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Can't stand Blender, what other free/cheap modellers can I use?

Discussion in 'External Tools' started by zircher, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. zircher

    zircher

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    As the title says, Blender drives me batshit crazy. I've tried several times and the UI is just impenetrable to me. I'm sure any other UI with a ton of shortcuts and hot keys would be just as bad for me. What free and easy modelling tools exist out there that are friendly to Unity3D?

    In past projects for other languages, I'd use DOGA CGA to rough out a model and Metasequoia to clean it up/convert it to a mesh for Direct X. Either something that could extend that work flow or copy that style would be cool (DOGA uses a parts based metaphore with handles and Meta is a simple vert and faces editor.)
    --
    TAZ, old dog trying to learn new tricks (but not doing a good job of it)
     
  2. ShadyAlien

    ShadyAlien

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    Wings3d is one I hear mentioned a lot. I've never used it but a lot of people seem to really like it. Sketchup is okay for some things as well. I started out using that, but quickly abandoned it for...well, blender, ironically. It took me a few tries though. When I first started using blender I hated it and vowed I'd never use it. Now it's all I use. Go figure.

    Sculptris is another nice tool that's out there, but it's limited in its capabilities since it's not a general purpose program. Meshlab was another tool I used to use a lot since it "bridged the gap" between sketchup and other apps since it could perform a lot of different functions which sketchup could not.

    In short, sketchup is probably your best bet in terms of ease of use, if you combine it with a few other apps. It's capabilities are quite limited in some areas (particularly texturing, since last I checked there was no actual way to UV map), but some people swear by it.
     
  3. Tiles

    Tiles

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    There are already quite a few threads that covers the software issue. No need to repeat this again and again. I would recommend to do a board search.

    I feel your frustration. I was at that point before with Blender 2.49. But with the new UI you don`t need any hotkey anymore really. There is nearly always a menu item available nowadays. Bad thing is that lots of of the Blender tutorial makers haven`t noticed this yet. They are most of the times long time Blender user, and used to do everything by hotkey. Which is really annoying. We have a new UI, but still the old hotkey only tutorials to scare the users away.

    The tutorials at Blender Cookie are not this bad though. http://cgcookie.com/blender/category/getting-started/

    Blender has one big plus: it really has everything that is necessary to produce your graphics. From modeling to unwrapping / texturing to sculpting for normalmap, to rigging to animation to export to Unity. And it`s somehow up to date. There are of course better solutions, but they all costs lots of money. So when you are short of money then Blender stays your best bet.

    In case you want to give it a second go, have a look at the left toolshelf. There are the navigation buttons like Translate (that one is move), Rotate and Scale. Have a look at the bottom of the 3D window where you can read a small field called Object Mode. There you can switch between the modes. And the annoying selection by right click is also not written in stone. Go to user preferences, Input tab, and switch to select with left mouse button. While in the User Preferences, a good idea may also be to tick Release Confirms in the Edit tab so that the objects or selected elements doesn`t always stick to your mouse. And take your time. No 3D app can be learned in two days.

    When you search for a free modeler only, does the DAZ campaign still run? There you could get Hexagon for free.
     
  4. UnlimitedEdition

    UnlimitedEdition

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    I suggest giving blender another shot as it can be a great tool. I have found that I like Blender more than some other modeling programs that cost thousands of dollars. I would start with a basic gun modeling tutorial for blender. They are a great way to learn the interface and you can start using home made assets right off the bat. Just look up modeling a gun in Blender and there wil be some good tutorials.
     
  5. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Modeling is per se not easy. No matter what you use, you will have to go trough some tough stuff.

    However, Modo has a less steeper learning curve than Blender and is quite user friendly. It also works with Unity. But it has a $1000-price tag.

    Eventually, Blender is your best bet if you looking for a free modeling tool that comes with all bells and whistles and works with Unity.
     
  6. zircher

    zircher

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    Did search, wasn't very effective, also didn't see anything about Metasequoia. So, a new post was effective for me. I'll check out Hexagon and see how that flies. I suppose I can download Blender for the fifth or six time and see if the UI has become tolerable. But to be honest, by this point in time I'm pretty much tainted/burned/frustrated with the product (but glad some people can dig it.)
    --
    TAZ
     
  7. zircher

    zircher

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    I take it that you've never played around with DoGA CGA. It's like virtual Legos or Technics. It's very easy to make tech stuff. The down side is that it does not create meshes, so the price for easy design is converting by hand to fix that and then doing the UV mapping.
    --
    TAZ

    Example from a 15 minute design change I did a while back...
     
  8. gryff

    gryff

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    There are a couple of other free software packages that you can look for/at including :

    DeleD 3D - did download this once but never tried it. Will export objects in .obj and .dae. also does have an animation system - but never tried it.

    TrueSpace 7.6 - no longer being developed but is available as freeware. Can export as .obj files. I always found the interface clumsy - but there are people who liked it.

    The program I first used many years ago was AC3D. Simple to use but limited features. No animation, very simple uv editor, but does export .obj and dae. There are a number of plugins available. Cost $89. I used this program because it had a very clean .wrl export (VRML). I used this program to build this VRML stuff:

    Streets Of Whitechapel

    Originally used as a Blaxxun 3D chat world - before SecondLife!

    gryff :)
     
  9. Ricks

    Ricks

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    Blender is the best free modelling tool out there. There is nothing better in the free market. I tried Wings3D and others too, but they are much inferior. If you only know the 2.49 UI, you should definitely check out the new version. It is really worth to take the plunge.

    Otherwise you must go for commercial tools. Even though most of them cost 800€ in their basic version they are worth their money e.g. Cinema4D (just beware of Lightwave, because its interface and usability is worse than blender...).
     
  10. nipoco

    nipoco

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    No I didn't.
    When I say "modeling is per se not easy", I talk about professional and fully fledged modeling tools. Not some amateur software with an Lego-like approach.
    If you came from that, it is indeed difficult to get the head around real modeling tools like Blender. They are way more complex.
     
  11. zircher

    zircher

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    Small world, was known as Rydak back in the Blaxxun days. Was on the world builder's guild for a couple of projects. Spazz 3D was my weapon of choice back then.
    --
    TAZ
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  12. zircher

    zircher

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    What you call amateur, I call a rapid prototyping tool. :)

    I've done everything from high end rendering to tweeking verts to skinning. So, I can and do understand the technology. I even read the hard core stuff in the trade journals. I'm just not interested in a bloated cow because I don't want or care to be a professional modeller/animator/character designer. I'm looking for a reasonable pipeline to bring mecha, starships, and tanks into Unity3d. It's a decidedly lower bar than doing normal maps and animating creases on a crone's face, but I'm cool with that. No desire to go there.

    The features page for Blender says you can customize the UI. So, do you have to be a Blender guru to do that or can I hit a few check boxes and disable/hide 90% the features?
    --
    TAZ

    Workflow-wise is it feasible to import overlapping meshes, do a boolean join on them, skin the new mesh, and then export that to FBX?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  13. nipoco

    nipoco

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    That's correct. Blender gives you the freedom to change the UI to your needs. Try the wiki to get an idea how the interface works and how you can change it.
    There are also tons of tutorials, covering Blender's Interface. Here is a brief one for example.

    Cheers!
     
  14. Haledire

    Haledire

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    Just to clarify, is this basically what you're asking?:

    -- Importing pre made models

    -- Using a Boolean Operation (would be a modifier in Blender which you would just immediately apply, then delete the extra original object)

    -- Fix the joining verts between the two or more models

    (This part I'm questioning since I always seem to find people using "skin" for often wildly varying subjects)

    -- Fix the topology at the join
    -- Redo the UV for the joining areas
    -- Weight Paint the model

    -- Export as FBX

    -----------------------------

    You can customize the interface to a certain extent.

    For this workflow you could set up a panel arrangement where it's just the 3D view, the outliner set to only display the type of object you have selected, and the properties panel showing the modifier list so you can get the boolean work done.

    After that, you could have another panel arrangement you could switch to from the Screen Layout list at the top or a simple Ctrl + Left Arrow key which would have the UV panel being most of the screen and the 3D view being a small portion (obviously only horizontally or vertically as blender doesn't have floating panels unless you want to pull up a separate window).

    Weight painting you'd have to work on your 3D view screen set up and simply change modes at the bottom (or hit CTRL + Tab which I constantly do by mistake). And when finished simply export it from the file menu.

    -------------------------------

    A lot of what you describe yourself to be doing can be done quite simply with little effort and wouldn't even step into any other section of blender than the first screen layout that pops up. I honestly can't figure out what you are doing in the program that is giving you a hard time aside from maybe having to hit shortcuts to bring up vertex commands for vertex welding.

    If the workflow I described above is pretty much to the letter what you are doing, I can probably give a few suggestions on how to speed things up and make it simple. Roughly speaking there's probably only 8 shortcuts you really need to know aside from maybe the view orientations. The Object tools menu isn't something you can easily edit (it would require fixing the file that actually controls what it displays), so unfortunately you're stuck looking at tools you don't need between the transform tools and the remove tools. Fortunately there are settings you can configure that would make that fact mostly trivial.

    I'll wait for the reply on this before I suggest anything, as I prefer to supply images (I find trying to talk your way around an interface usually leaves people scratching their heads more often than not).
     
  15. zircher

    zircher

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    Good call, that's pretty much what I'm after. Weight painting would be overkill since animation would not be needed except maybe for mecha and their rigid surfaces are a lot easier to manage.

    "I honestly can't figure out what you are doing in the program that is giving you a hard time..."

    Um, everything? As NiPoCo unkindly pointed out, I normally use simple tools with pretty straight forward UIs that don't require extensive memorization of short cuts. I do understand that if I use Blender for several weeks/months these become easier. I also understand that shortcuts are essential for efficient modelling since always clicking on a UI is not the fastest way to do things. But, I might use Blender for only a few days and then not touch it for a year or more. The instinctive part never comes, just frustration every time I try to do something that is so easy in other tools.

    BTW, NiPoCo, that link for the UI customization for modellers might save my sanity. Thanks. :)

    This is a good example of what floors me about short cuts.
    http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.4/Reference/Hotkeys/All
    Sure, I don't need to know them all, but it's like they looked at Microsoft Flight Simulator and said "Wimps!"
    --
    TAZ, old dog, still barking :)


    MSFX key cheat sheet:
    http://www.mutleyshangar.com/downloads/FSX%20Keyboard%20Commands%20Pamphlet.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  16. Tiles

    Tiles

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    To quote the top of the page you have linked:
    That version was from around 2005. We have Blender 2.63 now. Blender 2.5 has introduced the new UI. Two years ago.

    Forget about hotkeys. You can do everything by menu items when you really want. You just need a tutorial that doesn`t explain it the old fashioned way. That you can work without hotkeys now hasn`t arrived at all tutorial makers yet, unfortunately. I use exactly three hotkeys in Blender. The ones to switch between Translate, Rotate and scale. And even here i use the buttons in the toolshelf instead from time to time.

    The tools where it really would be useful to have hotkeys doesn`t have hotkeys anyways. Mark seams anybody? Switching between the widgets or at least turn it on or off? Naaah, not in Blender. That would be too productive ...
     
  17. Haledire

    Haledire

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    You can always just really quickly right click on Mark Seams from the Edge Menu and make a shortcut. Just don't ask me which keys aren't used though... I was considering taking some time to make an easier to read list or come up with some interactive keymap, but there's a UI GSOC project going on and I hesitate to start on something that might change soon.

    Ctrl + Spacebar to toggle widget visibility. Switching the widgets still eludes me though... I swear there has to be a command somewhere to do it... somewhere... Worst case scenario you could always Shift click the buttons to activate every widget and just hide them when they get annoying.

    ------------------------

    This post explaining setting up the workspace I was eluding to earlier is almost done... reaching 10,000 characters... Still need to get the images set up for it though.

    Y'know what, this is going to be a horribly long post, so I'll just PM it. If anyone else is really interested in this particular setup (it's really just putting together settings to limit what is available) I'll post it in the thread later on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  18. zircher

    zircher

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    Heh, it has been a few years since I last tried. Time to start looking for some new tutorials then. Thanks for the heads up on that.
    --
    TAZ
     
  19. Tiles

    Tiles

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    Whoah, at least this one is back working. Great. Thanks for the hint :)

    But you can still not switch between the widgets in 2.5x and above like you could in 2.4x and below. I`ve rereported this as a bug this spring. And it was again put at the To Do list. Like one year before, where i had reported it the first time.

    There is unfortunately a bug that prevents exactly this. Try to add one key for mark seams and one for unmark seams. And you are in trouble. They mix up each other. Bug Report is long written. It is at the To Do now. Who knows for how long. When i look at the Widgets and their hotkeys, heh ...

    Means you would have to change this hotkey in the User Preferences. And you will much likely collide with an existing hotkey. I`m looking forward to the GSOC Project too here. The current hotkey manager is a mess. And the current hotkeys too. There`s simply too much old tools that has a single letter hotkey, while you need to press four keys at once for common stuff like origin.

    Anyways. The point was that you don`t need to use hotkeys really. The by me pointed out problems is just a marginal note, you will always find something to improve. There are of course much better graphical UI`s, but you can work with just the menu in Blender when you want :)
     
  20. zircher

    zircher

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    Trying Blender again... Haledire gave me some advice on how minimize the UI and make it act more like Metasequoia. Actually imported a mesh and set up a boolean modifer for it. But when I go to apply it, it get "!Error Modifier is diabled, skipping apply." Any suggestions?
    --
    TAZ
     
  21. Tiles

    Tiles

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    You need to select the object to bool with. Or you will get this warning. Operation Mode Difference is substract.
     
  22. zircher

    zircher

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    Yeah, I started looking at some tutorial vids a few minutes ago and picked up on that. The kicker is what I really have is one mesh object that I imported that is internally composed of dozens of smaller meshes and I want to join all those together.


    --
    TAZ
     
  23. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Press "A" and then ctrl-J to join them or you can just go under object tab and press the join button.You have to do this while in object mode.
     
  24. zircher

    zircher

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    From what I've seen, join is not what I want. That logically groups objects, but does change their geometry into a single unified mesh.

    With only one object in the scene, I think Blender can't do the union on that object with itself.
     
  25. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    You would have to use boolean modifier which is bad for game art.
     
  26. zircher

    zircher

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    And that's exactly what I'm trying to figure out how to do from the very beginning. The source is low poly and will be re-textured, so the effect on game art is negilable at this point. Overlapping polygons, on the other hand, are not acceptable in a real time setting like a game.
    --
    TAZ
     
  27. Haledire

    Haledire

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    If you want to quickly break apart a model so you can perform the Boolean Modifier actions, you can do so like this:

    1) Enter Edit Mode
    2) From the Mesh Menu, go to Vertices > Separate > By Loose Parts

    Alternatively, use the Spacebar command search I mentioned in my PM. Type Separate into the search box and pick the command out of the list.

    This will separate all of the extra objects you wanted to Boolean onto the main object. Just remember to hide or delete the extra objects after you finish with the Boolean application (hide with the eye icon in the outliner or right click on the name in the Outliner and pick delete).

    Now you can put the new object into the Boolean Modifier.
     
  28. Tiles

    Tiles

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    Boolean is just another modeling method. And it`s a valid one. You just need to be aware that you nearly always need to clean up the mesh afterwards. You may need to reconnect edgeloops and remove bool artifacts. And the more polys are involved the more cumbersome this task can become. Up to the point where it makes more sense to remodel the whole mesh as one piece. But i don`t see a big problem with boolean with the shown geometry.
     
  29. zircher

    zircher

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    Indeed, I'm gunning for a hybrid between the rapid design tools that I use and Blender.

    Oh, the 'separate into loose parts' thing worked like a charm and I was able to start doing boolean operations. Very clean so far, no subdivision hell. I did find one 'gotcha', I have a number of parallel faces that the boolean union does not merge since the logic does not see the two parts an interpenetrating. Not a disaster, but I'd either need to fix that in the source or do some hand clean up in Metasequoia/Blender.

    For those that are wondering what insanity I'm doing...

    1. Design in DoGA CGA and export as SUF files.
    2. Open in Metasequoia (tweak some polygons as indicated to improve boolean ops), export as OBJ.
    3. Open in Blender, separate into parts and boolean union those into a single mesh, export as FBX.

    Yeah, it's a Frankenstien operation, but it leverages the tools that I know with the tools that I need to get models to Unity. And, it appears to be working so far. :)

    I'm sure I'll have some new learning opportunities when I get to UV coordinates and texturing, but I have options of learning that in Blender or exporting the final mesh back to Metasequoia for round two.

    Thanks all for the help so far. This is the first time in years of trying that I ever got Blender to work for me instead of against me.
    --
    TAZ
     
  30. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Why do you need your object to be "welded"?
     
  31. zircher

    zircher

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    DoGA CGA is a glorified parts library that allows you to quickly assemble models. The down side is that each part is an idependent mesh. So, any model but the most basic will have overlapping and hidden faces. Rendering overlapping faces causes 'saw-toothing' when rendered in real time.
    --
    TAZ
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  32. UnlimitedEdition

    UnlimitedEdition

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    If you want to connect edges to make a face just highlight 3 or 4 verts and press F. Also, I've used models e.g. a gun and it had unconnected polys. It's ok if you do, it's not the end of the world aslong as it looks right.
     
  33. zircher

    zircher

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    F for faces is good to know (I'm guessing that's in edit mode), but I'm still totally uncoordinated in Blender. Unintentional S*** happens far too often for me to trust it (like multiple times per session.) Compare that to having 100% confidence in doing the same geometry editing actions with Metasequoia.

    True, true... unconnected faces is fine for video games. But, I also like to do paper models (Pepakura) and I'm interested in 3D printing. So, I do consider unconnected and hidden faces a problem in the long run. Who knows? Those models might become reward levels for a future kickstarter or extra revenue on Shapeways. :)
    --
    TAZ
     
  34. Tiles

    Tiles

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    Take your time. Blender is a very complex software. Impossible to learn in one or two days :)
     
  35. jgdeschamps

    jgdeschamps

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    Did you try Silo for modeling? A cheap (but good quality) and complete 3d art workflow would be Silo for modeling, UV layout and retopo... Sculptris for scuplting and painting along with Gimp for image manipulation, and Blender for animation/export... the only commercial software in that chain is Silo and it only costs 159USD. The rest is free software.

    EDIT: http://www.nevercenter.com/silo/
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  36. Thomas-Pasieka

    Thomas-Pasieka

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    I suggest you give "Silo" a fair chance as it's a great piece of software which concentrates on the "modeling" aspect more than anything. You can do UV's as well. Give it a shot.
     
  37. zircher

    zircher

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    I'll check out Silo. Played with Sculptris on the past and that really doesn't it for me since I'm more of a mechanical draftsman modeller than a sculptor.
    --
    TAZ
     
  38. AaronC

    AaronC

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    Skipping thru this but if on Mac give cheetah3d.com a visit

    ~AC
     
  39. Creslin321

    Creslin321

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    Just to put in my 2 cents...I'm a big fan of learning software through a good book that takes you step by step. For Blender, I'm using: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=blender+2.6+book&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=4935703333497805016&sa=X&ei=vXjkT9vrO-7F0AGU-KjzCQ&ved=0CG4Q8wIwBA

    And I'm really enjoying it so far. The first thing is does is teach you how to tweak the UI to your liking. If you're an experienced 3D modeler, I'm sure it has some redundanty stuff in there for you, but I think that learning from a really good structured book always beats trying to find random tutorials on the net.
     
  40. zircher

    zircher

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    FYI, I found out that the registered version of Metasequoia does have boolean operations. The downside is that it is not in English which is why I totally missed it.

    After playing with it a little bit, I found that the function was pretty easy to use.

    1. Load your DoGA model.
    2. Open the object panel.

    3. Use select joined faces to grab part of the model.
    4. In the selection menu, move those faces to a new object.
    5. In the object menu, look for the menu item that begins with a curly f. That's boolean ops.
    6. The boolean ops dialog box is a mess, but on the bright side 'object 1', union, and 'object2' are default values. Just click OK.
    7. Metasequoia will create a new object. If you like the union, delete the two original objects and repeat.

    UV editting is still a work in process.
    --
    TAZ
     
  41. DylanNagel

    DylanNagel

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  42. pict

    pict

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    Some Metaseqoia 3d plugins in English can be found here:-
    http://www.swordofmoonlight.com/bbs/index.php?topic=464.0
     
  43. Tiles

    Tiles

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    I´ve found another neat modeling app meanwhile. Called Nvil. It is still in development (good thing is that it is free at the moment), but already very powerful. It aims towards Silo when it comes to modeling speed and handling. Maybe of use for some :)

    http://digitalfossils.com/
     
  44. the_motionblur

    the_motionblur

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    Really if Blender annoys you go for something commercial in a pricerange you feel comfortable with.
    For the small budget there's nothing better than modo603 (recent release at the time I write this) regarding value for your money and a very fair licensing model. It's very VERY feature complete for an extremely competitive price. It's not always the most stable of programs out there, unfortunately. Try the demo and buy one of the beginer training videos from luxology, maybe. They are around the 30$ price range for the single projects. Richard Yot's videos teach a very clean style, IMO. He's also got a youtube channel with some explanation videos.

    The most important thing for every program no matter which one is that you'll invest and look for good training material.
    I cannot reccomend vimeo and youtube for a beginner. If you don't know what good habits are in modeling you won't be able to know if the things they show in these tutorials are sensible or not.
    So if you want to give Blender another shot or want to get into any other program - look for the right training material. Don't curse the program. Oftentimes you'll have to adapt to the way of thinking inside that specific application.
     
  45. lovesong

    lovesong

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    I also like silo as a modeller, but how the F*** do i export into Unity in a good way?
     
  46. DylanNagel

    DylanNagel

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    I think I use .obj . It took me some time to understand everything: pivots, materials, smoothing groups etc. I must admit that I used it for fairly simple modeling, set smoothing groups / normals to 'calculate' in Unity most of the time, and already had a bunch of
    materials I would apply to imported models.

    What kind of objects are you importing? Any specific issues you are encountering?
     
  47. nipoco

    nipoco

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Posts:
    2,008
    I don't know, but Modo does not convince me for some reason. Especially the animation tools and how tedious it is to export a rigged model to Unity. What I do like are the modeling and retopo tools. But that's not enough to shell out over $1000.
    Eventually, Blender does the job if you work with Unity. And some stuff like the animations tools and the sculpting tools are better than Modo's.
    And the UV tools are even better than in Max or Maya IMO.

    Silo is a great modeling app. Unfortunately that's it. No animation and stuff. Which means you need some other tools in your tool shelf as well.
     
  48. goat

    goat

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Posts:
    5,177
    I've played around with modeling tools and even followed a tutorial to make my own model in Blender.

    I've also bought very cheap $5 models at TurboSquid done in Maya, and Max format that look oh so nice in their native environments but fall apart when exported as FBXes for use in Unity because the FBX format does not support the modeling shortcuts that make Maya and Max so 'easy' to use in the first place.

    I also was about to spend $199 on a very nice model done in Max at Turbosquid until I asked them to prove that it exported to Unity. When it didn't export I didn't buy.

    For you others teaching yourselves: if a feature used to create a model does not export out via the FBX format don't use it. You can use the fancy shortcuts when you are working for a big studio with time pressures.
     
  49. Calixto

    Calixto

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Posts:
    66
    Zircher, I hate to say it, but Blender is one of the best modeling applications on the market today - and its FREE! Anything you get, 3DS Max, Cinema 4D, etc will all have similar interfaces that are difficult to understand.

    I felt the same way when I began using Blender...in fact I hated it. However, after many tutorials and a lot of self study, I now love it!!!

    Try to give Blender a chance and get yourself some really good tutorials. You'll be glad you did.

    Try this course out and then see what you think. Work through as many exercises as you can.

    Good luck,
    Calixto
     
  50. Tiles

    Tiles

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Posts:
    2,473
    I have to disagree here. I can understand everybody who doesn`t want to model in Blender. It`s exactly polygon modeling where Blender has its weak side. It´s just half a year gone since Blender finally learned to deal with Ngons. Means there are lots of common tools still missing or still just working with quads. Which makes modeling in Blender cumbersome and uncomfortable compared to other state of the art modeler. This doesn`t make Blender a bad modeler at all. But there is better software for the modeling part.

    The culprit is the budget. When you are short of money then Blender is a good bet. It has a large active and helpful userbase, tons of tutorials, and it`s a complete package that comes with everyhting needed.