3D model software

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by Jacobmccafferty, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Jacobmccafferty
    Jacobmccafferty New Member
    hi i would like to start creating some models and i was wondering which is the best software to use?
  2. denali3ddesign
    denali3ddesign New Member
    Hi Jacob, welcome to Shapeways!

    It depends on what you want to design, but for free programs, Sketchup is good for geometric-type designs, and Blender or Sculptris are good for curvy, organic models.

    Here is a list of (nearly) all apps that work with Shapeways.

  3. lignum
    lignum New Member
    I will say "thanks" for him as I was wondering the same thing. I am new and in no way good at 3D design (I never tried before). However, I am starting a shop to help earn some side funds for my guild. I used the image popper to make the basis for what I want to create using our logo and such, but I need to find other programs to use so I can make better things. I saw some free beginner programs and they have nothing but shapes. While I'm sure some would be creative enough to see their design amongst shapes and modifying them, I prefer a bit more direct approach :p

    I got Sculptris yesterday and was using that, but that's a lot more "organic", as you put it, than I need right now for logos and such. Although it will be fun to tool around with.

    Thanks again.
  4. denali3ddesign
    denali3ddesign New Member
    Glad it helped someone :)

    If you have your logo in vector format (like Illustrator or Inkscape), you can import those vectors into Sketchup or other modeling software and easily pull it into 3D.

    Good luck, and post back here if you have any questions!

  5. Jacobmccafferty
    Jacobmccafferty New Member
    Thank you for the list of apps :) i think ill try sculptris
  6. lignum
    lignum New Member
    Alrighty. I am a complete noobie at this so I'll have to ask. I used trace bitmap and all that stuff and exported a png from inkscape. I imported into SU, but could not figure out a way to extrude. I used explode and got the push/pull to work but only the surface as a whole (the rectangle it imported as the image) and not just the logo itself (see my store for what the logo looks like). The popper thing was fine for what I need right now, but as I said I would rather learn the real way to do things. :p

  7. denali3ddesign
    denali3ddesign New Member
    Have fun, Jacob...look forward to seeing what you create!

    lignum, once you have run trace bitmap in Inkscape, export those vector lines as DXF and import to Sketchup with this plugin: DXF2SKP Any image imported to Sketchup will just be a rectangle, as you found out.

    One option that may convert a PNG to edges inside Sketchup is this plugin: Image Trimmer. I've never tried it but I imagine it will run very slowly.

    Hope that helps!

  8. lignum
    lignum New Member
    I see one problem. I didn't know what splines was, but it was not importing my dxf correctly because of them. Apparently it is curved lines as that is what my logo mostly contains. *sad*

    Still trying to figure something out. I have looked at other programs, but I am but a simple man. lol. I will figure out something! I must! I have taken it upon myself to do this for my guild and there's so many things in my head I want to experiment with and create. I just need to learn how to create them and which tools are best for what.

    I am going to try that tracing thing for SU now just for the heck of it.
  9. lignum
    lignum New Member
    Ehhh. The trace took forever and didn't exactly look amazing. Exploding the object and then push/pulling messed up the image aftwards.

    I'm starting to think maybe I should use another program? Obviously I could try to recreate the logo within the program, buuut that would be rather troublesome, especially for future efforts on other projects and designs that have been created outside of the program.

    thanks again for all the help and thanks to the OP for letting me hijack your thread :D
  10. aeron203
    aeron203 New Member
    One workflow for extruding vector art that I've had success with is exporting an EPS from Inkscape, then importing into Wings3D. It works better for closed shapes. Ones that are complicated with holes and concentric features tend to get filled in. Blender also works (with .ai I think it was), but is a little trickier.

  11. Jacobmccafferty
    Jacobmccafferty New Member
    I have another question, I have some sketches and how do I upload them to the 3G app?
  12. denali3ddesign
    denali3ddesign New Member
  13. lignum
    lignum New Member
    Well there was a also an extension>modify path>flatten beziers that worked. Now the import dxf thing worked fine in SU, but it won't let me push/pull/extrude/etc. *weeps softly*

    So many problems lol. One after the other. Is there just another good free program that I can import a previously designed 2D image (even if I have to tinker with it in Inkscape first as it seems I'm becoming rather efficient at that if nothing else)?

    Thanks again for all the help.
  14. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  15. denali3ddesign
    denali3ddesign New Member
    There are probably tiny gaps between some of the lines - once you find them and close them up, you can create a face that you can push/pull. Here's a plugin that will help you find the gaps: http://www.smustard.com/script/StrayLines
    I know it looks like you are patching together a Frankenstein program, but hey, its all free! :) Once you get the workflow down, its very easy.

  16. Jacobmccafferty
    Jacobmccafferty New Member
    i meant to say how do i upload a sketch onto a 3D app.
  17. denali3ddesign
    denali3ddesign New Member
    Do you mean import a reference sketch/picture to trace over? If so, here's a tutorial how to do it in Sketchup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJwOA1TWw_Q

    If that's not what you meant, give us a little more info...help us help you! :)

  18. Jacobmccafferty
    Jacobmccafferty New Member
    thank you that video helped, would that work with making animals?
  19. lignum
    lignum New Member
    Okay. I'm feeling really dumb. I'm probably just missing a step somewhere (also this is over a few nights so now I feel like I'm redoing things and forgetting steps that I previously did fine).

    I am attaching my guild's logo (with some edits by me to make it one solid piece). I want it to be a 3D image. I won't give specifics because it's not important and I want to do it myself. The tools I am using are Inkscape and SketchUp. I am open to using other tools. If you have any favorites, please provide a link because when I google them I get all different versions (TrueSpace is the main one because it was bought out and discontinued etc etc).

    I'm not too dumb though, so you don't have to be too step-by-step-ish. But I would like a little bit more of a comprehensive nudge in the right direction. Is there something I'm missing?

    I hate being a pain in the butt. lol. But maybe this will pay off in the future and I'll be a wiz as it (hahaha suuure).

    Thanks again to the "community" for the help and I hope someone might take the 5 minutes it should probably really take to do this and help me out further.

  20. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    Truespace is still available, just not formally supported.

    I prefer version 7.6 to that of version 7.6.1 - in the latter version, they removed the native STL output, but both versions have VRML output which I've used with good success to create full color models.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012