What modeling program do you use? / Tips for a beginner

[h2]The question I have for you is, what modeling program(s) do you use, and for what? Also more optionally, do you have any tips for a beginner?[/h2]
Little Backstory: I’ve been a map designer for about four years now, most prominently in the Source Engine. As I’ve moved into different engines and look towards level designing as a profession, the large community and ocean of community/Valve-made free-to-use models and textures suddenly disappear. Since some game engines are almost completely model based, this is no longer a problem I can ignore. So, I’ve been looking into modeling and texturing. I tried Blender for a bit trying to follow this tutorial, but I’ve had no luck actually getting into it. Which is why I ask you, the modeling section of Facepunch! What do you use for modeling and texturing?

As for anyone who would be kind enough to throw some tips/suggestions my way, I’m looking into modeling/texturing strictly for game design. Most prominently in Source, and Unity. (I say this as I’ve seen more than a handful of tutorials about rendering scenes and such.) This including everything from buildings to vehicles, to people and physics objects. I’d also prefer to run on OS X (Mac), but I have Windows duel-booted for a reason. :stuck_out_tongue:

The best programs which would suit you and help you in the industry are all different, but let’s take a quick look.

One of the main programs for basic modeling is 3DS Max. This would probably be primarily what you use seeing as you’re seeking level design. In the industry, 3DS Max is preferred for world elements and certain hard-surface models, or simply fixing up rigs, performing bakes, and cleaning up new low poly character rigs.

Next, there’s 3DS Maya. Maya is a little more complex and customizable to max, but the functionality is almost the same. Either are suitable for the industry, so it really depends on how much of a newbie you’d call yourself, how much customization you want, and how easy you want the program to be when you’re getting started.

For level designs and such you probably won’t need to touch this program. Zbrush is used primarily for high poly sculpts on organic models such as players and monsters. It can be used for hard surface models as well if necessary, but the primary use is to make high poly models easier since they’re created by sculpting rather than modeling. High poly models created here can be re-topologized either in Zbrush or in 3DS Max for use in-game later. Zbrush has a feature called poly-painting which allows you to use various tools and brushes to “paint” your texture on the model in real-time.

The primary program used for creating textures in the industry is just Photoshop. I’m sure you know almost everything Photoshop does. You can bake off masks and such in 3DS Max and pull them over to Photoshop for modification as well as creating the Diffuse map. Photoshop is probably used on the majority of models created outside of Zbrush for texture creation.

These are the primary programs used in the industry that I know of and plenty of people have created some awesome stuff in them (with experience of course). If you find yourself comfortable with either of these, I’m sure we can provide some more info for you.

I use 3DS Max 2010 for pretty much everything, highpoly, lowpoly and unwrapping. After that I use Photoshop to texture and Marmoset Toolbag so I can see what it looks like as I’m doing so.

Highly recommend looking at some Digital Tutors videos to get started. Dont even bother paying, just torrent them, i usually get mine from gfxdomain.net or cgpeers.com/torrents, they both pretty much upload the same content at the same time depending when they get released. Ive got over 450GB of videos containing Maya, 3DS max cry engine, etc that im planning to watch. So yo got plenty of choices

might want to snip that before you get banned for warez

Blender. It’s actually pretty impressive considering it’s free.

nvm got it

I use Luxology Modo 701
great stuff