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Silo 2 Public Beta 1a Now Available!

Discussion in 'Formats & External Tools' started by islanddreamer, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. islanddreamer

    islanddreamer

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  2. polytropoi

    polytropoi

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    Looks like an interesting modeller, but to put aside Blender, I need FBX export w/ skeletal animation, which Silo doesn't have, unless I'm missing something. Nor does Cheetah, nor Modo, etc... Character animation is my big question now. I did the Dim3 Inspire thing, it's barely workable, and painful to use. I guess Wings or Milkshape are options on Windows, but that feels like going backwards. If full fbx or collada support doesn't come to Blender/Unity soon, I'll be forced into Maya. And then I'll have to have Motion Builder, too...sigh... And then they will repo my car, and my wife will divorce me.
     
  3. islanddreamer

    islanddreamer

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    If you don't mind using Windows, check out Softimage XSI Foundation. I picked it up for only $369 at Safe Harbor (competitive upgrade).
     
  4. pete

    pete

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    or lightwave. it's more than xsif but runs on a mac with full fbx (w/plug in)... or just be patient. i'm sure blender will work soon. it moves pretty fast.
     
  5. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    Wings is available for OSX, but that won't help you with your animation, it's a 3D modeler / UV mapper only, no animation.

    Keep your fingers crossed, there may be yet another alternative for character animation and .FBX output. I'm on the beta team for Carrara and what you're looking for -may- be in the next version. Otherwise, Blender (or Lightwave) are your best hopes.

    I'm giving Cinema 4D a spin at the moment. I like it much more than Maya, but it's mucho expensive...
     
  6. Martin

    Martin

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    I'm currently working on character animation support for Cheetah3D. Including full "take" support in FBX files.

    http://cheetah3d.de/forum/showthread.php?t=850

    So maybe Cheetah3D will become an option then. :wink:

    Bye,
    Martin
     
  7. polytropoi

    polytropoi

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    Wow, great news Martin - I'm actually a registered cheetah 3 owner; I'm looking forward to the v4 beta!
     
  8. Joachim_Ante

    Joachim_Ante

    Unity Technologies

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    Thats excellent news, Martin.
     
  9. guategeek_legacy

    guategeek_legacy

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    Thats great Martin. I always figured C3D and Unity Indy could be the perfect match for indy developers. You guys should offer package deals or something once you got animation support working!! Jeff
     
  10. AaronC

    AaronC

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    I agree -Cheetah has caught my eye. I have access to Maya at the moment and its great, but ultimately I will need a licensed modeller/animation app. Martin I look forward to trying the download of Cheetah 3d. Having heaps of tutorial/video tut examples is key, I think. Even better would be sending a dvd out when people buy a license, so those like me on dialup internet can get up to speed. And its awesome to see a developer so involved with our forum.

    When I first started using unity I was struggling due to A: not understanding the scripting side of things, and B: there was not enough "easy" tutorials, but with the regular updates and new tutorials, I feel like I'm actually getting somewhere, So thanks Unity crew, its made a Major difference. Looking forward to FPS3 tut.
    AC
     
  11. Martin

    Martin

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    Hi,
    I'm happy to hear that there is some interest. :D

    By the way does Unity import the morph targets (KFbxShape) from FBX files? Since I will also support them.

    Bye,
    Martin
     
  12. drJones

    drJones

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    well you'd have a sale from me that's for sure (and i'd suspect many more in the future from other Unity users as well). i notice you don't support blender files directly - are you going to include blender support or can you reliably get blender models into cheetah through other formats?
     
  13. NicholasFrancis

    NicholasFrancis

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    AFAIK, Blender does not export animation (meshmorphing, probably) to external file formats. Of course, .blend files contain everything, but that is basically a binary dump of the blender scene, with some headers describing how its laid out. It's practically impossible to get this right - even if you read the source.

    Btw, it's the same method employed by Unity ;-)
     
  14. Martin

    Martin

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    Blender file format support isn't planed for Cheetah3D because it is no easy job to load them correctly. I also think the time is better invested in a solid FBX support. Especially since almost all 3D apps support FBX nowadays. Even Microsoft is pushing FBX. So FBX is becoming more and more the standard exchange file format for 3D data.

    Bye,
    Martin
     
  15. LetterRip

    LetterRip

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    Hi Martin and others,

    Perhaps you could consider Collada support (in theory Collada support will come for free with FBX support but i don't think it is implemented yet). The FBX API is not GPL compatible and thus Blender can't link to it and there is no FBX format specification.

    Collada is supported by all major 3D applications including Blender, and is rapidly being supported in game engines, including Ogre 3D and the major commercial engines (don't recall which ones have already announced support...).

    nicholas,

    I think there are 4 or 5 formats that Blender exporters export animation. Probably the best implemented/most complete is the Ogre 3d exporter which can be found at Ogre 3d.

    Something of interest to game developers is that the next Blender release (1 1/2 to 3 months from now) will support high polycount multiresolution sculpting (zbrush like) - you can download testing builds now (search for sculpting at blenderartists.org), hard edges, retopology (similar to silos but we have a few nice additional things such as ellipse and grid patterns) (retopology is in the sculpting build, hard edges are in the modifier testing builds), likely lightmap baking, multi uv maps, and a few other things to make game devs happy.

    LetterRip
     
  16. drJones

    drJones

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    that would be awesome, and if blender collada / fbx gets decent animation export sometime soon that would allow me to use my pennies on unity pro!

    great news, thanks for the heads-up ; )
     
  17. pete

    pete

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    cool news tom! glad to see you round these parts!
     
  18. Martin

    Martin

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    Hi,

    I'm actually waiting for that but I have doubts that it will ever happen. Alias announced Collada support almost 12 months ago and nothing happened. I have the feeling they lost their interest, which doesn't surprise me to much. What I've seen so far does the data structures of Collada and FBX don't fit to well together. A loss-less conversion could be quite complicated if possible at all.

    You also have to consider that Discreet announced that FBX will be the main data exchange format for Maya to 3DMax and vice versa.

    I nevertheless have the feeling that Collada came to late to make the race. Collada is also by far not as easy to support than FBX. But that is just my opinion.

    Bye,
    Martin
     
  19. LetterRip

    LetterRip

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    Hello again,

    the first attempt at Collada support (it was for Collada 1.3) got off to a rough start and the initial developer has left. However a new developer joined and is making good progress with 1.4.

    Collada 1.4 support is now progressing quickly with animation support being funded by a dutch equivalent to Googles summer of code.

    See this thread for details,

    http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=2739

    Native Collada support is coming to most tools simply because it is Sony PS3s native format, but also end users want an open interchange format.

    FBX support for Blender would be difficult, since the GPL and the FBX SDK license are incompatible. (It could be done by wrapping the SDK as an external library which is then called by a python script, which can all be distributed seperately from Blender).

    It makes sense for them to do so, they control the format and it supports all the data they need. Also it is a binary format so saving and loading will be faster. They limit what the SDK exposes so only they can completely support the format.

    From a lock in perspective it makes perfect sense for them to want to stick with FBX - of course it is bizarre that other tool developers to want to support it except as a temporary solution.

    LetterRip
     
  20. Jonathan Czeck

    Jonathan Czeck

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    I wonder how OTEE is supporting Collada if not through the FBX plugin? They have said before somewhere on here they want to keep one code path for models to keep things sane.

    -Jon
     
  21. polytropoi

    polytropoi

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    Obeisance to all gurus! I wanna wrap my tentacles around and hug all you guys. LetterRip, your Blender efforts are deserving of much praise, and Martin's product is a marvel. My impression (as a relatively ignorant hayseed) is that Blender and Cheetah share a similar commitment to indie developers, despite the open/closed differences, and that they will both continue to be Extremely Useful. I expect that full Collada support in Blender and full FBX support in Cheetah will eventually give us the best of both worlds, and much needed flexibility.

    Aarku, I thought (from here: http://unity3d.com/Documentation/Manual/HOWTO-ImportObjectBlender.html) the current Blender support in Unity was based on the Collada format, i.e.
    Are you saying this might still be dependent on the FBX format?
     
  22. Jonathan Czeck

    Jonathan Czeck

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    I am just assuming (without a lot of ground to stand on) that all supported formats go through the FBX plugin Alias... err Autodesk supplies.
     
  23. Martin

    Martin

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    Hi,


    I don't know how Otee loads the Collada file. Maybe they have a beta of a forthcoming FBX SDK. The current FBX SDK doesn't mention Collada support in one word within the documentation. Maybe it loads it nevertheless. I haven't tried it. In the documentation of some older FBX SDKs they mention Collada. But these sentences have been deleted in the latest documentation. Maybe some Otee guy can solve that miracle. :wink:

    But one thing is for sure. The FBX SDK only exports to FBX. So to have full Collada export in a modeler you have to write at least an exporter manually.

    Oh, thank you very much. :oops:

    Bye,
    Martin