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

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One advantage of Linux is that apps seem to last a long time even when ditched. I've still got Lightzone on here and it's working fine. Windows version is already screwed up. I haven't found another app that has algorithms that do the same thing. Lightzone is best for editing photos. You get this beautiful strong lighting effect. I've been in Photoshop and all the others. Can't do Lightzone type things. It's crucial to the look of my TG2 renders as well.


This is how I would sum it up. If you're already using some high end app like Maya or something you'll have your workflow methods and probably won't benefit with using Wings. However, if I was teaching about Modelling (not that I'm skilled to do that) I'd consider using Wings. On Linux it's definitely a no brainer. If you master Wings, it sets you up to understand other apps or rather how they should be, meaning their flaws will make you still use Wings for a lot of stuff.


June 01, 2013, 07:13:23 pm #17 Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 07:25:05 pm by efflux
The problem is that the best apps don't always have a wow factor. You have to sit down and properly learn. TG2 is like this.

Silo, Modo etc all have cool factor with beautifully rendered real time views including almost real time full rendering preview in Modo but if you get into the guts of it, Wings is really cool and has a good set of tools and fast workflow.

I've watched some of those Andrew Price Blender videos and it's cool that he's doing that. However, I don't like his working methods with the modelling. It's very, that'll do, eyeball it here, it looks OK. I'm making stuff with precision and Wings does the job.

See I'd watch a video like this:

but then save myself the hassle and expense and do it in Wings.


Can we see a model you made in wings, in a TG2 context? That is, a rendered view.

Is that your model in the OP? or just an example you found?
It has been eaten.


June 02, 2013, 01:41:28 am #19 Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 01:46:50 am by efflux
Yeah, the model is mine but it's not very good. I'm just playing around. I'll continue this thread with examples eventually and hopefully use them in TG2.

I'm getting better at using Wings now and I've changed all the UI colours to something more sensibly subdued. You don't need to see even the Tool bar. It's all controllable from left click menu and key commands.

I'm finished now in my search for a modeller. Nothing tops Wings3d and it's getting new code boosts. Booleans and stuff. I need to try the newer version. It makes every other modeling app I've tried seem dismal. There is nothing that hinders your work flow.

Here's a screenshot where I've loaded a model in done by one of the developers. On Linux you have vastly superior windows managers so you can fullscreen any app. It's fantastically streamlined as you can see from that screenshot. Clicking on the  3D view window top bar brings all those dialogs over the top, otherwise you don't even see those or you can call anything up with a key command. It's one of the fastest apps to use that I've ever tried.


June 02, 2013, 02:19:26 am #20 Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 02:29:57 am by efflux
I've tested the new Blender Cycles renderer further. The tricky bit is setting up lights because it's a surface that emits light and depending on it's size and placement it can be difficult. Here's that model experiment from the first Post. It's crap but I'm using it to test. Lightwave is the best format to use from Wings. I'm going to use Blender for test rendering and adding types of modelling that Wings doesn't have. Arrays including particle arrays is probably the biggest use or smoothing, subdivision modifiers etc:

I'm really questioning whether it's worth using anything except open source now except obviously unique programs like TG2. Blender's renderer isn't as fast as Modo's but then again, Blender never crashes.

I'm gathering a stack of stuff now. Hundreds of brushes for Mypaint and Krita. I'm probably going to need a website. I'm going to be on a roll soon. That's if I don't spend all my time on music.


I just pushed Wings in terms of poly count. This isn't what it's about but it can handle millions of polys.


is your last image meant to remain so geometric or will you smooth? I actually like it just the way it is but for the top cone part. I feel like that should be smoothed. Hard to say what you have in mind. But as a single image the object has a art object feel to it.
Can you smooth in Wings, and what is the smooth process? For example in maya, you can smooth preview as you work. And then add levels of smoothing permanently beginning with a multiple of two.
Do you insert edge loops to add resolution?.. Something like that term?
It has been eaten.


You can do a smooth preview. It doesn't look that great in the open GL view though and you can control the smoothing. I haven't done much of that and it's probably the kind of thing I'd do in Blender after I've done the basics in Wings.

I actually cut off the top of that Blender render because I had accidentally smoothed part of it where I hadn't meant to. The smoothing needs to be quite well controlled. The funnel parts were smoothed but the end parts shouldn't have been.

I'l eventually get into making something to try in TG2. At the moment I'm trying to compile the latest Wings on Linux because there is a bunch more feature than the one in the Arch repo. There are some problems but I'll get around it. It's partly related to the fact that too many people have chosen to use Linux versions that have strayed away from the norms. This means to use a proper Linux like Arch you are left to compile stuff because few people create up to date binary packages for insanely underused apps like Wings.

One thing I would suggest to anyone thinking of using Linux. Avoid Ubuntu if you can. Canonical are assholes in my opinion. It's purely an attempt to make money without giving anything back. Apparently they don't send many fixes upstream to Debian which is what Ubuntu is based on except Debian is much better and its a real user based maintained version. I'd rather use OSX or Windows. Ubuntu is the worst thing to ever happen to Linux. Hopefully their plumetting popularity will continue


Actually the realtime view of the smoothing is one of Wings biggest weaknesses. To check that properly, you're best to load the model to Blender but this is flaw I can acept because basically, for getting your vertexes, edges and faces in the right places by a host of methods, nothing beats Wings. If you do things right, there is not reason why when viewed in app with nice realtime smooth view it will all look fine. I'm going to use it more for hard flat surface type things anyway. This is one of the wow factors in say Modo, a beautiful realtime view. You can really see if smoothing has any issues.


June 04, 2013, 11:38:27 am #25 Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 11:52:11 am by efflux
Just a few updates on Wings. You can import SVG paths. This is very cool. I can lay out plans in precise detail in Inkscape then load into Wings. Wings also has tweak where you grab verts, edges or faces and the mouse right left movement with Alt controls falloff (very nice and intuitive) and you have a few various curves but It also has sculpt which just brushes the polys around without selecting any. There are also some nice controls for zooming in and out of your selected areas.

This is now one of my all time favourite apps.

As for newer versions. I had a nighmare trying to compile on Linux but now I see that my version is quite up to date anyway.

What formats import into TG2? I've never got into that yet and I'm on my Linux system so haven't checked. Are there any problems importing models or is it all pretty smooth?

Zairyn Arsyn

TG2 Currently Imports .obj, .lwo & the native .tgo format, the current version also imports FBX scenes, but i i haven't actually played with the FBX importer yet.

obj seems to be be the best choice, that is for objects created with other 3D apps, though i think TG2 seems to work better with .obj's that exported with the PoseRay app

i've never had any problems with any objects i have made, i think the only thing to watch out for is no objects with N-gons.

i7 2600k 3.4GHZ|G.skill 16GB 1600MHZ|Asus P8P67 EVO|Evga 770GTX 4GB|SB X-FI|Antec 750W


June 05, 2013, 06:08:03 am #27 Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 06:19:02 am by efflux
OK. I'll get around to that end eventually. Wings is a great modeller but god, Blender is absolutely dire. I'm using Blender for a few things like test rendering and it's fine to build up scenes of already modelled stuff and sorting lighting for renders and maybe it's OK for animation, but the way the modelling flow works is appalling and the UV mapping has similar type manipulation tools.


Going off topic a bit here but I think all this stuff is useful and related to use for TG2, especially since a lot of people here may not have fortunes to spend on software.

I'm bogged down in Blender here now but struggling on with open source stuff. This screenshot shows you a few things. Gimp is open on the Cintiq (first monitor is Eizo) and I used it to take the screenshot. You see a render of a model done in Wings3d. The model demos why Wings is great. This took about 30 seconds to create. You can get very organic forms but there is no randomness. That model could be exactly reproduced again with the same procedure. Gimp is single window mode now, in case you tried it before when it wasn't. That's a big improvement. You also see the tabs for images open. Much better.

Obviously you see Blender open here. Notice it now has fancy matcap shaders for the realtime view. That vastly improves viewing of sculpted forms. In this case it's just a cube that has the matcap applied but it seriously enhances the realtime view for sculpting. You also notice the floating window for the node network. You can now create as many separate windows as you want and on Linux this is great because I'm using Xfwm which is part of the XFCE desktop. The Linux windows managers allow you to do things like roll the windows up to just bars and always be in front and such like. The Blender theme is one I've done. The reason I did it was because the default one is poor, especially in the way the title bars for the expandable editing boxes aren't hilighted, making the whole UI just look like a mass of ungrouped gray buttons. I've also discovered that a lot of the terrible interfacing things can be changed. That god awful moving cursor with mouse click crap can be disabled and the mouse and keys are so customisable that you can pretty much make it like other apps. No competition for Wings3d though in the modelling department. Blenders modeling is poor but this version has a few tool improvements that I've noticed. You need to change the key and mouse commands to your own likings since the Blender defaults are unlikely to please you. However, it takes days just to configure Blender to your liking. It's ludicrously complex even in just configuring the UI but at least you can do it.

The Planetside logo that you see was taken into Inkscape with trace bitmap. That's an awesome feature that works really well. Then the svg was loaded into Blender to make it 3D from a path. Wings instantly makes imported svg into 3D polys which is really cool but I found that it doesn't like some svg forms like that complex logo for example.

Gimp and Blender can also play together really nicely to edit textures.

When all this workflow finally arrives at getting useful stuff into TG2, I'm not sure. Blender is going to bog me down for weeks but I'm now an expert at Gimp, Inkscape, Mypaint, Krita and Wings3d. 3D Coat is going to take a bit of time and Blender is going to take ages.

I've also spent a lot of time on 2D stuff.

The point is that a really good setup can be had and all you pay for is the hardware. It's worth donating money to these people as well. I did donate to Ardour project but ditched open source for audio in the end so I don't donate now. These apps work on all operating systems. There is no need to spend a fortune. Better to save that and buy the few apps that need paying for and are worth it like 3D Coat or TG2.

I would say the main issue is that you're laying some groundwork if you do things the way I'm doing because you have to learn a lot and sometimes the info simply isn't available. Archlinux alone took some time but that beats Windows or OSX for this set up any day of the week and I can duplicate the same set up on masses of computers easily if I wanted.

I also have Modo but I'm not sure when I'll use it. It's buggy and I'm waiting to see how that goes on Linux.


Just another free thing I found which is high quality are thes filters. Yeah, the site doesn't exactly suggest it but these are really good:

Sadly, they are not multithreaded so can take time on a big image but the results are very good.