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Want to learn 3d rendering any advice?

  1. Mar 16, 2005 #1
    Hi,
    I am trying to learn some kind of 3d modeling or 3d rendering program so that I can expand my graphics realm. I am pretty profficient with photoshop and i was wondering what software people recommend for creating 3D renderings.

    Also, I do not have the first clue about 3D programs or how they work, so i was wondering if anyone had any learning resources for absolute beginners like myself.

    Thank You in advanced for your help!

    Rody
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2005 #2
    Try the free POV-Ray raytracing software. Learning the syntax is quite easy; all the commands are well documented in tutorial and full mathematical form in the help file, and there are many third-party pages like this one dealing with it, as well as the newsgroup. The ability to write macros and incorporate loops and variables also makes it easy to generate mathematical models. To create meshes and other more organic shapes, you may want a modeller. Blender is a free modeller compatible with POV-Ray.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2005
  4. Mar 16, 2005 #3
    3D Max is good too.

    I use SolidWorks, but that is more CAD based.
     
  5. Mar 17, 2005 #4

    plover

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    Blender and 3DMax are likely a bit daunting for most beginners, but if diving into a complicated interface is something you enjoy then they could be fun. Blender used to have dreadful documentation, but that was a couple of years ago—so there's a good chance the community has gotten themselves organized and put some decent tutorials up by now.

    Another complex professional modelling program like 3D Studio Max is Maya, which now has a free version for non-commercial use. My impression is that 3DMax is mostly used by game animators, while film/TV animators use Maya, but I doubt there's any hard and fast rule about that. Maya is nice if you're a programmer as all aspects of its operation are available through an underlying script language.

    If you don't want to start with a full scale professional modeller, you might want to look at something like Bryce, which is a powerful program for some purposes, but which doesn't have all the features and complexity of a full blown modelling system. In my experience, Bryce is a great program to learn many of the basics of 3D and texturing.

    I think the free program Terragen may have a similar range of functionality to Bryce. I've never used it, but it receives many rave reviews.

    A good place to ask questions about this kind of software, and which probably even has some good FAQs on the subject is the GameDev Forum (it's worth a look even if you aren't interested in game development).
     
  6. Mar 21, 2005 #5
    I use Lightwave. I enjoy it also. Like Maya it has a scripting language. If you are interested in the math check into these. There are some amazing physics demos done on LW. If you do not get an education discount then LW is cheaper, I believe. Although if you go through the academic superstore they come out about the same and Maya has a larger user base.
     
  7. Mar 21, 2005 #6
    Blender (www.blender3d.org) and POVray (www.povray.org) are the only free rendering programs that I'm aware of. (Well you can get the other ones for "free" if you aren't averse to pirating software - though you will probably expend much time trying to get them - I tried this with lightwave and some important features were broken)

    Blender and POVray are two different types of programs. Blender is for the most part polygonal 3D modeller, whereas POVray is a ray tracer, although Blender does have some ray-tracing capabilities. The other difference is that Blender is graphical, while you have to write up descriptions of your scenes in textfiles with POVRay, much as you would with an HTML file and a browser.

    Alot of people will slam Blenders interface, probably because they are used to their own 3D modelling program and since Blenders interface is alot different from theirs and there is really not much reason to switch 3D modellers, they claim its too difficult. For example, you tend to use the RMB alot more than the LMB, and you issue alot of commands by the keyboard. You get used to it though.
     
  8. Mar 22, 2005 #7
    For starting out blender definately is not a bad modeler. There is another free modeler that seemed to have picked up steam called wings3d. I have not tried it though. Do a google search for cgtalk. It is a very good graphics community. You can even participate in monthly challenges.

    It will be very difficult to get around Lightwave's security. They require the use of a dongle which sends a signal through the usb port. If you ever used Logic pro or final cut pro it works as those do also.
     
  9. Mar 22, 2005 #8
    I forgot to add this. Without the dongle you get Lightwave discovery edition. Which is Lightwave without some features and a very limited save feature. It sounds like this is what you had.
     
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