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Modeling: Which Program to Use?
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Submitted By TheCyberMan on 12/01/04
Mars Explorer, TheCyberMan, Community, Discussions, Other, Modeling, killerdude 
This Discussion originally posted in the "Mars Explorer" Group

Hello! I have a few questions regarding modeling software. I'm interested in modeling terrains in Unity to accomodate caves and tunnels in future worlds. However, I do not know which modeling program(s) is best for that.
 
Please answer any or all of the following questions if you can:
 
1. Which modeling program(s) works the best for designing terrains for Unity?
 
2. What are the perks to each modeling program that you know? (Cheetah, C4D, Maya, Sketchup, Meta, etc.)
 
3. What are your favorite modeling softwares and why?
 
4. What are the perks of using Cheetah 3D for Unity games (character design, animations, rendering, terrains, etc.)? I already have Cheetah 3D, so it'd be nice to find something useful to make with it :P
 
 
I feel like I should not have boughten Cheetah 3D :/ I'd like to here what you all think based on your experience or research!
 
 
Thank you,
 
 
Eric

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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
4 days - 13,880v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 3:42 GMT
First off.. What the heck is cheetah 3d?

Anyways, here's my answers:

1. Unity it'self
 
2. Blender is free, and I like it 9001x better than skecthup, but it's not good with buildings.

3. Blender. It's free, and not skecthup.

4. Again, what's cheetah?


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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
5 days - 22,986v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 3:47 GMT
 
1. Which modeling program(s) works the best for designing terrains in Unity?
Whirld, obviously. Probably sketchup.
 
2. What are the perks to each modeling program that you know? (Cheetah, C4D, Maya, Sketchup, Meta, etc.)
 Unity (Mars) Sketchup (Reeeal easiely controled) 
3. What are your favorite modeling softwares and why?
X-Code, Sketchup, and Unity. Because they are the only ones I know how to operate. :P
 
4. What are the perks of using Cheetah 3D for Unity games (character design, animations, rendering, terrains, etc.)? I already have Cheetah 3D, so it'd be nice to find something useful to make with it :P
I never used cheetah3D so...
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 4:01 GMT
Sketchup is by far my favorite. It is very user friendly. It is best for buildings, structures, towns, bridges, houses, airports, cars, streets, walls, boxes, aircraft carriers, racetracks, towers, skyscrapers... etc.
 
I noticed that terrains incorporating Blender are very interesting. Unlike Unity, Blender terrains support caves. If you want a regular, ordinary terrain, then Unity is the best.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
4 days - 13,880v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 4:02 GMT
Blender's ALSO support height maps... And cel shading too :P
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
3 days - 10,628v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 4:06 GMT
I can answer 1-3
 
1- I think your best bet would be blender.  Just make a high res terrain like feature, and use the sculpting tools.  It's a bit of a hassle I know compared to Unity, but probably best if you want caves and such.  The Cheese Islands, for example, were made in blender.
 
2- I only really know skp and blender.  Blender is good for the detailed models, especially character modeling, but (with the exception of perhaps autocad) sketchup is the best for buildings and less detailed models.
 
3- My favorites are both blender and sketchup because they are both very easy to use.  Blender less so, and perhaps I only think so because that's what I learned first, but I find it very easy to use.  Sketchup is very nice for quick models, and they can always be edited in blender later if you want to add detail.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
3 days - 9,746v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 17:34 GMT
1. Terrains... Well, it depends on the type of terrain. If you don't want any tunnels, unity's terrain editor is really easy to use. However, you can't go underground, 3ds Max (autodesk) has some VERY powerful tools for that
2. Sketchup: it's really easy to use. It feels like you're drawing on paper, except its in 3d space. and its free
Blender: four things: first off, it's advanced. Once you learn all the keyboard shortcuts, you're good to go. second, it's great for making movies, as it is made for rendering animations, etc. Third, its free, and fourth, it's useful when exporting sketchup models, as you can convert them from .DAE to .3ds quite easily with Blender.
Unity: It's the only thing that you can export worlds with, and it has an advanced scripting area.
3ds Max: By far the best modeling program I've ever used. There are so many tools, and they're really easy to use, it has an advanced rendering program, animations are a cinch, and it's just plain powerful! it's also free, under an educational lisence (meaning no publishing).
Cheetah: to quote Abister: "what the heck is Cheetah3d?" I've never used it before, nor would I pay 100 dollars for it, simply because I can get more powerful tools for free. Oh yes, and between Maya and 3ds Max, go with 3ds.
 
3. Say I have a 1 track mind, but 3ds is my favorite right now. Then comes sketchup, then unity, then blender.
4. sorry, never used Cheetah3d
hope that helps!
ffroggy
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 19:31 GMT
Blender and Sketchup are both free.
 
If you're interested in modelling or sculpting terrains, then you should either use Blender, or Unity itself. If you're more interested in modelling objects, then Sketchup is best for that.
 
Also Abister, Sketchup IS free! -_-
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
4 days - 13,880v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 20:53 GMT
I ment Blender is awesome because it's not skecthup! I know you can get a free version of sketchup : P
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
2 weeks - 18,835v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 22:31 GMT
1.
 
Technically, Blender will do the best job is you're trying to make smooth, natural-looking landscapes. However, Sketchup, Modo, Maya, Blender, and Unity all have the potential to make 3-d scapes.
Only Sketchup, Modo, Maya, and Blender will give you caves though. This being said, Unity can only texture it's own terrains, so a UV map would have to be applied from the respective program.
 
2. 
 
Sketchup-
 Can create many sided polygons, and has a large sharing database. (Macdane uses this.)
 
Modo501-
 Has the potential to create complex object with fairly low polys, can sculpt. (GTR34 uses this.)
 
Blender-
 Can rig and animate models, and create fluid shapes. (Flyclub uses this.)
 
K-3D-
 Free, and easy to learn, has familar interface.
 
AutoCAD Inventor-
 Not really for terrains, but can create powerful models. (This is what I use.)
 
3.
 
Personally I prefer AutoCAD Inventor if I'm working on a large model, with many moving parts. It can get things done quickly and precisely. For terrains I prefer blender.
 
4.
 
Cheetah3D is good for making objects (rigidbodies) and character design (controllers). It's a perfectly functional program. For one it can render models very well, which is a plus if you're interested in art or marketing your models. Here's a link you might find interesting.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 22:33 GMT
1. Unity edits terrians marvelously, and I believe Aubrey has been working on improving it dramatically in Whirld.
 
2. Blender is free, does modelling, animation, game design. . . . Everything :P And it's free, and the post 2.4 versions look epic :P Sketchup is nice, and you can do some really cool things if you've comfortable with it (See MacDane for example) but I never really tried to use it as much, because I was more animation focused.
 
3. Blender - See Above
 
4. *Thinks* I know Cheetah 3d is what the buggy was designed in (I also know that apparently the Unity Editor won't import Cheetah 3d files on Windows, so my old Building whirld is broked on my computer) Basically, you can use it to model things just as you would with Blender, or Sketchup, or Maya, etc. It's more what you want to do, than what the software can do.
 
-AppleSky
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
2 days - 3,596v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 22:38 GMT
I'm pretty sure the buggy was designed in solidworks, and then later remade in Cheetah3D.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 23:40 GMT
Ah, fair enough. I just knew that the file I looked at last I had to track down a trial of Cheetah3d for.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
6 hours - 639v
Posted 2012/01/04 - 23:50 GMT
For terrain, Blender trumps all. It's free, and incredibly user friendly (if you use 2.5+)
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
5 days - 12,389v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 1:07 GMT
All these players are leaving, and all these players are coming back....
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
2 days - 3,596v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 1:29 GMT
Not true, the interface is incredibly hard to learn for a first time user.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
3 days - 9,746v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 3:04 GMT
agreed. too many keyboard shortcuts, complicated orbit tool, etc.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
6 hours - 639v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 22:01 GMT
What version number do we use? Because I find 2.6 (especially with cycles) very intuitive.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
4 days - 13,880v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 1:45 GMT
Blender has a terrible comunity: There are hardly ANY tutorials, and most of them arn't very good. 
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
3 days - 9,746v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 3:04 GMT
3ds on the other hand has tons of tutorials actually made by the people at Autodesk
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
4 days - 13,880v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 3:25 GMT
But it's like 10,000 dollars!
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
3 days - 9,746v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 5:13 GMT
ah but you can get an educational license for free, AND heres the thing. The only thing the license restricts is making something with for profit, meaning the things you make can be published, so in other words, whirld stuff is definitely allowed
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
3 days - 10,628v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 4:05 GMT
I've tried to learn both blender and 3ds.  Blender was far easier to learn, even without tutorials.  Also, there is a wiki somewhere.  It is a litle outdated, but the basics are still very relevant.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 3:41 GMT
The best tutorial that I can recommend would be this one, but it was designed for the 2.4 series. 2.5 has been in active development for a long time, so making any guides didn't make any sense because it was changing every few months. Now that it's pretty well gone stable people can start making tutorials again.
 
Pre-Posting Edit (Because I'm allowed to change things): Turns out, that tutorial that I linked to is also under active development and they're adapting it for the new versions :D!
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
3 days - 10,628v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 14:07 GMT
Yes, that looks like the wiki I was talking about.
 
For those of you who do not know, Blender is not win version 2.61.  I see a lot of talk about the 2.5 series, but we are on to 2.6 now.  (I do realize that it is very similar to 2.5, while 2.4 to 2.5 was a big diference)
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
6 hours - 639v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 22:02 GMT
But there's so little to learn, once you find the right guy (Andrew Price), you've really got everything you need to know.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
2 days - 3,596v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 21:36 GMT
There are quite a few high quality tutorials for blender. :)
 
Half of them you have to pay for
 
The other half are on Youtube.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
4 days - 13,880v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 21:38 GMT
Pay for? That's dumb.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
2 days - 3,596v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 21:40 GMT
Not if you're a professional and can credit it to your company as a "business expense".
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
6 hours - 639v
Posted 2012/01/05 - 22:05 GMT
Andrew Price.
 
The only thing you have to pay for is the nature academy. Which I suppose if used in whirld would be amazing, but all of this other stuff is free.
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
1 week - 20,817v
Posted 2012/04/11 - 0:39 GMT
SketchUp...
Maybe Blender.. >~<
But the best modeling program isn't listed at all... :(
Sorry for the bam. 
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
2 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2012/04/11 - 6:40 GMT
I only know how to use two of the listed programs, unity & sketchup

Unity for when I have made terrains
Sketchup for when I make things like the Sky King

For making terrains with caves and hovergans and such,I would go for blender(even though I still have no clue how to use it, after the many times I have tried)

I like sketchup and unity as I find them easy to use

As for cheetah3d, no clue as to what it can do, other than Aubrey used it to give texture to the sky king
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Re: Modeling: Which Program to Use?
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/04/11 - 14:06 GMT
It's a Mac program, I know that.


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