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Your suggestion for free model/rigging software?

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I know there are dozens of options, but I'm curious what free software some of you self-taught individuals would suggest to someone just starting.  I know about Blender, I've looked at it and it's impressive, but I'm looking for something cut and dry, shallow learning curve that handles the basics, not all the extra bells and whistles to make Playstation3000 quality models. (That'll be my next request). lol

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...Any program that handles modelling and rigging already handles anywhere from PS1-class models to the highest poly AAA next gen main character model. That's up to you.

No fancy program is going to immediately make AAA-class models. Similarly, there are no "bare basics" modelling and rigging programs because there's not way to limit usage like that. It's a bit like asking for program that only allows loose sketching, even though the fact that there's the inclusion of a pen tool and color wheel (the basics) makes it possible to do even finished paintings anyway.

 

In fact, I'm not even entirely sure what you're talking about. Blender is incredibly basic, and imho, makes things more complicated than they need be. But once you know how to work it, modelling is no different whether you're using Blender, 3DSMax, Maya, so on.

There are no bells and whistles that make things "more complicated" just to make the model look prettier. There is only the stock-standard workflow that everyone uses. If you want to make a basic low-poly model without a normal-map, you can do that. The fact that Blender can do more than that doesn't hamper your ability to just practice fundamentals.

 

To sum up, though, If you're a student, I recommend picking up a student copy of Maya or 3DsMax, the industry standard programs. They're a bit cleaner and more efficient, and thus make learning the basics a bit simpler. You can then transfer the actual knowledge you've earned in them back over to blender if you need to do commercial work.

Edited by BagelHero

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Use Blender, I know it looks hard, just ignore the buttons you don't need to use.

 

Even if you work with simple 3d modeling program like Google Sketchup, 3Dcrafter or Art of Illusion, you will eventually want more complex models that would take too long using this kind of software.

Blender is great for finding out what kind of 3d modeler you are, box modeling, polygon modeling and sculpting are the main methods.

You can find software dedicated to each method on it's own, blender has a combination of the basic tools of all these.

 

Learning to make high quality 3d models is a long and hard road, if you have no intend on sticking with 3d modeling it would be better to buy models or download free models.

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...Any program that handles modelling and rigging already handles anywhere from PS1-class models to the highest poly AAA next gen main character model. That's up to you.

No fancy program is going to immediately make AAA-class models. Similarly, there are no "bare basics" modelling and rigging programs because there's not way to limit usage like that. It's a bit like asking for program that only allows loose sketching, even though the fact that there's the inclusion of a pen tool and color wheel (the basics) makes it possible to do even finished paintings anyway.

 

In fact, I'm not even entirely sure what you're talking about. Blender is incredibly basic, and imho, makes things more complicated than they need be. But once you know how to work it, modelling is no different whether you're using Blender, 3DSMax, Maya, so on.

There are no bells and whistles that make things "more complicated" just to make the model look prettier. There is only the stock-standard workflow that everyone uses. If you want to make a basic low-poly model without a normal-map, you can do that. The fact that Blender can do more than that doesn't hamper your ability to just practice fundamentals.

 

To sum up, though, If you're a student, I recommend picking up a student copy of Maya or 3DsMax, the industry standard programs. They're a bit cleaner and more efficient, and thus make learning the basics a bit simpler. You can then transfer the actual knowledge you've earned in them back over to blender if you need to do commercial work.

 

I understand what you're saying, but what I was referring to would be like the difference between Paint and Photoshop...  Granted, if you're just the Van Gogh of digital artwork, you can probably accomplish everything with Paint you can with Photoshop with enough time and patience.  But if all you're wanting to do is some basic cut/paste, crop and add some test to a picture, Paint does everything you need without needing 30 separate blur effects, 9 sharpens, 27 burn settings and a magic lasso. 

 

Maybe that sort of analogy doesn't apply to 3d modeling, but it was my assumption that some of them have more options, effects, etc. that professionals or advanced hobbyists would use and seek out, that newer people wouldn't really benefit from.

 

As far as Blender, when I compared the way it looked and it's options to something like Wings3D, it seemed on appearance to be the same as comparing Photoshop to Paint.  And that's why this thread exists. lol

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Learning a good 3D program is far better decision than trying to go on the cheap and end with months, if not years, of delay in your learning curve because you chose a software which limits you.  To make real progress, you must have courage and motivation to learn new software because that is the nature of the game development occupation.

 

Poser, Blender, Maya, and 3DS Max have all been used by me and they work just fine.  Many tutorials exist to help you step by step. Most great 3D graphics software have student or sort of express versions which cost little or nothing.   By the way, I usually make the base model for a character in Wings 3D, UV map it there, create a void and also template textures with Wings 3D, and then export/import into another 3D software program for finishing and animations.  

 

If you use a game engine, then you need to learn what the preferred workflow pipeline is for that system.   Some are designed to favor certain 3D graphics programs, but many allow others due to compatibility with the same 2D and 3D file formats or connection via plug-ins such as Collada.

 

Trying too hard to find a short cut can get you lost in the jungle easily in the game development industry.  Best for newbies to stay on the beaten paths for a last a good 1-2 years.

Edited by 3Ddreamer

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As far as Blender, when I compared the way it looked and it's options to something like Wings3D, it seemed on appearance to be the same as comparing Photoshop to Paint

 

 

Blender and Wings 3D are both great.   Wings 3D focuses on the basic 3D creation and applying either 2D surface or rendering with a plug-in such as PathRay.  I have found none better than the great Wings 3D for the organic 3D creation. It is far quicker in Wings 3D than anything else that I have tried.  Next I export in the correct file format and import the model into Blender or another 3D program for polishing the model or adding animations.  This is a reliable and fast workflow which I discovered.   Often I can outpace all but the very fastest 3D modelers with my system and usually with higher quality at the finish.

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Learning a software with some thousand dollars price tag won't teach you modeling any faster than using Blender would. I wouldn't recommend grabbing one of those "generator" softwares either because that won't give you the core info on models that you will need to work with them regardless on if you use automated software.

 

Blender is not about belts and whistles it just has a very nice feature set that with the game engine is totally unmatched by it's competitors. Blender is good for very wide array of things and learning it will yield you many skills you might yourself in need of as you dwell deeper into game development.

 

But there is no easy way to "just make" things like rigged characters. There will be a learning curve and if there wasn't there wouldn't be any need for 3D professionals. And I'm not talking about PS3000 quality either.

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I agree about Blender.  It is very smooth workflow to be able to test the model immediately as it would appear in game. Also the support from the Blender community and the huge amount of help information is enormous.

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