Good 3D modeler ?


I am planning on making a smallish game. I’ve made some simple games before, but only in 2D, not 3D. Now I think I can OpenGL sufficiently so I can have a go at making a game.

What is a good and royalty/license free 3D modeler program that I could use for modeling and animating the “player” and “monster” objects ?

I am not making a Quake IV or V, just a simple 3D platform jump’em-up. I was thinking of 3DS MAX/Character Studio, is it simple (enough) to load the models and implement the animation in my own programs?

Thanks for any hints,


when you are using the 3Dmax sdk, yes its easy. …and take a look at the ASE-format. it exports MAX files into an ASCII-format. very easy to understand.

OK thanks Adrian…

One more thing:

How about modeling the world/levels in the game ? Is 3DSMAX ok for that ? I am most probably going to implement some kind of simple visibility set scheme: The level is divided into parts (boxes), and the visibility set would be just a data set of which parts of the level are visible from the part where the camera is when rendering a frame.

But, as I said it’s not going to be very complicated. Just a basic “world” with textures and some lights, perhaps.



3dsMax is definitely not cheap. Another great alternative for models is MilkShape. It costs about $30, imports and exports most major file formats, has it’s own well documented file format, and is designed towards low poly modeling. It even supports uv-mapping and skeletal animation.(Although Ultimate Unwrap and Character FX may be better tools for this).

Check it out at:

They have a free 30-day full version trial and lot’s of tutorials.

Good Luck!

I suggest moving this discussion to a more suitable venue, such as, or possibly

Milkshape looks promising, and doesn’t have as complex gadgetry as 3DSMAX, which I find a good thing. I wonder whether it’s good for level modeling though…


Good point, but although it was perhaps not very clear in my original post, the main thing I am interested in the easiness of reading and using the models/levels with OpenGL, so I think this would be a suitable forum for that… now that you mentioned it, would perhaps be a better place.

Thanks for setting me straight!