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The 3D Thread


suzakuseven
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water-explain.jpg

This is the sort of thing I'm looking for. I've sussed out that you need to make a domain (overall container), obstruction (the cup the water goes in) and liquid object but whenever I click on bake the liquid object behaves strangely and doesn't pour water into the place I want it to.

Grr.

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Hello guys, not much done the last few weeks. Only started making a bit more progress in the last few days. Added some new buildings along with setting up all the hilly terrain, big watertower, street lights, etc. Then the last few days have been spent learning how to do the trees and the alpha mapped fencing, both of which I'm quite happy with. Used a plugin for the leaves on the trees called FiberFX which is just fantastic. It's Lightwave I use, but I believe it's available on a few other formats. Also very impressive for grass, hair etc so I shall be using that for the grassy hills later on.

Had almost hit a brick wall with some of the modelling so thought I'd start getting some texturing done to keep the project moving, hate that feeling when you're just plodding along not making much progress!

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Anyone else got some work on the go?

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  • 3 weeks later...
external41.jpg

external40.jpg

external42.jpg

Anyone else got some work on the go?

Hehe, reminds me of that snow level in Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer... :wub:

Anyway, still being unable to get a job and starting to get rusty made me get round to having a go at the art test for Ruffian. Was watching Dexter a lot recently so wanted to go for the Miami/Vice City Deco look with a bit of rough round the edges.

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EDIT: Just looking back at the other people who did this and mine is alarmingly similar in colouration to Ryan's.

You must be my subconscious muse! :hmm:

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  • 3 weeks later...
This is the thread for anyone who is finding they really really want Ethan back on the show. I am not promising you it can happen, but your voice can be heard.

DONT LET THIS THREAD LANGUISH TO PAGE TWO KEEP MAKING COMMENTS TO KEEP IT UP TOP

Obviously a Maya fan.

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I'll try get some render's of the stuff I'm doing for uni.

Currently making an Unreal Map + Characters for use in a game using UDK.

I'm modelling a football stadium based on the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough - so I'll throw some renders up on here, near or around christmas.

Rossco - how many tri's is that currently? How many can you use? Do you have a limit?

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Both can be used obviously, and of course a quad (polygon/face - depending on what software you are using calls them) is made up of two triangles, and as such is recognized as such in the budget when exported into something like a game engine.

The main difference in my experience comes in the superior smoothing and deformation qualities that quads give to models, making it easier to create the desired effect, especially on organic or some curved forms. Creating edge loops made of quads is the best way to do this - creating something like a face for example, as triangles can seem sharp and angular where creases form in skin or fabric and so on.

Its important to be able to use tris though, as in my understanding (albeit still unemployed by the industry :P) they are still used a fair bit in models for games, especially at the lower polygon end of the scale where smoothing is not as big and issue compared to economy of resources.

I use both, and its useful to be able to use both to their advantage. Not sure if that explains very well, and if any of the more experienced moddelers have anything to add or correct it might serve to answer your question better. :)

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I see what you mean. I've done some OpenGL programming. I made a virtual solar system you could fly around and the spheres were all quad based. I wrote my own sphere function because I didn't know about GLUT and it was just easier to code it with quads as it could be visualised in a more Cartesian way. I suppose I could have made quads from triangles (going around the polar axis tracing chained 'N' shapes with the GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP).

I did look into geodesic spheres but decided I couldn't be arsed.

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I would say for a planet without much or any deformation a geodesic sphere is the way to go most of the time because it will tend to look as good given the right density and will likely be more efficient in terms of poly-count (tris).

Obviously the issue with geodesic spheres come when you want to extrude or out/in and smooth features onto them, like with a cratered moon for example. I sometimes use them when making low-poly characters for heads and bodies (depending on the piece of course) again where smoothing issues aren't so important.

Saying that, my experience is almost totally limited to 3D art packages, I haven't done a lot of graphics programming, but the concepts should be the same. :P

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This thread shows I've still got so far to go :(

Ok, sure I'm only in the 2nd year of my degree but we've hardly touched on texturing methods. We've only briefly covered simple UVW unwrapping but haven't done anything really complex. I wouldn't even know where to begin when it comes down to say, creating a UVW Map for a character.

Think we've got lots on it after Xmas but I think I'm gonna be in and out of here for lots of tips and help :P

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My course didn't go into the basics of UV unwrapping until the 2nd semester of the 2nd year either. And that was an optional module for texturing.

My advice: don't rely on the University to teach you things, you need to be looking into stuff like that on your own. Thats what I found anyway, three years sounds like a lot of time, but in a fairly general course with multiple disciplines they only really have time to touch on things. It sounds obvious, but practice really helps. Have a look online for tutorials and have a go over Xmas, it'll help you in the long run. :)

When I graduated, it seemed to me that around 80% of the people I knew on the course either weren't really interested in the subject, or were quite far behind in the quality of their work. All of these people tended to just do their work for their modules and learned what they needed to and no more.

But anyway, thats kind of going a little bit off topic! :P

Don't worry about UV stuff to much, its really not very complicated once you have done it a few times and you are familiar with the tool set in the program you are using. There are a number of ways you can do it, but one thing you will get any time you do it, is that its about the most tedious and drawn out thing you can do! :P

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My course didn't go into the basics of UV unwrapping until the 2nd semester of the 2nd year either. And that was an optional module for texturing.

My advice: don't rely on the University to teach you things, you need to be looking into stuff like that on your own. Thats what I found anyway, three years sounds like a lot of time, but in a fairly general course with multiple disciplines they only really have time to touch on things. It sounds obvious, but practice really helps. Have a look online for tutorials and have a go over Xmas, it'll help you in the long run. :)

When I graduated, it seemed to me that around 80% of the people I knew on the course either weren't really interested in the subject, or were quite far behind in the quality of their work. All of these people tended to just do their work for their modules and learned what they needed to and no more.

But anyway, thats kind of going a little bit off topic! :P

Don't worry about UV stuff to much, its really not very complicated once you have done it a few times and you are familiar with the tool set in the program you are using. There are a number of ways you can do it, but one thing you will get any time you do it, is that its about the most tedious and drawn out thing you can do! :P

100% agree. Worth having it twice on the page. I learnt plenty from some of the other students on my course who were more proficient in certain areas than me too.

Like Fatbob says dont panic too much about how complex a lot of it seems. Once youve done something a few times it will start to stick and then become second nature.

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Well we use 3DS Max and will be using Combustion for a lot of VFX later on.

I mean, I've been looking at a lot of stuff regarding UVW Mapping and I sort of get it, I just have to do it a bit to practice.

I think where I'm coming unstuck is making the textures for the maps in the first place which I guess is a skill in itself.

Again, in the 1st year we didn't do a lot with textures. Learnt basics about materials and using Multi/Sub Object and gradient ramps and things like that but I know that's something we'll be looking into in greater detail this year. Been looking into using normal maps instead of bump maps and opacity maps but I think it's just a case of combining it all together to make something that looks good.

One bit of advice I would like though...

What's the best type of modelling for characters? I have to create 2 characters over Xmas and we did a lot of box modelling last year and we've been learning about poly-modelling this year but I've heard spline modelling a character is one of the best ways of doing it but I'm wondering what would you guys suggest or what your preferred methods are?

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It depends on what kind of character you are making really, and how detailed its going to be. I tend to box out and subdivide when making bodies and lower poly heads for games and such.

For high-poly I tend to poly-model the head and smooth in the normal way. I'm not a big fan of spline modeling in Max, I much prefer Maya's NURBS curves system for that sort of thing. The one example below for example (its quite old now) is a bust I did using NURBS in Maya - and if you can put up with Maya after starting out learning Max it is worth playing with. Its difficult to get your head round at first, and if you are working from reference you need to carefully study the lines and match your initial curves to them. Although once you get the hang out of it, its probably quicker than poly-moddeling a whole high poly head from scratch. Obviously you need to shape it a bit when you convert it to a mesh, but it can be a good way of working, and i know a few people who use it most of the time. Things like ears I always do using splines too, in both programs. :)

Front_04.jpg

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Maya or 3D Studio Max?

I am sure this has been done to death before people, but I am trying to get into 3d modeling and for someone who doesnt know much about all this, its a pretty confusing one. If someone could tell me the pros and cons of the two packages I would really appreciate it. It would be an interesting thing and I would start learning during christmas holiday.

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Maya or 3D Studio Max?

I am sure this has been done to death before people, but I am trying to get into 3d modeling and for someone who doesnt know much about all this, its a pretty confusing one. If someone could tell me the pros and cons of the two packages I would really appreciate it. It would be an interesting thing and I would start learning during christmas holiday.

3DSMax - easy to rig objects for animation, well used and supported with more tutorials, a bit more easy to learn (IMO).

Maya - very versatile, supports a shedload of plugins and if you're good at programming the macro feature will come in very handy.

Max to start out I would say.

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To Rahman. As I understand it, there is little to choose between the two packages. Max is probably easier to learn (I learned it so it must be) and has great polygon modeling tools. For a while it had the better renderer apparently (according to a mate of mine that preferred Maya). Another mate who worked at a game company said he did his modeling in Max, before taking it over to Maya for unwrapping, texturing and shaders (this may have been before the z-brush days). Some people say Maya doesn't texture bake as well.

Of course, I'm just repeating what others have said.

Maya seems to be more widely used in film production and as the gap between graphics in games and film gets smaller, this may be something to consider.

Right now I'm reading this thread on http://www.gameartisans.org/forums/showthread.php?t=8354 which is talking about the differences between the packages (not much).

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A lot of it comes down to preference really. And everybody seems to dislike the opposite one to the one they learned on first to a certain extent.

I much prefer Max for poly modeling, texturing, lighting and most animation, but then I've used it far more. Like i said a few posts back though there are some things i think are much better in Maya.

Most of the 3D working concepts are exactly the same, the differences on whole IMO just comes down to interface, language and general layout differences, work-flow seems to be quite similar.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some basic noob questions:

How fast a PC is recommended for this kind of thing? I wouldn't mind playing with the free modelling apps out there like Blender but I suspect my Ion won't be up to it. Will a bog standard PC with a gaming 3D card be enough?

And for 3D cards, what's the difference between something like a top gaming 3D card and something like an nVidia Quadro?

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I don't know much about 3D modelling, but why are quads better than triangles? I thought triangles were better because it was impossible for them to be non-planar.
I use both, and its useful to be able to use both to their advantage. Not sure if that explains very well, and if any of the more experienced moddelers have anything to add or correct it might serve to answer your question better. :)

I said this about a year ago in answer to a similar question (I've edited it a bit also):

"The traditional wisdom" would state that you should stay away from using triangles and only use quads, but yes, but sadly real life is more complicated.

Why use triangles/quads as opposed to 5, 6 or more sided polys:

First off, everything onscreen is composed of texels (textured triangles) anyway. Even if you have four-sided face, your renderer will split this into two triangles at render-time. If you had a six-sided face, or eight-sided one, your renderer would likewise split that too into triangles.

The problem comes because you can't predict necessarily how a renderer handles that splitting. Different renderers do it differently, and the same renderer might split the same poly differently depending on the angle.

Four-sided polys are ok, because how they split is predictable (the order in which the points are given to the renderer dictates it, and most modelling packages allow you to change this manually, "turning edges" or similar).

Whether or not triangles are ok depends on certain factors. On a flat surface, if they're coplanar with something else, or if a triangle in a hidden place could save you a lot of polys (it can happen) you can get away with some triangles.

Why use quads instead of triangles:

Remember though triangles cause some problems too. Sometimes they don't illuminate correctly, which can cause problems with specular highlights (it causes problems with diffuse lighting too, just the effects aren't as acute). Also, if you're using a skeleton to deform a character for animation, triangles can deform in weird ways. Lastly, if you subdivide/tessalate your polys to make things smoother (usually when you're making a high poly model for normal mapping) triangles will make nicks, scrapes and uneven bits.

The reason for this is a little complicated and rests with the field of graphical mathematics. In order to do things like subdividing or lighting a 3D surface, you need to use interpolation. For reasons that are complex (and that I'm not 100% on myself without checking my old notes) triangles and quads, when joined together, don't interpolate smoothly and this results in the errors I mentioned above.

Conversely, if you're modelling something like my Advance Wars models, you can use a lot of triangles because they're extremely low-poly and they're not going to be deformed, subdivided or even lit.

SUMMARY:

Modelling is a visual medium; provided you're not working with simulation or architecture, if it looks right then it's right; subsequently if it saves you a lot of polys, you can stick some triangles in here and there - this applies especially to bits of a model that cannot clearly be seen, such as interiors of cars on driving games that have no cockpit view, but you may occasionaly catch glimpses of in very tight corners.

Generally speaking, modellers list their triangle counts as opposed to polycounts. You should try to specify this too. For example, my GM Custom model is ~4000 triangles. If I said 4000 polys, I could potentially mean as much as 8000 triangles, or as little as 4001. Using triangles is a lot more informative. Often if I look at someone's portfolio and I read "3000 polys" I unfortunately always wonder if that means "6000 triangles". A difference like that in polycount can make an impressive piece of work into a very poor one.

How fast a PC is recommended for this kind of thing? I wouldn't mind playing with the free modelling apps out there like Blender but I suspect my Ion won't be up to it. Will a bog standard PC with a gaming 3D card be enough?

Anything high spec for World of Warcraft will have no problem with MAX - as the machines at my uni were that spec when WoW was released.

Download Blender and give it a go, really. To be honest these programs aren't too intensive if you're doing game modelling, provided you're not trying to go straight to Gears of War standard, which you won't be doing anyway.

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I'll try get some render's of the stuff I'm doing for uni.

Currently making an Unreal Map + Characters for use in a game using UDK.

I'm modelling a football stadium based on the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough - so I'll throw some renders up on here, near or around christmas.

Rossco - how many tri's is that currently? How many can you use? Do you have a limit?

Sorry I didn't reply before, been a bit busy working on other projects! Haven't touched this one for weeks. At the moment I think it's about 80,000 tris. Trying to keep it low as possible but really haven't set a strict limit as I'm not really sure what a good limit would have been. It was going to be animated but have since changed my mind and only going to use some high res renders so will let the polygon count go a bit higher now.

I'm currently working on a character animation using Master Chief and Marcus Fenix models. Should be finished in a week or two so will post it when I'm done. Not really my strong point and haven't spent a lot of time on it but it's reasonably good so far. It's the lip sync and facial animation I'm finding the hardest.

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