JerryTubs
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:40 am

Easiest 3D modeling software?

Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:47 am

Hello. I am an experienced programmer and have a little experience with game dev (writing them for my ti84 calculator in math, javascript clicker games)

Looking to get into game dev as a hobby to balance out some of the grind of professional programming.

What's the easiest 3D modeling software to use? Maya LT looks interesting (and cheap), Blender is FOSS but looks difficult. What do you use? What's the easiest for a non-artist to pick up? Also, can you do texturing and things of that sort in Maya LT or Blender?

What do you use/recommend?

TheBum
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 11:13 pm

Re: Easiest 3D modeling software?

Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:32 pm

I come from an engineering background (electrical) and of the software I've tried (Blender, TinkerCAD, FreeCAD, Fusion 360), I've liked Fusion 360 the best. There's a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the gist of how Fusion 360 operates, modelling is pretty quick and easy, for me at least. Blender has lot of capabilities, but the UI is horrible IMO. TinkerCAD is not suitable for doing anything of any complexity.

All the ones I mentioned are free to use for hobby or education purposes.

greybeard
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:23 pm

Re: Easiest 3D modeling software?

Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:53 pm

Coming from 25yrs of ‘All’ the CAD programs such as SolidWorks, Pro-E... list goes on...

Being retired, I now use only FreeCad and it does Everything from CNC gcode to highly complex 3D models for 3D printing (good plug-ins for Gcode, Gears, Screws/Nuts...).

Sure, it has some shortcomings and a confusing learning curve. It was written by programmers, not real Engineers (IMHO).

Upshot...
Two important ‘Workbench’ modes for Modeling: “Part Design” and “Part”. They are different but can play fairly well with one-another.

“Part Design” is similar enough to SolidWorks, Pro-E, Inventor... Real engineering CAD programs.

“Part” is similar to model makers included in 3D print app’s where using the basic Boolean-building blocks live.

I recommend “Part Design” workbench.

Exported .stl files work well with Simplify3d (and others).

Quick example of making a ‘Block with a Hole’ vid below (after setting up with Part Design workbench): Click the image to play video...
Attachments
FC720p.mov.gif
3D Print Parts
https://www.thingiverse.com/Still_Breathing/designs

airscapes
Posts: 277
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:35 am
Location: Philadelphia PA Area

Re: Easiest 3D modeling software?

Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:25 pm

Onshape is fairly fast to lean but not really made for making game players or D&D models.. Mechanical part YES, artsy stuff, no..

arhi
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:13 pm

Re: Easiest 3D modeling software?

Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:31 pm

depends what you want to model and what amount of $$$ is not too much :)

I'll talk only about the SW I know and use, there are many more but I can't talk from personal experience so ..

I used:
- LightWave - exist for many decades, very good for mesh modeling, not a very big community, kinda dead, nice and easy learning curve
- Soft Image XSI (before autodesk got them, no clue how good is now under autodesk) - very powerful for video, modeling is something between professional engineering tools and organic artistic tools, steeper learning curve then LightWave, super powerful plugins, some of the plugins cost more then my house ..
- ZBrush - all the artists I know use this one, for me it was too weird to use but my friends sculptors, painters etc.. that model figurines use it exclusively .. when I'm talking about sculptors and artists popular "artists" pack is "Maya, blender, Houdini, ZBrush, Mudbox".. I never used most of them so can't say nothing but it's a magic 5 most artists I know use
- Blender - very powerful mesh modeling tool, not parametric (AFAIK!!! I'm not a poweruser, not even advanced user, maybe noob+ with blender), super steep learning curve, I seen stuff ppl make with it in a very short time and it's a "wow".. since it's free and supposedly has very good support with all popular game engines like unity, unreal, source, might be best option for what you are looking for
- CREO ( https://www.ptc.com/en/products/cad/creo/parametric ) - extremely easy to use, natural, perfect, lovely... engineering tool, they for a while had (and tool PTC company purchased before CREO, I forgot the name) free version for non-commercial use but when that was gone I stopped using it as it was too expensive .. for designing machines (printed parts for machines too) it was imo best tool, for "character modeling" and other "organic" modeling, dunno, it was not made for that so you could probbly do it but I doubt it would be the best tool

I still use:
- SolidWorks + solidCAM - I use it for decades so can't really say if it's easy to use or not but I really believe anyone can learn to use the general modeling stuff in few days .. it is engineering tool, not sure how would I even approach modeling a human face with it, it's also not cheap
- openSCAD - you say you are programmer, try it!!!
- onShape - web version of engineering tool made by one of the lead devs from solidworks, I used it very extensively as they had a decent free version and then stopped 'cause they changed a policy for free accounts so now I only maintain some projects I started there ...
- Fusion 360 - I recently started using Fusion, it's bit counter intuitive for solidworks/onshape/creo users but on the other hand very similar, it is parametric but also have a mesh editing too so should be easier for organic stuff (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRMzg2X_sX0 ). There's also ton of plugins (some free some not) .. it is both free and commercial (I use free, no clue what the $$$ version gives you)
- free cad - I don't recommend it :(
gcodestat integrates with Simplify3D and allow you to
Calculate print time accurately (acceleration, max speed, junction deviation all taken into consideration)
Embed M117 codes into G-Code
Upload your G-Code directly to Octoprint
open source and unlicence

TheBum
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 11:13 pm

Re: Easiest 3D modeling software?

Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:38 pm

arhi wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:31 pm
- Fusion 360 - I recently started using Fusion, it's bit counter intuitive for solidworks/onshape/creo users but on the other hand very similar, it is parametric but also have a mesh editing too so should be easier for organic stuff (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRMzg2X_sX0 ). There's also ton of plugins (some free some not) .. it is both free and commercial (I use free, no clue what the $$$ version gives you)
The paid version gives you the rights to use it if you make more than $100k in a business that uses the software. I suspect you also get direct techinical support from the company instead of just community-based support. The free and paid versions have the same functionally as far as I know.

meghna31
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:16 am
Contact: Website

Re: Easiest 3D modeling software?

Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:36 am

Excellent thread..!!!

Return to “General Discussion and Tips”