Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wings3d is an awesome modeler.

I took some time out from playing with messiah, and made a modeling video for an awesome freeware program called Wings3d. You can purchase it from Lulu here.

I've been using Wings since 2002, and it has been quite the workhorse, helping me complete small jobs, complex jobs(such as my messiah tutorials) and it has been used extensively on BVG games produced by Avalanche Software... at least the ones I worked on. Itellyouwhat, it has saved my butt many-a-time under deadline.

There are only two things I would wish for to make Wings complete:
morph targets, and vertex colors co-existing with UVs. It's clear that I could live without those, but hoo-boy, that would be very happy making for me.

The community behind wings is quite talented, so I'm sure those two features will eventually make it into the program. Heck, it isn't even to version 1.0 yet !!

Half of the modeling tutorials are timelapsed. The first 23 videos are meant to prime you on how to see what I'm doing, so that you can interpret the timelapses easily. This program is so easy to pick up, its like accellerated learning once you see a technique being shown at high speed.

even with half of it timelapsed, its still a couple hours long. Enjoy!

This is the [extensive] chapter list for this tutorial set:

Chapter List for Learn Wings3d
A basic overview of the wings3d interface,and setting up the

LearnWings3d_Ch02_Selections and Navigation
Setting up Wings navigation controls and how to move around
the scene and pick objects.

Learning how to use the menus and tweak mode to move

A breif introduction to subdivision modeling and it's

Learning how to handle and visualize subdivision meshes and
how to control subdivision curves.

Using and modifying a subdivision cage to demonstrate the
different sharp/round edges on complex corners.

transitioning between sharp and smooth edges on a subdivision
mesh using Chapter 3's curve rules.

Your first wings3d model, a simple human body.

Time-compressed video of the previous lesson, with more
shape refinements.

Using the Edge loop philosophy to model and refine objects

Approaching low-resolution hands using Edge loops.

Time-Compressed video using the previous lesson for a more
refined hand.

Construction of a base head mesh that is easy to alter and

Time Compressed video of a more refined head mesh.

using simple geometry to generate complex Subdivision feet.

Time-Compressed Video of foot modeling using previous lesson's

Compressed video showing super simple ear geometry.

how to use Wings3d's image plane to import reference
images to model.

Time-compressed video Modeling a character from a sketch
imported as an image plane. (Note: previous version of Wings3d
is demonstrated)

Time-compressed video Modeling a character from a sketch
imported as an image plane. (Note: previous version of Wings3d
is demonstrated)

Using wings3d's UV unwrap and UV Charts to unfold a 3d object
into 2d texturing space.

Use different methods of unfolding and projecting a complex
3d object into 2d UV space for textures.

Use the vertex pallette to add color detail to an object
without texture maps or materials.


Chapter List for HiveAntTimelapse

Construction of the Body in mirror mode.

Construction of the legs and their assembly and posture.

Construction of Head, thorax and abdomen. Final assembly and


Chapter List for DinoTimeLapse

Using Image Reference, construction of a torso through basic
shape refinement.

"cube" modeling the arm, using techniques learned in previous

"cube" modeling the leg, using landmarks on the reference
images, then refining the geometry.

Merging and bridging multiple meshes together to form one
unified mesh

A different technique to constructing a leg from the foot up.

creation and refinement of the head geometry to mach reference

Bridging the head mesh to the body mesh, cutting and tweaking
geometry to make a seamless transition.

re-routing edges, faces, and tweaking points to create an
optimal mesh that deforms easily, and is edited easily.

(NOTE: this section is divided into subsections for easy study)
preparing the body for UV layout by marking hard edges in

Splitting the model with basic unwrapping, and unfolding the
toe meshes.

Unwrapping and stitching the head sections together. Cutting
and stitching toes to the legs to form a single UV island.

Freezing mirror to a full mesh and re-arranging the parts.
Arranging the claws in the UV window. Re-unfolding the head
And Body into unique UVs, instead of Mirrored UVs.

Merging the Teeth and gums into the torso model, and
combatting the uv projection of each tooth. the teeth needed
more geometry added before UV mapping.

Merging the eye geometry into the body to form a single model.
straight projection and rotating the eye UVs to line them up.

Chapter List for CrazyMechTimelapseVideo

Modeling the Right appendage. using Face operations to model
multiple details at once.

Modeling the torso, creating compound curves through simple
shapes, and refining them later.

lining up, scaling the torso to the right appendage.

"box" modeling simple objects that are duplicated and warped
into finger and hand mechanical parts.

Modeling the compound hand surface and joining fingers to it.

Creating the forearm, and insetting compound contours into the
basic shape of the arm.

generating the upper arm from parts of the lower arm to ensure
proper surface mating.

Creating the "nurnies" of the model. pistons and their
mounting points from one object to the next, using wings
vector operations to align them to their sockets.

Creating tubes through extrusion, beveling, and unique
"cube edge as path" extrusion.

Right appendage connection points and "nurnies". Freezing and
finalizing torso mesh to be non-mirrored.


Virgil said...

about your animation training videos on the dinosaur rig, I have some crits about the quality of the animation on that. for one, they don't loop OK. two, they don't really have believable weight, the dino is pretty generic and doesn't feel like a real creature. last, the head floats around a bit separated from the body. now, dinosaurs were indeed related to birds very much, and birds have independent head movement, but much more obvious... so I think, you either animate the dinosaur as a bird, and really have the independent head movement be obvious, which would look pretty silly, but hey, maybe indeed they moved like that, or you go for a more traditional interpretation, which might make more sense for an animation course (to teach solid basics, no experimental stuff), and have the dino move more like your regular reptile.

thedaemon, Brandon Ayers said...

You got that right, I've been using Wings3D for years. I'm still faster in it than any other app I try. Just something about being able to just add edges and not worry about holes in my mesh or 10 sided polygons acting weird, etc. It just works, and my workflow allows for a clean mesh when I'm done, just wip looks a mess.

Monke Man said...

Your Messiah Advance Facial Rigging is out of this world. I just got the set for $50 and it probably saved me 3 months or more trying to figure out how to animate the face. One question, is it possible to take Silver or Jim's face rig and use it as an Autorig?