3D Modeling Software Frustrations!!!

I am so frustrated … I have been looking for an affordable 3D modeling solution with
texture mapping capabilities for some time now and have not found anything that I can
afford. I need to be able to save 3D models in Alias/Wavefront OBJ format complete
with texture coordinates. I went for a demonstration of MAYA the other day and they
want $7500 for the base package and $16,000 for the complete package. Our company is
small (14 employees) and we can just run off and spend that kind of money on a whim.
I have used Strata’s Vision3D/Studio Pro Blitz/3D Pro line of products since the late 80’s
but it wont work since it cant export texture coordinates. 3D Studio Max might be able to
but it still costs an arm and a leg and from what I hear, is not very stable. I downloaded
the Milkshape demo and thought I had a winner but it has bugs in it that make it useless
for me (The selection tool can’t even grab vertices). I need a tool, I need it really badly,
we can spend a little money for it right now and probably a substantial amount of money
later on. Does anyone have a suggestion here?

Thanks in advance,
Paul Leopard

What version of Milkshape3D was that? I have the 1.40 demo and I can select vertices just fine.

Version 1.5.2

Amapi 4.15 (PC/Mac) is a very good (professional) NURBS modeller and free…

[This message has been edited by richardve (edited 03-15-2001).]

I personally use 3D Studio MAX R3.1, and it works great. $7500 for MAYA? Thats kind of pricey… 3D Studio MAX was only $3100. It’s very powerful, and can be used by beginners and experts. It can create particle systems, NURBS models, Patch models, Polygon models, and anything else.

As for texture mapping, I believe you mean UVMap, right? Like a ‘skin’ sort of thing. While there is no program that maps out your model with the press of a button (to my knowledge anyways), it is relativly easy to do, and my friend made a MAXScript that does all the hard parts for you. All you have to do is detach the faces you want to be separate (different parts of the skin), and press buttons It lines up, flattens, and puts all the polygons on the same plane, facing the same direction… It cuts the time of mapping a model down by about 1000000000000000 hours :slight_smile:

The link to his site is http://www.chilliweb.co.uk/chilliskinner/

I’m sure he would let you use it for whatever your company is doing. If you have any questions about 3DStudio MAX, or Chilliskinner, email me at spencerx2k@hotmail.com

I hope this helps… See ya soon,
-Spencer Quirk

For what its worth, finding a good animation package is impossible, they dont exist. You choose the one that best suits your needs.

If you are using *.obj files, you’ll need to get some way of importing & exporting them. Obviously the obj file is native to alias/wavefront , so youd either need to write some plugins or get an external program to convert them into a file you could use with the software.

I use Maya, which to be fair, isn’t toooo bad, but it does feel like a building site at times (some features dont work as the documentation says it should, a lot of stuff isn’t actually documented etc etc)

Max is cheaper and has most of the functionality that you’d need for realtime stuff. For fmv and photoreal rendered stuff, max starts to break down a bit, depends what your end use will be I suppose. I know its very popular, but I have to say i can only stand short periods of time on it


Dont underestimate Lightwave 6.5

Great for point/poly editing (as opposed to MAX, IMHO). Great renderer, alas not all the flair and functions of MAYA. About the same price as MAX…

Truespace… ahhh Truespace… I have 5.2 and it exports to most the famous formats (3D Studio MAX ,Lightwave,Maya,DirectX) and it only costs around $300… I think its way better than Maya (I downloaded the trial version with hack, full functionality) and Maya sucks in my opinion… TS5.2 has a GREAT GUI and is easy to learn. (and no I am not being payed to say this, wish I was… hahah) TS has all the functionality of high-cost modelers such as 3DSMAX and Maya… Though the rendering isnt JUST as good… the modeling is better… (I made a Grand Piano in half an hour…)

(BTW: I payed for TS5.2 when it was on sale for $160. They were getting ready to release 6.0)

[This message has been edited by Radioactive Ant (edited 08-14-2003).]

Another thread back from the dead?
I suggest you try Blender: www.blender3d.org
Nowadays it’s free…

If price is really a concern, and you want features, Blender3D is a potential alternative. It’s free-ware, so it’s pretty cheap You should evaluate it to see if it is something that could be useful for you.

Originally posted by dbugger:
Another thread back from the dead?

Glad I read your post, I was just about to add my 2c. All the way back to 2001 eh… They’re getting older…

Mmm, was Kazaa around back then? Can’t remember those dark days.
I know, I know, I have the morals of an alley cat…but I don’t use pirated software for commercial projects - only for my own amusement.

Originally posted by dbugger:
I suggest you try Blender: www.blender3d.org
Nowadays it’s free…

I thought it has always been free. But am I the only one who thinks Blender’s user interface was designed by Beelzebub?

– Tom

> I thought it has always been free.

Well ok maybe. Haven’t used it for long…

> But am I the only one who thinks Blender’s user interface was designed by Beelzebub?

Haha . Totally agreed. But I’m a programmer, I’ll leave blender for the artists .

The software has always been free, but the book wasn’t (free online documentation was pretty slim back then).

The online docs are still somewhat lacking IMO. So the “only” thing that’s changed is that it’s now open source?

It’s kind of funny to see that this two year old thread reminds us that two issues are still alive (and kicking):

  1. There’s still no cheap and good modeller for hobby game programmers. Blender has at least a strange interface and isn’t good at importing and exporting unless you want to do it yourself with python. Maybe wings 3d will do the job some day…

  2. There are no libraries for reading the various file formats that have production quality - with lib3ds being the only exception. I’m really excited to see whether jogl (the opengl binding for java) will help java programmers to write those libraries (since java libraries are surprisingly often of an excellent quality).

Zbrush rules! :wink:
the best modeler i ever seen so far!
geometry already stripped btw.

Suggest you have a look at AC3D … it might be just what you’re looking for.