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TrueSpace 3.2 available for free
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DrJim
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Lightbulb TrueSpace 3.2 available for free - 05-25-2008, 11:07 PM

A friend has mentioned something that may be of interest to those who want to make their own objects and which I don't think has been mentioned before in this forum.

Caligari TrueSpace 3.2 is currently available for free and the accompanying manual (highly recommended) can be downloaded for $15. The URLs are:
Download site: http://forms.caligari.com/forms/ts3all_free.html
Help site for 3.2, including manual download: http://www.caligari.com/Products/tru...s/default.html

TrueSpace is a very full featured program and the current version is competitive with Maya, 3D Max, etc. Caligari has recently been purchased by Microsoft, so it will be interesting to see what they do with the programs.

The free version is the 1997 release of the program and was "state of the art" at the time, although it is showing it's age. For Alice users, however, the good news is that it will run without overloading the memory and graphics capability of a typical modern machine and also tends to produce objects with minimal polynomial counts, i.e., that don't overload Alice.

The other very nice feature is that the manual is very good, as are the tutorials on the web - and they really cover all aspects of 3D model development in an understandable fashion.

The user interface is very visual - I recommend you do read the manual. Frankly, I prefer Anim8or among the free and shareware options - but I suspect TrueSpace has a much shorter "learning curve" for the first time user.

For Alice, you still have to use Biturn to get to .ase format - with all the limitations that implies (textures, correct normal problems, etc.). I have attached an example of one of the "stock" TrueSpace objects saved in .asc format, converted using Biturn to .ase format and imported to Alice.
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File Type: a2w TrueSpaceImport.a2w (194.1 KB, 306 views)

Last edited by DrJim; 05-25-2008 at 11:09 PM.
   
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TrueSpace Import Example
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DrJim
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Default TrueSpace Import Example - 06-07-2008, 02:35 PM

Attached are an image and brief video of a fairly successful download from the TrueSpace 3.2 website and subsequent conversion and import of the image into Alice. It illustrates fairly well what "success" in this case actually means.

First, note that this is a fairly good quality image - nice shading, color, detail, etc. - but still very obviously a "low" polygon count character. With a little animation, smoke effects added around the cigar, tank background, more dramatic lighting, etc. - this could be a key character in a nice short video. ("Patton in Aliceland"?)

Second, even with the low polygon count, there are still nearly 50 separate objects involved - with no hierarchy from the simple import/conversion. Alice will let you add "vehicle of" relationships to simplify animation - something that would be both non-trivial and essential.

Not obvious from the pictures is that this is not an articulated model, even though TrueSpace does have that capability. Thus the actual animation step will have to carefully avoid creases between objects, unnatural movements, etc.

No real "bottom line" to this posting other than I was impressed at what "simple Alice" could actually do. Just read that the movie "Kung Fu Panda" used nearly 400 full time animators - don't even want to think about the computer resources. The particular animator being interviewed was in charge (seriously) of the "jiggle" of the panda stomachs.

(Minor obvious note to Gabe and any others administering the forum. When 2.2 is released with video files, it would be nice to have those formats added as allowed uploads - compressing say .wmv via zip, for example, really doesn't reduce file sizes very much.)
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File Type: jpg General.jpg (16.8 KB, 1332 views)
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File Type: zip General.zip (126.0 KB, 195 views)

Last edited by DrJim; 06-08-2008 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Corrected movie name
   
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Blender
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jedavis
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Default Blender - 06-23-2008, 01:12 PM

Another free option would be Blender. It's capable of exporting .ase models with a plugin and is almost as full-featured as the most current versions of Maya and 3Ds Max.

It also utilizes Python extensively (Blender can even make realtime 3D games with relative ease), which is a good next-step-language for an Alice user.
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Last edited by jedavis; 05-11-2011 at 05:53 AM.
   
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Blender export to .ase
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DrJim
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Default Blender export to .ase - 06-23-2008, 04:05 PM

Thanks for the updated link to the Blender .ase (and other) export scripts. Some of the earlier versions (a year or two ago) had problems, but sounds like they have been fixed. What has been your experience exporting from Blender to .ase directly - is it better than going through Biturn?

I agree that Blender is a nice step up from Alice (see http://www.alice.org/community/showthread.php?t=120 ) - but it's a big step. The free version of TrueSpace is not nearly as powerful - but it has some very excellent tutorials at the beginner level.

The real key in choosing the "next step", IMO, is figuring out what your goals are first - there are many, many choices out there.
   
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jedavis
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Default 06-23-2008, 07:24 PM

I've never used Biturn, but conversion is generally a less safe process for preserving data than exporting directly. (in my unscientific opinion)

Almost any 3D package is going to have a steep learning curve. TrueSpace 3.2 is simpler to use because it has less extraneous features, but (good) texture mapping is a complex process in any package I've used.

When I first started working with 3D, I used OpenFX. It's old-school. (I'm not sure about .ase exporting)

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The real key in choosing the "next step", IMO, is figuring out what your goals are first - there are many, many choices out there.
I definitely agree. The developers of Alice would probably recommend Java (that seems to be where they are leading with 3.0)
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Last edited by jedavis; 05-11-2011 at 05:54 AM.
   
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PC crashes after downloading truespace
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rich0e0rick
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Angry PC crashes after downloading truespace - 06-28-2008, 11:08 AM

hi, i downloaded truespace 3 days ago, but didnt have time to figure it out much, so i closed my PC... the next day, i try to turn it on, and it wont start anymore... im on my parents PC right now, i was wondering if other people got the same thing after downloading truespace... DRjim, i see you probably downloaded it.. did you scan it for viruses?

rick


im back!!! FINNALY!!! got windows working on my mac again!!!
   
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DrJim
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Default 06-28-2008, 11:25 AM

Do you mean TrueSpace won't start or your PC won't start? If the latter - and you have power (check that first), probably going to have to go to the manual and see what it suggests (usually rebooting from disk).

If it's just TrueSpace that won't start - probably a file or a .dll got corrupted or is missing.

I did scan the version I downloaded both right after I got it - and again using the latest updates on my anti-virus software. In both cases it was clean. A friend, who uses different anti-virus software, also said his was OK. Not a 100% sure sign that yours would be clean, obviously - since you downloaded your files more recently.
   
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rich0e0rick
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Arrow 06-28-2008, 11:52 AM

my coputer wont start...

the black screen with the code at the begining shows, but then windows dont start....

rick


im back!!! FINNALY!!! got windows working on my mac again!!!
   
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DrJim
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Default 06-28-2008, 10:53 PM

You have power if you get the first screen. Read it to see if it doesn't suggest something - otherwise you are going to have to go to the manual and see what it suggests. Somehow your boot file must have gotten corrupted or lost - often a hardware problem, unfortunately.
   
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