3D Software?

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by JoshC, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. The Axeman

    The Axeman Commodore Commodore

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    You'd best visit www.3dlinks.com for any info you might need, they have a whole section on converters of all types as well as all the links you'll ever need for models, etc. I have to say that the 2 or 3 converters I've tried pretty much sucked, but I dont have the money for the full-on commercial packages so I cant comment on them. I dont even know what format Blender models come in, so I dont know which converters might be useful to you anyway. Personally the best converter I ever found was an actual 3D program itself, Pixel 3D, which could load and save in a ton of different formats.
     
  2. Four Mad Men

    Four Mad Men Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If your going to use Blender then you have several options (i.e. which script you get for conversion). The best one I've seen is called IOSuite (website). The next release of Blender (in a couple of weeks) will include the ability to directly register Python scripts into the interface. I suspect that IOSuite will be one of the first things that will make use of this and if I'm not mistaken it just might be bundled along with Blender (for the next release).

    If you want to take a non-Blender route there is a program called "AccuTrans" (website). It's not free but it's not expensive either. I've never used it so I don't know if it's garbage or not.
     
  3. JoshC

    JoshC Commodore Commodore

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    Wow, thanks guys! That's a lot of good info. :) I downloaded several of the programs and since Anim8or looks the least intimidating I've been using it as a starting place. I can see where Blender certainly looks to have more features, but I'm guessing the basics are fairly common.

    So far I've managed to get the most basic shapes of my ship, the wings and the main fuselage, built to what looks like about the right scale and position to each other. I'm setting it aside until this weekend when hopefully I'll have some time to go through some tutorials for either Anim8or or Blender. So far it's been easy because it's all been a matter of using the basic shapes in the software and adjusting their size, scale, and position, but from here there's some fairly specific stuff I want to do that I'm clueless on.

    One thing I'm curious about since most of you model ships that have already been designed is how do you make sure your model is accurate? Do you measure angles and proportions on line drawings? What I'm trying to do is so much simpler because I can just eyeball it and say "Yeah, that looks right." I'm just blown away by how people do the really accurate models of more complex shapes like any of the Enterprises. Simply amazing.
     
  4. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This thread is so chock-full of useful information, I think it's worth pinning at the top. ;)
     
  5. The Axeman

    The Axeman Commodore Commodore

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    Accuracy is a product of accurate reference information in the first place. Many things out there only have screencaps and pictures and suchlike, which makes it a 'best guess' when it comes to making a model of it. If it looks like it, then you're doing well. Get as many photos from as many angles as you can and keeep referring to them as you work.

    For well known stuff like the various Enterprises you can download the blueprints or orthographic drawings of the ship in question, and most 3D programs I've worked with allow you to place a reference image in the background of your modelling window so you can basically trace the outlines. In Lightwave you have the front, side and top views of your model as you work, so when someone like Reverend makes a 5-view layout of a ship I then chop it up into it's seperate views and load the appropriate pictures into the view windows. I then 'trace' the blueprint and out pops an accurate 3D model.
     
  6. JoshC

    JoshC Commodore Commodore

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    Hey, my thread got pinned. Cool! Where's that dancing banana when you need it? :)

    Here's my little ship so far. It's all done with the basic shapes in Anim8or so far, which I'm betting is completely the wrong way to do it. My project for this weekend is to figure out how to taper the fuselage down into the point of the nose for the cockpit and maybe make the leading edges of the wings something other than flat surfaces. I also think I'm getting the scale of it all screwed up. Based on the guns on top and bottom it looks about the size of a small shuttle when it's supposed to be the size of the Millennium Falcon or the Ebon Hawk from KOTOR. I'm pretty happy with it so far, though, since I'd never tried anything like this before Monday.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Veridian

    Veridian Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Looks pretty good for a first effort, I think.
     
  8. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    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.
     
  9. Four Mad Men

    Four Mad Men Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's really not too terrible once you learn a few basics. I'll start a new thread tonight if I can -- tomorrow if I can't -- that goes over some of them.
     
  10. Michael Chris

    Michael Chris Admiral Admiral

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    I use Blender, I've not used it for long at all, but it's very easy to use once you get the basic commands down.
     
  11. Four Mad Men

    Four Mad Men Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  12. Four Mad Men

    Four Mad Men Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Here's the post on Blender Basics, it's not much but have a look if your still interested.
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    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.
     
  14. Cid Highwind

    Cid Highwind Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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...
     
  15. Four Mad Men

    Four Mad Men Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  16. M. Quintar

    M. Quintar Captain Captain

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    Adelaide, South Australia
    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? :lol:

    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. :D

    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.
     
  17. joe40001

    joe40001 Commodore Commodore

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    Nov 24, 2003
    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. ;)
     
  18. joe40001

    joe40001 Commodore Commodore

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    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):
    [​IMG]

    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. ;)
     
  19. Daedalus12

    Daedalus12 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Has everyone in here tried Houdini? I heard it is completely different from other 3D packages.
     
  20. WombatControl

    WombatControl Commodore Commodore

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    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.