Which Character Modeler?

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Which Character Modeler?

Amanda Dearheart(Posted 2009) [#1]
1. Which character modeler do you guys use to create yoiur humans, and animals?
how much does such a package cost?

2. Are Bryce files able to load into Blitz?

3. Other than Bryce, what other software is capable of producing landscapes like Bryce?

Matty(Posted 2009) [#2]
1. Poser if I want to render out still images to use as sprites of characters...can look quite good.


1. Softimage XSI Foundation Ver 5.0 - great all round 3d app

2. Don't know - what is a Bryce file? If it exports heightmaps then shouldn't be a problem, unless it exports 3ds,x,b3d or md2 then you are going to need to convert it before it enters blitz

3. Vue is one piece of software I can think of.

xlsior(Posted 2009) [#3]
2) Which Blitz? B3D, or Blitzmax with some 3D engine? If the latter, which 3D engine?

slenkar(Posted 2009) [#4]


ragtag(Posted 2009) [#5]
Wings3D - http://www.wings3d.com/
Nice open source poly modeler. Can be combined with blender. :)

slenkar(Posted 2009) [#6]
NO wings3d isnt that good really,

grindalf(Posted 2009) [#7]
I use Deled

Kryzon(Posted 2009) [#8]
The user interface for 3DS Max (the one I use) is very easy to use, intuitive and the application itself is very professional and game-content-generation capable. The biggest contra is the studio-grade price.

Also, up to version 9 you can get the B3D Pipeline plugin to work: one of the best B3D exporters out there, where you can customize Entity and Brush FX flags, texture blends and many other options inside the application and export your model with those options recorded inside the B3D.
Meaning, you load the mesh and it already comes with alpha'ed or blended textures, without the need for extra code to set it up.

Note that I said "up to version 9" because the plugin hasn't been compiled for the newer versions.

For personal, freeware projects, it shouldn't be hard to find version 9 around there, if you know what I mean.

Drop me an e-mail if you're interested - in this software, that is.

Amanda Dearheart(Posted 2009) [#9]
Sorry xlsior,

of course I meant Blitz3D, the first and only 3d Basic everyone should be using!!

Kryzon(Posted 2009) [#10]
I don't know... OOP programming with BlitzMax and MiniB3D (which keeps the lovely easy interface while being OpenGL based) is starting to sound very attractive to me.

dawlane(Posted 2009) [#11]
This is a list of tools I use or have used in the past along with some texture tools.

Cinema 4D XL R11.5 (WIN/OSX) - Prices start at $995.00 for the Core version. I use this for modelling and Animation. Has a highly customizable user interface and good modelling, UV unwrapping tools and reasonable 3D Paint tools that can use photoshop plugins and brushes. The down side is the lack of free tutorials and file exporters. I get round the file export problem by exporting to the fbx format and using FragMOTION.
Edit: Getting animated files from C4D to B3D can be a complete pain when using FragMOTION. I am now using Ultimate Unwrap3D Pro 3.x (see below) which tends to be less hassle.

ZBrush (WIN/OSX) - Price $595. Is a model sculpting and painting apllication. I use this for adding texture details (normal maps etc) and modelling organic forms. The interface can be a little weird but not as bad as blenders.

FragMOTION (WIN) - Price $50 - This can be use for Character rigging and Animation as well and UV unwrapping. I use this mostly for for converting file from fbx to B3D/DBO.
Edit: Getting animated files from C4D to B3D can be a complete pain when using FragMOTION. I am now using Ultimate Unwrap3D Pro 3.x (see below) which tends to be less hassle.

Photoshop CS4 Extended (WIN/OSX) - Price $999 - I use this for lots of things from editing textures and painting directly onto 3D Models.

Genetica 3.0 Studio (WIN) - Price Starts at $109 for the Basic version - This is a node based procedual texture creation tool.

The GIMP (WIN/OSX/LINUX) - Price Free. A cross platform image editing too.

Paint Shop Pro (WIN) - Price $39.99 (was $99.99). A Poor mans Photoshop.

Blender (WIN/OSX/LINUX) - Price Free. A Cross platform Modelling, UV unwrapping and animation tool. Down side to this tool is the ****** interface.

xNormal (WIN) - Price Free. xNormal is an application to generate normal / ambient occlusion / displacement maps.

Texture Maker 3.1 (WIN) - Price starts at 29.95+VAT. A nice seamless texture creation tool. There are a few of down sides to this tool and thats...
1) It hasn't been updated since 2007.
2) There's been no word from the author for sometime and no known support as the forum as been spammed to death.
3) After you have purchessed you can download the license key with any web browser that doesn't have the words Internet Explorer 8 (it's a case of copy the URL link into Fire Fox).

AC3D (WIN/OSX/LINUX) - Price $79.95. A cross platform Modeller with UV unwrapping.

3DCanvas (WIN) - Price Free/$34.95(plus)/$69.95. A modelling and animation tool.

Ultimate Unwrap3D Pro (WIN) - Price $59.95 A tool for unwrapping Model UV's.
Edit: Getting animated files from C4D to B3D can be a complete pain when using FragMOTION. I am now using Ultimate Unwrap3D Pro 3.x (see below) which tends to be less hassle.

2. Are Bryce files able to load into Blitz?
Not unless you convert them.

I use Deled
I hear that next year in January its going open source. I may have a play with this when it happens.

AdrianT(Posted 2009) [#12]
For blitz 3d, an older version of 3dsmax with B3D pipeline is easily the best solution. The B3d pipeline extension libraries that come with the exporter are brilliant and can save a lot of programming time if used intelligently.

The extensions allow you to do in engine FMV. I stopped using B3D when b3d pipeline stopped being updated for later 3ds max versions.

*(Posted 2009) [#13]
Milkshape3d :)

ICECAP(Posted 2009) [#14]
What about that cut back version of 3dstudio that was given out for free? Did anyone try and get the b3d exporter working with that?

Amanda Dearheart(Posted 2009) [#15]
What are you talking about Icecap?

Gabriel(Posted 2009) [#16]
He's talking about GMax. It's very old now, and the license did not permit writing custom exporters, IIRC, so I wouldn't give it much thought.

D4NM4N(Posted 2009) [#17]
Blender is good.
It has a superb animator and good interface (once you know it). There are also some free fully rigged humanoid.blend bases available one male and one female.

SpaceMan94(Posted 2009) [#18]
I like Lightwave and blender.

Mike0101(Posted 2009) [#19]
I vote for 3D studio max9, perfect for export in b3d. (I don't see the price)

SpaceMan94(Posted 2009) [#20]
For a landscape modeler try Terragen

ZJP(Posted 2009) [#21]

jhocking(Posted 2009) [#22]
The newest UI updates to Blender are really impressive, I'm planning to use it for my next project (a prototype to demo a game design idea) so that I can practice with it and see if it works as well for me as Maya.

overmeeren(Posted 2010) [#23]
If you want all round packages 3D Studio and Maya are nice but expensive ($3000-$4000). Modo is a good alternative and is more affordable ($995). (Cinema4D might also be a good alternative, but I don't like it personally)

Silo 2 (from nevercenter) is very good for pure polygon/subd modeling, I use this to create my basic shapes and tweaking low polygon models. It's also very affordable ($159), but has no animation or rendering features.

I use ZBrush for high detail modeling, texturing/painting and texture baking. There is really nothing like ZBrush to be honest, I tried Mudbox and 3D coat, they just didn't cut it. ZBrush is also not a complete 3D 'studio' solution, perhaps not suited for all round modeling and animation, but in my opinion for 'organic' modeling (characters, animals, nature), and detailing and texturing models nothing comes close. It's also very well adapted to work with a pen/tablet.

Blender is great, but the problem with blender is that it does everything different, and not just user interface, also it's output often requires extra work to fit into a 'normal' workflow. My tools should be as unobtrusive as possible, and blender definitely isn't. They really need to stop with the attitude and get with the program because technically and feature wise the software is outstanding and completely free!

Pete Carter(Posted 2010) [#24]
dawlane how do you get round the export problem because FBX export in the current version seams to be broken. have you tested animation fully because when ive tried the same method the rotations get messed up but everything else looks ok.

I love cinema4d but its not ment for games so no nice workflow or exporter functions.

dawlane(Posted 2010) [#25]
It's been a few months since I've used C4D and fragMotion ( been toying around with the iPhoneSDK and irrlicht ), so I'll have a playaround with C4D and fragmotion. I remember having this problem or something similar and if I remember it turned out that I didn't use the alined joint tool before I did a IK chain as converting to FBX turns the joints into bones and throws the bone Axis out if you don't do the aline which can be a b**ch as you have to redo the vertex weights from scratch.

One thing to remember is that the exporter was broken in C4D R10 ( I think it was fixed in 10.5 ) and if your using a version of C4D that supports FXB2010 then don't export in that format use the FBX 5/6 exporter as fragmotion crashes otherwise.

And it also worth remembering that if your using Null Objects as controllers you also have to keyframe all the joint positions as well or you'll just be animating the Null Objects.

I have found out that Ultimate Unwrap 3.x may be a better solution as I've used this to successfully convert a directX file ( it was a bandit model off The Game Creators Store ) into a FBX that was then imported into C4D and it looks like it can handle FBX 2010 reasonably well.

I love cinema4d but its not ment for games so no nice workflow or exporter functions.

C4D isn't a popular modeler in the games profession but it is used in the film/tv industry ( BodyPaint3D more so ) and if you want to export a model to another format then you have to write your own exporter and I would think a lot of software developers do.
I do believe that C4D is being successfully used with Unity ( into format FBX ).

dawlane(Posted 2010) [#26]
Ok had a play around with fragmotion I can't remember how I got it to work the first time ( keeps screwing up the mesh ) and it looks like when I did a clear out I erased the files that was rigged to work with it :(

But all is not lost if you have C4D R11.5 with Ultimate Unwrap3D Pro 3.x and the FBX 3.19 plugin. I have tested a complex rigged bipedal model that I got off one of the Ciniversity tutorials (Taquito the wrestler the scene has 382 objects virtually all controllers/joints and a mesh that's got 3024 polygons), animated a run cycle just by using controller objects then exported it using FBX 2010.2 ( this can handle models created with joints and skins ). I then exported the model from UU3D into B3D format, then check to see if Fragmotion could load it. It did and animates correctly.

EDIT: Looks like the FBX exporter still has issues. I was playing around with the XNA skinning sample. The model will import correctly into C4D, but the export (FBX 2010.2) distorts the skeleton and a few frames which is strange are when the file is reloaded into C4D it's normal. I found out I could get round this by first exporting the model as a Collada and using Ultimate Unwrap 3D (currently using 3.23 with 3.22plugins).
I think some of the problems with FBX are due to the fact that Fragmotion/UU3D/XNA and many other SDK's are using FBX 5/6 which is a problem for C4D as the FBX 5/6 exporter cannot export joints.