8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 20, 2007 3:50 AM by Newsgroup_User

    Is this something I should get Director for?

    RossPubGrp Level 1
      I am in the market for a web based app which allows the end users to build 3D character models (much like MMO characters) from the ground up, by selecting from an assortment of 3D bits and pieces...

      As an example, a user could build a fantasy gladiator character simply by selecting a pair of leather booths, then attaching a bare-skinned left calf, and a leather covered right calf, then attaching matching leather-covered thighs, continuing with a metal-plate covered groin, a bare-skinned abdomen, a chainmail covered chest, a bare-skinned right bicep and a chainmail covered left bicep, a matching pair of leather covered forearms, a right hand holding a huge sword and a left hand holding a shield, and any one of a number of heads. A similar process could be used, selecting different bits and pieces, to assemble a cowboy or space marine, or any number of various characters.

      These various pieces would all be available from a library they can browse through – an entire selection of various pieces sorted by body part (Left and Right versions each of feet, calves, thighs, biceps, forearms, and hands, as well as groin, abdomen, chest, neck, and head) and/or genre (fantasy, space, modern, old west, etc.). They would be pre-made by 3D artists; and dynamically available from folders stored on the same web server as the app itself.

      I would like the entire model as a whole to be able to be posed in various positions both during and after the 'construction' of the model (so the individual pieces can be rotated on all axis before attaching to the rest of the model, and/or a single attached piece can be ‘pulled’ into a different position, drawing with it the other pieces in the line). Also I would like to allow for a pan, orbit, and zoom of the entire model throughout the process.

      Once the model is as desired, I want the end user to be able to save it, and load it back for later editing. I also need the saved models to be exported for use in another application.

      There will be no (or minimal) use of texture maps, I am only concerned with solid polygons here. The end result, and possibly the originating 3D 'bits' used to create the full models, will need to be stereolithography (.stl) files.

      With all that said, is this something that can be done (easily) with the use of Director?
        • 1. Re: Is this something I should get Director for?
          Level 7
          Sure. I have made a few such programs, 3d avatar creators and whatnot.
          I'm not sure about your requirement to use .stl files, but if you can
          convert the 3d assets into shockwave 3d (w3d) format, then you are
          golden. I use 3d studio max. You would make a basic skeleton and give
          it a physique modifier. That can be moved in Director using bones
          animations.

          I have never tried adding pieces like legs and arms. When I did it, you
          could choose from a variety of bodies, then add textures or other models
          to them. I suspect it would be possible to do it your way though. You
          could make your default model invisible and add leg models, armor
          models, etc to them.
          • 2. Re: Is this something I should get Director for?
            RossPubGrp Level 1
            The 'assets' don't necessarily need to be .stl files; I need the final version to be able to be saved and/or exported as an stl file - I am not sure if that would require the initial assets to be stl or not.

            I am also needing to work with pure poly models only, no textures... I know this will make a huge poly count for nice looking characters, but the final product is going to be 'printed' to a rapid prototyping machine, making a physical copy...and it doesn't do textures.

            So how hard would this type of program be to make? I have some basic programming experience, and flash actionscript experience, but I am not 'advanced' in any programming... would it be something I could hack together with trial and error and available resources such as tutorials and forums, or would I need to hire it out?
            • 3. Re: Is this something I should get Director for?
              Romeo.Marian
              quote:

              Originally posted by: RossPubGrp
              The 'assets' don't necessarily need to be .stl files; I need the final version to be able to be saved and/or exported as an stl file - I am not sure if that would require the initial assets to be stl or not.


              Director Shockwave has nothing to do with Stereolithography (*.stl) files.
              I cannot figure out why do you have to work with this obscure file format, but you may use Quick3D if you really need these STL files.
              btw:
              The "final version" is going to be a projector (EXE file) or a shockwave movie (DCR file).
              What do you mean with that "the final version to be able to be saved and/or exported as an stl file" ???

              • 4. Re: Is this something I should get Director for?
                RossPubGrp Level 1
                I mean the final version of the character - the full model which is built from pieces and then saved as a single 3D file, needs to be in .stl format. The reason for this obscure format is that most 3D printers (rapid prototyping machines) only handle this file format as input.
                • 5. Re: Is this something I should get Director for?
                  Romeo.Marian Level 1
                  quote:

                  Originally posted by: RossPubGrp
                  I mean the final version of the character - the full model which is built from pieces and then saved as a single 3D file, needs to be in .stl format. The reason for this obscure format is that most 3D printers (rapid prototyping machines) only handle this file format as input.


                  Director Shockwave is not a 3D modeler (and you cannot export 'resulted' 3d models).


                  • 6. Re: Is this something I should get Director for?
                    Level 7
                    Yeah. If the visual shockwave file is the final output that you want,
                    then use Director. Director is not the right choice if you need to
                    export the models in any format apart from standard 2-d graphics
                    formats, like jpg. I don't know anything about how .stl files work, but
                    I have not heard of any exporter for it from Director.
                    • 7. Re: Is this something I should get Director for?
                      RossPubGrp Level 1
                      Thanks for the info, then. I was afraid I would have to get something custom written an a c/c++ environment, and it looks like I will after all.
                      • 8. Re: Is this something I should get Director for?
                        Level 7
                        What you might be able to do is use Director for the interface portion
                        of the program. For instance set it up so the user can choose which
                        bits of models to apply to arms, legs, etc, than have Director save out
                        a text file (or xml or something) identifying each piece and location.
                        Then your custom stl converter program would read in these preferences
                        and make your final output that will go to the printer.

                        Just a thought.