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3D Modellers

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The two most common ones are blender3D and Milkshape3D (which is shareware actually, $20).

Blender is extremely powerful and exports to a few formats that are easily converted to anything you need. It has an extremely weird UI, so that may take a little getting used to.

Milkshape is also very powerful. It has a large user population, so there are lots of plugins and exports formats. It is very easy to use and vaguely resembles the UI of the commercial modellers.

I personally prefer Milkshape, but I only tried blender once, so it may be more for you. There are only a few others that I know of, Wings3D for one.

Note: DO NOT USE GMAX. GMax is a very nice modeler (a stripped down 3DSMax), but it only exports to specific file formats that cannot be converted. It is only to be distributed with a game to make modding it a bit easier.

Edit: Ah yes, forgot anim8or (thanks jmutch). It has a similar layout to Milkshape, but seems a little less powerul. While it can export objects to .3ds files, I don't think it supports exporting animations (correct me if I'm wrong).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I use Blender, Wings3d, and Truespace.

Blender, even though it has a screwy interface becomes quite easy to navigate once you get used to it. Very powerful.

Wings3d, quite possibly my favorite modeler. Easy to use, very intuitive.

Truespace, a little older but but also powerful and you can download the full version for free at Truespace 3.2

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Quote:
Original post by CodeTitan
I've never heard of Wings3D before...is it worth learning?


It is free and a small download. It is absolutely worth trying. I love it. If you like it, just another tool in the box. If you don't like it, uninstall it and be done with it. Try it, I don't think you will be disappointed.

Here is a helm I made with it. Not the best in the world but then again, neither are my graphics skills, but wings made it easy.



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I used to use Wings3d. It's really easy to learn and it allowed me to progress in modelling faster than anything else. Exporting between Wings3d and Blender and doing all that stuff can get tedious. It's mainly on the Blender side because you have to download python scripts for input output and you have to learn its awful interface. I gave up and downloaded the 3ds Max trial, because you can do everything in one program. Once that runs out I'll use GMax because I'm just using the software to learn how to use it, not to put anything into games(at this point at least). At the beginning you won't even need the texturing and uv mapping. You'll just be trying to get your modelling skills down.

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I never saw you mention anywhere what you'd be using the 3D models for. Is it to get some experience with 3D modeling? Or d oyou actually want to put it into a game? I recommend gmax for learning, due to its somewhat similar interface to 3dstudio max. Since this thread is in the "for beginners", it may be that you just want to learn to use a modeler. Also, if it is for a game, will you be using DirectX, OpenGL, or something else for your 3D graphics. Your choice of modeler would probably depend on which API you'd be using, so you might want to think about that before you start trying out a 3D modeler.

Oh, and I would stay away from Blender as I tried it and the interface was a bit complicated.

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Quote:
Original post by DaemonMagus
It's mainly on the Blender side because you have to download python scripts for input output and you have to learn its awful interface.


Mon dieu,
Blender's interface is beautiful.It lets you do so many things with just clicks without having to open and wade through tons of menus.

So much power at you very finger tips and it's horrible!!!!!!!!


If you (CodeTitan ;) ) are going to learn Blender I agree there'a a bit of a learning curve (1 month min) but once you get used to it it better than anything else.I love it's short cuts, so much can be done by just moving your finger and the mouse without waiting of dialogs to open.

The Best I love about is it's size,so small ,so powerful, it's the nuclear weapon in you pocket.

There are a lot of exporter/importer scripts and loads of tutorials for Blender.It's user community is huge.

Gmax is useless, it's crippled.

Here's what took about a min for me to do in blender.


Btw, Blender does not hand anything out, you can just take what you need


Anyway why dont you go and try both Wings3D and Blender, both are small unlike the commercial ones which are huge (in both cost and size) and they are without any strings.


It would be better if you know a wide veriety of tools as it will look better on your resume. ;)

[u]LINKS[/u]
Blender3D
Wings3D
Maya Personal Learning Editon
Bryce 5 - quite amazing stuff
3D Cafe - Tutorials for 3d Max,Maya,Truespace and lots more

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From CGTalk, the advice for free modelling software is a combination of Wings3D and Blender3D. (Wings3D for modelling, and Blender3D for rendering, after a while, you get used to Blender3D, you step over to doing everything in it.)

trueSpace sucks. The interface is like, idiot. Don't ever, ever use it. And you have to register to get it.

Blender3D is REALLY powerful. Check this gallery!

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You got to see that that gallery, it only one of the many for Blender.

I dont think there's any 3D modelling software on the planet which can match Blender for power,size and cost.

Pipo DeClown's right, eventually anyone who get's used to Blender will love it and do almost everyting in it.

[google](more galleries ofcourse)

Blender Tutotrials
Blender3D :: Education
Blender Tutorials Page
Juicy Blender
Elysiun

[Edited by - FireNet on September 13, 2004 3:29:29 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I use wings3d for modelling and blender for animation (though I suck). Blender can export animated dx8 format (.x) with full bones and weights.

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Nobody seems to have linked Veovis' excellent threads in the Visual Arts forum. 2d & 3d software information and the accompanying thread (includes textures and models) here. AFAIK they're being continously updated, so if you find anything new or useful toss it into the meltin' pot :)

As for preference, I love MS3D for it's simplicity but it can be a bit clunky at times. I'm looking forward to MS3D 2.0 when it's released. Hopefully we'll see a whole bag of features (such as Physics simulation) and a better interface.

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Quote:
Original post by CodeTitan
So it seems that blender is more compatible with Direct3D than with OpenGL?


Erm, no. Blender uses OpenGL, if built with OpenGL support. It sorta has to, since it is cross-platform.

As far as the formats it exports, though, or what you can do with it, it has nothing to do at all with either Direct3D or OpenGL. Sure, it exports to the .X format, but you can easily load an .X file and display the geometry using OpenGL if that is your desire. And there are numerous other formats it exports, as well as a Python interface if you prefer to 'roll your own'.

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