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hello I'm interested in starting to make games for the i phone, i was wondering about what software is best for creating 3d models and animations for i phone games and apps, ideally i would like to use blender as its free and i like to support open source software as much as possible.Wink

as i have no programming ability(currently trying to learn c to then move onto objective c) I'm interested to know about compatibility issues that may exists with these programs and the i phone or have i got it wrong and you can use any of them and then convert them into the right file format within that program or by using another program for conversions.

as you may be able to tell I'm not a seasoned 3d artist, my skills come from a more classical back ground IE pencil and paper, i have used 3ds max a couple of years ago just to play around and see how it worked, they were pretty good for first attempts, I'm now looking to get a lot better with one of these 3d programs, mainly blender because of cost and from what Ive seen its seems to be just as good as any other, 3dsmax is well out of my price range but info about it is welcome and i am also interested in any other programs out there on this subject.

Sure, use Blender. The interface isn't designed for beginners, but there's a lot more people out there willing to help you learn it. The format probably isn't important because you'll probably end up writing your own importer to load the models (unless you use Unity, in which case you won't want to use 3ds Max).

Chances are you'll end up using .obj, which I assume all 3 packages export to (I know Maya and Blender do). It won't support skeletal animation, but there's no easy way to get that working anyway (even with Unity). (Actually, I just looked at the Unity page and it seems it's developed a lot since I last looked.)

I'd definitely try to stay away from Maya on the Mac.

Good luck with your learning.
maximile Wrote:I'd definitely try to stay away from Maya on the Mac.

Why's that?
Interface glitches mainly. It tries to use Mac-style buttons and controls, but they seem to be the wrong size for the space available. Tabbing between fields is often messed up, and sometimes a window or pane will become inaccessible, and the only way to get it is to relaunch the application. Which is a pain, because it takes the longest to launch out of any Mac app I've seen.

It's a bit faster now that there's a Universal Binary available (that took long enough), but once I finished my course (where I had to use Maya) I couldn't wait to get back to something more civilised.
What’s a really good book or course for 3d max advance rendering- to create photo realistic images? I want to learn to do very advance 3d max rendering for interior design. Which books are recommended or which courses are recommended in the London area.

For modeling characters, check out Wingz and Cheetah3D. Also, have a look at modo and silo, two uDevGames sponsors.

StrangeFlavour's Adam Fothergill uses Cinema4D (they release Mac and iPhone games.)

As for me, I've been a long time Strata StudioPro user.

As for 3DSMax, it doesn't run on the Mac.

I do hear that Rhino, another high-end app is coming to the Mac.
For a good middle-range 3D app, look at Cararra3D. Very feature rich, with many modeling features.

Most games that you design won't probably even need a modeling environment, so I wouldn't bother.
well I ended up buying cheetah 3d and im very happy with it, but then i got side track with learning quartz composer which is amazing fun!

the good thing though is you can import 3d models into quartz composer with an add on called Kineme3D heres a link if your interested.
im even getting into learning interface builder to control quartz composer compositions, it seem in the computer world that one program leads you to another program lol

any way my next question about i phone games is what kind of polygon count are we talking about for game models, im thinking about making up some for a portfolio and then approaching some people making games already and offering my services.

ps would it be better to start another thread for this question?
I recently went through this same process. I tried several products at the recommendation of this forum. Here are my results:

Blender - I tried this for a couple of months but was unable to understand the interface, at least, on a Mac laptop.

Cheetah 3D- This is a great program for beginners. I liked it so much that I bought a couple licenses for friends that do graphics design work for me. For game programmers, it exports a header file that helps with the conversion to OpenGL. The focus of the interface is on simplicity. There is limited video training available.

Cinema 4D- I am still deciding whether or not to buy a license for this program. It is sort of like an advanced version of Cheetah3D (similar interface), with a good set of built-in textures and animation features like hair and muscles. It has a very intuitive interface, which seems great for animation, but a little less so for modeling. There is some video training available.

Lightwave 9- I bought a license for this because it allows me to model most quickly and accurately. The layout and rendering is a separate program, which it is very good for, but animation is not as easy with this program. There is substantial free video training available.

Maya and 3ds are Windows programs, or at least Windows-oriented, so I did not try them.
I keep going back to Blender because I'm impressed with what it can do. Unfortunately the interface always rives me away again I know there are a lot of die hard users who are used to the interface as it is, but I wish they'd throw in more options to customise the controls and change the hotkeys so that it makes a bit more sense.

I have Cheetah3D installed on my machine and it is my 3D app of choice at the moment. The interface is fairly conventional (which is good) and toolset is expanding. I do run in to limitations now and then, and I have occasionally found out that things I thought were missing are actually just not documented, but you can get a lot done quickly - and it's enjoyable - which is what really counts.

I don't have much to say about Cinema4D or Lightwave, but Lightwave's multiple applications approach really makes me avoid it.
I used to really like Maya (even if a few of the dialogues don't display properly), but the cost is such that you need to have a really good reason for buying it, and I don't at the moment.

I tried Silo a while back (it is modelling only - no animation) and found it easy and pleasant to use... Then I discovered that the undo function didn't work properly and it ate my model. That is probably fixed now - I know a couple of members are raving about it in another thread right now.

@ craggas:
There are a number of factors that determine the poly count for game models such as the hardware you want to target your game at, the number of models you want to be able to display at once, and the complexity of other on-screen effects you want to use. I don't develop for the iPhone so I can't offer real-world experience (I'm sure someone will be along who can) but I'd imagine you could get away with a few thousand triangles on-screen, depending on your drawing code and so on.
For game modeling, Silo is good, especially its UV mapping tools, which are essential to texturing.

I don't know about this "Wingz" thing Carlos mentioned, but Wings3D is a good modeling tool that basically does what Silo does. The interface isn't quite as nice, and the UV tools aren't quite as good, but it's free and gets the job done.
+1 for Silo's modeling. Can't speak for it's UV Mapping.
Silo has two other things to recommend it:
1. A pre-made human model as one of its custom primitives in the Create menu.
2. A library of free videos training that, instead of just explaining how to use the program, actually teaches the 3D modeling process.
FYI - Modo is about to release a new version - 401 - that *might* have some new animation and rigging stuff.

And as far as modeling goes - modo is just awesome...
amazing falloffs
great uv tools
normal map baking high-poly to low-poly
great workflow
world-class renderer

It does take a bit to learn - but then again just about any 3d modeler does.
johncmurphy Wrote:Maya and 3ds are Windows programs, or at least Windows-oriented, so I did not try them.

Actually, Maya is available on the Mac, and they made the interface very Mac-like. It is in fact the best 3D package available on the Mac right now, by far... It's also prohibitively expensive. Like backslash said, you really have to have a good reason to use it, and unfortunately I don't have a good reason right now either. Maya is not strictly Windows-oriented, but it is owned by Autodesk now, which is a company that has a long track-record of being heavily Windows-oriented.

Coming down from Maya I searched for a program that would be closest in feel and functionality, and that wound up being Cheetah3D. I tried Silo at the time too, but the UI was more awkward to me than Cheetah3D was (as I recall). Silo was probably my second pick. I didn't like Lightwave's UI at all (haven't seen the new one though), and I still have yet to give C4D a try. Honestly though, if I were to do Lightwave or C4D, I'd simply chip in the extra grand for Maya. They're all "expensive" to me after $200, so I figure it's worth paying the extra ransom for the good stuff. I won't touch Carrara with a ten-foot pole. They ruined the interface after Infini-D 4.5 (the previous name of Carrara) and I've never considered buying a product from them again. Haven't tried Modo, but it's in the "expensive" bin to me, so again, I'd go with Maya at that point.
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