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What modeling program is the easiest for modeling KSP parts? I have a little modeling experiance, but that was ages ago. I have no idea how to get blender to work, but I'm trying to learn it. In the mean time, however, what would you suggest?

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It depends on what you're willing to spend.

Blender is very powerful  once you get used to it. I personally use MODO which you can get on Steam for about 15 dollars a month I think. There's also Maya, which has an Indie version for about 30 dollars a month, and theres a 30 day trial and even a student version that you can use for 3 years.

So download some trails and try them out, see which you like. I started using Blender, and when I switched to Modo, I just could not stop using it.

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Really up to personal preference - but pick one and stick with it. Once you've become used to a program, all the others are going to seem un-intuitive and hard to work with. Learning Maya in college made Blender baffling to me :)

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Blender is nice in that it's 100% free, and many modders here use it, so getting tips and advice for it is pretty straightforward. The downside to it, is that it has a fairly steep learning curve compared to some of the other choices. But any 3D modeling program that can export as DAE or FBX will do just fine.

 

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I for once found blender to be rather easy and straightforward to learn. I never used it until I was forced to to in university and my first project was an N1 with the launch gantry. I had used max some years before and then stuck (for financial reasons) to zmodeler for a long time working on GTR2. Which was hell compared to any other modelling program I know ;)

Now I really love blender. Its free, but doesn't lack features, so it doesn't feel like just "being a cheap alternative". And the integration into unity is great. (Unity can handle .blend files).

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Wings3D is extremely easy to learn (and I happen to have a beginners tutorial right here).

It's less complicated than other modelling programs, but has less features. That being said, it's suitable for 99% of KSP part modelling needs (And the UV mapping tool is personally the most friendly I've used).
It also has no animation features, but that's rarely a problem because most things can be animated in Unity. The only thing it cannot do is rig models for skinned(?) rendering (Like bones and joints).
You can grab the manifold lab plugin to do boolean operations.

Edited by Beale
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On 4/16/2016 at 5:31 PM, martinezfg11 said:

It depends on what you're willing to spend.

Blender is very powerful  once you get used to it. I personally use MODO which you can get on Steam for about 15 dollars a month I think. There's also Maya, which has an Indie version for about 30 dollars a month, and theres a 30 day trial and even a student version that you can use for 3 years.

So download some trails and try them out, see which you like. I started using Blender, and when I switched to Modo, I just could not stop using it.

 

Modo is bae but I don't want to have to add another program to my workflow.

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In my personal experience:

Easiest to pick up w/o experience: 

Sketchup 

Pros: very simple interface. Easy and fun to get into. Free

limitations: uv mapping/unwrapping (no built in tools) and lack of more advanced modeling tools and no procedural/nonlinear workflow.

 

Easiest after a bit of use (while still fully featured):

Modo

Pros: very production ready out of the box. Lots of customization abilities. Fully featured.

Limitation: Has very little support procedural/nonlinear modeling workflow. Costs a bit of money(around 300usd for the indie version)

Maya

Pros: most if not every tool has a gui icon by default so they are easy to find. Large and feature complete toolset. Very good animation tools

Limitations: most if not every tool has a gui icon so they clutter up the whole interface. Very little support for procedural workflows. Costs quite a bit of money but has free educational license

Takes a bit of time to get started with but works well once there:

3dsmax

Pros: good support for procedural workflows. Can layer edits as well as most operations in the stack to produce unique results. Very good toolset.

Limitations: uses lots of old and spaghettified code. Some unchanged and largely unmaintained from 15+ years ago. This makes the software pretty quirky in use. The gui backend is also very old and makes customizations quite hard. Made worse by the fact that lots of hotkey customizations are needed to make it production ready. Very costly. But has free educational licence

Blender

Pros: Almost as good support for procedural workflows as 3dsmax. Very good customization ability. Most addons are free. As well as the sw itself. Easy to get help on the ksp forums as most use it. Ksp Craft and part model import addon exists.

Limitations: some missing modeling tools.a bit quirky gui. Needs lots of hotkey customizations to make it efficient in use. Lots of addons required to become fully featured (when i used it i was running 30+ addons)

 

Dont even think about it(:-P):

Houdini

Pros: completly unmatched procedural workflow. Anything in the modeling process is controllable via nodes and expressions. 

Limitations: The workflow is so different from anything else, its very confusing unless you have worked with nodes and expressions before. 

Edited by landeTLS
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Ok, so I tried Wings 3D and it's so fluid! It works great, the UI makes sense, and there aren't 50,000 individual hotkeys to remember to do basic functions. Thank you all, I think I'm gonna use Wings.

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