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3D - Where to start?

04-22-2011, 02:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Estero, FL
Posts: 221
3D - Where to start?

Hey guys,

Until now I've been developing 2D games. Now I feel like trying something new. I've wanted develop 3D games for a while now but I have almost no knowledge in 3D modeling, texturing, or animation. Not even sure what modeling program to use. And eve if I created models, I haven't got the slightest clue on importing and rendering them in a game. It would be great if someone could point me in the right direction.

04-22-2011, 02:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 184
Assuming you're going the OpenGL ES route, here is a book that's gotten decent reviews (which I also have, but haven't gone into 3d game development yet), and it covers 3d. http://www.amazon.com/iPhone-Program.../dp/0596804822

04-22-2011, 02:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 136
this is a to the iphone version of the book mentioned above - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iphone-3d-programming/id371697737?mt=8

iPhone Game Developer and UI Engineer.
I will buy any games that support iCade, and I'll buy all in-app purchases if it has 2 player wifi/Bluetooth iCade support
04-22-2011, 03:40 PM
Unity is a great 3D engine. It makes importing models/textures/animations extremely easy. Plus with Unity its easy to port to other platforms.

You could build 90% of an IOS game in the free version but you will need the $400 license to actually build and test on a device.

As for actually creating models, textures and animations, I can't say much because I don't do that, but some artists I'm sure will mention the tools they like to use.
04-22-2011, 11:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,143
I use Cinema 4D for 3D modelling. You could try Blender...it's free. I've never tried it, but I guess it works well with Unity 3D - if you go that route. Some people like Blender, some hate it.

I was able to figure out Cinema 4D on my own fairly easily, but I'd had 3D experience in the past. I pretty much learn everything on my own, and with the help of the internet.
04-22-2011, 11:55 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Estero, FL
Posts: 221
Thanks for the links guys! Appreciate it. I'll have a look at those books.
I've been checking out unity and it looks pretty good. I don't have a lot of experience with scripting though but I guess I could give it a try. As for blender, I have attempted to use it before. Loaded up the program, stared for a few seconds and almost had a seizure looking at the UI. Just looked really intimidating to use for a beginner hah. Never heard of Cinema 4D, I'll have to check that out! BTW schplurg, really enjoyed DareDevil Dave haha.
04-23-2011, 03:45 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 172
Blender has a steep learning curve but you can do quite a bit with it once you figure it out. Check out some of the movies people have made with it like Sintel or Big Buck Bunny (my personal favorite). Also, FYI, they just released the first stable version of the Blender 2.5 project which is supposed to have a more intuitive GUI.

In any case, books are helpful but I found that the fastest way to learn how to model (for me anyway) was to watch how other people make their models in YouTube videos. Even if you are using Blender, it's useful to watch how pros model in 3DSMax, for example, since many of the techniques are similar.

As for importing 3-D models into your game, well, that depends on your 3-D engine. You can use a third party 3-D engine like Unity which can already import models from Blender and many other 3-D modeling programs. Or, if you want to be hardcore and write your own 3-D engine from scratch, you would usually write your own plugin (or Python script in the case of Blender) to export your models efficiently.
04-23-2011, 01:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Cali
Posts: 2
+1 for Blender.

Blender 2.5 is a much better UI, and I highly recommend looking at blendernation.com for video tutorials; the biggest jump for me from 2D to 3D was not so much the mesh objects but the *camera* and frustum work. Figuring out what type of camera you want (fixed, rail, omniscient, multiple?) will dictate scene graph, textures, character, everything else, really.

Good luck!

PS: Just noticed Cocos2d sub project to support 3D is live... Cocos3D

Last edited by moflo; 04-24-2011 at 02:46 PM. Reason: add cocos3d url
04-23-2011, 01:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Vienna, Austria
Posts: 65
You also can check out hexagon for modelling : http://www.daz3d.com/i/software/hexagon (150 dollar)
There are tons of free tutorials for it on http://www.geekatplay.com/hexagontutorials/begining.php
I think it is very easy to learn and accompish something there really fast (modelling) and it even does decent UV mapping and basic texturing.

As an engine: Unity, unity, unity: http://unity3d.com/
04-24-2011, 08:23 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Estero, FL
Posts: 221
Alright, looks like I'm going with blender for modeling. I downloaded the latest version and followed a few tutorials (the balloon tutorial was a lot of fun!). The UI is definitely improved from the last time I've used it - although I did still get lost a few times. I'll play around with it for a few weeks and then I'll probably try out unity. Thanks for the help everyone! Much appreciated.