshwork and his own 3D animation app he programmed. I wouldn't say that Lugaru's gameplay is better than H2O's. It's graphics, yeah, but gameplay can't compare (I've changed alot around; now you're dissing me, eh, Shivers?).

jamie, modellers like LW, Amapi, SoftImage, 3ds max, and FormZ are much more powerful than Cinema.

Anyway, Cinema doesn't have LW plugins like
Sasquatch (popular fur and grass rendering facility)
HyperVoxels (powerful volumetrics engine which can do everything from snowballs to realistic dirt on a hill to cumulus clouds)
Ozone (another volumetrics plugin; haven't used this before but I've heard it's good)
Swift 3D (one of the most popular Flash renderers)
SkyTracer (much more powerful than Cinema's sky engine)
LipService (lip synching plugin)

According to a member of another forum, "[Cinema] doesn't have the maturity of other 3D graphics apps". That statement is true and Shivers, you should just get LW so you and I can stop arguing about "Cinema vs LightWave" (this isn't the first timeSmile ) I've used Cinema extensively and I can tell that LightWave is definitely better. I mean, LW goes so far as network rendering on 300 different computers Grin, Weight Maps, awesome animation tools, and one of the industry's most powerful modellers. Well, you do have to use different apps for different purposes. Some of the setups I've heard off:

Setup 1 (Blizzard setup):
3ds max
Maya
Digital Fusion
After Effects
Photoshop
(Combustion can be used in place of AE & DF)

Setup 2:
SoftImage
3ds max
Photoshop

Setup 3:
Maya
Universe
Photoshop Smile

Setup 4:
Universe
Commotion
Photoshop
Final Cut Pro
After Effects

Setop 5:
LightWave
Aura (or Photoshop)

Setup 6 (my lil setup):
LightWave
After Effects
(damn, I need Photoshop)

Setup 7:
3ds max
Photoshop
After Effects
Digital Fusion
Illustrator

Setup 8:
Maya
FormZ
LightWave
Sometimes SoftImage
Discreet, baby!

Setup 9:
3ds max
SoftImage
Discreet again, baby!

Quote:Originally posted by Mazilurik
Ultimately, the quality of your artwork depends on you, not your software, and while a good 3D package certainly makes things easier, it's possible to create something in Cinema 4D or Universe or FormZ that looks just as good as anything created in Lightwave or Maya.


there we go!! Someone else said FormZ, too! FormZ's architectural modelling tools are better than Maya anyway. LightWave
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Member
Posts: 715
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #23
If it hasn't been said before, and in case it has been said, I'll say it again.

Stay one million miles away from Animation Master, its a bug riddled monster from hell, with awful tech support.

Cinema 4D is easier to learn than lightwave...without a tutorial, you can just kind of figure it out, and there are plenty of plug ins. I mostly use the poly reduction feature then export to meshwork since our engine doesn't support other model types.

Try all the demo's and see how you feel about them.
Whats best is what you are comfortable with.
In the end though it will boil down to who you are working with and what formats they support.

Torque engine for instance requires .DTS files and you can only get those out of a free lightwave plug-in for the time being.

If you already have Meshwork, then you are well on your way to making the simplistic game models you need. I started using the app a year ago, and although its not the greatest thing inthe world, I've made hundreds of models in it.

High end apps tend to create hi-poly objects, there's nothing like killing someones processor with few models on screen.

By the way Cinema4D can open Lightwave models and scenes, something I don't think lightwave can do.

Oh and there is also free Blender...but I don't know of anyone on the Mac side using it or supporting it besides the Blender community. It's not as hard to learn as people say, I was getting great results in under an hour, but then had to switch to meshwork when I started working on a meshwork based engine.


By the way do you have some links to your previous and recent creations?
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #24
Stop arguing about which is better on paper, there is no right answer. The only right answer is which one is easier for you, personally, to use. Download the demos, try them out, and make a decision.
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #25
OSC: hehehe, that usually works. Because all of us on this forum use different software, and we like to argue about which is best.

Let's stop this right here. Nobody say anything else except snickrep (so he can say which demo he used and if he had any probs).

I will admit that Cinema would be the easy to use, all around way to go. Just move up to LW, Maya, FormZ, etc. later (well, pros use Universe because they can preview render scenes quickly).
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #26
AJ Infinity, I just got a call from Macromedia. They are upset that you aren't pushing Extreme3D. ha ha Gotcha!!!!

>Danlab's Cinema stuff isn't very realistic.
I can't really understand that statement. The artist is going for a certain look. You can't put someone down for that.

>...FormZ's architectural modelling tools are better...
But that's the thing. Not many programs will do everything from A to Z perfectly. Each app must make some sacrifice, unless they plan to put a $10,000 price tag on it. I use Strata. I can do fast 3D work in it. But I stop at character animation because that is its weak point.

>we like to argue about which is best
I think most people are saying a.) it is often the artist and not the tool b.) use what feels right for you. Only a "few" people are saying, "Use this app because developers Blizzard and uD are using it, so all other apps must suck."

Anyhow, did the person who posted the original question feel that they were helped by all this chatter?

Cheers

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Mars_999
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Post: #27
Quote:Originally posted by Camacho
AJ Infinity, I just got a call from Macromedia. They are upset that you aren't pushing Extreme3D. ha ha Gotcha!!!!

>Danlab's Cinema stuff isn't very realistic.
I can't really understand that statement. The artist is going for a certain look. You can't put someone down for that.

>...FormZ's architectural modelling tools are better...
But that's the thing. Not many programs will do everything from A to Z perfectly. Each app must make some sacrifice, unless they plan to put a $10,000 price tag on it. I use Strata. I can do fast 3D work in it. But I stop at character animation because that is its weak point.

>we like to argue about which is best
I think most people are saying a.) it is often the artist and not the tool b.) use what feels right for you. Only a "few" people are saying, "Use this app because developers Vizzzard and uD are using it, so all other apps must suck."

Anyhow, did the person who posted the original question feel that they were helped by all this chatter?

Cheers


I doubt it! :sorry:
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Member
Posts: 118
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #28
Yeah, I am mucho sorry about that.
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Member
Posts: 715
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #29
Quote:And why do all of danlab's games, and lugaru and such look better than h2o?


Rasp Gahaha LOL Wow

That's hilarious, I thought the Extreme3D rip was funny but that takes the hilarious award for the thread!

Of course you are comparing apple's to oranges.
Danlab has several games under his belt, so does David.
AJ is a "noob" (I hate that term). Danlab and David spend the majority of their time developing and not posting opinions at whim all night here. That makes a giant difference.

As for Blizzard and id, those are teams of highly trained art director's, concept artists, 3D modelers, animators, and texture artists. Nothing produced by them is made by one lone short on funds person filling idle time reaching for a dream.

Snickrep send me an email, I'll show you how to make games with whatever you already can do in Meshwork, save your money for another day.
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Member
Posts: 118
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #30
good idea, learn Meshwork, if you learn it well and really need more power, buy lightwave, c4d or maya or whatever, but learn Meshwork first.
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