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Crash Course in 3D models?

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I'm just recently getting into 3D modeling. I'm OK with it and all, still have some carry over experiance from 3D modeling in CAD from HS (I always finished early). I now use Blend3r, BTW. Blah blah... Lets just cut the bragging and settle that I'm the best. (Ok, perhaps not, or maybe definatly not?, but please don't wake me from my good dream.) What I'm looking for is information on file types, what the files contain, and how you implement them. Are there standard file types? What are the most popular formats for saving 3D models? I would like to try and create a model for a game (Savage, not real advanced graphics and easy to mod, a medium quality model would fit in perfect with everything else), they will release a exporter for 3D Studio Max (suposedly) once they finish there "SDK." I don't want to pay $3,500 for 3DSM though. Hopefully I can get something that works with Blend3r though. Anyways, what are the most popular 3D model formats? Thats the main thing I care about right now. Thx for helping teh noob! PS - Go ahead and sugest modelers you think are better then Blender (needs to be free), and why. [edited by - Cyber-Ace on February 5, 2004 3:28:47 PM]

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Welllll, the best file format is the one that your tools needs to work with.

Yeah, that''s really about it.

I believe Milkshape can manipulate 3DS files to some degree. A lot of folks use it as a generic convertor between various 3D formats.

Some file formats (like 3DS .max) are written with proprietary tools that aren''t easily reverse engineered. The .3DS format, however, is a simple chunked binary format and isn''t that hard to break apart.

Some 3d programs provide detailed specs on their file formats in included SDKs. (Like Lightwave''s chunked format for objects.)

And others are just simple text files with raw vertice data. (DirectX .X files saved as ASCII.)

About the simplest file format (for example, Alias|Wavefront''s .OBJ format) will be a simple text file listing a triplet of floats indicating the vertices, plus a series of integers indicating faces, and then a short list of surface properties. Even the more complicated binary formats are all going to contain at least this information.

However, there might be additional data. Lightwave .LWO files possess more, for example, possess the above info plus vertex weight maps, UV maps (both regular and discontinous), vertex morph maps, and so on.

There, file formats in twenty five seconds!

---
- 2D/Pixel Artist - 3D Artist - Game Programmer - Ulfr Fenris
[[ Gaping Wolf Software ]] [[ GameGenesis Forums ]]

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Thx.

I was mainly wondering if there was a standardized file type (I dunno, like .gif, or .jpg for images).

I also wanted to see if Blender could save a file as one of the more common file types and then I could get a uitility posibly to convert it into what I want it to be.

Thx again.

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I don''t have any direct links off the top of my head, but go check Elysiun
You can find import and export scripts for many file formats in the Blender Python & Plugins Forum.


====================================
Cat: the other white meat

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quote:
Original post by Cyber-Ace
Thx.

I was mainly wondering if there was a standardized file type (I dunno, like .gif, or .jpg for images).


Holy Christ! I could only WISH for such a thing. Sadly, no.



---
- 2D/Pixel Artist - 3D Artist - Game Programmer - Ulfr Fenris
[[ Gaping Wolf Software ]] [[ GameGenesis Forums ]]

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If you''re looking into character modeling, I have to suggest Milkshape. Not only will it let you create the animations, but it''ll import and export to a shedload of formats. Many of these formats are actual game formats (like Quake''s .md3) and theres usually plenty of converters around.

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LOL, time for a classic joke:

There are standards for 3D models, MANY MANY MANY of them...


Thanks wolf.


Orangy is MilkShape free? You already compaired it to Blender (somewhat). I am looking at Maya now, how would this "Milkshape" compair with Maya? From what I have seen Maya is a quality product and many use it?

Thx again.

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From my experience the most common file is a .3ds, but then there''s all the converting backwards and forwards that most of the time you''ll need to do with the file.

Maya, like 3DS Max, is a professional level tool with a four-figure pricetag, Milkshape costs $20 and despite being nowhere near as good as Lightwave/3dsmax/maya, its very good and at a nice price, plus comes with many converter plugins etc.

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quote:
Original post by Cyber-Ace
Orangy is MilkShape free?

No, MilkShape is not free. Its free to try though (demo).
quote:


You already compaired it to Blender (somewhat). I am looking at Maya now, how would this "Milkshape" compair with Maya? From what I have seen Maya is a quality product and many use it?


Maya has much richer feature set than Milkshape. Milkeshape was created as a modders tool, and it features are focused on that one aspect of 3d. Maya is full-featured 3d app, modeling, animation, rendering, etc. Maya isn''t free, but they do have a free learning edition.

My advice would be to stick with Blender. Especially download the latest version 2.32, which has more formats integrated for better import/export.

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quote:
Original post by Cyber-Ace
Thx.

I was mainly wondering if there was a standardized file type (I dunno, like .gif, or .jpg for images).


Most 3d apps can open and export .obj files. Understand though, that obj is just for object geometry (and maybe textures, not sure). I am not aware of an animation format that in common across most 3d apps.
quote:

I also wanted to see if Blender could save a file as one of the more common file types and then I could get a uitility posibly to convert it into what I want it to be.


There is an .obj import/export script for Blender at Elysiun.



[edited by - yspotua on February 7, 2004 4:40:43 PM]

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