One of my hobbies (aside programming, of course) is 3d modeling (completely amateur, using 3ds MAX) and I'd like to mix programming with 3d modeling (what a marriage!). So I've read a little about it and figured I'd have to have good notions on geometry, math, point spacial position (which I do, from my 3d modeling experience), but I don't know how to use API's for it, so I've 'simulated' simple 3d with some simple programs I've made (first a spinning cube, then a more complex Labyrinth (or maze, if you will)).
NOTE: I have no intentions on harming anyone's computers. If you don't trust it, use a VM or something. Once you run it, I'd appreciate if you commented here stating that the EXE's are safe. Thank you.
Here are some questions:
1) What would be a nice 3d development tool for a .NET programmer like me?
2) Is there a way of using 3d models made in 3DS Max ? (I intend on modeling characters)
3) What knowledge should I have in order to render it, and move it around ?
4) Which API should I use ?
The development environment would be nice if it:
- Had the possibility to import existing 3D models exported by 3DS MAX (not a must, but a plus)
- Had the ability to create 3d models programmatically (a must)
- Possibly has a tool for materials and textures (that would be a huge plus)
- Is Well known (high availability of tutorials, questions in S.O., forums..)
And it would be really nice if I could use C# all the way :)
For the ones that asked if I want to do something more UI-guided, just to mess around with some models, and not learn about how to create a game-engine, I say no, that's not the case.
If you download my Labyrinth little game, you'll notice that I've basically MADE a simple renderer from scratch using DrawPolygon on bitmaps created via code. So that's a clue that what I want is to learn, and that I somehow like the idea of mixing images and codes together, along with some user interaction.
Imagine that I have a model, say the weighted companion cube, and I want to make a full-screen, or windowed lil' program that spins it (much like the crappy spinning cube I've made a while before the other one), setting the position, the position and angle of the camera, velocity, a simple ambient (say a simple monocolor box (which would be a room) drawn maybe through code (not an imported model)) and editing it with simple user interaction (say pressing left or right on the keyboard changes direction, or pressing '+' would make it faster), all that without using a wizard or something, but coding.
Now for those that didn't quite get my intentions in here, I hope this example makes it clearer of how powerful and customizable I hope it should be. If there are any more questions, let me know!
I'm going to start with UNITY, and I've noticed there's a pro version, is the free version enough to do what I want ? (not counting on the 1 month free pro account)
As for XNA, does the same scenario apply as well ?
Please leave a comment!