I need A better 3D Program

Hi I have been using Blender for making my Models for Ev nova but there is one problem making the 3D spin is a pain in the Butt <_< trying to get the right angles and keeping the right angles as I take the Render pic. So can any one please tell me if there is a better Program out there otherwise it is going to take me months to get my plugin down.

I can't compare them to Blender, never having used it, but the two I've used are Strata 3D CX and LightWave 3D. Strata is a decent little program, not too expensive if I remember correctly, but it's a bit underpowered and experiences some glitches in more complex models. LightWave is pretty expensive, but if you're a student you can get it at a steep discount from the Academic Superstore's website which makes it pretty reasonable. It's much more difficult to learn than Strata and Blender, but it's a very, very powerful program. Along with Maya (which is so difficult it's essentially unusable unless you're willing to spent months learning it) it's the industry standard for video game graphics, and for a very good reason.

As I said, I can't compare to Blender, but that's my 2¢.

Using Blender to export sprites will work fine, but you need the nice application of Movie-to-Sprite to make it work best. Use Blender to animate the sprite so that it makes a 360 rotation in 36 frames, render the animation to a 36 frame movie, and then use Movie-to-Sprite to turn it into a PICT file. I don't recall what the link is for Movie-to-Sprite, and Google is not helping me with it. I'm sure someone around here has the hard-link available at a moment's notice.

If that's not available, then you should be able to tell Blender to rotate the model 10 degrees exactly by selecting the object in object mode, hitting R for rotate, and then typing in 10 instead of using the mouse to try and approximate 10 degrees. Blender is very flexible about these things, but has a steep learning curve, and most of the most useful features you'd basically have to either have run through several tutorials or developed the program to know some of them.

Thank you that really helps me alot now I can really make some progress on my plugin.

No prob. By the by, you seem to be doing really well with getting good hull textures. How are you doing that? I can't seem to get the effect I want.

Use the numpad (or the emulate numpad option if you're on a laptop) to position the camera behind the ship with the proper lighting, then parent the ship to an empty (scale the empty up first or put it in a separate layer so that you can find it) then set a keyframe for the empty's rotation at frame 1, then go to frame 36 or 72 or however many frames you want, and set the empty's rotation to 360 and set a keyframe. Then go to the ipo curve editor, select the rotation curve and then go to curve -> extend mode -> Extrapolate. Set your animation to begin at frame 1 and end 1 frame sooner than however many frames you want, so if you have a ship rotating 36 frames make the animation end at 35. Set the output mode to .avi raw, select a location for the output file (it will automatically go in a folder called "tmp" but you'll want to set it to something else), and render animation. Then use m2s or SpriteMaker (I use SpriteMaker) to convert to PICT, then load that and a mask (you can create a mask with graphics editing software or in blender) into MC, if you're on a mac (actually I'm not sure about m2s or SpriteMaker for non-mac either but I know that other users manage to make sprites somehow), and you'll have an rleD or rle8 (although a lot of plugin developers don't like to use rle8 anymore, myself included - someone made a very good case for that a while back).

The easiest way to make a mask in blender is to make a new object - plane, cube, whatever. Make a new material to go with this object. Set the material color white and then set the emit value to maximum. Press the "F" button that appears next to the material name to save it, then delete the object. In the "Scene" tab, on the left you'll see "render layers". Where it says "Mat:" just type the name of the material to render all objects in the scene with that material, and clear it to get them all back to their original material (also uber useful for clay renders). While you can often make a mask in GIMP or PS, this method is more precise and works much better for a lot of ships, especially dark-colored ones.

I got help from a Buddy of mine who thaught me me how to do the 3D modeling and texturing. but most of the Texture work is his. some is mine. Right now I'm textureing a Starfury from Bablyon 5 it is hard work but worth it.

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