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3D software?
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Mar 2, 2004, 07:40 PM
 
I would like to get into doing 3D graphics and animation. Nothing too fancy, I don't need Maya or Lightwave. I'm familiar with Illustrator, Freehand, and Flash, and would like to find something that works similarly. It would be great if I could create my vector work in Illustrator, then import it into a 3D program, with the final output being Flash. Is there anything like that out there? Maybe Swift 3D...?
Thanks,
Chris
     
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Mar 2, 2004, 09:36 PM
 
Carrara. www.eovia.com
     
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Mar 3, 2004, 12:18 AM
 
Cinema 4D is pretty good too. I haven't tried Carrara before but I heard lot of good things about it
     
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Mar 3, 2004, 09:25 AM
 
Use a program that you would be certain that the developers will support the next years.
Cinema is a good program with constant updates. And it's really cheap for a 3d program.
You buy separately the modules you need. So if you don't want stuff like radiosity, advanced animation features etc you don't have to pay for them.
     
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Mar 5, 2004, 02:14 PM
 
Thanks for the replies. Cinema looks kinda pricey to me and rather complex. I'll check out Carrara.
     
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Mar 5, 2004, 02:38 PM
 
Originally posted by cnelson87:
Thanks for the replies. Cinema looks kinda pricey to me and rather complex. I'll check out Carrara.
Also check renderosity.com for tutorials and www.digitalcarversguild.com and ww.zenstar.com for plugins.
Carrara is also here to stay, it used to be Raydream, then sold, and now up to version 3. They do have a trial version available now, I see. The interface is um, different. It's a love/hate thing, not much middle ground. Good luck!
     
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Mar 5, 2004, 06:33 PM
 
Originally posted by dampeoples:
The interface is um, different. It's a love/hate thing, not much middle ground. Good luck!
Different, like Bryce different? Oooooh, that would be bad!
What would be ideal is a plugin that gives Illustrator or Freehand 3D capability, and can export to Flash.
     
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Mar 5, 2004, 08:29 PM
 
Originally posted by cnelson87:
Different, like Bryce different? Oooooh, that would be bad!
What would be ideal is a plugin that gives Illustrator or Freehand 3D capability, and can export to Flash.
Yeah, Bryce different. Bryce, Poser, Canoma and Raydream (Carrara) were all Metacreations products, and all share similar interfaces.
Does the Vectorstyle plugin do what you are looking for?
     
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Mar 6, 2004, 03:27 PM
 
then there's always Adobe Dimensions .. . he he
"Thank you Mario, but our princess is in another castle."
     
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Mar 8, 2004, 11:01 AM
 
Newtek http://www.newtek.com/(developers of Lightwave) released a stripped down version a few years ago called Inspire 3D. I was released for Wintel and Mac machines before OSX was out, so I don't believe there is an OSX version available.

Having used Lightwave in the past(version 5) and moving to Inspire 3D I can say that the program is excellent. It has the exact same interface as LW and is also compatible with LW objects, scenes, plugins etc, making the move up to LW very easy. Best of all was the price: $370 compared to $1500 for a full LW license(priced at the time). The company also offered an upgrade path to LW for a considerable discount.

I don't think newtek supports or makes this application any longer, since their site shows nothing about it, but there is a forum on the newtek site http://vbulletin.newtek.com/forumdisplay.php?forumid=46 dedicated to Inspire 3D.

I have seen the product on Half.com and some acedemic versions were selling for under $100 in the past, so it might be worth a look at if you have a Mac that can run OS 9. You may also be able to get into LW 7.x for a discount and this would be a good path for you to go if want an OSX developed 3D app for a considerable discount.
     
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Mar 8, 2004, 02:54 PM
 
Thank you for all the replies. A stripped down version of Lightwave like Inspire would be perfect if it was os X.
     
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Mar 8, 2004, 05:10 PM
 
     
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Mar 8, 2004, 07:24 PM
 
seriously man... Adobe Dimensions...
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Mar 9, 2004, 05:13 PM
 
Originally posted by cnelson87:
Thank you for all the replies. A stripped down version of Lightwave like Inspire would be perfect if it was os X.
Yeah, it's OS 9 and earlier. You may be able to use the serial number to upgrade to LW, but you are still going to have to spend $500 or more for the upgrade.

Have you looked into any open source software?

There is a landscaping app called Terragen that is absolutely amazing. It's freeware and can render VERY realistic landscapes: http://www.planetside.co.uk/terragen/ There is a Mac version available for OS 9.x and 10.x:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/terragen...nloadmac.shtml

Give it a try, it very easy to use and the landscape files can be exported to LW models and other 3D model formats.

Edit: I did some more searching and this might be something you'd be interested in: Strata 3D Plus http://www.strata.com/

It retails for $50 and has some pretty decent looking results. Strat has been around for a long time, but was always a higher end product. This version is very afforadable. I may try using this myself, since the requirements are low and my Powermac G3 will be here tomorrow.

Free 3D software:
http://www.blender3d.org/Download/?sub=Blender Free OSX 3D software
http://www.povray.org/download/ - Povray: Free
http://www.alias.com/ - Maya Personal Edition: Free
( Last edited by halogen8; Mar 11, 2004 at 02:10 PM. )
     
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Mar 16, 2004, 09:50 AM
 
After receiving my G3 Power Mac, I starting doing a little more searching for a good 3D program. As someone above mentioned, I checked out Blender 3D: http://www.blender3d.org and so far I'm very impressed.

cnelson87: you might want to check this one. It's open source and very small to download(around 2.5 MB).

I'll soon have some sample rendering on my web site which I'll post to this thread as soon as they are done.
     
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Mar 16, 2004, 04:37 PM
 
yup, i've been fiddling around with blender too. work has kept me too busy to do much right now though. i would be interested in seeing what you come up with.
     
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Mar 19, 2004, 03:53 PM
 
I just downloaded Blender and took a look at the manuals, then the tutorials.

Pretty difficult to understand how to use it, for me as a newbie.

:/
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Mar 24, 2004, 10:49 AM
 
Originally posted by andretan:
I just downloaded Blender and took a look at the manuals, then the tutorials.

Pretty difficult to understand how to use it, for me as a newbie.

:/
I've worked with a few different 3D programs in the past, Lightwave and Inspire to name a few, and those programs were a little difficult to use as well. I ended up buying a book that had a lot of tutorials in it and that help quite a bit. When i started using blender, I was totally lost because it's completely different that any thing I've used before. I recommend taking the time and going through some of the tutorials that are available:

http://www.blender3d.org/cms/Tutorials.93.0.html
http://www.elysiun.com/tutorials.php

Also take a look at the documentation: http://download.blender.org/documentation/html/

Here's a scene I modeled testing the various texturing, lighting and particles settings of Blender:


Another simple one:


One more, testing surface light emitting:
     
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Mar 24, 2004, 01:11 PM
 
Originally posted by halogen8:
I've worked with a few different 3D programs in the past, Lightwave and Inspire to name a few, and those programs were a little difficult to use as well. I ended up buying a book that had a lot of tutorials in it and that help quite a bit. When i started using blender, I was totally lost because it's completely different that any thing I've used before. I recommend taking the time and going through some of the tutorials that are available:

http://www.blender3d.org/cms/Tutorials.93.0.html
http://www.elysiun.com/tutorials.php

Also take a look at the documentation: http://download.blender.org/documentation/html/
Wow. Nice!
Will try out the tutorials again.
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Mar 25, 2004, 03:24 PM
 
Originally posted by andretan:
Wow. Nice!
Will try out the tutorials again.
Thanks. Definitely checkout the tutorials - they help a lot.

Here's a few more I did:


     
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Mar 26, 2004, 08:42 PM
 
Originally posted by halogen8:
Thanks. Definitely checkout the tutorials - they help a lot.

Here's a few more I did:


There's also the 3d toolkit from www.dvgarage.com. It's a hundred bucks with 1.3 GB of tutorials. I bought version 2.0 (now on 2.5), and went through most of the tutorials. You absolutely need to look at tutorials and the manual for 3d programs, it's really different from the 2d apps you've mentioned. I took to Illustrator and Photoshop and even Flash very easily. 3d is, well, a whole new dimension.

Also, there is Swift 3D which will export to Flash. It's available standalone and as a plug for Lightwave.

Personally, I'm moving to Maya because that's what I'm learning in school, and it's been the easiest to learn so far.
     
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Mar 29, 2004, 01:16 PM
 
I was going to try Maya, but my B&W G3 is too slow. Maybe when I buy a newPower Mac I'll give it try. I'd like to try the personal learned ed. but for now blender is my tool of choice.

Personally, I'd rather master blender since it's free, and gets nice results. Since I consider myself a Artist and not a professional, I can't justify spending thousands of dollars on a 3d app - so open source it is.
     
   
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