There are a number of mature 3d applications out there today. In fact there are so many that you can pick one to suit your disposition. Among these you will require Gsculpt to follow the lessons on this website. Gsculpt was primarily built to teach 3d, and though this site will also carry small tutorials with the other software, you will be using Gsculpt for the basic learning . The others are listed here so you can experiment with them. Go ahead and install and fool around with each one if it gets your fancy. Explore the interface and see which one you like best.
Of course you won’t need them all at once…
HARDWARE: 3D requires decent Hardware. If you have about 512 MB RAM, you’re cool. If not don’t worry… it will run a little slow, thats all. What you absolutely need though is a 3 button mouse with a scroll wheel. As you will learn later, it’s close to impossible to work without one.
Gsculpt: Your main 3d dashboard. This is the software with which you will do most of your 3d learning. You will learn how to navigate in 3d space, and build a mesh model from scratch. The unique feature of this software is that it stores it’s model build history, which can be browsed step by step while you watch the model build in realtime. This is a useful feature to train 3d beginners and this site exploits it completely. Also it doesn’t hurt that Gsculpt is a robust and high quality 3d modeler and exports in industry standard OBJ files which can be imported into animation or rendering programs.
Wings3d: Another 3d modeller, you will also use Wings3d during your learning here. Wings is also a modeling-only application and while Gsculpt is by no means less featured, using Wings will help you translate the technical 3d information into a similar yet different package. The key difference between the two is in navigation and work-flow. The difference is just enough for you to make the connect. Wings exports in a lot more formats and larger 3d programs like Blender can also import Wings files. Besides, it’s cool to have that one extra tool in your toolbox 🙂
Kerkythea: Kerkythea is a photorealistic renderer. It is a software that allows you to create high- quality light, material, surface and optic effects to your image, just like a camera. You will learn to import your models within Kerkythea, shade and texture them, light and render images. Renderer are memory intensive, though entirely dependant on the size and quality of your image.
Download Kerkythea here. (Remember to also download Kerkythea materials and test scenes…you will need them for sure.)
AOI: Art of illusion is a fully featured 3d program created in Java. This means that not only can you build stuff, but you can create broadcast quality animation with it if you wanted to. It’s a seriously high quality though you wouldn’t say that on first look. You will use AOI to learn the concepts of 3D work-flow from model to render. You will learn to import your OBJ models or build your own within AOI, colour, texture and render it from start to finish. AOI is an important step in this pipeline because it is simple and elegant. It’s interface does not intimidate. It’s workflow is simple and everything is straight forward. The concepts that you learn here can be applied in higher end software.
Blender: This is the grandpappy of high end 3d creation software. This one is as complex as all of the other big boys such as Max, Maya, XSI and Houdini. And just like these other software Blender has enough screen complexity to drive you mad. No worry though, by the time you get to Blender, you will understand most of the interface already. With Blender you will learn to bring in your finished models, rig and animate them to sound. Yeah, heavy duty animation type stuff.
Get Blender for Windows and other OSs here.
This website does not detail out software installation. Individual websites have the necessary information to help you out. Now download those software and let’s move onto the basics.