I Need A Good, 3D Modeling Program For Beginers

Community Forums/Developer Stations/I Need A Good, 3D Modeling Program For Beginers

WERDNA(Posted 2008) [#1]
Greetings Mortals,
I am the mighty WERDNA, lord of darkness.
Unfortunatly, the mighty WERDNA is new to 3D modeling tools, and in need of help.

I have a gamespace light demo, although am not very good at using it.
So would like to buy a quality, low cost, Modeling tool.
But I have no idea which one.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which one might be best?


dawlane(Posted 2008) [#2]
If you only want to do modeling then AC3D is a good choice ( http://www.inivis.com/ ).

It can only export static models so far (no animated) and imports/exports many formats. It also has a good UV editor (not as good as the ones that cost ).

Another one is Blender ( http://www.blender.org/ ) which is totaly Free (but I find the interface hard to use).


And Finaly K3D ( http://www.k-3d.org/wiki/Main_Page ) is worth a look.


Aoneweb(Posted 2008) [#3]
Make human

http://www.dedalo-3d.com/

CB Model Pro, they claim it is the easiest modeler out there.

http://www.cbmodelpro.com/


Rob Farley(Posted 2008) [#4]
I use Milkshape http://www.milkshape3d.com


lo-tekk(Posted 2008) [#5]
Wings3d for sure, it's even free.
http://www.wings3d.com/


GfK(Posted 2008) [#6]
Greetings Mortals,
I am the mighty WERDNA, lord of darkness.
Oh. And here's me thinking you're called Andrew and just decided to spell your name backwards.

:-)


WERDNA(Posted 2008) [#7]
Thanks for the replys guys, I'll get back to you, and tell you what I think after I check out some of your links.


John Blackledge(Posted 2008) [#8]
http://www.metaseq.net/english/index.html


D4NM4N(Posted 2008) [#9]
http://www.blender.org
Blenders quite a good free one, its fairly easy to learn if you watch the videos from the website (especially if you have no "assumptions" on the interface from using other software like 3dmax as it is quite different).


Beaker(Posted 2008) [#10]
http://www.fragmotion.com
Fragmotion does low poly modelling, animation and model painting.


Chaduke(Posted 2008) [#11]
I second the vote for Wings3D. For being able to take a basic shape and quickly sculpt it into whatever you want I've found nothing easier.
It works very well for a "freehand" approach where you just tweak the model until it looks correct rather than setting up image references and tracing the contours.
For many types of model you can get results extremely fast and the interface is very easy to learn, just right click and watch the status bar across the bottom.


Ross C(Posted 2008) [#12]
The makehuman program is good and setup for you. BUT, it's very high poly. 11,000 polys it generates, which is pretty useless for real time stuff. What i did though, i used it for dead bodies.

I took it into Amapi 3d, and used the decimate function on it, and brought it down to 1,500 polys, and i can use it now :o) Unfortunelty the decimate function isn't 100% so it's probably only useful for static beings :o)


Fuller(Posted 2008) [#13]
if you want something upper scale, try the free 4dblue


Aoneweb(Posted 2008) [#14]
Is 4dblue still being supported ?

The web site has not been updated in nearly 2 years.


Fuller(Posted 2008) [#15]
really, from what i saw on the forums, it was still in work. Though, I didnt check the post date.


Mortiis(Posted 2008) [#16]
Forget what everyone says about the interface of Blender.
You'll be using shortcuts anyway. Make sure you download and
work with this video tutorials.

http://www.montagestudio.org

Blender is really powerful...


D4NM4N(Posted 2008) [#17]
I agree, people who -usually- moan about blender are those who ignore the manual/videos and use it for the proverbial 5 minutes expecting it to behave and feel like a normal windows app.

Its not.

It was originally developed as a very expensive in house modeller for NeoGeo animation studios (not the games console people). I was told that once-upon-a-time it was used for hi-end (at the time) graphics workstations before it was GPL'd by its creators after the company went bust. It also runs on Solaris, Linux, OSX, BSD and windows, which is also good if you ever want to migrate from Bill-ville. Has a great community, loads of plugins and is constantly getting new stuff added. Its also used in the film industry (recently notable is spiderman 2 for creating the character animation). It also (and most importantly) exports B3D (with animation) through a 3rd party python script.

Here is a rough comparision chart of leading industry standard software:
http://www.tdt3d.be/articles_viewer.php?art_id=99

I think blender compares rather well, given the competition (and the price :)


North(Posted 2008) [#18]
Silo3D

Quick, intuitive and a true recommendation


Reactor(Posted 2008) [#19]
Blender is a powerful program in many ways, but I wouldn't recommend it as a good modeller for beginners. It's missing quite a few funamental modelling functions (even with plugins) which you'll find in almost every other modeller. Also, Blender's controls and interface change from version to version, and the docs (besides being a giant, unfinished mess) are quickly made redundant. This also goes for video tutorials, which often reference inactive shortcuts keys, and interface elements that have been moved. Beginners can be quickly frustrated.

Another thing is people are talking here about which modeller they think is best, but they're forgetting to mention whether it's an open or closed one. For example, Wings3D is a closed geometry modeller, while something like Blender is able to create open geometry models.

The point is- while something like Wings3D is a brilliant tool, sometimes being limited to closed geometry can be confusing to beginners, especially when things go wrong.


D4NM4N(Posted 2008) [#20]
I would say it was perfect for beginners as they have no pre-conceived assumptions. It is very easy to pick up with the tutorial videos.

TBH, ive never noticed any massive changes except from quite a few versions ago when they radically improved a few things.
It's missing quite a few funamental modelling functions (even with plugins)

Whats functions is it missing? Ive never wanted for any (at least not as far as modelling and animating). Its got all the usual tools as far as i know and many unique ones

As you say if its a basic modeller they want then wings is an excellent choice. However, if they want the whole package of a 3D rendering, animation and production suite as well then blender gets my vote.


Mortiis(Posted 2008) [#21]
I'm a begginer myself at modelling and it's been 4 days, now I can model my own characters, unwrap and texture them properly with blender... If you use the right sources, you will love blender. It has modelling, animation, uvmapping and b3d export.


Yan(Posted 2008) [#22]
[off topic]
It's missing quite a few funamental modelling functions (even with plugins) which you'll find in almost every other modeller.
Such as?

This is a genuine question BTW, as the only other modellers I've used are MilkShape and Wings.
[/off topic]


Beaker(Posted 2008) [#23]
I also use Silo for modelling. Fragmotion is only really useful for very low poly modelling.


Sledge(Posted 2008) [#24]
Make sure you download and
work with this video tutorials.

http://www.montagestudio.org

Just started watching these and already they look amazingly useful.


Reactor(Posted 2008) [#25]
I don't know how to quote on this forum, so please forgive my quoting methods ;)

"I would say it was perfect for beginners as they have no pre-conceived assumptions. It is very easy to pick up with the tutorial videos."

I would say it's 'okay' for beginners.

"TBH, ive never noticed any massive changes except from quite a few versions ago when they radically improved a few things."

Lots of little things get shifted around all the time. Even the devs acknowledge this. The shifting is a good thing, don't get me wrong... it's just those subtle changes often go undocumented. How do you teach a complete beginner to do something when there's no complete manual? Sure, they can go and ask someone, but that's not an ideal situation. Manuals are the most neglected thing in 3D, because beginners aren't taught that pretty much every answer they'll ever need is in one.

"I'm a begginer myself at modelling and it's been 4 days, now I can model my own characters, unwrap and texture them properly with blender..."

That's great, but while you might be able to do it 'properly' (whatever that might mean), with 4 days experience I doubt very much you can do it well.

"Such as?
This is a genuine question BTW, as the only other modellers I've used are MilkShape and Wings.
[/off topic]"

For example, Blender can't bevel a single edge. There is a plugin to do it, but it's really good at causing problems in a mesh, and is slow as anything to use. Another example is- create a cube and create an edge loop around the middle, vertically. Then, select and extrude the two bottom faces down, as if you were creating legs. With those two faces still selected, try and shift them both apart along x away from each other, as if the legs were doing the splits. The two faces must not scale. Can you do it, and if so, how long did it take you to work it out? This is a two second thing in almost any other modeller.

Blender's certainly capable, but it is lacking a few things right now.


D4NM4N(Posted 2008) [#26]
With those two faces still selected, try and shift them both apart along x away from each other

Assuming you want them 20 apart after extruding them down:
Extrude as separate faces (not as region), select left face, press the following key sequence "GX-10", select other face press "GX10"

job done! (about 2 seconds ;)

Which means: G,S & R are the move/scale/rotate shortcuts, X(or YZ) is the axis lock, 10 is the transform value [you dont need to click in a field box to type it].
Of course this is do-able with the mouse/icons too but i prefer shortcuts.

Basic transformations are one of the first tutorials in the manual. Theres also 'mirrors' or 'dupliverts' if you need complex symetery or hundreds of spread out 'legs'. Not sure about the bevel thing, never used it like that. If i want a beveled edge i do it with region extrudes and edge transforms (although, thats probably not the best way)

How do you teach a complete beginner to do something when there's no complete manual?
Eh?!? http://www.blender.org/education-help/manuals-books/ its a big fat bound 700+ page manual+CD available from the site for about 25-30
(which is well worth buying by the way - considering the SW costs nothing).

There are also tonnes of free tutorials, videos, community etc., not to mention all the 3rd party blender tuts, which pretty much make up a manual on their own.

I do agree its still lacking when compared to say.. 3D max or maya etc, but its got 99% everything you need for 'the usual' modeling, especially low poly games stuff.


Reactor(Posted 2008) [#27]
Moving something along one axis and then another isn't the same as doing both at the same time (and no, hitting shortcut keys really fast isn't the same thing). I mean, I could just type in the coords for each face, but I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about limitations Blender has to do things a certain way... simple things, not things like, "Blender doesn't have Syflex while Max does".

"If i want a beveled edge i do it with region extrudes and edge transforms (although, thats probably not the best way)"

No kidding ;)

As helpful as the manual might be (designed for whatever version it's been made for), I know a lot of beginners who wouldn't buy it in a fit. I agree, it's cheap considering the cost of the SW, but it's not THAT cheap, especially if you need to get it shipped out to you. And, despie what people say, the community help, online wiki and video tutorials for Blender don't teach much at all. They shows bits and pieces, sure. But, there's no solid, freely available, consistently updated manual. And, Blender's interface is so non-standard it's one of the few programs that really does *need* a manual.

Blah blah blah, my point is- while Blender is great, there are much better beginner modelling tools out there.


D4NM4N(Posted 2008) [#28]
Blender doesn't have Syflex while Max does
And a beginner would need this for B3D because? Dont forget the price difference. Isnt Syflex a soft body simulator of some kind? If so then Blender has one. Dont know how good it is though never used it.

Moving something along one axis and then another isn't the same as doing both at the same time (and no, hitting shortcut keys really fast isn't the same thing). I mean, I could just type in the coords for each face, but I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about limitations Blender has to do things a certain way... simple things, not things like, "Blender doesn't have Syflex while Max does".

I get what you mean, but i just dont see the point in having a tool that does the same job as a mirror or takes the same time as doing a manual transform.
I probably wouldnt use it if it had it.

As for the manual, Ive always found it solid enough. Anything added after the manual was published are available on the site. I still think 30 quid for a manual is better than 1000+ quid for Max or Maya, or even 80 odd quid for a budget modeller like hexagon(worth a look by the way) or truespace.

Blah blah blah, my point is- while Blender is great, there are much better beginner modelling tools out there.
You are probably right, but my point is Its certainly worth a few weeks of trial before buying an expensive modeller and use only a fraction of the tools. If theyre using it in the movie buisiness then its probably more than enough for most.

Lol! I think we need to agree do disagree (or at least agree in part) on this one :)


dawlane(Posted 2008) [#29]
"You are probably right, but my point is Its certainly worth a few weeks of trial"

That depends if you have a few weeks. You could suffer a brain hemorrhage in that time trying to get to grips with Blenders interface :-)


D4NM4N(Posted 2008) [#30]
Lol, it is different from the windows norm granted. If you can get past windows standardism then you will be surprised how easy it actually is.

Put it this way, you can use any app with some guidance (like a training video) within a day. I did my first blender model (a snowmobile), fully textured within 3 hours. What I meant was you need a few weeks to get "into" any program and deeply explore what it is capable of, this applies to all the 3d apps no matter what it is.


Reactor(Posted 2008) [#31]
"And a beginner would need this for B3D because?"

Hehe, no you wouldn't... I misread part of your post and thought you were comparing Blender to Max ;) Syflex is the world's fastest cloth simulator plugin... thingy.

"I get what you mean, but i just dont see the point in having a tool that does the same job as a mirror or takes the same time as doing a manual transform."

I agree, you don't *need* it, but when every other modelling app on the planet has bevel (or another similar 'staple diet' function) as one of its tools (minus Sketchup, oddly) Blender comes up lacking. What's a beginner going to do when they move from Blender to a tool with bevel? Nothing, because they've learnt bevel in Blender means 'screw up mesh' or 'bevel every edge'. Being able to bevel something is part of modelling 101.

"Its certainly worth a few weeks of trial before buying an expensive modeller and use only a fraction of the tools."

Sure, it's worth a look, but I'd prefer to see good foundations laid.


D4NM4N(Posted 2008) [#32]
I was using the bevel last night (first time ive used it to be honest) and it seemed to work in v2.45 which i know contains a lot of fixes for 2.44.

Mabe it got fixed, unless it wasnt a complicated enough shape. :/
It was a reasonably complex shape i used though.

What i did: Choose faces, scripts>bevel, enter amount, Ok("bevel")


Yan(Posted 2008) [#33]
Personally, I've never had any problems with the bevel script that couldn't be solved with a simple CTRL+N ('recalculate normals outside').

I'd be the first to admit that it's a horribly clunky and unintuitive way to do a simple bevel though...Roll on BMesh. ;o)


Hotshot2005(Posted 2008) [#34]
Some really Cool Modling Stuffs

http://www.daz3d.com/i.x/3d_models/0/k028m15f9grepmpkgco1lo3q65/?


mkg(Posted 2008) [#35]
My own conclusions - Blender is good but Milkshape is very easy to use for low poly animated 3d character models which is what I need atm. I may use Blender for more sophisticated static props.

Blender is free and Milkshape is cheap.


Digital Anime(Posted 2008) [#36]
I recently started using Blender starting with the tutorials online. I managed to create some easy models now, but exporting to B3D didn't work for me.

I'm using Blender 2.45 on Vista Ultimate and tried the exporters from http://www.gandaldf.com, both 1.03 and 2.0

Exporting the file seemed to work, but loading the B3D file in Blitzmax with MiniB3D gives me a cube only which is the standard item you begin with in Blender.

I also wonder if modifiers should work also like subsurf/smooth when exported...

Anyone who has experience with this and has a few hints?


ardee(Posted 2008) [#37]
Don't know anything about blitzmax but it sounds like you're not openining the .b3d file you think you are. Export from Blender with Diego's exporter works perfectly. Check the file name you're exporting to, the directory you're exporting it to, the date and time code of the file you've exported to make sure the file is as you expect.

Modifiers need to be applied "apply" button prior to export.


D4NM4N(Posted 2008) [#38]
Make sure the object(s) are selected when exporting it, i believe this might make a difference :/