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Writing a basic 3d Modeler

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I'm thinking of building a basic 3d modeler to create basic primitive shapes, save them to an external file and modify the shapes in 4 different viewports using different tools. Does anyone have any basic guides or tutorials or a pathway for me to take in terms of the math, algorithms and techniques to go about implementing this. Obviously i'm going to have to use an API but that's besides the point, implementing in directx/opengl/sdl or whatever the API isn't the issue for me, its really the concepts, and related math techniques and algorithms that are making me a little quesy. Tutorials, suggestions or ideas are all welcomed

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Guest Anonymous Poster
If you find the concepts, math and general techniques of 3D programming too difficult (that's what I read), then I would really advise you to do something else then 3D programming.

Even if you were really getting into 3D programming, I can't advise you to start immediately with making a 3D modelling program. That's way beyond the league of a novice 3D programmer.

By the way: this is not meanth as a flame, only to make your view on 3D programming a little more realistic.

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I have to disagree with the AP.
This project might be a great opportunity to actually learn these concepts and acquire a deeper understanding.

Do some research in parametric generation of common shapes first. Start with simple platonic bodies such as cubes, tetrahedrons and so on. Find out what their basic properties are and how to generate the actual geometry from them.

Start with very simple algorithms first, e.g. don't care about faces and indexed vertices. If you can generate and manipulate simple shapes, start optimising the geometry by using faces and indexed vertices. You can read about these things in API docs and references such as the D3D docs or the OpenGL Redbook.

If you don't try to mimic the features of Lightwave, Maya, 3D Studio, Cinema3D and such you will most likely be able to create a simple shape and scene editor within a reasonable time.

Best of luck,
Pat.

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Don't let that discourage you. There is a lot you can do with an API such as OpenGL and DirectX without a great deal of understanding of the math involved. First and foremost is having fun. Digging into the math, getting bored and quiting isn't better than knowing the API, but not the math. There may be some more advanced things you can't do, but as long as you are content with doing what you can do then it doesn't really matter.

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