Tools for building models

I’m curious what people use to build 3d models for use with Cinder. All my previous projects have been based around primitive geometry and I’m trying to do slightly more complex models that would be a bit tedious to do in code. Anyone have recommendations?

I love modelling with Rhinoceros 3D (+Grasshopper Plugin) although I havent used it extensively with Cinder. It’s a NURBS surface modeller thats better suited to product design and architecture than characters and animation etc. However, although it can export meshes of all the usual file formats you dont have per vertex control over the exported mesh so this could be inefficient for optimising large models for real time applications.

More traditional mesh modelling tools like Maya, 3DSMax, Blender (free), Cinema4D would all be suitable for use with Cinder and perhaps also Houdini if you want to explore some procedural modelling.


Thanks for the suggestions.

I’d tried using Blender years ago and found it indecipherable. After watching CG Cookie’s free Blender Basics I decided to give it another shot. Their videos were really helpful so I ended up paying for the subscription. I’ve been really impressed by the depth of the screencasts and after getting through Introduction to Hard Surface Modeling I’m able to find my way around Blender and build some halfway decent models.

The next challenge is going to be figuring out how to get them exported and into a format I can use with Cinder :wink:

Just to follow up on this. The only object format that Cinder seems to understand is the Waveform OBJ which is okay because Blender can export those. I found the models worked best when I exported with the “Objects as OBJ Objects” so then my groups in Blender were preserved and accessible in Cinder using the ObjLoader groups.

I have always used Maya. It is what I learned in school and it feels as natural as 3D content creation can get being an industry standard (game and film). Unfortunately it can be quite pricey (even with the renderless Maya LT monthly subscription at 30/month).

Blender is the largest and most mainstream open-source 3D content creator and is quite powerful. It’s UX decisions can be frustrating to those brought up on other software but if you are just starting I would highly recommend it as the way to go. There are many youtube videos and free Digital Tutors (now Pluralsight) tutorials out there as well.

Heads up that learning how to create 3D models can be very difficult with a steep learning curve; but if you are motivated enough and can hang in there it opens up many opportunities with Cinder and beyond :slight_smile: