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A good freeware 3D modelling tool
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Tim Tylor
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 3:44 pm    Post subject: A good freeware 3D modelling tool Reply with quote

I just found out about what could be a useful freebie for comic artists, at least for learners like me:
SketchUp 3D modelling program
There's a pro version for a few hundred dollars too, but the free one looks good for planning and getting different views of architecture and other geometrical objects and scenery. The Pro version has a "sandbox" feature that might be good for hills and landscape shapes, but I've no idea what else is on the market so I don't know if it's a good buy just for that. But the free one's worth having a play with.
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ragtag
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, dowloaded that the other day. Haven't had the time to mess around with it though. It takes kind of a different aproach to modeling than most 3D apps.

If you're looking for a good 3D modeling tool that's free, I'd recomend Wings3D http://www.wings3d.com/. It's open source, free and runs on Windows, OSX, Linux and Unix. It's also an excellent polygon modeling tool that's not too hard to learn.

And if you want a complete 3D package there is Blender http://www.blender.org It's rather hard to get your head around, but is apparently quite usable if you do.

As a side note. I've been playing with the demo of Manga Studio EX http://www.e-frontier.com/article/articleview/1697/1/705?sbss=705 Manga Studio is basically a comics drawing program. The EX, or pro, version, let's you import 3D models in a variety of formats, and render them in different comics style. Including an outline renderer and different kinds of screen tone shading. The result can be quite nice for background elements such as houses and vehicles. I believe you could easily create models with Wings, and import them into Manga Studio to use in your comics. Note that the Debut version of Manga Studio (which costs a lot less), doesn't have the 3D support, but is still a nice tool for drawing comics.

I'm kind of tempted to buy it, even though I currently own Comic Works http://www.deleter.jp/eng/cw_english/ , which does basically the same job as the Debut version of Manga Studio. They both have their strong sides, and I'm not really sure which one I like better. Maybe I'll write an in-depth comparison one day and post it here.

Ragnar
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Tim Tylor
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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I'll have a look at those. The trial version of Manga Studio seems a nice package. I particularly like the smoothing function on the pens. The Comic Works trial version isn't working - it seems to be a jury-rigged kludge-up, to be frank, less than 2 megs size and no proper installation, and the pdf manual "still to come".
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ragtag
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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm...been a while since I downloaded the demo of ComicWorks, I bought it and it came with a printed manual. There was an issue with the ruler files, there are some patches available from the left sidebar of their page that you might want to try.

That said, their page is a bit unprofessional, so is the setup of the software and it's possible that development of it has stopped (at least the English version). I don't think anything has happened with their site nor updates to the software in 1-2 years. The Japanese version of the software has gotten one update since then as far as I can tell.

It's based on licensed code from openCanvas. Being small, is actually good. Considering all the features in ComicWorks, it just means it's well written and not at all bloated with useless code libraries. Both ComicWorks and openCanvas load in a fraction of a second, which is nice when compared to GIMP or Photoshop. ComicWorks also feels faster than Comics Studio. Rotating the worksurface is smooth, the pen feels fast and nice, and it has very handy keyboard shortcuts for everything.

Still, I find it hard to define which of the two is better. Both could easily be used to create professional quality comics.

Ragnar
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Phlip
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 10:40 pm    Post subject: Re: A good freeware 3D modelling tool Reply with quote

Tim Tylor wrote:
I just found out about what could be a useful freebie for comic artists, at least for learners like me:
SketchUp 3D modelling program


Woo hoo! Another demo program from a company Google bought out with their IPO loot!!

<pause to download>

Why can't those dumb f--ks write a program that fits inside my puny video card memory???
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Tim Tylor
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ragtag wrote:
And if you want a complete 3D package there is Blender http://www.blender.org It's rather hard to get your head around, but is apparently quite usable if you do.


Thanks. That one's quite a program - freeware, but it's high-end stuff going by the work that gets done on it. A bit scary at first look, but not too hard once you get used to it.
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ragtag
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out Elephants Dream http://www.elephantsdream.org it's an "open-source" film made with Blender and some other open-source tools. Shows what can be done with the software. Of course, it takes lots of time and skill too.

Ragnar
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Tim Tylor
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ghost in the machine is Mervyn Peake's. Yes, that film's incredible.
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