Replacement 3D modeling program?

The intricacies, or simplicities of 3D modelling are worth understanding. Alongside other forums like Building Rolling Stock, Scenic Item Creation and the other tool specific forums here's another place to ask questions that just don't quite fit the other forums.

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TheRealHandyAndy
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Replacement 3D modeling program?

Post by TheRealHandyAndy »

Hi there, I'm new to this form of communicating with others, so please forgive any weird or silly looking stuff.

I used to use a modeling package called Train Sim Modeler (2002) from Abacus Software Inc, with which I created many, but none too sophisticated, models for my MSTS. It served my purposes well for many years, all-be-it, fairly simple projects.

However, it doesn't work on my modern, up-to-date, Windows 7 platform, and I'm sure it wouldn't be able to be used for RailWorks 3 Train Simulator 2012 even if I could get it onto the platform.

As such, I'm looking for a replacement 3D modeling program and up until I came upon this site, I had only seen such packages in a price range of thousands of pounds. This 3D Canvas Pro package looks like it may do the job and at about £50/60, is much closer to being within my budget.

Can I get any recommendations and/or are there any others available? I just want to make a few buildings, a bit of simple rolling stock, and perhaps be a bit more adventurous in due course and maybe do an engine or something like that, all for RW3 TS2012, of course.
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gavo01
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Re: Replacement 3D modeling program?

Post by gavo01 »

Blender.

Its free and you can download 2.49 from here, http://www.blender.org/development/rele ... ender-249/ and although there are newer versions, it is the only one that is compatible with Hennings Blender plug in, which is avaliable on UKTS. http://www.uktrainsim.com/filelib-info. ... leid=25903

There is also a ton of tutorials on line to get you started as well as dedicated forums.
rivimey
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Re: Replacement 3D modeling program?

Post by rivimey »

There are essentially 3 choices:

Blender
3DCrafter
3D Studio Max

ordered by increasing cost...

Blender is free but requires the "BigEx v2.71" exporter for IGS files. It can do the complete job. BigEx currently works with v2.49 of Blender, but it is possible for static models to create the model in 2.62 (nicer interface, more tools) and then read the file into 2.49 for export. I understand this doesn't work for animations though.

3DCrafter has a free version but to export to RW you need the exporter, which requres the Pro version at roughly $70. You also need an "unwrap" tool, of which the only one I know is Ultimate Unwrap, which costs around the same.

3DStudio Max is the expensive "Pro" tool. There are some cheap versions (e.g. Student) but the full version is in the "if you have to ask it's too expensive" category. It is the "native" RW tool in that it's the one Kuju designed the game with and for which there are official exporters into RW (though I hear the exporters may not work with the very latest version of 3DSMax).


So, you have choices, but no easy ones. I opted for Blender on the basis it is free and includes the whole workflow... and I hope sometime there will be a 2.6x exporter for it too. Many people use 3DCrafter, but then you have an external unwrap tool and that can be a pain.

Oh and as Gav says, Blender has oodles of tutorials on blender.org and on vimeo/youtube.

Hope this is helpful,
Ruth
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TheRealHandyAndy
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Re: Replacement 3D modeling program?

Post by TheRealHandyAndy »

Thank you people, much obliged, very much obliged in fact, no point in rushing out to buy something I may not need to buy....not yet anyway......hope to see you around.

Thanks again.

Andy......
kevmt
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Re: Replacement 3D modeling program?

Post by kevmt »

rivimey wrote:
3DCrafter has a free version but to export to RW you need the exporter, which requres the Pro version at roughly $70. You also need an "unwrap" tool, of which the only one I know is Ultimate Unwrap, which costs around the same.

So, you have choices, but no easy ones. I opted for Blender on the basis it is free and includes the whole workflow... and I hope sometime there will be a 2.6x exporter for it too. Many people use 3DCrafter, but then you have an external unwrap tool and that can be a pain.

Ruth
I've seen this mentioned a few times. Can I just point out that you do not need to use an external "unwrap" tool with 3D Crafter and can quite happily make models just using Crafters' built in tools.

I've made literally hundreds of models in Crafter in the past, without using any external unwrapping programs, including a couple shown below:-





Cheers,

Kevin
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johny
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Re: Replacement 3D modeling program?

Post by johny »

With 3DCrafter you can also import into it all those dst files you created with TSM, carry out any necessary retexturing or whatever and export the revamped model to RW3.

That is how my signal kits were done, oh and by the way there is a method of editing the registry to enable TSM to run in Win7, I am using TSM in Win7 64-bit. See http://forums.uktrainsim.com/viewtopic. ... 9&t=103258

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Acorncomputer
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Re: Replacement 3D modeling program?

Post by Acorncomputer »

kevmt wrote:
rivimey wrote:
3DCrafter has a free version but to export to RW you need the exporter, which requres the Pro version at roughly $70. You also need an "unwrap" tool, of which the only one I know is Ultimate Unwrap, which costs around the same.

So, you have choices, but no easy ones. I opted for Blender on the basis it is free and includes the whole workflow... and I hope sometime there will be a 2.6x exporter for it too. Many people use 3DCrafter, but then you have an external unwrap tool and that can be a pain.

Ruth
I've seen this mentioned a few times. Can I just point out that you do not need to use an external "unwrap" tool with 3D Crafter and can quite happily make models just using Crafters' built in tools.

I've made literally hundreds of models in Crafter in the past, without using any external unwrapping programs, including a couple shown below:-

Cheers,
Kevin
I too have built hundreds of models in 3D Canvas without using an external unwrapping program. I find that painting textures straight onto model faces and adjusting their positions with the 3DC tools is quick, easy and produces good results. I think 3D Crafter now has a few further refinements to make this even easier.

-
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maxtedrw
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Re: Replacement 3D modeling program?

Post by maxtedrw »

I agree with wor' he said up there ... I also use 3DC and have found it a much easier to use prog than Blender - for me - perhaps because I started with the TRainSim modeller and its previous flightsim version and the interface is a bit more intuative.

Have to say that now I wouldn't go back to TSM for all the tea in China. It is actually far easier to build in 3dc than TSM which means that models actually take longer as you can simply do more stuff with them.
Kariban
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Re: Replacement 3D modeling program?

Post by Kariban »

Blender all the way if I couldn't use Max; I had a look at 3DC and I didn't like it, but that may be because I've never gone near TSM. It's surely worth a reasonable trial, anyway.
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