Author Topic: Blender still the best program for modeling assets for FSO  (Read 334 times)

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Offline StarSlayer

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Blender still the best program for modeling assets for FSO
I took a gander in the Mod Tutorials thread and saw FSF's Blender thread, however, its been a few years since the tutorial section has had any major updates.  Is Blender still the best free/cheap platform for modelling assets for FSO or have other products entered the market that have superseded it?

Any info would be much appreciated. 
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Offline DahBlount

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Re: Blender still the best program for modeling assets for FSO
In terms of free tools, there's Blender and Wings3D, which both have strengths and weaknesses. Wings has a clean, easy to learn UI and handles some modeling functions (like beveling/fileting/chamfering) better than Blender. Blender has a much larger feature set and can handle significantly higher detail models before experiencing performance issues or crashes. There are a few other free modelling tools, but they're objectively worse than either Blender or Wings.

Basically, if you want to just model and let other people handle stuff like texturing and special baking, Wings3D is probably your desired tool. If you need to do the entire process yourself, I highly recommend Blender as it can do lots of basic baking but also has access to Cycles, which is a really great tool for getting accurate renders. We have plenty of modelers with experience in either of the two, so if you have any questions hop onto the IRC or Discord and ask.
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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Blender still the best program for modeling assets for FSO
Thanks DahBlount, I am interested in trying out the entire process so it looks like Blender is the one to try.  Out of curiosity are they're any relatively inexpensive modeling platforms out there that offer a better experience than Blender?
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Offline rhettro

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Re: Blender still the best program for modeling assets for FSO
Out of curiosity are they're any relatively inexpensive modeling platforms out there that offer a better experience than Blender?

No.

 
Re: Blender still the best program for modeling assets for FSO
Does anybody have experience with Mari by The Foundry Visionmongers? Would you advise it?

 

Offline Axem

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Re: Blender still the best program for modeling assets for FSO
Unless you got $3000 to spare, probably not.

If you're looking for an affordable 3d painter suite, try Substance Painter (a little pricey, but a standalone program) or Quixel Suite (cheaper, but requires Photoshop). Both have indie licenses available.

 
Re: Blender still the best program for modeling assets for FSO
Actually they have a free version for commercial uses. If I remember well the limitation are that you cannot handle more than 6 objects per model and color depth is limited to 16bit and textures to 4096x4096...

 

Offline Axem

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Re: Blender still the best program for modeling assets for FSO
Oh huh, didn't see that at first. (Also that's non-commercial use, not commercial uses :p)

I'll check it out and see how it goes. Limitations don't look that bad, especially for FreeSpace. The 16bit color depth looks limited to each channel, since FSO uses 8bit per channel that should be fine. Just no DDS export, but it's trivial to convert from anything else...

EDIT: Super hot and possibly uneducated take: It seems like an okay 3d painter, lots of tutorial stuff on their site too. Got some baking options too. It's got some basic procedural texturing options too... No material library though, at least not that I could see. I'm sure you could do some cool stuff with it, but it looks like there's a bit of a learning curve. Still, the non commercial version is free so, nothing to lose by trying it. I think I'd still recommend Substance or Quixel for their material libraries and smart materials.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 03:44:07 pm by Axem »