Author Topic: 3D Modeling  (Read 4514 times)

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Offline A Wanderer

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3D Modeling
« on: July 30, 2013, 11:10:56 am »
I definitely see a lot of artists here. Does anyone have any experience working with a 3D modeling program like Blender (preferable) or Maya? I'm learning Blender right now. Just the amount of options you have with it is dizzying but it's incredibly awesome at the same time. Any general advice at all about 3D modeling would really help too. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 04:49:04 pm »
I think Storm Fox can help you with that.

As for me, my job involves using CAD, so that's what I use.  I haven't done much artsy-fartsy stuff.

Offline Storm Fox

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 09:51:44 pm »
Giving general advice for something like this is rather difficult as there are so many different parts of a 3D modeling pipeline.
Mesh modeling, Materials, UV mapping, Texturing, Shading, Lighting, Rigging, Animating, Rendering, etc.
I could offer advice for these things, but you would really need to be more specific in what part you need help with at the moment.


As for right now, if you're new and looking for a good way to get started, (if you haven't already) I suggest that you watch the videos in the Blender Cookie, Blender Basics tutorial set, it will help you understand the basics, and the page lists some links to other tutorials to take things further.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 09:54:00 pm by Storm Fox »
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Offline A Wanderer

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 11:50:47 pm »
Mesh modeling, Materials, UV mapping, Texturing, Shading, Lighting, Rigging, Animating, Rendering, etc.
I could offer advice for these things, but you would really need to be more specific in what part you need help with at the moment.
I want to learn ALL OF IT. With level design on the side. But I got some experience with level design through numerous mapmakers and level editors, UnrealEd being the most in-depth one I've touched, though I think you could guess that through my avatar. :P

As to help and tutorials though, don't worry about it. For now, I've got myself covered with the semi-official beginning tutorial that you just mentioned and the Blender 3D: Noob to Pro wikibook stored on my computer. However, I think the extensiveness of 3D modeling really hit me when I was viewing the video tutorial that just went over some of the modeling tools Blender had.

Hm. Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew about in the past when you first started 3D modeling? Anything at all you would say?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 11:55:15 pm by A Wanderer »
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Offline Storm Fox

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 02:18:38 am »
I want to learn ALL OF IT.
That's the way to do it. :D
But all of it is a bit much for me, I'm not exactly up for a tutoring job. :o ;)
Though if you do need help with a particulate part or aspect, I can offer advice here and there.


Hm. Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew about in the past when you first started 3D modeling? Anything at all you would say?
I'd probably be a year ahead of where I am now if I had learned about proper topology from the beginning.

With the exception of super low poly models… anything with decent detail or anything that is to be animated should be made entirely with quads.
Keep your edge loops clean and as even as possible.
And try to keep poles to a minimum, and place the ones you do have or need wisely.


I hope you don't mind more tutorials because these can explain things so much easier than I can here.

Introduction Topology
Edgeloops Edgerings
Triangles Quads Ngons Poles
Quad Only Models
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 02:24:43 am by Storm Fox »
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Offline A Wanderer

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 10:48:42 am »
I'd probably be a year ahead of where I am now if I had learned about proper topology from the beginning.

With the exception of super low poly models… anything with decent detail or anything that is to be animated should be made entirely with quads.
Keep your edge loops clean and as even as possible.
And try to keep poles to a minimum, and place the ones you do have or need wisely.


I hope you don't mind more tutorials because these can explain things so much easier than I can here.

Introduction Topology
Edgeloops Edgerings
Triangles Quads Ngons Poles
Quad Only Models
Thanks a lot for helping me. Do you perhaps have a gallery I could look through?
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Offline Storm Fox

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 05:09:19 pm »
Thanks a lot for helping me. Do you perhaps have a gallery I could look through?
No problem.


I don't really have a proper gallery, very little of my work makes it on to the internet.
But of what does, some of it is spread around these forums in a few old threads.

It's not much but of what I could remember...
An old art page of mine.
Part of an old art trade I did.
A driving physics demo I was working on.
And some character design comparisons.
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Offline A Wanderer

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2013, 11:40:22 pm »
No problem.


I don't really have a proper gallery, very little of my work makes it on to the internet.
But of what does, some of it is spread around these forums in a few old threads.

It's not much but of what I could remember...
An old art page of mine.
Part of an old art trade I did.
A driving physics demo I was working on.
And some character design comparisons.

Nice.

BTW, know the Digitigrade/Plantigrade thread is two years old now but I'll offer my opinion anyway just for the heck of it.

Try a mixture of both. I'm sure it will be tricky to get it to look right but if you pulled it off, you would have the practicality of human hands/feet but the exotic look of a proper anthro.
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Offline Storm Fox

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2013, 01:13:40 pm »
Nice.

BTW, know the Digitigrade/Plantigrade thread is two years old now but I'll offer my opinion anyway just for the heck of it.

Try a mixture of both. I'm sure it will be tricky to get it to look right but if you pulled it off, you would have the practicality of human hands/feet but the exotic look of a proper anthro.

I might give it a try, thanks for the input. :)
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Offline A Wanderer

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2013, 02:07:55 am »
Actually, I finally thought of a legit question now.

After watching Blender Cookie's Shading and Lighting tutorial and trying it all out for myself, I noticed something. While using the Cycles render, I'm getting graininess and specks of bright color in the image. Is this only a problem with Cycles? If so, is there another render that doesn't have this problem but has the same functionality of the Cycles render?
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Offline Storm Fox

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2013, 05:18:27 am »
With Cycles the graininess comes from not preforming enough render cycles...

For rough drafts I'll use somewhere between 20 to 50 cycles, and for finals I'll run somewhere between 100 to 500 or more render cycles.
If you are only running the default 10, try bumping it up to at least 20 or 25.

Now as for the specks, I'll assume you mean what are called fireflies (little bright dots that can look like a pixel is missing)...

Now often enough these issues are resolved with more cycles, so if it's simple white noise grain, the dots will disappear with more cycles.
If they are true fireflies, then they will suddenly appear during the render instead of fading away.

Adjusting your roughness values for your shader nodes, especially those that effect gloss can help, higher settings mean more noise, and more noise can mean more artifacts, fireflies, etc.
If you don't want to go adjusting all your nodes, you can also try adjusting the "Filter Glossy" value in the Light Paths panel under the Render tab.
Increasing that will reduce gloss and the bright spots associated with that.
Another thing you can try is the "Clamp" setting that's in the Sampling panel under the Render tab.
0.0 is disabled, so try a setting of 1.0 and adjust it from there to find a good setting for your scene.

Unfortunately there is no one magic setting that solves everything, so try playing around with what I've mentioned, and try using effects from all of them.
Maybe add 15 or 20 render cycles, if you are using high roughness values (around 0.500 to 0.700 and up) try toning it down just a bit, add a little "Filter Glossy" 0.2 to 0.5, and Clamp maybe around 1.2 or so...

Mind that those values are just guesses that I pulled out of the air, without being able to render the scene myself all I can do is guess, so it's really just to give you an idea.
So play around with the numbers here and there, and you should be able to get something nice.


Also, despite what some may say, there's nothing wrong with the Blender render (Blender internal renderer), so if you can't make Cycles work for you, give that a try.
(All of my renders that I showed you (except the game demo) were done with that renderer, so it's not really as limited as some people say.)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 05:21:12 am by Storm Fox »
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Offline A Wanderer

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2013, 01:18:55 pm »
With Cycles the graininess comes from not preforming enough render cycles...

For rough drafts I'll use somewhere between 20 to 50 cycles, and for finals I'll run somewhere between 100 to 500 or more render cycles.
If you are only running the default 10, try bumping it up to at least 20 or 25.

Now as for the specks, I'll assume you mean what are called fireflies (little bright dots that can look like a pixel is missing)...

Now often enough these issues are resolved with more cycles, so if it's simple white noise grain, the dots will disappear with more cycles.
If they are true fireflies, then they will suddenly appear during the render instead of fading away.

Adjusting your roughness values for your shader nodes, especially those that effect gloss can help, higher settings mean more noise, and more noise can mean more artifacts, fireflies, etc.
If you don't want to go adjusting all your nodes, you can also try adjusting the "Filter Glossy" value in the Light Paths panel under the Render tab.
Increasing that will reduce gloss and the bright spots associated with that.
Another thing you can try is the "Clamp" setting that's in the Sampling panel under the Render tab.
0.0 is disabled, so try a setting of 1.0 and adjust it from there to find a good setting for your scene.

Unfortunately there is no one magic setting that solves everything, so try playing around with what I've mentioned, and try using effects from all of them.
Maybe add 15 or 20 render cycles, if you are using high roughness values (around 0.500 to 0.700 and up) try toning it down just a bit, add a little "Filter Glossy" 0.2 to 0.5, and Clamp maybe around 1.2 or so...

Mind that those values are just guesses that I pulled out of the air, without being able to render the scene myself all I can do is guess, so it's really just to give you an idea.
So play around with the numbers here and there, and you should be able to get something nice.


Also, despite what some may say, there's nothing wrong with the Blender render (Blender internal renderer), so if you can't make Cycles work for you, give that a try.
(All of my renders that I showed you (except the game demo) were done with that renderer, so it's not really as limited as some people say.)

When you refer to the cycles, I'm assuming you're talking about the number of samples to render? In any case, I found that changing that number to a higher and higher value greatly improves on the graininess. However, even just at 20 samples, it took around two minutes to fully render the image. I'm sure if I bumped it up even higher, it would take upwards of 30 minutes for one image. :P

And lowering the roughness also really help with those pesky fireflies. As to the Blender render, I tried using it but could not understand shading something with it very well. Cycles has a lot of preset values for new users it seems but the Blender Render gives you more control. Or at least, that's what I can deduce.
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Offline Jackie

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2013, 01:28:54 pm »
I think Storm Fox can help you with that.

As for me, my job involves using CAD, so that's what I use.  I haven't done much artsy-fartsy stuff.

When I did Engineering, We did tons of Auto CAD stuff ^_^
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Offline A Wanderer

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2013, 04:15:31 pm »
I think Storm Fox can help you with that.

As for me, my job involves using CAD, so that's what I use.  I haven't done much artsy-fartsy stuff.

When I did Engineering, We did tons of Auto CAD stuff ^_^
Are you still in Engineering?
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Offline Storm Fox

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2013, 07:18:55 pm »
When you refer to the cycles, I'm assuming you're talking about the number of samples to render?
Yes.

Render cycles == Render samples.


I found that changing that number to a higher and higher value greatly improves on the graininess. However, even just at 20 samples, it took around two minutes to fully render the image. I'm sure if I bumped it up even higher, it would take upwards of 30 minutes for one image. :P

And lowering the roughness also really help with those pesky fireflies. As to the Blender render, I tried using it but could not understand shading something with it very well. Cycles has a lot of preset values for new users it seems but the Blender Render gives you more control. Or at least, that's what I can deduce.

Rendering requires patients, and if your are balking at 2 to 30 minutes, then you are not going to get anywhere with rendering 3D models. (I’ve done single renders that have taken around 10 hours, and video sequences that took far longer than that).
As far as rendering goes 2 minutes is nothing, and 30 minutes is typical for a medium quality, lite complexity, standard definition render on a decent computer…


One thing to keep in mind between the two renderers is that Cycles starts at the top, and Blender render starts at the bottom.

Cycles is slow because it starts with everything on and geared towards maximum output.
To make it respond better many features should be turned down or turned off unless you are intending to work on the bleeding edge of high def media such as 8k, 10k, or 12k and up.

Light bounces are just one example and they are a render time killer...
So use less because odds are that unless you are making some super hi-res definition movie, you simply don’t need many and likely won't even notice a difference.
So under the Light Paths panel (under the Render tab), set the Min to 0 (try 1 if 0 makes the scene look a little dingy), and set the Max to a low setting like 3 or 4.
The default settings of Min 3 and Max 8 is completely unnecessary for most all common situations.

Another is Transparency bounces, if you are using any transparent materials in your scene, that will kill your render times.
The default is Min 8, Max 8, which like the Light bounces is unnecessary for most scenes.
So try setting it to whatever you set the light bounces Max to, if you use 4, then set the Transparency Min and Max to 4 as well.

Other things to try to improve the general speed of Cycles...
If you have a supporting Nvidia graphics card, try enabling CUDA.
Go to File > User Preferences > System, then under the “Compute Device” section you can enable CUDA.
Once done, in the Render panel you can enable “GPU Compute” rendering which will be much faster (but again only if supported).

And another thing, change your tile size, the default is (I think) 64 x 64, which is either a little high, or very low depending on render computation method.
If CPU rendering, use fewer vs. more tiles such as 8 x 8, 16 x 16, or 32 x 32.
But if GPU rendering, use more vs. less such as 128 x 128, 256 x 256, or 512 x 512.
And always use a quantity of tiles that is a power of 2 for all render methods.

There's other things that can be done to improve speed, though they would be more scene dependent and become more of a trade off with quality.


On the other side of things with Blender render, everything is quick, but also at the minimum of quality so things need to be turned on to look good (of course this slows everything down a bit), but it’s how you get that nice look.
In the World tab, turn on Ambient Occlusion, and Environment Lighting.
(If things are too bright, change the Ambient Occlusion setting from Add to Multiply).
Also be aware of your Subsurface Scattering settings for materials, using SSS with Ambient Occlusion can look really nice with the right settings.
And combining those with Indirect Lighting (in the World tab), can allow for very nice special lighting effects, especially when using materials setup to emit light.
Finally, for outdoor scenes you can use the Sky & Atmosphere settings with a Sun lamp (it will be in the lamps "Object data" properties), and it will automatically setup a fully dynamic sky based on the angle of the Sun lamp.

There's far more that can be done with Blender render, but those are just a few good things to try out to improve the look of light and shading.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 08:01:17 pm by Storm Fox »
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Offline A Wanderer

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2013, 11:57:10 pm »
When you refer to the cycles, I'm assuming you're talking about the number of samples to render?
Yes.

Render cycles == Render samples.


I found that changing that number to a higher and higher value greatly improves on the graininess. However, even just at 20 samples, it took around two minutes to fully render the image. I'm sure if I bumped it up even higher, it would take upwards of 30 minutes for one image. :P

And lowering the roughness also really help with those pesky fireflies. As to the Blender render, I tried using it but could not understand shading something with it very well. Cycles has a lot of preset values for new users it seems but the Blender Render gives you more control. Or at least, that's what I can deduce.

Rendering requires patients, and if your are balking at 2 to 30 minutes, then you are not going to get anywhere with rendering 3D models. (I’ve done single renders that have taken around 10 hours, and video sequences that took far longer than that).
As far as rendering goes 2 minutes is nothing, and 30 minutes is typical for a medium quality, lite complexity, standard definition render on a decent computer…


One thing to keep in mind between the two renderers is that Cycles starts at the top, and Blender render starts at the bottom.

Cycles is slow because it starts with everything on and geared towards maximum output.
To make it respond better many features should be turned down or turned off unless you are intending to work on the bleeding edge of high def media such as 8k, 10k, or 12k and up.

Light bounces are just one example and they are a render time killer...
So use less because odds are that unless you are making some super hi-res definition movie, you simply don’t need many and likely won't even notice a difference.
So under the Light Paths panel (under the Render tab), set the Min to 0 (try 1 if 0 makes the scene look a little dingy), and set the Max to a low setting like 3 or 4.
The default settings of Min 3 and Max 8 is completely unnecessary for most all common situations.

Another is Transparency bounces, if you are using any transparent materials in your scene, that will kill your render times.
The default is Min 8, Max 8, which like the Light bounces is unnecessary for most scenes.
So try setting it to whatever you set the light bounces Max to, if you use 4, then set the Transparency Min and Max to 4 as well.

Other things to try to improve the general speed of Cycles...
If you have a supporting Nvidia graphics card, try enabling CUDA.
Go to File > User Preferences > System, then under the “Compute Device” section you can enable CUDA.
Once done, in the Render panel you can enable “GPU Compute” rendering which will be much faster (but again only if supported).

And another thing, change your tile size, the default is (I think) 64 x 64, which is either a little high, or very low depending on render computation method.
If CPU rendering, use fewer vs. more tiles such as 8 x 8, 16 x 16, or 32 x 32.
But if GPU rendering, use more vs. less such as 128 x 128, 256 x 256, or 512 x 512.
And always use a quantity of tiles that is a power of 2 for all render methods.

There's other things that can be done to improve speed, though they would be more scene dependent and become more of a trade off with quality.


On the other side of things with Blender render, everything is quick, but also at the minimum of quality so things need to be turned on to look good (of course this slows everything down a bit), but it’s how you get that nice look.
In the World tab, turn on Ambient Occlusion, and Environment Lighting.
(If things are too bright, change the Ambient Occlusion setting from Add to Multiply).
Also be aware of your Subsurface Scattering settings for materials, using SSS with Ambient Occlusion can look really nice with the right settings.
And combining those with Indirect Lighting (in the World tab), can allow for very nice special lighting effects, especially when using materials setup to emit light.
Finally, for outdoor scenes you can use the Sky & Atmosphere settings with a Sun lamp (it will be in the lamps "Object data" properties), and it will automatically setup a fully dynamic sky based on the angle of the Sun lamp.

There's far more that can be done with Blender render, but those are just a few good things to try out to improve the look of light and shading.


Actually, I don't mind waiting for even 30 minutes. I was just a little surprised by how long it can take. 30 mins for a masterful, awesome, and unique image of my own making? No problem.

But thanks. Again. This all really helps. I just finished the Blender Cookie tutorials and am now going into the wikibook.
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Offline Varg the wanderer

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2013, 09:58:28 pm »
I learned what little I know on CAD Inventor. I tried applying that to Blender, feeling smart, and learned that I know nothing about 3D graphics x.x
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Offline A Wanderer

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2013, 10:27:09 pm »
I learned what little I know on CAD Inventor. I tried applying that to Blender, feeling smart, and learned that I know nothing about 3D graphics x.x
But if you can learn CAD, surely Blender will be no problem? CAD is for architecture and mechanical engineering whereas Blender is for making things that look good.
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2013, 08:28:54 am »
I don't know how long you have been learning 3d. But when I first got
into it was about 20 years ago. Then it took several minutes for simple
objects to render much less a scene which took many hours or days.

Today we can see our work models render on the fly instead of having
to wait many minutes to see simple changes.

I have used Blender for years, but other than following the suggested
learning tutorials. It's just like any other art form in that it takes lots of
practice.

I think as 3d software it's a great bargain. Many of those who do 3d
for a living are going to poo poo it as they learned using maya, and 3d studio.
Also the big studios use 3d software designed or modified to meet their needs.

In case you haven't seen it. The big buck bunny was a Blender production.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE7VzlLtp-4

There are a lot of tutorials and information available for Blender online which
adds a lot of value. Keep up the good work.. :orbunny:
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 08:36:42 am by Old Rabbit »

Offline A Wanderer

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2013, 11:44:37 am »
I don't know how long you have been learning 3d. But when I first got
into it was about 20 years ago. Then it took several minutes for simple
objects to render much less a scene which took many hours or days.

Today we can see our work models render on the fly instead of having
to wait many minutes to see simple changes.

I have used Blender for years, but other than following the suggested
learning tutorials. It's just like any other art form in that it takes lots of
practice.

I think as 3d software it's a great bargain. Many of those who do 3d
for a living are going to poo poo it as they learned using maya, and 3d studio.
Also the big studios use 3d software designed or modified to meet their needs.

In case you haven't seen it. The big buck bunny was a Blender production.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE7VzlLtp-4

There are a lot of tutorials and information available for Blender online which
adds a lot of value. Keep up the good work.. :orbunny:
Honestly, I just started learning. But I'm quick on the uptake. ESPECIALLY when it comes to things that interest me. But thanks for the encouragement!
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Offline Sergalicious

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2013, 01:58:18 pm »
big buck bunny was done with blender!?! i havent seen it for a few years, and you just reminded me of it.

i have done some stuf with 3dmax and inventor and im installing blender now. but i didnt know that it was capable of stuff like big buck bunny. one of my favorite animations is a gentleman's duel. its a steampunk duel between 2 people over a woman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXET1kvEOAY<--- note has some innuendoes in it

in 3d max i made a city that was a boat complete with an aircraft launch, and 4 reactors that would make Chernobyl look good situated in the front so the exhaust would flow into the city. :) im am a crule man, but i did give them flying cars
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 01:59:56 pm by korvre »
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2013, 08:32:55 am »
big buck bunny was done with blender!?! i havent seen it for a few years, and you just reminded me of it.

i have done some stuf with 3dmax and inventor and im installing blender now. but i didnt know that it was capable of stuff like big buck bunny. one of my favorite animations is a gentleman's duel. its a steampunk duel between 2 people over a woman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXET1kvEOAY<--- note has some innuendoes in it

in 3d max i made a city that was a boat complete with an aircraft launch, and 4 reactors that would make Chernobyl look good situated in the front so the exhaust would flow into the city. :) im am a crule man, but i did give them flying cars

Yes The Big Buck Bunny is a Blender production. Here is a
link to a page showing a list of short movies made with
the software.

http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/movies/

Many people don't realize what Blender is capable of. With
free software one ususally expects many limitations, but blender
has been growing through the online community for many years.


Offline Sergalicious

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2013, 12:29:36 pm »
i'll have to check it out. but i've had this idea for a few days now. but the idea is this:

so after i have acquired some skill with a 3D modeling program, i would buy my self a 3D printer and commission out 3D physical models for people, as a hobby and small income. and for those that would want it send them renderings and animations of the model if they so desired. this would probably be done for furry, and non-furry related stuff. (ie, i could make a model war-hammer or something). so does this sound like a good idea. especially considering 3D printers are getting cheap ( i've seen them in the 200-400 dollar range)
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Offline GrayWolf448

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2013, 11:48:46 pm »
I think Storm Fox can help you with that.

As for me, my job involves using CAD, so that's what I use.  I haven't done much artsy-fartsy stuff.

i learned how to use autodesk last year. this year we will do a little CAD. what program do you use?

Offline Keitsu

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Re: 3D Modeling
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2013, 04:27:46 pm »
I've had little experience with 3D modelling and even less with the animation side of it. I tried both blender and Maya and so far I've found Maya a lot easier. (I'm using a 3 year student trial - Also I probably only found it easier because I'm learning it though a class) However Maya seems to have of trouble with textures so far and I have not managed to do any textures in blender.

So far I've made this ^.^

Yay. Creeper :D (I painted it with acrylic paints)

I'm such a noob ^.^ Hopefully we will be getting into more complex things :)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 04:30:56 pm by Sciex »