A look at 3d Modeling Software
If you are new to the world of Video game design you might not have a good grasp on the concept of 3d modeling and 3d models. The term evokes a picture of women walking on runways "modeling" the latest fashions in clothes.
What is 3d Modeling?
It is the the art of making three dimensional objects for video games. These objects could be anything from women to tables, lamps, plants, trees, cars, buildings and well you get the idea! The important thing is that they are three dimensional (3d). This way they can be viewed from any angle, all sides, top and bottom. What would happen if you placed a 2d table in a room? You wouldn't see it from the side because it has only two dimensions. It would make a nice straight on image but it is not good for modern video games where we actually walk around worlds in all three dimensions.
The thumbnail image you see here is of a 3d model for Daz3d Studio. That is a 3d modeling program. The model is fully 3d and is viewable in all three dimemsions and can be animated to have motions like a regular person, or a superperson if you so desire.
So, How is this 3d modeling done?
Well, it is a time consuming process (somewhat) because it is done by building a wireframe with a skeleton inside it and a skin around it. The wire frame (in red) tells us where all the skin goes. And the skeleton (yellow) tells us how the figure will move. The blue circles are joints. They tell us where the points of motion are.
You can see that if you want to make models it takes a bit of work. The red dwarf image above shows you that. And the more realistic the model the more work you have to do. But when it comes to 3d modeling you can get a lot of help. There are thouands of models already done for you. The model Victoria in the picture above is a good example of that. You can actually download model files and use them or modify them any way you like. So, while 3d modeling is very labor intensive it only has to be if you want your stuff to be absolutely unique. You can get basic models of just about everything including humans, dwarves, elves, dragons etc. and then modify them to what you want or need.
OK, So you want to make models and video games so which program should you get?
That can be a little bit of a tricky question to answer because there are a lot of variables like what computer skills do you have, what artistic skills you have and how much money you are willing to spend (if any). And are you seriously considering doing this as a profession?
Here is my list of 3d modeling software. This is a guide that will help you make a good decision on where to start. I have arranged them by cost and power. The simpler (and free) programs are first and we work our way up to the top of the line professional program that costs thousands.
The Easiest Way to Design with 3D Figures. We've all watched 3D movies or played 3D games, and most of us have dreamed about making our own 3D art and animation. You probably thought that 3D software is too hard to learn, or too challenging to be fun. Now, there's Poser Debut. Finally there's an easy way to learn 3D and be creative, even if you can't draw or have never taken an art class. Poser Debut is a 3D playground. Create scenes, add 3D characters, pose them, animate them and make cool images or videos. It's easy. It's fun. It's Poser Debut.
Poser Pro 2010 is the fastest way for professional artists and production teams to add pre-rigged, fully-textured, possible, and animatable 3D characters to their 3ds Max, Maya, CINEMA 4D and Lightwave projects. With COLLADA import/export, you can integrate Poser content within game engines, content management systems and other tools. Save time and production resources with 32/64-bit and multi-core system optimization and the Network Rendering Queue. As a standalone character animation system, or as a component in your production pipeline, Poser Pro 2010 is the most efficient way for content creation professionals to include 3D characters in any project.
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