3D Modelling/CAD
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  • I know there a few of us here that do 3D modelling both professionally and as a hobby, plus it is a pretty key part of the games industry. So I thought i would start a thread to ask stuff, show work off or just generally chinwag about Booleans and UV unwrap tools.

    I started at Uni learning Maya, then switched to 3DS max after getting a job in a studio that use it, with that I combined with a bit of After Effects using Element 3D and Max2ae plugins.

    I'm now in a studio that is predominantly Mac based and using Vectorworks (not that I use it myself). There is supposed to be some nice crossover tools between Vectorworks and Cinema4D so I'm currently learning that and finding it fantastic.

    Oh and I have only ever really used Vray for rendering.

    Would be interesting to see what everyone else has used.
  • I'm going to keep an eye on this thread. I've always been a 2d person but would love to give something like this a shot.
  • Boolean is a bad word!

    Excellent idea for a thread, especially given it's my main focus of nerdery, although i'm increasingly into the programming side as the years go by. Still doesnt stop me having to do quite a bulk of modelling for any of my game dev projects.

    I started with 3D on, i think, Sculpt 3D on the atari st? Or amiga, i didnt own the atari, and formative fractal landscape on the venerable vista (and vista pro on the pc). Then got more into the idea of creating something that resembled something when i started using Real3D and its successor on the Amiga and ending up with Imagine 2 on the Amiga which introduced me to the whole idea of 16bit colour and rendering images that actually looked pretty, despite the RAM shortfall making processing the images incredibly frustrating.

    I suppose there's quite a list of 3D apps i used while finding my way through something that fascinated me yet eluded me until i started using 3D Studio Max in around 2000/2001, version 3 iirc.

    Did some 3D models for a terrible videogame lost in the mists of antiquity as my first actual character models ever, 20 or so shonkily box-modelled creatures. Not bad for a first go but even by that time, actually rendering something pretty was a headache cause of the glacial CPU speed.

    Still using Max, purely because i've been using it for 12 years and in a perfect world i'd be able to never use it again and settle with Softimage or something but old habits definitely die hard and Maya is still bitched about but less so than Max, but at least has a 'normal' windows interface. Softimage is more esoteric a UI which i find hard to get my head around. Despite finding Max increasingly loathesome (Completely random inexplicable crashes that can actually destroy your working save, UI from hell at times, confusingly obfuscated approaches to some things) i feel a bit stuck in its ways. Also, having used a few renderers, i also stick with Vray, Mentalray doesnt seem to have been designed for actual artists, it's extremely annoying to use, for me, and i've only used it seriously for a handful of images because it supported features of max that vray didnt at the time, like fur/hair (Vray hair a few years ago was a pretty sparse, hard to artistically control, geometry based thing that tended to make stuff look like pubes).

    I used to do a lot of stills with Max and vray up to a couple of years ago, they looked pretty and i'm very proud of some of them given my lack of 'proper' training, but i'm a bit over how time consuming stills can be so most my modelling concentrates on game related things and rendering is all using vray render to texture stuff for lightmap baking that i find much prettier and easy to work with, artistically, than Unity's use of Autodesks Beast lightmapper (Unity obviously being my gamedev tool of choice).

    I use a biiiig range of ancilliary applications for my 3D however, because while max remains the center, many things are better served by more suitably focussed development. I use mudbox a bunch, simply because i need to watch training videos before every time i use zbrush because the UI is alien to me and i forget all the shortcuts, xnormal is bread and butter for getting maps for a model with UVs, creating high poly and low poly versions of models in whatever is standard game dev stuff now and then you can get your normal maps, cavity maps, ambient occlusion etc very nicely from xnormal

    Obviously i also use photoshop, nDo being a brilliant plugin for it for again, generating maps, for texture painting i used to use Bodypaint or Mudbox but i'm finding Mari absolutely lovely, although again i forget how to use it every so often

    I am going on a bit, and could start talking forever about realtime 3D stuff even though i'm still a neophyte regarding it (DJ Chump could probably add a good few words there), if you examples of stuff stuff i did i can post em but i dont wanna bulk out this post more than already has been done!

    I'd love, btw, to see examples of peoples stuff btw, esp yourself, liveinadive, cause i been meaning to ask you for ages, my own renders tend to rely a lot on stock models and me getting sometimes obsessive about vray materials and i dont think to any professional they'd look like much but im still proud. Game related stuff is typically in youtube videos, although i think i have a few renders of stuff i made for game assets but in prettified vray materials instead of all shadered up in Unity.

    I'll stop talking now
  • Ooh this is good. I've been trying to get to grips with ZBrush recently. Just as a hobby. I think it's used in the industry as more of a finishing tool for adding extra detail on Maya and Max models.
    Good fun though. You can create some pretty rough models pretty quick.

    I'm not at the stage where I'm actually producing finished pieces. Just wanted something to get to a stage where I can produce pretty 3D pictures. Getting there but there's a shit load to learn, and not much time to do it in.
  • Holy fuck, text wall, i'll be very surprised if anyone actually reads all that. Sorry i nerd out like crazy on this subject
  • monkey wrote:
    Ooh this is good. I've been trying to get to grips with ZBrush recently. Just as a hobby. I think it's used in the industry as more of a finishing tool for extra detail on Maya and Max models.

    Oooh nope, you'll be very surprised i guess how integral tools like zbrush and mudbox are in modern games development. Most the percieved detail in a game model is in it's normal map, a normal map is a texture map thats calculated by the difference between two models' 'detail'. So right after you got an idea of how your model is going to look, you model a base mesh, something that will give the right kind of form of your intended model and be made of as evenly distributed vertices as possible, as in your model should really be in quads and them all being of similar size or maybe more concentrated around areas you intend there to be a lot of detail. Then it's taken into Zbrush or similar and you sculpt your super high detail super pretty model. It being in quads and well distributed being because Zbrush is going to subdivide it several times so you can sculpt detail, bad distribution and any triangles rather than quads will cause problems in the sculpting.

    Then ideally you re-topologise the model (Basically make a new model that conforms better with your hi poly model) back to a much lower level of detail (The difference between your base mesh and the hi poly mesh will probably be way too much for your base mesh to continue being used in the process) and then you can use your hi poly model and your retopolised model to create normal maps etcetera to make what is actually a fairly low detail model look far more detailed than it is (Low poly models could be tens of thousands of polys these days but the hi poly version, several million)
  • dynamiteReady
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    I've used Max in the past, but I'm all Blender now.

    Blender's great. 

    It's probably my favourite piece of software in any category, but I accept that Maya's better.

    I've never used Maya, but I understand that like Blender, it's scripting API is based on Python... I've been learning Python on the sly for work purposes and like the language. I wouldn't mind blending (no pun) that side project, with one of my mid-range ambitions to create a motion picture quality character animation rig in Blender, and open source it...

    But I've shit loads of projects that I want to do, and barely have time for the ones that I have committed to. And though I've been saying as a half joke...

    ... I need a new hobby.
    "I didn't get it. BUUUUUUUUUUUT, you fucking do your thing." - Roujin
    Ninty Code: SW-7904-0771-0996
  • dynamiteReady
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    I know there a few of us here that do 3D modelling both professionally and as a hobby, plus it is a pretty key part of the games industry. So I thought i would start a thread to ask stuff, show work off or just generally chinwag about Booleans and UV unwrap tools. I started at Uni learning Maya, then switched to 3DS max after getting a job in a studio that use it, with that I combined with a bit of After Effects using Element 3D and Max2ae plugins. I'm now in a studio that is predominantly Mac based and using Vectorworks (not that I use it myself). There is supposed to be some nice crossover tools between Vectorworks and Cinema4D so I'm currently learning that and finding it fantastic. Oh and I have only ever really used Vray for rendering. Would be interesting to see what everyone else has used.

    I've heard a lot about Cinema 4D... It's used in a lot of product design studios, right?
    "I didn't get it. BUUUUUUUUUUUT, you fucking do your thing." - Roujin
    Ninty Code: SW-7904-0771-0996
  • I use blender to convert some models formats sometimes, and when i need to make some blender format stock into something else. It's just completely off the ball for a few things i find quite important so, its nice cause its free and has good intentions (Certainly more done for love than the bag of wankers at Autodesk would ever intend) but just not going to ever be useful to me until it got a few features i'd guess you'd need capital to develop
  • Oh and Cinema 4D does just about the same thing as Max, Maya, Softimage or even Blender would do and be a central 'solution' to your 3D needs, as in a place you can model, compose in 3D and render etc, cept its a bit less feature rich but a lot more affordable than the first three i mentioned

    Has its own Vray plugin, which makes it a boon if thats what you want to use
  • Happy with the response to this thread, thought it may sink.

    Cinema4D has got quite expensive recently, literally was just looking up prices and the complete studio is now £2500 plus VAT, so not the cheap solution it was.

    It is popular in product, architecture and Motion Graphics. I think a big part of this is that it runs and has always run on Macs, it also feels more like an artist's tool than Max, which feelas closer to the likes of AutoCad.

    Absolutely agree with your thoughts on Max's UI Lazy. When I switched from Maya I was totally lost. Even after 3 years I struggle to find tools I use constantly, things like 'Tesselate' get lost in a see of poorly layed out words.
  • I dont mind saying at this point that Max is all kinds of garbage atm, obv it ties in more with archi-visual stuff than motion picture stuff and its purely through being somewhat standard that it has so much 3rd party support but gah, i think Autodesk just try and endlessly bung stuff into it halfarsed as its their flagship-somewhat 3D 'solution' and they need to buy people into their yearly increments, its getting very heavy, the UI hasnt changed in forever and its eye-mangling, even with their poly editing tools having a dedicated interface they're annoying. And when it crashes inexplicably on doing something you'd assume was innocuous (it once crashed on me clicking 'save as', seriously) you do wonder how software is allowed to be released and trustable by a massive number of professionals.

    At least it's practical conditioning into the idea that boolean is a bad word, since should you use them (which imo you never should unless you need something quick and dirty) it will likely hang, crash or produce geometry that cant be explained in rational terms.

    Just not brave enough to learn something better that might lack plugins that i find it hard to deal without. Flatiron being a good example, or vray obviously, which im not sure Softimage has.

    I'm quite surprised Cinema4D has become so expensive, it was 800 i last looked! Is it making a go at competing with the giants or is it just becoming more the go-to 3D thing for mac users? I was told Modo was very good Mac 3D software. I couldnt rationally use a mac for for my stuff but its nice it has decent 3D software
  • To be fair when I look at what is in Cinema4D it has come a long way. It now has a lot of compositing tools and seemless linos with a whole bunch of other software both importing and exporting.

    Regarding Max. We have 2010 at work, I downloaded the 2014 trial yesterday and its bear identical. The oroblem I have with it is they never fix the bugs just pile on more broken shit. Crashes are ridiculous, it really is totally random, if I vould pin it diwn to one modifier or process then I could know to save before hand but I cant even do that.

    I have my appraisal on Monday and I think we will discuss whether or not to make the jumo to C4D and I think I will push for it.
  • Booleans
    I use them but only to cut through flat planes then I rebuild the topolgy after.
    Tbh clean topolgy is a lot less important in what I do in comparison to games. As long as the smoothing groups are fine and there is no pinching I will just run with it as speed is key.
  • Well, it seems Softimage DOES have vray, and thats the only 3D application ive never heard anyone bitch about (Actualy its actively lauded and Valve's standard 3D app), so you could look into that if it's not too much of a jump in company workflow, the UI is kinda inexplicably weird.

    But if everyone knows their way around Cinema4D anyways i cant see it being a bad move from Max, which seems doomed to dismay forever until they actually fix everything thats broken or halfbaked with it.

    Anyways since i suppose its the place, ill link some stuff i did.

    Yggdrasil_by_TorsadesPourFoi.jpg

    that was all max and vray, even vray fur

    this one is max and mental ray using max fur

    Thief_by_TorsadesPourFoi.jpg

    And this is Max and vray again with the fleshy lump being quickly sculpted in mudbox

    Dunce_by_TorsadesPourFoi.jpg
  • Well, cheers! I dont think they're all that but cheers anyways, happier with idea than execution, but i'll admit im limited by cpu power, esp when it comes to fussy materials like the floor in the flesh lump pic, it took hours of rendering 3 or 4 64x64 buckets over and over to get it looking how i wanted, cause a full render would take 10 hours or so.

    I have this guy who visits my chatroom every so often who works at pixar, i only think he comes cause there's this ridiculously hot chick who's a regular but he's good for talking the shit about 3D stuff, he was the lighting director on the blue umbrella short for monsters university. Was telling how they had something like 20,000 cpus each with 96gb of memory on their render farm, ridiculous, i would give my left nut for that to be at my disposal.

    There's most my stills work at http://torsadespourfoi.deviantart.com/gallery along with photo and suchlike too, but i do feel my most significant 3D stuff has been in realtime game stuff, which is harder to demo, but i made a youtube playlist of some of it, including a walkthrough of our entry to the Edge unity contest (Which obv superflyninja, nina, jonb, acemuzzy, ramsteelwood and man, more, i cant remember fully im a bit out of it, but yeah they need bigups too)

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgmY3kfflZeRWl2t9QR_5B7eUW2A3G4Nm
  • Also yes! Booleans have their uses but obviously as a realtime guy they are satans tools, otherwise if the geometry doesnt really matter so long as it looks right, then by all means. Still an invitation for max to crash/hang on you though
  • What isnt an invitation for Max to crash?
  • I really should try put some effort into Softimage
  • That's some great stuff there Gunn.
  • Cheers monkeydude

    I'd like to see others stuff too, mind, also critique on my own stuff is welcomed, its not like im gonna redo it, i did those stills over 2 years ago, but its good to get fresh eyes on stuff, you can get super into your own thing and go wayward sometimes
  • Most of these are from work and I think I linked them not long ago, I struggle to find the effort to do stuff out of work these days.
    original_344461_Oa9SHRFQorLNRf1PVG5rYIh36.jpg

    original_344461_lhg9fwymct67lyukpl5sxfjxj.jpg

    original_344461_xsmcgqwhr04r4szabp_7hdxbl.jpg
  • Here's some model standing in the store in my bottom image.
    177173772-gemma-chan-attends-the-trilogy-flagship-gettyimages.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=GkZZ8bf5zL1ZiijUmxa7QRD2ZewFAjelH1ZXteOlHDm0Ktw78hrGY0ASLUyO6g6SLmIk27Rw02eI2xfNez3edA%3D%3D
  • Hah nice! Mate you basically do the other thing i want to do if the other thing i wanted to do isnt happening (The realtime innovating), kind of product/space design and arch-viz. I keep bugging my architect pals to give me something i can make pretty but anything serious work related they cant exactly just hand me a dwg of their project. I'd love to do it though, esp cause i dont enjoy modeling a lot at all, i love composing a bunch of models, love making vray materials like not much else 3d wise and obv along with that, lighting

    So i'm slightly envious
  • Cheers man. I do enjoy it but it is quite high stress at times, being retail for the most it tends to be quite short deadlines so I don't always get the time to play with lighting and materials as much as I would like to. For example that bottom image took me about a day in max and another few hours in Photoshop with an overnight render (I think it was about 7 hours rendering locally).

    Strangely I originally wanted to do realtime games stuff but have fallen into this now and if I'm honest I do like making super shiny things shiny.
  • dynamiteReady
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    original_344461_xsmcgqwhr04r4szabp_7hdxbl.jpg
    Here's some model standing in the store in my bottom image. 177173772-gemma-chan-attends-the-trilogy-flagship-gettyimages.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=GkZZ8bf5zL1ZiijUmxa7QRD2ZewFAjelH1ZXteOlHDm0Ktw78hrGY0ASLUyO6g6SLmIk27Rw02eI2xfNez3edA%3D%3D

    Heh!

    That must be real satisfying, dude! If it were my work, I'd want to visit the place! : )
    "I didn't get it. BUUUUUUUUUUUT, you fucking do your thing." - Roujin
    Ninty Code: SW-7904-0771-0996
  • Strangely I originally wanted to do realtime games stuff but have fallen into this now and if I'm honest I do like making super shiny things shiny.

    Well, if you ever get time and motivation i can probs find you something to do! Can't really say it will (or ever will) pay, but it'll be fun! I forget often i dont have the necessary financial motivation most people need to spend time on something, cause i dont need it. Realtime stuff is great fun, it's very interesting rules you have to go by and considerations you take in before even touching your computer but very satisfying seeing it do its thing
  • @LazyGunn
    I definitely do want to do something with yourself at some point. Perhaps in the new year.

    @Dynamite
    Yeah it's pretty cool, not sure I would get through the door in that store unfortunately, too exclusive. The fitting room has a hidden stairwell leading to the rear of the store that they use to bring high profile celebs in. Kate Middleton shops there apparently.

    If anyone is in Gatwick airport check out the Ernest Jones, I did that one too. It's a bit eery looking at if for real after spending hours working on it on a PC.
  • I'm in no rush haha, my mate think's we'll be onto something that will make us on bonfire night, i start that when i finish GTA5 (i really need that game to end soon), but after that quite exciting stuff, definitely going into the new year.

    I think i'll keep this thread bumped if possible as it's a passion and keep it updated with progress on relevant material, all i have atm though is big ben from modern warfare 3 that i ripped and rescued from the ravages of culling, LOD and making it workable for what i needed it for. It looks cool and it took a while to mend but i'll show something with more oomph soon hopefully
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