Started by efflux, May 31, 2013, 02:19:09 am

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I mentioned Wings3d in a previous post so I knocked out a test. This is one of my favourite apps. Forget the creatures, you'd do that eleswhere but Wings3d has an awesome workflow when it comes to rigid geometric stuff. It's perfect for making all sorts of buildings for use in TG2. You could knock out a cityscape in no time. It has a fantastic selection process. Modo doesn't even do this. Look at how simple the UI is. Everything is right click context. No glut of UI. It seems it's a waste of time trying to explain why this app is so good.


People have mentioned this one to me before too. But now that I know a lot more about modeling, I should take a closer look.
I really cut my teeth with maya. And by that I mean I suffered a lot. So what was before a passive desire for software that makes sense and is easy to use, has become a religion for me. Agony can do that to you.
It has been eaten.


May 31, 2013, 02:52:15 am #2 Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 02:54:06 am by efflux
I've even read that Maya got stuff recently that was in Wings for years. Not sure what they were talking about but it's the same with a lot of apps. I've seen people on the Modo forum trying to explain why some features in Wings were good.  It's more to do with the workflow. Wings doesn't just hand you every every bell and whistle and let you work it out. It has a designed way of flowing through the process, especially in the way is handles selections which is fantastic. This is very important for architectural things. Say you want to select all the windows in a tower block with select similar. Things like that.

I found some work here and this demonstrates why I'm harping on about Wings here. This is all modelled in Wings and it's perfect for TG2. You don't need all the beautifully bevelled edges and such like. You can take things out of Wings and do that elsewhere but for TG2 you just want to block out stuff quickly. I've yet to get get completely stuck in ways to do things in Wings when it comes to this kind of hard edged geometry.

Another thing is that for learning there is no substitute for Wings because you are using the best designed simple modeller there is.


Quote from: efflux on May 31, 2013, 02:52:15 am
Wings doesn't just hand you every every bell and whistle and let you work it out.

Oh, I see you're familiar with Blender.


Blender is OK but I don't know if I'll use it. People complain about the UI. As far as the basics of the UI is concerned, i.e. the way all the windows work etc. that bit is good but where things are is confusing. I also tried cycles and I'm getting poor results. Render engine gets upgraded and now it's harder to get good results even if better lit. This is too much hassle. I might use Modo.

I'm going to spend the next few days mastering Wings 3D. I've forgotten how the fall off works. There is a learning curve with Wings but once learnt it makes sense.

I actually want to concentrate on 2D but there are some 3D tools that help with that including TG2.


Great program!  It's paradigm is directly derived from Mirai per the programmer of Wings3d.

I agree that this modeling workflow has had a tremendous impact on the development of the current technology. Mirai was descended from "Symbolics" one of the original SGI power apps, amazing how these connections go back.


June 01, 2013, 02:10:41 am #6 Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 02:18:47 am by efflux
Yeah, I wish you could have more context sensitivity at your mouse in all these apps. I notice Modo does actually have some of that. Blender doesn't though. You're constantly having to look at the keyboard all the time unlress I'm missing that you can do something like that?

In my search for a modelling program for this kind of thing I've made some new discoveries. Wings 3D is really fast and that's good but I ran into a technical difficulty. Wings 3D doesn't have snapping. It does have constraints with Ctrl and various key commands for different levels of constraint. However, this doesn't quite achieve enough because it's a distance in %. This gets troublesome when you need different objects or say faces to be very accurately lined up. There are dialogs to enter exact spacing but the one downfall is that you can't have this open all the time. This the one change I'd make to Wings. Have a panel with transform properties of whatever you have selected. That would just polish Wings off totally. Pity. I might have to do most work in Blender. I just noticed in Blender that you can drag any panel out to a new window and then have multiple panels in that. Very useful if you have two monitors.

As for Modo, it's not reliable and that's it's major flaw. It crashes a lot. Blender is WAY more stable. I also can't deal with Modo's default navigation which requires key commands. Maybe you can change that but it seems to me the most common action isn't using tools but navigating the view.

Why the hell can't somebody develop an app that works and has all of this sorted?


June 01, 2013, 02:26:34 am #7 Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 02:51:34 am by efflux
Maybe there is hope yet. You can assign a key commands to the "absolute commands" dialog in Wings. It's just you need to have a mental picture of the coordinates which I guess you could have if you're doing achitecture.

Update: Wings can solve the issue as always. Key commands can bring up dialog to move everything precisely. There was another issue with selecting vertex or edges all on the same line when there are others that get chosen with bounding box across complex model. You just negative select for less and you get the line. it seems like every single limit has been thought through to find a solution with this appand still be unbelievably simple.

Another point. Wings lightwave output goes to Blender and Modo and all quads etc are perfect.


How does Wings compare to say Lightwave? I use the latter, so would it be interesting to try Wings at all? I don't want too many apps to work in as the hotkeys to be used are different all the time and that gets confusing now and again. Especially after a beer.


I briefly used Lightwave years ago. I've been through lots of these apps testing but I never really got into modelling because I just found it so cumbersome.  I want an app that can give me quick and precie control. It's not for sculpting stuff. There are other apps for that. I just want to lay out geometry. I don't know what Lightwave is like now but I didn't like the UI that much. I also found it a little buggy. Same programmers as Modo? It seems they create buggy code even if there is awesome stuff. The Modo renderer is really great though.


The reason I keep gravitating to Wings is that when I'm in other apps I get stuck with how to something even if it's just slowdown in work flow. When I go back to Wings I find a way but it can take a lot of searching around to find the answer. It's not that complex a program obviously but it seems there is always a way.


June 01, 2013, 03:13:45 am #11 Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 03:32:53 am by efflux
I've solved the problem I was having yet again in Wings. The constraints are %. This means you use Ctrl and various other keys to snap things by various amounts as you move them. This is fine in many cases. If say you create an edge loop you can slide it to 10%. Lets say it's a cube of 10 units well you can move the loop to 1 on whatever axis you are dealing with or any value depending on your constraint preferences. However, as you can imagine in some circumstances % doesn't get you to the exact place you want since you don't actually know where that % is in terms of the world position. You assign a key command to bring up a dialog and you can place the loop to an exact x, y or z position.

The problem with so much software is that it can have all the fancy features and tech possible but if it doesn't work that's a huge fail. Modo is like this. Crashes. That's useless if you're in the middle of something and a crash happens. You have to start thing of saving all the time. I never even think about that much in Wings or Blender. Crashes are very very rare. Linux is better in this respect as well. Linux itself never ever crashes and the apps seldom do. Having said that, the proprietary ones do. I think they have a serious problem with beta testing. Lots of the users are testing beta version all the time on Linux.


June 01, 2013, 08:17:00 am #12 Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 08:30:51 am by efflux
Check out some of these:

Particularly interesting is where you see him carving out voronoi. There is one where he carves voronoi out from a sphere to create seperated rocks.

Wings is 64 bit now. The newer versions I'm finding are 32 bit on Linux which is problematic and I don't want to install lots of 32 bit libraries. I'll have to try to compile. Probably there will be a 64 bit Windows version somewhere or at least a newer 32 bit version. Some of the newer plugins look really cool.


Its interesting Efflux.

If someone already has max or maya, can you make an argument for switching to wings for the modeling part of 3d? you have made some statements about some of the newer apps, but I didn't catch an argument comparing these three.

Also, I looked at the wings website. I did not find mention of rigging and posing, can it do that? I did see some characters in the gallery, but most of the examples were hard surface. If you can rig and pose, how does the pipe work with Maya?

The link Zaxxon posted does rig. And said the two were related. So Im just curious.

Any thoughts.
It has been eaten.



You can't do those things. It's mostly the Nendo part of Mirai from what I can see. Basically it's a polygon modeller with materials and UVs. and that's it but it has a whole lot of ways of doing stuff without a lot of hassle and bloat. Nendo was probably more limited. A lot of tools have been added to Wings over the years but I haven't read that much into Mirai to see what it does. What's the point? Why do fantastic apps like this get ditched?  It's just pathetic. Mirai must have been great. Although I've never used Mirai, Wings is basically the same workflow. To me, so many modelling apps have workflow bottlenecks.

The way I intend to use it is for modelling things that have quite specific geometric structure but that's a bit vague. It'll mostly be architecture. I'll bring into Blender just as test render and maybe do more, for example using instancing.

For character modelling, you could definitely use Wings if you think well in terms of mesh and topology. It's actualy really nice to tweak the mesh around because there is fall off. However, I wouldn't use it for this. I'd want to start from the opposite direction for that kind of thing. Not thinking about mesh at all then go to that later i.e. sculpt out characters in 3D Coat.

I've been through just about every app. I remember being in Maya somehow at one point but I didn't spend much time on it. I got put off by a ludicrously involved and impossible licencing process on Linux just to try a demo so I said - screw that I'm not dealing with this company. They also ignored emails. I wouldn't touch Autodesk with a barge pole. 3DMax was the first one I tried a long time ago so I can't comment on what that has now. It's Windows only. I even had a paper manual at the time but lost interest. I spent most time in Cinema 4D. I thought that was a good one. Reliable as well which is important. That app doesn't crash and it's quite easy to use. It was also decent value for money. I'm reasonably postive about that one but it was a few years ago when I tried it.

I generally don't look much at animation features such as rigging so can't comment on that with any app.