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New tool to replace maya ?

Discussion in 'External Tools' started by EducaSoft, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. RHD

    RHD

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    Now that I'm downloading!

    It doesn't rig and animate though?

    What's your workflow to Unity? File export format?

    Cheers!
     
  2. Alec

    Alec

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    Usually I use obj to blender (if the object is going to be rigged and animated) and then export to fbx if the object is completely done or just import the .blend file to unity so I can make changes.

    If your new to blender rigging and animating thats probably the easiest part to blender since its very similar to usual packages.
     
  3. RHD

    RHD

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    I'll download the demo and have a go.

    Thanks!
     
  4. frigginjoe

    frigginjoe

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    I would consider Cheetah (Mac only) the ideal app for Unity use, with Cinema 4d being the step up to the big league. They both work great with Unity, and Cheetah 3d and Cinema 4d are both priced nicely for their respective scopes.

    Don't give up on Blender 3d, though. The interface is NOT hard to get around, it just takes learning. It's not like you have to relearn modeling, just a unique interface. I like it personally. And it's a free, high end program that will always be free, always be updated, and always work on the OS of your choice.
     
  5. Alec

    Alec

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    yeah but I reckon Silo beats Cheetah 3d ****less In terms of modeling and normal/displacement generation plus Silo's re-topology and sculpting tools. Does Cheetah 3d animate?
     
  6. frigginjoe

    frigginjoe

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    I would bet on any app focused on modeling to have more tools than Cheetah 3d. What it has is very easy to use and likely to be sufficient. As for animation, IMO it's got what you need for Unity. It's not a higher end tool that has a muscles/tendons type system in place as far as I know, but it's got true IK joints and I personally find the animation very easy. Basically it's got 100% of what I would need to import a textured, animated 3d mesh into Unity.

    Cheetah 3d just feels like it was made for Unity, to me. The limitations is has compared to other apps are generally things you wouldn't use in realtime on a game. Just my two cents. I love it, though there are a few gripes (bevel, please and fix booleans).

    As for Silo, I tried version 2 a while back, and I found it to be a really good modeller. I'm thinking in terms of one single program without the headache of expensive upgrades, per the OP's apparent predicament. At the time, I was suffering from more 3d apps than I needed, so I never kept Silo. But I would certainly give a thumbs up to Silo as a modeler to export for the UV and animation stuff.
     
  7. RHD

    RHD

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    Hi guys,

    I'm looking at Silo and Cheetah.

    I can't get a CAD file into Silo at all. This would put DAYS if not weeks on my stuff. I can get a sort of CAD file into Cheetah after much rigmarole in Illustrator but then one curved section or path extruded up to make a wall ends up at 668 polygons by 752 vertices which is the sort of stats I'm leaving SketchUp to get away from. Also the shape is 3D when it's only going to be seen from one side so it has five sides and sets of vertices etc it doesn't need.

    I can't measure anything to see how big it is to scale the rest of the building proportionately.

    Is this how Cheetah etc work or am I doing it wrong?

    I thought I'd draw over the CAD plan and then delete it but there doesn't even seem to be a line tool.
     

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  8. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    Going from a CAD model to any game engine is going to be a lot of work no matter what app you use. You can try importing a .DXF file (and others) into Blender then export that (via .OBJ or .FBX) to anything else you want. But the file will probably be huge. It's not unusual to have a CAD model grow to over a million polys. You can try to automatically reduce the mesh (Blender, Modo and Cinema4D have good tools for this) but if you really want (need) to get the count down along with a reasonably good looking model, you're going to have to do a lot of manual clean up and modeling. I have a model that started off as a 1+ million poly CAD file and it took my artist several weeks of work to get it down to roughly 7,000 polys (with normal, specular, etc. maps).
     
  9. RHD

    RHD

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    I know. I've been used to that in SketchUp, and some of the files I've been given...

    I just can't cope without some method of exact measurement and some way of bringing in reference. Even if I have to import a .jpg and draw over it, it's a start.
     
  10. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    Most non-CAD 3D modeling and animation tools (at least the one's I've used) don't have a specific scale, so you have to "create" your own. The way to do this is to create a 1m x 1m (or 10 foot x 10 foot) box and export it from CAD and then import it into your 3D modeling tool of choice. Then play with the import / export settings until your imported box is 1 unit x 1 unit (or 10x10) in size. I'm not very familiar with Cheetah, but this worked in every other tool I've tried. Once you've done this you'll now have a reference to work with.

    Also keep in mind that your model in Cheetah (or Blender, or any of the others) will not have the same "infinite" accuracy that your CAD system has. So if you're building an entire "city" you're not likely to have better accuracy than several feet.

    Hope this helps...
     
  11. RHD

    RHD

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    Hi Bigkahuna,

    That really does help! That is a brilliant plan!

    For deadly accuracy I'll stick with SketchUp. Reasonable accuracy will do for this. I do think it's insane of the software vendors though. It's far harder to guestimate and keep having to alter things as you go than just get it right to start with.

    Thanks!
     
  12. Grady Lorenzo

    Grady Lorenzo

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    Autodesk 3Ds Max and Google SketchUp Pro.
    The former is good for organic modeling while the latter is better for structures etc.