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3D modeling/landscaping program for X?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ok here's the scoop. For my senior project I am designing a realistic golf course. I planned on using the new course architect in Links 2002 Championship Edition (newest verrsion of popular golf sim) because it would be the ONLY course architect program in a Mac. There is no Tiger Woods 2002 or PGA Championship Golf for me to run on a Mac, so this game is it for me. Although it is a game the course architect is capable of turning out courses that are awesome. I had been following closely the progress of Bold as soon as they announced the popular title would be heading to the Macintosh platform. Bold Games first claimed that this game would be shipping shortly after the PC version was out. They claimed October, then November, then December, then January, then Febuary, now I heard it will not ship until April. I need the ability to design a realistic course right now because if the game doesn't show till April or may, I would risk not passing. I wasn't to expect this at all, as Bold has constantly pushed the release date back. What if they push it back another month, and another month? Then I will be totally out of the blue! What I want to know is can I get a program that will let me render a golf course in 3D i.e. landscaping that I can design grass fairways, greens, do elevation changes, plant trees, make water, and create objects to place on the course? can I somehow model a golf course using a 3D app? This is extremely important. My last result is buying the game cheap and running under Virtual PC, which is a hastle and will slow down my progress. This is the one game I have to have, and Bold can't get the f*cker out after over a year of work probably. I see on TV during golf tourneys they have very sophisticated hole models computer generated. Would anyone know what they could be using?

[ 02-21-2002: Message edited by: TigerWoods99 ]</p>
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post #2 of 25
If you make a greyscale "height" image, just about any off-the-shelf 3D program should have an option for making a "relief" object out of it. That'd probably be the easiest option.

Here's the icon for the relief tool in Cinema 4D.


I'll make a quick relief and post it in a minute. I get the feeling, though, that you aren't really interested in a full-blown 3D software package... maybe you could find a "warezed" program for just this project? *cough* *cough*
post #3 of 25
The relief can sometimes be a bitch

It doesn't work well with those high detail images

[ 02-21-2002: Message edited by: Leonis ]</p>
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post #4 of 25
Okay, keep in mind that I know zero about golf course design and that this was just a 5-minute test to show you how a relief works.

from this map:


I made this:
post #5 of 25
[quote]Originally posted by Leonis:
<strong>The relief can sometimes be a bitch</strong><hr></blockquote>Agreed. In fact, I think this is the first time I've used the relief tool for something other than... well, I guess I never really have used the relief tool very much.
post #6 of 25
or you could try a program that does landscape stuff like Bryce, which will handle DEMs and topo information. If you are really designing a course I would imagine you know about grading and topography, and Bryce seems to handle these things pretty well. FormZ will also work, but that's more $$$ than Maxon.
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post #7 of 25
Or you could try Vue d'Esprit for OSX.
review- <a href="http://www.cgchannel.com/" target="_blank">cgchannel</a>
developer- <a href="http://www.e-onsoftware.com/" target="_blank">e-onsoftware</a>

I've never used it, but it sure looks purty...
post #8 of 25
Or try Bryce 5

But this thing's rendering is shit slow
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post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oh don't worry about a full-fledged program, I won't be buying anything (except I ordered Links CE). I don't think Bryce would work as it really just 3D environments, like you can make mountains and stuff. I am gonna get that anywayz because I want it. What about Maya? To tell you the truth if one of these 3D programs offers exactly what I'm looking to do it might be a lot better than the course designer on Links.
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post #10 of 25
I love bryce, its remarkably easy to use and powerful for a consumer program...though it is a pretty damn slow renderer...especially when your on an iMac DVSE

anyway....vue'd sprite or whatever is awesome...it has a really good renderer and makes some really realistic scenes...Maya is helluva expensive so I don't know if thats in your range or not.

personally I like Starfleets Idea with the bump map.....you could use bryce or Cinema 4d(or jusut about any good 3-d program) to make the bump map...and if your good with texturing you can make it look REALLY good even if your using bryce.
one thing I never mastered in bryce was sloping textures....that area of bryce I used to always jstu shoot blanks and hope it turned out well.
bryce 5 is a vast improvement over 4....the program could use a renderer overhaul, but I feel that since Corel owns bryce now(I used to be mad at metacreations...but now I see its a good change)I'd wager bryce will get more frequent updates....better support and will only get better over time.
though the I did kind of prefer the bryce 4 interface on a number of levels over the bryce 5 one....but the intograted tree editor is nice.

summary: I would go with Bryce or cinema 4-d(or even strata...if you have it) bryce cause its helluva easy, and cinema 4-d makes better looking scenes for hte most part.
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post #11 of 25
VectorWorks Landmark by nemetschek would probably work.
post #12 of 25
Take a look at blender <a href="http://www.blender.nl" target="_blank">http://www.blender.nl</a>

It's free, and the program just continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
I download that Blender, man how in the world do I figure out how to use it!
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post #14 of 25
You want Maya eh? $7500 US or your soul please :cool:

Anyway. For your need Bryce is okay if you can stand it's super slow rendering speed


As for Cinema. If you are a student you can get it for $299 US. Not a bad deal :cool:

[ 02-23-2002: Message edited by: Leonis ]</p>
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post #15 of 25
post #16 of 25
Go to this site:

I have seen some impressive work there.

<a href="http://www.3dnature.com/" target="_blank">3D Nature Homepage</a>
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
What? I'm not gonna have to pay for Maya if I want it dogg.

I might try the free version of Maya when it's out.

I believe I've seen that 3D Nature stuff before. trouble is I don't know if it's for mac OS yet alone OS X. I want something for Mac OS X. Believe me that thing looks sooooooo ideal for me. Thanks for bringing that link up again for me.

What about Lightwave 3d? Seems like a good high-end 3D program that might just work. Vector Works/Render Works is something I want anywayz and might be useful (especially for the clubhouse of this course).

The only thing that would suck is if I developed a wonderful course using all these extensive programs but nobody could actually play it. That's a really good advantage about a course architect in Links, and it is still pretty damn good for a $50 game.

I really would love to use the real-deal stuff the good architects use. that would be very impressive. On the TV glf broadcasts they go through the course with their virtual stuff and looks awesome, I just wish I knew what the heck they were using.
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post #18 of 25
The apps that I am talking here now are OS X native

Bryce 5 - Good for beginner epsecially to those who only are interested doing landscape. Problem is its rendering speed - One of the f*cking slowest renderer in the market

Vue 4 - Does the similar thing to Bryce. But don't know much about speed, sorry.

Cinema 4D 7.3 - Reasonablely user friendly and decent render speed. Reasonably powerful. Good price for student

Lightwave 7 - Very expensive even for the academic version ($1299 US I believe). Rendering is one of the fastest in the market. However the learning curve is very steep (I can tell ya, it's even worse than Maya and MAX, to me). The 'break up' of modelling and animation / assembly environment is very bothersome to some users (me at least).....Also this stupid dongle thing....I never am a fan of LW no matter how powerful people say

EIectric Image Universe 4 - Forget about this thing.

[ 02-23-2002: Message edited by: Leonis ]</p>
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post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hmm, thanks. Don't think I wanna try bryce 5 now since you mention slow @$$ render times with it, I can't put up with slow render times.I'm not paying for anything nor is anybody paying anything for this software, so I am just interested in the best alternatives.
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post #20 of 25
Well. I don't mean to encourage software piracy.

But usually for people to really learn and try to use something they have never touched software pircay via Limewire, Carracho, Hotline is the best bet.

Once you are used to the app and need it to generate income you will eventually buy it anyway.

Me....I can claim myself a big software pirater but also a big supporter / user. I always download apps from HL or else and 'evaluate' them. When I have full confidence with the app I will pay for it.

Cinema 4D, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, etc etc etc.....I always download them from the net and do a test drive. And then later I really pay for them.

The survey to the pro graphic people is very interesting. Around 90% of people who work in the effects/animation/graphic industry DO pirate software for evaluation and learning. They all do say they really buy them when they are out to make money.

[ 02-23-2002: Message edited by: Leonis ]</p>
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post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm gonna probably try some of those programs, but I think the wait may finally be over for the thing I've wanted for a few months now.

Amazon.com shows Links 2002 Championship as March 7th release date. I checked another site that had March 5th but they seemed to be wrong. But I doubt Amazon.com would have this wrong, right? Please please please please let it be March 7th...I am so frickin psyched for this thing.

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post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Main reason I bought my new G4 above! LOL

Despite my namesake the Links series owns the Tiger Woods series. TW 2K2 is a GeForce4 launch game however the graphics look cartoonish. Square arms and sh*t. All Links needs is a true 3D environment and it will be perfect. Also Tiger Woods 2002 isn't coming out for mac ever, but there's always Playstation. Are there any emulators for OS X?
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post #23 of 25
TigerWoods99,

From your posts, I garner that you are still a student. If you are interested in buying software, try buying it with a student discount.
Your school may be able to purchase it for you, or you can check out:

<a href="http://www.journeyed.com" target="_blank">http://www.journeyed.com</a>

They are an academic reseller. You can buy student licensed software from $300 to $800. Packages that would normally cost in the multi $1000 range. You just have to show proof you are a student. and in some cases you may have to prove that what you are buying is required for what you are studying in school.

You can purchase the student version of Maya for OSX for $495. they have a bundle selling for $599.98 that includes Getting Started on Maya OS X DVD, Learning Maya OS X CD, and The Art of Maya. That's not a bad bundle. This is the FULL version with manuals, no stupid watermarks or stripped down version. The only thing is you are running on a student license, and will get limited or no support.

You can buy Lightwave, Maya, or any other package for cheap. One of the benefits of being a student. The only thing is you are not allowed to use them for profit. Some company's will also allow you to upgrade to the full licensed version for a reasonable price when you decide to use it professionally.

I bought my copies of Lightwave and Electric Image this way. It saved me a lot of money.

- trowa

[ 02-26-2002: Message edited by: trowa ]</p>
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post #24 of 25
The problem with the academic version of Maya and Softimage XSI is that they only work for 12 months. And you will have to repurchase it once they are expired. Don't know if they have changed it but when I was still in school they did have these stupid forced licence renewal.

Lightwave and Cinema, on the other hands, don't have this problem.
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post #25 of 25
Bryce rules but I sugest that you check my latest <a href="http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=3&t=000478" target="_blank">post</a>.
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