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Old 13th July 2006, 01:04 AM   #1
jclark
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Default AC3D Review

Hi folks, I'm Jason from subdivisionmodeling.com and I am writing a review of the application for our members. I thought I'd post my positive feedback about AC3D here to really say that the application is underrated and with the plans that Andy has mentioned could really give some leverage for AC3D in such a crowded market.

As an experienced modeler coming from the likes of modo, LW, XSI, C4D I find AC3D totally usuable and enjoyable. There is something to be said for simplicity. However, I think that for AC3D to break it's shell to get more attention from users of other applications I think areas that AC3D can improve on are with specific work tools like spinedge, bridge and a bit more interactivity with other tools where you don't need to rely on the numerical editor.

I have attached an image of a crappy head model I was able to do within only minutes of using AC3D with no prior experience in the application. Feel free to post your experiences with AC3D and any thing you are proud of that you've done and I may include it with my article.

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Old 13th July 2006, 02:03 PM   #2
Dennis
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Default Re: AC3D Review

Seems you've nailed it, at least from my perspective.

AC3D has absolutely spoiled me for other modelers. I *always* start in AC3D nowadays, then push the data into LightWave from there. There are a few modeling tools I end up using in LW that I would love to see added in AC3D (bending, twisting, magic bevel), but AC3D handles anywhere from 90-100% of the modeling work I do.

You're welcome to use any of my images posted here on AC3D (links below, all modeled completely in AC3D). They're not terribly impressive compared to more skilled members' models, and every one of them is either a WIP or an abandoned project, but feel free to use them if you find them helpful.

http://www.ac3d.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3590&page=4
http://www.ac3d.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3239
http://www.ac3d.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3173
http://www.ac3d.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3033
http://www.ac3d.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3035
http://www.ac3d.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3627
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Old 14th July 2006, 01:31 AM   #3
tbd
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Default Re: AC3D Review

Feel free to use any of my stuff as well. They are all made in AC3D.

http://originalmoron.sitesled.com/modart.htm
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Old 15th July 2006, 02:46 PM   #4
griff
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Default Re: AC3D Review

Agree with what Dennis says. Always start in AC3D and use several other modelers/programs for any additional stuff that I can't do with it. For example ... if I need more control of texture mapping will use UVmapper.

The ability to import/export in the .obj format makes it very easy to move things around. Also, as I work in VRML, always do my final export from AC3D. While AC3D does not allow the addition of all the interactive VRML nodes, the code it exports is very clean compared to some of the other (often more expensive) software out there.

There will always be features that I would like, but they probably are not things I would use every day. I also think that some of the *simplicity* you talk about comes from some good design and thought that Andy and the rest of AC3D team have put into the software.

For example, I think the new hierarchy control in AC3D v6 is probably the best I've seen anywhere (posted about this elsewhere )

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Old 19th July 2006, 10:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: AC3D Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclark
Hi folks, I'm Jason from subdivisionmodeling.com and I am writing a review of the application for our members. I thought I'd post my positive feedback about AC3D here to really say that the application is underrated and with the plans that Andy has mentioned could really give some leverage for AC3D in such a crowded market.

As an experienced modeler coming from the likes of modo, LW, XSI, C4D I find AC3D totally usuable and enjoyable. There is something to be said for simplicity. However, I think that for AC3D to break it's shell to get more attention from users of other applications I think areas that AC3D can improve on are with specific work tools like spinedge, bridge and a bit more interactivity with other tools where you don't need to rely on the numerical editor.

I have attached an image of a crappy head model I was able to do within only minutes of using AC3D with no prior experience in the application. Feel free to post your experiences with AC3D and any thing you are proud of that you've done and I may include it with my article.

I wonder if you might give our AC3D members some tips on how to model your example (Crappy head) in a 'few' minutes, Thanks.
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Old 26th July 2006, 07:37 PM   #6
nightoftheroundtable
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Default Re: AC3D Review

looks pretty good for crap. I am curious as to how you did that in only a few minutes?
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Old 26th July 2006, 11:28 PM   #7
Dennis
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Default Re: AC3D Review

Hawk / night,

Looks like this was done using edge extrusions --- it's the way I build the head models that I make. Given enough practise with modeling heads, I can see how a model like this could be built in a few minutes. It used to take me a few days to create a head model when I first started, but nowadays, given a front/left view sketch, I can generally push out a head model in an hour or two.

I learned modeling using this method from this page (click the "Index" link for the full body tutorial):

http://www.3dtotal.com/ffa/tutorials...farc/head1.asp

This is easily the best edge-extrusion modeling link I've seen. It's for 3D Studio, so you have to just apply the techniques for AC3D --- for example, there are places where the author cuts geometry, but I find it faster in AC3D to keep extruding rather than working with the knife plugins.

EDIT: Actually, my newly-preferred method of slicing geometry is to use the Divide Loop plugin (available in the Plugins section of the forum). I used it extensively on the last edge-extrusion model I built, and it's gained a spot in my AC3D toolbar.

Last edited by Dennis; 26th July 2006 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 27th July 2006, 06:41 AM   #8
Hawk
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Smile Re: AC3D Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis
Hawk / night,

Looks like this was done using edge extrusions --- it's the way I build the head models that I make. Given enough practise with modeling heads, I can see how a model like this could be built in a few minutes. It used to take me a few days to create a head model when I first started, but nowadays, given a front/left view sketch, I can generally push out a head model in an hour or two.

I learned modeling using this method from this page (click the "Index" link for the full body tutorial):

http://www.3dtotal.com/ffa/tutorials...farc/head1.asp

This is easily the best edge-extrusion modeling link I've seen. It's for 3D Studio, so you have to just apply the techniques for AC3D --- for example, there are places where the author cuts geometry, but I find it faster in AC3D to keep extruding rather than working with the knife plugins.

EDIT: Actually, my newly-preferred method of slicing geometry is to use the Divide Loop plugin (available in the Plugins section of the forum). I used it extensively on the last edge-extrusion model I built, and it's gained a spot in my AC3D toolbar.
To me ' A few minutes' means something less than 10 minutes, possibly less than five, meaning not a half-hour or hour. Given a face has an eye, ear and mouth, I simply don't believe it is possible to create one in that amount of time, at least not like the one shown, in 'a few minutes'. Unless there is some method that I an not aware of. Which is why I ask. Thanks
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Old 27th July 2006, 10:43 AM   #9
Dennis
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Well, not to get caught up in semantics, but the original author did say he created the model in "minutes" --- "a few minutes" was added by other forum members . So it was definitely less than an hour.

However, I still believe that a person that has been modeling characters for a while can easily whip up a model like this in about 10-15 minutes. And by "a model like this", I mean a model with the elements that the original author posted, meaning no eyelids, no real ears, no lips, jaw, chin, etc, and with some vertex-pushing still to do.

I've only created a small number of characters in 3d, and was able to push together the model from the attached screenshot in just under 13 minutes. I'm certain that a more experienced modeler could easily get a better looking model in less time. I didn't finish the skull cap because my inexperience led me to arrange the polygons to form a squared face rather than the more naturally contoured one required for easy extrusion of a skull. but I think it gets the point across.

I actually recorded the creation of this face to an AVI, but the file weighs in at 200mb, so, if you're interested, I can try to edit/compress it to get it down to a manageable size and will post it for download. What the video really illustrates is that the technique for creating a character can be executed quickly, and using such techniques a more capable 3d modeler can create a 3d face in minutes.

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Old 27th July 2006, 05:00 PM   #10
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FYI, I've posted a quick face test video to show the edge extrusion technique in AC3D.

http://media.putfile.com/Face-example

The video is about 10mb, so be patient.

Keep in mind that the model in the video was thrown together rather quickly, and an Orth background image was not used as a guide (which I'd normally recommend, and it's almost required for your first head model). As a result, I don't do a good job of following natural facial contours. Check out the earlier link I posted showing the Joan of Arc head model for a more natural contour example.

The video starts out with a simple rectangle creation. Edge extrusion (Ctrl+E) is used to create most of the model. Hitting Ctrl+E extende the selected edges, which are in turn selected so you can quickly move/size/rotate them.

I don't remember how often I use it, but at around 8 minutes into the video you'll see the use of the Create Quad (Ctrl+R) function, which creates a rectangle from two edges connected by a vertex.

Also, I use Create Ordered Surface (Ctrl+S) to create a surface from 3+ vertices.

I dont use it here, but the Divide Loop function is also invaluable for adding additional detail.

This is not a terrible guide for creating faces until the 9.5 minute mark, where I make a mess of the forehead and waste my time fussing with it rather than rethinking it. However, this should give you the idea. Also, keep in mind that using a background image makes this a *much* simpler process.

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