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  What 3D modeling/rendering packages are you using?  (Read 5937 times)
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Offline PlanetMongo

Senior Newbie




Follow the yellow line.  Don't EAT the yellow line


« Posted 2003-05-16 13:07:49 »

I see a lot of postings on IDE's and what not, but I notice that I really don't see much about other tools.
If I'm not mistaken, Cas mentioned that he "prerenders" his "sprites" and then applies the rendered image to a polygon rather than render them in realtime.  I could be wrong or misunderstood him, so that's what brings up the discussion.
From the Free world, I've found:
Wings3D - supposedly an awesome polygon editor
Blender3D

Others?

In Commercial world, of course you'd have to mention the big 4:
Maya
XSI
Lightwave (used rarely in games?)
3D Studio Max

And then there's Cinema4D, Bryce, trueSpace, Animation: Master, etc.  

I'm considering picking up Lightwave (student discount) just so I can get some hands-on in some "pro-tools" (and for nostalgic, Amiga-related reasons).  But I was just wondering what YOU guys use for modeling and maybe stir up some discussion.

Thanks!

If you were me, you'd be good lookin - six string samurai
Offline jbanes

JGO Coder


Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #1 - Posted 2003-05-16 13:57:39 »

You forgot POV-Ray. That's an unpardonable sin. Wink

(For those of you unfamiliar with POV-Ray, it's a free - source available - ray tracer that's been around since the days of 286s and Compuserve. It produces some really great output and has tons of tools and features.)

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Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Member




ooh ooh eee eeee


« Reply #2 - Posted 2003-05-16 14:07:30 »

I've been using Milkshape 3D for awhile now, and am very happy with it. At $20 it's quite affordable as well.

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
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Offline rreyelts

Junior Member




There is nothing Nu under the sun


« Reply #3 - Posted 2003-05-16 14:18:13 »

My team's using Milkshape 3D (MS3D) http://www.swissquake.ch/chumbalum-soft/ which is commercial. It seems to be quite capable (at least for what we're asking of it).

The good:
 It's extremely affordable at $25

 The save format is fairly well documented and pretty easy to parse. MS3D even comes with example code for parsing and rendering it's saved models

The bad:
 You can only save one animation with a model, so it's a small pain to create multiple animations for a model.

 It immediately translates non-polygonal objects into polygons. For example, if you place a sphere, MS3D tessellates the sphere immediately. At that point, you'll no longer be able to change the level of tessellation for that object. That's not good for automatic level of detail for example. On the other hand, at least you don't have to write polygon tessellation code yourself.

God bless,
-Toby Reyelts

About me: http://jroller.com/page/rreyelts
Jace - Easier JNI: http://jace.reyelts.com/jace
Retroweaver - Compile on JDK1.5, and deploy on 1.4: http://retroweaver.sf.net.
Offline rreyelts

Junior Member




There is nothing Nu under the sun


« Reply #4 - Posted 2003-05-16 14:24:47 »

You forgot POV-Ray

I don't know that it makes sense to bring PovRay into this discussion. To be more specific, PovRay is a raytracing engine. Raytracing engines do model 3d objects, and very well, but are rarely used for any animated content - they just render too slowly, both in static and dynamic content. (For example, Pixar makes incredible animated movies, but even when they have years to spend on the animation, they don't use raytracing to do it).

In any case, there should be some distinction made between raytracers and other 3d modelling tools, because you rarely want a raytracer when you want other 3d modelling tools, and you rarely want other 3d modelling tools when you want a raytracer.

God bless,
-Toby Reyelts

About me: http://jroller.com/page/rreyelts
Jace - Easier JNI: http://jace.reyelts.com/jace
Retroweaver - Compile on JDK1.5, and deploy on 1.4: http://retroweaver.sf.net.
Offline jbanes

JGO Coder


Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #5 - Posted 2003-05-16 14:43:23 »

>  I don't know that it makes sense to bring PovRay into this discussion.

It does actually. To break it up here, PovRay is a renderer while tools like Moray and Poser are modelling tools. Most commerical package combine the two (3DMax, Lightwave, etc) for ease of use and a "Total Package" experience. The downside is that you may like one half, but not the other. (For example, 3D Max's renderer has suffered from poor quality in the past.) What people ususally do, is they use file format converters that convert a given modeler's format (3ds, dxf, etc) to the format of the renderer they choose.

As for PovRay in games, it does work and it works well. For simple sprites, rendering is so speedy, you'll never even notice. For fullscreen animations it does take longer, but not much more than most commercial renderers. (Traditionally, commercial renderers were faster because they produces lower quality images. Now, you have renderers like Lightwave that try to produce as good or better quality images. It takes just as long.) PovRay also has built in support for animations. This is a relief, because we used to have to write scripts that would generate a new header file for each frame. Finding tools to do animations in PovRay may be harder. I'm not sure tho. I haven't tried to do a complex anim in quite awhile.

So there you have it. Take it or leave it.

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Offline PlanetMongo

Senior Newbie




Follow the yellow line.  Don't EAT the yellow line


« Reply #6 - Posted 2003-05-16 14:47:08 »

Yikes!  Forgot about POV-RAY (one of my friends is a BIG POV-RAY fan).

Of course, if we're talking renderers, what renderers do you use in your "pipeline"?   I know a lot of 3DS guys are moving to Brazil, mental ray is now a plugin for Maya, then  you have the standard PRMan and what not.  

And another topic along these veins:  What do you use to create your textures?  I've seen recommendations for everything from PaintShopPro, Gimp, Photoshop, Painter, etc.


If you were me, you'd be good lookin - six string samurai
Offline jbanes

JGO Coder


Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #7 - Posted 2003-05-16 14:58:39 »

Gimp. It's got a great "Make seamless" plugin, plus a lage number of useful brushes. Of course, game tiles can easily be swiped from one of the five centillion "texture sites" out there. Sprites are the real problem.

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Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 152
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #8 - Posted 2003-05-16 15:01:35 »

I'm actually just in the process of writing a tool to take MD2 models and convert them into sprites (isometric or overhead).

I'm using Java 3D to do this, so in theory it should support creating sprites from any of the user supported formats (read: Milkshape, 3DS, NWN, MD3, MD2, AC3D)

Good/Bad idea?

Offline PlanetMongo

Senior Newbie




Follow the yellow line.  Don't EAT the yellow line


« Reply #9 - Posted 2003-05-16 15:10:50 »

Quote
Gimp. It's got a great "Make seamless" plugin, plus a lage number of useful brushes. Of course, game tiles can easily be swiped from one of the five centillion "texture sites" out there. Sprites are the real problem.


www.geocities.com/diapteron/firsttile.png

I used that plugin awhile back and that was the result.  Tongue  My very first seamless tile.  Smiley

If you were me, you'd be good lookin - six string samurai
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline rreyelts

Junior Member




There is nothing Nu under the sun


« Reply #10 - Posted 2003-05-16 15:23:52 »

Most commerical package combine the two

PovRay definitely does not provide modelling capabilities, but a modeller pretty much has to provide rendering capabilities (otherwise how are you going to model your model?) IIRC, tools like Moray do real-time rendering with OpenGL and you shell out to PovRay when you want a "final" picture.

The downside is that you may like one half, but not the other.

This is where my lack of experience kicks in. How common is it in the gaming industry to depend upon someone elses renderer? First, it has to have enough quality, second it has to be flexible enough to handle all of the features that you want, third it has to be fast enough.

As for PovRay in games, it does work and it works well.

You have to be talking solely about static content. i.e. textures, sprites, etc... because you sure won't be ray-tracing at realtime. There's a huge difference between that, and the general use that 3d modellers get.

(Traditionally, commercial renderers were faster because they produces lower quality images. Now, you have renderers like Lightwave that try to produce as good or better quality images. It takes just as long.)

The more professional modelling tools let you pick the level of rendering detail you want, so as you're building the model, you can render quickly, and as you're putting the finishing touches on, you can see the full effects.

PovRay also has built in support for animations. This is a relief, because we used to have to write scripts that would generate a new header file for each frame.

This has to be a pretty new feature, and I'm not even sure what sense it makes without having a modelling tool.

So there you have it. Take it or leave it.

My point still holds. There needs to be some separation of what we're talking about here, because PovRay just won't cut it for any serious animation, and it seems to me that that is what people generally use 3d modellers for.

As an aside, I find it annoying that PovRay still can't take advantage of multiple processors. Splitting a screen into multiple windows by hand, starting several PovRay processes, and then patching them back together again - that's just plain ridiculous.

God bless,
-Toby Reyelts

About me: http://jroller.com/page/rreyelts
Jace - Easier JNI: http://jace.reyelts.com/jace
Retroweaver - Compile on JDK1.5, and deploy on 1.4: http://retroweaver.sf.net.
Offline jbanes

JGO Coder


Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #11 - Posted 2003-05-16 15:45:23 »

*sigh* Not again.

Quote
IIRC, tools like Moray do real-time rendering with OpenGL and you shell out to PovRay when you want a "final" picture.


That's how *ALL* modelers do it. A full render is too slow no matter what the engine. The Blender3D modeler for example, is 100% OpenGL right down to the GUI widgets.

Quote
How common is it in the gaming industry to depend upon someone elses renderer?


Dunno. We're talking about hobby stuff right now. Most of the stuff I know in the actual gaming industry is that the artists pick their tool (often 3DMax or Milkshake), and the programmers convert it to ingame models. Very few 2D commercial games use anything other than handdrawn art. There used to be quite a few shareware games that had raytraced sprites. I did a shoot'em up that way myself. Much easier than trying to draw. (For me anyway.)

Quote
You have to be talking solely about static content. i.e. textures, sprites, etc... because you sure won't be ray-tracing at realtime. There's a huge difference between that, and the general use that 3d modellers get.


Ho! Wait up here. When did reality take a left turn? I thought the original post *was* about static content. He was talking about Cas's prerendering, unless I missed something.

Quote
The more professional modelling tools let you pick the level of rendering detail you want, so as you're building the model, you can render quickly, and as you're putting the finishing touches on, you can see the full effects.


So does PovRay.

Quote
This has to be a pretty new feature, and I'm not even sure what sense it makes without having a modelling tool.


Older than the hills. And there are *tons* of tools for PovRay. I just haven't looked for one that specifically supports animation. Anyone know if it's been added to Moray? My version is pretty old.

Quote
As an aside, I find it annoying that PovRay still can't take advantage of multiple processors.


Uhhh.... Last I checked, there was a multithreaded option in PovRay. It interlaces the rendering with however many threads you specify. Alternatively, you can stagger the rendering of frames. Been there since Windows 95 came out. When was the last time you used PovRay? It was very popular back in the DOS days...


Java Game Console Project
Last Journal Entry: 12/17/04
Offline rreyelts

Junior Member




There is nothing Nu under the sun


« Reply #12 - Posted 2003-05-16 16:28:17 »

*sigh* Not again.

Bad hair day?

That's how *ALL* modelers do it.

Strange, Milkshape3d doesn't. I guess it's not a modeller.

Most of the stuff I know in the actual gaming industry is that the artists pick their tool (often 3DMax or Milkshake), and the programmers convert it to ingame models. Very few 2D commercial games use anything other than handdrawn art.

I can't quite tell what you're saying here, but it really doesn't make any difference. In the case of 2D, it's not a big deal if you use someone elses renderer - you're only looking for a good static image. In 3D, it's a much more important issue and that is what I was concerned about. Since it appears that this thread is about 2D, I guess there's no point in persuing that question.

Ho! Wait up here. When did reality take a left turn? I thought the original post *was* about static content.

For some reason, I thought this thread was about 3d modeling and rendering - probably because of the title. Looking back at the OP, it looks like he may have been specifically talking about 2d static content - which would explain most of the miscommunication between you and I in this thread.

So does PovRay.

Not with the same flexibility you'd find in more professional tools. For example, you can't generate wireframe images in PovRay.

Older than the hills.

The hills around your residence must not be that old, then.

Uhhh.... Last I checked, there was a multithreaded option in PovRay.

I think you're confused. Direct from the PovRay FAQ:

9.1.3.2 Can POV-Ray use multiple processors?
Short answer: The only way to run POV-Ray on multiple processors is to run several copies of POV-Ray.


When was the last time you used PovRay? It was very popular back in the DOS days...

About twelve months ago - I remember being pissed that I still couldn't use both my processors.

Aside from that, we recently used PovRay (about two weeks ago) where I work to generate some architecture-stack images. While it was fine at generating static pictures for powerpoint, I wouldn't have tried to do a flythrough.

God bless,
-Toby Reyelts


About me: http://jroller.com/page/rreyelts
Jace - Easier JNI: http://jace.reyelts.com/jace
Retroweaver - Compile on JDK1.5, and deploy on 1.4: http://retroweaver.sf.net.
Offline jbanes

JGO Coder


Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #13 - Posted 2003-05-16 17:19:55 »

Quote
Bad hair day?


Yes. It's driving me crazy. I keep combing it down and pops back up, combing it down and it pops back up! Someone get me out of this hell! (Just joking. Settle down people. Smiley)

Quote
Strange, Milkshape3d doesn't. I guess it's not a modeller.


(raises eyebrow) It Looks like OpenGL to me. Do you know something I don't?

Quote
Looking back at the OP, it looks like he may have been specifically talking about 2d static content - which would explain most of the miscommunication between you and I in this thread.


Ok, your posts make more sense now. So can we agree? PovRay is an excellent choice for sprite rendering?

Quote
Not with the same flexibility you'd find in more professional tools. For example, you can't generate wireframe images in PovRay.


This is true. In fact, it's most likely impossible in PovRay due to the nature of the renderer. Of course this begs the question, why would you want to? Your modeler already shows you wireframes. If you're seeing something different between the two, you might need a new modeler.

Quote
I think you're confused. Direct from the PovRay FAQ:


Seems you're right. They must have decided to for-go the multithreading support. I'm not entirely sure I agree with all their reasons, but they are reasons none the less. I remember that I stopped trying to play with the multithreading features shortly after I figured out that they wouldn't help anything on one CPU. Of course, back then you had to load in a special FPU emulator if your processor didn't have one. My how things have changed. Smiley

Quote
Aside from that, we recently used PovRay (about two weeks ago) where I work to generate some architecture-stack images. While it was fine at generating static pictures for powerpoint, I wouldn't have tried to do a flythrough.


Well, as I said, use the animation stuff and stagger your frames. You should be able to make pretty good use of however many processors you have.

Java Game Console Project
Last Journal Entry: 12/17/04
Offline rreyelts

Junior Member




There is nothing Nu under the sun


« Reply #14 - Posted 2003-05-16 17:58:04 »

It Looks like OpenGL to me. Do you know something I don't?

I meant that Milkshape3D uses OpenGL rendering all of the time - as opposed to Moray which uses PovRay to render "finished" images.

PovRay is an excellent choice for sprite rendering?

Yes, static sprite-rendering fits well within the domain of PovRay.

In fact, it's most likely impossible in PovRay due to the nature of the renderer.

I wouldn't say impossible - I'd just say that PovRay wouldn't be just a raytracer anymore.

why would you want to?

If you're not using a separate modeler, it gives you the same benefit as running with wireframes does in a normal modeler.

God bless,
-Toby Reyelts

About me: http://jroller.com/page/rreyelts
Jace - Easier JNI: http://jace.reyelts.com/jace
Retroweaver - Compile on JDK1.5, and deploy on 1.4: http://retroweaver.sf.net.
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #15 - Posted 2003-05-16 18:13:43 »

Quote
The Blender3D modeler for example, is 100% OpenGL right down to the GUI widgets.


As a side point, the Blender UI is horrible. While its an impressive achievment, many of the widgets are totally inconsistant, not only within Blender itself, but when compared with standard behaviour found on windows, linux, unix etc. It makes it totally alien to new users, but unfortunatly it seems that the majority of the community gets horribly elitist when anyone mentions changing anything..

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #16 - Posted 2003-05-16 18:30:42 »

I just could not get to grips with Blender - I also found it very annoying that there was no simple way that I could understand to persuade it to output data to a different file format. From what I could tell you have to pretty much go into the python editor and load up a bunch of code to output your file as you wanted. Not understanding python or blender well enough for it to be useful, I downloaded Milkshape, then bought a licence  and haven't looked back.

While I'm thinking about it, though, have any other regular Milkshape users got any particular sites or tutorials they use or have used and found good? I'm getting on fine with it, but it is good to see what other people have found useful.
Offline William

Junior Member




No Exit


« Reply #17 - Posted 2003-05-16 21:34:40 »

I have been using Maya for my Java3D project, but that has really only been possible because it is an academic project at a college that has Maya licensed. I am not really a modeller but got a one-week Maya course as part of my interactive media specialization of my computer science degree.

I briefly installed Blender but couldn't stomach the GUI and threw it out. I am sure that buying Maya gets cheaper in a professional environment than having the artists waste time to learn Blender. As others have pointed out, Blender does not seem to follow even the most basic Windows GUI conventions and I was apparently wrong to think that it followed the conventions of some other popular OS, like Linux.
Offline GergisKhan

Junior Member




"C8 H10 N4 O2"


« Reply #18 - Posted 2003-05-17 14:13:41 »

My artists use Poser, Painter and Fireworks to create pretty much all the game art.  Thinking about heading the direction of Maya in a year or so.... if things take off.

Painter is a REALLY cool program.  And Fireworks is used just for packaging, cleanup, etc.  Poser is self-explanatory.

gK

"Go.  Teach them not to mess with us."
          -- Cao Cao, Dynasty Warriors 3
Offline bmyers

Junior Member





« Reply #19 - Posted 2003-05-19 15:07:40 »

We're using 3DMax and Poser for our unit models, and Bryce for generating pre-rendered terrain.  Plus Photoshop, Gimp. Debabelizer, etc. for touching up 2D textures.

I have tried Blender, and found the UI very confusing and hard-to-learn, compared to some of the commercial products.  Not that 3DMax is that straightforward, either!  But at least there's lots of tutorials, training videos, etc, and lots of people who already know it.

If I had to start from scratch and had no money I'd take a closer look at Milkshape and some of the other opensource or shareware tools.

Offline Tzan

Junior Member





« Reply #20 - Posted 2003-05-19 15:35:00 »

Quote
I'm actually just in the process of writing a tool to take MD2 models and convert them into sprites (isometric or overhead).

I'm using Java 3D to do this, so in theory it should support creating sprites from any of the user supported formats (read: Milkshape, 3DS, NWN, MD3, MD2, AC3D)

Good/Bad idea?


I think its a great idea, I thought of the same thing last year Smiley but I dont do J3D.

------------------------------

3D
Lightwave 3D since 1995, version 4. I currently use 6.5 which finally has UV mapping
Its not used a lot in games, but Asherons Call 1 was done with LW, I think they have switched to Maya a few years ago.

Max, just a little.
Truespace, just a little.

My work flow was
- Make a model in LW Modeler, UV map a texture to it.
- Load into LW Layout (LW has two programs which are linked)
- Save as VRML (because Max doesnt load LW and LW doesnt save Max)
- Load VRML into Max
- Merge points, make smoothing groups, (just a few minutes touch up for things that didnt convert well)
- Save as .ASE
- Load into our custom model viewer
- Save in custom format

2D
Photoshop, this is what I use most for textures.
Painter which is great! Now that the newer versions have layers and P8 has a very Photoshop like interface its even better.

Both programs have tools I like so I sometimes switch back and forth.

---------------------

Lightwave is a good "pro" tool and is the least expensive of the bunch. If you are a programmer who is a decent quality artist, you should get a good tool, LW or Max. If you are a desperate programmer who needs a model, then you may be better served by a less expensive tool since it will get less use. Save your money for that $500 .exe maker Wink
Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 152
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #21 - Posted 2003-05-19 15:39:37 »

If anyone's interested, I got the tool to convert models from J3D into sprites (isometric and overhead) working.

It currently supports making MD2, MD3 and AC3D models into sprites automagically. However, the interface to the models is pluggable so adding other formats its really quite simple.

Kev

Offline Tzan

Junior Member





« Reply #22 - Posted 2003-05-19 15:42:39 »

Yes Please   Grin
Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 152
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #23 - Posted 2003-05-20 05:31:34 »

I'll try and do something about making it presentable and post it on the newdawn website.

Kev

Offline Tzan

Junior Member





« Reply #24 - Posted 2003-05-20 14:02:10 »

Thanks Kev  Smiley

So you make clocks huh?   http://www.newdawn.com
Offline rreyelts

Junior Member




There is nothing Nu under the sun


« Reply #25 - Posted 2003-05-20 14:22:36 »

So you make clocks huh?   http://www.newdawn.com

I think if you look at his profile, you'll see that his website is http://www.newdawnsoftware.com/

By the way, thanks for the post about the isometric renderings from 3d models Kev. I think it may have helped inspire my team to consider an "imposters-like" technique for implementing software rendering for our project. We'll see if it comes to any fruition.

God bless,
-Toby Reyelts

About me: http://jroller.com/page/rreyelts
Jace - Easier JNI: http://jace.reyelts.com/jace
Retroweaver - Compile on JDK1.5, and deploy on 1.4: http://retroweaver.sf.net.
Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 152
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #26 - Posted 2003-05-20 15:03:20 »

Cheers for that rreyelts Smiley

Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 152
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #27 - Posted 2003-07-03 05:08:28 »

Yay, finally found the original post.

I've put what I have for the model2sprite tool up as a community project at java.net:

http://model2sprite.dev.java.net

I realise I posted this elsewhere, apologises for the cross post, but its nice to finish these things off.. Smiley

Kev

Offline PlanetMongo

Senior Newbie




Follow the yellow line.  Don't EAT the yellow line


« Reply #28 - Posted 2003-07-16 18:25:14 »

Okay..
Since I've resolved myself to live a Linux lifestyle for awhile (with no net connection to reduce the distractions), I've decided to go with:
Blender (too controversial to ignore! hehe.. and so far it's not been so bad, it's a bit confusing but I'm poor (hence no net connection)
Wings3D:  Modeler, even has YafRAY output, which may end up being a better boon than I can imagine for the kind of stuff I want to do.  I may just shelve blender for awhile and just do Wings3D. Smiley
GIMP:  Already somewhat familiar with this, but there seems to be a lack of a good seamless procedural tile-generator.  Yeah, most "artists" scoff at the idea of using procedurals, but that really doesn't concern me.  I'm thinking that the apparent lack of this might mean there's room for creating one, which might become my first Script-FU or standalone Linux application, no?
Now I just need Mojoworld for doing some static backgrounds (or Bryce), but it doesn't run on Linux (no one bought the Linux version, says Doc).  I suppose I should pick up Musgrave's procedural book.  Smiley

Thanks for the advice!

-Shane

If you were me, you'd be good lookin - six string samurai
Offline shareme

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #29 - Posted 2003-08-28 14:50:23 »

There is a reason why most of us here should be interested in Blender3D..

Has any one explored the blender2java3d plugin yet?

yup object conversion to the xml Java3d format..Smiley

I orginally started with Bryce/Poser/rayDream....but made the switch to Beldner3D --still in progress-- because fot he Java3D support an other features I needed

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2014-08-16 10:40:00

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2014-08-01 16:19:50

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2014-07-31 16:29:50

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