Afternoon, All.

I'd like to get some feedback on what features would be handy/useful in a 3d modeller.

Any ideas?

I've got to the stage of having to group features together, however it'd be useful to know what kind of other ideas I'd require to implement later. This is kinda like designing the layout of the sourcecode so that any new ideas would be easier to implement (at the moment it's a nightmare)

Posted on 2002-02-13 16:24:47 by Scronty
I've always like the idea of the modifier stack in 3DSMax. It's almost like each object has it's own undo stack. If you haven't used 3DSMax I can explain more. It is a very powerful concept.
Posted on 2002-02-13 16:34:17 by bitRAKE
Afternoon, bitRAKE.

Please explain more:grin:

I've only got TrueSpace3, and so I've only seen piccys of 3DSMax (and those other modellers).

Is the concept similar to layers used in PSP6/Photoshop?

Addtitionally - what would be the best way to go about having an UNDO feature? Some people would implement an array of used commands, and allow the user to "backtrack" through them. However, this won't work when using floats in the calculations. The coordinates of vertices would end up creeping to different numbers (I think this is what TrueSpace uses). The other idea is to save the world or mesh in a temporary file (with an incremented number attached to the end of the filename), and cycle through these for UNDO.
Any ideas with regard to this?

Posted on 2002-02-13 16:48:03 by Scronty
Depends on the use of the 3D modeler. If is for game development, support for vertex and pixel shaders on materials could be useful.

On any editor an easy to use interface to make a plugin to load/save to a format would also be very usefull.

For undo, you could use temporary meshes differences, and saving to disk after a certain amount of memory has been used on the undo.

In the case of 3D studio, it have a stack of transformations that you did to the mesh. So it basically save the transformations done.
Posted on 2002-02-13 19:35:31 by dxantos
The great think about the modifier stack in 3D Studio is that once you've appied complex transformations to an object, you can save those transformations and aply them to another object - this save quite a bit of editing time. Or if you copy an object, you can go back in the stack of transformations an tweek some parameters of the new object without having to start from scratch again. This can be done programatically, too - with MaxScript.
Posted on 2002-02-13 20:45:49 by bitRAKE
A tree o object/scene layout, like in:
-> Object1
-> Light 2
------> Light2 "look like"


For undo i guess modify stack like in 3D max is the best but a little complicated, should have a "immediate undo" also for simple mistakes

Should be able to export in "standard" formats like
-Blender ?

Import as many formats as possible

Keyframed Animations, bones, Inverse Kinematics

Powerfull material editor + procedural textures (3D if possible like in PovRay)

Render as separated frames (BMP/TGA/PNG) or movies (AVI,MPEG,DIVX) optional using external free render engines (again like PoVRay) including animations

For games:
-Do not antialias against background (for 2D sprites)
-Reduce to Low poly model
-UV mapping
-render with a user pecified pallete or a given number of colors
(not necesarely 256)

Easy Plug-ins like .DLL's with specific imports/exports

Scripting for repetitive objects creations like stairs, spirals

Boolean Operations and CSG

Particle systems: fountain, explosion, user defined (scripting)

Physics ? (colision detection)

Make wireframe draw/redraw super speed, many commercial modelers (including 3D max) have very slow speed for screen redraw with complex objects (+50K faces/vertex and more)

and many many others... i must have forgotten something very important... make it free? and in Win32ASM :)

Posted on 2002-02-18 14:21:14 by BogdanOntanu
I'm not an expert on 3d modelling but I've tried one. I know this is too much too ask, but it's just a suggestion: MAYA like and the renderer is Renderman or Mental Ray like. :)
Posted on 2002-02-18 14:48:05 by stryker
Have you considered to implement a command line?
It will provide a quick access to a specific command, instead of browsing whithin a lot of configuration menu and user could gain more control/preciselly of his work.

Another useful feature it may be a snap system. For example, if you want to move an entity it will be great to could do that selecting one particullar point of the entity (end, middle, center etc.) and moving over another particullar point of other entity or even just moving preciselly in space. This could work great with command line.
Posted on 2002-02-19 08:42:38 by scarpelius
If its something like Autocad command line (altough not necessary as extensive), I think is a good idea.
Posted on 2002-02-19 15:01:05 by dxantos
Yes, that was the ideea. ACAD is my "first love" for 2D and 3D moddeling solids. When I tried to learn 3DMax Studio, I was very frustrating because I could not manipulate the entity like in ACAD. I guess that 3DMax is using an artist point of view, rather than an engineer one. Brice too.
If I could make a paralel 3DMax is like VB or Delphi and ACAD like a Visual ASM.:grin:
if you'll add such a feature, I'll be your number one fan.
Posted on 2002-02-19 16:31:02 by scarpelius
And if you do this maya/renderman/mental ray like 3d app, I will be your #1 customer. This Maya/Renderman thing was used on games like Final Fantasy 8, 9, 10 and the FF Movie plus a countless of credit from the movie industry like the Lord of the rings...Just check out these links for more info.

Posted on 2002-02-19 16:51:42 by stryker
there' s a freeware 3dstudiomax lite modeler called gmax, that' s really great. i' ve been in the demoscene as a 2d/3d artist before, and i can tell you that kind of program is just what we need =) there' s also a nice prog called nendo, that is a nice modeller, really easy to handle, worth an analysis =)
Posted on 2002-02-21 04:47:34 by roy
I got a bit of a professional background in 3D. So heres my veiw...

Max 4 finally got it mostly right by moving vertex/polygon minipulation out of the modelling stack. In Max 3 and earlier, it would take atleast 2 (or 3?) clicks to get to vertex modifying mode. Not good, you don't want to many clicks to get to any funtionality.

I use Lightwave alot. Lightwave will toggle between polygon/vertex/(editing tools) selection with one click.

Nendo needs at least 2 clicks and scroll thru a menu to select funtionality and has no hotkeys. Without hotkeys, the workflow is slowed. Any pro 3D person likes hotkeys and easy access to functionality. They do not like hunting thru menus and popups and scroll bars. If you have to use menus, popups and scroll bars, provide hotkeys as an alternate method of accessing funtionality.

Do a search for MilkShape3D, a free modeler. I have not used it, but it may give you something to look at.
Posted on 2002-02-21 14:46:23 by ThoughtCriminal
MilkShape3D has a nice feature called the 'texture coordinate editor', which shows a flattened view of an object onto the texture image and lets you map the vertices at the right places..
That would be a nice feature.

Posted on 2002-02-21 17:05:45 by Thomas
Nurbs! Nurbs! :)
Posted on 2002-02-22 00:14:25 by stryker
Nurbs are nice. :) Does anyone know of a game engine that uses nurbs in real-time? Not yet......okay.
Posted on 2002-02-22 10:28:04 by bitRAKE
Nope, but would be a great add-on.
Posted on 2002-02-22 13:34:22 by stryker
gmax is nice but

You cannot make an exporter of it unless you pay por the SDK and license.

It was made so that game development companies do not need to make their own editors in order for users to make levels. So altough is free to the end user, the money that the company makes is from the game developers. And its not cheap, altough is cheaper than making a full editor with the same functionality (because of salary and time costs).

As for nurbs, I dont know if it has been used on PC game development (because of lack of hardware acceleration there), but the PS2, Nintendo64 and the Game Cube have hardware support for curved surfaces so I wouldnt be surprised if there are games that support nurbs on those platforms.


Anyone know of a good theory book on the subject of nurbs and curved surfaces?
Posted on 2002-03-14 09:46:51 by dxantos
this may be off-topic, but i am greatly saddened by the loss of the Blender modelling/animation package :(

but back on topic:
of course, boolean manipulations (intersection, subtraction, addition + union)
Primitives (duh)
co-ordinate input for position of points
point plotting mode
and yes, stryker, Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines are nice :)
different sub-division modes (linear/flat, smoothing, NURBed)
independent & dependent zoom/translation modes (in viewscreens)
squishing :) (constant volume)
both solid and surface-only objects (always nice when working /w boolean)
something to keep polys aligned
curve manipulation (like beziers)
perhaps a built in painter for surfacing?

of course, that's just going overboard :)
Posted on 2002-03-23 11:47:24 by jademtech
err just keep it simple and allow users to add plugins :) check out:

it is a sweet modeller, if you could just merge that and Moray v3.3(povray-type of renderer) you would have a winner ;)~
Posted on 2002-04-23 01:59:26 by drarem