how to build a model with known dimensions???

Community Forums/Developer Stations/how to build a model with known dimensions???

jaunt(Posted 2003) [#1]
At wit's end here...

I have a fairly simple room I would like to create. I know the dimensions and want to model them accurately for my game. Iíve tried maplet, but it drives me crazy because itís sooo hard to drag the mouse to reproduce my dimensions (especially since the labels disappear if I use a small grid size, and then if I make a mistake Iím basically screwed. Iíve tried Milkshape, but the only way to specify sizes for things seems to be to edit vertices individually using manual edit. I want to for example specify the exact radius for a cylinder and position it on a surface with respect to other objects based on my measurements. Iíve tried 3dcanvas but it keeps crashing on me. Is there a free modeller that has some CAD like functionality?

Second question. If I have a large surface that I want to have a pattern on, but the pattern is going to be very large, is it best to geometrically capture the pattern in the face of the floor instead of trying to use large textures? Whatís the best tool for taking a surface and designing patterns onto it?

I tried Quill3d just now and it doesnít seem like you can specify dimensions either, though Iím kind of lost so maybe Iím missing something.

Do people just eyeball levels when they make them for q3 and stuff like that??


Mustang(Posted 2003) [#2]
There is no set scale in 3D "cyberspace" - but you can (and should) think that >>> 1 unit in Blitz3D equals 1 m <<< in real world. Using smaller or bigger scale will get you into trouble for sure.

I use Lightwave and model everything using exact real-world dimensions using the above and I have no problems whatsoever.

jhocking(Posted 2003) [#3]
I'm sure there are freeware modelers with measuring tools. There are tons of freeware modeling tools in general. That said I've never looked for this feature specifically so I don't know which ones have it. Make sure to check all the usual suspects: Blender, anim8or, Wings, OpenFX, Truespace (older versions are free,) etc.

Do note however that using realworld measurements in a game presents a lot of problems. Experienced level designers know that paradoxically locations look more "real" when distorted in a number of important ways than when built to realworld measurements. Among other things there just generally needs to be more open space for most locations. These level design principles are very similar to set design; people who do film and TV know that a room which feels roomy in person suddenly seems cramped and cluttered when seen through a camera and without the benefit of peripheral vision.

jaunt(Posted 2003) [#4]
Thanks Mustang, Joe. Lightwave is over my budget, and I've tried Blender, anim8or, Wings, OpenFX, and Truespace. Finally late last night I stumbled on AC3D, and it seems to be pretty much exactly what I was looking for, but I'll have to continue to play around with it of course.

And thanks for the interesting advice on level design. I never thought of that.

Akat(Posted 2003) [#5]
try gmax instead...

jhocking(Posted 2003) [#6]
Ah yes, the obligatory recommendation to use illegal software (or rather use legal software illegally, which amounts to the same thing.)

Valgar(Posted 2003) [#7]
Jaunt very good decision!
AC3D in conjunction with a good free renderer(one for all:Persistence of Vision)can make very very good result at a fraction of the cost of the "pro" modeling application.
I have bought it(cheaper for it's modeling tools indeed)and i'm happy with it.
Yes.......stuff like LightWave (i have an older version,when it's price was much much abbordable.....)and Rhinoceros(i have tried it and its greath indeed!)are on another planet......
The good point of AC3D it's that it's good for modeling both low-poly and high-poly if use it's tool in the right mode.

Gabriel(Posted 2003) [#8]
Ah yes, the obligatory recommendation to use illegal software (or rather use legal software illegally, which amounts to the same thing.)

No kidding. I've told Akat on several occasions that using GMax as he often suggests is illegal, so he's well aware of the fact.

Akat(Posted 2003) [#9]
ha ha... i know...

Psycoach(Posted 2003) [#10]
The version 4.15 of AMAPI is free and contains a tool to measure in cm the size of the modelled objects.

Psycoach(Posted 2003) [#11]
I have read the end user license of Gmax and I have not seen anything forbidding to use it like a "normal" modelling tool.