Subscribe to GameFromScratch on YouTube Support GameFromScratch on Patreon

7. March 2016

 

It’s not very often I am surprised by the existence of a previously unknown to me 3D application, as I tend to pay attention to these things.  It’s even rarer that such an application is free, as I am a huge fan of free tools.  It’s almost a blue moon scenario when its TWO applications we are talking about!  Well, that’s exactly what just happened, I learned of the existence of two, completely free, 3D modeling applications and I figured I would share them here.  Both apps are very different in scope and what they are trying to accomplish.  Both are also fairly young in their development cycle, so expect crashes and unexpected behavior from either application.

 

Dilay

Dilay is probably the easier of the two applications to explain, so I’m going to start with it.  Basically, Dilay is an open source sculpting application such as zBrush or Pixologic.  As the later is no longer being developed and the first one is quite expensive, this is without a doubt a good thing.  Of course, Blender has sculpting features, but there are certainly flaws in it’s implementations.

The interface in Dilay is extremely straight forward.  You essentially work in one of two modes, sculpting and sketching.  Here is the sculpting interface in action:

image

 

If you’ve used zBrush/Sculptris/3D Paint/Mudbox at this point, you have a pretty good idea what to expect.  Generally you start with a simple mesh like a sphere and then sculpt as if working with virtual clay.  The sculpting can easily be mirrored across the center axis for symmetric objects.  The tools are pretty straight forward, you can carve, crease, grab, drag, flatten, smooth and pinch your object into the desired shape.  Nicely, you can also reduce, which enables you to dynamically reduce the polygon count of the mesh you are creating.

The other mode of operation is Sketching.  Essentially you shape your base model using a series of spheres.  Somewhat confusingly you need to delete your sculpt before you can sculpt.  Now it’s mostly a matter of painting a series of spheres that will compose your base mesh.

image

 

When you are done, simply click Convert Sketch, and it will be ready for editing in the sculpt interface.

When you are done, objects can be saved as obj files, a format that is supported in pretty much every single 3D application created in the last decade.  There are some glitches, I experienced a couple of crashes (for example, don’t enable wireframe!), but it is certainly a usable tool at this stage.  Dilay is open source and released under the GPL license.

 

PolyBrush

Polybrush is a much harder application to explain.  I think the easiest description is, it’s a 3D sketch modeler.  The entire idea is to create 3D models quickly using a combination of sketching, user generated brushes and symmetry.  The results are actually pretty astonishing.  The application is more stable and complete than Dilay but the interface is also extremely obtuse and will require a much steeper learning curve.

image

 

Here you either create your own 3D volume brush or use one of the included brushes, then either paint on the construction plane, or one another existing object.  Brushes can in turn be applied to the surface of an existing model, giving you rapid sculpting abilities with dynamic brushes.  You can also work symmetrically across a number of different axis.

Like Dilay, Polybrush also exports in OBJ format.  The exe weighs in at a paltry 4mb with the included brushes and at 2mb without.  It’s also remarkably fast, I made some fairly complicated scenes while running on my integrated Intel GPU and never experienced a slowdown.  The application is quite robust and vast, offering layers, 2D and 3D sketching, 3D primitives, the ability to define your own brushes and much more.  It’s a cool application once you get past the somewhat confusing interface.  It does however have a community behind it, so getting support is a heck of a lot easier than Dilay.  Polybrush is closed source software.

 

I will actually be posting quick videos showing both applications in action shortly.  Both are small downloads and completely free, so if you are in the market for a modeling or sculpting application, I recommend you check both of them out.

 

EDIT – A video of Dilay in action is now available.

Art ,

2. March 2016

 

Sp3 for 3ds Max 2016 has been released, updating the popular 3D content creation package.

The service pack makes the following changes:

Animation

  • MAXX-24066 Changing Frame Rate Breaks Default AutoKeyframe When Greater Than 0
  • MAXX-27784 CAT Motion Editor Spinner Y and Z are buggy.
  • MAXX-29434 Program error when user saves bip without extension
  • MAXX-27484 skinOps.ReplaceVertexWeights not working

Core

  • MAXX-28752 Customer Error Report: Program error on File Open in UpdateSnapDisplay
  • MAXX-28406 Memory leak with Animation playback

FileIO

  • MAXX-24692 No mapping during import of Autocad
  • MAXX-29250 Program error while exporting a scene created in 3ds Max 2014
  • MAXX-29125 FBX: custom attributes lost while importing fbx from MotionBuilder
  • MAXX-28897 DWG Import of dwgs containing negatively scaled blocks displays incorrectly.
  • MAXX-29186 Program error with Container Operation
  • MAXX-26606 Scenes with many xref objects take exponentially longer to load

Materials ShaderFX

  • MAXX-29612 Undo break connection Program error
  • MAXX-27846 ShaderFX in Max 2015/2016 doesn't receive Shadows

Maxscript

  • MAXX-28959 Add filename being imported/exported to NOTIFY_POST_IMPORT and NOTIFY_POST_EXPORT

Modeling

  • MAXX-28623 Linked Objects Inherit Parent Object Scaling
  • MAXX-29452 Customer Error Report: Program error with Mesh Optimize

Rendering 

  • MAXX-28428 Arch & Design templates not working anymore
  • MAXX-28958 Expose RenderElement from OpenEXR Layer

Text tool

  • MAXX-25232 Object Scaling / Frame #0 seems to not being transferred to the preset.

Viewports

  • MAXX-23386 Nitrous reflection display buggy/partly broken

Service pack 3 for 3ds Max 2016 can be downloaded here.

GameDev News ,

26. January 2016

 

Maya LT, the stripped version of Maya aimed at indie game developers, just got a version of the Bonus Tools, previously available only for the full release of Maya.

 

From the Autodesk blog:

Are you a Maya LT user?  Have you seen or heard of BonusTools and felt a little left out?  well I'm happy to announce that BonusTools is finally available for Maya LT!  It has consistently been one of the most requested improvements on the Maya LT user forums. 

I should note that it is technically a subset of the regular version due to the fact that some plugins and python scripts are not supported in Maya LT.  But, with around 100 new tools included, there is still a lot of functionality in the LT version.

Links to the install package as well as to the installation instructions have been posted on the Bonus Tools Resource Page.  Here you'll also find tutorials and movies related to the individual tools.

If you're not familiar with BonusTools you can check out the following movie as good intro to the kinds of tools that are available.

GameDev News ,

1. December 2015

 

Autodesk just announced the release of Extension 2 for 3ds Max 2016.  Extensions are interim updates between major releases.  Extensions 2 adds the follow functionality:

  • With fundamental improvements in the Max Creation Graph (MCG), users can now animate accurate simulation data like Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) data or other data inside their 3ds Max scenes. 
  • With the new built-in “Send To” Autodesk Print Studio button, users can quickly export and 3D print any of their 3ds Max creations. 
  • The new Texture Object Mask modifier allows users to position and animate textures on an object using other objects in the scene. 
  • The new TextPlus feature, introduced in Extension 1, now has the ability to use text strings and shapes to be used as a material map, creating material decals in your scene.  

They have created a video showcasing the new capabilities:

Read more at the official announcement.

GameDev News ,

27. November 2015

 

Quixel just released version 2 of their suite of products.  Quixel Suite is composed of:

 

You can currently purchase the entire suite for $99 on an indie license or $409 on a commercial license, which represents a 25% savings.

 

As to what Quixel actually is, it’s a texturing solution that bring PBR (Physically Based Rendering) to Photoshop.  Their own promo video probably illustrates it best… just turn your speakers down before pressing play!

If you are thinking to yourself, hey, that looks a heck of a lot like Substance Painter that you just looked at, you'd be right. They provide basically the same functionality for a very similar price, but Substance is a stand alone application while Quixel integrates within Photoshop.

GameDev News, Art

Month List

Popular Comments