3D Modeling Software

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staggerlee
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3D Modeling Software

Post by staggerlee »

I want to design a model of a Coriolis space station including its interior, and possibly a few ships. I'm doing this as a reference for a book I am writing that is set in a very similar universe to the ooniverse. I find it very useful to have images and diagrams of my scene settings when writing action.

I actually tried it in Minecraft — it went quite well, but Minecraft lacks the ability to rotate objects in 3-dimensions, which is a problem when modelling space objects that do not have fixed orientation.

I was thinking about Sketchup, as I used to use it back when it was Google sketchup, but it's changed now and there is a paid version.

Can anyone recommend some easy-to-use, free 3-d modelling software that works on a mac?

Thanks!

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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by Cody »

Try Blender - a few of the guys use it. Excellent tutorial here, btw.
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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by Commander_X »

+1 for Blender.

A heads up, though, get ready to tweak the Dat2Obj*.py scripts -- they are mainly outdated.

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staggerlee
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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by staggerlee »

Commander_X wrote:+1 for Blender.

A heads up, though, get ready to tweak the Dat2Obj*.py scripts -- they are mainly outdated.
My head is already spinning. I did pick Blender up once a long time ago, but didn't have the time to really get into it.

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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by maik »

I also wouldn't consider Blender easy to use. Sketchup does fit that bill though. And even in the free version you can use add-ins from sites like sketchucation. Their plugin manager is especially useful.

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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by Smivs »

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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by Commander_X »

Blender is way easier to use since its 2.4x days. The reason Blender might still be seen as harder to start up with is that the beginners might fail to focus on what they need to pick up for their needs. Oh, and some of its UI trademarks :D .
It's also true that it would be difficult to cover everybody's vision of the 3D modeling workflow in one leap.

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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by Svengali »

Commander_X wrote:It's also true that it would be difficult to cover everybody's vision of the 3D modeling workflow in one leap.
Yep. If you have worked with other tools like Autocad, Cinema4D or 3D-Max you'll probably won't get warm with Blender.

For 3D-Max a 'little brother' version is still available as free download -> (http://www.turbosquid.com/gmax). It's Windows only though.

And let's not forget Sculptris (Win and Mac). A really good one to get more organic meshes and let's you paint directly on the mesh.

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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by Selezen »

Smivs wrote:Wings 3D. :)
+1 on Wings3D - it's what Aegidian used in the early days, I believe.

Very easy to learn and has loads of cool functions. I did a bit of a video tutorial a few weeks back on Twitch, and it should be on my YouTube channel if you want a quick guide to subdivision modelling.

I like Blender too, but it's WAY more complex than Wings. I find it easier to make the model in Wings then export it as an OBJ to bring into Blender when the complicated stuff needs to get done.

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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by spud42 »

+1 for Wings3D as well..... easy to create simple models like oolite ships. can be a fiddle uv mapping to texture etc but gets easier with practice.

going to look for selezen's tut, sounds interesting. Any chance of a link? been searching youtube for recent wings3d tutorials and not having any luck finding yours?
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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by Selezen »

spud42 wrote:+1 for Wings3D as well..... easy to create simple models like oolite ships. can be a fiddle uv mapping to texture etc but gets easier with practice.

going to look for selezen's tut, sounds interesting. Any chance of a link? been searching youtube for recent wings3d tutorials and not having any luck finding yours?
It was on a card modelling forum. Zealot. Hang on, I'll see if I can find the link.

http://zealot.com/threads/tutorial-card ... 3d.173559/

There you go.

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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by spud42 »

Selezen wrote:
spud42 wrote:+1 for Wings3D as well..... easy to create simple models like oolite ships. can be a fiddle uv mapping to texture etc but gets easier with practice.

going to look for selezen's tut, sounds interesting. Any chance of a link? been searching youtube for recent wings3d tutorials and not having any luck finding yours?
It was on a card modelling forum. Zealot. Hang on, I'll see if I can find the link.

http://zealot.com/threads/tutorial-card ... 3d.173559/

There you go.
Thanks, will check it out.

on a general note for oolite what is the most practical polygon count for a ship? 10,50,100,500???
i have tried to make ships that look interesting but with the detail in actual polygons it is extremely hard to texture them without basically isolating every polygon on the uv map individually.
but even that is not that hard just tedious. low poly models are very easy to uv map but trying to add fancy detail in the texture is beyond me.
then i got lost in the scripting side of things. converting the wings obj file to a dat for the game seems to be a black art..
I havent given up on the space 1999 Eagle but have hit a wall and need to spend time reading some oxz of ships to understand why things are done the way they are.

then aftre that all my ships seem generic... nothing special and even when i try to not make them look like any scifi ship i have ever seen some how a few days later i see i have just made a cylon ship just not as fancy due to low ploy count... ha ha .

then there is the question i have been asking myself recently "Does oolite really NEED any more ships?"
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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by Smivs »

spud42 wrote:...then there is the question i have been asking myself recently "Does oolite really NEED any more ships?"
I don't think it ever has really - the core ships offer a good range of sizes and abilities, and importantly they all more or less make sense (individually and collectively) which is not something that can be said of all OXP ships!
Having said that, variety is the Spice of Life so they say, and so more ships can't be a bad thing.
As for your technical issues, you will get your head around them with perseverance. I struggle with this stuff as well, but it doesn't stop me :)
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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by another_commander »

spud42 wrote:low poly models are very easy to uv map but trying to add fancy detail in the texture is beyond me.
My advice on this one is this: Don't try to add fancy detail to the texture itself. In most cases it will end up looking like a drawing and scream "look, I am a texture!". I believe you can get much better results by using a relatively basic texture and providing the details by means of a fitting normal map.

Also, results are generally better if you have a clear idea from the beginning what your ship needs to look like, rather than just having a random texture applied and trying to add fluff on top of it.

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Re: 3D Modeling Software

Post by Norby »

spud42 wrote:what is the most practical polygon count for a ship?
More is better, the current griff models has around 1000 as you can see in oolite.app/Resources/Models/oolite_*.dat files after the NFACES word, just skip the old models without oolite_ prefix (Mamba with 6 faces, etc.).

[wiki]Andromeda[/wiki] has 12000 and still no performace problems on i3 integrated graphics. The texure of this ship is a good example how to paint a high-poly map easily.

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