Difference between revisions of "Category:Tools"

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<!-- ## page was renamed from Tools -->
 
= Category Tools =
 
This category describes software used by artists for game development.
 
 
<!-- ## Editing Note: In general we should only add an app to a section if that section describes its primary function. -->
 
<!-- ## For example, although Blender has 3D sculpting tools it is better to describe it as a Main 3D Software Package, since it doesn't specialize in sculpting. -->
 
 
 
== Popularity ==
 
There are no accurate publicly-available data sources about which art software packages are the most popular for game development. There is only a loose consensus about which tools are used the most often (see [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=129562 Maya = Modeling?] or [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=99159 Chances of working with 3DS Max vs Maya in the industry?] on the Polycount forum). The choice of art software is usually very subjective, or is forced upon the artist by the studio pipeline. Professionals agree on one thing though... the best way to find out which is best is to give everything a try.
 
 
Expense is usually not a concern for employed artists, due to the ratio of saved time and effort vs. cost. For hobbyists and students however, low-cost alternatives can be found in the forum thread [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=34673 Free or low cost 3D and 2D apps].
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#Main_3D_Software_Packages|Main 3D Software Packages]]
 
| 3ds Max
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#A3D_Modeling_Software|3D Modeling Software]]
 
| Modo
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#A3D_Animation_Software|3D Animation Software]]
 
| MotionBuilder
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#A3D_Sculpting_Software|3D Sculpting Software]]
 
| ZBrush
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#Decimation_Software|Decimation Software]]
 
| Meshlab
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#Re-Topology_Software|Re-Topology Software]]
 
| TopoGun
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#A3D_Paint_Software|3D Paint Software]]
 
| BodyPaint 3D
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#A3D_Normal_Map_Software|3D Normal Map Software]]
 
| Xnormal
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#A3D_Texture_Coordinate_Software|3D Texture Coordinate Software]]
 
| UVLayout
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#Main_2D_Software|Main 2D Software]]
 
| Photoshop
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#A2D_Normal_Map_Software|2D Normal Map Software]]
 
| Crazy Bump
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#Image_Browsing_Software|Image Browsing Software]]
 
| XnView
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#A2D_Concepting_Software|2D Concepting Software]]
 
| Photoshop
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[#A2D_Vector_Software|2D Vector Software]]
 
| Illustrator
 
|}
 
 
== 3D Tools ==
 
<span id="Animation_And_Modeling_Complete_Software"></span>
 
 
=== Main 3D Software Packages ===
 
These are "complete" 3D packages with a wide variety of art tools. However external packages are often used in conjunction with the main package, since some of the included tools are often not quite as efficient or strong as external specialized packages.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|3ds Max [[#A3ds_Max|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#3ds_Max]]
 
| Autodesk
 
| Windows
 
| $3,675
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Animation:Master
 
| Hash Inc.
 
| Windows
 
| $299
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Blender
 
| Blender Foundation
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Cinema 4D
 
| MAXON
 
| Windows
 
| $995
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Houdini
 
| Side Effects Software
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| $1,995
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|LightWave 3D
 
| NewTek
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $1,495
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Maya [[#Maya|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#Maya]]
 
| Autodesk
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| $3,675
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Modo
 
| Luxology
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $1,345
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Softimage XSI [[#Softimage_XSI|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#Softimage_XSI]]
 
| Autodesk
 
| Windows
 
| $3,145
 
|}
 
 
=== 3D Modeling Software ===
 
Most modeling is done in the [[#Main_3D_Software_Packages|Main 3D Software Packages]]. Sometimes artists will use specific modeling tools, to speed up their workflow. These packages are used mostly for 3D modeling, but they often have additional features as well.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Carrara
 
| Daz3D
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $149
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Hexagon
 
| Daz3D
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $20
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|metasequoia
 
| N/A
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Milkshape 3D
 
| ChumbaLumSoft
 
| Windows
 
| $35
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Rhino3D
 
| N/A
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $995
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Silo
 
| Nevercenter
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $159
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|SketchUp
 
| Google
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $590
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Wings3D
 
| IZWare
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|World Machine [[#World_Machine|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#World_Machine]]
 
| Stephen Schmitt
 
| Windows
 
| $99
 
|}
 
[[Category3DModellingSoftware|3D Modelling Software]] is the old modeling tools page, with links that are probably out of date.
 
 
=== 3D Animation Software ===
 
Most animation is done in the [[#Main_3D_Software_Packages|Main 3D Software Packages]], though here are some tools that specialize just in animation.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Anim8or
 
| N/A
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|CharacterFX
 
| Insane Software
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Messiah Studio
 
| pmG Worldwide
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $399
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|MotionBuilder
 
| Autodesk
 
| Windows
 
| $3,995
 
|}
 
 
=== 3D Sculpting Software ===
 
[[DigitalSculpting|Digital sculpting]] is the process of creating a high-resolution 3D model with a series of painting strokes, using a pressure-sensitive tablet or screen. Usually the details from these models are baked into a [[NormalMap]] for a lower-resolution in-game model. Often these tools include 3D painting as well.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|3DCoat [[#A3DCoat|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#3DCoat]]
 
| Pilgway
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| $375
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Amorphium
 
| EI Technology Group
 
| Windows
 
| $79
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Curvey3D
 
| Aartform
 
| Windows
 
| $99
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Mudbox
 
| Autodesk
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $745
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Sculptris [[#Sculptris|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#Sculptris]]
 
| Pixologic
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|ZBrush
 
| Pixologic
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $795
 
|}
 
 
=== Decimation Software ===
 
Decimation means to reduce the triangle count of a highly-detailed model, often created via [[DigitalSculpting|digital sculpting]]. This makes the model easier to load, manipulate, and render in other applications. Decimation tools should preserve the model's essential form without degrading texture coordinates or material boundaries.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Atangeo Balancer
 
| Atangeo
 
| Windows
 
| $52
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Decimate Modifier (Blender)
 
| Blender Foundation
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Decimation Master (ZBrush)
 
| Pixelogic
 
| Mac/Windows
 
|  (included)
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Mesh Reduce (Maya)
 
| Autodesk
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
|  (included)
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Meshlab
 
| N/A
 
| Linux(Source)/Mac/Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|MultiRes (3ds Max)
 
| Autodesk
 
| Windows
 
|  (included)
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Optimize (3ds Max)
 
| Autodesk
 
| Windows
 
|  (included)
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Polygon Cruncher
 
| Mootools
 
| Windows
 
| $129
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Polygon Reduction (Softimage XSI)
 
| Autodesk
 
| Windows
 
|  (included)
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|ProOptimizer (3ds Max)
 
| Autodesk
 
| Windows
 
|  (included)
 
|}
 
 
=== Re-Topology Software ===
 
Re-topology means creating a new mesh surface from scratch, that conforms to an existing "messy" mesh, often created via [[DigitalSculpting|digital sculpting]]. Messy meaning that it either has too much detail or has a [[Topology|topology]] that's not the best for texturing, shading, or animation. The details from the "messy" mesh are transferred to the new re-topologized mesh by baking a [[DisplacementMap]] or [[NormalMap]]. The new mesh can either be used directly in-game, or it can be used as the control cage for a [[Subdivision Surface Modeling|subdivision surface]]. For opinions/reviews of re-topo software, see [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=78387 retopo tools for Max?] on the Polycount forum.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|3DCoat [[#A3DCoat|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#3DCoat]]
 
| Pilgway
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| $375
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Max_Retopo (for 3ds Max)
 
| cyfer
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|TopoGun
 
| PixelMachine Srl.
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| $100
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Wrapit (for 3ds Max)
 
| Matt Clarke
 
| Windows
 
| TBA
 
|}
 
 
==== Conform Software ====
 
These tools are for conforming an existing mesh to another mesh. Two finished models can be shrink-wrapped to one another, for example to fit a new mesh layout to the size/shape of an existing model. If the models have a different vertex count and order, a conform-style tool must be used instead of a morph tool.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Conform Wrap (for 3ds Max)
 
| Paul Hormis
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|polyShrinkWrap (for Maya)
 
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|xyShrinkWrap (for Maya)
 
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| Free
 
|}
 
 
=== 3D Paint Software ===
 
Many of the [[#Main_3D_Software_Packages|main packages]] include bare-bones 3D paint tools ([[PaintingAcrossSeams#Integrated_3D_Paint|partial list here]]), and most [[#A3D_Sculpting_Software|sculpting software]] also has 3D paint. The Blender site has a [http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Ref/Competitor_Analysis/Texturing list of 3D paint programs here]. The following tools are dedicated to 3D paint:
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Blacksmith3D Paint
 
| BlackSmith3D
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $80
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|BodyPaint 3D
 
| MAXON
 
| Windows
 
| $995
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|CrackArt
 
|  N/A
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Deep Paint
 
| Right Hemisphere
 
| Windows
 
| Discontinued
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Mari [[#Mari|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#Mari]]
 
| The Foundry
 
| Linux/Windows
 
| $1995
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|P-XCEL
 
|  N/A
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Tattoo
 
| Terabit Software
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|}
 
 
=== 3D Normal Map Software ===
 
These packages are used specifically for creating [[NormalMap|normal maps]] from 3D meshes. See also [[#A2D_Normal_Map_Software|2D Normal Map Software]].
 
 
<!-- ## ||<#000000>(app name?) ||(author?) ||(OS?) ||(cost?) ||(type?) || -->
 
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[http://www.xnormal.net/ Xnormal]
 
| Santiago 'jogshy' Orgaz
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[http://www.illuminatelabs.com/turtle/technical-specifications Turtle]
 
| [http://www.illuminatelabs.com/ Illuminate Labs]
 
| (OS?)
 
| (cost?)
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[https://udn.epicgames.com/Three/SHToolsReference SHTools]
 
| Epic Games
 
| (OS?)
 
| Included with a license of Unreal Engine 3
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[http://doc.crymod.com/AssetCreation/frames.html?frmname=topic&frmfile=PolybumpStandAloneTutorial.html PolyBump2]
 
| [http://www.crytek.com/ Crytek]
 
| (OS?)
 
| Included with a license of CryEngine 2 
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[http://www.iddevnet.com/doom3/bumpmaps.php Renderbump]
 
| [http://www.idsoftware.com/ id software]
 
| (OS?)
 
| Included with a license of Doom 3
 
|}
 
 
* [http://www.mankua.com/kaldera.htm Kaldera] by [http://www.mankua.com/ Mankua] is a commercial baking plugin for 3ds Max, but it hasn't been updated since 2005.
 
* [http://developer.nvidia.com/object/melody_home.html Melody] by [http://developer.nvidia.com/ NVIDIA] is a free baking application, but it hasn't been updated since 2005.
 
* [http://developer.amd.com/gpu/normalmapper/Pages/default.aspx NormalMapper] by [http://developer.amd.com/ ATI/AMD] is a free baking application, but it hasn't been updated since 2004.
 
* [http://engineering.soclab.bth.se/tools/177.aspx ORB (Open Render Bump)] by [http://engineering.soclab.bth.se/personnel/296.aspx Martin Fredriksson] and C. Seger is a free baking application, but it hasn't been updated since 2003.
 
 
Also, the [[#Main_3D_Software_Packages|Main 3D Software Packages]] and the dedicated [[#A3D_Sculpting_Software|3D Sculpting Software]] each usually have their own integrated normal map creation tools.
 
 
=== 3D Texture Coordinate Software ===
 
These packages are specifically for creating [[Category:TextureCoordinates|UV texture coordinates]] for a 3D mesh.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Cas Auto UV
 
| Castor Lee
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Headus UVLayout
 
| Headus Ltd.
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| $200
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[PolyUnwrapper]]
 
| Jorge Rodríguez
 
| Windows (requires 3ds Max)
 
| $25 (free for non-commercial)
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Roadkill UV
 
| Pullin Shapes
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|[[TexTools]]
 
| renderhjs
 
| Windows (requires 3ds Max)
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Unfold 3D
 
| Polygonal Design
 
| Windows
 
| 299.00€
 
|}
 
 
=== Special Effects Software ===
 
* [http://www.indievision.org/?p=204 Indie Tools & Utilities – 2010 Update] An extensive, ever growing list of free, cheap or simply "so good they need a mention" tools & utilities for typical development jobs.
 
 
== 2D Tools ==
 
 
=== Main 2D Software ===
 
These are "complete" 2D packages with a wide variety of art tools for photo manipulation, texturing, concepting, etc.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|GIMP
 
| GNOME Foundation
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Krita
 
| KDE
 
| Linux/Mac(beta)/Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Paint.NET
 
| dotPDN LLC
 
| Windows(XP+)
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|PaintShop Pro
 
| Corel
 
| Windows(XP+)
 
| $50
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Photoshop [[PhotoshopTools|[[Media:Category:Tools$icon-info.png|PhotoshopTools]]]]
 
| Adobe
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $20 per-month, subscription only
 
|}
 
 
[http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132207 Texturing workflow - software] Polycount Forum thread has discussion about the texturing tools game artists are using.
 
 
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_raster_graphics_editors#Features Wikipedia has a nice table] comparing the features of multiple 2D editing packages.
 
 
=== 2D Concepting Software ===
 
These packages are most often used for painting concepts and illustrations.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Alchemy [[#Alchemy|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#Alchemy]]
 
| N/A
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Art Rage
 
| Ambient Design Ltd.
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $50
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Illust Studio [[#Illust_Studio|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#Illust_Studio]]
 
| CEL SYS
 
| Windows
 
| ???
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Krita
 
| KDE
 
| Linux/Mac(beta)/Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Open Canvas [[#Open_Canvas|Media:Category:Tools/attachments/icon-info.png|#Open_Canvas]]
 
| PortalGraphics
 
| Windows
 
| $50
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Paint Tool Sai
 
| Systemax
 
| Windows
 
| 5250 JPY
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Painter
 
| Corel
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $429
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|SketchBook Pro
 
| Autodesk
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $60
 
|}
 
 
=== 2D Normal Map Software ===
 
These packages are used specifically for creating [[NormalMap|normal maps]] from 2D images. See also [[#A3D_Normal_Map_Software|3D Normal Map Software]].
 
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Website'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|!Bitmap2Material
 
| Allegorithmic
 
|  Windows/Mac
 
|  $149
 
|  http://www.allegorithmic.com/products/b2m/overview
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|CrazyBump
 
| N/A
 
| Windows
 
| $299
 
| http://www.crazybump.com/
 
|-
 
|<#000000>| Knald
 
| KnaldTech
 
|  Windows
 
|  Free
 
|  https://www.knaldtech.com/
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|MindTex
 
| FrozenFlame Software
 
|  Windows
 
|  $15
 
|  [[www.mindtex.frozenflamecorp.com/]]
 
|-
 
|<#000000>| NJob
 
 
 
|  Free
 
|  http://boards.polycount.net/showthread.php?t=68860
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|PhotoSculpt
 
|  Hippolyte Mounier
 
|  Windows
 
|  139 Euros
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|PixPlant
 
| N/A
 
|  Mac/Windows
 
| $195
 
|  http://www.pixplant.com/
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|ShaderMap Pro
 
|  Rendering Sytems Inc.
 
|  Windows
 
| $29.95 (command-line version is free)
 
|  http://shadermap.com/
 
|-
 
|<#000000>| Smart Normal
 
 
|  Web
 
|  Free
 
|  http://www.smart-page.net/smartnormal/
 
|}
 
 
* [http://quixel.se/ndo/ Photoshop nDo Normal Creation Toolkit] is a plugin that costs $99. Windows only.
 
* [http://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop Photoshop NVIDIA Normal Map Filter] is a free plugin. <<BR>>• Convert a grayscale image into a [[NormalMap]] or [[DuDvMap]], many options available. Windows 32bit only.
 
* [http://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop Photoshop NVIDIA DDS texture compression plugin] is free. <<BR>>• Same as the NVIDIA normal map filter, but lets you create the best-quality [[Mip Map]]s for a normal map, by filtering each mip independently from the original source image, rather than simply scaling down the normal map. Windows 32bit only.
 
* [http://www.xnormal.net Photoshop Xnormal filters] is a free plugin by [http://santyhammer.blogspot.com/ Santiago 'jogshy' Orgaz]. <<BR>>• Five filters for Photoshop: Dilation (see [[EdgePadding]]), !Height2Normals (see [[NormalMap]]), !Height2Occlusion (see [[AmbientOcclusionMap]]), Normalize normal map, !Normals2Cavity.
 
* [http://nifelheim.dyndns.org/~cocidius/normalmap/ GIMP normalmap plugin] is a free plugin by [http://nifelheim.dyndns.org/~cocidius/ Shawn Kirst].
 
* [http://diogo.codingcorner.net/uploads/NSpacePack.zip NSpace] is a free converter from [http://diogo.codingcorner.net Diogo Teixeira] that can convert Object Space normal maps into Tangent Space normal maps. The tool is discussed in this [http://boards.polycount.net/showthread.php?p=1072599#post1072599 thread] and [http://gameartist.nl/ Osman "osman" Tsjardiwal] has created [http://boards.polycount.net/showthread.php?p=1075143#post1075143a GUI for it] as well.
 
* [http://www.sinistergfx.com/data/ps/sgfx_normal_map_actions.zip Normal Map Actions for Photoshop] by [http://www.sinistergfx.com Will "sinistergfx" Fuller]<<BR>>• Overlay: Levels blue channel of current layer to 128 and sets the blend mode to overlay. Used for overlaying additional normal map detail.<<BR>>• Normalize: Just does a nVidia normal map filter normalize on the current layer.<<BR>>• Normalize (flatten): Flattens the image and does a nVidia normal map filter normalize.<<BR>>• Rotate 90 CW: Rotates current normal map layer 90 degrees clockwise and fixes your red and green channels so that it doesn't break your normal map.<<BR>>• Rotate 90 CW (inverted Y): Rotates current normal map layer 90 degrees clockwise and fixes your red and green channels so that it doesn't break your normal map. For normal maps that use the inverted Y convention.<<BR>>• Rotate 90 CCW: Rotates current normal map layer 90 degrees counter-clockwise and fixes your red and green channels so that it doesn't break your normal map.<<BR>>• Rotate 90 CCW (inverted Y): Rotates current normal map layer 90 degrees counter-clockwise and fixes your red and green channels so that it doesn't break your normal map. For normal maps that use the inverted Y convention.<<BR>>• Rotate 180: Rotates current normal map layer 180 degrees and fixes your red and green channels so that it doesn't break your normal map.
 
 
=== 2D Vector Software ===
 
These packages are used for creating vector graphics, commonly used for [[Category:UserInterface|user interfaces]] or print media.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Flash
 
| Adobe
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $20 per-month, subscription only
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Inkscape
 
| N/A
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows
 
| Free
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Illustrator
 
| Adobe
 
| Mac/Windows
 
| $20 per-month, subscription only
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Krita
 
| KDE
 
| Linux/Mac(beta)/Windows
 
| Free
 
|}
 
 
=== 2D Image Overlay Software ===
 
These tools are helpful for overlaying reference images, drawing quick review comments on artwork, remote collaboration, marking animation reference points, etc.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Website'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Floaty
 
| [http://www.polycount.com/forum/member.php?u=54449 'StrangeDave']
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
| http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=99709
 
|-
 
|<#000000>| Foreground Reference Utility
 
| [http://vimeo.com/user5572311 Mark Grice]
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
| http://www.digitalartistguild.com/misc/UtilityExplain/UtilityExplain.html
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Ghost-It!
 
| [https://plus.google.com/112449749826562830126/about Matthew T. Pandina]
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
| http://download.cnet.com/Ghost-It/3000-2072_4-10077652.html
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|ozToolOverlay
 
| [http://www.polycount.com/forum/member.php?u=15407 'osman']
 
 
| Free
 
| http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1040899
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|PureRef
 
| Natascha 'Arookh' Schirmuli
 
|  Mac, Windows
 
| Donationware
 
| [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=134708 Reference image viewer - PureRef] Polycount Forum thread
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|refBoard
 
| Jonathan 'Equanim' Richards
 
|  OSX, Windows
 
| Free
 
| [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=134131 refBoard! Nifty little reference viewer] Polycount Forum thread
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|ScreenMarker
 
| [[BeamYourScreen]] GmbH
 
 
| Free
 
| http://www.screenmarker.com/
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Snippet tool
 
| Microsoft
 
| Windows Vista, Windows 7
 
| (included)
 
| [http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Use-Snipping-Tool-to-capture-screen-shots windows.microsoft.com]
 
|}
 
 
=== Image Browsing Software ===
 
These packages are used for browsing image collections and for displaying reference imagery while an artist is working.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Price'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Website'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|ACDSee
 
| ACD Systems International
 
| Windows(XP+)
 
| $60
 
| http://www.acdsee.com/
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|DeskPins
 
| Elias Fotinis
 
| Windows(95+)
 
| Free
 
| http://users.forthnet.gr/pat/efotinis/programs/deskpins.html
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|FastStone Image Viewer
 
| FastStone Soft
 
| Windows
 
| $35<<BR>>(free for personal use)
 
| http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|First Impression
 
| Utilhaven.com
 
| Windows(XP+)
 
| Free
 
| http://www.utilhaven.com/fi/index.htm
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|Foreground Reference
 
| Mark Grice
 
| Windows
 
| Free
 
| http://www.silo3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16966
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|IrfanView
 
| Irfan Skiljan
 
| Windows(95+)
 
| $12<<BR>>(free for personal use)
 
| http://www.irfanview.com/
 
|-
 
|<#000000>|XnView
 
| Pierre Gougelet
 
| Linux/Mac/Windows/etc.
 
| $34<<BR>>(free for personal use)
 
| http://www.xnview.com/
 
|}
 
 
=== Tiled Texture Tools ===
 
* [http://www.filterforge.com/ Filter Forge] ($) procedural tiled-texture editor.
 
* [http://www.pixplant.com/ PixPlant] ($) texture tiling tool.
 
* [http://www.seamlesstexturegenerator.com/ Seamless Texture Generator] ($) texture tiling tool.
 
* [http://www.redfieldplugins.com/filterSeamlessWorkshop.htm Seamless Workshop] free Photoshop filter that fixes tiling errors by blending edges.
 
* [http://www.stefandavid.com/sdvtile/ sdvTile] free Photoshop script that expands the canvas 3x and repeats your texture across it.
 
* [http://mephworks.co.uk/tools/ttt.html Tiling Texture Tester Tool] free 2d tile previewer. Great for viewing tiled textures while painting. Drag-n-drop your texture into a HTML page, refresh as needed.
 
* [http://www.frankdebresser.net/index2.php?id=2026 Texture Frank] free 3d tile previewer. Great for viewing tiled textures while painting. EXE shows textures on meshes, drag-n-drop, auto refresh, diffuse/normal/specular/displacement maps, multi-layer PSDs, etc. Many options!
 
* [http://www.spiralgraphics.biz/ww_overview.htm Wood Workshop] free procedural-wood tiled-texture editor.
 
 
=== Sprite Tools ===
 
* [http://renderhjs.net/shoebox/ ShoeBox] by [http://renderhjs.net Hendrik-Jan "renderhjs" Schoenmaker] tools for working with transparencies and sprites.
 
* [http://kleber-swf.blogspot.com.br/p/spritesheet-preview.html SpriteSheet Preview] free tool for viewing multi-frame sprite sheets.
 
 
=== Tablet Utilities ===
 
These are tools that help with using a tablet or Cintiq.
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|<#383838>|'''Package'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Company'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Supported OS'''
 
|<#383838>|'''Description'''
 
|-
 
|<#000000>| [http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=154862 How To Easily Make Your Cintiq/Tablet Better]
 
|  ConceptArt.org forum
 
|  Windows/Mac
 
|  How to manually tweak your Wacom sensitivity, and links to some tablet tweaker apps
 
|-
 
|<#000000>| [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=71170 Tablets - Tips, Tricks and Resources]
 
|  Polycount forum
 
|  Windows
 
|  Tips and links to tablet tweaker apps
 
|-
 
|<#000000>| [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=78303 Tablet PC annoyances BEGONE!]
 
|  Polycount forum
 
|  Windows
 
|  Removing the annoying UI gizmos on tablet PCs.
 
|-
 
|<#000000>| [http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/software/35990-found-tablet-pressure-curve-editor-witha-gui.html Tablet Pressure Curve Editor with a GUI]
 
|  TabletPCReview.com forum
 
|  Windows
 
|  Note: might not be supported with latest Wacom drivers.
 
|-
 
|<#000000>| [http://people.happycoders.org/kamih/wordpress/?page_id=46 LazyNezumi]
 
|  [http://people.happycoders.org/kamih/wordpress/?page_id=2 Guillaume 'kamih' Stordeur]
 
|  Windows
 
|  Smooths out cursor motion in a similar way to ZBrush's [http://www.pixologic.com/docs/index.php/Lazy_Mouse Lazy Mouse] feature. See the Polycount thread [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64290 Lazymouse for Photoshop?]
 
|-
 
|<#000000>| [http://wacomswitch.illusoft.com/ Illusoft's Wacom Monitor Switch Utility]
 
|  [http://illusoft.com/ Illusoft]
 
|  Windows
 
|  Use a hotkey to switch the tablet from one monitor to another, on a multi-monitor setup.
 
|}
 
 
== 3D Tool Information ==
 
=== 3DCoat ===
 
Best known for: Voxel sculpting for topology-less sculpting, and advanced retopology capabilities including auto-retopology which can generate all-quad meshes using nothing more then a few basic guide splines drawn by the user.
 
 
=== 3ds Max ===
 
Best known for: the power of its modifier stack for modeling. Features powerful viewport shaders such as Xoliul's Shader and the 3Point Shader. [[Category:Shaders]] lists some popular shaders and has articles about how to make new ones.
 
 
* [http://vimeo.com/20992135 3dsmax Basics - Solving the Preferences] - by Sascha Henrichs
 
* [http://www.paulneale.com/tutorials/MaxMaya/maxMaya.htm Max and Maya: Similarities and Differences] - by Paul Neale
 
* [http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/mel2mxs/mel2mxs.htm MAXScript for MEL users] - by Borislav Petrov
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63739 3DS clean] - 3ds Max 2009 customized for speed
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=104082 <3 3ds Max 2009] - more tips for customizing 3ds Max.
 
 
==== Plugins and Scripts ====
 
* [http://mariussilaghi.com/products/quad-chamfer-modifier Quad Chamfer Modifier] {$} - better chamfer for [[SubdivisionSurfaceModeling]].
 
* [http://www.polytools3d.com/polyunwrapper/index.html PolyUnwrapper] - many maxscripts for UVW Unwrap.
 
* [http://www.polytools3d.com/normalizer/ Advanced UV Normalizer] - use custom Texel Density to normalize the UV Shells across different models.
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69736 TexTools] - many maxscripts for UVW Unwrap.
 
* [http://illusioncatalyst.com/ic_scripts.php IllusionCatalyst - Scripts] - maxscripts for edgeloop modeling.
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70464 select every other edge on collapsed subdivided mesh - 3dsmax] - maxscript to revert subdivided meshes
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=92642 EdgeSmooth - Free, open source smoothing plugin] - maxscript for defining hard edges like Maya does, instead of assigning Smoothing Groups manually.
 
* [http://leslievdb.com/grabviewport.htm Grabviewport 2.5] - capture high-resolution screenshots with passes (alpha, wire, ssao, etc.).
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=34439 Max plugins] archive Polycount thread
 
 
=== Blender ===
 
Best known for: being a free alternative to more expensive packages, and as a very inclusive package with it's own compositor, sequencer, sculpting system, and game engine.
 
 
* [http://www.blender.org Download]
 
* [http://www.blender.org/development/release-logs/ Release notes for the latest releases]
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70687 Blender 2.5 Crash Course (Not For Retards)] Polycount forum thread
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=75924 How to set 3ds max default viewport controls in Blender] Polycount forum thread
 
 
=== Mari ===
 
Best known for: being used in the production of Avatar film, and can handle multiple 32k resolution textures.
 
 
Mari is a 3D painting app that is currently only for Linux, but will be receiving a windows version before the end of 2010. It uses the hard drive heavily as a swap disk, and thus requires a significant amount of free space (250gb free recommended).
 
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=120763 Mari - does anyone actually use it?] thread on Polycount (the answer is, yes!)
 
* Mari release thread on Polycount: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=75224
 
* Mari video: http://media.fxguide.com/fxguidetv/fxguidetv-ep078.mov
 
 
=== Maya ===
 
Best known for: the speed of its marking menus while modeling, and ease of animation due to the versatility of attributes.
 
 
* [http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=11876683&linkID=9242258 Guides for Transitioning to Maya] - by Autodesk. Four guides to transitioning to Maya from: 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Lightwave, or Softimage XSI.
 
* How to switch UI styles in Maya 2011: [http://www.toxik.sk/?p=56 Autodesk Maya 2011 Qt style switch]
 
* How to Inset faces like in 3DS Max: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1168816&postcount=14
 
* How to Push like the 3DS Max modifier: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74491
 
 
=== Sculptris ===
 
Best known for: adding geometry to a mesh dynamically, avoiding worries about topology while sculpting. Sculptris is a powerful, easy to use, and lightweight sculpting app. Because you don't have to worry about geometry or using a base mesh, it is quickly becoming popular for roughing out and concepting ideas. Afterwords artists will retopologize their concept sculpt and take it into ZBrush or Mudbox for refinement. There are also painting tools for color and bump, but as of v1.02 their is no way to preserve the paint if one decides to go back into sculpt mode.
 
 
As of July 23 2010 Sculptris has been purchased by Pixologic, and its Developer (Tomas Petersson) hired by them. What this means for the future of Sculptris, its technology, and its 'free' status has yet to be determined.
 
 
For v1.01 :
 
 
* Unofficial Mac port: http://drpetter.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=sculptris&action=display&thread=661
 
* French translation: http://drpetter.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=tech&action=display&thread=316
 
 
=== Softimage XSI ===
 
Best known for: the modeling toolset, and ICE (used for creating effects) is considered very powerful, plus tight Mental Ray integration. Even though Softimage XSI isn't as commonly used as in the games industry, there are big studios that use it as their primary 3D software. Some notable examples are Ubisoft (Assassins Creed), Lionhead (Fable series), Konami (Metal Gear Solid 4), Valve (Half life 2).
 
 
* [http://www.stefandidak.com/pub/xsi1.php 3ds Max to Softimage XSI Transition Tips] - by Stefan Didak
 
* [http://www.xsibase.com/users/max2xsi/MAX2XSI.htm Max to XSI Jumpstart] - by 'Vmpre'
 
 
=== World Machine ===
 
Best known for: Widely used in the game industry for creating terrains using natural erosion techniques. Great for creating height maps, textures, and texture masks.
 
 
* [[Category:EnvironmentTerrain]] has tutorials for World Machine.
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1726544 World machine, advanced coloring macro ] - by [http://www.polycount.com/forum/member.php?u=64893 'Buzzcore']
 
 
=== Zbrush ===
 
Best known for: being well a supported and innovative sculpting package. Zbrush's Ztool system allows for minimal use of a traditional 3D package, while it's tools attempt to bring digital media as close to traditional, physical media as possible.
 
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90444 ZBrush Custom UI Showcase] Polycount forum thread, people sharing their UIs and tools.
 
* [http://vimeo.com/26399689 Custom Brushes using Zbrush and Max] video tutorial by [http://orbart.free.fr/index.php  Michael 'Orb' Vicente]
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=96425 Free Custom Zbrush Brushes] by [http://www.michaeldunnam.com/ Michael Dunnam]
 
* [http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=97168 Nick's Tools - Zbrush Plugins] by [http://www.artofnickmiller.com Nick 'nyx702' Miller]
 
* [http://www.zbrushcentral.com/ ZBrushCentral] user forums, galleries, etc.
 
* [http://www.pixologic.com/zclassroom/homeroom/ Pixologic ZClassroom] video training
 
 
== 2D Tool Information ==
 
=== Alchemy ===
 
* [http://boards.polycount.net/showthread.php?t=52370 Alchemy thread] on Polycount
 
 
=== Illust Studio ===
 
* [http://denkikoiji.deviantart.com/art/Illust-Studio-1-0-9-eng-patch-141766399 English language patch (unofficial)]
 
 
=== Open Canvas ===
 
Best known for: The 'Network Canvas' feature that was present in its free pre-commercial version, which allowed multiple users to paint on a single canvas over the net or LAN (This feature was removed once Open Canvas became commercial software, but the free version despite its limitations and age remains popular to this day because of it).
 
 
* Download the free version [http://wistinga.online.fr/opencanvas/ here].
 
 
=== Photoshop ===
 
See [[PhotoshopTools]].
 
 
/!\ Note: prices are accurate as of June 27, 2010
 
 
== Pages in This Category ==
 
 
  
 
[[Category:Technology]]
 
[[Category:Technology]]

Revision as of 21:09, 3 August 2014

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