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A question about developing 3d art components

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Hey. I'm a programmer, but have been researching how all the 3D components come together in a video game project. I'm aware that there are commercial 3d software products such as Maya and 3ds Max, but I've also noticed that commercial engines such as Unreal come with a 3d editor. What would a team of 3d artists use? Would they use the stand-alone software, or the built-in editor included in a commercial engine? Do they use both? If so, I would love to know how, and would love to be enlightened with any knowledge bombs that you guys would like to drop on me. Hope this doesn't seem to noobish. Like I said, I'm just a programmer. Thanks in advance for your replies!

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Well, the 3D editor in the Unreal engine is mainly to build game levels (if I am not mistaken). As for game models (characters, etc.) they probably use 3ds Max or some similar tool. As for what specific tools they actually use, it depends on the company, the team, the capabilities of the engine and what the artists actually know how to use. Technically it is possible to do everything (levels, models, etc.) in a high end modeling program like 3ds Max. If you want to go on the free side of things, Blender is really good but it takes some time to get used to.

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Quote:
Original post by Ishioma
Hey. I'm a programmer, but have been researching how all the 3D components come together in a video game project. I'm aware that there are commercial 3d software products such as Maya and 3ds Max, but I've also noticed that commercial engines such as Unreal come with a 3d editor. What would a team of 3d artists use? Would they use the stand-alone software, or the built-in editor included in a commercial engine? Do they use both? If so, I would love to know how, and would love to be enlightened with any knowledge bombs that you guys would like to drop on me. Hope this doesn't seem to noobish. Like I said, I'm just a programmer.

It's a good question.

Typically, the artists will use the commercial modeling packages like 3d Studio and Maya to create the 3D models (assets), then the built-in editor to place the assets within the game world, to assign triggers and scripted behaviors, and so forth. This requires that the modeling package produce a format that the engine/editor understands. In some cases, that doesn't happen natively, so converter programs are written and/or used.

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That's what I kinda thought, I just wanted to ask to be sure though. I'm not actually interested in creating models or levels at this point, I'm still perfecting my programming skills in school. I just wanted to get an idea on what happens in the 3d dev side of things.

Thanks alot for the replies!

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
Original post by Ishioma
Hey. I'm a programmer, but have been researching how all the 3D components come together in a video game project. I'm aware that there are commercial 3d software products such as Maya and 3ds Max, but I've also noticed that commercial engines such as Unreal come with a 3d editor. What would a team of 3d artists use? Would they use the stand-alone software, or the built-in editor included in a commercial engine? Do they use both? If so, I would love to know how, and would love to be enlightened with any knowledge bombs that you guys would like to drop on me. Hope this doesn't seem to noobish. Like I said, I'm just a programmer.

It's a good question.

Typically, the artists will use the commercial modeling packages like 3d Studio and Maya to create the 3D models (assets), then the built-in editor to place the assets within the game world, to assign triggers and scripted behaviors, and so forth. This requires that the modeling package produce a format that the engine/editor understands. In some cases, that doesn't happen natively, so converter programs are written and/or used.


When you say "assets", what objects would this refer to? Would objects such as characters, guns, funiture, etc. be made in the commercial modeling packages, and levels(walls, floors, stairs) be created in the editor? Or is every conceivable asset made in the package, then converted to be placed in the editor?

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Character models, chairs, tables, rooms, doors... and so on.

All are 'assets' that get imported into the proprietary 3d editors to be sewn together into the landscapes that you see in a game. You can think of it this way a bit : 3dsMax/Maya/Blender is for creating individual lego blocks, the proprietary 3d editor is to assemble the lego blocks into something big and grand.

It's tedious to render a forest in a modeling program [3dsMax/Maya/Blender/etc], so instead you render a really nice tree. In the 3d editor for unreal, you load the tree and dot a bunch of them over the map, and you define wind direction so they sway back and forth [just as an example]. In a modeling program you might model a door and a room, in the 3d editor you put the door on the doorframe, and make it swing open when a player stands in front of it.

It also depends on the 3d editor what you have to create outside of the editor and what can be created inside. Some editors allow you to create the actual landscape [hills/mountains/rivers] in the editor, and have tools designed to do just that very quickly [like a 'place mountain' button, or 'dig trench' button], others you would have to model all of that stuff in a modeling program, and import it in. The 3d editor is really where you glue all the pieces together and assign them properties/scripts/make them so that the player can interact with them.

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Drigovas, that was an excellent reply. I especially loved the comparison that you used with lego blocks, it worked. Thank you so much for that wonderful expaination!

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