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Old 25th Feb 2005, 6:04 PM Come on, successful mesh editors. #1
Mabelline
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Who can edit mesh and import it to TS2 successfully without milkshape?

I tried 4 free 3d programs:
Anim8tor - It doesn't support WAVEFRONT OBJ file though it is the most user-friendly
Blender - It is user-friendly and I think it is enough for editing meshes of TS2 but any meshes edited with it don't show up in the game.
XSI mod tool (demo) - It's extremely hard for beginners. There are too many settings which make it very complicated. The worst thing is many important functions are disabled in the demo. :fight:
Maya (free version)-quite hard to use and not support smd file

Although I eventually bought milkshape and the meshes edited with it are fine in the game, I think milkshape is not sophisticated enough to handle meshes in TS2. Now I am considering to use other 3d programs.

Here are my requirements of a 3d program:
- edited meshes look good in bodyshop and TS2
- able to handle meshes of TS2 well (at least like Blender)
- support OBJ & SMD files
- reasonably priced(freebie is preferred but not necessary)
Any suggestions?
Old 27th Feb 2005, 11:05 AM #2
Red Storm13
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Anim8or Does support Wavefront OBJ file, but it is tempermental on what it will open. eg. it will open the moneywell Cheap PC, But won't open The Expensive PC.

I would suggest Milkshape 3D, Its Quite user friendly and only costs round about $40, thats about 20.
Old 27th Feb 2005, 11:35 AM #3
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Well I use Wings 3D, but my meshing needs are very simple so I doubt it's what you're looking for.
Old 28th Feb 2005, 3:31 AM #4
Jaycephus
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Just because an app supports .obj doesn't mean it will work with Mesh Tool. I've had problems with C4D (there may be a technique to get it to work), Silo3D, ZBrush, and XSI. I have succesfully gotten a mesh from XSI back into a package and previewed it in SimPE, but I haven't gotten it to work in Bodyshop or the game yet! I'm still trying, and I haven't tried out .smp files yet. (I'll succeed soon, I'm sure.) Of these apps, I've only gotten .obj files from XSI back into Mesh Tool. The incompatibility with .obj files from other applications is an acknowledged problem.

For modelling, I find that all of these apps have some downsides, but they are all pretty good. Even XSI compares well to these others, though some people don't like it. I started XSI by reading html tutorials and watching online video tutorials, and I would say it is pretty good as a modeler, once you learn it. Check out www.edharriss.com for a huge list of XSI tutorials. The ModTool doesn't do everything XSI Foundation does, but for modeling, it should be the same thing. My personal favorite modeling application is actually a combination of Silo3D and ZBrush.

Price-wise, XSI ModTool is free, but the next package up from that is $500 (XSI Foundation). C4D can be obtained at a discount if you buy an older version. C4D CE+ (r. 6) is only $99. You can also get legal copies by watching Ebay. I see C4D licenses being sold on ebay once or twice a week. Some of these are r7, and sometimes even r8 at little or no more money than CE+ (r6). Be aware that student versions cannot be legally resold, and the transfer fee to get the license in your name is $25.

Silo3D is a great! mesh editor, and is only about $99 or so.

ZBrush is ideal in many ways, but for beginners, it may be as difficult to use as XSI. Again, I don't think it is difficult at all, if online tutorial resources are used. It is about $350 or $450 now. The beauty of ZBrush is that modeling is more like molding clay than point-editing, and it is pretty good at texturing as well, especially with models that already have the uv map already set. It can be much faster to edit organic shapes in ZBrush than anything else I've ever used. I did manage to edit a mesh in ZBrush, export .obj, import into XSI, export .obj, and then get Mesh Tool to take it.

I have a license of all these applications, and have been using all but XSI for more than two years.

Of course, there is a good chance that a future version of Mesh Tool will accept more formats, since a plug-in capability is being planned that will allow users to write a custom importer that will work with a specific application. If this is the case, you might be better off getting the best modeler for you, and then export from it and use ModTool or Milkshape as a converter to get the mesh into Mesh Tool.
Old 28th Feb 2005, 7:39 AM #5
Mabelline
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I tried Wings3D and XSI mod tool(demo). None of them works.
For XSI mod tool, I cannot import any OBJ files which is not originally in its program file.Maybe it is just because it is a demo. I am not sure whether the full version works or not. It is very risky for me to buy it.
Maybe I should wait. :fallen:
Old 28th Feb 2005, 8:10 AM #6
Vinther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mabelline
I tried Wings3D and XSI mod tool(demo). None of them works.
For XSI mod tool, I cannot import any OBJ files which is not originally in its program file.Maybe it is just because it is a demo. I am not sure whether the full version works or not. It is very risky for me to buy it.
Maybe I should wait. :fallen:


The XSI Mod Tool isn't really a demo. It's a free version of the XSI Foundation, meant to be used for modelling for games. So, you should be able to use almost all it's modelling tools, as I think it's mostly rendering stuff that has been disabled. But, you have to download a game specific exporter to be able to export your work. Luckily, there's an exporter for Half-Life 2, which exports SMD files, and the later versions of the Mesh Tool support SMD files. It's free, and I don't think you have to own Half-Life 2 to be able to download it.

Now, XSI is a very complicated and advanced program, and I find it difficult to use. That's why I am trying to write an Import/Export script for Blender, as are a few others. So, if you are like me and you like Blender, you wait for one of these.

Or, you don't. Whatever
Old 28th Feb 2005, 10:16 AM #7
Mabelline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinther
The XSI Mod Tool isn't really a demo. It's a free version of the XSI Foundation, meant to be used for modelling for games. So, you should be able to use almost all it's modelling tools, as I think it's mostly rendering stuff that has been disabled. But, you have to download a game specific exporter to be able to export your work. Luckily, there's an exporter for Half-Life 2, which exports SMD files, and the later versions of the Mesh Tool support SMD files. It's free, and I don't think you have to own Half-Life 2 to be able to download it.

Now, XSI is a very complicated and advanced program, and I find it difficult to use. That's why I am trying to write an Import/Export script for Blender, as are a few others. So, if you are like me and you like Blender, you wait for one of these.

Or, you don't. Whatever

I can import smd with the mod tool but when I export smd, the program tell me to activate the product. It really sucks.(the foundation version costs $495!!!!It is rather expensive.)
I also used Blender but any meshes exported from it(in OBJ format) doesn't work in the game. Hope you solve the problem and post your scipt in this forum. Btw,when will you finish it?
Last edited by Mabelline : 28th Feb 2005 at 10:21 AM.
Old 28th Feb 2005, 10:56 AM #8
Miche
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mabelline
I can import smd with the mod tool but when I export smd, the program tell me to activate the product. It really sucks.(the foundation version costs $495!!!!It is rather expensive.)
I also used Blender but any meshes exported from it(in OBJ format) doesn't work in the game. Hope you solve the problem and post your scipt in this forum. Btw,when will you finish it?


you don`t have to pay anything to activate the XSI mod tool, you just need to register (free) then a activation code will be emailed to you which you need to enter into the Mod tool when it asks.
Old 28th Feb 2005, 11:43 AM #9
Mabelline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miche
you don`t have to pay anything to activate the XSI mod tool, you just need to register (free) then a activation code will be emailed to you which you need to enter into the Mod tool when it asks.

Oops.......
How stupid I am! lol
Thank you so much, Miche!!!!
Old 28th Feb 2005, 3:13 PM #10
psyckotic
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Try gmax, it is free and very complete. It doesn't support obj but there is a plugin to help and i same thing for smd files.
Old 1st Mar 2005, 4:33 AM #11
ashina
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can you post the plugin link? I very much want to use it too! :D
Old 3rd Mar 2005, 4:30 AM #12
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Honestly? I've had very little luck with free 3D modeling programs. I've worked with several free programs, including Bryce, Milkshape, and Zmodeler. Modeling in each of these seems overly complicated and very time consuming. Process you take in these programs that might take an hour, could be done in 10 minutes in a program like 3D Studio Max, which is what I own and use on a very regular basis (it's my job). I realize this type of program is expensive, but if you're REALLY serious about this, it really is a necessity to be able to produce quality meshes. I'm not saying you should run out and spend hundreds of dollars so you can mod the Sims2, because you definitly should not (unless you have that kind of money to spend).

Also keep in mind that just because you spend 400 dollars on a program doesn't mean you'll suddenly be able to create objects of even the slightest quality. I've spent almost 4 years learning 3D Studio Max to be able to get to my level, all of it self taught. You're best bet to learn it quick is to spend even more money on tutorial books, or better yet, video tutorials. You need patients as well. Learning and using a program like this does take time and dedication.

Basically what i'm trying to say, is if you're serious about pursueing 3D modeling beyond Sims2 modding, you're definitly going to have to spend some cash and time. If you aren't willing to do this for Sims2 (or don't like the free/cheap programs), perhaps creating new objects just isn't the best genre for you to mod in.
There honestly is not a 'quick fix.'
The commercial version of 3D Studio Max 7 is over $3,000 dollars, but most people (especially students) can qualify for a very low cost version (same program and features, as far as I know) at www.studica.com for about $500.

Hope this helps
Old 4th Mar 2005, 5:58 AM #13
Mabelline
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Now I am learning XSI mod tool. It is a demo of XSI foundation. I think maybe it is enough for modding TS 2. I went to other forums and most people say 3ds max & maya are easier to use than XSI. I have tried demos of maya and XSI. I do think maya is a bit more user-friendly but the main problem of maya is it doesn't support smd. Maybe XSI is the best choice for me.
I don't mind spending several hundard dollars on a 3d program if I am so interested in 3d modelling and amination and willing to learn. I might buy one later. I want to take some time to collect all the opinions and give serious thought to it.
Todd, I want to ask you something. Can model edited with 3ds be imported successfully to TS2? Can 3ds max 7 import and export smd file? What file format do you import and export in 3ds?
Old 4th Mar 2005, 6:16 AM #14
PheelMePhlow
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This might sound funny, but since I like you find anim8or easy to use, I use two programs. I use Milkshape and anim8or. I make my package files with SimPe, then import the .obj file into Milkshape and convert it to .lwo since anim8or is tempermental, (sometimes it DOESN'T load .obj files) then import into anim8tor as .lwo, work with it and export as .obj. That may be the long way and believe me if there is a better way with an easy program like anim8or, I would LOVE to know!
Old 4th Mar 2005, 6:32 AM #15
Mabelline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PheelMePhlow
This might sound funny, but since I like you find anim8or easy to use, I use two programs. I use Milkshape and anim8or. I make my package files with SimPe, then import the .obj file into Milkshape and convert it to .lwo since anim8or is tempermental, (sometimes it DOESN'T load .obj files) then import into anim8tor as .lwo, work with it and export as .obj. That may be the long way and believe me if there is a better way with an easy program like anim8or, I would LOVE to know!

If models edited with Blender can work in the game, I would recommend Blender.
Old 5th Mar 2005, 1:15 AM #16
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I tried blender, doesn't really load for some reason. I also use milkshape to convert so I can use anim8or to actually do the modeling hehehe
Old 14th Mar 2005, 1:36 PM #17
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Blender does work. I use it myself. Though, it doesn't support .smd files, it comes with an .obj importer/exporter and there is another one on the blender site.
True, the .obj format is not ideal for modelling for the game, because it doesn't support bones. But, if all you want to do is still furniture and you use the "Object Wizard" in the Mesh Tool, it works perfectly!

Plus, it's fairly easy to write import/export scripts for blender, so hopefully someone will make one that works with .smd's. (I am working on one myself, but I don't have much time and to spare, and I'm not really familiar with 3d programming, so I'm not sure if I will ever be able to finish it. But, I know of at least two other people who are doing the same thing, so... Hopefully.)
Old 15th Mar 2005, 7:02 PM #18
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i switch between milkshape maya and 3ds max and all of them work fine for me except the newer versions of milkshape crashes alot
Old 16th Mar 2005, 6:22 AM
Mabelline
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Old 20th Mar 2005, 11:32 PM #19
grykon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinther
Blender does work. I use it myself. Though, it doesn't support .smd files, it comes with an .obj importer/exporter and there is another one on the blender site.
True, the .obj format is not ideal for modelling for the game, because it doesn't support bones. But, if all you want to do is still furniture and you use the "Object Wizard" in the Mesh Tool, it works perfectly!

Plus, it's fairly easy to write import/export scripts for blender, so hopefully someone will make one that works with .smd's. (I am working on one myself, but I don't have much time and to spare, and I'm not really familiar with 3d programming, so I'm not sure if I will ever be able to finish it. But, I know of at least two other people who are doing the same thing, so... Hopefully.)


You have successfully imported an obj file...modified it, export it back out, then reimported it into the game and it worked??? I have yet to get Blender to work with the obj file format so that everything works like in Milkshape...I would much rather use Blender...
Old 21st Mar 2005, 4:13 AM #20
Mabelline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grykon
You have successfully imported an obj file...modified it, export it back out, then reimported it into the game and it worked??? I have yet to get Blender to work with the obj file format so that everything works like in Milkshape...I would much rather use Blender...

me too......
I have also put my effort to learn other 3d programs . So far I only succeeded when I edited meshes in milkshape. :weep:
Old 27th Mar 2005, 3:55 PM #21
Vinther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grykon
You have successfully imported an obj file...modified it, export it back out, then reimported it into the game and it worked??? I have yet to get Blender to work with the obj file format so that everything works like in Milkshape...I would much rather use Blender...


Yes, I have. I have imported an obj file, modified it, exported it and used the Object Wizard of the Mesh Tool to create a new GMDC with my model. All according to the tutorial on the Mesh Tool's site, and it works perfectly in the game.

What you CAN'T do, though, is make objects with animations, 'cause obj files do not support them. But, bookcases, paintings, tables and stuff like that, all work.

If you can't import or export Obj file, just download the Wavefront OBJ Importer/Exporter from www.blender3d.com.
Old 27th Mar 2005, 6:13 PM #22
grykon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinther
Yes, I have. I have imported an obj file, modified it, exported it and used the Object Wizard of the Mesh Tool to create a new GMDC with my model. All according to the tutorial on the Mesh Tool's site, and it works perfectly in the game.

What you CAN'T do, though, is make objects with animations, 'cause obj files do not support them. But, bookcases, paintings, tables and stuff like that, all work.

If you can't import or export Obj file, just download the Wavefront OBJ Importer/Exporter from www.blender3d.com.


I can import the obj's(body and clothes meshes), alter them and export them back out, but they do not work in the game. I haven't tried any object meshes in Blender...been more interested in working with clothes and bodies. Thanks.
Old 29th Mar 2005, 10:44 AM #23
Vinther
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Well, body and clothing meshes are just like objects with animations, and as I mentioned earlier, you can't do them with obj files.
It's too bad, I know.
Old 29th Mar 2005, 4:29 PM #24
grykon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinther
Well, body and clothing meshes are just like objects with animations, and as I mentioned earlier, you can't do them with obj files.
It's too bad, I know.


I wonder what it is about the way blender handles the obj's that milkshape doesn't...Not that I am complaining about MS...So with blender I might be able to create an item I want that sims can click on, but the item just sits there, such as a sculpture.
Old 31st Mar 2005, 2:42 AM #25
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I love Anim8or.I exported a skin out with SimPE to my desktop.Opened it up in Crossroads(a converter)free http://synapses.mcg.edu/tools/xroads/xroads.stm
then exported that out onto the desktop again overwriting it without changing a thing.Then it opens up in Anim8or.I havent had my computer running for a few weeks,so i cant tell if its going to work in BS or the game.I'll try later. Keep the file as .obj all the way through.
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