This section is aimed at providing information about applications which are used to create or modify Quake/Quake 2 models. If you would like to contribute to this page, email me.
iD Utils These are the Quake2 Utils with source released by iD. It inlcudes QDATA, which is needed to compile all your 3DS/TRI files into a fully working MD2. Download from here
Quake2 Modeller v0.83 Created by Phillip Martin. The interface resembles that of 3DSMAX, with a LightWave colour scheme. It's a fully intgrated 3D program in it's own right, with a soon to be released Bones System, making this a complete package. There are really too many features to talk about in detail, so download Q2-Modeller from here.
It would also be wise to download the MAX ASCII Exporter, also created by Phillip, which is a "utility plugin that exports all selected obejects, frame by frame to numbered ascii files. Really useful."
JawMD2 JawMD2 is an OpenGl MD2 Viewer. Quite usefull for those screenshots. You can grab a copy here.
MD2VIEW The first program to allow you to view Quake 2 models fully textured, and on top of that, it utilises 3DFX. You can zoom in/out, toggle interpolation on/off .. all the basic features. Download MD2VIEW from here.
MedDLe As of yet, the only program which can view and modify Quake 2 models [.md2] is MedDLe ... which i think is great. Come bundled with a shitload of options to keep you happy, the only disadvantage however is, that Quake2 models aren't textured, this should be implemented in future releases.
Check out the MedDLe HomePage or download MedDle v2.0b here.
OpenGL MD2 Viewer Excellent program, which uses OpenGL to render the model, either wireframe or textured. Download it from here.
3D Studio VIZ 3DStudio VIZ is the bastard step child of 3DStudio MAX and Autocad. Both are products from Autodesk, although MAX and VIZ are produced by the subsidiary Kinetix. VIZ was conceived as a product to serve the architectural design community. It took several new pieces of technology from the newest version of Acad and crossed them with a stripped version of MAX. This produced a very nice modeler, but a poor character animator. Of course given its target group, architects, it's not surprising. They do not need IK or Sub-Object Animation. Nor do they need decent post production capabilities. These are the main items that were stripped from MAX. They do need the excellent precision and snapping controls, as donated from Acad. This gives you the ability to create very nice clean models and visualize them easily. [Yes, this is were the term VIZ comes from] However given the fact that the IK and Sub-Object support was not included, this means it does not support bones programs or any plugins the deal with either of these capabilities. As all this relates to Quake modeling, you can generate the models quickly and easily as in MAX2. The interface and tool selection is the exact same as it is in MAX. Most other plugins for MAX will also work in VIZ. In fact, all the advanced tech that went into VIZ was really a road test, as its all been worked into MAX2. In relation to doing animation with VIZ, it can be done. Shapes in VIZ can be moved and animated as with the ease of its big brother. You cannot use the bones style plug-ins to make your life easier. Overall, if you're interested in purchasing MAX or VIZ, I'd personally prefer MAX. But as I personally don't have an immediate need for the items stripped out, I've settled for VIZ. My wallet liked having 90% of the tools at 50% of the cost as well.
Thank you to Rogue13 for this great review.
SoftImage|3D SOFTIMAGE|3D is considered by many professionals to be the primo animation program. It is excellent for doing any animation from broadcast to games, better than PowerAnimator. It includes advanced animation features like IK and bones, and they work incredibly well compared to some of the cheaper programs. It's modeling tools rival those of PA as well with full NURBS and polygonal support, and it's easy to get something cool looking within minutes, once you learn how the program works. Indeed the learning curve for it is steep to say the least, but it you have experience with other modeling/animation packages you should be able to pick up on it within a few days. At around $7,000 for the regular version ($14,000 for Extreme), SOFTIMAGE|3D is not a tool for the hobbyist. But if you get to use it (especially on a decked out Octane workstation) you will never want to go back to MAX or Lightwave. A lot of production companies end up doing their modeling in PA, then switching over to SOFTIMAGE for the animation.
Thank you to Henry Provo for this great review.
PowerAnimator Alias|Wavefront Power Animator is the program you use if you want the best and have lots of money to wave around. It's hard to imagine what could be so good that it would have to cost 5-10x more than programs like MAX and Lightwave, but once you get to have a play you soon realise.
Actually, the polygonal modelling side is quite comparable with the cheaper programs (Alias' real modelling strength is in NURBS modelling which won't be of much use until Trinity) and I'd go so far as to say the Lightwave modeller is far more suitable and usable for Quake modelling.
However, the animation side of PA is far superior, being both painless to set up for animation (usually quite tricky in the cheaper programs) and a heaven to animate with.
Starting at around $20000US ($10000 for the Alias base and then $10000 for the Power Animator module), PA isn't an entry level animation package, especially considering you need an SGI machine on top of that. But you can feel pretty safe that id are using the best tools available.
Thank you to Rowan Crawford for this great review.
Martin Hash's 3D Animation V5 I just wanted to tell you about another 3D package that is perfect for Quake2 models. It is Martin Hash's 3D Animation V5. You can check it out at www.hash.com. The cool thing is that it is built for character animation, and you build with easy to use splines, not polygons. It has the best bones implimentation around and no other character animation package can compete, check out www.avalanchesoftware.com and their gallery for examples of the rendering capabilities. As far as quake goes you can export the animations you make to numbered dxf or vrml files, perfect for import into meddle. I have not made a complete quake model yet, since I have no concept of AI programing, but I own the program and as far as modeling them it seems like the best idea to me. There is a $700 version and a $200 version, the $200 one is only missing network rendering and a post rendering special effects package, making it a much better buy then Truespace in my mind.
Thank you to ShadowBA for this great review.
Truespace Truespace, although not as popular as 3ds, is still very usefull for mesh creating, and if you have the time and the skill you can animate meshes. Dispite popular beleif, Truespace is very useable. The number one reson i would recommend Truespace is the price. TrueSpace/SE is priced under 100 dolars. The UI is also very nice, but i would have liked the option of having a four view window ala 3dsMax. The one big problem i have with Truespace it the animation. I find it almost imposible to do a good animation with truspace. It has key frame animation, but it is sometimes very tedeous to set up the key frames. the latus deformation is ok, but hard to use with a bio-model. i have found it easy to do if you separate the limbs from the main body. Truespace, overall, is a good product, but it isnt the best by far. But then, if your on a limited budget, you will make do with what you have.
Thank you to Alex "Stryker" Wright for this great review.
3D Studio MAX MAX is an excellent all-round modeling, rendering and animation software developed by Autodesk for Windows NT 3.51/4.0 and Windows 95. MAX must be one of the most popular tools for creating Quake models amongst us home-users. It's simple yet detailed interface is quite easy to get used to, and before you know it, you'll be pumping out those spheres and cones in no time at all. The very first time i layed my hands on MAX, i had a 100 frame animation of a sphere moving from one side of the screen to another completely modelled and rendered within the hour ;-)
What makes MAX stand out from the rest is it's balance of price/performance, and ease of use. Even thought getting your MAX masterpieces to export propely into mdl's can be a pain in the ass, the end result is worth it, in my opinion. The one thing lacking in MAX however, is it's bone system [or lack of]. Animating solid organic models can be almost imposible, without the aid of some plugins. Character Studio and Bones Pro MAX are the two most popular. CS (Character Studio) consists of two plugins: Biped, which is a skeletol creation tool and animator and Physique, which is an object modifier that controls deformation of a mesh object. Bones Pro MAX on the other hand is a Space Warp plugin which has similar features to CS (ie, uses IK-linked skeletol system to deform/animate a mesh). Both plugins are on the pricey side, but fully working demos are available free of charge.
3DSR4 3DS is an all time classic, it's been around since dinasour land and still maintains a competitive hand in the 3D market. Paul Steed used 3DS to model Quake2 meshes and create the intro/ending cinematics. Not much i can say about 3DS, except it has a shit load of plugins available [both commercial and freeware), including Bones Pro.
Added by Slick 50:
First off, the modeling is the most simple thing I have ever done, the easy-to-use 2D shaper and 3D lofter makes modeling a delight. The interface is great and easy to get used to. I LOVE the keyframer, which makes animating very simple, for complex animations (like characters) the Inverse Kinematics plug-in that is shipped with it makes it very easy. The countless plug-ins for it gives that extra "Hollywood Effect" to your animations, like a lens flare or glowing effect. If you can get your hands on this software, which I got at an acedemic discount, do it. You won't regret it.
LightWave 3D LightWave is probably the most widely used tool for creating/animating models for Quake. It's quite simple to use if you have the patience to figure out the interface, and unlike 3DSMAX, you don't need external plugins to animate your models with bones. If you thought getting your MAX models to work with Quake was a pain in the ass, wait until you try LightWave, you'll have an orgasmic fit.Well, these are the main modeling/animation software tools that i've come across when developing Quake models. If someone out there uses SoftImage/Alias|Wavefront/TrueSpace to create Quake/Quake2 models, please feel free to write a small review and send it to me.
(Come on Steed, how bout a small PowerAnimator review ;-) )