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Guest iholrf

FREE Modeling program, NOT GMax...

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For those who know of this program, Blender now has a Direct X exporter plugin that was written in Python. Now, we are no longer limited by the dumbed down version of GMax, and can use the full firepower of Blender to make our models.For those who don't know what on earth that means...Long ago, Ton Rosenthol worked for Neo Geo, the gaming company. When they went belly up, they gave him the rights to the in-house 3d modeling program that he had written. He has taken it to opensource... meaning free.It's been opensource for ages, but I only recently found out that we can use models that were exported to Direct X for FlightSim... and that is what makes it possible to use Blender.Blender is killer... it's nearly on par with Maya and has been able to do almost anything the full version of 3ds could do for years. It's more than good enough for our needs.AND IT'S FREE!!!!!NOTICE: Blender was designed from scratch with no relation to any other program's interface. It's made to be "flown" with the mouse in one hand and they keyboard in the other. Once you know how to use the interface, it's the fastest way to model out there. However, the learning curve is steep and difficult because it does things it's own way... but a better way. And one that's worth the time to learn.Check them out at:http://www.blender3d.org/cms/Home.2.0.htmlScott / Vorlin

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Interesting...Before getting too excited though, it would be nice to confirm that the Blender DirectX exporter will support these map channels:Diffuuse Color*Specular Color*Normal/BumpSelf-Illumination (emissive)*Fresnel RampDetail MapEnvironment Map*Note: these three are used by FS9. The others will be used in FSXDoes Blender support Inverse Kinemetics? This will be used extensively in FSX, along with a newly created "Animation XML" authoring script for Max. The current method of "name-bound animation" will be dropped.See: http://blogs.msdn.com/sebby1234/archive/20.../08/568204.aspx andhttp://blogs.msdn.com/sebby1234/archive/20.../12/568205.aspx for more information and details of the new "animation XML" features. It is much more open and flexible than the "old method."It will be interesting to see how this develops! ;)The FSX SDK will include custom export plugins for both Max and GMax, and the new animation script should work in both. It is unclear if ACES will offer export tools for any other 3d modeling software, but may provide enough info to allow a third-party to develop one.

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Blender's had inverse kinematics for many years, and has expanded into other things as well.The Direct X is simply labeled as a text export. I haven't had a chance to try it yet. These are some of the other export formats avaiable:.3ds.ac.daeCal3d.off.x (There are two direct X's listed for some reason).lwo.md2.bvh.ndo.fltPLY.radio.raw.xsi.cob.wrl.obj (both Videoscape and Wavefont).wings.x3d.figIn addition, I have an .md5 import script that I'm installing... it's supposed to handle gmax files.It's a great program that can do things we haven't dared to dream of yet. However, the learning curve can be a pain in the neck, as I said. I've been a "Blenderhead" on and off for the last five or six years and I can tell you that if there is a genuine need to import or export a certain file format, someone will write the python script and make it happen.I can honestly see where Blender could replace Gmax, give us better results and, more importantly, give us better documentation, more help and a platform for modeling that we don't have to worry about... as in will Gmax be around? Will it not? What will / won't they do about support, etc. etc.Blender is here to stay, it's opensource, the only person with the rights has taken a stance akin to the one taken by Linus Torvalds and it's got a proven track record that goes back over 5 years.Oh, and it's in the license agreement that we CAN use it for commercial purposes, without payment of any kind.Ok, ok, so I'm biased! LOLBut it really is the ultimate modeling solution... all we would really need is a custom python export script specifically for use with FS9/X. If the demand is there, someone will write it... or, if anyone here knows py, it could be done within the community.Scott / Vorlin

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Blender also works in Linux (x32 and x64) and WinXP Pro x64

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