How many of you are still using stand-alone sub-d modeling apps like Silo, Hexagon, Wings3d, etc.?
My main interest in 3d has always been just modeling and some basic rendering. I’ve always like the idea of stand-alone modelers because the development is focused on just one feature. Modo used to be just a sub-d modeler. I’ve modeled in Hexagon and Wings3d before I ventured to Modo and Blender. I didn’t have any interest in Silo because I thought it’s just a Wings3d modification.
Now I haven’t done 3d for almost a year now and my last serious 3d modelers were Modo 401 and Blender 2.x
Maybe this question is for stand-alone users. How do you find Blender’s current modeling system? Do you find it complete without having to use another one?
I guess it depends on what you want to model. How well you know what tools to use. Project expectations.
For some Blender might be a little too exotic compared to other 3d applications but it does offer some pretty powerful tools. You really have to get your feet wet to see for yourself.
Lastly you have to take into consideration the huge amount of add-ons that are available for Blender outside the box. If you don’t take that into consideration you might be missing out a lot. Sure some things aren’t quite polished yet but there are workarounds if you have time to work-around.
Been using Blender only for modeling since a year now…
Magic words are :
Dissolve caters for something that made Blender a drag for modeling before: having to delete elements, creating holes, and then remaking faces… crazy!
Same thing goes for ngons, you might not want to keep them in your final mesh but as an intermediary structure they are worth gold not having to work around this trying to have tris/quads !
Bridge is a lifesaver for connecting pieces/stitching but not used that often.
Knife tool, although not perfect yet, was finally a good way of cutting in new geometry which was sorely needed (although I did make the KnifePro script, but that was pre 2.5 only…)
Before these superb changes I tended to only use Silo for all modeling, havent touched it since though!
Still using Wings a lot, but less and less as the tools in Blender improve (bevel…I’m lookin right at you!). There are some things that Blender will likely NEVER have that Wings has that I like… pre-selection highlighting being one important feature.
Also there are viewport manipulation differences that keep me from surrendering to Blender entirely. That, and even after years of Blendering, I still stumble onto hidden modeling shortcuts that don’t seem to appear in any menus… usually involving some sort of Vulcan mind-meld to discover and a similar hand position to execute on the keyboard.
And while we are on the topic of kb shortcuts… if I want to assign one in Blender, it takes much longer, a search in the User Prefs, and all the clicks to get you there to do. In Wings, it’s simply means navigating to the command, highlight it, press INS, and then the desired hk combo… done.
Ran13 has described my sentiment. Even though 2.5 has introduced hotkey customization, it’s in such unmanageable state that it’s next to useless.
For me both modeling and sculpting are done all on hotkeys (all the other 3D generalist stuff I do is more based on the UI/buttons+menus). The key is not to have to memorize too many hotkeys and to be able to easily set them up. In my opinion blender’s got ways to go in both departments. The tools are there though.
To sum it up, if you don’t mind learning blender’s (I believe quite a few) hotkeys or use the buttons (layed out through various access points) you’ll be fine. Otherwise I’d advise trying out the other options.
The good thing of staying in the blender environment though is you get the full package, quite a good one! It’s got a fast pace of development, and quite frankly has a chance to address these shortcomings eventually. Pie-menus can alleviate a lot of that stress instantly, naturally if they are implemented in a user friendly way, not in the same way the Input Editor works.
Oddly, 4 years since the latest update, to me Silo is still my weapon of choice for poly modeling. I use blender as my re-topo and sculpting tool (dyntopo) for a while now. Rendering as well, as of late.
But honestly, straight up poly-modeling’s kinda old school
Sculpt than re-topo for anything outside the basic organic. Even for complex hard surface. Much more efficient. Check out the awesome tutorial from Kent Trammell on hard surface sculpting in blender.
I always used to use Silo, Wings 3D, hexagon, gsculp, now my favorite tool is ***blender , ** nvil, and ** zbrush . but sometimes I like to experiment with other tools like groboto, 3d coat, metasequoia, shade and so on.
As a product designer and alias/Rhino sculpter I was always curious how usable this approach really is to not only make some game content quality products, but produce mesh sculpts that really have a good surface flow and cleanness.
Maybe I should get a short term membership to watch this series.
Except for the knife tool ( wich has quite random behaviour and imo just don’t work except mebe on basic meshes like a cube ) Blender modeling is nothing but awe ! Of course averything can always be improved and one day, someone will make a feature with a button marked ‘make my model’ but you’ll always have base tools like ‘merge vertex’ or duplicate face etc…
The point is that blender is damn full of features. I’ve been using it for now more than 4 years and still discovers things ( the last one was 2 weeks ago with the G-G-key wich is a quite convenient move-along-edge feature.
At last but not least, blender is free ! The most important consequence of this is that developpers don’t work for money constains but for user oriented constains wich imo should be the case of all applications ( paid or not ) and with is pretty rare in paid ones
Working towards usability always leads to great product.
The bmesh knife used to have a lot of problem of missing cuts in previous versions , you could try to cut a face and only see vertices added to its edges without the cut being done.
But it got lots of fixes from by howardt to fix those problems.
So far in 2.66a the knife tool has not missed a single cut on my modelling sessions (and i use it a lot with dissolve to reorganize some groups of faces and edges in different way until it fits my needs), so hopefully the knife tool is fully solid now.
If someone still find models in 2.66 that cutting will still miss some faces, please report it on the bug tracker, the only way to hope for the problem to be solved.
Regarding the thread about modelling,
I used to model with Wings and Anim8or, but since a few years i noticed that my modelling was more and more fully done been in Blender, in fact i have not used any other modelling apps in the past 2 years and simply don’t even feel the need anymore to look out of Blender modelling tools.
I came from a CAD perspective. My initial idea of 3d creation was via curves or splines or line entities. A sphere, for example, could be generated by revolving an arc. A cube by giving height or depth to a square. A torus by revolving a circle at a certain axis. A tube by sweeping a circle along a curve or line. An irregular surface by creating a number of curves spaced along an approximate path then using loft tool to form the desired surface. And so on.
I found that a lot of people were using something called subdivision modeling. After tinkering with Anima8or, OpenFX, you name it, I ended up with Wings3d. (There was no commercially available stand-alone sub-d modeler at that time.) Long story short, I learned sub-d via Wings. The learning wasn’t really deep but deep enough to be able to form any model using the standard tools.
Then came the newest sub-d modeling app called Hexagon. (I know that Silo came before Hexagon, but it seemed so similar with Wings that it didn’t pique my interest, ie, the familiar righ-click and empty UI.
Again I spent the same amount of time learning Hexagon like I did Wings, but just a bit more. I would not have left Hex, but I was having a hard time visualizing my head model properly. The lighting was either too dark in some portion of the model or too light when zoomed in. That’s when I decided to learn Blender hoping that things would be better. I know it seems shallow, but I decided to learn it not only because of the modeling but because of the rendering aspect. (I had Carrara, but the modeling was a bit strange, nonetheless it was a very viable option for rendering your models. But going back and forth between Hex and Carrara was not getting very attractive.)
Then I bought Modo out of curiosity at a time when I was already deep into Blender and really didn’t need anything that I need to be able to do the things I can already do in the list of apps I had. I have no problem adapting Modo as my main app, but the tweaking is slow. But now because of the many changes in Blender, I can probably leave Modo without any regret.
I started out with Max, then switched to blender around 2.4. I tried using some other modellers like Hexagon and Silo, but despite all their great tools I just can’t go back. Blender has the shift key. It’s a killer feature. Seriously.
Am really amazed to see so many people saying knife works !
I feel kinda dumb beeing the only person saying knife don’t work. but indeed it does not !
Of course all those who never use it anywhere else than on a square or a cube want proofs !
Of course this could also mean am kinda retard and that i don’t use knife properly. on 2.49, it worked perfectly ! May i have forgotten how to use it ? mebe ?
Or mebe my computer is not compatible with blender’s knife tool ?
well. i think i have to open a specific topic on this…
Please don’t assume that splitting an edge means knife works, because it’s wrong.
IMHO saying knife works means it works in all the cases.