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OpenGL OpenGL and milkshape or 3ds

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Hi, I have a project in which I have to make a human hand in OpenGL. I believe it may be difficult to produce a realistic model in a reasonable amount of time using only OpenGL. Would I be able to do this with the help of milkshape or 3ds? What are the limitations (os, software, etc) of using models created by another program? Thanks for any replies

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OpenGL is not a modelling tool. To "make" a human hand in OpenGL really means to give OpenGL a bunch of 3D points, organized as triangles, that end up looking like a hand. Without the aid of a mesh file to get that data from, you'd be doing it by hand. That would be suboptimal.

I'd recommend you look into Milkshape. The tool itself is cheap at around $30, and its easy enough to do simple modelling in. It exports to a variety of formats, including its native MS3D format, which is text-based and very easy to load.

3DS models, on the other hand, are natively exported by a very expensive program, and the models themselves are very difficult, comparatively, to load. They're also rather useless; 3DS is a very old format that lacks support for modern features such as skeletal animation.

So my advice is to use Milkshape to model the hand and export it as MS3D or OBJ, both of which are pretty easy to load.

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If the hand doesn't have to move then it's pretty simple to extract the vertex and texture coordinates from a .3DS file. After getting all the verts you will have to create normals for each of them, which is trivial, and only necessary if you plan on using lighting. There are quite a few free importers on the net if you look around.

And jpetrie is totally right. You definitely don't want to model the whole "hand" by hand or it'll take forever to get a good looking model. Milkshape is definitely the most economic way to go and is very simple to start using compared to most 3d modelers.

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I like to use Blender. It has two great advantages and one great disadvantage over Milkshape 3d. It is more, and more powerful, able to do much more than Milkshape(it does complex animation with IK chains, renders shots and videos, other things too), and Blender is free, while Milkshape is not. The disadvantage is that due to the complexity, Milkshape is much easier to use than Blender, and Blender has lots of buttons. Depending how how likely you are going to be modelling in the future(and if you have $30 available) I would say if you are going to model in the future, go ahead and learn Blender.

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On that note. If you ever want to model for real in the future, get 3D Studio Max. That'll cost you about as much as a car though, so you better be sure about it.

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Thanks. I think I'll go with Milkshape. The only thing is that I have to animate the hand. Any idea how difficult that will be?

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