3D Software?

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

  1. mattc

    mattc Ensign Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    That is completely and utterly wrong.

    As is that.

    M.
     
  2. lonewriter

    lonewriter Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Oct 4, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    I use 3ds Max but I just got Lightwave.
     
  3. Wolf-359

    Wolf-359 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    Battle of Wolf 359
    I am a heavy user of several

    Maya
    C4D = Cinema 4D
    3D Max
    CAD Autodesk

    but also:
    Shake
    Combustion
    After Effects
     
  4. lonewriter

    lonewriter Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Oct 4, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    I use 3ds Max and Lightwave. I just got Lightwave and I like it much better than Max.
     
  5. Killer1021a

    Killer1021a Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Nov 19, 2006
    i mainly like blender it's really the only one i'v :borg:e used
     
  6. Avindair

    Avindair Cadet Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    I've used LightWave, LightWave, and, um...LightWave.

    :)

    Seriously, I was given (no kidding) a legal copy of LW 5 way back in 1999...minus the manuals. I played around with it for about a month, but couldn't figure out how to do squat, so I put it away.

    A couple of years later I decided to give it a go again. Sadly, I couldn't find my copy.

    There was much gnashing of teeth.

    I did get a copy of LW 6.0 through, um, alternative means, but once again life stepped in and made me too busy to work with it.

    Finally, in 2004, my wife bought me LW 8.0 on special, with about $400.00 worth of learning materials covered with the price. I'm still learning, and have even upgraded to LW 9.0...and I'm just now making models that look like what they're supposed to look like.

    Moral of this story?

    1. Be prepared to invest time.

    2. Be prepared to invest money.

    3. Don't give up. It will get easier.

    Avindair
     
  7. AudioBridge

    AudioBridge Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2001
    Location:
    USA - Nemo me impune lacesset
    Hello, everyone. I've looked through this thread and I haven't noticed any definitive suggestions as to what software is best for a beginner (i.e. someone with no computer graphics experience). I've been looking at other people's work for so long, and I finally have an idea I'd really like to see happen, that I'm motivated to learn 3D modeling. Any suggestions as to a program to start with? Thanks!
     
  8. Tallguy

    Tallguy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Beyond the Farthest Star
    AudioBridge, I don't think there IS a difinitive suggestion, and wars have begun by saying that there is. :D

    MY answer would be in two parts:

    Google SketchUp is freakishly intuitive and it's free. But it's not very versatile. (Not as versatile as many other packages at any rate.) To get your feet wet, this might be a place to start.

    Blender (YAY! Blender!) is NOT intuitive (until you learn it, then it becomes like breathing), but it IS versatile, it's ALSO free, and it has a community that is almost rabid in it's willingness to help.

    Pretty much any 3D app has an almost straight-up learning curve, so be ready for that. Get one that strikes your fancy (another reason to go for the free stuff to begin with) and expect to be building simple things for a little while. Just hang in there. Crawl, walk, run, fly, warp drive, right? Eventually you will be Dennis Bailey or Vektor! ;)

    Good luck!
     
  9. AudioBridge

    AudioBridge Captain Captain

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    Sep 6, 2001
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    USA - Nemo me impune lacesset
    Thanks for the tips, Tallguy. I'll give Google SketchUp a shot and go from there!
     
  10. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    I'll second the easy learning curve with Strata products... I'm using Strata Vision 3D (a 1995 version, mid-range) and I've been able to pick it up very quickly in a couple months. I grabbed a copy of Strata Studio Pro (from around the same period) on ebay for $25 (to see how it is different and to get the printed documentation... I think it also has motion blur for animation as I recall). I've been toying with getting a newer version, but I'll most likely give Blender a try first.
    I have a copy on the same PowerBook 3400c I've been using for Vision 3D... I flipped a coin to decide on which I was going to try first (and Vision 3D won out).
     
  11. that1guy

    that1guy Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Location:
    somewhere over here
    I personally use Blender fairly extensively. I've played around with Maya quite a bit as well and I've found that Blender is the easiest for what I like to do. (ie simple modeling and other non organic renders) Maya is really stinking awesome and fairly simple to use, but it's just too much for modeling the Enterprise or something like that.

    The only problem with Blender, that I can see, is that there's a huge learning curve. It's not like anything else out there. If you've been stuck with Windows all your life, and are not used to using different types of control schemes, Blender is going to through you for a loop. The good news is that it just takes practice. Build a few simple things first, to get your bearings, and then build from there.
     
  12. Relayer

    Relayer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Free version of softimage xsi. can import/export .x limited to 13,500 polies. Of course, "Where there's a will, there's a way." ;)
    http://www.softimage.com/downloads/XSI_Mod_Tool_4.2/default.aspx

    Free version of cinema 4d (old version, but still it's C4D!) It's being offered by an Italian site. Either learn Italian or use google translate
    Link removed - no proof that this site is authorized to offer this software for free; even software offered by its publisher for free often restricts its use and republishing - better to err on the side of caution - Ptrope

    I must have missed where this was suggested, but gmax is virtually the same as 3Dmax 5 for free. There's even a workaround to export .obj now.
    http://www.turbosquid.com/gmax

    This is a UV mapping program that I use and it's amazing, IMO. It's free while it's in beta and it doesn't look like it's going final any time soon.
    http://www.uvlayout.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=38

    Blender has been suggested and is very good. It's interface is "different" though. :wtf:

    As far as a recommendation goes... Any of the top animation packages can do it all. It's really a matter of which one you can wrap your head around the easiest. I prefer Cinema 4D for it's features, and ease of use.
     
  13. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Location:
    USA
    Relayer, thanks for that link to UVLayout - that does look pretty amazing! I can see that being extremely useful for complex shapes, both organic and mechanical.
     
  14. Relayer

    Relayer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    New Zealand
    It takes a bit of getting used to for ships. Headus (the designer) is open functionality requests. He's added a lot of "snap" type functionality for mapping mechanical designs. If you use it and think that it'd be better if it could do x, y, or z, just tell him (Be sure to explain why you need it.) and typically he'll add it.

    I've always had a problem with even pixel density while mapping. It's automatic with this though.
     
  15. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon TheSeeker Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Blender question

    Well after seeing this thread pinned here for years I decided to give Blender a go last night. I started out with the Blender 3D: Noob to Pro tutorial and went as far as Mesh Modeling. So far I like it and I'll definitely do more of the tutorial tonight.

    I just have one question about the Python scripting. When I start Blender i get the following message:

    "Compiled with Python version 2.5.
    'import site' failed; use -v for traceback
    Warning: could not determine argv[0] path
    Checking for installed Python... No installed Python found.
    Only built-in modules are available. Some scripts may not run.
    Continuing happily."


    I presume I just need to download and install Python to make this error go away but it would be nice to get some confirmation on this. Thanks! :)
     
  16. Four Mad Men

    Four Mad Men Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2003
    Re: Blender question

    This is typical for installs where you don't have a full Python installation. This is not a problem with the majority of Blender scripts (Note: There was an error in the 2.44 build where several python modules that are normally included were left out, which caused MANY of the scripts to not run -- but this has been fixed in the 2.45 build that just came out).

    So unless you find a script you really need/want that requires it, a full Python install is not necessary. However if you want the those last few lines of the output to change to "Python found" (or something like that -- I don't have a full Python install so I don't really know what it would say) then you can install it.

    I would recommend against the full install if you are going to write Python scripts for Blender as many people don't have the full Python install and the desire is to not require one for a script to run.
     
  17. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon TheSeeker Premium Member

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    Apr 27, 2001
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Re: Blender question

    Thanks! I was hoping you would reply!

    I'm still so new at this that scripts are not really on my radar at this point, so I think I can live without them. I'll just concentrate on the tutorials for now and hope that I can be good enough to need a script one day!
     
  18. Four Mad Men

    Four Mad Men Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2003
    Re: Blender question

    Well it's not really a question of being good. The scripts were written to extend Blender. There are many useful scripts that do what Blender can not yet do natively or similar things in different ways.

    For example my Layer Manager script extends Blender so that you can name layers and create layer groups (and a few other things) where as Blender "out of the box" doe not. There are in fact a few scripts that are quite handy so you might want to nose around in them at some point. Don't forget that the scripts are separated into categories and are accessible not only from the scripts window but from the menus. If you are in edit mode you get the list of edit mode scripts, if you are in object mode you get the list of object mode scirpts, and so forth.
     
  19. Data Holmes

    Data Holmes Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2001
    Location:
    Planet Noir
    Um, forgive me but is Modo better than LW? Isn't modo made by the guys who made Lightwave, but left newtek?
     
  20. Waugh

    Waugh Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Well, it sort of depends. If you have no particular goal in your modeling (ie. exporting to a particular game's format), then I'd recommend checking out Google's SketchUp. If you like it, you can get the pro version really cheaply. If all you want to do is mess around with quick 3D drawings, it's great.

    On the other hand, if you are seriously wanting to get into 3D modeling, then the package you use will either be dictated by the end result required, (ie. it has to be exported in a certain format, from a certain program), or by what you have the budget to buy.

    While a skilled person can create a given model in Maya, or 3DSMax, for example, if you are going to develop for MS products, then you will need to use Max.

    IMHO, as you will invest a considerable amount of time learning your first app, you will want to pick one that is main stream and capable of doing what you want. Ultimately, if you get into the business, you will wind up learning them all if you are good. The first takes the longest, and then after this it is easier as you just have to learn the different approach another program takes.

    Beware, some programs will not do both surface and poly modeling, and if you are wanting/needing to do both, you will have a problem.

    Personally, I would recommend Max, but then you have to be seriously into this to spend $3500 bucks. But, you can start with the free GMax.
     

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