Every third-party program has its flaws... >_<

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Every third-party program has its flaws... >_<

WarpZone(Posted 2004) [#1]
After trying several of the availible tools, and even purchasing a few of the cheaper ones, I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a level modelling tool that's *ideal* for Blitz3D.

Milkshape won't easily let me make a texture tile precisely. Which is okay for models I was gonna UVmap anyway (in a completely DIFFERENT utility: LithUnwrap,) but very poor for structures like buildings.

Blender is free, but has an insane learning curve and no undo function. (HOW does an open-source editor end up with NO UNDO FUNCTION!? It's like the most important part of ANY editor!)

Cartography Shop is beautiful, but it uses the Quake2 theory of mapping, (I.E. with the floors and walls and ceiling floating in a void... so how do I know those uneccessary external faces get cropped without giving it a good test-compile?) I wish you could automatically resize a texture to fit the brush, but I can do without that. I would probably get Cartography Shop right now, except that I read somewhere there's a version 5 coming out soon that owners of version 4 will still have to buy seperately anyway.

Gile[s] is an absolutely perfect lighting solution. Now if only it could model, too...

B3DTweak was worth it. It's too bad that I'll probably be getting gile[s] soon, thus rendering it obsolete.

I do so wish there was just one program that could do everything. Flipping back and forth between all these different programs to create my 3D content just seems ridiculous to me. Then again, I guess that's why they call it a pipeline, not a spigot.

Anybody got an app that I missed? Especially one that is good for creating indoor levels? I'm REALLY tempted to get CS, but not if the developer's going to pull the plug on upgrades in a month or two. :(

(edit) And another thing! CS should let you use .png textures, consarnit!

Michael Reitzenstein(Posted 2004) [#2]
B3DTweak was worth it. It's too bad that I'll probably be getting gile[s] soon, thus rendering it obsolete.

I'm glad you are satisfied with your purchase. B3D Tweak is aimed at people who need a fast solution to view and alter the various properties of their B3D files, probably more suited to programmers who are working with artists than artists themselves (even though the majority of my sales do come from the latter), as artists will often (though not always!) have tools that will replace it.

JoshK(Posted 2004) [#3]
CShop 5 won't be coming out for a long time.

If you apply the "caulk" texture to a face, that face will automatically be deleted when you load the map in Blitz.

Tri|Ga|De(Posted 2004) [#4]
Then theres Quill3D

IPete2(Posted 2004) [#5]
Did you try Maplet (available on this site?)

If you do try Maplet there are other products which are useful like Droplet.

Seek and ye shall find.


WarpZone(Posted 2004) [#6]
I gave maplet one, possibly two quick glances, and decided it wasn't the right tool for the job. Yeah, it's free (with my version of Blitz, anyway,) and yeah, it automatically scales and tiles textures to an arbitrary value. But there's no way to manually edit textures, so you're stuck with a value of 1.0 unless you also get Decorator, which means an entire secondary creation process in a different app. And on top of everything else, Decorator makes you edit textures one by one. Which takes me back to my Duke Nukem 3D days, but doesn't really facilitate the kind of multi-textured, next-gen antics I'd like to see in my games.

Ah, thanks. I'd forgotten all about Quill3D. Quill3D's official website (http://www.quill3d.tk/) seems to be down, though. I managed to google some third-party links to the shareware app, so I'll give it a try. But without a hearty website with forums, FAQs, and tutorials, Quill better have the easiest learning curve EVAR if you expect me to buy it.

Also, I hate to say it, but... well, google "Quill3D." You'll see.

WarpZone(Posted 2004) [#7]
Oh, and halo, thank you for replying personally.

Since I've got your attention, I think I speak for corporation-paranoid, low-budget artists everywhere when I say that ANY content creation application is more desirable to own when it supports non-proprietary file formats. Implement .png support. If not now, then at least in version 5.

(And if, for some reason, any weird twisted future version of Cartography Shop should include sound, the same argument holds true for .ogg support.)

Thank you for your time, halo.

WarpZone(Posted 2004) [#8]
Oooh! Just stumbled across a newbie! DeleD, availible from http://www.delgine.com/ . I don't know how long this one's been in the toolbox, but it's free and it does most of what CS does, PLUS character modelling... except it doesn't export to B3D format. Grrr. We are ONE plugin away from paradise, folks!

jhocking(Posted 2004) [#9]
I was about to recommend DeleD after reading your original message. Converting to b3d is easy because you need some other tool to do the lightmapping anyway. If you purchase gile[s] use that, but in the meantime use Slim Shady (free, available from the Toolbox.)

As for the usefulness of B3D Tweak after you get gile[s], note that B3D Tweak supports animated models.

JoshK(Posted 2004) [#10]
I think png is a great format, and will start supporting it soon.

Version 5 will include sound stuff!

granada(Posted 2004) [#11]
Hi warpzone

Version 0.86 of DeleD will contain plugins so that PNG and B3D formats can be implemented easily, Jeroen will be Releasing 0.86 in a few weeks.



jhocking(Posted 2004) [#12]
Um, so in other words there won't be support for png or b3d, but rather the potential to write plugins for those file formats. You can't even always count on announced features, so you REALLY shouldn't count on features being added which aren't announced.

granada(Posted 2004) [#13]
sorry jhocking
just sapport for plugins


WarpZone(Posted 2004) [#14]
Granada: Ehh. Hopefully somebody will write plugins soon enough. Adding support for plugins is a good first step.

Halo: Glad to see you see it that way. Like I said, if you're going to add sounds, make sure you support the .ogg format. ESPECIALLY before you consider going through the hassle and expense of adding mp3 support.

More people will use ogg than mp3. As someone trying to wring an honest buck out of a community of poor artists for years now, you should already understand why. :)

Cheaper for you to implement, cheaper for your customers to make use of. That is the power of non-proprietary formats.

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#15]
" Flipping back and forth between all these different programs to create my 3D content just seems ridiculous to me"

Ouch.That's what I do in jobs and hobby ;)
Wings3d is an amazing modeller, and Ultimate Unwrap is comercial but is nice for much stuff and exports b3d, also imports it.

But like with Blender, some people don't get on with it...WHile I'd agree Blender has at least an starnge UI (there's undo. Hit U. But not a real undo. It undos just sometimes ;) I got used to it and other Blender paranoias... ;) )

Wings3d UI imho is much better...U can't tell that to a blenderhead, but is a matter of fact.

You will probably test wings and Ultimate unwrap and probably u wont like them...

jhocking(Posted 2004) [#16]
"I do so wish there was just one program that could do everything. Flipping back and forth between all these different programs to create my 3D content just seems ridiculous to me."

In that case purchase Maya, or 3D Studio Max, or Lightwave. What's that, those tools are too expensive? Well, you pay for convenience.

If you're sticking to cheap/free tools, get used to using a different tool for every task. For example, coincidentally I recently compiled this list of free tools which together form a complete content creation solution for Blitz:

Wings3D (free) - modeling
LithUnwrap (free) - texture mapping
Pacemaker (free) - animation
GIMP (free) - 2D image creation
DeleD (free) - level editing
Slim Shady (free) - lightmapper
Droplet (free) - entity placement
Audacity (free) - sound editing

podperson(Posted 2004) [#17]
There's nothing wrong with using a bunch of small tools so long as you have a decent workflow. Using separate tools forces you into a more restricted workflow than using well-integrated tools (with many steps being, in essence, one way). Even then, if you work out what the restrictions are and take them into account, you can minimise grief.

E.g. if you know that a few poorly placed vertices in a character's joints will cause problems in animation, and that having to redo the vertices will mess up texture mapping (which you normally do before rigging and animation), then maybe you need to do some test animation early on (on untextured models) to make sure your joints are OK to save going through the "final pass" workflow only to discover you have to start over.

Even with expensive tools, there's a lot of "basket weaving" involved (when you weave a basket, to correct prior mistakes you have to unravel everything you did since making that mistake first). E.g. if you discover that your model needs new vertices in a joint you may end up having to redo UVs, textures, and vertex weights. A lighting problem may force you to go back to your base model (d'oh I used the wrong NURBS system; d'oh I need to tweak my base curves; d'oh all the vertices have changed and now my textures are whacked). Tools such as 3D Studio Max and Maya, which allow you to retain in tact the actions taken to a base object (to an extent) still fail when changes to an earlier stage make subsequent actions ambiguous.

Of course, if Michelangelo accidentally knocked a piece off a block of marble, he had problems that make ours look pretty simple.

That said, you do pay for convenience, and if you value your time, pay for decent tools. I'd rather use Photoshop 4.0+ -- than the latest version of GIMP...

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#18]
"still fail when changes to an earlier stage make subsequent actions ambiguous"

for example, initialize physique and...getting back sometimes give problems.

MadJack(Posted 2004) [#19]

I completely sympathise. I expended so many hours trying to sort a workflow that didn't contain hidden fishhooks and would give me control in terms of animation and surface properties.

My final workflow has turned out to be

(level geometry)
Lightwave6.5 -> terrabit's LW convertor -> Blitz (and a block of code to setup surface layers/fx based on texture

Lightwave6.5 -> directx file -> unwrap3d -> Blitz

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#20]
good workflow. and I envy u for having LW...well, I envy anyone having a high end package... :,,(

WarpZone(Posted 2004) [#21]
After extensive research, a nice tutorial, and the vital deaths of a few million brain cells to allow my brain to change shape, I have gotten decent at using Blender to model.

Is there any way to export to B3D format? If so, we may have a winner...