Wings3D - Thoughts so far ?

I have recently discovered some tutorials on youtube for Wings3D and what I know about this program is based only on what I have seen it do.
I would like to get some feedback from users that are familiar with the program and understand it’s pros and cons.
I want to start learning this program as a replacement to Blenders modeling tool set, not replace it entirely. I haven’t tried Wings3D yet, I just want to figure out if its worth it.

So far I’m impressed with :

1.The general look and feel of the UI. I think it’s very smart and the commands are very intuitive.

2.Circularise. I haven’t seen blender or any program be able to do the things that you can do with this function in Wings3D.

3.Right mouse click context sensitive is IMO the best way to go that I’ve seen so far.

4.The multiple ways you can interact with a tool based on lmb or rmb etc.

5.The information system at the top ( length and other geometric information )

6.Work planes. Blender doesn’t have that.

What I have seen that are current limitations :

1.No proper boolean operations.

2.No follow path for easily creating profiles.

So my conclusions until now would be that Wings3D is very good at what it does. IMO it’s better than Modo ( very popular Modeling program ) , not to mention Blender based on what I have seen so far.

Please give your suggestions or what you have experienced so far, what you have used it for and what other useful information you might have in order to help me make a better decision.

I look forward to hearing from you !

What decision to make? Add it to your toolset - I did. I keep it around for modeling where it does the best job, then bring it in to Blender for the rest of the work.

Same can be said for Sculptris, very good at what it does. If you do a search here for posts about Wings, you will see several examples of very good mechanical and organic models made in Wings. That said, I’ve never rendered in it, always taken the output into bBlender and assigned materials/painted textures.

Yes that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about. Bringing in models from Wings3D to Blender or other software for different tasks.
Speaking of rendering … how does that work with wings ? exporters ?

Also how would you describe Wings3D ? more in the lines of a subdivision modeler ? parametric modeler ? a combination of both ?
How about a comparison with sketchup ? would that be wise ? I ask this because I’m also interested in precision modeling not necessarily mechanical.

Any other information perhaps ?

It is a very good modeling tool, but I don’t see it as a parametric tool. It is not a cad tool like rhino or solid works, it is more of a core modeler.

As far as rendering, I export and bring it into Blender and do all my rendering there - I haven’t tried to use the rendering in Wings as of yet.

Wings is a very mature, polished modeler with a large toolset. Very streamlined and easy to use.

It’s two biggest drawbacks for me are, first, that it is only a modeler and you need to export to other apps for rendering, animation and if you want to use more than a rudimentary texturing toolset with your models. If you model with Blender you can do it all in one app without having to learn more than one interface.

Second, and this is the big one for me, Wings doesn’t do so well with high-poly models. I like working with large meshes (500k-1M polys) and Wings simply wasn’t designed to handle that. The general consensus by its users is that Wings has a “comfort threshold” of about 250k polys before the screen redraw rates slow too much and turn your modeling experience into a slideshow.

However, for the creation of smaller, simpler models and base meshes, Wings3D is wonderful.

It’s two biggest drawbacks for me are, first, that it is only a modeler and you need to export to other apps for rendering, animation and if you want to use more than a rudimentary texturing toolset with your models. If you model with Blender you can do it all in one app without having to learn more than one interface.

Yes I’m all for doing it in one place but man you can’t beat that Circularise function. I wonder when will blender have that.

The general consensus by its users is that Wings has a “comfort threshold” of about 250k polys before the screen redraw rates slow too much and turn your modeling experience into a slideshow.

Auch that’s a serious drawback ! How is development going in that direction ? I’ve checked their forums but their not like blenderartists :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, Wings3D is an amazing modelling package, with ngons tools that are great and import/export function that can deal with ngons.

I really hope with further development once those Mango and GSOC projects are finished that Blender modelling and bmesh systems, with import/export scripts will be one day as good and finished as their Wings3D equivalent are.

Something to keep in mind : Wings3D works with manifold meshes, you can’t do any non-manifold modelling like extruding an edge by example, or at least not up to the last version i used.

While it’s not a problem for the majority of the models you want to create, there may be sometime in which you would like to be able to do something non manifold.

Another thing that I have been thinking of that differs between the two: Blender was developed to be a hotkey-driven app. Wings was developed to be mouse-driven. Depending on which you prefer, you may like one app better than the other.

While both of them can go the other way (Wings can have hotkeys set up for almost anything, and Blender can be run from menus), they don’t shine there. Invoking non-global axes transform constraints while modeling (an extremely frequent occurrence) is a prime example:

In Wings you LMB select an element (vert, edge, face), then tap a hotkey (if you have one set up) to invoke a transform mode (move, rotate, scale) and then mouse around to find another element that will define the transform constraint for the operation, then RMB that element. Now you can execute your transform. So two mouse clicks, a mouse move and a hotkey.

In Blender you RMB select the element, then tap three hotkeys, the first to define the transform mode and the last two to set the local/custom transform constraint.

One clearly mouse dominant, the other hotkey. Assuming you have your most frequently used hotkeys intelligently set up to be right under your left hand in either app, I find Blender to be much smoother, faster workflow. But, then again, I am a hotkey guy. Depending on which you are, you may prefer one app over the other.

Have you tried Looptools add-on for blender yet. It adds Circle, Bridge and some other useful stuff like flatten.
It was recently updated to work with the newest builds.

I’ve been using Wings3D since I found it was an opensourced copy of Nendo. It’s been a great modeling tool and Blender has yet to come close to the speed at which I can accurately model in Wings. I still use it often, anytime I’m modeling something complex for instance a character. The only drawbacks, as previously stated is it’s lack of speed with highpoly models. Of course you aren’t supposed to edit high poly models in it. Take it to a sculpting app :wink: But for building base mesh’s and starting from scratch box modeling style, it can’t be beat. The wings3d forums has taken a hard turn since PuzzledPaul has taken his ornery mitts over everything. It used to be a fun place when I was there and on the irc #wings3d on freenode. I’m still op on the irc channel but noone ever visits anymore. If you need any help with it though ,there are plenty of wings users hidden amidst the blenderartists forums.

[endi mode on]Don’t use Wings. Blender is way better.[endi mode off]

not sure why you place the onus on pp. He’s pretty much run the place (the ODF anyway) for much longer than you realize, I do believe.

I agree that there is a lot of contention between pp and gg (you know who I’m talking about), and there’s a lot of reasons for that including a long history which included gg being banned at one point, not by pp, but by the original ODF founder “roadtoad” (RIP), IIRC. You’ve also pro’lly noted I usually echo pp’s sentiments on most Wings related subjects. He has been on the ground floor of design and testing virtually every Wings feature. If you like Wings’ toolset, it is due in no small part to pp’s intensive testing and feature recommendations at the ground floor of the design phase. And he know’s what he’s talking about when it comes to “the Wings’ Way” in terms of how specific tools are implemented. It is a design philosophy that has served the app well over the years.

There are things in Wings that will likely never be in Blender:
Pre-selection highlighting.
Ops that work without the need to click for selection. Just hover to highlight and hit the function hotkey.
Selection by direct LMB, marquee, paint selection without changing selection “modes” or “tools”.
View rotation, although you can set it to the same keys as Blender, behaves differently. Wings seems to use a form of turntable viewport rotation that allows some “slop” in the Z axis that doesn’t exist in Blender’s version. Nor is it as wonky as full on trackball rotation.

While I’m an the subject of hotkeys… if only setting hotkeys were as simple in Blender… its simpler than before 2.5x, when it was impossible, but I just tried to assign a hotkey in Blender using the “add shortcut” popup… it took the key, the key is now listed in the menu as the shortcut, but fails to elicit the command!!! :p. Not sure what’s up there.

In Wings, simply hover over the menu item you want to hotkey, press the “INSERT” key, then the prefered hotkey, done. So “has to be setup” kind of misleads one to think that the hotkey setup process is a little more involved than 2 key presses. :wink:

I usually only have move, rotate, and scale free hotkeyed, and use the ortho view axis hotkeys (x,y,z) to limit movement to the view plane. Most other ops are based on the existing geometry (vector ops… also MIA in Blender.). If I need to lock down a single axis, I use the F1, F2, F3 keys which are single axis toggles.

I use Blender to model stuff that is best created with curves, arrays, or text. All other base meshes for the foreseeable future, start in Wings.

Have you tried Wings’ version of circularize and flatten and bridge?
Spanks Blenders behind, I think.
Bridge works on loops with different vert counts, for one.
Circularize has several more option giving it much more power, and flatten isn’t constrained to global or local axes, but allows you to flatten to the normal of any face in the scene.

Whoa ! A lot of replies here I see ! That’s good. I appreciate it !
Yeah and let’s not forget about the work plane that should have been in Blender a long time ago based on how useful it is. Not talking about the jumping through hoops one.
Well I don’t know about wings I’ll keep it in my mind. Since last I posted here I’ve been looking on the nets and found Rhino and man is is great. I think it’s what I’ve been looking for in a 3d program for over 2 years now. I’m glad I’ve found it.

Yeah I know he’s been there forever, I think even longer than I. We’ve just butted heads a few times, I didn’t really mean anything by it. I just can’t post on wings3d forum anymore because he edits everything I do and bitches at me. XD He’s a great guy and has/continues to do great things. After bjorn left, I sort of stopped coming by as he took my advice and I even helped him with some stuff, just not programming. Many changes in wings have came about after he left, some really great, some really annoying. Good ole’ GG. haha 'nuff said. I just advise anyone who is thinking of posting on the wings forum to read ALL of the rules before you do.

If you like Rhino, you might want to check out MOI. Coded by a guy who used to work on Rhino, it is a NURBS modeler (a la’ Rhino) that has a sticker price of roughly 1/3 that of Rhino. (US$295 for MOI v. US$995 for Rhino).

Moment of inspiration !
Thanks for letting me know Ran13 ! Always good to know other software :slight_smile: