Best editors?

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Best editors?

Bremer(Posted 2003) [#1]
Hi, I'm thinking about getting into 3D programming with Blitz3D. What is your vote for the best editors for Modeling and Levels ?

Mystik(Posted 2003) [#2]
Quill, no competition :)


Wiebo(Posted 2003) [#3]
Anything that gets the job done for you. I personally use Lightwave for modeling ( and levels, if I need them )

Ricky Smith(Posted 2003) [#4]
I agree with Mystic - Quill3d is currently the best level builder available for Blitz3d. It is designed specifically for the .b3d format making full use of all its features.
You can also lightmap and texture in the same app, import and position any additional meshes for decorations or entities, set waypoints, triggers and anything else you care to imagine.
It also has a portalling system to allow you to build really large maps with no slowdown.
Check out the forthcoming update - this will allow you to VERTEX EDIT your level, import a mesh as BRUSH and many more lightmapping features.
Quill3d is also a full-blown Modelling and UV Unwrapping tool.

Lightbulb is a very good tool if you need to lightmap and assemble your levels from pre-made geometry.

We are still waiting for Maplet 2.0 - this may turn out to be something special.

jhocking(Posted 2003) [#5]
"Quill, no competition :)"

There's lots of competition. Personally I don't like Quill; I was all excited by the hype leading up to its release and then was supremely disappointed when I tried the demo.

Zawran, I encourage you to try the demo of Quill since a lot of people really like it but note that you may not. I prefer to use normal modeling tools (eg. Lightwave, 3D Studio Max; I use a combination of Wings3D, Ultimate Unwrap, Lightbulb, B3D Tweak, etc.) since I am more familiar with those tools. One of the main reasons I use Blitz is because the collision detection system is flexible enough to allow any arbitrary geometry, created in any modeling tool, to be used for your level (as opposed to requiring special maps created in a special level editing tool.)

Wiebo(Posted 2003) [#6]
I had the same feelings as jhocking. sorry. I don't like Quill. It may be able to do cool things, but the ui is terrible and confusing. imho ofcourse

Ricky Smith(Posted 2003) [#7]
jhocking - As you are a 3d Artist with many years experience using top end modelling apps then I can understand your disappointment - Quill3d is no way comparable on the modelling front to the likes of 3D Studio Max , Maya or Lightwave but it also costs about a "hundred" times less and is well suited to the beginner as well as the more experienced user.
What part of the Level Builder did you find so disappointing ? Its the only level builder for Bliz3d that exports viz data that I'm aware of.
Wiebo - Yes - the interface is not the best but its not terrible and will be improved by updates - the actual workflow is a joy.
Confusing - maybe - Quill3d has hundreds of tools and features and it takes a little time to learn. With the full version comes a Manual that goes a long way to remove some of this confusion.
Every single tool icon in Quill3d has a tool tip explaining its use in brief and when you select a tool there is an Text message in an info box literally telling you what you have to do next to complete the operation.
The problem with the demo is that theres no help files or documentation.

jhocking(Posted 2003) [#8]
As I mentioned I use Wings3D and that doesn't cost anything. Of course it is only for modeling (no texturing, etc.) but then other tools like Ultimate Unwrap and Lightbulb cover that stuff. Altogether the tools I use for building levels cost less than Quill.

If I needed viz data I suppose Quill would become a lot more attractive but so far anytime I've needed to cull away parts of my scene I've done crude culling (ie. whole chunks are hidden/shown and there's lots of overdraw) which doesn't require really exact visibility calculation.

Incidentally, my main problem with Quill is speed, not the interface.

Ricky Smith(Posted 2003) [#9]
If speed is an issue then that puzzles me - You model in Wings3d. From My own experience with Wings3d you have to spend quite a time getting it to export the model properly.
I spent hours once modelling a spaceship in Wings3d - exported to .3ds and was left with a useless mesh.
So once you've spent time getting your export right you then import it into Ultimate Unwrap to create UV's and texture and sort out all those seperate surfaces that Wings3d creates according to a recent post on this subject.

You then have to load each and every bit of your level into Lightbulb to lightmap and then customise your own loader for lightbulbs proprietary format.

And then you code your own viz system !

I'm not sure how this saves time or makes the process any speedier as opposed to doing the lot in one Application specifically designed for this purpose and is certainly not a process that I would advise someone to try who is just starting out with 3D programming in Blitz3d as has stated the original poster .

I have experienced no speed issues with Quill3d - perhaps you were using an early demo version that did have some problems ?

Show us some shots of a level map created using Wings3d as the modeller - not just 1 room but a level - I'd be very interested - you can see lots of examples of what Quill3d can do on the Quill3d forum - a picture is worth a thousand words.........

IPete2(Posted 2003) [#10]

I'm sure you've tried this but check your graphic's card drivers are the latest, or as Smiff says above the early demo did have a problem.


Jim Teeuwen(Posted 2003) [#11]
Sketchup! -

Bremer(Posted 2003) [#12]
Is it capable to export to any format that can be used with Blitz3D?

simonh(Posted 2003) [#13]
I too was not impressed by Quill when I first tried the demo - the interface looked terrible, everything seemed confusing, and I just wasn't prepared to put any time into learning how to use it.

However, recently, when forced to consider all the available options for producing a light-mapped mesh, I decided to give Quill another go. This time I spent more time with it, and started to realise what a great tool it is. It really is one of the easiest, most powerful 3D modelling tools I've tried. And it is perfectly suited for use with Blitz3D, allowing you to make use of the full range of B3D's capabilities.

I still use Wings as well for creating models from scratch, as its subdivision style of modelling suits me well - but Quill is a great addition to the suite of tools I use, along with Milkshape, Ultimate Unwrap and Character FX.

One of the things that bugs me about Quill though is the fact that it hogs the CPU's resources completely, so you can't multitask with another Blitz3D program. This means you have to keep exiting and starting Quill when testing stuff in Blitz3D - a task made more painful by the five second CD check Quill forces on you. The CD check is my biggest bugbear of all with Quill, no application will ever be taken seriously with a CD check (a USB dongle would be fine though), but so far Birdie (or Idigicon, whoever has the final say) plain refuses to do anything about it.

By the way Smiff, exporting problems with Wings can be overcome by exporting to .obj, importing into Milkshape and exporting to Blitz3D.

superqix(Posted 2003) [#14]
From the site...

"SketchUp also exports 3DS, VRML, PDF, EPS, JPG, TIF, PNG and a variety of other file formats for use in all kinds of projects."

Looks cool, but I don't know if I'd spend $475 on it...

Ricky Smith(Posted 2003) [#15]
@simonh - thanks for the tip !

JaviCervera(Posted 2003) [#16]
Cartography Shop

NTense(Posted 2003) [#17]
Personally I'm a big fan of Milkshape.. For modeling and character animation that is..

Zo Zo Zee Zar(Posted 2003) [#18]
leme think...


Magian(Posted 2004) [#19]
I can't believe there is no documentation whatsoever with Quill3D. There may be countless tool-tips but so far I can't even figure out how to navigate within the perspective viewports.

JoshK(Posted 2004) [#20]
Use gmax for modeling. Use Cartography Shop for mapping.

Filax(Posted 2004) [#21]
And look TerraEd for outdoor level compositing :)

Knotz(Posted 2004) [#22]
Silo ( in combination with Ultimate Unwrap, MilkShape and Gile[s]...

granada(Posted 2004) [#23]
DeleD (free)

Gets better all the time.


jhocking(Posted 2004) [#24]
Blast from the past!

The main thing I would change about my previous comments is saying gile[s] for lightmapping, and now I mostly use Maya for modeling (including levels.) Wings is still a favorite though; the bridge tool is just amazingly useful for modeling levels.

Skitchy(Posted 2004) [#25]

WarpZone(Posted 2004) [#26]
I'm messing around with Gmax. It seems painfully difficult to use compared to what I'm used to (How the frell do I get a frelling non-uniform scale!? In Milkshape, you just CLICK THE THING and DRAG IT! Stop torturing me, you accursed, obtuse interface, and just let me DO it!) but the higher polygon limits and multi-texturing capablities Milkshape doesn't have will no doubt become essential later on.

Rhyolite(Posted 2004) [#27]
Hmmm, I also found Quill confusing but admit this was only having looked at the demo and like others just did not feel I wanted to spend time learning it. At the time (being new to BLitz and 3D) I did not need (or even understand) most of what it offers. Up until now I have been very happy with the combination of Milkshape, LithUnwrap and GIMP.

Before I reconsider buying Quill3D I have one question - how does the lightmapping compare to Giles and other lightmappers? I love some of the screens I have seen from Giles and was considering buying it.

Rhy Out

Aoneweb(Posted 2004) [#28]
Light mapping in Quill is good, but I can only run it in 16bit mode as my card slows it down to a snails pace.
Quill has stopped being supported by its arthor so it up to Coders Workshop, and I doubt they will do anything more to it, there is no way to find out as Quills forum is dead( I think the last post was mine )but it is a good program and as of yet has no serious bugs I could tell you about, Smiff has done some great tutorials if you hurry you can stiil copy them from the forum or smiff's site.
Cartography shop is still buggy and has some issues but all it is is a mapper, Quill is a whole lot more, cshop is being rewritten and ver5 I think is being done with blitz? it will be intresting to see how it performs.
Cshop5 will not be a free upgrade so I would hold onto your money untill the release of ver5.
Try DeLeD or Blender for now to get the feel of things, or get Quill and dive in, and remember for textures try Texture Maker it rocks.

BLACKLIGHTNING(Posted 2004) [#29]
where can i buy quill 3d

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#30]
Wings 3d is fast as a modeller can be. Is just knowing its workarounds, as with any tool.

Need to know well the use of the hole material to export deleted faces, export always as obj , also.

And have a good manage of the outliner window, list of objects etc.

It's not learnt in a pair of days, like in any othe rsoftwares...the advantage of wings is you learn its basics very quick. But has got a lot more.

I too use wings+ultimate unwrap. And have used it in a game company. And the levels and objects ended in Maya finally to export to the engine.

I have seen a full level done in Wings, way long ago...when Wings was half powerful as is now.

Was a pretty decent scenery , and very low pol.

I have done every type of building with wings...though I was more the character modeller, but when there's few people, you do all at the end.

Is not as hard as to learn Blender, Open Fx or Max. is quite easier, but the cool tricks are not learnt inmediately.

It can act simply as a level editor in what is the geometry, but also rocks for characters.

GfK(Posted 2004) [#31]
I wish threads would automatically lock when they haven't had any new replies in, say, 30 days.

Might stop people from digging up 12-month old threads...

CopperCircle(Posted 2004) [#32]
BLACKLIGHTNING, I have copy of Quill I want to sell, if you are interested email me.

big10p(Posted 2004) [#33]

export always as obj , also.


Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#34]
3ds has some limits that OBJ hasn't.

Quads are triangulated in 3ds. Not in OBJ. bad thing if there's further editing.

65k tris limit, if I remember well..bad thing for the hi res version models for normal maps.

shared uvs...I maybe wrong, but think I suffered it, and read some where confirming me that 3ds when finds a 3d vertex that has 2 uvs, will split that 3d vertex in two new ones...very bad thing...

material names. Long names I think were not supported for a DOS limit.

some softwares specially tend to loose smoothing with it, though I have used very little the 3ds format.

Rage_Matrix(Posted 2004) [#35]
WarpZone: To apply a Non-uniform scale in gMax, click the Scale button on the toolbar and hold it down.....then choose non-uniform scale from the list of options in the drop-down that appears. :)

boomboom(Posted 2004) [#36]
i have recently been trialing and i am very impressed.

its basically mayas modeling but as a seperate cheap program. also the controls can be converted to 3d max, maya etc with a click of a button, reducing the learning curve

Valgar(Posted 2004) [#37]
Yes i think Silo it's a greath tool with e greath price!

big10p(Posted 2004) [#38]
OK, thanks Bob3D. I wasn't aware of those 3ds limitations.