Sicundercover

OK, Ive read a large part of this forum and HAVE recieved alot of answers.

With that said, over the past few days Ive been burshing up on my old C++ skills and plan to start learning C# here in the next week. My plan is to do this as a Hobby (Mainly cause Im an electrician with a family) so ive set some really long goals. Im not expecting to pump out a 3d game in a year. Ive been very interested in writing code for years now and have been a lover of Game design ever since Missle Command came out in the Arcade (Just Dated Myself).

Since Ive taken this up, a Tattoo Artist buddy of mine has become interested inthe graphic end of the whole thing.

So in short, what would be a great 3D design software for a begineer (with years of drawing expertise) to start with. Ive looked at MAYA which seems great but 1500 bucks for a beginner is scary, and it looks like its mostly for animation.

P.S. Sorry if I put this post in the wrong place, just seemed like id get the best answer here.


Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

parlance

Although 3D Studio Max or Maya might seem daunting at first, it's well worth taking the time to work through a few tutorials and start out by learning how to use a professional program. In my experience trying to start out with something simple usually leads to forming bad habbits and a lack of ability to perform the complex tasks required for a professional job (like properly 'skinning' an object for texture mapping).



Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

waruwaru

Sicundercover wrote:
Since Ive taken this up, a Tattoo Artist buddy of mine has become interested inthe graphic end of the whole thing.

So in short, what would be a great 3D design software for a begineer (with years of drawing expertise) to start with. Ive looked at MAYA which seems great but 1500 bucks for a beginner is scary, and it looks like its mostly for animation.

Hmmm, having tattoo arts in a game would be really interesting!

There are some free/low-cost modeling programs out there

Blender: http://www.blender.org/cms/Home.2.0.html

Turbosquids gmax: http://www.turbosquid.com/gmax

TrueSpace: http://www.caligari.com/

MilkShape 3d: http://chumbalum.swissquake.ch/ms3d/index.html

You might have to search around to get your models to the proper file formt though.

If you really want something like Maya, and you are taking classes from JC/CC/States, you mght qualify for student discounts on software. Check your school book store, or online stores like academicsuperstore.com. Maya 8 Complete is ~$300 for example. The student licensing usually forbid commercial usage, but it's great for learning/playing around. Some of the 3d modeling books have trial-version software to get you started too. Oh yeah, Maya actually has a free personal learning edition here:

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index siteID=123112&id=7639525






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

parlance

Sorry, I'm not trying to be a troll here, but I would highly recommend doing what it takes to secure a copy of Maya or 3D studio max. Solutions like Blender, Milkshape, or TrueSpace are deceptively easy to learn, but leave you stranded when you need fine control over your mesh, uv mapping, or animation. I'm not sure about Maya, but 3D studio max also has a freely available SDK to allow you to create your own custom exporter which is important if you desire specific information in your model format, or perhaps to include information relevant to level design if that's what you choose to use it for.



Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

AndyL

parlance wrote:
Solutions like Blender, Milkshape, or TrueSpace are deceptively easy to learn...

Blender easy to learn You are kidding aren't you

I'm sure if I was starting from scratch again I'd try to learn to use Blender, as it seems to be fully featured (it can't be that bad if they can produce a movie with it) The only problem is the feature set is continually evolving and poorly documented in places.

At least check it out before shelling out ¡ê1500-4000 for a pro package.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

parlance

 AndyL wrote:

 parlance wrote:
Solutions like Blender, Milkshape, or TrueSpace are deceptively easy to learn...

Blender easy to learn You are kidding aren't you

I'm sure if I was starting from scratch again I'd try to learn to use Blender, as it seems to be fully featured (it can't be that bad if they can produce a movie with it) The only problem is the feature set is continually evolving and poorly documented in places.

At least check it out before shelling out ¡ê1500-4000 for a pro package.

Easy to learn relative to something like 3D studio max or Maya is what I meant. 3D modelling is a complex art and I wouldn't by any means try to make it sound easy for anybody, even people who have a lot of artistic experience.

The fact that they created a movie with Blender doesn't prove that it makes a good game art solution. Prerendered CGI art and real-time art are two very different beasts, and in my opinion you can get away with a lot more sloppiness in terms of the object polycount and efficiency and material count and efficiency in a prerendered movie than you could for game art content. Professional 3D game models avoid wasting polygons for internal nonvisible surfaces and avoid using multiple textures or materials for one single object, instead relying on properly 'skinning' the mesh to make the most of 1 UV coordinate space for texturing.

If you can get away without using a custom model format, I'd suggest checking out gmax which has the same interface and a lot of the same features as 3D studio max but is free. In the end if you were willing to make the upgrade you wouldn't have to relearn anything.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

AndyL

Sadly GMax is no longer available!

As a long time 3D Studio owner/user, I have found 3D Studio easier to learn than Blender. I just don't think that most people are going to shell out ¡ê3500 to use it for a hobby. Plus ¡ê3500 for a program that crashes once an hour really sucks, even Blender is more stable than that!





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

Yeoman742

There are two 3d modeling software that you might want to learn.. As previously stated Maya being one of them, although you stated that you could not afford the 1500 bucks for the software, they do have a Personal Learning Edition (PLE) that is free to download for (I believe) 1 year. The second one is called XSI from SoftImage, I do not know if they have a PLE or not but you could check it out.. Both pieces software are excellent and have many wonderful features.

Now, as far a learning 3d modeling, you could go out and buy a $50 book located at any Barnes and Noble or there are a number of websites that sell video cds that teach you also. Two places you can buy cds from are Gnomon and Digital Tutors. Each are stuctured differently with Digital Tutors aimed at beginners and teach as "do as I do" while Gnomon is more aimed at intermediate and advanced users and teach more like University Instructors. There are also many websites that offer free tutorials plus Digital Tutors also has some free videos that you can watch. Websites such as 3dTotal, Renderosity, Simply Maya, Learning-Maya, and the list goes on.

Hope this helps out a little, and look forward to seeing some cool designs.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

creasso

Hi Sicunder.

To be sincere, both Max and Maya will fits the task, both are amazing tools, but Maya is expensive and maybe a choice just to the "bigfishes".

I did suggest that you and your partner try 3dsMAX, you can get a educational license to do learning and prototyping by around 200 bucks I think, and Autodesk had a promotional program called My First Max to little studios achieve a full license for better conditions. (I don't know if this still exists but I think yes).

About easyness, everyone will tell you one version of the history, so I did suggest you that you download the demos of the possible tools and try by yourself, do a test like in 1 hour with each and see how much do you produce with each one of then. If your friend that will do your graphics, send then to him.

To use with XNA, John Watte write a plugin to 3dsMax to export .X meshes that works amazingly.

Best!





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

Joel Martinez

Figure I'll throw this out there:
http://wings3d.com/

Doesn't do animation as far as I know, but the UI is nice and simple for someone just learning their way around 3d DCC tools (like me).





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

Sicundercover

Well That was some of the best replies I could have asked for.

Thanks for all the help thats alot of info. Ive started looking at all the options youve given me and im sifting through it now to send as a package to my friend. Howver, I took a look at the Soft Image XSI and it seems like its comprable to some of the higher end stuff and they have some tutorial DVD's for sale on their site. But knowing my buddy hell jump right in and buy MAYA.

As I said before, I m not planning on makeing games anytime soon. A bit geekish but yea, I want to learn the ins and outs of codeing; this Im sure will take a long time.

Ive always wondered how these thing worked and before I start building Im gonna start taking code apart to see how those who came before me did it.

/closed




Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

Michael Klucher - MSFT

Don't forget there is a free version of SoftImage|XSI that you could use (Didn't seem like anyone mentioned it)

See http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/XNA/partners/default.aspx






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Need Info On The Basics

Demonslayer

actually blender is more harder to use in which it does not provide you a polygon system to make your own models. instead you have to make them from different shapes