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rzetlin

[Beginner] Don't know which 3D Modeling Tool to Use

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I find that there are two extremes for 3D modeling programs: Free ones: Freespace and Blender Pros: They are free and can create decent graphics Cons: Limited resources, documentation and community. Terrible UI especially Blender. Not used by the game industry. Expensive ones: Maya, 3DS and XSI Pros: Well documented and used by the industry. Cons: Very expensive. I don't know which 3D modeling program to use for XNA. I don't want to be in the situation where I won't be accepted in a job position because I used the wrong 3D tool.

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Quote:
rzetlin
I find that there are two extremes for 3D modeling programs:

Free ones: Freespace and Blender

Pros: They are free and can create decent graphics
Cons: Limited resources, documentation and community. Terrible UI especially Blender. Not used by the game industry.

Expensive ones: Maya, 3DS and XSI

Pros: Well documented and used by the industry.
Cons: Very expensive.

I don't know what Freespace is, I assume you me TrueSpace? If you mean True then well, I really don't like TrueSpace. It runs like crap on my laptop, which runs 3ds Max and XSI perfectly fine. The interface is a bit bizarre as well.

Blender has an admittedly very unique UI. You're wrong about the "limited resources, documentations, and community" though. Blender is the de facto open source 3d modelling program for good reason. It is incredibly feature rich, has a very strong community, tons of resources, and since it is open source you can easily do custom builds to fit your needs. No, it is not really used in commercial games development, but its use in the films, television, and games industry is growing.

Quote:
I don't know which 3D modeling program to use for XNA.

Maya, 3ds Max, and XSI are expensive. There is, however, a free Mod Tool version of XSI available (XSI Mod Tool). It includes XNA tools and a decent amount of documentation to support them. Also note that there are academic version of 3ds Max, Maya, and XSI available for reduced prices if you are a student.

Quote:
I don't want to be in the situation where I won't be accepted in a job position because I used the wrong 3D tool.

That should not concern you. If you can demonstrate talent with one tool then a studio is going to be willing to give you time to adjust to whatever they are using. Most studios have some sort of custom or proprietary software in their production pipeline anyways. Ramp up time is expected.

As far as market penetration, here in the States anyways 3ds Max and Maya are the big 2. In Japan I know that XSI is huge. I don't know about Europe. Here in the States you'll often times find Max and Maya in the same studio. A curious trend I've noticed is that a lot of smaller studios use Max whereas a lot of the bigger ones have moved to Maya. My company is Max only, but talking to some guys who work for EA, Max is only prevalent in two of their studios with the rest using Maya. Bungie is mostly Maya, but they have a mixed pipeline as well.

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There are a number of experts here that are actually in the industry, but from what I have seen 3DS is the most popular. It has the shader support now, the max script, .x file format exporter, etc. so it has become more than just a modeling program.

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Do Maya, sure its a butt load of money, they offer a student one for free which puts a watermark on it but i find that Maya out of all the tools ive tried has the best umm... usability...what you would call gameplay but being a program. Interface? is the correct word maybe? :) Its super nice and highly supported because of it, leading the industry for so long. Hope this helps, there are alot of free ones as well but i dont think they come close to maya, then alot of people like 3ds max for game modeling that one is worth checking out, i think its cheaper too.

good luck, you wouldnt be marked down for using a free modeling program over someone who has been using an expensive modeling program. Its an art, and if your art is better than his then youll win.

There are more free ones out there such as Wings3D, which actually is cool but still horrible interface,

http://www.gamedevelopertools.com/ has a list of more free ones and some less expensive to try.

good luck.

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You might also like to try modo. It has a 30 day trial, a student license and the full version is not too expencive - well this depends... :-(

It also has decent documentation, expecially the video tutorials are really nice.

best jochen

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Quote:

I don't know what Freespace is, I assume you me TrueSpace? If you mean True then well, I really don't like TrueSpace. It runs like crap on my laptop, which runs 3ds Max and XSI perfectly fine. The interface is a bit bizarre as well.


My mistake. It's Truespace. :)

Quote:

Maya, 3ds Max, and XSI are expensive. There is, however, a free Mod Tool version of XSI available (XSI Mod Tool). It includes XNA tools and a decent amount of documentation to support them. Also note that there are academic version of 3ds Max, Maya, and XSI available for reduced prices if you are a student.


I tried out XSI Mod Tool and I found some turn offs.

- It's memory bloated (XSI Mod Tool - 150 MB vs. Blender 4 MB)
- The XSI Mod Tool has a habit of freezing up
- It doesn't work with Intel GMA graphic cards

-------------

I am starting to lean to towards learning Blender because of its power and affordability.



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I recently took a tour of Juiced studios, and they're using Max. We're taught max at uni, and I very highly recommend it if you can stretch to the price tag (as mentioned above, there are discounts for students).

I've experimented with Blender on many occasions, and I find the interface very fluent once you know how to use it. It's confusing and seems 'messy' at first, but your productivity in Blender will outperform any other modeller once you master it.

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Quote:
Original post by rzetlin
I find that there are two extremes for 3D modeling programs:

Free ones: Freespace and Blender

Pros: They are free and can create decent graphics
Cons: Limited resources, documentation and community. Terrible UI especially Blender. Not used by the game industry.

Expensive ones: Maya, 3DS and XSI

Pros: Well documented and used by the industry.
Cons: Very expensive.


I don't know which 3D modeling program to use for XNA.

I don't want to be in the situation where I won't be accepted in a job position because I used the wrong 3D tool.


Hello, rzetlin.

I can only make a suggestion based on personal experience and I've found 3DS Max to be the industry standard, but that's not to say that Maya cannot make equal results. I would suggest 3DS Max because I personally have found it more user friendly, but that's just my personal preference. No matter which one you pick, once you become a great 3D modeler and learn how the certain tools work to make great results, it's just a matter of getting use to the new look of each program and different features. If you're a great 3D modeler, within reason you can swap between 3DS Max, Maya, or even Light Wave and make great results.

I suggest sticking to one program that you will find learning fun, and easy. Then once you've learned how to model game graphics, it doesn't matter what program you pick.

A great artist can make great art with pen and paper or even drawing in the sand.

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To address your concern as to what program you'll need to know to get hired somewhere... Honestly it doesn't matter what program you use. Once you know how to model in one program, it's pretty easy to quickly learn another. No program is going to make your model look better than another program. It's up to you to make your stuff look good.

The more expensive programs usually have more features, a larger userbase, more documentation and are just more efficient.. But free 3d modeling programs can still make the same 3d models. If you can find a way to export to whatever file type you need, then you're all set.

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