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Sly
13-08-2005, 11:49 AM
In all the tutorials I have found for Blender, they assume that the box select tool (pressing B and left-click-dragging a box around vertices) also selects the vertices behind the visible vertices. I am using Blender 2.37 and it doesn't do that. The box select only selects the visible vertices. Is this a functionality change from earlier versions of Blender or is there a setting I have to change somewhere? I'm currently working my way through the Blender documentation, so I may find the answer in there.

Sly
13-08-2005, 12:10 PM
I did find the answer to my own question in the elysiun forums. The tiny "Limit selection to visible" button is turned on by default. Turn it off and now I can follow all the tutorials out there.

technomage
13-08-2005, 12:28 PM
How do you get on with Blender? I tried using it a number of times but I've always have problems getting my head around the interface. Milshape 3D is my modeler of chose at the moment, but's it's limited.

Sly
13-08-2005, 01:04 PM
I purchased Milkshape about two and a half years ago. I quickly found its limits, but it is nice for simple stuff. Looking through the Milshape art forums, I have no idea how those people create those models with Milkshape. I find the selection tools just horrible. Milkshape 2.0 is still vapourware, so I'm not hanging out for that.

So I decided to give Blender a try. I'm working through the tutorials, and yes the interface is very non-standard. This makes learning it quite difficult. It's a pity that the exporters are written in Python, because that means that I will have to use one of the existing exporters to get it into my game, but I am thinking of writing my own file format. For that I would need an exporter (not possible since I don't know Python) or a converter from another format such as .x or .3ds.

Very often I have been tempted to write my own modeller, and I had even started on one a while back. But I do not think my skills are quite up there enough to make my own modeller usable.

technomage
13-08-2005, 02:01 PM
Milkshape is simple I agree, I played with 3D studio and Max a while back and for game models I think it was a bit Over the top.

As for exporters what I did was to write a command line converter for the milkshape models into a xml based format for the project I'm working on. I also allowed me to do some Triangle strip optimizations and pre calculate edges etc so that my app doesn't have to bother do that at run time. The results are quite good, it might be an idea rather than writting your own exporter just write a converter from an existing format that you have code for (3ds, lwo, obj, x, or ms3d).

Keep me posted on how you get on with blender :)

overchord
15-08-2005, 10:06 AM
I tried using one of the existing converters in Blender for XML-type stuff, namely the XGL format, but for our project found that we had to abandon it immediately as it bloated the files to sizes completely unacceptable.
I guess it all depends on what formats you are wokring with, but the .py exporter for .obj files works pretty well for me. I have had a few problems with the .3ds exporter as it doesn't seem to want to include material settings or textures, but then again it could just be me :S

But generally Blender is quite good IMO - its a nasty learning curve in the beginning, but once you start getting over the hump there's a lot of power there :D

{MSX}
16-08-2005, 07:04 AM
i use blender as my main 3d modelling tool. I've wrote an XML exporter that act on meshes and on the whole scene. It generates huge file but that's not a problem by now for me.. i could change it to binary in future :P
blender has a weird interface. It's designed for keeping an hand on the keyboard and the other on the mouse. It's strange but as you use it, it gets more and more effective and natural.

technomage
16-08-2005, 10:56 PM
the main thing I find with xml is not only is it easy to modify and maintain, it compresses really well. Most of my data files are xml and I get on average 90% compression (or more), given that the data no matter what format is used tend to unpack to the same size once loaded (i.e they all contain the same number of verticies etc) I prefer an open format for to allow me to tweek things manually. :D

I understand people like proprietry formats to keep the data safe, but I get round that by encrypting the bits the I want to keep safe. :wink:

Paulius
17-08-2005, 11:19 AM
I disagree completely with storing meshes in xml. Compressed ASCII will still likely be larger than a binary file, if the mesh is big you?_Tll have horrible parsing time and who?_Td be crazy enough to modify them by hand, let alone figure out what?_Ts where?

Sly
17-08-2005, 11:32 PM
My plan is to possibly have the data in an easily tweakable format, but it will be run through a pre-processing step before the game code sees it to convert it to a binary format that closely matches the way in which the game code will use it. This binary file will be placed into an archive of some sort (similar to a PAK file) that the game uses.

This means
- very little processing time is required to load the file (load the file into memory, fix up some pointers and that's it)
- less temporary memory used (instead of loading the file into temporary memory, processing it into a format the game uses, then freeing the temporary memory)
- quicker load times (less time spent processing the file)
- memory management is easier to handle

The game will never load intermediate formats such as XML directly. They will always be pre-processed to a game-friendly version.

The steps in this procedure will be:
1. Content creation (Blender, gmax, text editor, etc)
2. Export to intermediate format (XML, MD2, txt, etc)
3. Pre-processing (convert intermediate formats to binary formats the game expects)
4. Archive creation (concatenate pre-processed files into one large file)
5. Run the game (game opens the archive)
6. Game loads file (reads the pre-processed file from the archive)

overchord
18-08-2005, 10:09 AM
Sly

After updating to 2.37 myself I'm getting the same problem with visible vertices. I've only had a quick look, but couldn't find the "Select visible vertices" - where did you find this option?

I'm probably just going blind :D

Another thing I'm actually finding a bit annoying is extrusion of only vertices or faces now - but don't know if this is connected to the limited vertice selection :?

Paulius
18-08-2005, 10:20 AM
"Limit selection to visible" button is next to where you choose to select vertices, edges or faces

overchord
19-08-2005, 07:05 PM
There it was!!! Never really noticed that little button before!!!
thnx! :D

technomage
19-08-2005, 11:16 PM
I disagree completely with storing meshes in xml. Compressed ASCII will still likely be larger than a binary file, if the mesh is big you?_Tll have horrible parsing time and who?_Td be crazy enough to modify them by hand, let alone figure out what?_Ts where?

You are right, binary is better and faster for loading (you can just block read vertex data etc into the arrays directly), and writting / modifying a large model by hand would be a nightmare.

I keep to xml for my stuff because the model format doesn't just contain the model definition, but the physics collision and body information which I need to change manaully to get thing working. No other formats supported the stuff I needed and xml makes it easy for me to change the structure if I need to.

That said I'll probably eat my own words here in a few months and convert the xml to a binary format anyway :wink:

Sly
20-08-2005, 02:38 AM
There it was!!! Never really noticed that little button before!!!
thnx! :D
That's one of the problems with Blender. All the buttons are so little. :)

Eriken
27-08-2005, 07:15 PM
I've tried finding a 3D-tool I actually can figure out too.. and so far Blender is it.

So.. will we see any programmers art in 3D here soon? ;) I dare you.. I double dare you ;)
_____
Eriken

BlueCat
28-08-2005, 08:33 AM
So.. will we see any programmers art in 3D here soon? ;) I dare you.. I double dare you ;)

Triple dare me and I just might do it :P

But I warn you, it won't be pretty :|

Eriken
28-08-2005, 10:09 AM
I triple dare you! will it be a cat-astrophe? :P
_____
Eriken