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I need a program....

Discussion in 'External Tools' started by theave8tor, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. theave8tor

    theave8tor

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    Okay,

    I want to learn this unity thing. I'm trying to learn JavaScript but then after that I will need to make my objects. I don't want to use blender because after toying around with it, I don't like it, it lags, and I don't understand the interface. I don't have thousands of dollars or any money to be exact, so making it free or very cheap, but still a good product, would be excellent! Any suggestions?

    THANKS!
    Grant Williams
     
  2. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

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    I can understand not liking the interface, but it doesn't lag at all, it's extremely fast, even on old computers. Personally I'd suggest trying it some more, because once you get it, it's really ultra-fast to work with. There's nothing remotely close to it that's free, although some people seem partial to Wings for modeling.

    --Eric
     
  3. theave8tor

    theave8tor

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    question,

    after looking at wings, it says I need OpenGL, I've googled and I can't find anywhere to download it. Any help?

    And, by lagging I mean it freezes up and occasionally black boxes show up in certain places.

    Again, thanks for the help!
     
  4. Dreamora

    Dreamora

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    opengl is a driver thing. either your graphics driver supports it or you can't use it.

    its though impossible to have a 3d card that does not support at least basically. Even intels cpu to DVI adapters (Intel graphic chips) support OpenGL :)
     
  5. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Never seen anything like that; sounds like your drivers need to be updated.

    --Eric
     
  6. theave8tor

    theave8tor

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    there just little boxes, so its no big deal. It might just be my resolution I need to change.

    so if I have an Asus that was bought last year with Windows 7 64-bit integrated graphics card, i should be good to go?

    And, it says it doesn't support animation. how does animation play a role in modeling? I thought that was a in game thing.

    Thanks for the help guys (and girls)!
    Grant

    (I used game maker for a short time and animation was done through sprite editing in the engine. lol)
     
  7. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Ideally you should get a real graphics card, not integrated.

    If you have people, monsters, etc., you animate them in a 3D app. You can't do that sort of thing in Wings, only static objects, but you can in Blender.

    Only as far as moving objects around, not actual animation such as walk cycles and so on.

    --Eric
     
  8. WinningGuy

    WinningGuy

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    I agree with Eric here.

    Blender is the best free option you have.

    As for the black boxes and such... that sounds weird. Update your graphics drivers and see if you still have the same problem.

    If so, you could buy a cheap graphics card for under $150 or so that should do you fine. (I'm assuming you're working on a desktop computer)
     
  9. theave8tor

    theave8tor

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    I am on a desktop. To update my drivers do I just go to the graphics card manufacturers website and find driver updates or something? Ive never done that before, lol, is that a bad thing?
     
  10. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

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    Having graphic glitches is a bad thing.

    --Eric
     
  11. spire8989

    spire8989

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    Yes this is what you do.
     
  12. AlbertoT

    AlbertoT

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    Use simple and cheap tools such as MilkShape and / or Fragmotion
    You need a few days to become familiar with and you can pratically achieve the same results as with Blender
     
  13. theave8tor

    theave8tor

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    Okay, I will update my drivers and try out milkshape and fragmotion. Thanks for the help guys!!!!!!
     
  14. WinningGuy

    WinningGuy

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    I happen to think that's the worst idea in the world.
     
  15. txmikester

    txmikester

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    Silo and Hexagon are both nice modeling tools for under $200. I preferred both of those to some of the other ones that people always suggest, like Wings and Milkshape.

    I ended up going with Carrara and have been really happy with it. I think feature wise it straddles the gap nicely between the $100 tools and the big boys, and it's about $400 for the pro version.

    I'm just starting to play around with the Unity workflow for it, but it appears that the FBX export is much improved in Carrara 8 compared to previous versions, which had a lot of issues.
     
  16. Tysoe

    Tysoe

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    I'd second not using milkshape it's like trying to dig the foundations for a house with a teaspoon and not very friendly for modeling.

    I'd recommend trying a few different modelers and seeing which one suits you personally. They almost all have free time limited demo. If you find one at a reasonable price that doesn't support .FBX you can always get something like Ultimate Unwrap 3D as an intermediate art pipeline tool for converting between 3d model formats.
     
  17. AlbertoT

    AlbertoT

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    TheaveStor

    I am not sure but I would suggest to make a check before buying Carrara
    the import and the merge of .bvh files seem to be critical issues
    This is a key feature for a game programmer which is btw well supported by Fragmotion

    For the rest it is just a matter of opinion

    Is Carrara a more advanced tool than MilkShape / Fragmotion ?
    of course, it is

    Is it also the most suitable tool for a game programmer ?
    Well... ok I dont want to start again a useless discussion
    I give you just a suggestion

    Go through the posts in the Carrara forum
    You can check yourself that none of the members speak of games
    They are intersted in movies only
    All the example, tutorials etc everything is geared towards movies

    The high polys off line graphics ( movies)
    and
    The low polys real time graphics (games)

    are still two different worlds with very little in common
     
  18. txmikester

    txmikester

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    AlbertoT - you bring up some good points. I'm not claiming at all that Carrara is the uber-game-tool solution, not by a mile. But after looking at what was out there, and what was in my pricerange, it looked to be a worthy addition to my tool set. Time will tell as I get into more detail developing my first game - for now I've only been playing around with different techniques, etc.

    One thing that is encouraging to me is that Daz seems to be making a serious effort to break into the game development market, so hopefully things will only get better on that front. For guys like me - programmers with little graphics experience, looking to use as much pre-made content as possible, that is good news. Right now actually, Daz Studio is further along with their game support than Carrara, but hopefully it will catch up in the future.

    Carrara is still a useful tool for scene building, animating, landscapes, etc. And of course if you want to make animated sequences for cut scenes and stuff, it's great for that. I also use Daz Studio for character development, although I'm still not convinced if their decimator will work well enough for serious game use, or if I may need to pass it through something like Topogun as well. Still need to research that some more.

    I also use a lot of other tools depending on what I'm trying to do. Blender, Ultimate Unwrap, Genetica, and Silo/Hexagon (still haven't settled on which) all have a place in the workflow I am slowly developing, along with the Daz stuff.
     
  19. theave8tor

    theave8tor

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    Okay, let me catch up.

    I tried MilkShape and the other one, I think it was called FragMotion? Didn't like either of them. Now, was that a fair and justified judgment? No. I don't have experience, and I didn't do any tutorials, the interface and all aspects of it just looked not appealing to me, so I tried Wings. Now Wings, I think is very simple after just messing around with it for a few hours. You get to like the interface and it's simplicity, the fact that it doesn't do animation, right now will not affect me, but in the future I'm sure it will.

    Now, can someone explain to me how animation and modeling play a role in the development of the video game? And can my objects still rotate and shift while in game even if animation is not a part of that?

    Thanks so much for all the feedback and help! I would buy a really good, well known and talked about modeling software if I had the money, but unfortunately I'm a broke high school student whose trying to find a job, so maybe some day in the future I will finally get some moola!

    Again guys, thanks for the help. Any more feedback and opinions on what engines you like (payware or freeware, information might be helpful in the future) is wonderful and greatly appreciated!

    Grant Williams
     
  20. AlbertoT

    AlbertoT

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    txmikester

    I definitely agree with you about Carrara new trend

    If you go through the post , here in Unity ,you will see that I have been the first one to sponsor DIGIMI which can become really a gem for game programmers

    Obviously I am talking about developers who are more interested in the gameplay rather than in creating artworks

    For the rest I just repeat what I said many times in other threads
    You said that Carrara can be used to develop landscape etc
    Fine, but the terrain creation, lights, shadows , rendering ,particle emiters , shaders etc are the responsability of the game engine

    Unity itself provide also excellent graphic tools

    Why should I double the functions ?
    For my specific use Carrara is a bloated product
     
  21. AlbertoT

    AlbertoT

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    If you ask such question I suppose that you are a newbie , arent'you ?
    It is not a shame of course
    Welcome in our comunity

    However even supposed experienced guys here,
    seem not to reflect enough on such basic question

    Take the animations for example
    There are many advanced tools to create animations :

    F curves, NLA, points , soft body etc

    For game programming they are simply of no or , let's say, of little use

    You can exploit their full power just in case you want to create complicated and long lasting animations
    The ones you see in the movies, I mean

    For games you just need to create 2 or 3 secs long , "on the spot" animations
    Basic tools , supporting keyframing, are most than sufficient for the task
    All the rest is made via scripting with the support of the game engine, namely :

    movements and rotations
    movements along a path
    animation blending
    simulation of physical effects such as gravity and collision
    direct kinematics

    For critical animations, such as : walk , run etc its quite common nowadays , even at commerical level, to use bvh files

    Facial animations are rarely used in the games due to the fact that normally characters are not in the foreground
    Not to mention that the best solution for organic animations, in general, it is still morphing rather than skeleton technique which is not supported by Unity and by game engines in general having serious limitation for real time graphics
     
  22. theave8tor

    theave8tor

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    Thanks guys!

    I kinda understand animation now, and yes I am a newbie! Thanks for the warm welcome! However I do have another question. Is animation a needed aspect to a game focusing strictly on gameplay rather than theme or story lines and character specifics?

    Thanks guys! Keep it comin!
     
  23. AlbertoT

    AlbertoT

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    Well this is a matter of opinion
    My opinions by the way are not that popular here in Unity

    I do think that the gameplay is still by far the most important part of a video games
    Graphics is the most time consuming but it is not the most important topic
    There are fantastic games around made of a bunch of polygons covered with textures
    Dont make a confusion between games and virtual reality projects

    If so, I would suggest to become familiar with the Unity commands, fisrt of all

    Anyway we have been talking about graphics

    For evident reasons graphics for games are rather poor vs graphics for movies

    There is an other point to take in duly consideration
    In the movies the attention is focused mainly on the characters
    Take a film such as Shreck for example
    Facial an labial expressions,fluid animations are of utmost importance
    The direct opposite in games
    The attention is focused on the global scene rather than on single models or animations

    The atmosphere of the game is created by by real time lightening and shadowing, by special effects such as fire, water,smoke, explosions,
    by atmospherical conditions such rain snow, fog , beam of lights etc

    These stuff are mainly, if not all, the responsability of the engine

    In conclusion get familiar with the Unity graphic tools and simple external graphic packages
    Forget Blender it is just a waste of time,(plenty of time :( ), at least at the beginning
     
  24. theave8tor

    theave8tor

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    I don't think anybodies opinion is a waste, I appreciate the help! Thanks!
     
  25. txmikester

    txmikester

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    Well AlbertT, I value your opinion. I think so many people here open their mouths without any real experience, and it seems like you have some concrete results under your belt to back what you say.

    In fact, I took your comments to heart and started doing some thinking. Then I added up everything I've spent on Carrara, including plugins, training videos, etc., and it came out to over $900. That puts me right in the price range of several proven tools, so I am going to return Carrara and go with something else. DAZ is really good about returns, and I'm only a couple of weeks into the product, so it's not like I'm losing a lot of time in learning it.

    I spent all last night looking into the 3 main programs that fit in my price range - Modo, Lightwave, and C4D. Modo looks nice, but doesn't have the animation features so I scratched it off the list pretty quick. I downloaded the Lightwave 9.6 demo, and I have to say I wasn't a fan. The interface just seemed antiquated and hard to wrap my head around. Honestly, if I'm going to have to spend that much time mastering a tough interface, I'll just stick with Blender and save the dough.

    Cinema 4D seems like a match made in heaven. I was instantly comfortable with the interface, and was able to figure out how to do all the basics in just a few minutes of just playing around with it. I'm going to spend the next couple of days going through more tutorials, but it looks like we have a winner. Also just need to see what if any issues there are with R12 and Unity, since that is the only version available to me as a new purchaser.
     
  26. AlbertoT

    AlbertoT

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    Thanks for your kind words

    Well I have been devloping games , at an hobbyest level,for abt 6 years so I have some experience
    However I dont mean that I have more experience than other members who dont share my opinions

    What I dislike is the top down approach of certain guys , who dont make even the effort to support their claims

    But what I dislike even more it is the fanatism of certain people and the relevant negative consequence

    If a newbie dive into Blender , well it is free of charge , he waste his time, ok it is not a serious issue

    An other thing is to spend 900 usd
    Maybe it is not a problem for you but it is for sure a problem for many students

    How can same people here implicitely claim that such advanced packages are more or less a must to get started with game programming ?
    This is absolutely false

    Either they just open their mouth, as you said,without having a real experience or they are fan boys totaly uncapable to distinguish a key feature from a fringe benefit

    The result is also to encourage the use of warez products
    (Obviouly I am not so naive to believe that most of people here really shell out 4000 usd for 3dmax )
    as well as to kill those small but smart developers who provide essential and precious tools to support our fantastic hobby

    Sometime I feel to be a sort of crusade, I must be a fan boy myself :D