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Old February 1 2004, 08:58 AM   #31
Four Mad Men
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Re: 3D Software?

Agreed Mike of Romulas, and it also in no way hurts to have a three button mouse w/ scroll wheel.

Looks like it will be tomorrow. If I've not heard anything to the contrary in this thread I'll post it Sunday afternoon.
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Old February 2 2004, 08:09 PM   #32
Four Mad Men
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Re: 3D Software?

Posted by Lindley:
Posted by Four Mad Men:
There's definately a learning curve there. Knowing the keyboard commands and mouse buttons really speeds things up. I posted a link to (an old but still usefull) list of keyboard commands for Blender on another thread in this forum.

I believe the subject was "Downloaded Blender". But a title search for "blender" should turn it up.
I'll take a look. But frankly, I'm about ready to give up on Blender. Its so hard to figure out how to make it do the simplest things (like selecting a different object) that IMO its just not worth it.
Here's the post on Blender Basics, it's not much but have a look if your still interested.
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Old February 3 2004, 05:09 AM   #33
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Re: 3D Software?

Hiya JoshC

A good thing would be to get hold of some demo versions of the different programs and see how they fit your personal style / workflow.

I am using 3dsMAX myself, (including Brazil for rendering).
Max is a good solid package.

Maya is an exellent choice too, especially if you want to do organic modelling.

Have a look at some pictures/models that you think are cool, an find out what package they where made in, that will give you an idea of what you can achieve too.
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Old February 21 2004, 07:38 PM   #34
Cid Highwind
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Location: Germany
Re: 3D Software?

Related question... For a small (or not so small, depends ) project using VRML, I am looking for a 3D modelling tool that exports to VRML 2.0 (VRML97). It should be as free and as intuitive (in this order) as possible, and doesn't need to have too many functions - I never tried 3D modelling before, and only need to produce relatively simple shapes.

I hope someone will be able to help me out with some suggestions...
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Old February 21 2004, 08:18 PM   #35
Four Mad Men
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Re: 3D Software?

Well there's mixed feeling about how intuitive it is (I personally think it's just fine in that regard) but Blender can export to VRML 2.0 (and 1.0). I have no clue about others but I'm pretty sure the professional packages do.

You might have a look at Anim8or or Wings3D as several people here have found them easier to use. Perhaps they have what your looking for.
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Old February 22 2004, 07:22 PM   #36
M. Quintar
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Re: 3D Software?

It's been such a long time since I stepped foot into the Trek Art forum and had a look around. Whatever happened to whats-his-face for stealing other peoples' work?

I found this linked article at www.flay.com that I really thought would be useful here as I do recall the question of 'which 3D app is best?' always popping up every few weeks.

http://www.zaon.com/company/articles/3d_rendering.php

To be perfectly honest with you, most of the more technical stuff went over my head but as a Lightwaver I was intrigued at reading that LightWave's renderer is "showing its age".
With the animation project I'm working on at the moment I can kind of see that now.


I hope this article helps anyone out there.
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Old February 22 2004, 10:24 PM   #37
joe40001
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Re: 3D Software?

I'm kinda like Lindley. I downloaded blender, and it is quite counter-intuitive, and I'm usually considered a "quick study".

Don't worry, I have a 5 button mouse. But it still is very hard for me to get.

Are there some example objects I could download, or some tips you guys could give me? Personally I'm having a little trouble getting my mind around the depth thing.

I found the monkey though.
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Old February 23 2004, 02:49 AM   #38
joe40001
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Re: 3D Software?

Well, I toyed with it a while, and now it's fairly intuitive.

I just started today, and here's what I was able to produce. (Not particularly trek related):


Suns are very hard to make. I have no idea how to get the spikey aura that the sun has.

Well, soon I can start working on ships and stuff.
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Old February 23 2004, 03:38 AM   #39
Daedalus12
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Re: 3D Software?

Has everyone in here tried Houdini? I heard it is completely different from other 3D packages.
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Old February 23 2004, 03:49 AM   #40
WombatControl
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Location: United States of America
Re: 3D Software?

Posted by Daedalus12:
Has everyone in here tried Houdini? I heard it is completely different from other 3D packages.
Houdini has a very powerful scripting language, and a very nice external renderer, but it is both insanely difficult to use and very expensive. Unless you're doing serious film work, I'd avoid Houdini - and even then Maya is just as powerful and well-supported.

If you're beginning with 3D animation, I'd recommend a more user-friendly package like LW or MAX. I've not tried Cinema4D or some of the other packages, but I've heard good things about them.

The most important thing is to learn the techniques and not the packages. Learn basic design, and especially lighting - those skills are valuable regardless of what 3D package you end up working with.
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Old February 23 2004, 07:10 AM   #41
joe40001
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Re: 3D Software?

Posted by Four Mad Men:
Same goes for me if you get Blender. The GUI is being re-worked and they have exposed much much more of the functionality in the menus (whereas before you just had to know the keyboard commands). Also the feature list is growing day by day. The daily builds also include Yafray (ray tracer) integration. Lots of good tutorials out there and as Axeman said, "practice, practice, practice!".

And as a side note, Blender has a dedicated CAD program in the works (first Alpha release a few weeds ago). I don't know if it will stand alone or not, but I'd be suprised if it didn't work with Blender in some fashion.
So, you're the blender guy?

If so, can you tell me how to cast shadows with something other than spotlights?

Thanks for your help.
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Old February 23 2004, 07:55 AM   #42
Four Mad Men
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Re: 3D Software?

Posted by joe40001:
So, you're the blender guy?

If so, can you tell me how to cast shadows with something other than spotlights?

Thanks for your help.
Yes, [BS-Ozzy] I Am Blender Man! [/BS-Ozzy]. In blender the only lamp type that will cast a shadow is the spotlight.

And for you or anyone else interested in a short talk about spotlights...
  • In order for a material to cast a shadow it's "Shadow" button must be set on (default)
  • Inorder for a material to recieve shadows it's "Shadeless" button must be off (default)
  • Spotlights cast light and shadow by default but can be set to cast only shadow by setting the "Only Shadow" button to on. That way you can have another lamp type provide the lighting but the spotlight provide the shadows.
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Old February 24 2004, 02:24 AM   #43
joe40001
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Re: 3D Software?

Posted by Four Mad Men:
Posted by joe40001:
So, you're the blender guy?

If so, can you tell me how to cast shadows with something other than spotlights?

Thanks for your help.
Yes, [BS-Ozzy] I Am Blender Man! [/BS-Ozzy]. In blender the only lamp type that will cast a shadow is the spotlight.

And for you or anyone else interested in a short talk about spotlights...
  • In order for a material to cast a shadow it's "Shadow" button must be set on (default)
  • Inorder for a material to recieve shadows it's "Shadeless" button must be off (default)
  • Spotlights cast light and shadow by default but can be set to cast only shadow by setting the "Only Shadow" button to on. That way you can have another lamp type provide the lighting but the spotlight provide the shadows.
Thanks, this program is growing on me fast. I might even make a C++ program utilizing it, but I think I'm getting ahead of myself. In any case, I'm going to start working on my concept trek ship now.

Can I see some of things you created? If the mods think it's too off topic to have you post a couple non-trek images, I understand. Mods, feel free to say "no", but otherwise I'd be really curious to see what kind of stuff you've produced.
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Old February 24 2004, 06:40 AM   #44
Four Mad Men
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Re: 3D Software?

Posted by joe40001:
Thanks, this program is growing on me fast. I might even make a C++ program utilizing it, but I think I'm getting ahead of myself. In any case, I'm going to start working on my concept trek ship now.

Can I see some of things you created? If the mods think it's too off topic to have you post a couple non-trek images, I understand. Mods, feel free to say "no", but otherwise I'd be really curious to see what kind of stuff you've produced.
Non-Trek stuff? Is there such a thing? But seriously, apart from some tutorials I don't think I've done anything non-Trek (even my Cruiseliner is civilian-Trek). I've also never really finished a project but my Phaser and Shuttle are darn close. I probably shouldn't just post links to my threads here so I'll just list a few thread titles: "Starfleet Shuttlecraft", "Federation Cruisliner", "NCC-1701 in a Blender" and "The Phasers of Star Fleet". There are others I'm sure but those are the main ones.
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Old April 7 2004, 05:32 PM   #45
Four Mad Men
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Re: 3D Software?

Formerlly only available in PRMan: Depth Map Based Ambient Occlusion Lighting

Now available in Blender (for the next release anyway, the following were made with pre-release code).

Faked GI (ala Vektor's tutorial)

Ambient Occlusion

The A.O. is definately darker but contains some additional detail. While I'm sure I could tweak the lighting rig I'm using for the F.G.I. to achieve similar results, now I don't have to.

And finally a (very much in need of tweaking the power and postion) key light added.
Ambient Occlusion with key

And if your interested in the particulars of the method please read this write-up from Andrew Whitehurst (not related to me, blender, or the blender project)
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