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3 Dimensional Chat / Most basic beginner's question

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Qoheleth
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Posted: 26th Apr 2012 01:32
I'm sure this must have been asked many times, but here is my version. Although I am happy with my progress in programming, I always come back to the basic stumbling block in my game creation - how to create the graphics. (Give me sounds and music any time - that's easy, but graphics...) I'm not even talking about modelling. At this stage, I simply want to create environments (or levels if you prefer). Say the interior of a house with the different rooms (think, for example, Safecracker). Or say something like the train interior in the new Process "game". I've looked at quite a number of programs. Some (not mentioning names) are just frustrating. Blender is powerful, but demands a lot of time just to learn it. The most impressive and easiest to use I've seen so far was Daz, but it does not quite work with DBP (it seems) (and there might be licensing issues - not sure about that). Can someone perhaps point me in the direction of a user-friendly yet capable program? Is trueSpace perhaps the answer?
Travis Gatlin
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Posted: 26th Apr 2012 01:52
I don't think there's too many "effortless" programs out there to help you. Best thing to do is find an artist that already knows this stuff to do some work for you!

http://www.talenthouse.com/travisgatlin
You can find my latest work here. Please comment on my work and tell me what you think!
Kezzla
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Location: Where beer does flow and men chunder
Posted: 26th Apr 2012 07:54
hey mate, I'm pretty much in the same boat as you.
I started off with old game editors for games like doom,quake or halflife 1. they are more geared towards game level design and the interfaces are simple. and they are free.

the closest thing I found here was cartography shop. its good for very simple objects and will help you get your head around 3d modelling and it exports to x.

I recommend trying ac3d, there is a free trial and a lot of tutorials for it. It is a cheap alternative and you can make some really nice models in it very easily.

for 2d i recommend getting adobe elements and a digital camera.

for adobe I recommend finding a friend who knows how to use it and sitting down with them. you can use it simply like paint, but there are a lot of features that really make your artwork stand out which are easiest learned from someone in the know.

just dive in and ask for help when you are stuck. post pics of your models so people can offer relevant advice.
have fun with it.

Sometimes I like to use words out of contents
Qoheleth
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Posted: 26th Apr 2012 09:50
Thanks so far. When I said Daz above, I should have said Bryce, which seems to be a really easy program to use. How workable is 3D World Studio?
Pincho Paxton
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Posted: 26th Apr 2012 14:50
I find Anim8or the easiest to use. It's great for buildings, and interiors.

The Zoq2
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Posted: 26th Apr 2012 15:06
Quote: "I find Anim8or the easiest to use. It's great for buildings, and interiors."

Agreed
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 26th Apr 2012 15:32 Edited at: 26th Apr 2012 15:35
For Organic Modelling (like characters) I find Hexagon 2 to be user friendly, at least since most of the bugs have been ironed out. It also comes with a decent UV Mapper. Hexagon is free for a limited time only. So grab it whilst you can. Link

Because UV Mapping can confuse people as it's not always easy to figure out where to place the seams, I actually made a video tutorial (but for a different program) explaining how to do it. The same method can be applied to Hexagon's UV Mapper, if it looks odd, just change the projection axis (it'll make sense when you get around to using it): Linky


Then for level design. Seriously, MapScape is a good program (it was actually made in DBP), it's like 3D World Studio, with fewer features, but completely free. And it's really easy to use. Although MapScape can export to only .x and .dbo (great for DBP!) you can use Lithunwrap to convert it to other file formats. I've used it to convert .x into a .obj and loaded it into my 3D rendering program and Unity3D just fine, just without the lightmaps. The lightmaps will work perfectly in DBPro.

For animation & rigging. MilkShape3D is cheap and export to a large array of formats. Your free (decent) alternatives are TrueSpace or Blender, but Blender's interface is a problem for some people (even though it has improved drastically).


That's pretty much my toolset. I've gone for the 'user friendly' approach, because I don't want to cause myself more effort than necessary.

JLMoondog
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Posted: 26th Apr 2012 20:23
The point here that everyone is getting across is, tryout as many free/trial modeling programs that you can and see which one you like the best. Everyone has their preferred program, it's all down to which one your more comfortable with.

I personally use Truespace 7.61 Rosetta, Wings 3D and PsP. All free. All easy to use and compatible with DBP, Unity and Unreal.

Qoheleth
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Posted: 27th Apr 2012 21:16
Thanks for the advice. I started to look at trueSpace. I also downloaded MapScape and Hexagon and will look at it. I understand that Hexagon does not include a renderer. Can you suggest one I could use with it?
JLMoondog
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Posted: 28th Apr 2012 00:29
I use Yafaray, it can be integrated into most 3d modeling packages, and it's quite easy to use.

Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 28th Apr 2012 14:47 Edited at: 28th Apr 2012 17:12
Hexagon is meant as a dedicated tool for 3D modelling, it's not a 'full 3D package' as it were, but one of these tools aimed at making the modelling process quicker and easier with more tools on the modelling side of things. To render anything you make, export your model as a .obj and load it into your chosen 3D package (in this case, TrueSpace). I find it to be an excellent addition to my tool set, even if I didn't get along with it back in the day when it was buggy. (I used to have it crash a lot, but since 2.5, it's a lot more stable)

Useful things about Hexagon:
-Decent easy-to-use modelling tools
-Built in UV Mapper, you can unwrap using your 3D view and you can unwrap using seams (see the video I posted, this allows for you to more accurately unwrap an object, as opposed to Lithunwrap where you're just projecting)
-Sculpting Tools - Sculpting is quite useful for extremely high detailed models and many use such for creating normal maps, I can't remember if Hexagon exports a displacement map. But if you wanted to render something will a crap load of detail, you can do all the extra detail in Hexagon.
-Paint texture maps directly on your model and you have the ability to use a textured brush
-Paint Bump Maps

[edit] I might start working on writing my tutorials again, so I should have some Hexagon beginners' tutorials done if that interests you.
[edit2] I've written some to get you started.

These are best viewed in the following order:
Useful Modelling Tools in Hexagon
How to get started with the UV Mapper
Painting in Hexagon Explained
First Model in Hexagon: Modelled, UV Mapped and textured in Hexagon

Qoheleth
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Posted: 1st May 2012 12:42
Seppuku Arts, sorry for taking so long to reply, but today was the first time I had a chance to look at the stuff. Thank you for the tutorials - I will go through them in detail. Thank you also for the other advice. It's good to learn from an expert!
DARKBASIC PRO 3d WORLD EDITOR
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Posted: 3rd May 2012 04:11
I was wondering... does anybody try to make their own world editor? I am and I'm a beginner... but I'm having trouble with texturing objects with AVI files.. I load animation in my program, (and I hear it!) but I can not see it in the cube object I made.

- Infinity is Simplicity -
DARKBASIC PRO 3d WORLD EDITOR
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Posted: 3rd May 2012 17:59
I just figured out my own problem... I guess the fastsync command was the reason.. when I took it out and put in sync it worked!!

- Infinity is Simplicity -

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