27. May 2012

I have long been a cheerleader of the excellent Wings3D a freely available 3D modeler in the vein of the long dead Nendo.  Sadly, the main developer announced his intention to stop development of Wings.  The project seemed destined for death, and for a number of months that was exactly what seemed to be happening.  Then I noticed today that the website has gotten a face lift and this wonderful tidbit!

New Release in the Works! (05/12/12)

Wings is still alive and we're working on a getting a new release ready. In the mean time you can checkout our updated gallery.

Excellent news!  If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you give Wings a look!

In the meanwhile, here are a few of those updated images:

Looking forward to a new release!

13. July 2011

Tweak is a neat feature in Wings 3D that allows you to do radius based editing, by setting a falloff radius of effect.  There is one confusing thing with Tweak though, when setting the radius, you get the following item in the info bar:

Here’s the catch, in order for the radius adjustment to be working, you need to be actively mousing over an object!

11. July 2011

You’ve probably seen me ( and many others ) mention ngons in the past and if you are drawing a bit of blank on why they matter, here is a bit of a demonstration.  An ngon is simply a face with more than 4 edges.  Let me illustrate.

Let’s say you have a object like this:

And you wanted to cut one of the faces in half like this:

Well, everything looks normal, but in reality you just created an nGon ( two actually ).  See, look at the number of edges in one of the faces you just created:

See, 5 edges.  In a app that doesn’t support ngons ( such as Blender without bmesh ), this simply isn’t possible.  In Blender, you would need to cut all the way around the object to make sure no polygons have more than 4 faces, like this:

This is purely a modeling feature though, at the end of the day, Unity will convert your object to triangles, like this.

This is why working in quads is always so handy, they convert to triangles in a very predictable way.  Working in ngons is incredibly handy, allowing you to model detail only where you need it.  It makes it a lot more difficult to screw you your topology with needless geometry.  But as illustrated by the final figure, it’s not the end of the world, everything ends up the same in the end.

28. June 2011

Often times, especially when modeling real world objects, you like to use a reference image to model against.  The following video shows how to setup a pair of reference images in Wings 3D.  The process is pretty straight forward.

Step 1:  With nothing selected, right click and select Image Plane…

Step 2: Select the file to use as your background image.

Step 3: You can now rotate,scale, etc… the image until it is in the location you want. When scaling or translating, make sure you are in body ( B ) mode, so it all scales properly.

Heres mine.

Step 4: Now you can add as many more as you want ( side profile, front, etc… )

Step 5: Now you can should lock the image planes so they cannot be selected.  Select nothing ( spacebar ), now Select(Menu)->Lock UnSelected Objects.

Done.

The following video shows this process, creating and sizing both a front and right side reference image.  Of course, there is a Vimeo link as well.

Creating reference images in Wings3D

24. June 2011

One thing you are going to find very different when working with Wings 3D is that there are very few hotkeys.  It’s very much user driven and it is expected that you will define hotkeys all of your own.  Right off the bat, there is one you should define, that of Cut->Edge.  This shows just how simple the process is.

First off, bring up the menu containing the item you want to hotkey.

Hit the insert key.

Look at the status bar for instructions or further details.

Hit the key you want to assign as a hotkey.

Done.

I highly suggest assigning Cut to it’s own hotkey, it will greatly increase your speed.  Really, the key thing to remember here is, when using Wings 3D, hit the Insert Key to bind a hotkey.  Should you screw up, you can always fix your mistakes using the advice in this thread.