Do you 3d? As in Max, Maya, Blender, SketchUp, Other? Or Modding Games?

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Hey everyone,

My story in games and gaming (computer based) is as old as I am, almost. My old man got us a C64 when I was about seven or eight. We had other consoles, one of which was an oddessy 2. That was childhood.

What lead me back into games as an adult is, I work as an architectural consultant. I'm a CAD monkey. 3d Visualization is a specialty offshoot of Architecture. I did a little bit of ArchViz for a couple of firms. Google Sketchup is now a staple of just about every Architectural and design firm.

Architectural Visualization is fun, but it's really a gateway drug. You start exploring 3d sites to learn, and sooner or later you realize, creating a model of a shopping plaza pales in comparison to creating a fourteen foot alien humanoid with four arms and artillery cannons for sidearms. So I got into character modelling.

I'm not sure if games got me into 3d, or vise versa.

I am, of course a complete amateur when it comes to character modelling. This all ties into gaming, because I found a good source of motivation to pursue this hobby was to model characters from the concept art for mod teams.

So does anyone else Mod, model, or visualize? There has to be a younger pool of people here with ambition to break into the games industry [though I don't fit either of those stipulations].

If you do 3d stuff, though it eats up gaming time, do you think a little sub-group of 3d artists could exist here without interfering with the games discussion?

We actually do have a fair good number of 3d modelers here, and I think a good number work in the games field, or something related. We actually had a little project going on a while ago that involved a bunch of Goodjers collaborating on a game. Unfortunately, like so many independent projects, it kind of fell apart due to real world constraints. If you're interested the thread is here. Though like I said, work on it is pretty much kaput.

I haven't actually worked on any 3d, well, since a little after working on said game, though when I was doing stuff I was using a lot of Daz3D stuff (Carrara, Hexagon) and one of the guys turned me on to Sculptris which is awesome. Especially since it's free.

Great, now I totally want to fire Sculptris up again and give it another go. Like I have time for that. Grumblegrumble... thanks.

Ghostship wrote:
If you do 3d stuff, though it eats up gaming time, do you think a little sub-group of 3d artists could exist here without interfering with the games discussion?

Don't see why it couldn't.

EDIT: I was really sad to see that game was dead when I finally got a working computer again. Even though I didn't have a whole lot to do outside of just learning the software at the start there, I was really enjoying working on it.

Creating a whole game seems a bit ambitious.

Mechwarrior Living Legends is about the only TC I've followed that has come through.

I was a concept art vulture. I didn't care if the project got finished. I just wanted characters to model.

I left off 3d as a hobby around the time the sculpting softwares (zbrush, mudbox) came into full force. They'd been around a while but Normal Mapping really took off and made them standard fare. I was still into it, then, enough to get a basic understanding of normal mapping, but not enough to have produced anything.

I had a demo reel ( a bad one) together as part of a community college certificate 3d course. I think I'll try and find that. This is the only 3d thing I can find right now.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthre...

I don't have any images uploaded to my webspace right now for linking.

I don't know about the other 4, but I don't.

I pretty much spent college learning various skill that could get my into the games industry as a programmer. Making games was always the fun part of projects, but being artistically challenged, I was never given an opportunity to really make a game worth releasing to people. I at least have the snuff to program a 3D game, but since a lot of those skills can be applied elsewhere, like my new job for instance, I'd be walking the conflict of interest line if I were to make one.

It's still something I want to do, even as a hobby. Cave Story really inspired a concept that I'll be (hopefully) writing the plot in this year's NanoWrimo. Source has also seemed like a fun thing to toy with. A grappling hook/inertia mod seemed like a fun idea to apply to some worlds.

As for 3D experience, the most I've done is make an alien head or two in blender. My time with it stopped when I realized I needed to get more important things done.

Im actually a 3D modeler for an architecture co. I use Maya and love it. I love it because I can do fun things like make some models for games or make an animation while also being able to deal with strict rules like scale in architecture.I've done both in and out of college.

I've always wanted to get into game development but there isn't much out here in NYC.

I learned Form-Z in high school and really got into that for a while. I'd come to the computer lab during my study halls to help out the other students and the teacher even let me turn in some wireframes instead of a web portfolio for another class, and had a model published in the official Form-Z magazine dealie.

Messed about with Daz for a bit though I didn't really take to it. It felt too restricted for the amount of work it took to do much of anything.

Over the years I've made some content for games, mostly reskins and the like. I once gave permission for a few of my UT2003 skins to be republished in some German gaming magazine but I'm not really sure what ever came of that, nor am I terribly concerned. I did some Neverwinter Nights skins as well, which was also the first (and last) game for which I made a custom model tweaked in 3DSMax. It was about the time they started introducing bump maps and light maps that I threw in the towel as it suddenly took two or three times as much work to produce the same texture (which had to be increasingly higher resolution, of course).

I'd like to think that's "pretty good for an amateur," though I'm under no illusion that I'm anything more than a total amateur, especially given how long it's been since I've done anything at all.

I use sketch up and blender to model EHV transmission lines (and the project areas) for photo simulation and flybys to assist in permitting and public outreach. I've always wanted to mess around with character modeling but never had the time. It also seems quite daunting to me.

TempestBlayze wrote:

I've always wanted to get into game development but there isn't much out here in NYC.

You might be surprised.

I work at WMS (formerly Williams) in Chicago as a 3D artist. The company used to make primarily pinball machines (after the classics like Joust and such), but now we only do slot machines. At work, I'm primarily in 3DS Max, although I prefer Maya.

My character art workflow generally starts with Silo for a basemesh, then into ZBrush for sculpting and laying down the first pass of textures (Photoshop for the rest of the textures), then back into Silo for retopology, then into Maya for rigging/posing/rendering.


Interesting map. I knew Bethsoft and Mythic EA were near me, but had no idea about those others. Hmmmm...

Maya, Mudbox (if you don't like/get Zbrush, like me), some 3D max. I worked for a small 2nd party developer for two years and I'm still actively involved in game-related ventures, even though I'm in the middle of going back to school and this limits my commitment and availability for on-the side endeavours.

I started modding ligthly for Jedi Knight II Outcast, though modding might be pushing the definition, I made two re-skins and tried a couple of mega-projects on the map editor that I never compilled as working maps/levels.

I did some more propper modding later on with Morrowind, I made a nice palace and scenery in a remote island, the modding tools were quite easy to work with and I had a lot of fun doing that.

Edit: Heck, I forgot about this

IMAGE(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/feeank/WeinerHat_05.png)

WipEout wrote:
TempestBlayze wrote:

I've always wanted to get into game development but there isn't much out here in NYC.

You might be surprised.

Indeed, Tempest, lots of developers in NYC, get your portfolio in shape.

Rob_Anybody wrote:

Interesting map. I knew Bethsoft and Mythic EA were near me, but had no idea about those others. Hmmmm...

Dave Perry (of Shiny Entertainment/ Earthworm Jim fame) also has a map of game developers that is pretty useful.

I actually wanted to tabble in 3D with the goal of creating a few knick-knacks in ShapeWays. Can you guys recommend an approachable and free/low cost 3D design system that would export into popular file formats? I am comfortable with 2D (PhotoShop, Corel Draw & PhotoPaint), but never tried 3D.

Silo is a great software package for blocking organic things out in 3D and subdividing for basic sculpting, and is good for hard surface/ product design as well. UV layout for texture work is fantastically quick and simple, as well. The sculpting aspect isn't as robust as ZBrush, Mudbox, or even Sculptris (Cheap as free!), but if you're on a tight budget and need something out of beta versions, Silo's core package is just $99, and the Pro package is only $70 more.

And it does in fact export the .STL format.

XSI is a pretty good package too, although it takes some getting used to (especially coming from a different art package like Maya). HL2 came with XSI Mod Tool 6 (I think), but with a bit of searching you can find ver 7.5 on Autodesk's website. It has some restrictions on commercial art creation, but last I checked, if you sign up to Microsoft's XNA Creator's Club you can get the Mod Tool Pro for "free" (I think it costs money to join Creator's Club, though) and can create commercial art for Xbox Live.

Thanks, guys!

Some Revit and SketchUp for school and then work (interior design), and dabbled a tiny bit in maya to see what it was like. Thank you for reminding me that I need to get back on that horse.

Blender is crazy go nuts. I couldn't figure out how to make a polygon cube when I opened it, and scuttled off in fear. Also, Amoebic, you should totally pick up Maya again. The 2011 interface is much, much easier on the eyes. It doesn't look like it dropped out of 1998 quite so much.

Blender's actually pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it. I've got the 2.0 and 2.3 user manuals if anyone's interested in them for cheap (or trade).

Kite wrote:
Blender is crazy go nuts. I couldn't figure out how to make a polygon cube when I opened it, and scuttled off in fear.
Bonus_Eruptus wrote:
Blender's actually pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it.

+1 to both.

clever id wrote:
Kite wrote:
Blender is crazy go nuts. I couldn't figure out how to make a polygon cube when I opened it, and scuttled off in fear.
Bonus_Eruptus wrote:
Blender's actually pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it.

+1 to both.

It had the same scuttling effect on me. I cut my teath on infiniD 2.51 & 3.0 back in the day, and also Strata Studio Pro 3D. I LOVED the interface inifiniD had, and found it really easy working with the four window set up (top view, two sides, and a camera view).

I had a go with Ray Dream Studio, but haven't really gotten back into it in the last 10 years. I want to love Blender, but it scares me, being a Mac man. Hell, I couldn't even figure out how to add fonts to the bloody thing.

The curve seemed steep, but if others can recommend some sources for Mac minded people to access to take the edge off it, that would be great. Otherwise, freebie Mac stuff (or not too expensive commercial stuff) recommendations would be appreciated. I used to love putting together shorts in 3D. Best way to do claymation without getting your fingersgrubby (or knocking over the set piece and restarting the shoot over).

Kite wrote:
Blender is crazy go nuts. I couldn't figure out how to make a polygon cube when I opened it, and scuttled off in fear. Also, Amoebic, you should totally pick up Maya again. The 2011 interface is much, much easier on the eyes. It doesn't look like it dropped out of 1998 quite so much.

Okay, twist my arm ; )
As soon as life settles down after moving I'll check it out again. If you have any work you'd like to inspire me with, I'd like to see it.

Blender is good, free, but not so much on the approachable side.

If you don't have to do anything with a lot of curves or anything which is organic in form in the slightest Sketch-Up is as approachable as they come. Also Free.

I thought 3dsMax was quite Approachable.

What exactly is it that you're looking to have 3d printed?

Silo, is a nice modeller. It was free at one time, but I think its a few hundred bucks now.

Modo is another one like Silo.

Just about all 3d packages export to OBJ, and 3DS formats. Most 3d printing shops should make the conversion to the 3d printing format for you (I think it's STL format for Stereo Lithography). The autodesk products should support STL. AutoCAD does for sure. So Maya, and presumably Silo will too. Check the name for me on Silo. I can't quite remember that one. The one that shipped for modding HL2.

[edit]...silo is a light 3d package, but XSI (or a pared down version) was the one they put out for HL2, and the one AutoDesk owns now.

I had the same experience with Blender.

I learned in 3d stduio/3dsMax and Viz. After that I tried Blender. I ran away in fear.
After that I tried a few demos. Silo, Modo, Zbrush. I got to the point where I understood 3d software and it was just a matter of finding out what "this" software package called "it", an where they put "it".

So, then I went back to Blender, in the last couple of years. Mostly because I don't work anywhere that has a license for 3d software anymore, aside from own AutoCAD and Revit licenses for my business. I went to Blender because there's a real time engine in it now. I was thinking of using it as an Arch Viz tool. I digress...

After coming back to Blender I found a couple of things:
1-The website and tutorial information has improved significantly. If you force yourself to follow the tutorials in order no matter how simple, you'll see it's a flexible and powerful UI
2-Blender really does follow the same conventions most 3d software does, but it's just not as simple as "finding where they put the command" like it is between say, Maya and Max.
3-Blender has evolved and has sculpting, loop, ring selection, real time, etc, etc...

Feeank, that's a lovely wienerbomb hat, but where's the fuse?

I use Sketch-up a few times a year to design and pre-visualize show room spaces for my company. Recently, I used it to draw a complex mountain/temple set-piece scene for a D&D adventure I wrote for a friend.

To say these endeavors were simplistic would be courteous. I'm still very clumsy with the software. It is uber fun though.

Now if only I could hard lock objects to axes without dragging, I'd be in heaven.

LobsterMobster wrote:
Feeank, that's a lovely wienerbomb hat, but where's the fuse? :D

Naah, It had to be less gwj-centered to stand a chance. Sadly, no word from Valve was ever heard, and they haven't opened the contribution gallery site yet so I can at least tell if the hat made it or not.

Valve....pftt!

Amoebic wrote:
As soon as life settles down after moving I'll check it out again. If you have any work you'd like to inspire me with, I'd like to see it.

The Polycount Showcase is always a fantastic place to check out awesome work, like this guy!
http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68238&page=3

It's not totally Maya based, but they have piles of tutorials and crits that are super, super helpful to read through.

Also, and stop me if you've heard this one, the Unearthly Challenge (for environment artists) and Dominance War (for character artists) are either hugely inspiring, or a depressing punch in the face of awesome. Slipgatecentral, one of the previous winners of Dominance War, was scooped up by Blizzard not too long after.

I also remember when I got out of college in 2005 I saw there was an opening for Gameloft. I turned it away because Gameloft at the time was making garbage dumb-phone games that were mostly pixel art. Amazing how fast things change!

AAACK, Form-Z. When I started working here they were using Form-Z. I hated that coming from Maya. I eventually got everyone here switched over to Maya and we never looked back.

In terms of a cheap 3D package that does OBJ I will also put my vote up for Blender. Any 3D program is intimidating at first. Once you learn their individual interfaces they are all mostly the same.

Thanks for the heads up on the NY studios. I am happy where I am now but god for bid anything happens game companies are my definite backup plan.

When I got my current job 4 years ago I showed this image to my current boss and I think its what got me the job. I made this AT-AT for a Star Wars Battlefield Mod:

This is a very old rendering:
IMAGE(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg293/tempestblayze/Hoth.jpg)

Blender 2.5 looks like it could be the GUI refresh I was hoping for...

May have to give that a whirl once it's stabilised itself.

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