Results 1 to 30 of 30

Thread: The 3D Art Programs thread

  1. #1
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6

    The 3D Art Programs thread

    Lets talk about art stuff!

    To start, here's my rather dubious opinions of the various packages I've used:

    3DSMax:
    Expensive! Powerful. 90% of it you'll never use. Really good modeling, terrible selection (but you get used to it). I've not used a new version since 2010. Tons of user made scripts and such.

    Maya:
    Used to hate it but I just got Maya LT. The big version is probably really expensive, not sure. LT is 30 a month. Hopefully you can just cancel when you won't be using it. LT is limited, but I've been begging for a limited version of 3dsmax for years. I'm guessing LT and Blender are the two packages most indies will end up using because of the cost. So far modeling with it is easy once you get used to the backwards selection modifiers. Currently hacking up some mel scripts to do stuff LT isn't supposed to be able to do (splines for hair guides for hairworks type stuff). Hasn't crashed on me yet as of a couple days, despite me doing strange things to it in scripting.

    3DCoat:
    Only 100 bucks for the indie version! Pretty good normal map and uv mapping software once you get used to the quirks. I only ever did the very basic stuff with it.

    Blender:
    Someone will have to fill this in because I've only tried it a couple times and gave up in disgust. I'm poor though so the idea of it is appealing.

  2. #2
    Registered User Celestein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    618
    Tuconots
    11
    I've used all those as well as modo and wings3D.

    My general thoughts are, if I have to pay I'm gonna buy Maya. I think it's the best commercial software that has the most industry support atm.

    That said, there is a really big dearth of blender competent artists, demand is very high and supply super low. There's nothing Maya et all can do that blender can't, blender has imo the best scripting options. Problem is it's just so different from everything else, takes a lot of getting used to.

  3. #3
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    Maya LT patched on monday. Lotsa new stuff but the only thing I've checked out so far is the autorigging. It works pretty well, but doesn't do fingers, and the head got rigged a bit into the upper body so the jaw went all sideways when I turned the head, but that was easy to fix.

    Should be a big timesaver.

    Now I just need nvidia to update their plugins. I discovered that though LT doesn't support plugins, apparently they made an exception for nvidia's stuff. Or at least physx and hairworks. I didn't find out about this until I'd already patched, so the versions don't work together.

  4. #4
    Registered User Celestein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    618
    Tuconots
    11
    Modo 10 just hit as well(not today, just recently and I just started using it) and I'm started to change my mind, lot of nice stuff and it integrates well into UE4 now.

  5. #5
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    Hah someone posted about the new modo on the maya lt steam forum.

  6. #6
    Registered User Borzak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    8,603
    Tuconots
    26
    No idea if this is something that might be interesting. Not my cup of tea, but google tilt brush. The have a video of it in motion.

    Tilt Brush by Google

  7. #7
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    That looks like fun I'd love to see what some of my art friends could do with that.

  8. #8
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    Someone at NVidia hooked me up with a plugin that was failing to install. I think there's a bug if you install maya LT it writes the wrong reg keys.

    Looking at MODO on steam, that is hella cheap. 15 a month or 60 for 6 months. Looks like the new version isn't on steam yet though.

  9. #9
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    BTW a new maya update hit the monday after Ludum Dare and it comes with an auto rigger! Does a pretty good job too!. For my character it glued the head to the shoulders a bit, probably because it is animu style so has a huge head, but it was really easy to fix in the weights.

    Going to be a huge time saver.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    47
    Tuconots
    1
    I have been slowly working through Lynda tutorials on rigging in Maya. I have never touched anything like this before so it is challenging but fun.

    It started because I saw Kharza's thread about the UE4 engine. Working through some tutorials I built a hallway with lights that when the user walks in, they turn off and a monster appears after a bit. I wanted to animate the monster, so here I am.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    47
    Tuconots
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Kharza-kzad View Post
    BTW a new maya update hit the monday after Ludum Dare and it comes with an auto rigger! Does a pretty good job too!. For my character it glued the head to the shoulders a bit, probably because it is animu style so has a huge head, but it was really easy to fix in the weights.

    Going to be a huge time saver.
    Where is that located? Sounds awesome!

  12. #12
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    The little tpose man button in the upper right, then quick rig tool, and there's an autorig button.

    I hope to play with is some more this weekend. Post screenies of your fun Unreal stuff!

  13. #13
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    I did a full day of art stuff yesterday making stuff in maya LT. Discovered a few more differences from max:

    The detach functionality is rubbish. In max you can select a bunch of polygons on an object and hit detach, and the selected polygons become their own new object, removing them from the object they were in. Maya has a similar thing, but there are two ways to do it and neither work. Both will either crash, randomly scramble the entire scene's materials, or both. Best way to do it is duplicate the object, then delete everything but the faces you wanted.

    There's no triangulation control. In max if a non planar quad had funny lighting, you could target it and show how it was being triangulated, then flip through the available ways it can triangulate. Maya just does it however it wants, so if you have a non planar quad, it is best to just manually triangulate it yourself.

    Normals are done via softening or hardening edges. I really like this, but it is a great deal slower than max's smoothing groups. Unfortunately the edge data just will not export. I guess the various formats just don't support it. You can export with "split per vertex normals" and that will make 3dcoat and unity get the right normals. However none of the hard/soft edge information survives export. If you reimport something back into Maya LT you'll get the correct normals, but all edges show up as hard.

  14. #14
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    I did a full day of art stuff yesterday making stuff in maya LT. Discovered a few more differences from max:

    The detach functionality is rubbish. In max you can select a bunch of polygons on an object and hit detach, and the selected polygons become their own new object, removing them from the object they were in. Maya has a similar thing, but there are two ways to do it and neither work. Both will either crash, randomly scramble the entire scene's materials, or both. Best way to do it is duplicate the object, then delete everything but the faces you wanted.

    There's no triangulation control. In max if a non planar quad had funny lighting, you could target it and show how it was being triangulated, then flip through the available ways it can triangulate. Maya just does it however it wants, so if you have a non planar quad, it is best to just manually triangulate it yourself.

    Normals are done via softening or hardening edges. I really like this, but it is a great deal slower than max's smoothing groups. Unfortunately the edge data just will not export. I guess the various formats just don't support it. You can export with "split per vertex normals" and that will make 3dcoat and unity get the right normals. However none of the hard/soft edge information survives export. If you reimport something back into Maya LT you'll get the correct normals, but all edges show up as hard.

  15. #15
    I did it all for tanooki xrg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    169
    Tuconots
    0
    I've mainly only used Blender. It probably has the largest overall feature-set, but its notoriously shitty default keybindings make it frustrating to learn/teach and hold it back a lot. If you can get past it though, it does virtually everything: modeling, uv unwrapping, texture paint, sculpting, rigging, animation, sim stuff (smoke/fire, water, softbodies, etc), particles, video editing, motion tracking, compositing, and probably a bunch of other things I can't think of off the top of my head.

    If it is of interest, I have a relatively in-depth video series on making this dagger/short sword thing. It can give you an idea on the modeling/uv unwrapping/texturing workflow in Blender.


  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    47
    Tuconots
    1
    About half way into the Lynda rigging tutorial. Stopped, imported a random monster model, and was able to rig the jaw to open and close like it was "RAWWWWRRRRRing". I feel like I accomplished a lot, but in reality it was jackshit and very small. Definitely have to pace myself.

  17. #17
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    Learning rigging is a curse. Once you know it you begin to see how sloppy games are, in particular western games. Flattening thighs and smooshed warped asses during bending. Car accident victim style shoulder movement.

    And then you see a soul calibur where the rigging is absolutely flawless and forever wonder how they did it.

  18. #18
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    I was coding on some outfit stuff for changing gear out of inventory and swapping out meshes and materials. I needed some test data and made a really crappy outfit and got it working with that.

    Then I remembered that torchlight 1 and 2 come with lots of cool outfits, so I decided to throw a few outfits together out of that.

    It probably would have been faster to just make something myself haha. So the torch stuff is all max files from 2009, and I just happened to have that version on an old machine. So I'd open the stuff, export to fbx, load it up in Maya and... crash. Some kind of bad fbx node (possibly related to the ogre plugin) would lay maya low.

    Whatever it was it was impossible to find. I kept deleting half the stuff in the scene, half the materials etc, then the other half, then more then more. Everything was tainted and I couldn't see anything in the fbx file in ascii. So I started exporting, then re-opening in max, then reskinning, then exporting again.

    That got it by maya's crash, but the scale was off. So I redid with the right scale, and then got it into unity and played a few animations and such. Then I did a second outfit and got it in and when I went to play an animation on it, it was sideways and scaled.

    I started looking at the nodes for both and they all had all these wacky scales and rotations. I ALWAYS reset xform and I made a script hotkey to do the same in maya. I keep everything zeroed out at 0 0 0 because I know what havoc that can wreak on game code.

    So I went in and found some of the strange transforms and zeroed them out, and sadly all the skinning information was lost. Apparently saving weights goes wrong in two ways, the xform reset scrambles the vert indexes (why!?) and the weight positions for matching up without indexing are stored in object space. So if you have a true scale of the verts, they don't match up.

    So I rerig, bring it across to maya, click bip01... scale 10 10 10

    Start reading around, and apparently reset xform sometimes doesn't actually do anything. To check you can open the graph editor with your mesh selected and look at the scale. Mine was 100. I reset xform, stayed at 100.

    The thing that will actually scale the verts properly is an XForm modifier. Very bottom of the modifier list. So I hit that, scaled, go back in graph editor, STILL 100. Turns out you have to expand xform and click gizmo otherwise it thinks you just have the mesh selected. Bril. Finally I'm at 1 1 1.

    I can kind of half understand why they store moves and rotates and scales in an xform stack. If you modify the verts directly you lose a bit of precision every time. But art programs can be really super annoying with all that. At least Maya lets you see the values directly.

  19. #19
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    Hah I actually never got rid of that scale. When I got it all zeroed out, the exported file has a scale of 10, and an LCL scale of 0.1, so they sort of cancel each other out. It annoyed me so much I hand edited all the scales to 1 1 1, and it still had a 10 10 10 scale when imported into Maya. I give up

  20. #20
    Spooky Boy xzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Detroit
    Posts
    2,041
    Tuconots
    3


    This is my first model/texture I've done without tutorials. Still very new to this so any crits welcome of course.

    I posted the model over on Sketchfab so you can get a much better look if you want.

  21. #21
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    I like it! You even got that oily gunk on the screen from the grubby hands of kids touching it

  22. #22
    Spooky Boy xzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Detroit
    Posts
    2,041
    Tuconots
    3
    Hahaha, yup! I just remember how dirty and gross the screens always are, I know I've certainly smeared my hands all over the screens when I was a little shit.

  23. #23
    Hard Truths Cut Both Ways AladainAF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    2,536
    Tuconots
    18
    Not sure if I should post this here, but if you are a 3D modeler and use blender (Or anything that can export to collada / dae file so I can import into Second Life) I will certainly hire you to do work for me.

    Here are the rules for the creations there (I presume the blender rules apply to all other 3D modeling). Mesh/Exporting a mesh from Blender - Second Life Wiki

    Drop me a PM if you want some monies!

  24. #24
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    BTW, I had cancelled my Maya because I wasn't using it and ye olde bank account was getting low. I needed to do some spline stuff so I tried out Modo for 15 bucks.

    Pretty cool interface, and it had built in hair spline stuff, which is what I'm working with in my job right now. The bad part is that it doesn't export them properly so they are kind of useless. They also don't have ascii format fbx export, which I kind of need.

    Haven't played with rigging or done much modeling yet.

    Apparently there's a newer version which didn't turn up on a steam search. The versioning of it is really confusing. Like my steam software list shows Modo indie, and Modo indie 10.0. I installed 10 but not sure what the difference is.

  25. #25
    Registered User Celestein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    618
    Tuconots
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kharza-kzad View Post
    BTW, I had cancelled my Maya because I wasn't using it and ye olde bank account was getting low. I needed to do some spline stuff so I tried out Modo for 15 bucks.

    Pretty cool interface, and it had built in hair spline stuff, which is what I'm working with in my job right now. The bad part is that it doesn't export them properly so they are kind of useless. They also don't have ascii format fbx export, which I kind of need.

    Haven't played with rigging or done much modeling yet.

    Apparently there's a newer version which didn't turn up on a steam search. The versioning of it is really confusing. Like my steam software list shows Modo indie, and Modo indie 10.0. I installed 10 but not sure what the difference is.
    Modo indie is just modo 9.x.x, the original release didnt have a strict version attached for whatever reason. Modo indie 10.x.x is the newest.

    At my studio we just made the decision(we're small, only 5 people) to switch to Modo from Maya primarily due to pricing/feature parity(indie modo+mari is super cheap compared to maya+mudbox/Zbrush indie versions).

    You're right about the FBX stuff for the most part, but as part of the switch we decided to abandon FBX as a format. It adds some inconvenience to workflow when moving around animation, meshes, etc as a whole package, but ultimately FBX was the only thing keeping us "locked in" to Autodesk, and FBX itself wasn't worth the cost tradeoff(for a small team).

  26. #26
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    Did you switch to collada or something else? I use collada in my sharpDX libs (which I haven't touched in a year)

  27. #27
    Registered User Celestein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    618
    Tuconots
    11
    I wish, that would make my life really easy.

    Since we're primarily using UE4, our workflow is using the actual UE4 editor for everything. So we're just exporting OBJs from Modo, then applying meshes, animation, etc with the editor tools.

    It's *slightly* more time consuming but so far after a month seems like a net neutral, the extra time we spend with that workflow is basically offset by what we previously spent manually fixing FBX imports being not 100% precise.

    UE4 plans to add Collada support in the future which I'm looking forward to, since Collada has the benefits of FBX without the lockin; and Modo has good support for it as an export target.
    Last edited by Celestein; 07-15-2016 at 01:34 AM.

  28. #28
    Registered User Kharza-kzad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Tuconots
    6
    I like Collada, but parts of the spec are very vague. All of the art programs seem to implement it a little differently. Since my tools were only really being used by me, I just found an exporter that seemed reasonable and made everything work with that one.

  29. #29
    Registered User Celestein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    618
    Tuconots
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kharza-kzad View Post
    I like Collada, but parts of the spec are very vague. All of the art programs seem to implement it a little differently. Since my tools were only really being used by me, I just found an exporter that seemed reasonable and made everything work with that one.
    Yeah, that's definitely an issue if you're trying to say make 3D assets to sell on a marketplace.

    But as you mentioned, if you have a concrete workflow just find the best tool for the job and stick with it(then reassess if the situation changes XD).

  30. #30
    Registered User OUAriakas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,403
    Tuconots
    3
    Draegan's bitch ass sold us out to MMORPG.com

    Exodus underway to ReReRolled.org - A Gaming Community

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •