LOGIN or Create a Sandswept Legion Account

User avatar
Offline
Quality Post (1)
Official Steam Workshop Guide for TDL by Sandswept (It encompasses MUCH more than this post).

Free E-book by various industry professionals:
http://www.artbypapercut.com/
_____________________________

Some terms that are helpful to know. (Open spoiler to view).

Spoiler: show
Edge: A line between two points, or vertices.

Vertex: A point defined in space(vertices for plural).

Polygon: A flat surface such as a square or octagon made up of triangles.

Quad: A flat 4 edged polygon, or a square, comprised of two triangles.

Face: A face is a flat surface of a three-dimensional object.

Bone: A pivot point put on a model for animation of geometry.

Rigging: The setup of bones on a 3d model to prepare it for animation.

Polygon Modeling: A technique in 3d modeling where basic shapes are shaped into complex objects.

Digital Sculpting: 3d modeling that is similar in technique to clay sculpting in real life.

Texture: An image applied to a 3d model.

Normal Map: A texture that imitates detail by making a flat surface look more complex than it actually is.

Spectral Map: A texture that determines how bright light reflected off a surface will be.

Bake: Baking stands for when you have a highly detailed model, "take a picture" of its surface, and create a Normal Map to use on a lower detailed model to imitate detail.

Topology: The surface geometry of a 3d model.

Reference Image: A image or concept art used to create the shape of an object proportionally.

Modifier: Some programs have “modifiers” that you can apply to models, which do various things like increase the detail of the topology , among other things.

Shaders: Shaders are computer programs that create shading, or the perception of depth and distance. Modern shaders have many purposes which include simulating lighting, post-processing effects in games, hue, saturation, and colour.

Draw Calls: (very simplified) Draw Calls are when a game loads each resource needed for a 3d scene. It’s important that you know if the same model is used over and over again in a scene, it will run slow due to “calling” on that object model and image multiple times, but if the various models were placed are combined into one big model, it will be much more optimized as it will only have to render it as a whole model with one image, instead of rendering each model individually.

For the best description I’ve encountered on draw calls, I suggest reading this great Q&A from the Unity Community

LOD(Level of Detail): Level of detail is decreasing the complexity of a 3D object and/or its texture as it moves away from the viewer to improve performance. Using level of detail increases efficiency by decreasing the workload.

Particles: For particles I suggest reading this great article from www.pxleyes.com


--Programs--

(Almost every bought program has a trial, and the Autodesk products all have educational versions for college students.)

FREE
Spoiler: show
Blender
A free 3d modeling software with wide community support, used by many indie studios for its low cost of FREE, abundant features, and ease of use. (Apparently Arcitecht uses it along with Zbrush and 3D-Coat.)
Blender Link


Sketchup
Formerly known as Google Sketchup, Sketchup is an intuitive modeling software that is well known for its ease of use.
Sketchup Link


Sculptris
“Sculptris is an elegant, powerful and yet easy to use 3D sculpting software.”
Sculptris Link


GMax
GMax is a free modeling program derived off of much earlier versions of 3ds Max.
GMax Link


Milkshape 3D
"MilkShape 3D is a low-polygon modeler, which was initially designed for use with Half-Life. By and by many file formats and features have been added. "
Milkshape 3D

Wings 3D
"Wings 3D is an advanced subdivision modeler that is both powerful and easy to use."
Wings 3D


BOUGHT
Spoiler: show
Mudbox
Mudbox is a digital sculpting software developed by the software company Autodesk.
Mudbox Link
Full capability 30 day trial - Educational Version for certain college students - $795

3ds Max
3ds Max is a modeling software developed by Autodesk, it comes it two versions, 3ds Max(For games and entertainment) and 3ds Max Design(More suited for architects).
3ds Max Link
Full capability 30 day trial - Educational Version for certain college students - $3,675

Maya
Maya is also a modeling software developed by Autodesk, the difference being it's designed with a focus on organic modeling in mind, such as people or plants.
Maya Link
Full capability 30 day trial - Educational Version for certain college students - $3,675

MotionBuilder
A software by Autodesk that is used to create interpolated and smooth animations for character models.
MotionBuilder Link
Full capability 30 day trial - Educational Version for certain college students - $4,195

Zbrush
Zbrush is a digital sculpting and painting program that utilizes “powerful features and intuitive workflows”.
Zbrush Link
$699

3D-Coat
“3D-Coat is the one application that has all the tools you need to take your 3D idea from a block of digital clay all the way to a production ready, fully textured organic or hard surface model.”
3D-Coat Link
Has a trial- Currently discounted versions until July 1st, 2013

TopoGun
"TopoGun is a stand-alone resurfacing and maps baking application."
TopoGun Link
Very limited trial for evaluating the product- $100

Polygon estimates for models in TDL
While these are the general guidelines, keep in mind a model could still look very good with even less polygons than stated.

Level Of Detail Guidelines(From Workshop Page):
Weapons: 6000 polygons (around 11,000 tris)
Head/Face/Neck/Eyewear Items: 500 polygons (around 1000 tris) (even less for eyeglasses and simpler items)
Body Clothing: 600 polygons (around 1200 tris)
Other Items (i.e. food): 200 polygons (around 400 tris)
Structures: Highly variable based on size, see Simple and Complex Building tutorials for more information. [Coming soon!]
Vehicles: 10,000 polygons (around 18,000 tris)
World Prop: Highly variable based on size, see Prop tutorial for more information. [Coming soon!]
Doors / Windows: 200 polygons (around 400 tris)

Q: Any guidelines on the creating the LOD models?
A: Yes! Here's an LOD guide from Sandswept 3D Artist Chaoss Pierce:
Spoiler: show
LOD Guide
"Always include 2 additional LOD levels. TDL supports up to 2 LODs maximum. The guide below is just that, a guide. Props which have lots of small parts can be combined with other props, for example a vintage door may have a very detailed door handle, the door handle could be a second 'tiny' prop with the door being a huge prop.

As a rule of thumb; the larger the prop, the lower the triangle count can be. However, if you use a very strict level of detail mesh then you can have a higher triangle count.

Let's take a super detailed vintage door with steampunk gears, hinges and lots of decorative detail. You would normally say, "450 triangles max," but if the LOD is only 12 triangles, then you could instead use 600 polygons close up. Again this is all down to artistic choice, experience and skill. If you are unskilled with being crafty with your LODs, I'd recommend sticking to the basics and not trying anything too fancy. Main point of LODs is to reduce polygons and maintain the sillohuette and appearance of the object. TDL already takes care of "LOD Popping" with a dissolve effect between LODs.

Here's a quick guide for your LOD reduction amounts:

LOD 0 (Master): No reduction. This is the close up model. (In this example: 1000 tris)
LOD 1: 66% reduction or greater from LOD 0. (400 tris)
LOD 2: 66% reduction or greater from LOD 1. (About 150 tris, or as low as possible)


Keep in mind that the lower your can make your LODs while maintaining the look of the object, the further away your LOD can be seen from. The Dead Linger is a careful dance of LODs to properly create this vast, long-distance world, and maintain performance.

Hopefully this answers most of your LOD questions! Please see the tutorials or visit our forums for further information on specifics."

- Chaoss

Goal: Maintain silhouette.

Also, if you want to post models for TDL in the survivor creations section, be sure to include the polygon count, pictures of the wireframe, and the normal view of the model in all of its glory.
==============

Image Manipulation Software
Spoiler: show
xNormal
xNormal is a free program that bakes all the maps needed, normal maps, spectral maps, ect. The cool part is, it can bake textures from your high poly model, and apply them to your low poly model, which helps if you don't have a program like Zbrush or Topogun.
xNormal Link

_____

Gimp: http://getgimp.com/
Gimp has most of the capabilities Photoshop has, but is a free software. While Gimp may look daunting at first, it is actually easy to use when you become used to it.

_____

Paint.Net: http://www.getpaint.net/
Basically an advanced Windows Paint with much more capability and backbone. This could be used hand in hand with gimp for photo touch-ups.


Tutorials


Last Edit: 11/2/14
MAGIC CLAW(press me)

Joined: Apr.22.2012

Posts: 122

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Quality Post (1)
<REDACTED>
MAGIC CLAW(press me)

Joined: Apr.22.2012

Posts: 122

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Quality Post (1)
<REDACTED>
MAGIC CLAW(press me)

Joined: Apr.22.2012

Posts: 122

^ Top
 
Offline
3ds Max, 3ds Max Design, Mudbox, Maya, and MotionBuilder

Are these all to be used together or only one for everything?
No Signature

Joined: Apr.06.2012

Posts: 3

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Community Moderator (1) Quality Post (1) Backer! (1)
TAZ6804 wrote:
3ds Max, 3ds Max Design, Mudbox, Maya, and MotionBuilder

Are these all to be used together or only one for everything?

Usually you'd choose 3ds Max or Maya, Mudbox and MotionBuilder are more specialized and would most likely be used alongside the others. But they all support importing and exporting that would allow you to work with all four together if you wanted.
The Rules | Jackal Mod Manager | Brotherhood of the Dead Clan
Image
Not a Sandswept developer, just a volunteer moderator.

Joined: Apr.03.2012

Posts: 2118

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Backer! (1)
Thank you so much for this!
zag wrote:
AUDIENCE?! What are you doing posting on the Sandswept forums?

Image

Joined: Apr.26.2012

Posts: 254

^ Top
 
Offline
For extreme detail on such things as pre-rendered cut-scenes you may want to have a look at mudbox also; it too is by autodesk.

of the programs here, 3ds max is an all round program which has a bit of everything included, perfect if you aren't specifying too greatly.

savvy
-->May hell rain down upon us, and we we enjoy its embrace ravenously.

Joined: May.27.2012

Posts: 7

^ Top
 
Offline
Is there anything better you would suggest just for simple 3d modelling for weapons ?
No Signature

Joined: Apr.06.2012

Posts: 3

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Sandswept Staff (1) Community Moderator (1) Original Member (11/30/2011) (1) Quality Post (1) Artiste (1) DETOUR Beta Tester (1)
TAZ6804 wrote:
3ds Max, 3ds Max Design, Mudbox, Maya, and MotionBuilder

Are these all to be used together or only one for everything?

You will probably start out using one main program, but over time will develop a workflow using aspects of each, whatever suits you best. For example, I am big on sculpting so I use zBrush for high poly and some texturing, 3d-coat for retopology, UVs and more texturing, and blender if I need to create a mesh to sculpt off of.

http://3d-coat.com/
Check out 3d-Coat. Its a pretty cool, underrated piece of software.
No Signature

Joined: Feb.11.2010

Posts: 240

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Backer! (1)
maya represent here :P
for zbrush starter tutorials i recomend this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-hRle7SpyA as a starter, helped me out the other day.

TAZ6804 wrote:
Is there anything better you would suggest just for simple 3d modelling for weapons ?

Arent really any program that is made for any specific models what ive heard, you can do all of it in the major programs.
Although i have heard 3ds max being a little more model friendly than maya. But you can do weapons in both (and blender to for that sake). You just need to find the right tutorials and not try to build a transformers the first thing you do :P
i would be thankfull if someone could pm me when avatars are back online

Joined: Apr.24.2012

Posts: 116

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Quality Post (1)
Arcitecht wrote:
http://3d-coat.com/
Check out 3d-Coat. Its a pretty cool, underrated piece of software.


Ill add that to the list, it looks quite useful!

And as for the differences between the programs, there are many different aspects to make a 3d model.

3ds Max, Blender, ect. are usually used for making the base model or (of little relation to a base model) a hard faced model(A model that has many hard angles(like a box) to export to Zbrush, Mudbox, ect.

Mudbox and Zbrush are sculpting programs, base models are imported which are usually used for organic models such as a persons head or body. (Zbrush has a more Dynamic range of capabilities than Mudbox from what I have seen though.)

MotionBuilder is used for easily animating a object.

Now while you could get all these fancy programs for different things, you can actually Do everything with a combo of, say, Blender and Zbrush. In example, base model in blender, export to Zbrush, export back to blender, UV map it, export back to Zbrush, texturize, export texture file and photoshop(or watevs), export back in and apply, export back to blender, animate and rig the model, add collision boxes, then export to a game engine or your local programmer.

You export to a programmer because the animations need to be scripted and snug with the engine.
MAGIC CLAW(press me)

Joined: Apr.22.2012

Posts: 122

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Quality Post (1)
Burned this rickety building to the ground, rebuilding it in a aluminum falcon-worthy chassis. Probably Slowly, but rest assured, there will definitely be at-least more advanced material and links by the 20th this month.
MAGIC CLAW(press me)

Joined: Apr.22.2012

Posts: 122

^ Top
 
Offline
Showcased! (1)
http://www.topogun.com

Topogun, very useful for retopologizing high poly models.
No Signature

Joined: Jun.09.2012

Posts: 40

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Quality Post (1)
Thanks for that mate, ill be sure to add it!
MAGIC CLAW(press me)

Joined: Apr.22.2012

Posts: 122

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Backer! (1)
just a little correction, the video i linked wich is a zbrush startup vid. You put it under mudbox tutorial when it should be zbrush tutorial :P
i would be thankfull if someone could pm me when avatars are back online

Joined: Apr.24.2012

Posts: 116

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Quality Post (1)
Thanks for telling me
MAGIC CLAW(press me)

Joined: Apr.22.2012

Posts: 122

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Artiste (1) Showcased! (1) Backer! (1)
I think GMax should also be mentioned as its a free version of 3Ds Max.
http://www.turbosquid.com/gmax

It also has an Open EULA that allows you to export md3 files to games.

---

But otherwise its a great post
Image
-----------
Join the Brotherhood of the Dead A Dead Linger Clan, and visit our website Here

Joined: Apr.10.2012

Posts: 3844

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Quality Post (1)
xxswatelitexx wrote:
I think GMax should also be mentioned as its a free version of 3Ds Max.
http://www.turbosquid.com/gmax

It also has an Open EULA that allows you to export md3 files to games.

---

But otherwise its a great post


Oh no, someone found GMax. I'll add it anyway since you asked, and toss Milkshape 3d in as-well.

And thanks!
MAGIC CLAW(press me)

Joined: Apr.22.2012

Posts: 122

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Really nice post!
No Signature

Joined: Oct.19.2012

Posts: 142

^ Top
 
User avatar
Offline
Quality Post (1)
Cnaff wrote:
Really nice post!


Thanks, I hope it was helpful.
MAGIC CLAW(press me)

Joined: Apr.22.2012

Posts: 122

^ Top
 


cron
Back to Top of Page