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BlueCatShip
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post Mar 7 2012, 03:50 PM
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Hi All,

I have been trying to learn Adobe Illustrator lately, 2D vector art, and tried their 3D effects tools this past week.

I knew I was in trouble when, this morning, I started thinking about how I could draw and model an object given two crosss sections.

I'd like to try 3D modeling. But...budget.

I did a little looking, and Lightwave 3D 11 and Maya seem to be "the" pro / paid packages. But Lightwave 3D 11 is...almost $1500. Not happening. At least, not for a long while.

Poser, for modeling people/characters, is not much better at $500. Also not happening right now.

I see Blender is open source and has a few good credits under its belt. It's free. Free is good.

But my question is, what has anyone used (within reasonable budget) and what have you thought, what would you recommend?

Thanks. I'm looking to learn and try out, before going headlong into it.
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jackoverfull
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post Mar 7 2012, 04:00 PM
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I used to draw a few ships in blender…Not hard as it seems at the first glance once you get to know it! icon_smile.gif
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Zweller
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post Mar 10 2012, 06:24 AM
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Blender is quite powerful and has a good user community with lots of resources.

DAZ 3D is running a promo for free tools:

http://www.daz3d.com/i/3d/free-3d-software...ome_g_btn=start

Hexagon is supposed to be a decent basic (but sometimes crash prone) modeller. Bryce is good for landscapes and DAZ Studio is similar to Poser. The DAZ community also has quite a few Trek fans.

http://www.daz3d.com/i/3d-models/-/hexagon-2-5?item=4222

http://www.daz3d.com/i/3d-models/-/bryce-7-pro?item=11034

http://www.daz3d.com/i/3d-models/-/daz-studio-4?item=13176

This post has been edited by Zweller: Mar 10 2012, 06:25 AM
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New Homelands
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post Mar 10 2012, 04:18 PM
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I use lightwave quite extensively to great affect. I tried Blender but couldn't ever really figure it out. 3ds max, from what I hear, is good, but again you're talking a lot of money. My advice would be to download the free demo's and play around with various programs, then once you find one you like, look into buying it. Both Lightwave and 3dsMax have Academic licenses which are a fraction of the cost of the full program (as a student I was able to get lightwave 9.6 then a free upgrade to 10 for around $200), I don't know if that would be any help to you though. Check eBay, you might be able to find older versions cheaper there, which you could then upgrade at a later date.

As I've said, I use lightwave quite a lot. Mostly I use pre-built models in my animations; however, recently I completed a completely original civilian transport (see attached picture). The LW modeler takes some getting used to, but the animator is relatively straight forward. I believe Rob Caves uses lightwave 5.6 for his starship animations on the various shows he's created, which have top notch visuals, so even an older versions of the program might still be worth looking into. Attached File  transport.jpg ( 70.18K ) Number of downloads: 7


Hope this is somewhat helpful,

Sam
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BlueCatShip
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post Mar 10 2012, 09:08 PM
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Thanks, everyone. I'll be trying Blender and the DAZ3D products soon. The pricey products like LightWave or Maya are out of my reach right now, but that's OK. It'll take time for me to learn and play with these.

I'm an old hand at Macromedia Freehand (vector art) but I'm having to learn from scratch with Adobe Illustrator and with Inkscape. (Illustrator is driving me crazy with how it wants to do things or where things are. Counter-intuitive and I don't "get it" yet.)

But I haven't done 3D until playing with AI's 3D effects tools.

So...sort of like jumping into the deep end without swimming lessons (and maybe without swimshorts. Hmm....)

I got a recommendation for scifi-meshes.com , and I've joined up there.

It may be a while before I get going good. (Allergy/cold this weekend, I'm gonna hit the bed and read again.)
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