help with choosing 3d modeling tool

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by munchis18, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. munchis18

    munchis18 New Member

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    hi,

    i have had a little experience with autocad and 3ds, and have downloaded blender so will also be giving that a try. i was just hoping for some advice before investing a lot of time into something that doesnt suit my needs. i have read the wiki, and some posts, but they dont seem to help me with what i would like to know.

    i would like something with the following features at a minimum:

    1. customizable units ( cm, mm, m, inch, etc ) and ability to enter values for dimensions via keyboard. i know most apps have this, but i have also seen some that dont.
    2. ability for multiple viewports, with separate backgrounds for each which can either be locked to zoom or not. 3ds 9 does this but it has a bug where backgrounds move even when locked, and resize randomly. this is even after applying sp2.
    3. option to edit at poly or vertex level, with some poly mod built-ins like bevel, extrude, etc.
    4. not bloated. 3ds 9 is amazing, but i would never need to use a tenth of what it offers.

    keeping the above list in mind, what would you suggest would be the best / easiest 3d tool to try, keeping cost out of the equation?

    thanks..
  2. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

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    I suppose Rhino suits most of your need listed here, its operation is quite similar to AutoCAD (I suppose you already know how to use it, if not Rhino is quite easy to learn) and does design some nice models (check Kooklik's thread) --but yea it is a bit of an investment, so the choice is up to you...

    1. customizable units ( cm, mm, m, inch, etc ) - Yes! With a level of accuracy not normally obtainable elsewhere (accurate to the 8th decimal for most operations, also grid snap and object snap)
    and ability to enter values for dimensions via keyboard. i know most apps have this, but i have also seen some that dont. - Definitely yes!
    2. ability for multiple viewports, with separate backgrounds for each which can either be locked to zoom or not. - Yes, but well the background always moves with the view... can I ask why you need a stationary one?
    3. option to edit at poly or vertex level, with some poly mod built-ins like bevel, extrude, etc. - Well no... Beware Rhino models with curves and is not a polygon-modeler, so it is a bit weak on meshes... If you are used to polygon mesh modeling then it might prove to be quite a change of modeling philosophy... Well, Rhino still allows perfect control over control points of curves
    4. not bloated. 3ds 9 is amazing, but i would never need to use a tenth of what it offers. - Almost any function you find in Rhino is somehow useful for cardmodel design... Rhino is not made for 3D art's rendering and is most suited to CAD.
  3. munchis18

    munchis18 New Member

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    thanks lex, that was exactly the kind of experienced insight i was looking for. thats not to say im not open to more opinions should someone feel the need :)

    i will give rhino a try. i see there are many places on the net to learn, with a few good tuts, so i should hopefully be able to bend to the curves way of modelling without too much hassle.

    with regards to the background and, lets say, 3 view blueprints, traditionally ive been taught to either

    a) create a plane for each axis with the correct dimensions, then map a material to it, which would be my specific view. this would need my blueprint to be cropped nicely, which isnt too much of a problem, im just not happy with this process as i now have 3 planes obscuring my rotating 4th view.

    or

    b) add the background to a view, create a cube to the correct dimensions of my model, and then play with locking and unlocking the background to zoom the cube to fit the blueprint. i enjoy this approach a little more as i now have a nice bounding box which i can view as wireframe, and thus doesnt obscure my view when in a free rotating view as planes would. if that makes sense? :confused:

    so basically its all about sizing a blueprint to fit certain dimensions in such a way that i can choose in which viewport to display them. how easily would this be done in rhino?
  4. OylPslyk

    OylPslyk Aspiring Usurper

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    I've recently upgraded to autocad '08, and untill now have never explored the 3d side of acad. but I've been really surprised by how much I can do with it!

    I've only been working in 3d since starting on my Batwing, so I'm a rookie still - but every day I learn new tricks, and it gets easier. check out the batwing's thread if you wanna see what Acad in 3d is like, its full of my WIP pics.
    http://forum.zealot.com/t154911/ (I'll also be posting new junk in it later today)
  5. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

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    Well, a background in Rhino is really a "background", in sense that it is not a 3D object in 3D space, but rather a specific image attached to each viewport, and you can scale and move this background image to fit your model's size easily, so nothing is obscured. --But Rhino has a drawback that it does not texture very well, (UV texturing is close to non-existent, and the bad thing is, it does not export textures to .ai format >_<) so most of the texture are done with lines and coloured in Illustrator as post-processing...

    OylPslyk, maybe you could give some advice on using AutoCAD? I mean, there doesn't seem to be many people using that in cardmodeling... So I wonder what is it like?
  6. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

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    Metasequoia

    munchis,

    metasequoia (metaseq.net) might also suit your needs. I find it very easy to use, though it took a bit to learn (like all programs).

    Regarding your requirements
    Meta is unit-less. It's simply a 3D tool where a unit is whatever you want it to be. You can enter almost all values by keyboard.

    You can have multiple viewports (top,front,side,perspective) with different backgrounds for each (at least in the registered version - not sure about free version), but they are always (I believe) locked to zoom.

    Check, Check. Also has very useful features to align vertices etc.

    Check.