View Full Version : Gaming engine vs modelling software

09-22-2009, 01:34 AM
Hi all, I'm trying to establish the difference in my mind between a gaming engine versus a 3d modelling software. I want to create a software application that gives the user an interface to choose certain parameters and see certain hazards simulated as a result. e.g. a user chooses a board house and chooses to simulate a category 3 hurricane.

What route should I be taking here. Do I need an engine/modeller? Or possibly both? I was looking at Houdini... I can see clearly where you can construct complex models but I think I'm aiming for is a model that can be interacted with in real time. So I should I be looking more to Unreal engine perhaps? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

09-22-2009, 01:52 AM
I used to work for a game company, mainly did 3D and some UI scripting. The way it works is.

Build Models, Animation "be models or particle-sprites"
From the 3D software you script out collision materials. When you play a game it isnt the actual 3D seeing the collision "stopping at a wall". Its the material assigned to that wall.

from the engine, you call these models, animations etc and use "we used C" a language to make it all happen. its a lot of work, if you are doing a web based game or whatnot, look into java or flash. create your models or animation and go from there. tons of tutorials out there.

you cannot use complex models, you need to use game res models and a combination of materials, maps, etc.

the unreal engine is licenced based and is like $3 million per licence "last i heard".

here are a few examples

game res no material waterski

a hotel room without and with render.

notice the beds, the 3d is minimal, but the materials and textures are very detailed.

09-22-2009, 01:59 AM
I figure it will be alot of work... at this point I need to know what's involved in reaching that goal. I'll drop java in a flash. I need photorealistic kinds of animations, not just some cartoon flavoured animation.

So I'm currently considering where I can get training and so on to get this done. So let's say I designed some complex models/animations in Houdini.. what are the next steps I need to take to get those models into a software where I can manipulate and animate the models in real time? What are my options... options that will only costs thousands... (not millions).

09-22-2009, 02:05 AM
well, i use 3D Studio Max to model, animate, collisions and create particles.

Think about this.

when you see in a game for instant, smoke. Its usually 1 or 2 images, that grow in size, from birth to death, png's for transparency.

Another one:
distance, you dont use the same 3d/image for anything in the distance, you use a dumbed down version, as you get closer to the object it changes to a more high res version.

You will need either

3D Studio Max or Maya to start, as for a engine, look around for cheap ones. You will need to learn c++.

if you want high res graphics, this is about 360 high res

09-22-2009, 04:27 PM
So you're saying I basically create an image using a renderer then plug that into a gaming engine?