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Re: Simple modeller

Gregor Mückl wrote:

> <shamelessPlug>
> Well... I revived development on Moonlight 3D last year (rather by 
> accident, but that's a different story). Some of you might maybe recall 
> that this modeller was widely spread on linux before blender spread. But 
> unlike blender being freeware, Moonlight started as open source and 
> stayed open source for a long time (only the last one or two releases of 
> the original developers were closed-sourced).
> We have made a new release about a week ago which got cleaned up a bit 
> and should compile on modern systems (the old code from 1999 or 2000 
> suffered from bitrod already). I have to admit that texture mapping 
> hasn't made it into this release, but our goal for the next release is 
> this feature.
> ML has powerful NURBS and mesh editing functions and - as a big benefit 
> - is rather simple to use (now that the interface is drawn correctly 
> again ;) and has shown to be quite stable.
> Just visit
> http://www.moonlight3d.com
> and give it a try!

I've just downloaded and built Moonlight|3D and I have to say that
whilst it may be a great tool for people who want to feed a raytracer,
it's not awefully well suited to people who want to build models
for 3D games.

On the basis of one evening of playing with it, I'd say:

   * You have to spend a lot of effort creating complex material
     and lighting setups - none of which is actually likely to show
     up in your game.  One slip of one of hundreds of controls and you
     have a black screen.  All I really need is a 'headlight' (so I
     can see what I'm modelling) and Specular/Diffuse/Ambient/Emission
     for each colour.

   * No texture support whatever.  This is evidently a high priority
     for their dev team - but until it's there, Moonlight is *useless*
     for games.

   * Weird/cranky user interface - it takes over the whole screen (which
     is *really* inconvenient), it screws up X (or maybe KDE) so after
     it's exited, my windows pop up in weird orders and various scroll
     bars on quite unrelated tools don't render correctly.  It uses
     keyboard characters as mouse button modifiers.  It's not *quite* as
     weird as Blender - but it's definitely fallen into the same traps.

   * There doesn't seem to be a way to have multiple models on screen
     at once - that combined with it's full-screen-ness will make
     building complex scenes with multiple models difficult.

   * It's annoying that when you are playing with colours and such,
     you have to keep hitting 'apply' buttons before anything happens.
     With a modern graphics card I shouldn't have to do that.

   * There don't *seem* to be places to enter things numerically.
     This is a pain when you want things to line up nicely and have
     exact known sizes.  A game modeller needs to be more like a CAD
     package than an 'artistic' tool.

   * It seems to want you to store everything in 'Projects' which seem
     to wrap up numbers of models, materials, etc.  Most of the time,
     I just want to load a single, simple model file - change it and
     write it out again.

I've only looked at Moonlight|3D briefly though - I could be missing
important things here.

It's clear that Moonlight|3D would be a reasonable tool for someone
doing raytracing - but I'd hate to try to build a TuxKart level
using it.
---------------------------- Steve Baker -------------------------
HomeEmail: <sjbaker1@airmail.net>    WorkEmail: <sjbaker@link.com>
HomePage : http://web2.airmail.net/sjbaker1
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            http://tuxkart.sf.net http://prettypoly.sf.net