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im trying to learn how to do 3d modeling. I have some experience in 3ds max (i took a class in high school). I think i could probably learn to make levels but im not to sure about modeling the human form. I dled the trial version of poser and i liked it. Im hoping to use a combo of poser (for my characters) and 3ds max (for levels and items). Im mainly a programmer. I have programmed two completed games in SDL and im trying my hand in ogre3d. Im planning to teach my friend (who is interested in 3d modeling) how to use these programs. I have a couple questions: 1) I hear there are problems getting poser characters into 3ds max. I hear there is animation trouble because u lose your rigging/biped (i really dont know what its called). I know there is a 3ds exporter in poser but not a .max one. Is there a way i can get my poser char into 3ds max? 2) If i cant use poser ... Can you guys reccomend some easy to use software that is good in making the human form well? It would be nice if it were as simple as poser. Poser is more like making a character in the sims2 than making a 3d model lol. 3) Can you guys reccomend any good tutorials sites for complete begginers? 4) Gamedev.net has served me well for my programming needs but i dont think its a 3d art forum. Can you guys reccomend any helpful forums? 5) Are there any good sites that have good FREE content? Im mostly looking for People and biped animations. I can model most of the rest by myself.

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1. If you only lose the rigging (bones for animation) then you could just re-add them in Max.

2. No idea

3. For tutorials just Google for "3d modelling tutorials" or whatever and you're sure to find something.

4. A good 3D art forum is CGTalk

5. If it's good quality you're looking for you're probably going to have to pay something but otherwise try Google.


Hope this helps!

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>>1) I hear there are problems getting poser characters into 3ds max. I hear there is animation trouble because u lose your rigging/biped (i really dont know what its called). I know there is a 3ds exporter in poser but not a .max one. Is there a way i can get my poser char into 3ds max?
No (well, possibly, look into Deep Exploration and Poly-Trans). You'll have to re-rig the character in 3ds, which is quite a significant task.

2) If i cant use poser ... Can you guys reccomend some easy to use software that is good in making the human form well? It would be nice if it were as simple as poser. Poser is more like making a character in the sims2 than making a 3d model lol.
Well, I'm gonna put this plainly: Poser sucks, and is not 3d modelling software. You can't really model at all, actually, you can only import models. Poser is a barbie-doll/drawing assistant. You are, in fact, merely doing what you are in the Sims2, and not actual modelling. The difference is, Poser's interface is alot more confusing than the Sims2 (though admittedly it can do alot more).
Also, Poser's characters are tens/hundreds of thousands of polygons. No good for games, at all.

3) Can you guys reccomend any good tutorials sites for complete begginers?
I prefer www.3dtotal.com, there is also www.3dcafe.com and www.3dpalace.com. Hands down though, if you really want to learn, get some DVD's from somewhere like Digital Tutors or Gnomon Workshop (though those are more for Maya).

4) Gamedev.net has served me well for my programming needs but i dont think its a 3d art forum. Can you guys reccomend any helpful forums?
www.cgtalk.com, also www.3dbuzz.com

5) Are there any good sites that have good FREE content? Im mostly looking for People and biped animations. I can model most of the rest by myself.
www.turbosquid.com and some things on www.3dtotal.com. If its for a private project, look no further than your favorite PC games!

A last word about modelling organics. This has less to do with technical skill than artistic/anatomical skills. If you have no idea how to draw a human correctly, or the major muscles and all the proportions, you CANNOT model a human well, even with the best reference photos you can get. Its rare that a programmer or someone not serious about CG (and even those who are serious about CG) can model humans well, so in some sense, you are on the right track by looking for existing models. On the other hand, Poser is acceptable at what it does, but it is no 3d modelling. Someone I know compared using Poser to 3dsmax as MSPaint to Photoshop.

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thx a ton guys especially with the poser advice. I didnt know that poser uses such high poly counts. well i looked at a few sites (mainly turbosquid) and i found some nice stuff.

But how long do u think it would take my friend to learn to model organics? Im not really in too much of a rush but if the average artists takes 10 years before he can make a cube i might be in some trouble. Because im wondering if i should put the effort into teaching him how to make content or just learn how to model them myself. I find that most of the time people arent as willing to put much effort into learning game development as me. But i gotta admit he seems like the type that if he got into it he would do it hardcore. Ive been to many game tournaments with him and he plays his game HARDCORE. Like i said I have some 3d experience but that is mainly with objects mainly made up of straight lines and right angles (like buildings). I can do alot of man made objects because they are simple to do lol. But he is really good at drawing people. He has been doing it for years. And i would really like to focus on programming. What do u guys think?

Also what kind of specs for a art developing computer would you reccomend? My computer is great and runs most of the apps i have nicely but my friend's computer is kinda.... crappy lol. He has been wanting me to build him one for quite a while now and he has some money saved up. If i do build him one in the near future i would be able for it to handle some of the 3d modeling programs he would need lol.

Im betting that small projects like mine are a dime a dozen and it would be hard to find volunteer artists. Is there a place where i could find some people. I apologize if the answer is one of the forums you guys have told me about because i admitedly havent had a chance to check them out.

Also is there a general guidline for how many polygons/triangles a scene can have. I remember reading a long time ago that there was a formula directly relating desired framerate and cpu speed to triangle count. Or is there just some chart reccomending how many triangles a particular type of object should have.

Looking at some of those prices on turbosquid makes me think that 3d modeling must be insanly hard lol. $300 for one model for 10.3MB. Christ.

But thx for all the answers guys =)

[Edited by - jchmack on April 5, 2006 12:37:43 PM]

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i use editablepoly in max(v4+) for modelling any character stuff.

heres a great timelapse video of a guy making a head using epoly.
http://www.3dluvr.com/ic-art/html/work.html

he's using a plugin called meshtools as i think he's using max4, but all of those functions are available in the standard epoly interface in max v5+.

the thing thats great about epoly is that you can be as destructive as you like without totally ruining your mesh, it's easy to split/add/delete edges and verts. this makes experimentation easy.

btw, check out his gallery while your there, he's awesome.

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>>But how long do u think it would take my friend to learn to model organics?
>>If he is already very well versed in anatomy and drawing, a couple months to a year until he gets enough quality to make a model good enough. 'good enough' means that the next model he makes won't be so much better that the prior model looks like crap. Generally, his third-fifth humanoid will be about when his models become 'good enough.' At least that's what I've found.

>>Because im wondering if i should put the effort into teaching him how to make content or just learn how to model them myself.
>>Its much easier to learn the technical aspects of modelling than it is to learn become proficcient at drawing humans.

>>Like i said I have some 3d experience but that is mainly with objects mainly made up of straight lines and right angles (like buildings). I can do alot of man made objects because they are simple to do lol. But he is really good at drawing people. He has been doing it for years.
>>Then I hope he is actually good at it, at a university level quality wise. He should actually be able to render anatomically correct humans, not make ill-proportioned people out of poorly drawn lines. Unless he's done some academic work at it or taken life drawing classes, I doubt he'd be able to.

>>And i would really like to focus on programming.
>>Then by all means do so.

>>Also what kind of specs for a art developing computer would you reccomend? My computer is great and runs most of the apps i have nicely but my friend's computer is kinda.... crappy lol. He has been wanting me to build him one for quite a while now and he has some money saved up. If i do build him one in the near future i would be able for it to handle some of the 3d modeling programs he would need lol.
>>It depends what type of graphics. If you want to normal map and use 2k textures, then you'll need 2GB of RAM, and you'll need pretty high-end hardware. Just build the best computer you can afford, and pay special attention to RAM and GPU, even if it comes at the cost of a better processor or whatnot. Also, your HDD, figure you'll need 30-80 gigs between your modelling programs, videos, texture files, scene files, videos, etc.


>>Im betting that small projects like mine are a dime a dozen and it would be hard to find volunteer artists. Is there a place where i could find some people. I apologize if the answer is one of the forums you guys have told me about because i admitedly havent had a chance to check them out.
>>Gamedev is your best bet. My suggestion is to produce some screenshots, THEN start looking for people.

>>Also is there a general guidline for how many polygons/triangles a scene can have. I remember reading a long time ago that there was a formula directly relating desired framerate and cpu speed to triangle count. Or is there just some chart reccomending how many triangles a particular type of object should have.
>>This depends on ALOT. What is your lighting/effects/shadows like. The formula you speak of doesn't really give you a solid or reliable number, as (IIRC) the author admits, because it doesn't take into account all the variables of what else the CPU is processing except triangles. Best way to find out is to open up similar games and look at their art, or find screencaptures from their modelling software. A good character target is 3000 polygons.

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If you're interested in making levels, try DeleD 3D Editor. To be found on http://www.delgine.com. Easy enough to get started pretty quickly. Version 1.4 has more advanced 3D editing routines (like vertex bevel, vertex delete, vertex connect, edge connect) so that it can be used for character modelling as well.

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