View Full Version : Beta Testers Wanted
April 13th, 2003, 11:54 PM
Hey guys! Since I'm poor, and am not exactly a fan of pirating software, I've been restricted to making my 3D stuff with Milkshape3D, which, if you have any experience with it, is...difficult ;) So about two weeks ago, I started programming my own modeler. Like milkshape it is a poly modeler, but unlike milkshape, it's easy to use :) I taught my girlfriend to use it in about 10 minutes, and she's never used a 3D program ever before. Also, I wanted something that artists could use comfortably and freely - it seems like all I ever hear is "well, i want to do 3d, buy Maya's toolbar takes up 3/4 of my screen" or the like.
Honestly, this modeler is more just to make my life easier - it's designed around things I prefer, and a workflow that I am comfortable with. However, I would VERY much like it if it could help out other people too! I just finished the alpha tonight, and i hope that some of you guys will download it and try it out!
TOP THREE FEATURES ON THE WAY:
1 - UNDO
2 - .obj exporting
3 - ortho-projection viewing options
TOP THREE KNOWN BUGS:
1 - i think there's some weird slight error in my normal calcs
2 - the 3d transformation controls are a little difficult still - axes get reversed and stuff :(
3 - it's 5am, those are the only two i can think of right now - i promise there's more though!!!
I'm very open to ideas and sugguestions, although the features that make it are really dependent on whether or not i like em :) Thanks!
April 14th, 2003, 06:51 AM
Will be interesting to see!
Is there a shaded mode already? Does it have quad mode or is it all tri's? Can you split edges? That's the main thing i think for the poly modeling.
Try cgtalk.com too there is a programming thread there
April 14th, 2003, 11:44 AM
I'll check it out.....
April 14th, 2003, 03:25 PM
it has a flat shading mode (smooth shading wil be very easy to include, i just don't find it that useful yet), no quad mode (yet - i'd like to have it be an option eventually), and it has edge splitting - i forgot about cgtalk's programming forum, i'll post something up in there too!
April 14th, 2003, 04:37 PM
please put a "multiplayer" in it, that would be really great! do you know open canvas? a great "multiplayer" drawing program, would be really great to have something like this with a modellingtool!
April 14th, 2003, 07:40 PM
holy shit thats awesome
the only thing is that i think you should make it so you can choose to have multipe viewports, i mostly just use it at the very beginning when im modelling but id be lost without them.
anyway this'll be awesome when its done
April 14th, 2003, 09:24 PM
hey neox - i've actually thought about multi-player modeling programs a little bit before, mostly because i do a lot of long-distance group work with people...being able to have a truly multi-operator, interactive experience long-distance would be really awesome. However, I have no idea how to program in support for it :) while it's on the "future features" list, but i wouldn't hold your breath ;) it could take me a little while to figure out how to do it!
As far as multiple viewports, I hate em :) however, I'm not entirely adverse to adding in the ability to have them, especially if anyone more than just myself will be using this program...so i'll put it on the "future features" list too, although it will probably be implemented before multiplayer ;) What the program already has, in place of multiple viewports, is keyboard-controlled shortcuts to the positive and negative sides of each axis(x,y,z,X,Y,Z) which let you snap to whatever view of the model you want. Again, that's mostly personal preference, since that's the workflow i prefer :) however, currently on those "snap-views" it retains a perspective projection, and i'm thinking i'm going to have it change to an orthographic projection, and then pop back to perspective whenever you move the camera away....hahah - shit i just realized i was rambling :) thanks for the feedback so far - the beta will be up wednesday night for sure, with what little user manual it needs. Again, thanks for the feedback and ideas! keep it comin - the easier i can make modeling for artists, the better :)
PS - eventually, i.e. like this fall, i'm going to try and have some subD surfaces goin on too! wooo!
April 14th, 2003, 09:30 PM
way cool.. I really like wings 3d's stuff, but the one thing that it doesnt have that I really like is handlebars.. think you could put in a function to put in handlebars and make them toggle as well. That way people who hate them can get rid of em, and those of us who like them have em... I would so use your program too.. I only really use the basics of 3dsmax, unless Im unwrapping...
April 15th, 2003, 12:26 AM
Wow, sounds very, very cool. It'll be like the first multiplayer (multiuser) 3d modeler shareware. It sounds very, very cool. IN YOUR FACE DISCREET!:bash: Anyways, now I really got to get my art skills up.:beer:
April 15th, 2003, 12:41 AM
multiplayer is a damn long ways off ;) i'd love to see it happen though....
deth - what are handlebars?
April 15th, 2003, 04:12 AM
Handlebars or control bars.. they are the AXIS lines that come out from either selected vertices or the center of planes or center of segments when selected.. they have little arrows at the end so you can move the selected piece with that instead of having to right click and click on move in X direction...
April 15th, 2003, 05:57 AM
I vote for Neox' idea too : would also be a great way for you to get attention and not make it the umpteenth modelling tool out there - i think instantly huge amounts of people would a. like to try it and b. it would be unique.
BTW. do you build your stuff with directX ? The multiplayer stuff in there would be all you need.
April 15th, 2003, 10:34 AM
Sounds great to me!
I'm looking forward to see/use it.
Things you could build in to make it a better modeler than milkshape, e.g. : (not a you-have-to-do-this-list, only thoughts :D )
- a proper *.3ds *.lwo *.obj export :)
- fluent work with higher polycounts (more than 3000 or so)
- viewport editing (haaard to code i think but incredible useful)
- some sort of grid snapping / value setting
- 4-sided polygons (the smooth wouldn't be crappy like MS3d)
- splines :p
One of the biggest problems for me with milkshape was to create models with polycounts higher than 3000/4000 polies.
Although 512 MB-DDR should be enough for this little prog, it began to lag. Modeler-engine caused, I think.
good luck! :D
April 15th, 2003, 12:25 PM
yeah ms3d useed to give me probs at about 2500 polys, and my machine isn't exactly a pushover :P in response to your ideas:
- .obj support - i intend to add .obj support within the month - that way i can actually use blaine to model stuff, and then just add the textures and whatnot in ms3d :)
- support higher polycounts - blaine should be able to work with much higher polycounts than milkshape. Everything about blaine has been designed to scale well (well, with a couple revisions to the code anyways) - my goal is that blaine should work really well up to about 5k polys
- viewport editing - probably not gonna happen :D at least not for a while anyways. Although, if more requests for it come in, who knows?
- while i may not add grid snapping, i will definitely be adding a grid that appears when the camera is at any of the pre-defined "shortcut" points (i.e. on any of the axes, and pointed at the origin), and by the second alpha release, blaine should support orthogonal projection when it's at those camera points as well.
- later this summer i'd like to add hardware-shader support for phong shading, and support for viewing a mesh as quads...however, in the first alpha, i'm still having trouble calculating my normals for the flat shading :P go figure...
- splines - hell no :D
Erik - blaine is built on wxWindows and OpenGL so that the code can be ported to UNIX or Mac based systems, so directX's multi-user support is pretty much out the window for me...
Deth - gotcha :) i remember those from Maya now - blaine probably won't have those...although it's not a bad idea. Right now the "Camera shortcut" keys will help the user control the transforms, but the handlebars might make that easier...they also might clutter the screen...hmmmm...not too hard to code though - i'll put em on the "maybe" list - not a bad idea, but i'm just not a huge fan - but again, if enough requests come in, i wouldn't be surprised if they appear over the summer ;)
April 15th, 2003, 01:00 PM
Something else that is really handy in Maya and easy to implement: KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS! the q-w-e-r-t-y thing in Maya to switch from select to move to rotate to scale etc is really a time saver and it reduces mouse mileage.
Where can we DL Blaine (cool name btw) ?
Oh, and i seem to remember vaguely that there is some OpenPlay or something an OpenGL equivalent of DirectPlay. Maybe it has multiplayer stuff?
April 15th, 2003, 02:39 PM
Erik - the Blaine alpha (it was gonna be a beta, but honestly, it's really more of an alpha at this point!!) will be available for download sometime tomorrow evening. You can check out the instruction manual from the link below, though - i think that it will clear up ay worries you have about keyboard shortcuts :)
Blaine3D Instruction Manual (http://bombshelter.ghostopsmod.com/files/blaine/Blaine3D%20Instruction%20Manual.doc)
April 16th, 2003, 04:58 AM
I got the alpha done a night early
April 16th, 2003, 09:12 PM
Very cool! It kinda reminds me of Maya. Hmm... Are you gonna come up with an icon or anything else like that. When do you think your gonna be done? Oh.. umm, when I right click.. then extrude... what do I do next when I click on extrude?
April 16th, 2003, 10:27 PM
yo teki - throw it in translate mode ('t' on the keyboard) once you click extrude...maybe i should make it auto-switch
April 17th, 2003, 04:41 AM
Cool stuff, rotates nicely.
To make it useful, there should be two or three important thingies:
1. lock translation axis. It should be made so that if you want you can translate only over an axis, like the gizmo in max and the manips in Maya. now if i get a vertex right in one direction in moves in another :-(
2. split edges should be made so that you can click the edge where it shuld split, you can cut edgeloops that way around the model. This also has to do with quad geometry.
3. mirror function!
If these are there we can start pumping out geometry ;-)
keep at it its gonna be cool!
April 17th, 2003, 02:14 PM
yeah i'm not yet happy with the translation rules myself - they will be getting work done on them :) As far as edges, i don't ahve any real way to handle edges, so i kind of hacked my face support stuff to to do it for me....also, i already have mirror functions :) they're in the right click menu! thanks for the feedback!
April 24th, 2003, 11:56 AM
quick update - i'll be posting a new version of Blaine3D tonight with the following fixes:
- Tweaked scale control (less...violent ;) )
- Added orthographic projection when using the camera shortcuts so that it is easier to line things up
- automatically switches to translation mode after extruding a face/faces (thanks teki!)
- .obj save-as (buggy but usually it kind of works ;) )
- insert->cylinder (5, 6, 8, 12, and 16 sides...actually supports any number of sides above 3, but i don't have a good interface for choosing sides, so i just used those numbers cuz they seem most often used)
- tweaked 3d transform mouse controls (blaine now guesses based on camera position the two axes of movement that you most likely want to work with, and throws away the third - this is my handlebar compromise ;) )
- rotation now limited to one degree of freedom (spins around most likely axis)
I think that's about it - i'm leaving for a roadtrip at 3am tonight, and when I get back i'll be adding edit->undo, which should put Blaine3D at official beta status, at which point i'm going to post him over at cgtalk as well...cuz at that point he should be pretty useful :) enjoy, and thanks again for the feedback!
April 25th, 2003, 01:22 AM
here's the new version (as if anyone cares :p )
Blaine3D Poly Modeler (FREE!!!) (http://bombshelter.ghostopsmod.com/files/blaine/Blaine3D.rar)
Supports everything I've listed so far and then some! I'd really appreciate some feedback on how to make this more user friendly!
User Manual (http://bombshelter.ghostopsmod.com/files/blaine/Blaine3D%20Instruction%20Manual.doc)