Character Modellers?

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Character Modellers?

John Blackledge(Posted 2005) [#1]
I know there's a 3D Tools thread but it's got rather big.
Can I ask a simple question: if you model human characters, what are you using?
e.g. Modeller > Wrapper > Animator.
We'll take it for granted that you feel there are good reasons for using those pieces of software - no need to comment.

I'll start:
John: Metasequoia > Milkshape

Beaker(Posted 2005) [#2]
I presume when you say Wrapping you mean UV mapping.

Fragmotion does all 3 functions. It also lets you paint onto the texture.

I really like a lot about PaceMaker as well (animation only).

Unwrap3D (for wrapping + file conversion)

fall_x(Posted 2005) [#3]
I was always using milkshape...
But I recently bought Magicbones, which included fragmotion as a special bonus offer. It looks like a cool program.
The magicbones animations (700+ :O) are nice too. You can open them in gamespace lite (free) and export them so you can use them in another program. I haven't been able to actually use them yet (no time), but they look nice.

boomboom(Posted 2005) [#4]
Paper + Photoshop + Painter Classic (concepting) > Silo (modeling) > XSI (UV Mapping, Riggin, Animating) + Photoshop (Textures) > Ultimate Unwrap (file format, checking to see if it works)

John Blackledge(Posted 2005) [#5]
I'd love to try Fragmotion, but it tells me the demo period is over (I only opened it once a few months ago), and won't load any files. I'm not going to pay for something I can't even try.

Magicbones looks nice - but I need Truspace or Gamespace first? Let us know when you've succesfully imported into Blitz.

Let's have more additions to this list please.

N(Posted 2005) [#6]
Wings 3D->Wings 3D->Blender if animation is needed, or if I need to make some changes to Wings 3D's AutoUV sets (usually not the case).

Mustang(Posted 2005) [#7]

LW[8] (modeling, UV mapping, rigging, animation) + Photoshop CS2 (textures)


XSI[5] (modeling, UV mapping, rigging, animation) + Photoshop CS2 (textures)

Matty(Posted 2005) [#8]
Creature Creator - for basic humanoid model (high poly)


Gamespace - for adding details and texturing and creating the UV Map


Milkshape3d - for reducing the number of polygons and then animating before exporting as md2 or b3d.

Robert Cummings(Posted 2005) [#9]
3DSMax and Photoshop.

Getting into Zbrush2 though.

Mustang, whats the reason for the switch to XSI?

Ross C(Posted 2005) [#10]
XSI looks really good. I heard a modeller friend talk about it. It has a new addition. Can't recall the name, but, if you model a character and rig it, you can take the rig and animation over to the new model and it will auto rig and set up the animations in the new character.

Bob3d(Posted 2005) [#11]
- I model with Wings everything. (also levels and props)
Why? Speed, flexibility, power. :) At home and at job. I find it quicker than Max in "raw mode" (ie: no meshtools, no Orion, no other modelling script or plugin. BTW, many of those extra commands are Mirai/wings inspired.)
yet though, wings3d requires quite a learning to make it as productive as Max in modelling, and an expert user can overcome any disadvantage you may have for games with Winged edge mesh structure limits and other facts.
Looks like for modelling Lightwave would be very powerful option for a company. Haven't looked at it deeply, though. If Inspire has its moedlling tools, maybe it could be a very interesting option, Mustang may know ;)

But to get in touch and start learning, is one of the easiest I found.Am an epxert in 3d, somehow now, but never did need a manual with wings.

- I uvmap with Ultimate Unwrap everything, at home and at job. I prefer it so much to Max unwrap editing window. Dunno, find it more flexible and quick. Maybe is just my habits. I have uvmapped in two companies loads of models with it.

- For all what is animation, max if the company asks for it, or I simply adapt or try to, to the package tehy may be using. At home, I simply animate in very simple, non sofisticated way with XSI; I don't use even a 2% of its power as I don't really need it neither have yet the knowledge :) The x exporter (and unwrap3d) is a god send.

-Some character animations with Blender.

-For texturing, my deep paint3d 2, and almost never my zbrush. Gimp and Adobe usually are enough if made good mapping, but dp3d cuts often the times and helps for some special touches.

-for concept, at companies, allways cheap pencils, and Adobe PS. been using ps at jobs since it's 2.5 till now.
But I like a lot to play when colouring or faking pencil feel (though I prefer to sketcj with real pencils and color by pc, or traditionally(slower colouring)) with things like Art Rage, twistedBrush, Pixia, Open Canvas, etc.

Rob Farley(Posted 2005) [#12]
Milkshape to model and rig
LithUnwrap (with paint shop pro 7)
Milkshape to animate with

You have to do it in this order because lithunwrap loses all the animation data from the milkshape file.

John Blackledge(Posted 2005) [#13]
Cheers, everyone.
Keep 'em coming.

N(Posted 2005) [#14]
I've been looking at XSI, but switching to it would require some retooling of my art pipeline and getting used to a few things that may have changed since XSI EXP, plus Wings 3D and Blender are free.

Amon(Posted 2005) [#15]
Truespace 6.6 & Gamepak for modelling.
Fragmotion for rigging and animation.
UUnwrap for unwrapping.
PhotoShopCS2 for texture work.

BlackD(Posted 2005) [#16]
I use my own in-house software for modelling, texturing and animating. :) Public release coming soon... ;)


Will(Posted 2005) [#17]
Lightwave 7.5, Photoshop.

John Blackledge(Posted 2005) [#18]
BlackD - keep us posted.
It's interesting that on the whole the more professional modellers that people are using are quite expensive.
If you have a cost effective modeller which is aimed at the needs of Blitz animators then you could have a winner.

Aten - again Fragmotion. I wish I could try it (see my post above).

Bob3d(Posted 2005) [#19]
Noodle Cower (Noel?)

Actually , you can do any Blitz3d game animation you wish (though I guess is not the only stuff you do) with Wings and blender, as you know .Only that xsi, for character animation, imho is better. but at very small needs (ie , simple low pol animations for a b3d game) it's then practically the same.

Even more, I have not a single plan of stop modelling with Wings and Uvmapping with ultimate Unwrap.Only bought xsi for char anims and play a bit with that gi renderer.

Only strong miss I do yet have is smooth groups in Blender. Not only you can't export them; you can't even visualize them (hard edges in smoothing) in viewport. Doinga character not having an accurate way to set the hard edges like in wings, or if no other solution, with faces forming smooth groups like in very bad for game models, wether it's characters, props or buildings.

Do you then use Ykey (split) creating actual geometry breaks? or simply export it ugly and then import the animated x file in uu3d, add smooth groups in Unwrap3d (you can , telling it to export each group as an smooth group, no visual control though during the proccess) ? As exporting whole bones and weights animated file, to me that only way is in x format (jox or ben's python exporters) and then importing into ultimate unwrap, and generating actual groups and exporting, etc..

Other way is import x into Max(the x import plugin is never mroe available(heh, I keep a copy)) and do a very cool use of the stack , add the smoothing info, etc. Or use one of the available save weights scripts, change the mesh, reload the weights, etc.

Oh, and my ever lasting Blender moan...The vieport rotation...much more I prefer Wings(blender camera type) one. Or max's, or XSI's ones.

XSI DOES respect hard edges done by wings...PERFECTLY. :) It imports OBJ just totally seamless from wings. Exports x files perfect, and imports them too!

So, yup, is a wonder, really need a good 1280x1024 screen, and a lot of patience :) Well, not much more than what u needed for Blender ;)

Is just that is LARGER than Blender. So, more to learn.

But you avoid many workarounds needed in blender: pin object and using a 2d chain, do avoid a lot of extra hassle, and I unpin or pin a joint at the touch of my configured key.

But yup, not really a need. Is more...I enjoy having it.
Curiously, I find my self anyway opening same number of times Blender than XSI. While I thought I'd leave Blender abandoned...somewhat is an extra pleasure to handle free tools. :)

But it also is to handle so much powerful tools :)

fall_x(Posted 2005) [#20]
Magicbones looks nice - but I need Truspace or Gamespace first? Let us know when you've succesfully imported into Blitz.
You can use the free Gamespace Lite to export the animations to a number of formats, including milkshape. Getting it into blitz shouldn't be a problem from there.
Creature Creator - for basic humanoid model (high poly)
I was looking at Creature Lab (their new software) a couple of days ago, and was wondering if it was worth it. Isn't it a bit too limiting?

Amon(Posted 2005) [#21]
I was looking at Creature Lab (their new software) a couple of days ago, and was wondering if it was worth it. Isn't it a bit too limiting?

I own both Creature Creater Pro and Creature Lab. They're both exellent apps for medium to high poly models. The downside of this is that you have to pay an extra amount (somewhere around $1000) to be able to use the models commercially.

fall_x(Posted 2005) [#22]
But are you able to create diverse enough models?
Or do two monsters created with it that both have, for instance, horns and a tail, always look almost the same?

Amon(Posted 2005) [#23]
Well, The models are diverse although you do tend to get models that look identical apart from say a different looking leg or arm. The app doesn't create a random mesh but instead uses templates of different body parts to create a unique model. It is only limited to the amount of body parts you have.

John Blackledge(Posted 2005) [#24]

Errr... keep the comments and alternatives coming guys.

fall_x(Posted 2005) [#25]
I just tried out the demo of Silo... In about an hour I had a decent human model (untextured). It's very easy to do box modeling with it.

EDIT : look, for someone who isn't very good at modeling, I think this is a pretty good first result with this program :

edit : why doesn't this work? [img][/img]

Ricky Smith(Posted 2005) [#26]
John - I know that you tried PaceMaker as I sent you an uncompressed version. The compressed version did not work on your machine.
It would be extremely useful to me to know why you would not consider PaceMaker for creating animation for Blitz3d.
What do you think it lacks/does poorly to be a viable alternative ?
I need feedback of this nature to assist in improving.

John Blackledge(Posted 2005) [#27]
Smiff, total apologies - I simply haven't had the time while I'm trying to finish/release my project (I did warn you).

From what I'm hearing PaceMaker has no equal so it seems a foregone conclusion that I'll be using it.
But I'm still trying to find out which is the best/cheapest modeller/texturer, which I understand I will need before importing into PaceMaker.

Ricky Smith(Posted 2005) [#28]
Hey - no apologies required and I appreciate you having a look - I'm just very concious of the fact that I still need to add and refine a lot more before I'll be totally satisfied with it.