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  Anyone using Blender now?  (Read 4906 times)
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Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Posted 2006-02-27 17:36:48 »

I remember that last time I looked at it, a few years back, Blender was looking potentially interesting but insanely complex to work with and it was bizarrely impossible to export models from it into any standard formats without dedicating your life to hunting down a broken python script, working out how to fix it and how to install it in Blender and then fighting for weeks to get it up and running. I was ultimately too lazy to deal with it's endless range of annoying quirks.

I'm figuring after a few years of Open Source life it may be going a little better now- is anyone here using it and if so how is it getting on these days?
Offline DrBizzar0

Junior Member




Raj raj!


« Reply #1 - Posted 2006-02-27 19:54:03 »

I haven't used it my self, but I know some non coders (and they are not that technical) that is using it so I would guess it's much more easy to use these days.
Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #2 - Posted 2006-02-28 01:04:01 »

I've just tried it again for the first time in a while and it's looking very good.

Still full of those horrendous usability gotchas that most open source GUI applications seem to suffer from and most of the tutorials in the wiki seem to be incomplete or out of date, but many of the issues I had with it in the past look like they may be on the way out.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2
Exp: 14 years


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #3 - Posted 2006-02-28 02:45:59 »

I've just tried it again for the first time in a while and it's looking very good.

Still full of those horrendous usability gotchas that most open source GUI applications seem to suffer from and most of the tutorials in the wiki seem to be incomplete or out of date, but many of the issues I had with it in the past look like they may be on the way out.
I used to find the interface clunky to, but once I got used to it, it flowed really well and became really easy to use.  It is just a matter of memorizing the shortcut keys.(Only comes with use)

Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2006-02-28 11:30:13 »

The 3D design side of thing seems fine actually, but there are standard ways of doing things like file dialogues and if you deviate from those without a very good reason you are basically annoying your users without any noticeable benefit.
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #5 - Posted 2006-02-28 12:31:58 »

Uhm... well, there is a reason. The business model they used in the past was like... free to use, but you had to pay for the manual. Now its different, but apparently they cant change everything, because it would alienate their userbase (oh the irony).

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #6 - Posted 2006-02-28 12:50:10 »

I remember the "pay for the manual" system, that was how it worked when I first looked at it and decided it was too annoying to try and use without the manual, then I was going to get the manual and they went Open Source and I figured I might as well wait. Even so, when you think about it, bad usability as a business model is an insane concept...
Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2
Exp: 14 years


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #7 - Posted 2006-02-28 14:24:29 »

I remember the "pay for the manual" system, that was how it worked when I first looked at it and decided it was too annoying to try and use without the manual, then I was going to get the manual and they went Open Source and I figured I might as well wait. Even so, when you think about it, bad usability as a business model is an insane concept...
Correct, but the only part of it that has bad usability is the file system access.  When you compare Blender, which is free, to Milkshape 3D, which is not free, Blender is far far superior to Milkshape.  The bigger problem I find with blender is the export to other formats problem.  But there are enough working scripts out there now that it isn't too bad now.  Also learning Python to roll your own is not that difficult.

Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #8 - Posted 2006-02-28 15:13:22 »

From what I can tell it now offers a fairly comprehensive "export to" list so I'm hoping that won't be too bad.

I've been using Milkshape for a couple of years (in which time I've completed one half-way alright model...) and the big advantage it had for me is that it's really easy to use - create vertices, connect them into faces, apply textures. Deeply laborious, but fundamentally simple- which is an advantage for the relatively casual modeller.

Offline fazekaim

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #9 - Posted 2006-03-04 08:02:27 »

Hello,
We are using Blender now. We tried the 3Ds Max, Maya, Gamspace too. The Blender is a full-featured 3D modeller, great user interface. Now, that is the only software in use. It is comfortable for anything: modelling, animating, and the it's unwrapping technique is amazing, really amazing...
Insalling is simple, just a 2.4 python is needed. Open-source? hmmm..... it is much better and intuitive than any commercial modeller.
Details: All models are exported in obj, collada and custom formats using python scripts.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #10 - Posted 2006-03-06 15:15:31 »

Now I've tried it a bit more I'm very impressed, I'll be interested what I can do with it given a little more time and exploration...
Offline nva225

Junior Member





« Reply #11 - Posted 2006-03-06 21:28:26 »

I love blender and thought it was great ever since I started using it (about version 2.1). Sure, I stared at it dumbfounded the first few times I saw it, but once I started locating a few basic areas (spacebar to add stuff, object info area, material info area) it really started to make sense. If you know the hotkeys and how to navigate it's really hard to see any reason to want it any other way. You may wish to print out a list of your most necessary hotkeys for at least the first few sessions though (I never actually did but thought it would've been a good idea). Interface is very smooth and highly customizable as well.

Also, don't forget blender has video tutorials which can be very helpful for some basic operations. Nothing is as effective as someone showing you exactly what to do as they explain it.

If I ever do anything with java in 3D, I'm going to be using Blender. I probably won't bother learning anything unless I can export models with Blender. There's just sooo much stuff you can do with it. Make sure you check out the metaballs and the fluid engine. While not especially useful for modeling, they are rather cool and you can always duplicate out parts if you manage to obtain a shape you need. Btw, I just figured out (literally 5-minutes ago) if you make a meta-object, select it and press "alt-c" to convert it to a mesh. Also, if you have too many faces, just switch to Object mode (tab), go to the Editing context (F9) and click Add Modifier - Decimate. You can turn down the number of faces based on a percentage, and Blender will try to remove the faces with the least damaging effect (you might have to manually go in for some of the details but it can still be quite useful).

Good luck. Smiley
Offline Jeff

JGO Coder




Got any cats?


« Reply #12 - Posted 2006-03-07 04:13:31 »

i have belnder instaleld and intedn to ry to leanr it.

Anyone have ay recommendations for what the best books are?  (ive downloaded their quick-start card and am going to print that next time Im at work...)

Hmm.  get the sofwtare for free, pay for the manual.

Isnt that Tim Oriely's model?  get someone elses sofwtare for free and then pay HIM for a manual???

Seems to be working very well for him.

JK

Got a question about Java and game programming?  Just new to the Java Game Development Community?  Try my FAQ.  Its likely you'll learn something!

http://wiki.java.net/bin/view/Games/JeffFAQ
Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #13 - Posted 2006-03-07 14:39:49 »

Not so bad now it's open source. I've been using the tutorials in the blender wiki: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D/Noob_to_Pro

It's not great and has some big holes in it, but overall it gives you enough to start.
Offline JavaJeff

Senior Newbie




Einsteinian geodesic...


« Reply #14 - Posted 2006-03-07 15:02:53 »

I've been using Blender for awhile and once you get used to the work interface, it rocks! We're using Blender not only for our primary modeling tool, but also to compose and produce our cut scenes as well. I would suggest working through the video tutorials available on the site (not perfect, but will get you up and running) and using the wiki. There is much more info available now then there was a couple of versions ago... Smiley
Offline dsellars

Junior Member




Need to write more games


« Reply #15 - Posted 2006-03-08 10:03:51 »

You've probably found it already but he forums for it are at http://www.elysiun.com/forum/  When ever I have browsed them they have seemed to be quite helpful. 

I keep meaning to put soem time aside and learn blender (well 3d modellign in general) but never seem to have the time.

On a side note for general 3d modelling this http://www.subdivisionmodeling.com/ new site looks quite good and helpful, it's tool neutral.

regrads,
Dan.
Offline chronos

Senior Newbie





« Reply #16 - Posted 2006-03-11 15:27:30 »

Some how 3DS is much more intuitive and fast IMHO, some say the hot keys in blender make it fast to construct models but it sounds a little like the ide vs vim/emacs situation, AFAIK most people go for what's intuitive and simple.
Offline Breakfast

Senior Member




for great justice!


« Reply #17 - Posted 2006-03-11 21:59:19 »

The difference as I see it looks like this:

Vim: free, Emacs: Free
3DS: £2200, blender: Free.

I can't really afford 2000 quid for slighly more intuitive and simple. If blender does 50% of the same stuff and saves me that much money, it counts as a good investment...
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