Blender & Wings3D

I’ve noticed tha people model in Wings3d then use Blender to render. What has Wings 3d got that Blender hasn’t?
I speak as a person that looked at wings a couple of times and hasn’t actually bothered to learn to use it because I like Blender more.
I’d just like to know if it’s a prefference or if Wings actually makes modelling easier in some way.

Wings is strictly a BOX modelling application. It has some advantages over Blender, but I also prefer to use Blender.

It does not have a built in renderer, so that is why you see people rendering in other programs.


its a preference :slight_smile:
i prefer wings :wink:

I used to dislike Wings very much, but once you start learning most of the shortcuts it can be a very nice program to create your models with.

Especially the support for edges is one feature that makes it better than Blender (in terms of modelling features).

I liked wings3d because I learned basic modeling with 3dsmax and wings felt more at home. now im comfortable with blender so…

I pushed through learning wings to do head modelling. Wings is great for this, in that you can have arbitrary n-gons while you’re working. If you’re in a tight spot, you can let a six-sided poly ride for a while, then figure it out later. You don’t have that kind of flexibility with Blender.

Blender’s knife, bevel and loop cutting tools mean that I’ll try my next head all in Blender. But if I get too frustrated, Wings will be there for me.

Wings is a great program, but I far prefer Blender for any organic modelling and general modelling. If I am going to make a bunch of fancy buildings though, I might opt for wings. Some things, you can do in Wings a heck of alot faster than in Blender, but, of course, you have to sit down and work with it quite a bit in order to be comfortable with it’s basic modelling functions. Both good modelling programs.

Wings has a ‘real’ face mode; Blender doesn’t. To work with a face in Blender, I have to:- Select UV Face Select Mode

  • Select a face
  • Select Edit ModeYes, you can toggle back and forth quickly with the Tab key, but it’s hard to see the faces in UV Face Select Mode - the object is displayed in white, with no lines drawn to show where one face ends and another begins.

Wings allows extruding along the normal in a simple manner. This is one of the primary operations I use in Wings. In Blender, you have to:- Choose E to Extrude

  • Press Esc
  • Press Alt+S for shrink/fatten (i.e.: use normals)It’s non-intuitive, not well documented, and too many steps for a frequently used operation. Plus, it behaves as Wings’ Extrude Region does, not as Extrude (not that it’s too important).

Blender’s Mesh Undo doesn’t allow you to recover if you’ve accidentally deleted an object (because the undo is associated with the mesh, and since it’s been deleted, there’s no way to get to the Undo :()

In Wings, it’s easy to create new geometry on faces. For example, imagine that you wanted to add three extruded fingers to the end of a cube. In Wings, you select the two edges, Cut and then Connect. Very nice and clean, and not a lot of extra geometry is created. (To be fair, Loop Subdivide gives nice results, but also adds a bit of geometry)

Along those lines, once you’ve cut the faces, you can select them all in Wings and Inset and Extrude.

In Blender, there doesn’t seem to be an Inset operation. You can select all the vertices and Extrude and Scale, but the scaling will be relative to the group, whereas in Wings each face is scaled relative to itself.

Wings also imports/exports a larger variety of models natively.

In general, it’s simpler to figure out how to do things in Wings. My 9 year old can paint individual faces in Wings; I haven’t figured out how to do it in Blender yet. I can choose faces in UV Mode and then go to Texture Paint Mode, mix a color in the Paint panel and… nothing. I can’t find anything on the Blender Documentation pages, so I’m left baffled as to how it works. Unfortunately, a lot of Blender is like that. I’m sure it’s easy once you know how, but it’s easy to find out how in the Wings user interface, without ever having to refer to documentation.

Some of these could probably be fixed fairly easily. For example, the Extrude menu currently only has a single option:Extrude. Since Blender supports many of the options that Wings has, I don’t see why they aren’t just added to the menu:- Free (Default)

  • Along Normal
  • Snap to Grid
  • Along X Axis
  • Along Y Axis
  • Along Z AxisAlong with a listing of hotkeys in the menu (I don’t know them off the top of my head).

The lines of the mesh should be displayed by default in UV Mapping Mode. There’s probably a way to turn them on, but I’ve yet to find it.

I realize that Blender’s Undo is a work in progress, but there should be some fairly intuitive way to recover from something like deleting a mesh. I know that you are supposed to be able to recover it from the history somehow, but I certainly can’t find any hint of how to do so in the menu system…

In time, many of these things will be corrected. But at the moment, Wings is the easier of the two programs. It’s not the more powerful of the two, but it’s (currently) better suited to box modelling, and it’s possible to puzzle out a lot more things in Wings than in Blender.

Actually, it’s got a (slow!) OpenGL renderer built in, as well as support for Yafray (if it’s been installed).

dcuny wrote:

Texture Paint Mode, mix a color in the Paint panel and… nothing. I can’t find anything on the Blender Documentation pages, so I’m left baffled as to how it works.

Texture Paint only works on an existing ‘Image’ texture and not on the mesh or materials.
Thanks for taking the time to write all that, I ignored it because there is just so much to say.


It’s not intuitive, but it’s possible. Within Blender, a mesh object consists of an object datablock and a mesh datablock. When you delete it, it unlinks the mesh from the object, but it stays around unlinked in the file until you save it. So if you delete a mesh, you can create a new mesh, then using the left ME: Menu in the edit panels, you can select the name of the old mesh datablock (it will have a 0 next to it, indicating it has no users linked to it), and the new mesh will be replaced by the one that you deleted previously.

As an example, start a new scene and add a monkey. Make some modifications to it in edit mode just to show that it’s yours (I dunno scale up its ears or something). Then go back to object mode and delete it. Then add a new cube and go into object mode. In the edit buttons change the mesh data from ME: Cube.001 (or ME: Cube, depending on whether you had one already in the default scene) to “0 Suzanne”. Voila, the suzanne mesh has now replaced itself with the cube mesh.

Of course it’s totally unintuitive and needs an understanding of how Blender’s OOPs/datablocks system works. What might be nice in the future is to add some kind of “trash” window, which shows you all the unlinked data, which you can then click on to create a new object with that data attached.

Fligh %, I was just trying to point up the differences between the two. For the most part, they end up being UI differences - I’d be hard pressed to find something in Wings that Blender can’t do.

Blender was written from the start to support a lot of various tasks with hotkeys, and Wings to do box madelling via a menuing system. As a result, most of the functionality in Wings is easily exposed through the UI, while in Blender it’s not. Despite the great UI changes in 3.2, there’s still a lot of stuff in Blender that’s still not available through the menus.

Wings has the advantage (and limitation) of the winged data structure. This makes certain tasks trivial to do in Wings, and by the same token, some things (like a mesh with a hole in it, NURBS) impossible. And because it only has to be one thing (a modeller), the Wings interface can be optimized around that single task and UI.

Blender’s added a number of features that make these tasks easier (for example, selecting edge loops), and I have no doubt that further UI improvements are on the way. But at the moment, Wings is superior for box modelling.

broken, I think the addition of a Restore Deleted… somewhere in the Edit menu would be a great thing. Now, if only someone would post a suggestion to the Blender Funboard… :wink:

I’d appreciate if you could try a CVS testing build (there have been additions made to the menus recently), make a list of the stuff that’s not available and post it to or something, so it can be fixed. Just mentioning that these exist doesn’t really help anyone :slight_smile:


I’d appreciate if you could make a list of these and post it to or something, so it can be fixed.

I’ve only noticed the image window anim and tiles related buttons

I use wings for importing 2d (vector) images into blender.

  1. Get a image, make path with a select tool in Photoshop. Then bring those pathes to illustrator.
  2. From Illustrator, save the file with the pathes as an illustrator ai file (version 8 or earlier).
  3. Import the ai file into wings. If error occured, go back to 2) to figure out what is wrong. If the file is imported without problem, export it as .obj.

<<wings seem to be highly selective in importing ai files (internal error or something), which I cannot really figure out what is wrong.>>

  1. With blender 2.28 by using a python plug-in (, import the .obj file.

<<I guess I could not import VRML files properly when I once tried, that must be the reason I am now using the plug-in)>>

  1. Finally save the file of the imported models as .blend.

  2. Then I open the .blend file on blender 2.31a nightly build. :wink:

It would be excellent if blender could import ai. files straight away.

Well, I grabbed the latest version from CVS and printed out the hotkey list (based on the excellentwhale list), but most of the options I’ve listed are missing. There’s Extrude, Extrude by Rotating and Extrude by Scaling, but no Extrude along Normal. I don’t know if people would consider Extrude along X, Extrude along Y and Extrude along Z as real menu options. They are in Wings, but I’ve read some arguments about “dumbing down” the Blender menus.

:x Using Blender’s Extrude along Normal in this build hasn’t been a pleasant experience. When I go to extrude a face, if the cursor hits the edge of the screen, the extrusion stops. Scaling the view with the mouse doesn’t help - it still only extrudes the same distance, and then stops.

I can’t get the face to extrude inward, either - it only seems to want to go in the outward direction. That’s an odd (and irritating) bug.

But I’m getting off topic. The bottom line (unfortunately) is that I’m too much of a newbie to know what’s missing from the menus, and they’re also missing from the excellentwhale documentation (for example, GKey + XKey to move along the x axis). So I can’t really help here. :frowning:

you shouldn’t have to go to 2.28 then 2.31 to use the importObj script. theres another update of that script that works with 2.31 I’ll upload it to my site for you…

That should save some time (and space on your hd cos u no longer need 2.28!) although I agree blender needs better import/export otions.

I run wings and blender together, if I’m having trouble doing somthing in one I’ll export to the other, edit, and then import back. Works for me. Also wings has a great Tool called AutoUV which is great for UV mapping even complex objects (if I need to UV map an object, export to wings > Map > import in blender > export a wire image of the map with the uvExport script > paint in gimp then load up image in blender)

Sorry about this sort of off topic post (although it does have a mini-tutorial in it :D)

Thank you, irgeorge!!

I will try the file and the method today as soon as I finish working on Illustrator.