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Author Topic: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?  (Read 17397 times)

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McCloud

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3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« on: September 06, 2005, 02:17:10 AM »

Hi All,

I'm currently learning WME (which I'm already impressed with) I havn't done any real programing yet, but I wanted to do a few samples to learn the interface and language.  My problem is...  I suck at graphics. What ever I design, I at least want it to look decent.  I've tried a few Programs, Blender, and GameSpace.... Blender seems really difficult, although I've read that it's easy to use(maybe for someone that does this kind of thing alot) I'm still learning GameSpace which seems more simplified and easier to use, but I'm still looking for something I can just throw together.  There was a program I had, many, many years ago, it was called Simply 3D.  I was looking for something a little bit better than simply 3d(for those of you who are familar with it) but it simply allowed you to drop prerendered objects onto your scene, it was really easy to texture your objects, and it included an entire library of pre-rendered objects.  If anyone knows of something that is simple to use like this or have other ideas, please let me know.  I guess it would also have to be something that I can use to develope the Hidden 3D Geometry for my charactor also.

At first I had the idea of using 3D Game Studio to render my backgrounds, and just take screenshots, as I have found that this is the fastest, and easiest 3d program to use, I just need more objects and of course, still have the problem of creating the 3d Geometry for my character.  Any suggestions or ideas would be very helpful.  Thanks.  -

-Jeremy
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gfxmachine

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2005, 05:58:08 PM »


Blender is surely best option, in the free field.

Anyway, Anim8or is easier. But less powerful, and maybe it's 3ds export is only good for the collissions, but not camera or lights export. But I am not sure.

www.anim8or.com

Strata was easy and good and there was a free version years ago.

you have some others ones...let me think...Truespace 3.2 is free... available at download.com, I thing, find through caligari's site, but Anim8or and Blender rendering is much better...

you have also Art of Illussion, but need java JRE installed, and ..imho Anim8or is easier, and I prefer personally Blender better....Though AOI has a magnific renderer, and loads of possibilities.


I do prefer Blender.But is not easy to learn, true.

Yet so, there's nice stuff in Anim8or, like the fact it has edge creasing for smoothing normals, setting an angle threshold (autosmooth in Max, do not mess with the subdividing concept! )

Blender has not got yet this.

An easy one...Neither have ever used...but probably is of the kind of simply3d.(I have that one)

http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/software/3dPlus/default.asp

Though being from freeserifsoftware, seems no free register required  ???

An old and a bit complex to handle 3d package, also free :
http://k3d.sourceforge.net/


I find this one hard for a newbie, but hey, is free too :
http://openfx.org


-Conclussion: go for Blender in first place, if you can't, for Anim8or. And if that one is yet hard, for that 3dserif plus or however it's called. Blender can't be learnt without the docs , there extremely good doc online at blender.org site. You can download too.Once you lear the general workflow is not so hard.

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Orange Brat

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2005, 10:32:55 PM »

Quote
At first I had the idea of using 3D Game Studio to render my backgrounds, and just take screenshots, as I have found that this is the fastest, and easiest 3d program to use

The only problem here is that the quality won't be the same as a high quality render. You'd be taking screencaptures from a realtime 3D rendering. I think this method could be best used for roughing out prototype backgrounds that can be used as perspective aides for handdrawn backgrounds. However, you'll be limited to 1-point persp.
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McCloud

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2005, 11:40:43 PM »

I've tried blender a few times, too much for me right now.  Gamespace, I can't seem to get the quality I want.    I guess I'm also looking for something that can render photo realistic images.  I think I will try out Anima8tor.  I just recently downloaded Cybermotion, which I like, and it's easy enough to use, but I have problems importing it into WME for the Hidden Geometry.  I'm probably just did it wrong.  I havn't a rendered scene and I just tried to use a screen shoot from the longest jouney and imported the image as a background and overlay the geometry over it, which is really hard to do, also with this program, you have to render it first to see the back ground, but when I loaded it, it didn't have any cameras in there.  But I'll wait until I've played with it more before I ask any questions.  I'll  certainly try out Anima8ter to see how easy it is to use, but I was very impressed with Cybermotion, as long as I'm able to use it with a 3d Character.  Please continue to post any other useful information or other programs you might suggest. And thanks for your insight and helping me out.

-Jeremy
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nuclear_winter

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2005, 08:52:34 AM »

I have used Vue d'Esprit 4 at work and its very easy (no even need for the kickstart tutorial) to use and a very powerful renderer.

And the best thing is that although on the main page it reads $199, the real price is $69 a real bargain. Ofcourse you can get the more powerful, more expensive Vue5
« Last Edit: September 18, 2005, 05:49:48 PM by nuclear_winter »
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McCloud

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2005, 09:10:06 PM »

After some research, I think I should clarify what I really need.
1. A 3d program that is easy to use.
2. Can render scenes in detail, not just a modeler (like photo realistic)
3. Can export 3ds files that will include the cameras and lights.  (For the hidden geometry in WME)
4. That is not expensive.

I have tried GameSpace, TrueSpace, Blender, Poser and CyberMotion which all either doesn't include the camera and/or lights in the export.

For those of you who are having the same problem as me, please refer to these posts:
http://forum.dead-code.org/index.php?topic=992.0 and
http://forum.dead-code.org/index.php?topic=767.0

There, you will find some kind of file that you can use with Blender that will export the 3ds including the camera and lights, if I understand correctly.

I've used blender, I hear many people say it is difficult to use at first, but once you learn the GUI it becomes easier to use.  This may be my only option, I just don't have alot of time to learn right now.  So I will continue to search and if it comes down to it, I guess I'm stuck with Blender, and who knows, perhaps it will turn out that I will really like it.

I think first I will try next Cinema 4D, Starta 3d and Vue d'Esprit 4.  I will post back and let you know if any of those will work. If there are any other suggestions, please let me know.

-McCloud
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Nihil

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2005, 10:20:12 PM »

Well, I think that there is no application that has all features the features you demand AND is easy to use. And I fear if you don'thave much time for learning you have a bit too much in front of you - especially low poly character modeling, texturing and animating plus photo realism are anything but easy to learn, no matter what application you use.

McCloud

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2005, 03:59:02 AM »

Quote
And I fear if you don'thave much time for learning you have a bit too much in front of you

Your probably right, I'm actually too eager to create something I see in my mind, it's just so difficult to figure out how to get it out.    I've always felt that there is usually many possible ways of doing the same thing, I know this is true for programing, but I'm just trying to find the easiest, at least until I have more time on my hands.  I'm trying to figure out this Blender thing, it's just evertime when I look at it, I feel so overwelmed, and I just want to jump right in and start doing stuff, with blender, you just can't do that.   I can't even right click!  I'm trying to read up on it now, I'm going to have a friend see about downloading a trail of the other 3D applications I havn't tried yet, but I checked the prices and they are just way to high for me right now.  Thanks for your reply and your input though. 

-McCloud
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Nihil

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2005, 07:14:43 AM »

Well, there is one option that would make it easier - just use 2d instead of 3d actors. In that case you can use any 3d application you like and don't have to bother about 3d geometry in WME (as it's only necessary for 3d actors). And you can use for example Poser or DAZ Studio to render your characters. Of course it limits your posibilities a bit, but maybe it's better for a start because you don't have to fight on too many fronts at the same time.

gfxmachine

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2005, 11:55:53 AM »

good advice.

At least, do so while you also learn the wintermute engine, which seems easy to learn.

BTW, be sure to download Blender 2.37, the latest one, as it's become realy easier.

And next version would be really an improve in animation.


BTW, I felt that way with blender, and tried to learn in different moments...but it has become really easier than it was... Just is different. You need to learn some key things of its ways, later one is all the same :)

look for docs at blender org, though they'r quite outdated in several cool and quick ways.

Oh, no need the right click thing, u can configure that in Blender's preferences, and force left clik as in other softwares.

Just feel curious bout it. It needs no more than that. Look at it as an strange but interesting experiment not pretending to dominate it at first but only the small task of how to do some simple task at a time, and with some of those u learn, u unnoticedly  learn to do it all; you'll be learning it's methodology of use, as in that, tends to be quite coherent and constant.

It's not my choice of UIs, but can be leanrt, and by all means is the most powerful for free.


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gfxmachine

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2005, 12:15:07 PM »


useful tip:

You don't need to master every Blender feature. I learnt just importing OBJ files (for a big while, obj import was impossible, I jumped into the wagon more strongly when it came)  modelled in wings3d (rather easier, imho) . You can model and uvmap in any easy as heck modeler which allows to model and uvmap and texture and export as OBJ+mtl file and texture. That is: practically all out there.

I was only interested in animation stuff. then I only learnt the way to use those bones and weights and some ver basic editing and texture applying(otday certain plugin import textures already from the other modelers).

Same case of people only needing to learn how to mount the level (they import textured OBJ/s, they put a camera,some lights, bang , they export. Is a 5% of the hard learning.)

Now..if u pretend to learn it all in Blender, do mesh from scratch, do uvmapping there too, materials stuff, and even more animate your character there, forget it or think of passing like 5 months of your free time (unless you are very experienced already in general 3d, that will cut time in way many times) and that being lucky. I mean ALL package, for do it all from scratch. True that now the package is like at least twice easier than before when I did pick it...

if you pretend that, learn wintermute, and do it little time, u'll get frustrated. If that is, then follow nihil's advice now...





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McCloud

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2005, 02:47:57 AM »

Thanks for all your help guys, I'm starting to get frustrated with it, I'm just spoiled.  I wanted something that could just transfer the images from my mind into the computer.  I can't seem to get that method to work.  So I'm going to slow down a bit, TRY and take my time and just learn.  I will check out a few other 3d programs, but from what I understand, it seems that Blender is the best choice for it's price, features and so forth.  And from what I understand, Blender just takes some time getting use to and will be come easier as you learn it.  I'm just so excited about Wintermute, it's like the coolest thing I've ever seen!  I tried to do my first little mini game, which is just some guy walking around.  It came out pretty cool, I did have alot of problems creating my own character though, for some reason my character is transperant, I'm sure it's something wrong I did with photoshop, I got a ton of errors, but I'm working them out and starting to better understand WME and I am very happy with it.

-McCloud
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gfxmachine

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2005, 08:31:45 AM »

Quote
Thanks for all your help guys, I'm starting to get frustrated with it, I'm just spoiled.  I wanted something that could just transfer the images from my mind into the computer.  I can't seem to get that method to work.  So I'm going to slow down a bit, TRY and take my time and just learn

hehe, the I want it all and nw syndrome. I had it when first started 3d. The shock can be stronger with Blender, but no matter the 3d tool, it needs a learning.

Imho Wintermute best bet is go allways for Blender. I'd say anim8or too, but there's no working bones export from anim8or, and unless I am wrong ,by no means the 3ds export of Anim8or is as featured as the one certain person did for bledner and this engine. Indeed, one of the more complete 3ds exporters I have seen to date in any package...

Milkshape is comercial and doesn't support weights, and wont till 2.xx version, and if you want my opinion, there's really a long way till that version appears...
Blender can render while the other can't...Don't take me wrong, is a nice piece of software; I think Blender is already more powerful. Only advantage remaining for me is smooth groups in Milkshape, but besides that can be obtained with split (y key, a tricky way) , in high res (as is a render) is not that important.

The character animation capabilities of latest Blender builds (and even much previous, oficial 2.28c was actually more powerful already, years ago) is clearly superior. And also, free as a bird, like allways. :) (generous BSD license)

My worry is the weights stuff(unclear if possible yet, for me) for the Milkshape format...and Blender's ms3d script problem when exporting animations...

Follow Nihil advice, or be months patient to learn basics of Blender :)
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Lazarus12

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2005, 11:44:38 PM »

Hy McCloud,

I am using Lightwave 3d for modeling and rendering , and deep exploration for exporting to 3ds.
But if you want a free software I would recomend you povray which I think  is the only free "photorealistic" ray tracer.
The only problem is that it's script based program but there is gui for it called moray which costs some cash but it's not expensive.

I think that moray have 3ds exporter in it, and if not there is some free exporter which I don't remeber but I have it on some of my CDs. I will check that if you want.



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Tol

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Re: 3D Rendered Scenes, which progam is easiest?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2005, 01:11:36 PM »

povray which I think  is the only free "photorealistic" ray tracer.

There  is also Yafray (Yet Another Free Raytracer), which is more or less on the same level as Povray (in field of GI probably better), also completely free and also script based,  but you can model, texture and animate  in Blender and render scene with Yafray from Blender directly :)

See www.yafray.org
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