I am so far away from being able to afford things like Maya, Lightwave, and 3dStudio that they just aren't an option. I would like to get into 3D enough to be productive with it, but I can't justify spending $2000 for something I may not be able to use for my own personal projects. I have used Maya PLE, but it has its own goofy file format, and I hesitate to really learn Maya because I will NEVER be able to afford the real thing.
I know enough to know that 3D software is not something you just pick up and start using. You really have to know your software to be productive enough to make content for an entire game project.
What is an affordable 3D package that can be used productively to make all the content for a game?
I would second the XSI (Softimage) recommendation - $495 for Foundation is a relative STEAL for such a high end package.
Then there's also Blender (http://www.blender.org/) which is free and powerful.
Here at Xenopi we used a nice mid-range program called "Hash Animation Master" which is about $200 (www.hash.com). However, we stopped using it some time ago in favor of 3DS MAX... But I am getting annoyed by Max lately, and perhaps we will switch again (yes, my artist hates me.. LOL)..
And of course, there are Milkshape, Wings3D, etc...
Maya does now offer a free scaled down version the "Personal Version". However it says it can only be used for non-commercial use. Are poor selling Indie games catogorized as commercial?? Might be worth shooting them an email and seeing what they have to say.
Anyone intrested in Lightwave 3D? I'm looking to get rid of my licensed copy. I can transfer the license over to anyone who wants to pay me $300 for it. It's LW 6.5, so I'm not sure of it's value.
I tried blender several years ago, and I found the interface to be unfathomable. It was taking me hours to figure out how to do the simplist things.Originally Posted by keethrus
You might want to take a look again if you tried a version before 2.3x - when they completely revamped the user interface.Originally Posted by floofthegoof
Also, I have an old version of 3D Studio Max (with DONGLE) - I think it's R3 (?) I'm happy to sell to you for $50 + shipping if you want...
Yup, it is quite a lot easier to use now. The documentation is better too. I think that the best way to learn it is just to go through the tutorial in the documentation . It teaches you how to model, texture, and animate a little gingerbread man.Originally Posted by Chaster
It also has a built-in raytracer now - good if you're making 2d games.
I really like silo3d for low poly modeling, and then Ultimate Unwrap 3D for texturing.
a prisoner of the cause
I used Anim8or, and Milkshape3d
I have been quite impressed with Wings3d.
Being free is a major factor but also a crucial feature is that I can actually use it. That means a huge deal. I have tried various other free modelers and demo versions but this (and Silo which acts rather similarly), is the one that maps to my brainspace the best.
As a programmer this is the first time I have actually been able to make the idea that has been in my head. I'm still no genius artist but at least I can get by http://www.screamingduck.com/Cruft/CowTrouble.jpg (watch this space to see why I needed a model of that)
That which does not kill us, has made its last mistake.
Look! A Moose
The best deal I've seen is SoftImage XSI for 495$... including 5 tranining DVD!!!
I currently use Poser 4 but isn't really a good tool for 3d modeling so I might be looking for one too in near future...
P.s. Chaster I could be interested in that 3d studio offer let me know if you still have it (and which version it is!)
3ds MAX 3 for $50!
Man, somebody really wants to take that offer for sure!
I find most Poser models look like the same old.
with the same old Faces, Body, Pose, clotches.
3d models looks better if you created them from scratches.
Lerc - great cow model!
I have to throw in my two cents in favor of Blender. The interface has always been tough but it's been greatly improved and the Gingerbread Man tutorial is very good at getting you up to speed. I'm still a little fuzzy on the materials panels but as far as modeling I felt pretty comfortable with it after a few hours with some tutorials.
If you don't like the price, that's fine. Nobody is forcing you to buy it.. sheesh.. Assuming you actually buy your software...Originally Posted by BongPig
Jack, I still have it and it is version 3.1. In fact, I still have the box, the manuals, the CD's (of course), and "Rubberstamp" (? I think it's a texturing tool) which came with it.
I just looked through the box, and I didn't see the dongle in there so I'm going to have to go searching around for it... PM me if you want to buy it (assuming I find the dongle - not much good without it.. heh). Oh, and the buyer will have to pay for shipping (heavy box because the manuals..)
Last edited by Chaster; 11-11-2004 at 01:23 PM.
Sorry Chaster. I think you misunderstood me somehow. I was basically saying its a fantastic offer.
In fact, if Jack doest want it, ill take it off you in a second. Mail me if thats the case.
They often do look very similar, but I don't think that most customers would notice.Originally Posted by RedKnight
I think that making reallistic humans from scratch is very difficult.. With Poser you can do it with little effort. Last time that I tried making humans from scratch.. heh, well they didn't turn out well, so I just called them mutants instead.. and then added a "radiactive boils" bump map. But perhaps other people ( e.g. "real" artists ) don't think that making humans is so difficult.
If you're an inexperienced artist, and are making a game with a lot of human characters, Poser is probably a good way to go. And then perhaps another 3d program ( like Blender ) for other things.
I personally use XSI. XSI is "It'll blow you away" flexible and allows an amazing level of control, but that comes at a price. The learning curve is *very* steep if you don't have a lot of experience under your belt. If you have the time, I'd go for it, because you'll learn more about 3D with it than just about anything else, but if you don't have time to really get down and dirty with it, forget it. The training manuals and DVDs don't cover enough to equip the newbie in a short amount of time. I'm estimating it'll take me two years plus to get to grips with everything it can do.
I've used Truespace for my last project, and even though it's fairly buggy (at the best of times) it's easy to use, is cheap (really cheap for the things it can do) and the user base is very supportive. It'll handle a whole multitude of game design situations without a problem. Try www.caligari.com and have a look into Gamespace, as well (the Lite version is free). Eventually you'll grow out of it, but I learnt a massive amount from it, and recommend it to anyone limited by cash.
Btw, if you're interested in something Caligari related, sign up for their newsletter and wait for the special offers. They're well known for it
Last edited by Reactor; 11-12-2004 at 12:08 AM.
Do you use the sub $500 version of XSI?
If so, could I ask, does it have any kind of scripting language built into this basic version? Its important to me to have some kind of control over the inner workings of the software.
Im very interested in getting some experience with all major 3D software as im doing more and more work for TV.
Truespace 3 was the first 3d modelling application I ever used and I agree with Reactor that it's still a good way to learn. Version 3 is now completely free. I don't have a link for you and I remember it not being very easy to get to on Caligari's site, but some Googling for "truespace 3 free" should turn something up. They're now on version 6 and I believe you can buy any version in between at various price points between free for v.3 and $500-700 for the very latest (I don't know what it goes for right now). Also, if you give them a real e-mail address when you get the free version you will eventually get a very good offer in your inbox for later versions. I still think Truespace (any version) is the easiest-to-use full-featured 3d modelling app I've ever seen.
Well, for that price I'd have to steal it.Originally Posted by Chaster
Personally, i think Wings is one of the best modelers that I've ever used. The interface is off-putting at first, but once you get used to it, the modeling is a breeze and allows you to be creative, rather than worry about the interface.
I also used milkshape, but generally only as a file format converter.
Yep, I'm using Foundation. I don't yet have a need for some of the nifty extras in the more pricey versions
There are a number of ways of scripting in XSI, although I not sure of the details, because I know nothing about scripting at all However, I've spent enough time on their mailing list to know that most guys believe it can't get any better that what XSI allows. Expect support for Jscript, Vbscript, and I'm fairly sure... python.
On a side note, the thing to keep in mind with XSI, is to research it thoroughly. It runs really fast with most graphic cards, but it doesn't like Radeon cards, and most Nvidia cards (outside of the Quadro) are officially unsupported, meaning that people like myself running a gamer's card have to deal with the odd funny hickup here and there. I can live with it (because all of the 3D programs I run seem to have funny hickups), but a lot of people won't like it. Anyway, the details of supported cards (and scripting details) are on the Softimage site.
Wings is great It doesn't handle open objects, but for box modelling it's fantastic. I've never had an issue with the interface.Personally, i think Wings is one of the best modelers that I've ever used. The interface is off-putting at first, but once you get used to it, the modeling is a breeze and allows you to be creative, rather than worry about the interface.
Another inexpensive 3D Modelling package is Animation Master by Hash Inc. A lot of the old bugs have been worked out and this product has been pretty stable for me for the last 3 years. It is a spline based/organic modeller ( as opposed to polygonal).