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GPL'ed 3D Modeler And Renderer

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the hello-sphere dept.

Graphics 138

hardgeus writes: "A lot of people (including me) have said that what the Open Source world needs is a 3D counterpart to GIMP. Well, it looks like it's finally here: The OpenFX Open-Source 3D modeling, animation and rendering suite . It has a renderer and raytrace engine, NURBS support, kinematics-based animation, morphing, a plugin API - and it's under the GPL. Currently only for Windows, but they're working on a Linux and FreeBSD port." There's this and Blender - what other options are there?

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mirror! (1)

myspys (204685) | more than 13 years ago | (#441957)


Realsoft3D (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#441958)

Realsoft3D [realsoft3dusa.com] is a newly released, truly professional quality 3D application. I have the Windows version and it is fantastic. The Linux version is being finalized now, and will be released when beta testing is complete. Free download of the Windows demo at their site, btw.

You could check out Open Cascade... (2)

groove10 (266295) | more than 13 years ago | (#441962)

A good GPL'd geometric kernel with support for offsetting, rendering and a bunch of other gooodies. It's supported on Linux, Windows NT, SGI Irix, IBM AIX, and Sun Solaris. Check it out at: <A=href http://www.opencascade.org/>Open Cascade</A>

3DMAX render engine (3)

flynn_nrg (266463) | more than 13 years ago | (#441963)

I actually don't know if they intend to release an opensourced version of the modeller, but since the render engine was developed by Mental Images [mentalimages.com] and not by them they won't be allowed to release the code.
This is also the same render engine the Softimage|XSI [softimage.com] uses, tho in a more powerful version.

Re:You could check out Open Cascade... (1)

groove10 (266295) | more than 13 years ago | (#441964)

Oops, should have used preview!

www.linux3dgraphicsprogramming.org, Invention3D (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#441966)

Linux 3D Graphics Programming [linux3dgra...amming.org] has some links to other Linux 3D modelers. Invention 3D [sourceforge.net] comes to mind as a promising modeler.

There's this and Blender - what other options are (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 13 years ago | (#441967)


Re:3DMAX render engine (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 13 years ago | (#441968)

It's free as in beer, and it's open as in file-format (something which Max's default file format has never been - it relied on dynamic object creation by Max when you opened the file).

The default renderer in Max isn't Mental Ray, but it's own hybrid scanline/raytraceing A-buffer renderer. Mental Ray is one of the renderers for SI (pre-XSI as well), it's also avaiable as an add-on for Max, but it's a couple $K's per CPU. It's definatly not designed for real-time.

Woohoo (1)

Kythorn (52358) | more than 13 years ago | (#441975)


At Last (1)

mountain_penguin (43679) | more than 13 years ago | (#441977)

at last we have a decent 3d modeller.
I know about blender et al but this looks like it will be realy good
It is good to see the snowballing of good quality 3D opensource applications. Helped along by the emergance of fast 3d acceleration (NVIDA 3dfx and ATI) The rendering quality looks good from the screen shots
Good to see that there server has been slashdoted already!


The Silicon Sorceror (40289) | more than 13 years ago | (#441981)

Don't forget the POVLAB development effort, which is beginning to pick up the pace. POVLAB [povlab.org] has been around for years as a modeller for POV-Ray [povray.org] , and is just now being rewritten in C++ and made cross-platform with wxWindows [wxwindows.org] .

See the POVLAB development site [pdelagrange.free.fr] for details and to find out if you would like to help.

Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (1)

Spiral Man (33998) | more than 13 years ago | (#441982)

also, blender is NOT a raytracer... it uses opengl to do the final rendering, not just the realtime display stuff...

also, having a good 3d card doesnt mean much once you hit the render button on a raytracer... thats why blender renders so fast, cause the 3d card still matters...

doesnt look as good though

Hmmm (2)

jfunk (33224) | more than 13 years ago | (#441983)

An open source project where open source operating systems are the second-class citizens.

Traditionally, open source stuff was taken care of on the Unices, especially Linux and BSD, first. Windows was the second-class citizen simply due to it's lack of portability.

As time went, open source software appeared that made software developed under the Unices easy to port to Windows. SDL and GTK for Win32 come immediately to mind. The Gimp doesn't seem to lag very much, and the OS SDL games out there don't seem to lag at all.

Now we have open source developed under Windows that people want under the Unices. I bet that's going to be fun to deal with. That's going to end up having to be completely rewritten under SDL/GTK/Qt or something before being useful.

There are a bunch of people here saying, "Yay, 3d software for Linux."

Not for a while...

a bona-fide 3D standard? (2)

British (51765) | more than 13 years ago | (#441984)

Is there a standard out there like SVG(a nice XML based format that I'm counting on getting popular) for 3D models? I'd love to make a bunch of 3D models and such for fun and be able to use it in one edior or the other.

Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (2)

xcjohn (64581) | more than 13 years ago | (#441985)

Well, lets face it, blender's a bitch to learn. the UI plain out sucks. The only real decent UI i've seen for a linux modeler/renderer is Moonlight3d, which has all but died (not opensource, but based on opensource code. and there'r sounds of life commin from globfx, rumored to be the creators of moonlight3d)

mirrors? (2)

xcjohn (64581) | more than 13 years ago | (#441986)

anyone got a mirror of this? looks like they've been slashdotted...

What happened to Moonlight 3D? (3)

Booker (6173) | more than 13 years ago | (#441987)

Ok, not GPL'd (I don't think...) but does anyone know what happened to Moonlight 3D?


Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (1)

cybercyst (74322) | more than 13 years ago | (#441988)

uh... the free 3d studio max program, that descreet is releasing isn't free... it will cost the company that wants to use it.. and it will be for winblowz only... as far as i know, this (the featured program of this article) is the first Open Source 3d modelling program ive seen.... Power to the GPL!

Re:It's too bad that... (1)

geekster (87252) | more than 13 years ago | (#441996)

> Currently only for Windows, but they're working on a Linux and FreeBSD port

So it should be available for our goofy OS eventually.


Field Marshall Stack (58180) | more than 13 years ago | (#441997)

Give me 101 plastic soldiers, and I will conquer the world.

Oh, sure, I could just give you 101 plastic soldiers, and you could conquer the world today. But if I taught you how to make plastic soldiers, you could conquer the world forever!

Re:Hmmm (2)

SClitheroe (132403) | more than 13 years ago | (#441998)

whatever...when the shoe's on the other foot (or OS in this case), you start whining. How lame is that?

This is open source! Grab the source, and take a look at it. If the developers have done a good job, the rendering code is separated from the GUI code, so it's really just a question of cobbling together a GUI, and probably taking care of a few low level functions like memory allocation. Most of the math routines should move directly over, since they're not API specific.

You can't complain about an Open Source app not running on your favorite OS, particulary that statement that "it'll have to be rewritten in before it's useful"....If everyone in the Linux camp talked like that, the kernel would still be i386 specific!

Re:Hmmm (2)

jfunk (33224) | more than 13 years ago | (#441999)

whatever...when the shoe's on the other foot (or OS in this case), you start whining. How lame is that?

I'm not whining, I'm just pointing something out. I don't even have a need for this software.

I simply found it funny that the "shoe was on the other foot," as you say. I had an old job where I had to use NT. I grabbed stuff like Cygwin and GNUplot to do my work (sensor stuff) and found that a ton of apps didn't work, like AfterStep. :-)* Sometimes, I VNC'ed to my box at home to do stuff.

The reason for all that is that open source software is generally developed with other open source software: OSes, libraries, etc. Windows didn't really have a lot of support for that stuff.

You also say that I'm complaining that "it'll have to be rewritten in before it's useful." Well, it's true, and I'm not complaining. I have no use for it, remember? It's just that a number of people are used to the notion of open source almost always running under Linux. Notice the load of posts talking about, "yay, stuff for Linux!"

The truth is, for that to happen, there will be a porting effort, which will probably be non-trivial. That's a simple fact, that I'm stating to those who haven't realised, many other posters to this story.

Complaining has nothing to do with it.

Don't forget Radiance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#442000)

Radiance which is a Radiosity Renderer capable of every bit as much as lightscape (and the new enhancements in lightwave) but is a touch more advanced.. You can check it out here:
http://radsite.lbl.gov/radiance [lbl.gov]
It's got my vote for best free renderer in linux
(And it can be set up to do cluster rendering too)


PovRayMan (31900) | more than 13 years ago | (#442001)

Ok ok, As a POV-Ray freak, I just gotta reply to this. POVLAB went open source a while ago (I think, I don't use modellers for povray, I Hand code). So I guess you can consider that a good thing. However one thing bothers me. It says on the site

The aim is to make a complete free 3D package with POV-Ray which could compete with commercial softwares (like 3D Studio).

Now POV-Ray is no where near as advanced as 3D Studio is for rendering. POV-Ray totally requires floating point for rendering, while 3d studio uses a 3d card for rendering (I think that's right, I don't really use 3d studio :/)

The only thing I feel POV-Ray has an advantage over 3D Studio is that it is opensource, freeware, and multiplatform. HELL you can run pov-ray on an Amiga system. Who the hell uses Amiga anyways? But hey, it'll work! It'll work also on *NIX, SunOS, DOS, etc. Point is, you see 3D studio isn't open source and what, only works in Windows 9x/NT? With things being open source and all, people with enough time can port these things over to other platforms. It would be nice to see this OpenFX thingie be ported over and what not.

as a little bottom note thingie, I would like to point out a few things. First of all, I really don't know the difference between all this opensource/gpl/whatever stuff. All I know about it is that the source code is right there to play with. Another thing is just because my name is PovRayMan (and have a 5 digit /. UID) doesn't mean I'm the smartest POV-Ray guy in the world. I started using POV-Ray four years ago, and became obsessed, so I called myself PovRayMan. But nowadays, I just don't find time to play with it. The last major project I did with povray was build a beowulf cluster that used PVM-POV [alignment.net] .

This completely unorganized ramble has been brought to you by me!


beowulf anyone? (1)

n3m6 (101260) | more than 13 years ago | (#442010)

seriosly .. what kinda support does this have for clusters.. any good 3d renderer needs to have this.. especially if it's been developed for linux.. as clusters is linux's home court..

when the world comes to an end.

winelib? (2)

Erich (151) | more than 13 years ago | (#442011)

A lot of people are saying the port will be rough...

What about using winelib? Isn't this exactly what winelib is supposed to help with? Easy porting of code from windows to *nix machines? Especially with open code...

Power to the Free Software folk! Using Winelib I bet they could get a port in a few weeks...

Re:VI (1)

PovRayMan (31900) | more than 13 years ago | (#442012)

Maybe for linux, but I like the windows version of POV-Ray. It's nice and easy to type code then render because of the easy to use GUI. It can be a pain sometimes to have to get out of the text editor then type up a line of code to render it.

Sometimes it's just easier to code it up and click a button to render.


Still a loong way to go... (3)

-Harlequin- (169395) | more than 13 years ago | (#442013)

Ok, I admit from the start that it's unfair to compare this to the likes of 3ds (though it's hard for me not too, as I haven't done much work with lower-end stuff), but at first glance, this doesn't look like it will be useful for much for a long time (other than really basic stuff, like simple web animations etc). And I suspect it might even look worse at second glance.

Gimp, while not photoshop, is still at a level where it offers a viable alternative (for a fair amount of uses) to one of the leading packages. Even mid-range 3d apps dwarf photoshop in complexity (and usually price), so it's no surprise that this (great) start in that direction has a long way to go, but I don't think this thing can be called the Gimp of 3d - it just doesn't offer a serious alternative, and doesn't look like it will for a very long time (if ever).

But for a very long time now, I've been of the view that open source simply cannot produce a 3ds MAX or SoftImage, or whatever (or at least not with the current methods of production). The programs are utterly immense, yet need an interface free of ad-hoc additions and localised revisions to be a fast production tool, not to mention there being so few people in the world (virtually none :-) with the expertise to make a non-raytracing renderer that produces raytracer-quality (or better) results at a fraction of the render time.
Compounding that is that the 3d apps evolve much faster than the like of photoshop (which already seems to evolve faster than Gimp, (but I haven't compared the latest versions, I might be wrong)), so the successful open-source model of gradual accumulated improvements - great for a word processor - just won't work.
Such a project would have to be so full on that it would have to be full time for a lot of people for a very long time. I can envisage some business models which could allow this, but I'm not going to hold my breath. (Besides, holding no hope can allow for nice surprises :-)

Hmmm. I realise this entire post sounds like a petulant bashing of what is a praiseworthy and excellent piece of work, but I have this sinking feeling that the next thing we know, people will be touting this as almost up there with production-level apps - as viable an alternative as Gimp to photoshop, and I just don't want to see that happen. I can so imagine some rabid zealot defending open-source along these lines and thus teaching people who are unfamiliar with open source that o/source is a "viable alternative" in the same sense that amputation is a viable alternative to antibiotics.

Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 13 years ago | (#442014)

nope, doesn't use OpenGl for rendering

Re:Re:POVLAB (1)

The Silicon Sorceror (40289) | more than 13 years ago | (#442015)

Don't moderate this post; it's just a reply.

The aim is to make a complete free 3D package with POV-Ray which could compete with commercial softwares (like 3D Studio)

That's Philippe's concept of the goal (he runs the labdev site). Personally, my desire is to have a good, free cross-platform modeller for POV-Ray, period. If it can somehow compete with a commercial package, all the better! It'll mean added variety in the market and should push everybody to do better.

Now, with the open-sourcing thing, let me point out that Denis Olivier released the source to the old DOS Povlab (POVLAB, whatever). That was version 4.0something. The new cross-platform Povlab is a rewrite in C++ from mostly scratch, and is called version 5.

> First of all, I really don't know the difference between all this opensource/gpl/whatever stuff.

Who really knows or cares? I personally prefer the bugroff [google.com] license. To prove it, I'm going to shut up now and go code something.

Re:Couple of others. (2)

FattMattP (86246) | more than 13 years ago | (#442016)

My other suggestions for desperately needed GPL'd software would be a Premiere clone and a full featured multitrack sound editor a la Cool Edit Pro.
Not a Premiere clone but a clone of Avid's Media Composer. I've worked as an editor in post-production houses for over 10 years and I can tell you that Premiere doesn't hold a candle to Media Composer. Of course Avids are expensive and therefore most people may not have access to them to see what the interface is like. I'd be glad to help out any people willing to create a free editing system with interface issues.

Other Applications (1)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 13 years ago | (#442017)

This has far more potential than drawing simple 3D pictures on your home PC.

This could realistically be tied into Finite Element Analysis software similar to SDRC's I-DEAS [sdrc.com] , Pro-Engineer [proe.com] Or even Hyper-Mesh [altair.com] .

Windows has been able to capture a lot of the Mechanical Engineering software market mostly due to the fact that P.C. Hardware has been getting much cheaper while catching up to hardware built by Sun, SGI, HP, and even Cray. This could be a great opportunity for the Linux movement!

I'm not saying this to be funny, but seriously,
Imagine a cluster of these!
Companies like Ford, GM, and Daimler Chrysler literally have thousands of computers sitting idle most of the day. Meanwhile, they also spend Millions of dollars on hardware to run crash test simulations.

Get rid of your secretary's 4 year old PC, buy her a dual Processor Box with 2 gigs of RAM, (she'll be very happy), and then use it for Analysis Jobs when her screen saver kicks on. Two birds with one stone. Do this with even a few hundred secretaries, and you could literally save a company millions of dollars on Hardware.

Re:License? (1)

hardgeus (6813) | more than 13 years ago | (#442018)

The license is with the source. They don't mention it on the page. It's GPL'ed.

Re:3DMAX render engine (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#442019)

I hope you aren't accusing MAX for their file format, it fits perfectly with the architecture of the program and things can always be frozen and taken somewhere else.

Re:What happened to Moonlight 3D? (1)

hardgeus (6813) | more than 13 years ago | (#442020)

It is GPL...the license is with the source.

Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (3)

FattMattP (86246) | more than 13 years ago | (#442021)

2 things:

Blender isn't open source.

The submitter, whose comments are in italics, stated that this is the first open source 3D program that he knows of. Michael (of slashdot who posted the storry) then stated after this "There's this and Blender - what other options are there?"

That's why it was a revelation to the poster. I suggest you work on your reading comprehension before rushing to post.

Bryce like? (1)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#442022)

Anyone can tell me how good this program is? I can't download or even view the site.

Anyway, is there a Bryce like program that is free? Windows, Linux, BSD, I don't care about the OS.
But Bryce is definately the *best* 3D program that I've used.
And it's UI is about as good as it can be.

Re:Hmmm (2)

Xowl (21673) | more than 13 years ago | (#442023)

I often find it interesting that so many people assume "open source" means *nix. DOS and Windows have had open source applications (some new, some ported from Unix) since before Linux was around, but didn't call them that. Most were games or toys, and we often called them PD back in the 80's, becuase the idea of hiring lawyers and fighting over the license was less entertaining that writing and releasing code.

The first opened source (not Open Source(TM), a division of People Known By Their Three Initials Ltd.) applications I used were, IMHO, the most successful, well maintained, well released, and interesting open source projects I still know (with absolutley no insult meant to the Open Source(TM) community, which is standing on the shoulders of some great giants).

Best example is Fractint. 100% DOS (and Windows) open source. If you haven't looked at it, check out the Stone Soup Group. They know more about what open source is about than even sourceforge. Their motto ("don't want money. got money. want recognition.") is wonderful.

Even most early opened source apps were not afraid of supporting DOS/Windows (as too many Open Source(TM) projects today are, perhaps being afraid that having end users, as opposed to sysadmins, would require usability, documentation, stability, rational versioning, and other things that only the "big boys" --e xcluding Mozilla -- of the OS movement bother with)

The nethack/roguelike family of games. Opened source, built for Unix and ported to DOS/Windows very early. (All is needed was a curses/ANSI package.)

PGP worked on DOS from the getgo.

DKBTrace (became POVRay). I don't know if this ran on Unix, but I'm pretty sure it did.

Open Source doesn't/shouldn't mean "linux software" or "freeBSD software". It means open source. It doesn't even mean "portable software", actually.

The idea that any open source application shouldn't be rleased if it doesn't run on Linux (not what the original poster said, BTW!!!! I'm not flaming him/her, I'm commenting on a general trend) is ridiculous.

And the idea that this is new is just part of the myopia the OS community seems to have. OS seems to build a tall "NIH" wall around it.

-- Xowl.


donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#442024)

First off, 3D studio does not use a 3d accelerator for rendering, in fact no 3D program does that I know of. 3D accelerator are just for real time and that's where they are used. Well, that and for generating preview animations much quicker than a standard render. Also, 3D studio's (pre-packaged) renderer is really fast, but is actually one of its weak points I think. Lightwave has a really good renderer, as does softimage with mental ray. I am not sure about Maya and I have never really had experience with renderman.

Re:Bryce like? (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#442025)

I don't want to sound snobbish, but believe me when I say that Bryce is actually child's play compared to middle and high end 3D programs. It's not that Bryce isn't cool, but if/when you ever get to play with one of Lightwave/3DSMAX/Softimage/Maya you will know what I mean. Bryce is good, but those are really advanced and flexible. I guess my point is that a Bryce type program would be cool for Linux, but an advanced 3D program would advance linux. Again, don't think that I am trying to be patronizing, Alias/Wavefront offers a full time limited demo of Maya if you have access to NT or 2000.

Here's another one... (1)

rudib (300816) | more than 13 years ago | (#442026)

Innovation 3D [sourceforge.net] . Looks [sourceforge.net] just like 3D Studio MAX [discreet.com] , only open sourced and for Linux. Let's hope it will get just as many features and plugins as 3D Studio - if that happens, then this thing is going to rock!

Don't forget GooseEgg betas ;) (1)

Mongoose (8480) | more than 13 years ago | (#442036)

If you just want to edit/convert certian game formats it's okie. Even the widgets are GL rendered.


Re:a bona-fide 3D standard? (1)

atrus (73476) | more than 13 years ago | (#442037)

There is a standard, but it works mainly in triangles (as other shape systems won't be supported in other packages). Its called DXF (warning: DXF files can get very big!)

GPL'd multitrack sound editor (2)

Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) | more than 13 years ago | (#442038)

For a cross-platform, GPL'd multitrack sound editor, check out Audacity:


Maya, of course (1)

blueskatz (241135) | more than 13 years ago | (#442039)

Alias/Wavefront is releasing Maya for Red Hat Linux sometime very soon. Check out this link [365video.com] And Maya is quite possibly the best 3D program out there, so no complaints here.

PrettyPoly (1)

Ondo (187980) | more than 13 years ago | (#442040)

PrettyPoly is another option. It's still in alpha though. See prettypoly.sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net] .

slightly OT: openGL support for povray files? (1)

Nickoty (313029) | more than 13 years ago | (#442041)

The povray renderer is way too slow. How about adding support in povray for openGL? That would make it a lot more useful - just use the povray renderer for the final image.

Re: Open Cascade... (1)

jefe289 (34351) | more than 13 years ago | (#442042)

Open Cascade [opencascade.com] has put out really nice screenshots, but their business model is centered around support. Which is fine by me, but its really a pain to use --its a nuissance! I mean, I think that it still needs a little work on the UI.

Re:winelib? (1)

_egg (86248) | more than 13 years ago | (#442043)

The website claims that it already works fairly well with Wine without even a recompile...

trolling for pov-ray (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#442044)

povray [povray.org] has a linux version [ucalgary.ca] that allows multi-machine rendering...

Don't forget POVRay as a renderer (1)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 13 years ago | (#442045)

There's been an excellent open-source raytracing/radiosity renderer, POVRay [povray.org] available for years now. They're currently working on a major rewrite, which should bring it up to par with the best engines in the commercial world, with features like caustics, interacting media, etc.

It's not GPL, but they're thinking about adopting that licence.

k-3d (3)

Error27 (100234) | more than 13 years ago | (#442046)

I'm suprised that no one has mentioned K-3d [k-3d.com] . I haven't tried it myself... But I've always been fond of screen shots and they have some cool ones. Also k3-d is gpl and runs on linux and windows.

BTW their website looks like crap. It used to look good. Brilliant even compared to how it looks now. Perhaps setting a background color would help?

Re:It's too bad that... (1)

bobu (59712) | more than 13 years ago | (#442047)

Thanks to the beauty of open source, someone will come along shortly and port it to linux and the Unixes. There is even a mention on their website about a porting effort about to begin.

Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (1)

Ex-Cyber (125514) | more than 13 years ago | (#442048)

Well, lets face it, blender's a bitch to learn.

This is true, particularly if you don't have the manual.

the UI plain out sucks.

If you were to actually support this statment, I might give it some thought. After getting used to the interface of Blender, I've found that it's rather usable. Although I haven't used other 3D modeling interfaces (and perhaps for that reason), I generally don't find myself wishing that anything about Blender's interface was different. However, if the interface "plain out sucks" as you claim, this shouldn't be happening, and I should be finding annoyances on a regular basis. That's simply not happening.

Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (1)

damyan (44781) | more than 13 years ago | (#442049)

I had a look at blender recently with the idea of suggesting that some of the artists at work evaluate it.

I didn't get much beyond the broken navigation. The view rotation doesn't keep a sense of what 'up' is -- thus making it virtually useless for modelling anything that is going to exist in an environment where there's gravity.

Re:Maya, of course (1)

Gyan (6853) | more than 13 years ago | (#442050)

Well, Softimage XSI is being ported to Linux too. ...and I respectfully disagree with "Maya is quite possibly the best 3D program out there"

Re:Still a loong way to go... (2)

damyan (44781) | more than 13 years ago | (#442051)

Although I generally agree with you, I have to say that I laughed out loud at 'The programs are utterly immense, yet need an interface free of ad-hoc additions' when talking about Max. That's Max the poly-modeller, Max the broken-bezier-patch-modeller and Max the NURBS modeller.

As far as clean implementations go, I haven't heard of any better than Maya's.

However, there is room, and the possibility of, an opensource 3d MODELLER at some point. This is where packages get it wrong - the idea that a 3d package needs to be an texturer, animator and a renderer all at the same time. I'd do it myself, but I'm too busy writing Maya plugins to try and fix their broken UI.

Re:trolling for pov-ray (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#442052)

Multi-machine rendering isn't the same as clusters. Any 3D program can send an animation's frames to different computers, but using a cluster to render one frame would be a bigger step. Preivewing the finished product takes alot of time with complicated scenes, and getting preview renders is time comsuming.

... and another the (3)

Shillo (64681) | more than 13 years ago | (#442053)

There's also SART, the renderer I'm working on. Its current focus is rendering, but there'll be a modeller in a, well, not too near future. Unfortunately I don't have the time to work on it as much as I'd like.

Current features are full programability (using guile), support for NURBS, blobs, parametric and implicit surfaces, volume rendering (including nonuniform textured volumes), radiosity, postprocessing. Check http://petra.zesoi.fer.hr/~silovic/sart for more info.


Re:There's this and Blender - what other options a (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#442054)

Maya isn't Free and is certainly not free. It is not made for the typical linux person. Maya on Linux is for when Maya comes first and Linux is secondary.

Nice Contradiction In The Article (5)

Quarters (18322) | more than 13 years ago | (#442055)

...and now we have this

...I know about Blender...

So, if you know about Blender, then you realize that there has been an OpenSource 3D modeling/rendering package available. So why is this new one such a revelation to you?

And you forgot one. Kinetix/Discreet/Autodesk/(whoever they are this week) will be releasing an OpenSource version of the Max modeller. I don't think it will have rendering capabilities, though. They're putting it out there so people can create content for their favorite game mods.

Re:Woohoo (1)

malkodan (115517) | more than 13 years ago | (#442056)

it's about time... now i can just go and fart on my friend saying : "now you got no excuses to not use linux... hahhahaha, use linux now, or else i dont talk to you..." EOF.

VI (1)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 13 years ago | (#442057)

vi is the only modeller that POV needs.
and POV is the only renderer that true artists need.

Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#442059)

Blender is not opensource!

Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (1)

vnminrwi (233626) | more than 13 years ago | (#442060)

Umm, blender works the same speed on my G400 using hardware acceleration as it did when i was using a CLGD5465(no 3D), on the same machine. Blender quite definatly uses its own renderer, not the openGL one. The openGL is just for pre-displaying things.

Don't forget Quesa (1)

anarkhos (209172) | more than 13 years ago | (#442061)

>80 column hard wrapped e-mail is not a sign of intelligent

hmmm (1)

BSOD Bitch (260492) | more than 13 years ago | (#442062)

Bah, forget it. It runs under wine. Corel tried this with Corel Offfice 2000. And when I tried to run it, it gave me wine runtime errors then crashed. Either they port it to linux, or im not running it at all. I don't really want to run a emulation program just to use a renderer. I have wine on here, but its for running stuff like FlashStudio, and stuff that our peabrain friends at macromedia have made. Any of you feel the same way about running programs that should be ported directly instead of using emulation?

Re:Anybody find out why... (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#442063)

There's only three features I know of not in GIMP.

1) CMYK color. This is the biggest thing. There is a proprietary plugin that implements this, though

2) Recordable "Actions". This are _much_ simpler than scripts.

3) The Editable Text utility is more advanced

Then, of course, GIMP has a feature that Photoshop doesn't have - scriptability in multiple languages, currently Scheme and Perl. And, it has a batch mode so you can use these to do web-enabled scripts. Check out www.cooltext.com to see this in action.

Also, remember that free software itself is a feature, because you can pay someone to make any sort of modification you need for your purposes.

Has anyone downloaded this yet? (1)

Funk_dat69 (215898) | more than 13 years ago | (#442064)

They took it down temporarily because of traffic...
Does OpenFX have OpenGL or Direct3D support for the viewports? What file formats does it support? Hopefully it has a better ASCII exporter than MAX...
BTW, 3ds gMAX isn't exactly going to be the independent developers' holy grail. There is still going to be license issues and it is decidely NOT 100% open source. Also you'll only be able to use it with 'kits' released by the various game developers that want you to buy their game. At least it'll help mod makers and quake modelers though. Check it out gMax info here. [discreet.com]

Re:a bona-fide 3D standard? (1)

vivarin (106778) | more than 13 years ago | (#442065)

X3D [web3d.org] , an XML extension of the venerable VRML file format, might serve your needs.

Re:VI (1)

mughi (32874) | more than 13 years ago | (#442066)

Bah! Any true artist knows that the one true way to do POV-Ray [povray.org] is with Emacs [gnu.org] and pov-mode [acc.umu.se] . ;-)

Where this is a blessing (2)

mfterman (2719) | more than 13 years ago | (#442067)

Universities will love things like this. There is a need for three dimensional rendering tools in engineering and art classes, and schools do like to trim dollars. These classes often don't require the fancy bells and whistles that are required in the top end rendering programs. Likewise people who don't use these tools profesionally (and have a decent budget) will gravitate to these things.

Another blessing is that it will force the cost of the professional version of these programs down. As I have observed before, the bright side about open source programs is that they raise the bottom line. All of a sudden te functionality of OpenFX becomes the baseline standard and people have to look at the other features and ask themselves if they really need that other stuff. Especially as people start copying the features in the top end programs and add them to the GPL'd stuff.

I don't know how many different OSS 3D renderers there will be after a time. I suspect that there's really only going to be mindshare (given the resources required to create a program like this) in one program. There may be major rearchitectures over time, but I think there will be consolidation on that point between this and any other GPL'd renderers out there.

What will be interesting is any evolution towards cross fertilization with software like Crystal Space, the GPL'd 3D engine. Sooner or later people will think it might not be a bad idea to make sure stuff created in the modeller and renderer works directly well with an engine to use such things in games. Open source makes such things possible.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 13 years ago | (#442068)

Actually, it is relatively easy to port Windows programs to UNIX/Linux using the WINE project's winelibs. Using those, you can create a native UNIX/Linux version of the program that will use the Windows SDK for its display, rather than GTK+ or Qt or whatever. This works even better than using WINE to do binary translation of the Windows-native version of the app.


What about a clone of Macromedia Director? (1)

mikmach (305150) | more than 13 years ago | (#442069)

Slightly off-topic (but not so much). Exists open source clone of Macromedia Director?

Re:a bona-fide 3D standard? (1)

capoccia (312092) | more than 13 years ago | (#442070)

dxf is a 2d standard.
the most common 3d standard is IGES. this is compatible with every solid-modelling CAD program on the market.
a large part of my job is doing solid modelling in Pro/Engineer. we use dxf's all the time to export portable 2d representations of our parts, but there is no way you can used dxf for a 3d standard.

Re:What happened to Moonlight 3D? (1)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 13 years ago | (#442071)

Yeah, except for the fact that they never released the source.


vi sucks (1)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 13 years ago | (#442072)

Use vim [vim.org] .
Genius dies of the same blow that destroys liberty.

solid modelling CAD software? (1)

capoccia (312092) | more than 13 years ago | (#442073)

are there any solid modelling CAD programs for linx?
i use a lot of different types of cad programs between work and school, and the only one i have seen that even works on any *nix is Pro/E [ptc.com] (irix). it is a very expensive, professional, proprietary, solid-modelling CAD program.
i think that the cad programs are a lot easier to use than typing code and rendering.

Re:Bryce like? (1)

pixel fairy (898) | more than 13 years ago | (#442074)

blender will do alot more for you than bryce and it renders faster. bryce does have that cool editable heightfield by drawing on it thing, and i was writing a gimp plug in that did the same thing, but until plug ins can get a signal that the image changed, id rather work on other things. i did leave a version on the registry that could be set to update n times a second so its at least workable, but that update thing is really lame.

rendering examples (1)

capoccia (312092) | more than 13 years ago | (#442075)

in case you're thinking cad - that's for making engineering drawings, not for rendering, here are some examples of renderings i've done with Pro/E.
Engine Parts [ohio-state.edu]
Wood Logs [ohio-state.edu]

reyesworks looks promising (1)

pixel fairy (898) | more than 13 years ago | (#442076)

look here [reyesworks.com]

What about an opensource version of... (1)

dynoman7 (188589) | more than 13 years ago | (#442077)


What are the chances that Corel will open up there doors to us?!? Then we could port it to Linux...


Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (1)

jfedor (27894) | more than 13 years ago | (#442078)

And you forgot one. Kinetix/Discreet/Autodesk/(whoever they are this week) will be releasing an OpenSource version of the Max modeller.

Are you sure it's gonna be open source?

I thought it was only going to be free as in beer.


moonlight atelier (1)

tieum (154734) | more than 13 years ago | (#442079)

it seems that moonlight atelier is also fine. the only problem is that i can't find out source code for it :/ i just tested it and it seems really quite stable and powerfull. Render seems a little bit slow.

Re:It's too bad that... (1)

dynoman7 (188589) | more than 13 years ago | (#442080)

...you said windows and opensource...


pixel fairy (898) | more than 13 years ago | (#442081)

there was a lightwave plug in a while ago to use the accelertator to "help" the render speed. dont know if that went anywhere...

the web server (1)

dalinian (177437) | more than 13 years ago | (#442082)

Even more strange, when you consider that their web server is apparently Apache running on OpenBSD.

Art of Illusion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#442083)

Yet another one to check out: http://www.artofillusion.org. It doesn't have any support for animation yet, but that's coming. And it does include subdivision surfaces, a fast raytracer, and a remarkably powerful system for creating procedural textures.

It's GPL'ed, and written entirely in Java, so it runs on just about any platform out there. And yes - it actually is quite fast.

POV-Ray (1)

drrobin_ (131741) | more than 13 years ago | (#442084)

Why do I see no mention of POV-Ray [povray.org] ?

Re:Still a loong way to go... (3)

poojyum (302222) | more than 13 years ago | (#442085)

This is a stunning post my friend.

I am a visual effects programmer developing software for the film industry for 4 years.

I tell you, if you show this software to the fx companies (the like of ILM, Pixar, Dreamworks et.al), publicly they are going to ask you : "so, whats new?". privately, they are going to laugh at it and list a 1000 required features that is missing in OpenFX.

Even if the features are missing, its okay. Animation production is a slow process. If OpenFX can accelerate it at least 10 times, people will give it a spin. To me, OpenFX is just re-inventing the wheel (nurbs, raytracing, kinematics) and thats not good enough.

Money is important in animation production. If something is free and does at least as good as Maya/Max/Softimage then studios will jump to use it. But if the software is not going to give the quality of FX that we see in the theatres today, money is no object to the studios. They will return to Max/Maya or Softimage.


Re:Still a loong way to go... (1)

poojyum (302222) | more than 13 years ago | (#442086)


i never thought u were a maya user!!

are you an animator or a modeler or a texturer or what?

and where do u live? UK?

i have been a avid fan of your posts :)

i am a maya plugs developer myself and working on a new animation plugin :

check out: http://www.poojyum.com/titan/


Quesa (1)

MagnusDredd (160488) | more than 13 years ago | (#442087)

While not a 3D modeler, Quesa [quesa.org] is a LGPL API that emulates QuickDraw 3d. Quesa runs on classic MacOS, MacOS X, Windows 9.x/NT, Linux, and apparently work on a BeOS implementation is in progress.

Re:a bona-fide 3D standard? (2)

ikekrull (59661) | more than 13 years ago | (#442088)

How is DXF a 2D standard?

IGES is most certainly not the most common 3D standard, since most 3D tools don't even try to deal with parametrix 3D solids.In fact, only 3D solid-modelling packages do that, and this approach is almost never used in games, film, fx (all of which primarily use tesellated freeform surfaces like polygons, splines and subdivision surfaces), scientific visualisation (voxels and vector fields) or anywhere except the CAD industry.

Can you use IGES to import/export NURBs, subdivision surfaces, 3,4 and 5 point spline-patches, arbitary polygons, voxels, CSG trees, parametric solids, implicit surfaces, UV coordinates, shader parameters, animation paths, weight maps, texture maps etc. etc. etc.?

If not, then its no more a 'standard 3D format' than anything else available. There is currently no 'standard' because supporting every approach to the representation of 3D would be a nightmare, to say the least.

DXF is a simple format that facilitates the transfer of tesselated 3D surfaces and lines. No more, no less. It can certainly represent 3D geometry, and can be used, just as IGES can, to represent 2D geometry.

Re:Nice Contradiction In The Article (1)

fatgraham (307614) | more than 13 years ago | (#442089)

i think the max moddler was gonna be free, with a liscened [with code] for game developers etc to build their own moddler around it

rather than being open sourced, so this openfx will be the first.

Couple of others. (4)

TheFlu (213162) | more than 13 years ago | (#442090)

Multimedia creation software is definitely one area where Linux is still lacking. I haven't used it yet, but OFX looks like it's off to a nice start. My other suggestions for desperately needed GPL'd software would be a Premiere clone and a full featured multitrack sound editor a la Cool Edit Pro.

If you're interested in some other 3D software for Linux (some GPL, some not), there's 3dom [sourceforge.net] , 3dpm [uni-stuttgart.de] , Behemot [behemot.com] , G3D [stcloudstate.edu] , Giram [giram.org] , 3delight [3delight.com] , AC3D [lancs.ac.uk] , and of course Blender [blender.nl] as mentioned above.

Come on Karma, don't fail me now! The Linux Pimp [thelinuxpimp.com]

Free at last (or at least more free at last) (1)

disc-chord (232893) | more than 13 years ago | (#442091)

Who cares if it's for windows only?! What other platform are you going to model in?

Just be happy to see yet another free 3d modeling suite! The biggest problem facing hobby game development has been the insane price of 3d modeling packages, leading to piracy or stiffling creativity. The more options avialable to the hobbyist developer the better. Don't complain because it doesn't work on Mac/BeOS/*nix or whatever goofy OS you were hopping for.

Re:Woohoo (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 13 years ago | (#442092)

You could do that... when they release a linux ver.. its for windows right now so maybe your friend should be doing the farting? :)



fr4gg4 (52200) | more than 13 years ago | (#442093)

I used povlab quite a bit in my dos days, I also ran it a while in dosemu..but thats slow. You quickly get nice results with it, its verry nice for 3d webart & stuff.

Anybody find out why... (2)

Croaker (10633) | more than 13 years ago | (#442094)

These guys suddenly disappeared? Google says that the website, www.moonlight3d.org, had a "please come back later" message on it. But now, it appears, the site itself is gone. I remember looking at this package for a while, but suddenly the web site shut down, with some nebulous reason cited. Weird.

I haven't had much luck with the free/open alternatives out there. I used to use Ray Dream on Windows to goof around with 3D, but it had a lot of bugs and many limitations. But still I'm not thrilled about having to shell out $500 or more for an OK package, or several thousand for a professional one.

It seems though, that all the bells and whistles that go into making a professional 3D package like Lightwave would be a daunting task for an open/free project. Probably similar in scope to duplicating PhotoShop. Anyone care to comment on what percentage of PhotoShop functionality that the Gimp has implemented?
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