Modeling: I can't get what I want. Tips?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Terr, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

    Messages:
    1,591
    Positive Ratings:
    405
    So I'm trying to plow through with the Softimage/XSI mod-tool, and I feel like there's some sort of mental model which hasn't clicked.

    (1) Does anyone have advice for approaching these kinds of tools from the mindset in Hammer? Tutorials don't often deal with this as much as "Do W, X, Y, to get Z."

    When I first sat down with Hammer, it took a while, but eventually I got this whole "Brush" and "Entity" and "Two kinds of entities" and "this is when you vertex-edit and this is when you slice" stuff down.

    I'm going through a similar phase again, but with a far more complex and confusing interface. If I make a cube, I can't move the points to "vertex edit it" in the same way Hammer would let me: It seems like it wants to enforce that the object must have flat planes at all intermediate steps, so I can't drag vertices directly to where I want them to be...

    (2) Is there a way to get Hammer-like vertex-editing behavior? Should I use some other method instead of the cube/cylinder/cone/etc. primitives?
     
  2. 3DRyan

    3DRyan L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    57
    Positive Ratings:
    6
    This may not be what you want to hear, but ditch mod tool. It is an extremely rubbish program, mainly because of the lack of learning resources. I prefer maya over it any day, and I hear that 3d studio max is just as good if not better. The learning resources online are plentiful for both, and getting around in them is generally easier. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Smetzle

    Smetzle L3: Member

    Messages:
    112
    Positive Ratings:
    51
    I agree, but there's no Maya PLE anymore since Autodesk stopped doing PLE's, so there's no legal way to get more than a 30-day trial of either of those programs without paying $2000+. :(
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  4. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    7,099
    Positive Ratings:
    5,742
    I'm using blender, my only real complaint is it's lack of good import and export features. I hear the next verion of blender is going to move it to more like 3DSMax if you can afford it go for Max or maya.

    Valve however use Modo.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

    Messages:
    1,591
    Positive Ratings:
    405
    I'm not particularly attached to it by any means, I just went with it for (A) price (B) plugin for Valve-formats export/import.

    I'll give blender a whirl. My intended project is a triple-bladed fan-slash-sprinkler, so perhaps "blender" is apropos. (No water effects, those are in-map particles.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  6. 3DRyan

    3DRyan L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
    57
    Positive Ratings:
    6
    Yes! I completely forgot about blender. Never tried it, but word of mouth tells me its the best route to go for those who don't want to either A) pay an ass ton, or B) pirate 3D applications. Not sure if Blender supports obj, but there's a nifty little program that converts obj files to the smd format. It's at:

    www.moddb.com/games/half-life-2/downloads/obj2smd-converter
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. shadowfax

    shadowfax L1: Registered

    Messages:
    28
    Positive Ratings:
    43
    1) Its been a while since I used XSI, i manged to get some basic static props working. I'll look into finding the tutorials I found that really helped.

    2) The point select tool is very similar to the vertext manipulation tool in hammer. Although I found the edge tool more useful for hammer. I found it best to use the edge tool and extract from an edge to build the model.

    Also it can be useful to first design the the model in hammer, at least the basic layout. Then import it into XSI so you have a reference for size.

    I'll look into finding you some resources. XSI is a very powerful tool and with Valves plugins it makes the computation process simple.
     
  8. Brandished

    Brandished L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    234
    Positive Ratings:
    298
    Wow, I was in disbelief reading this until I checked Autodesk's site, I was sure I had scene it still there not too long ago. This decision doesn't make much sense to me at all, it's like there shooting themselves in the foot. It's hard to say without knowing the specifics though, Autodesk did just cut 10 percent of it's workforce this year due to lower then expected earnings.

    There have been some improvements made since version 6 and as for learning resources, I ran across this a few days ago. Very much worth checking out if your trying to learn Softimage/XSI.

    Not that there aren't valid reasons to avoid learning the Mod-Tool though. 1) Given that Autodesk dropped support for GMax and then Maya PLE not too long ago, it's future doesn't look too bright. 2) You can't legally use anything you create in the Mod-Tool commercially (to be fair this isn't a huge tradeoff considering it's available for free, but so is Blender...)

    I thought it looked more like Cinema4D. You can actually try out the new version of Blender here, although I wouldn't recommend using it for something other then experimentation at this point, it's still under heavy development. For actually learning the Blender and making models, I'd stick with 2.49 right now.

    As for Max or Maya, to be honest prefer Blender over both. I haven't spent much time with either of them so I can't make a good comparison, but the I've time I have put in with Blender was much more enjoyable.

    Where did you find this out? I'm surprised, mainly because only yesterday I was reading about a bunch of companies jumping ship from Autodesk to Luxology, this seems like too much of a coincidence. Modo seems to have picked up in popularity very quickly, but with all the features shown on the 401 demo video it's easy to see why.

    Thanks for the heads up on this, Blender does support .obj, I'm not sure how well though. Blender has a lot of plugins, but they don't always get fully updated with each Blender release.

    I guess if you really wanted full SMD support in Blender you could try and bribe the devs with a free copy of HL2/Ep1 (maybe both). Every third or fourth person I've met on Steam has an extra copy thanks to the Orange Box.
     
  9. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    7,099
    Positive Ratings:
    5,742
    When Snipergen went with his college to visit valve not so long ago he found out then.
     
  10. Mick-a-nator

    aa Mick-a-nator

    Messages:
    640
    Positive Ratings:
    314
    I'm jumping in late but never mind.

    Basically, I'm agreeing with Youme... and then a bit. Blender is an amazing tool, and much better than most of the ones you have to pay for (when starting to explore and learn about 3d modelling). Once you get into the mindset of modelling, which is universal between software, you can ask your school to get something like maya or 3ds max (they're the best imo) or get a job where they are willing to teach you and let you use it for personal use.
     
  11. Ninjilla

    Ninjilla L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    445
    Positive Ratings:
    55
    I personally cant grasp modeling too well, and I use Blender. I can follow the tuorials well enough, but I doubt I could make anything on my own. I guess some of us are just not made for it :[
     
  12. Dr. ROCKZO

    Dr. ROCKZO L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

    Messages:
    580
    Positive Ratings:
    159
    Well, I'm trying to use 3DS Max, have only really clicked a few buttons, made a few crates so far.. 3DS Max makes a lot more "sense" to me then Blender did but we'll see, I have to make a pretty complex custom Model soon for my Map so I hope I get the hang of it by then..
     
  13. SiniStarR

    SiniStarR L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

    Messages:
    585
    Positive Ratings:
    116
    omg the headaches with xsi. As a professional tool it is suppose to be excellent. For anything else.....HAHAHAHA ya right.

    I agree with people who are saying avoid XSI, I use maya and then import everything into xsi so I can convert my stuff into smd format. I only know a handfull of people who use xsi and ive seen them have trouble from time to time.
     
  14. Brandished

    Brandished L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    234
    Positive Ratings:
    298
    I forgot about that. I remember him mentioning the trip on l4dmaps, but I never heard anything else about it. Didn't he have pictures?

    I don't think most modelers make much stuff on their own. Most use real or hand drawn objects as a reference and just try to recreate them the best they can. Practice is usually the deciding factor as to how close to the reference the modeler can get.
     
  15. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

    Messages:
    1,591
    Positive Ratings:
    405
    I'm currently having better luck in blender :)

    'Course, it ain't over until the fat export file converts...
     
  16. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    395
    Positive Ratings:
    81
    Blender is a great modelling program. Once you get over the interface, it's quite efficient to use. I, personally, have never set time aside for learning how to model, but I can still vouch for it because it culminated in the first (and most likely last) time in human history that I actually managed to export a Source-compatible mdl file! :D

    [​IMG]

    Heh, keep at it. Just be aware that Blender's exporters for Source are a bit flaky, you have to attach every mesh to an armature and whatnot. If you have any questions regarding the program, consult this WikiBooks series (only time I ever use WikiBooks)!

    Good luck, and happy modelling! :D
     
  17. Ninjilla

    Ninjilla L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    445
    Positive Ratings:
    55
    GUess I just need to get over the interface, it is a bit... daunting at times XP
     
  18. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

    Messages:
    1,591
    Positive Ratings:
    405
    Well, I'm doin' better in Blender than XSI. Less of that nasty "workflow" stuff getting in my way (although I'm sure it's the bees knees to professional stuios) and more basic mesh editing.

    Now I just have to figure out what the heck kind of fan/sprinkler thing I can build which is also at least semi-realistic.

    In the meantime, a quick attempt at a coat/hat-rack, with adornments on one side only:
    [​IMG]

    I haven't gotten to messing with materials yet.