Opinions On Best 3D Modeling Package & Math Libraries

Member
Posts: 31
Joined: 2010.02
Post: #1
I'm on the eve of starting a new project and before I do I want to know what you guys are using for your games.

More specifically my project will be an 3D iOS game and I am wondering what type of 3D modeling packages and exporters do you use?

In the past I've used 3DS Max to model, then exported as an FBX file. Then I used a custom exporter to parse the FBX file to a binary file specifically for my game engine.

This process works well but 3DS Max is currently Windows only and I would like to avoid having to reboot just to do some modeling tweaks. So, what type of modeling packages have you found to be good in your model creation/exporting pipeline? I don't need anything fancy, just something to create simple static models (no animation data is needed).

My second question is what type of math library do you use for your Mac or iOS games? In the past I've written my own or used CML (http://www.cmldev.net/). CML is very nice, especially the built in OpenGL friendly functions. But, I'm concerned about the speed and it can be difficult to debug with the template madness.

I'm interested in exploring using a VFP Math Library. Much like the one used in the oolongengine engine (http://bullet.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/E...library/). Has anyone used a math library like this in their projects and have you found that it makes a significant speed impact?
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Apprentice
Posts: 19
Joined: 2010.03
Post: #2
I'm currently using CML and I've got no complaints. I don't feel that it is slow on iOS at all. It's not appeared on my profiles as a problem at all. I've also never needed to debug it (something I'm glad of) but XCode has real problems displaying the contents of CML types preferring to tell me it's out of scope in one window but available in another. Sometimes turning 'Use Data Formatters' on and off changes this.

For modelling, I've been using Blender for a few years and it's fine once you get past the unique interface. It's also simple to write an exporter for and it supports common export formats out of the box.
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Member
Posts: 31
Joined: 2010.02
Post: #3
Thank you for the response dazza. I do like CML, so I may stick with it. But, I do have to agree with you that displaying the types is sometimes a pain in the ass. I check out 'Use Data Formatters.'

Also, Blender does seem like a good choice. Especially because it is free!
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Member
Posts: 446
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #4
You might want to give Wings3D a look as well (another freebie). Blender has better UV mapping tools but Wings has the edge as a modeller IMHO.

Although I don't use it personally, a lot of Mac folks also swear by Cheetah3D. It's probably the most "Mac like" 3D app available at the moment, and relatively affordable.

As far as math libraries go I wouldn't be quick to blindly use a 3rd party SIMD library. Apple is known for changing up CPUs and not divulging specs so CPU-specific code is always risky (and reeks of premature optimization). If or when math becomes a bottleneck I'd first look at Accelerate.framework for vetted hardware accelerated functions, then consider your own SIMD code only as a last resort.
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Member
Posts: 31
Joined: 2010.02
Post: #5
Thank you for the links Frank C. I played around with Wings3D a few years ago; it looks like the interface is much improved now. And, Cheetah3D looks like a good option too.

You are probably right about the math libraries. I may be getting ahead of myself. I think I will stick with CML for now.

P.S. I checked out your games in the link from your sig. They look very awesome!
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Member
Posts: 446
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #6
Thanks Smile Many hours poured into those games.
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Apprentice
Posts: 6
Joined: 2011.07
Post: #7
(Mar 1, 2011 07:11 PM)Macmenace Wrote:  So, what type of modeling packages have you found to be good in your model creation/exporting pipeline? I don't need anything fancy, just something to create simple static models (no animation data is needed).[b]

Cinema4D is not free, but it is a really nice 3D modeling package for Mac OS.
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Member
Posts: 281
Joined: 2009.04
Post: #8
Blender is my personal favourite, learning the interface is slow at first but once mastered is both very powerful and extremely efficient.

Good Luck!

~ Bring a Pen ~
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