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Any new 3D modeling programs to check out?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bonzaiferroni, May 14, 2018.

  1. bonzaiferroni

    bonzaiferroni

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    I enjoy blender but it has a few drawbacks for working with Unity3D. I haven't yet found a perfect solution for the up-axis difference. The controls are also different enough that working in both programs simultaneously takes a bit more effort.

    Are there any new 3D modeling programs out there that are worth checking out? I figured since Unity3D has become more important, that there might be something more tailored to its needs. Something free or with a community version is great but not necessary.
     
  2. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Isn't it just a single option in the exporter?
     
  3. bonzaiferroni

    bonzaiferroni

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    Your post made me look into that again and at first it still seemed to have the rotation issue. I noticed the "!EXPERIMENTAL! Apply transform" option and gave that a try and it seems to have done the trick, objects are now properly rotated. Has anyone ran into any issues using this feature?

    I'm still curious about up-and-coming 3D modeling programs if anyone knows one they'd recommend.
     
  4. moonjump

    moonjump

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    It's not new, but it is free. I use Wings3D. It is really simple to use, which is important to me as I do so everything on my games, plus have another job, so need to be able to pick it up quickly after long periods of not using it. No animation tools can be a drawback.

    One other issue is recent versions don't have FBX export (but does have other compatible formats), so I continue to use version 1.2 as I already have many FBX models in my project that I occasionally need to modify.
     
  5. Amon

    Amon

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  6. Dustin-Horne

    Dustin-Horne

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    I always use the FBX Exporter, specify the axis direction and Apply Transforms. I've not run into an issue but I don't do anything heavy with it.
     
  7. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    For an indie dev, I don't think you can beat Maya LT.

    It has a Unity exporter plugin. 2018 versrion has fantastic UV tools, no need for third party stuff. The animation and rigging is better than you will get in any other DCC, besides full Maya or a specialist program like Motion Builder, but hobbyist/soloist indie's don't need that much anyway. Best of all, it's industry standard DCC and if you have a question, there is pro's that can give you a straight answer.

    Only complaint is the baker sucks, but there's no good reason to not be using Marmoset Toolbag if you're baking maps at all. Also, you have a 250k poly export cap. Not a big deal for me as I'm not usually doing anything with my high polys in Maya anyway.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  8. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    1. Keypad 3 (Right ortho view)
    2. R, 90
    3. Ctrl-A - Apply Rotation
    4. R, -90

    Done
     
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  9. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Or just click "Apply transform" on export.
     
  10. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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  11. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    What is the most affordable, reasonably capable CAD modeling software that can work with and export the common CAD formats like IGS and STP? And how long do you think does it take for someone very familiar with poly modeling to get to grips enough with the tool to make models suitable for mold making for the mass production of plastic figures? Shapes of the models are going to be rather organic and based purely on that I would say zBrush is the best tool for it, but the manufacturer can't deal well with non-CAD data.
     
  12. jaybdemented

    jaybdemented

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    Many years ago before I used blender, i used anim8or. It wasn't bad for my first steps unto modeling. It was simple and easy to use. Now that being said it's most likely nowhere near what you need but I thought I'll throw a little love for it. I might just go download it again just for old time sake.
     
  13. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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  14. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    1 r, x, 90
    2 ctrl a
    3 r, x, -90

    ;)
     
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  15. Karearea

    Karearea

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    Have a look at Fusion 360- there’s a free casual license.

    Great integration of T-Splines. My usual pipeline is to model base streamlined forms in Blender with a view to making them sub-D friendly, as the NURBs converter effectively gives a surface as if you’d used a high sub-D level. You just export an obj from Blender, import into Fusion 360, and convert to T-Splines.

    There’s then a subsequent conversion process to generate solids data.
     
  16. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Thank you for the recommendation, that looks pretty capable, but I forgot to mention I'm trying to stay away from Autodesk, subscriptions, and cloud-based services, and that seems to be all of those :(. There may very well not be a program out there that fits my criteria and I'll just have to decline future requests for such jobs.
     
    Karearea likes this.
  17. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Let's not get too crazy about efficiency ;)
     
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  18. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    I have autohotkey scripts for r,x,90 and both other axis ;). They're mapped to winkey+1,2,3 for x,y,z rotations. I use those quite often, but never for the export (for that I use apply transform in the settings).
     
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  19. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    I'm not sure you can use Fusion for a commercial project until you pay the subscription. While Moi 3D is a version license you buy.
     
  20. Karearea

    Karearea

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    My understanding is that there’s a ‘Startup’ license which is free if your revenue is under 100k.

    I do love MOI as well- the mesh exporter is the best I’ve come across, and it just has a nice focused scope without the usual bloat.
     
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  21. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Martin_H and zenGarden like this.
  22. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Another useful script is applying mirror modifier, transferring mirrored UVs over, and exporting all in one button click, which is always handy when you find yourself tweaking between Blender and SD.

    Now someone's going to tell me there's a toggle setting for that...
     
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  23. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    You mean this one?
    http://moi3d.com/
    Their website looks so weirdly "unprofessional" (still a copyright notice from 2014 there). But otherwise it looks promising and if you say it's easy to collaborate on files with Solidworks users over common exchange formats, then I'd give the trial a go the next time I have a need for a CAD tool. Keep in mind I have zero hands on experience with any CAD software, so their file formats and limitations are still a bit of a mystery for me.

    Don't modifiers get applied automatically before export (at least if you set that option in the export script)? And isn't there a checkbox for "mirror UVs" on the modifier?

    By the way I've heard the best way to get an answer on the internet is to give the wrong answer, I still want to try this out some day x].

    Good to know, but I'd rather buy a 300$ tool than sign a contract with Autodesk to use their software for free. But I'm sure it's interesting for others, thanks for pointing this out.
     
  24. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    LOL you're right. So there you go, Blender has it all ...
     
  25. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    not trying to be efficient, just that's my muscle memory version. I have so many little strings of key commands burned into my head from using blender.
     
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  26. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Is 'F2, +, enter' among them? :D

    If you didn't know that, then you maybe also didn't know that you can set up the fbx exporter to export Blender "groups" into individual files. I had it set up so that I could 1-click export a whole set of meshes including highpoly and lowpoly versions with correct naming conventions from 1 blender project, to then use in substance painter 2 for quick rebakes after making tweaks.
     
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  27. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    What does f2 do? I have remapped so many of my keys, I have long overwrote it I think, unless you are messing with me.
     
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  28. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Was just joking .. point being it's not hard to get stuff done in Blender.
     
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  29. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Hitting 'F2' switches to the file window, hitting '+' increments the file number, and hitting 'Enter' saves it and switches back.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
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  30. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Ah, I wiped alll the default save key commands along time ago, there use to be a hack that would let skip the confirmation (so it would function like “save” in every other application ever), but eventually they “fixed” that “bug”. I’ve been copying my key binding to each new version for years.
     
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  31. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Not messing at all, F2 is "save as", + is "increment number in filename by 1", and enter confirms. I've been using Blender since before it had "undo" functionality, so I got really used to saving 50+ different versions of one file. I wish more tools had that + feature to increment filenames in the save dialog. I save to new versions quite often.

    I'm hesitant to go full custom keybindings. I did it for some things I use very frequently, but I'm not sure it's worth it long term to really put work into this and relearn what I'm used to. Maybe if the 2.8 cycle necessitates it anyway I'd do it. It's good to hear you were able to just copy them over for so long without having to manually re-configure the keys every time.
     
  32. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Unless I'm missing something, that checkbox mirrors UVs around 0.5, which is not very useful. So my python code seems to have not been in vain...
     
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  33. Chrisasan

    Chrisasan

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    After learning how to control it, blender is the best out of the one's listed.

    I was on google and discovered a program called dilay. It's for sculpting.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  34. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    I thought Andrew Price made some great comments on Blender's UX

    Personally most of the hotskeys are lodged into muscle memory now, and once you know which panel you want it is faster than drilling through 'tabs.'

    I also know there is the pie menu plugin, but I've never used it.

     
  35. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    I thought this was pretty interesting actually.

     
  36. aer0ace

    aer0ace

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    I've run into many recurring problems with how Unity imports FBX files exported from Blender. But none which have impeded progress on my game.
    What I've been experiencing is that no matter how much I modify the FBX export settings in Blender (axis_forward, axis_up, bake_space_transform, etc.), my models in Unity get either turned sideways in the thumbnail in the asset window, and/or have a 90 degree X-rotation when placed in the world. The 90 degree rotation has been a notorious issue with Unity and importers for forever, so I didn't want to burn any more cycles worrying about it. Compound that with models that you have to iteratively re-scale, and also with transforming rigged models, it becomes one of those issues that you just deal with because you have bigger issues at hand. Can't say I absolutely love Blender. I probably would enjoy Maya LT since I enjoyed using Maya for so many years, but with Blender being free and no-strings-attached, and my investment in writing scripts to improve my personal user-experience, I'm sticking with Blender.
     
  37. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    What I do - is create a dummy scene in blender, then I import into unity. If it is facing the wrong way I orientate it in blender to be correct.

    Once I have that reference, I model all the rest of the objects in blender, using different layers for clarity.

    Works well, rather than having to guess what position / rotation it is importing into unity in.

    *Also, I find 9/10 times just dragging the blend file into unity as opposed to exporting as FBX is good enough, it also stores any animations that might be on the files as well.
     
  38. aer0ace

    aer0ace

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    Yeah, I've definitely done that. At the initial outset. But over the course of 2 years of dev and ongoing, some models tend to behave differently than others even if I use the same initial scene. At one time, it was especially happening when dealing with parenting objects in different orders. I'm always adamant at keeping my rotation and scale at identity when doing these things. I just can't explain it, and I'm deep in my project at this point to spend more cycles on something that's already working pretty well. One day though, I'll get to the bottom of it.

    I have a more complex setup than that. I am running Python scripts in Blender to automatically set the export parameters for the specific types of asset that I'm generating (i.e. unit vs skinned unit vs structure vs terrain) since they require different settings before import. It also exports animation data separately, so that my custom animation pipeline can read frames labeled with events. Some of my motivations for doing this can be found here:
    http://undertheweathersoftware.com/blender-to-unity-asset-builder/
    http://undertheweathersoftware.com/building-character-customization-part-1/
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  39. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Cool, how's you gaming company going is it still afloat? I read somewhere you were having troubles.
     
  40. aer0ace

    aer0ace

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    Troubles? No. Life change? Yes. I posted about it, describing that my projects are going back to hobby progress rather than full time. I definitely haven't made up the costs of the company yet, but I hope to some day. For now, it serves as legal separation from my personal assets, and the day job is what's keeping it "afloat".

    But to get things back on track, for the OP, I really don't think the up-axis issue is enough to warrant a change to a different DCC. If I were you, I'd stick with Blender, as the better alternative (Maya LT) is at a monthly cost.
     
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  41. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    I've honestly got to admit, this video has changed a lot of my preconceived work flows! *

    * well at least for non hard surface modelling.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  42. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    also i think i read somewhere where they compared blender and other standard 3d modelling softwares to the difference between learning qwerty and dvorak on the keyboard.

    Everyone grows up with qwerty so they assume it is the best for typing, whereas if they started out with dvorak they'd be faster typing. thing is qwerty is so entrenched now, no one bothers to change.

    Not entirely an accurate comp but interesting nonetheless IMO.
     
  43. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    I knew someone who legit tried to switch to dvorak but he gave up after a year or two because he found himself having to use other people's computers too often. That's also a neat analogy because you're perfectly fine with blender as long as you don't need to be tightly integrated into a pipeline based on autodesk software, but if you try to work at a bigger company and keep using blender, you're often screwed because of things like proprietary export plugins that only are written for max or maya and you can't even get your data inside the engine' format without them (not talking about Unity or UE obviously).
     
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  44. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Yeah I had the same idea at school once, and thought wouldn't it be cool to learn dvorak, worst case scenario you would just hop onto another persons computer and switch keyboard layout in settings. . . Well, I soon put to bed that daft idea.

    It wouldn't have saved me that amount of time typing anyhoo.