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3d Modelling

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    - If you don't want to ever sell anything you make, XSI is probably your best "free" option.
    - If you want to be able to sell stuff and insist on free, Blender is really your ONLY option.
    - If you JUST want to model, look at Silo, it's a very competent modeler and is only I believe 100$ (but fair warning, it ONLY models).
    - If you want to go "indie dev", look into Cinema 4d and Modo for professional applications that model an animate and only cost around 1k.

    Opinions: Blender is a fairly incompetent modeler, it not only lacks a ton of tools, those tools have few options and probably the least efficient interface I've ever seen. Blender will also force you to learn a system/interface that will not carry over into any other program (unless you consider that doing the exact opposite of every other 3d program teaches you them by proxy). XSI is a good, competent modeler. I prefer Cinema4d's poly tools over Modo's by a fairly significant amount, but I know plenty of people who dig Modo. The most overlooked aspect of polygonal modeling is workflow, and in my mind, what separates the good from the bad. Virtually any program will extrude, bevel, or add edge loops. The real question is how many times do I have to click to accomplish those tasks. Basic selection and tool workflow is a huge deal, if a program makes me take 2 clicks where the other takes 1, it adds up really fast where you end up selecting and invoking tools hundreds/thousands of times per session.

    Disclaimer: I've used all of the above programs, but have largely been a long term Maya user who is probably switching to Cinema4d.


      don't go with 3ds max or maya if you don't have the money


        Blender is not that slow:



          Wings3D is excellent. Check it out.


            Another good set of tools to use right now, believe it or not, are Hexagon, Bryce, and DAZ Studio... Sure, they may not be the best substitutes for anything with Autodesk in the name, but...for now, they are free to download through the end of the month. So I'd give them a chance and see what you think about using objects made in those in the UDK environment. They probably might work...doesn't hurt to try.

            In a way, Hexagon does have the same interface and modeling control that Maya has, but the export options are pretty limited...but you can however bridge your models into DAZ Studio, and you can export to .FBX from within there if you wanted to...just make sure you buy the decimator or Game Developer's Kit in order to bring the models you make there up to code for UDK use, tho.



              cheap or free modelling for udk

              Originally posted by Frantz View Post
              Is there any good 3d modelling software that's free? I'm reading that 3ds max and maya cost thousands of dollars >.>
              I know ppl who have successfully modelled and rigged a UDK character in Blender, which is free.
              I don't dig the interface, but it is free and it does work with udk

              There is one called wings 3d which is free

              for cheap there is the MAGNIFICENT Nevercenter Silo for like $100
              it works with zbrush too.
              however, it does NOT create rigs, its only a modeller
              and right at this moment they don't natively support FBX
              but maybe a few emails from udk users could convince them to add some fbx export

              MessiahStudio can rig and animate, but doesn't model, and can be found cheap (like $200ish)online because the company gives good deals.

              You can also dl the softimage modtool still and use it to model and rig
              I would grab it if I were you. I have it archived.
              I think autodesk will pull it soon like they did with Gmax, which was decent at 29 megs
              this is the dl page:

              I think the actorx plugins work best in max and maya,
              but I know you can get actorx to work from the modtool because I've done it a couple of times for both static mesh and skeletal meshes. I did not export animations, but was able to imort the skeleton, unfortunately my base rig was based on HL2 skeletals so I could not link up the animation in that test, it looked fine in the viewer in udk though.
              I seem to remember a bit of dimensioning issues at first, but they were remediated.
              I was able to import a custom model properly mapped with minimal uv seams.
              I believe I made those maps and some original tweaking of the mesh in C4D and C4DBodyPaint then sent them to the modtool to test uv, tweak, and export to UDK.

              I think that between max and maya, if you have a choice, maya has more zbrush->maya->udk tutorials available
              but I personally find max a bit easier for some reason at low poly
              I can't explain why
              but my first modeller was LW

              I find silo easier to model with now, after zbrush, because it has a symmetry mode and excellent edge looping and quick extrusions of low poly meshes while seeing the subdivided results interactively.
              but with low poly normal mapped models, even the mod tool will work

              right now I think zbrush is the way to go for creating normal maps of high poly characters, but any of the above tools will allow you to create a low poly mesh to uv the normal map to.

              Its when you want to create custom animations that you'll need to use fbx and rigging
              but you can do a lot of level design static mesh and replacement skeletal mesh work before needing to rig and animate.

              autodesk has a free fbx converter as well which they have a link to on the udk wiki article regarding fbx