Are there any, free or really cheap, modeling programs around that are easy to use? I have never done any 3d modeling and would like to learn but it seems a bit to daunting for this old fart. I am currently trying Milkshape, but I am having a hard time getting it to do anything I want.
Sorry if I am not making sense.
I'd recommend Milkshape 3D, its what I use if you don't want to spend that much money on it. I think its still only £15-20 depending on how you choose to purchase it for unlimited use afterwards. Also its easy on system requirements. 3DSMax on the other hand is a harder program in my opinion, but it gives really nice models at the end, especially with those rendered pics, and you don't have the **** you get with MS3D when rotating joints lol. Only thing is is that it costs more and its harder on your operating system. As far as I know.. And everyone struggles when they start, I really had no idea how to model, my eyes were stuck to the tutorials on this site when I first started.
Thanks, I will read the tutorials some more.
Theres a great deal of choice, but it depends if your wanting low poly modelling, high poly modelling, a program just for modelling or whether your modelling for games:
- Milkshape 3d: Perfect for low poly modelling as it was originally developed for Quake3d in the beginning. Since then it has been developed to the point that its no capable of far more. As stated above it is very easy to use (even for those that are just starting off) and is dirt cheap compared to some of the more comercial programs. Theres also a great deal of plugins (for importing and exporting models) for it, and quite a few people I know use it and get on well with it.
Unfortunately, theres also several key functions that are missing. One of which as stated by ragnar, is the ability to easily rotate joints (but once you overcome this, its not so much of a pain), the other, which I personally find annoying, is the missing torus (donut shaped object) but this is something I also consider minor.
- GMAX. A specially made, cut down version of 3dmax studio which (IIRC) is still free to download. Its far more restrictive with regards to exporting models to game formats, as its more of a developer tool (many developers who support gmax do release exporters for their games, but there are (currently) none for Armada tha I know of.
Having only used Gmax once or twice I cant' really say much about it with regards to personal experience but from what I've heard its a pretty good place to start.
- 3d Max: There isnt' much you can really say about this program to fault it. However, the price has always been the biggest issue. For a full licence your talking up to about 3 grand. Student licences are somewhat cheaper and I think you can pick up a second hand version for a lot less than the retail price.
An excellent program all round (except for the obvious price tag), but you'll find the learning curve can seem quite daunting.
Be aware that there are far more 3d modelling programs than just these three - Blender, Maya, Ultimate Unwrap 3d, 3d Exploration etc.etc. and each has its strengths and weaknesses so it depends what your going to use it for more than anything. I, myself, use a combination of several programs for modelling purposes:
-Milkshape 3d for all primary modelling and texture application. - 3d Max for model conversions and some importing. - Ultimate Unwrap 3d for primary model importing and reverse conversion.
Some advice you might consider. Go to Armada Fleet Command's (you'll need to register), 3d Max models download section as theres well over 100 that are freely usable (many of which I've released msyelf). So far all of them (to my knowledge) are in .3ds format whcih is a generic 3d model format which can in turn be imported into almost any 3d modelling program.
Heh, when I looked at Maya and 3Dmax pricing I almost fell out of my chair. I notice that, as far as I can tell, Blender is free. Ever used it?
I think Adam_Atlantian is using Blender to make the models for the new version of his Star Ocean Mod.
I didn't make it!
There is also anim8or. It's free and it does have animation capibilities and it exports 3ds format. It's pretty basic but if your just building a ship.. thats pretty basic too haha. I'm not too sure how well it'd do making star trek armada models though but it'd probably be just fine. It's what I started off with and there are some good tutorials on the site(anim8or.com). If you only end up doing modeling and a little bit of animation, it'll be all you need.