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1  Discussions / Community & Volunteer Projects / Sapphire: 3D modeller in development on: 2005-02-01 19:49:42
Dear all,

A colleague and I are currently working on a new 3D modelling tool called Sapphire, which will ultimately be free, open-source and in Java. It is intended to promote a more natural way of modelling objects: rather than working with primitive shapes, linking vertices and creating faces etc. one "moulds" and "spray-paints" the objects that one wants to model.

We could really do with some more Java programmers and OO designers on board, so I've put up a web-site about it at http://www.btinternet.com/~richard.asbury/sapphire. Participation in a project like this would be great on a CV and would give a programmer some real experience with tool design and computational geometry. If you think you might be interested, take a look at the webpage - contact details are up there!

Thanks, phthalo
2  Java Game APIs & Engines / JOGL Development / Re: Beans that use JOGL on: 2004-11-10 17:08:20
now there's a cunning idea... i'm new to all this AWT stuff, and think it would've been a while before I'd come up with anything like that - I'll give it a go! thanks very much!  Smiley
3  Java Game APIs & Engines / JOGL Development / Beans that use JOGL on: 2004-11-10 14:50:13
I want to create a Swing user interface component (a java bean) which displays a 3D view of a model. The natural way to do it would be to extend the GLCanvas class of JOGL and add the extra functionality that I need, but unfortunately that possibility is precluded by the JOGL design decision to create GLCanvas instances only through an object factory (GLDrawableFactory), which also complicates its use in GUI editors.

The only other option that I see is to have my component contain an instance of a GLDrawable which the component manages behind the scenes, and to somehow copy the image created on the GLDrawable to my component each time I'm asked to paint. This seems needlessly inefficient, however, and I'm not sure if the GLDrawable will render anything at all if it's not actively and visibly used in the GUI. There also seem to be some threading issues due to the different painting methods of JOGL and AWT/Swing.

I'd be very grateful if anyone could give me some help on how I might go about creating such a component, given these constraints!
4  Discussions / Community & Volunteer Projects / 3D modeller - programmers and artists wanted on: 2004-10-28 22:09:45
Hello all,

I want to create a completely free, open-source 3D modelling program to create models for games. Amateur games developers are the main target audience. I need programmers and artists to help out.

So why another 3D modeller? While there are quite a few, some even free and open-source, I've not found any of them to be at all pleasant or efficient to use. Many are designed primarily for animation and rendering rather than computer games. Others are slow and tedious to use, with cluttered and unintuitive interfaces. The only one that I've really enjoyed using was Milkshape, and even that could do with some serious improvements, not least of which is the price.

In addition to this, I have some novel modelling features I'd like to implement:

1. The modeller will allow "spray-on texturing" whereby you can literally draw on your model in 3D to create the textures. Similarly for bump-mapping etc. if needed.
2. "Spray-on skinning" in which bones can be fleshed out with skin using a kind of spray-painting technique (again in glorious 3D).
3. Design mirrors, which enforce symmetry of objects during design (for objects like spaceships etc.)
4. A highly plug-in oriented architecture, which allows easy extension and support of specialised objects like plants etc.

I know that this will, in totality, require quite an effort, but I believe we could cobble together the core system in a few weeks, and implement most of it via plug-ins. There is still plenty of room for changes to the design - any volunteers will, of course, have a full say in what goes in :O). Hopefully, with enough enthusiasm, this project will be able to set a new standard in modelling software for amateur games developers.

If you're interested, please e-mail me at dickyrubbish_nospam@hotmail.com (remove _nospam), or obviously post here if you want to discuss!
5  Java Game APIs & Engines / JOGL Development / Re: What modelling tools are you using? on: 2004-10-28 15:30:34
I've been looking for a good modeller too for ages now. The one I like the best is Milkshape because it's clean and simple, and does nearly everything you might need. Only major problem is it's not free (shareware 30 day trial).

Other free modellers to look for are

Art of Illusion - written in Java, open-source, but quite hard to use, slow, and no real "undo".

OpenFX - haven't tried it much, but found it very awkward.

Blender - similar to OpenFX, but many more unnecessary features. Also the most non-standard non-intuitive interface (and hot-keys) you could possibly imagine (if you're a Windows user).

3D Canvas - quite swish, but no export to the needed file formats.

Wings 3D - not bad, but didn't like the interface.

I also tried out a few of the professional packages such as Maya, 3Dsmax, and Lightwave but found them all way too cluttered with unnecessary animation and rendering features - I just want a *simple* modeller that can make game models and set up skeletal animations! Anway, I'd recommend trying and learning Milkshape first, and possibly buying it if you can't find anything else that suits you after the trial's run out. The truth of the matter is that there's no really acceptable, free modeller for amateur game writers out there yet.

I'm currently trying to develop a free, open-source modeller in Java that will hopefully reach at least Milkshape standard. I have some very novel and cool features that I'd like it to implement. I could definitely do with some help, though, so if anyone's interested, I'd be very grateful if they could e-mail me at dickyrubbish_nospam@hotmail.com (remove _nospam).
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