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Griffin_Kemp

3D "Sketching" - Need Help Finding Application

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I need a very, very, very easy 3 dimensional "sketching" program. The purpose is to sketch pretty complex constructs very similar to roller coasters, but I do not need to model them in great detail at this point. What I do need is a 3 dimensional environment that allows me to brainstorm the "track" path of a roller coaster rapidly, and make adjustments as I change my mind very easily and quickly. I would prefer if it was able to easily bend and curve rectangles, as rectangles are an easy object to visually see the 3 dimensions of perspective and path travel with for conceptual viewing. It would be preferable that the product be either free or very low end (again, graphic quality is not a high priority here), as this isn't at a budgeting stage; only a proof of concept stage. Thank you in advance for any help that can be offered. (Yes, I did look through the sticky as well as downloaded several from searching on the internet; all programs seem to involved, slow, and detailed for what I am looking for.)

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I tried google sketchup and found it very restrained for curving and bending objects.
In fact, it lacks the ability to do this entirely.

Instead, you have to draw a line and use the follow me option, which doesn't always work out well.

Aside from this, I found it very slow in putting shapes together.

Perhaps it is just me, but I was not impressed with the program's flexibility.

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Honestly, at this stage I would opt to use staws linked to each other on balsa wood if it weren't for the fact that I would end up with a very unmanageable collection of balsa and straw models laying around the house.

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Perhaps u could write one? Such a tool, it might be the fastest way, there doesn't seem to be any available tool out there which fits your exact needs.

-ddn

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Quote:
Original post by electricdragon
How about using clay or PLay-Doh? Real-time updates and simple user interface....

The Jame Cameron approach (as I call these things) would be my normal method of doing things about 3 years ago, however, I have two rug-rats around that make such modeling a bit ... well, dangerous, lol.

I'll figure it out one way or the other.

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You could try Blender. Im not sure if it supports more then the basic polygon modeling well. But NURBS and subD modeling are decent if you want those clean curves when you get used to it.

But yeah, if you don't want to work on anything too complex I would suggest to you a little bit of glue and some toothpicks, maybe even some bamboo skewers for long straight areas.

The other way is the architect aproach of AutoCAD. However that along with everything else by Autodesk will cost you a pretty penny.

Another stretch is to buy a game like Rollercoster Tycoon and use that to make your concept.

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Thank you Shadow, I think nurbs focused modeling programs are probably the best bet from what I've read since you posted about it.
I like the many angles of control; it'll take a little bit to find one specifically that has a nice integration of this technology into the program, but right now I'm going to try out Rhino to see how well it employs it's system.

Thanks again.

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I've never used it, but I think Wings3S is supposed to be good for curved objects. Have a look at http://www.wings3d.com/

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