3D Modeling


Blender

Summary

The good news about Blender:

  • It's free and open source.
  • It's cross-platform: Windows, Linux, OS X.
  • You can script it with Python.
  • It has many features and works well for creating both still images and animation.

The bad news about Blender:

  • I have not been successful in exporting any animated model that looks the way it is supposed to look in Irrlicht or Ogre3D.
  • Some people don't like the user interface.
  • The documentation is hit-and-miss.

Web site: blender.org

Other Blender Links

BlenderWiki The Blender wiki has links to tutorials, the user's manual, a quick start guide and other documentation.

The Blender documentation download/links page

The Blender manual

Blender 3D: Noob to Pro (a Wikibook)


Milkshape 3D

Summary
Milkshape 3D is not free, but it is inexpensive (about $35). It runs only on Windows. Irrlicht can load and animate MS3D files (but not on a PPC Mac).

Milkshape can export to MD2 and .x files (among other formats). There is a plug-in for Ogre3D export also.

Web site: http://chumbalum.swissquake.ch/

The web site includes an SDK for writing plug-ins, and sample code for loading MS3D files.


Art of Illusion

Web site: http://www.artofillusion.org

This is a free 3d modeling program written in Java.