MakeHuman

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fireside 141 Jun 01, 2013 at 10:43

I’ve been looking at MakeHuman for a while, and finally started using it. At first, I thought it was too high poly, however after doing some research, I found out there are proxy meshes in the library that are lower poly, so it’s a great free program to get customizable game characters already textured. The only problem I’ve had with it so far is the hair looks terrible and doesn’t work, at least in the engine I am using. There is also only a very small library for clothes, so some customization in a modeler is pretty necessary. It saves a ton of work, though. The models already have skeletons with a range of choices on types.

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TheNut 179 Jun 01, 2013 at 14:40

I’m not to much of a fan of MakeHuman. It’s a notable project, but I find the program and mesh quality not quite game worthy, or even render worthy IMO. BlendSwap has tons of great free models for Blender. Some are already rigged, some are not. However, it’s still kind of fun to rig your own character. I watched a video from a professional how it’s done and it was quite a valuable lesson. The range of character details they offer are also pretty good. Almost everything on that site can be used in a game. Even the higher quality models can somewhat easily be downgraded to games.

The nice thing about Blender too is the 2D renderer side of it. Notwithstanding it’s great quality, but games need a lot of flare to be attractive and it’s great to work on both your actual game content and setup separate renders for graphics and stuff that you will use in menus, loading screens, etc. IMO it’s nice to get into the habit of using all-in-one type software to improve your skills and productivity.

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rouncer 103 Jun 01, 2013 at 23:30

I had this idea where you could interchange and add together displacement maps on a basic goo man… but it didnt get past initial planning before I came up with something else to do…

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fireside 141 Jun 02, 2013 at 02:53

I find the program and mesh quality not quite game worthy, or even render worthy IMO

Hmm. I don’t know why you would feel that way. I think, for realistic models, it’s very worthy for an indie game. I use Blend Swap and the quality is inconsistent, which is a real problem in games. The style really has to be consistent or it shows. Of course, I’m only talking realistic meshes here. When I want stylized meshes I do them myself in Blender. It’s time consuming, but pretty fun and I don’t do much texturing, I just use materials and a cartoon look. For the project I’m working on now, MakeHuman will be fantastic and I’m quite satisfied with renders, although it is an older engine and I am just getting started. The point is, I can do consistent models and even re-use animations because bones will be named the same. There are also a lot of free realistic models around for furniture, etc that will match. I generally like stylized models, but this one is a serious tone game and I don’t think it would work out. It’s not a shooter, it just deals with more serious content like dark fantasy I guess. It will be one of the largest projects I’ve attempted so MakeHuman will be fantastic. I’m dropping the web game thing. It was fun to play around with, but I lost interest. I also have a partner this time, so that’s another reason to use realistic models. He’s doing the sets. If you’re doing realistic models, which are kind of bland from my point of view, you have to offset with an interesting story and setting.

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tyree 102 Jun 02, 2013 at 06:49

to fireside no web version only an executable. did you stop using unity

to the nut I didnt know you dealt with the artistic side. but its good that you are, since your rigging now. you should take a look at (cat) character animation toolkit. it pretty much did for rigging and animation what sculpting did for modeling. removed all limitations. it existed before the first scultping program. 3d programs are coming up with thier own version of cat now

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TheNut 179 Jun 02, 2013 at 07:54

@fireside
I tried the program and it seemed like a bad imitation of Poser and Daz Studio. The morphs that come with their human model was very buggy. If I recall correctly, the African morph would mutate oddly. I dunno, it was weird. Set to many morphs and the model starts to get all messed up too. The “uni-morph” thing just doesn’t work either (well, for me anyway). Males and females are not meant to share the same mesh :)

BlendSwap, like any other Internet resource, is WYSIWYG. Like a lot of free content, it requires a bit of leg work to import models and use them. I often put quite a few hours into each model that I feel has worth to bring it into tip-top shape. Some models I’ll even redesign myself or finish what the original author started. At the end of the day though, I’m improving my skills and becoming more proficient with Blender. I’m able to produce more content and do things that I would otherwise dream about with other tools. Once I get my homemade mo-cap environment setup, I will be complete :)

@tyree
I use to do a lot of artistic work before becoming an engineer. I did a lot of pen work with Disney toons and 3D modelling with the original 3DS Max, back when their division was called Kinetix. I managed to persuade a reseller into giving me a demo version :) Interesting thing too was the CD contained a clip from Starcraft showcasing a scene with the Marines fighting the zerg in a space station. All made in 3DS Max. Very cool stuff, but I realized the real magic is in software. Art is just the icing on the cake.

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fireside 141 Jun 02, 2013 at 11:11

to fireside no web version only an executable. did you stop using unity

I have stopped using Unity for the present. The game I was working on is on my old computer and I still haven’t gotten an enclosure to get it from the hard drive. I like Unity, but I want to do a story type adventure game and get it out in a reasonable amount of time so I’m using a 2.5D adventure system called Wintermute. I’ve used it before, but not for a while. The difference in development time is a lot because the conversation system, inventory system, path finding, etc. is already worked out. 2.5D works fine for an adventure game because of the way they work and it saves the whole loading of low poly models that look good kind of thing and makes texturing easier also. It’s also way lighter on a machine, so almost anything can run it. I’ll get back to Unity eventually, unless someone comes up with a better adventure system that I can put the game on the web. I’ll take every shortcut I can with games because they are an immense amount of work. I try to get into other genres, but I like stories and adventures are the best way to deliver them. I just can’t write a jumping game or shooter or whatever.

it seemed like a bad imitation of Poser and Daz Studio

Poser and Daz are for 2d games and charge money. They have their applications, but that’s a lot different than exporting free customizable models for realtime. Granted, MakeHuman does that also with higher poly models, but that doesn’t seem like the best application for it to me. I agree with the male/female deal.

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tyree 102 Jun 03, 2013 at 04:03

I know what you mean, in regard to the amount of work ivolved in an adventure game.I wouldnt advise anyone to make an adventure game in 3d. not when your doing it alone. with the exception of modding an existing game. there is too much to be done, when doing an original. thats why using an engine your comfortable with is so important. while unity is popular you cant really say its made for comfort.

In my opinion your better off becoming skilled in one engine. the one your the most comfortable with and porting over to other engines. building a game in an engine you already know. is quite different from building the game while learning the engine. those games usually never see the light of day

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fireside 141 Jun 03, 2013 at 23:53

In my opinion your better off becoming skilled in one engine. the one your the most comfortable with and porting over to other engines. building a game in an engine you already know. is quite different from building the game while learning the engine. those games usually never see the light of day

I completely agree, unfortunately, I don’t actually do that because I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to engines. 3d is alluring, but when you start putting in all the content and having problems with imports and exports, it gets pretty daunting. Depends on the game, but the heavier the amount of content, the more it becomes out of reach without a decent size team. Adventure games don’t even work that well with it because it just feels like you are walking around most of the time. They’re more for a focused environment where you examine objects and figure out how they work together.