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What Apps/tools do/will you use ?

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  • What Apps/tools do/will you use ?

    Just wanted to generate a list of Mod Applications/Tools that might be useful for Modding UT3.

    I haven't modded in a while so im a little out of touch with whats been going on, I think currently most of what i have on my system may be a little out of date, but this would also be good for modders/mappers just starting out.

    So if you've got suggestions about which apps/tools to use post them up, would be good if you could post them in subsections cost/compatibility wise, one thing i like is low cost modding, i know i could go out and buy the latest version of Max, but its expensive ! then use blender ? but how compatible will it be with UT3.

    If you follow the format, and list them in price/license.

    -2D texture & material applications and tools-

    -3D modeling, skinning & animation applications and tools-

    -Import, export & conversion tools-

    -Scripting Applications & Tools-

    -Other things useful for modding-

    Would be nice if Some of the Epic Devs popped in and maybe listed what they use.

  • #2
    I'll probably stick with my current toolset:
    Paintshop Pro 5 for texture work (was included for free on a computer magazine CD)
    UnrealEd for making resource packages
    jEdit for writing code (free, open source)
    UnCodeX for browsing existing code (free, open source)
    UMake for compiling (free as well), unless there's a major change in the way code projects are structured now. In that case I'd really have to start looking into the UMake source code to get it working with UE3 games.

    Comment


    • #3
      My first general comment on this thread to the community is please don't pirate.
      All that does is drive up prices for us who purchase legitimate copies, and even more it causes most software vendors to add really annoying protection systems into the software that are a hassle for us legitimate owners.
      There is more than enough free or low-cost software that is supported for creating game content, please use that instead of piracy.


      Next-Gen Engines and UE3 require an additional set of tools and techniques over UT2004. Creating hi-poly Detail Meshes for Normal Map or Texture Baking projection alone makes some of the workflow different for anyone who chooses to move to that next higher level of design.

      So if you are going to be taking advantage of this technique, you will require one of the many projection utilities/plugins. I'm not sure if Epic is releasing with UT3 the SHTools that they used internally.

      UE3 still uses .ase for importing staticmeshes, so I recommend for those without the funds to still use MayaPLE. It will be more powerful and feature-laden than other free 3D software.

      The NVidia and/or ATI Texture Tools are a must for working with textures and NormalMaps, and they are free. UE3 (up to the build I have) does not support importing .dds textures, so you will have to rely on UEd for all texture compression.

      StaticMeshes in UE3 should now be single-material whenever possible. There are many free or low-cost utilities and plugins for working with Normal Maps and UV Mapping/Unwrapping.

      UE3 still supports pretty much the same tool set as UT2004. So anyone who wishes to follow that same method of asset creation will usually still be able to do it.


      What I use:
      3D: 3DS Max 9 (I own it), Max 2008 coming in a month.
      Textures: Corel PhotoPaint (own it as Corel X3 suite), way cheaper than PhotoShop and just as powerful. Only drawback is no/limited PS Plugin Support (someone needs to bring up a lawsuit to Adobe over this, since the industry doesn't let Microsoft get away with the same stuff).
      Audio: Adobe Audition (own it, since the days of CoolEdit), best audio software there is IMHO.
      Utilities: NVidia Tools (a must for working with DXT and Normal Maps, could really use a GUI for nvDXT so I might write one), ATI Tools, SHTools, and my own in-house software tools like HMES. I'm also looking into some additional Max plugins like Kaldera.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yea Unreal3 engine does require a bit more tools then UT2k4 does but it also has enough tools to keep a Level Designer on his toes I use Unreal Ed and 3ds max when needed. At my job I haven't needed to use 3ds max as of yet.

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        • #5
          It's going to be basically the same set of tools as before with the addition of sculpting software if you're going to be doing a lot of organic assets. Your choices for sculpting software will probably be either Zbrush or Mudbox.

          As for the rest, there is free software to use for basic modeling and texturing. Gimp is free and can be used for texture work. Blender 3D is also free to use for modeling.

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          • #6
            hopefully

            MAYA

            and definately PS CS3


            and of course the UED [3 or 4?]

            Comment


            • #7
              3d: Alias Maya 6.5 (quite outdated, I know, but the new versions got damn expensive since it's called Autodesk not Alias Maya );
              2d: Corel Photopaint 9;
              Sculpting: ZBrush;
              Utilities: nVidia Texture Tools and DDS Converter;
              Coding: UDE (I still hope UT3's editor will have some kind of script IDE built in...);

              Originally posted by DGUnreal ('bout Corel)
              Only drawback is no/limited PS Plugin Support
              My (ancient) Corel 9 has PS support out of the box X3 is a new version, right?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by evilmrfrank View Post
                ...it also has enough tools to keep a Level Designer on his toes
                I feel that most casual UT2004 mappers are going to be in for a bit of a surprise on how much new engine-related stuff they are going to have to learn and know, regarding things like lighting and optimization/culling etc...


                Originally posted by l-_-l View Post
                ... and of course the UED [3 or 4?]
                Official word from Epic is "Unreal Engine 3 Editor" or specifically in this case "Unreal Tournament 3 Editor". There is no more separate editor number.
                I call it UT3 UEd.


                Originally posted by Farseer View Post
                3d: Alias Maya 6.5 (quite outdated, I know, but the new versions got damn expensive since it's called Autodesk not Alias Maya );
                I also usually only upgrade my 3D software every few versions. I can't afford to upgrade every version. However, with 3DSMax 9, I decided to try Autodesk's Subscription. So I get 2008 for free (basically) plus access into the Max Subscription stuff.

                Same with my CorelDraw software, although I tend to upgrade that more often than Max since it is only a couple $$hundred to upgrade for the entire graphics suite.

                Adobe's Creative Suite 3 is $2500 US, which is completely unreasonable IMHO. PhotoShop CS3 is $1000 US which is more than twice the price of the entire Corel Suite.

                Originally posted by Farseer View Post
                Coding: UDE (I still hope UT3's editor will have some kind of script IDE built in...);
                Not unless Epic has added something new since the UE3 version I have used.

                Originally posted by Farseer View Post
                My (ancient) Corel 9 has PS support out of the box X3 is a new version, right?
                X3 is 13 which is the current latest version.

                PhotoPaint (all recent versions) has partial PSD format support but not complete import/export capabilities. See your online help: "Some layer effects cannot be imported." etc.

                PhotoPaint also only supports PS Plugins that are up to PS version 6 interface (or 7, I always forget).
                From what I have found on the subject, Adobe changed their plugin "interface" after that version, and implemented a strict use contract that basically stopped other paint software vendors from using it. So any new format PS plugins will usually fail on PhotoPaint.
                There is some real good information on this over at the Corel Forums and some of the other pro graphics forums.
                Adobe changed the format and imposed stricter use most likely to corner the market and force people to purchase their software, as PhotoShop has become more than just a brand name -- "photoshopping" is now a part of our language and culture, like thermos and aspirin and skidoo.
                Microsoft got hit with lawsuits for doing this, I'm surprised that no one has challenged Adobe on it yet. When something becomes an industry standard, a company should not be able to modify the product to gain unreasonable advantage and market share and lock out competitors.
                Your only hope on the newer plugins is that the third-party developer either supports the old interface or releases the plugin for multiple software platforms, which is rarely the case now. There are some vendors that supply PS plugins that support all software platforms, but those are also usually from the companies that prefer open-source (like Telegraphics).
                But the newer more powerful or usually more useful plugins are usually PS-only since they support the newer interface -- for example the NVidia plugins crash on my X3, I haven't been able to find out what NVidia is doing though for interface version support.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DGUnreal View Post
                  UE3 still uses .ase for importing staticmeshes, so I recommend for those without the funds to still use MayaPLE. It will be more powerful and feature-laden than other free 3D software.
                  I have MayaPLE 8.5, however the actorX plugin doe not work with it, so I cannot export my work to an ASE file with it.. Are there any other ways to get my model to an ASE file?

                  Thanks for any help!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You could go back to the previous supported version.
                    However, Epic may link to a newer plugin once UDN3 is made public in November, I don't know at this time.

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                    • #11
                      Check out Crazy Bump - a quite powerful tool for making height maps and normal maps from the actual texture. Very useful when a photography is the source for the texture.

                      http://www.crazybump.com/beta/download.html

                      I doubt that the resulting normal map is 100% perfect (then again, what is) but the speed to produce quite accurate normal maps is awesome.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I recommend this software also.

                        What is good about CrazyBump is its ability to create a more-or-less corrected Displacement from images where the lightsource is not perpendicular to the image target.
                        This can help create a better NormalMap than what the NVidia and ATI tools usually do, as they both usually create a bump that looks like embossing rather than a heightmap in this case.

                        I usually create a heightmap in PhotoPaint that I work from, but CrazyBump works good if you are sourcing from photos.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DGUnreal View Post
                          My first general comment on this thread to the community is please don't pirate.
                          ....
                          It helps if people know about more than Maya and Autocad for 3D.
                          So instead of listing the hideously expensive stuff (that most will be using the warez-version for) maybe we should focus on the free & cheap stuff instead.
                          The Linux-users will have a considerable advantage since most of their software will be open-source and freeware.

                          For example Photoshop is easily replaced by :
                          = The Gimp (both in Linux and Windows versions, probably Macintosh as well)
                          (source : http://www.gimp.org/ )

                          = Paint.Net ( http://www.getpaint.net/ )

                          = Irfanview (excellent image-viewer/convertor and it can handle photoshop plugins)
                          Source : http://www.irfanview.com/

                          And since photoshop is so well known for its plug-ins many alternate programs also support the same format as a plug-in standard.
                          Example of this is the "Virtual Photographer"-plugin available at http://www.optikvervelabs.com/

                          // 3D :
                          = http://www.blender.org/

                          // code & websites :
                          For those interested in writing utilities for the Windows/.Net platform it is starting to look like that MS has won that war now that Visual Studio has 'free' versions that are good enough for most.

                          Visual Web Developr 2005 (express edition) should come in handy for anyone that needs a website with a few more features than plain old html & javascript can provide.
                          Link : http://asp.net
                          There's also a C#.Net variant if you want to write utilities.

                          And there are dozens of editors that can assist in writing Unrealscript as some allow for custom syntax highlighting (like editpad : http://www.editpadpro.com/editpadlite.html )

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JaFO View Post
                            It helps if people know about more than Maya and Autocad for 3D.
                            So instead of listing the hideously expensive stuff (that most will be using the warez-version for) maybe we should focus on the free & cheap stuff instead.
                            Maya PLE is free and is supported by Epic and the Unreal Engine.
                            That is why I stated that it is probably the best 3D application for anyone interested in modeling for UT1/2/3.
                            You can download it from Autodesk's web site.

                            "Free" isn't hideously expensive.

                            The retail versions of 3DS Max and Maya are quite expensive and out of the reach of most. But the benefits of owning them for the serious or professional mapper are great.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              crazybump looks wicked. thanks for the link.

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