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Tools-Tutorials

(If you are looking for our former VRML/X3D tools-tutorials info page we kept a legacy copy in PDF and MHT, check here . Plus, to get all BabelX3D tools-Tutorials, old and new, check here)

Essential pack of tools and tutorials for the ongoing Web 3D revolution (WebGL)!

easy3d

Easy 3D TOOLS to get you making worlds with avatars and deploy them to the Web in no time!

In short: all about CREATE, ASSEMBLE and DEPLOY virtual worlds and games to the web that run on browsers without plugins, using Web 3D recent standards (HTML5 and WebGL).

  1. CREATE 3D objects: to start creating 3D you need a good and free 3D modeler like Sketchup. This is an intuitive, easy to use and complete tool, able to create all sorts of 3D objects and components.
  2. CREATE Avatars: with the intuitive and free MakeHuman all sorts of Humanoids can be easily created, .
  3. ASSEMBLE the scenes and DEPLOY them to the Web: Unity 3D makes the magic happen, assembling the objects and avatars into 3D scenes, worlds or games, adding animations, advanced interaction and special effects. .When the creation process is complete, Unity deploys the 3D Worlds/games to run in dozens of platforms and formats, including PC desktop, consoles, mobile and the web via WebGL. This way 3D  runs directly in standard browsers, no plugins needed!. If you doubt please check our demo scene.

If you are curious about the overall picture of the coming Web 3D revolution read about it here.

1- Unity3D, Sketchup and MakeHuman - core tools to make your 3D dreams come true!

If you are beginning 3D do not disperse your attention and skills. Concentrate yourself in this trio virtuoso of fine 3D tools.

To create and deploy Worlds and Games

Unity 3D (Free)

One of the best worlds and Games editor. It's free and, surprisingly, quite easy to use for newbies. Uses assets/objects created in modelers, Sketchup and others, assembles the scenes, makes animations/interactions/special effects and deploys the world/game to the Web in WebGL/HTML5 (among other 20 formats/platforms that include desktop, consoles and mobile)
»Download from unity3d.com  and look at our Tutorials

Unity's free extension for storytelling and games: Fungus  Fungus
Fungus intuitive interface lets everyone create beautiful story games easily - for free and with no coding!
»Download Fungus from Unity Asset Store

Comment:
Unity is a scene assembler and deployer but not a 3D modeler. It uses assets (3D objects and avatars) available anywhere, in 3D repositories, in the official Unity asset store or created by ourselves. To create other 3D content, our own creations, we need software to model 3D objects and create avatars.

Sketchup and MakeHuman, suggested below are, among other possible choices, specially recommended for newbies. The 3D content created with these programs can be exported easily to Unity 3D using the standard exchange format .dae (collada).

Tutorials & info

   Tutorials (BabelX3D tutorials for beginners)
   Tutorials (Unity)
   Tutorials (reddit.com)
   Manual
   Weekly patch releases (important!)
   unity download archive
   Mecanim Animation Basics (avatars in Unity)
   Making different game types - gamebridge unityversity
Open source games and applications
   Global Game Jam 2015 Games
   Github Unity Projects 
Sites:
   unifycommunity (script repository, shaders, tutorials)
   unity3dstudent.com
   armedunity.com
   modern.armedunity.com (Play Unity multiuser games)
   3dcognition.com
   Gamebridge unityversity

Assets:
   Free Unity Game Assets (54 best sites)
   Where can I find art/models/assets? (forum answers)
   assetstore.unity3d.com

Fungus Links:
   assetstore.unity3d.com (Download)
   Documentation and Training Course
   Tutorial videos 


To create 3D objects and components

Sketchup Make (free)

One of the best and probably the easiest 3D modeler.  A free and highly intuitive 3D modeler that by its "easiness" has contributed to massify 3D creation. The free version is not as powerful as the pro version but you won't (or rarely) notice the difference.
»Download from sketchup.com  and look at our Tutorials

Alternative: Blender, free and one of the best 3D modelers but not that easy for 3D beginners.
For more alternative 3D modelers look below (section 3- Other modelers)

Tutorials & info

Tutorials (our own BabelX3D)
Sketchup.com
documents
Manual
Tutorials
Tutorials (the Sketchup essentials)
Tutorials (Designer Hacks)
Videos
Plugins/extensions
3D Warehouse (objects library)
blog.sketchup.com (to visit regularly)
http://sketchucation.com (tutorials and plugins)


To create avatars

MakeHuman (free)

MakeHuman is a completely free, innovative and professional software for the modelling of 3-Dimensional humanoid characters.

»Download from makehuman.org

Since version 1.0, we can configure the avatar with Game Rig, export an FBX file and directly import that file into Unity 3d (without having to use Blender or any other software). Look at our Tutorial

Alternative: Daz Studio .Free and powerful although a bit less intuitive than MakeHuman. Look at its free 3D models and other Freebies lists.

Tutorials & info

 Tutorials (on MakeHuman community)
 Quick Character Creation in MakeHuman
 Clothes, Skin, Hair and Exporting in MakeHuman 
 Add more user contributed assets (clothes, parts, etc.,)

MakeHuman and Unity:
   Tutorials (BabelX3D tutorials for beginners)
   MakeHuman characters into Unity 3D
   MakeHuman Mecanim Animations in Unity 3D
   Other Makehuman Tutorials (on xenosmashgames.com)

2- Other recommended free & easy to use tools

3D format converters, Image tools, audio and other useful complimentary tools

A tool to convert between 3D formatsaccutrans 3D

Accutrans 3d

Provides accurate translation of 3D geometry between the file formats used by many popular modeling programs. Although not exactly a free program, can be downloaded and used indefinitely.
»Download from micromouse.ca/

Tutorials & info

Visit the home page for help and tutorials: micromouse.ca/

Convert 3D formats and simplify meshmeshlab

MeshLab 

A free program. MeshLab is a powerful open-source system to convert 3D formats and for manipulation of 3D meshes. It supports most known 3D formats, and has several types of filters and operators for remeshing, reducing, cleaning, and modifying 3D structures.
»Download from meshlab.sourceforge.net

Tutorials & info

Blog that reports about easy tutorials, hints, practical examples and stuff done with MeshLab: meshlabstuff.blogspot.com

Easily get 3D models from photos
123 catch dino

123D Catch

A free program from Autodesk that lets you easily get 3D models from photos you take of virtually any object.
»Download from 123dapp.com/catch/

MeshMixer, a free app that lets you edit easily the mesh of 123 Catch objects and correct some gaps or other minor corrections on the model. Alternatively you can use other 3D editors to do this.
»Download from www.meshmixer.com/

Tutorials & info

Check this tutorial that uses both programs


A powerful image editor

GIMP and other useful image tools

A free program. Gimp is a well known powerful image editor.
»Download from www.gimp.org

Alternative: For beginners, another nice image editor. easy to use but powerful enough,  is Paint.Net
»Download from www.getpaint.net/

Complimentary: IrfanView a viewer and batch image converter

Tutorials & Info

GIMP user manual

How To Use GIMP Photo Editor (crash course by Maximum Pc)

Use Picasa web to store your forum images. More info here.

An easy audio editor
audacity

Audacity

Is a free, open source, cross-platform powerful software for recording and editing sound.
»Download from audacity.sourceforge.net

Alternative: absolute beginners can try the interesting online simple editor and mixer available at http://naturesoundsfor.me/
 

Tutorials & info

Manual, help & wiki

An easy screen capture and video editorezvid

Ezvid

A free screen capture and video editor to share your worlds or video tutorials in YouTube.
»Download from Ezvid

Alternatives:

Tutorials & info

Video tutorials

An easy way to deploy Web pages and sitesExpressionWeb4
 

Expression Web 4

It´s free. A full-featured professional tool for designing, developing, and publishing compelling, feature-rich websites that conform to web standards.
»Download from Microsoft

Tutorials & info

Free Expression Web 4 Tutorials EBook
Free web hosting for your 3D site. Look at free-webhosts
In portuguese: conselhos sobre o Alojamento Web (páginas, sites, upload, ...)

king for even more tools? Look here

3- Other software and other 3D modelers: Blender, 3D Studio Max, Maya, ...

The global workflow idea is: since Unity 3D is not a modeler, we have to use modelers and other 3D tools to create the objects and characters than can be imported to Unity 3D which assembles the scenes, makes animations/interactions/special effects and finally deploys the world to the Web in WebGL/HTML5 format.

For 3D beginners we advise Sketchup to start modeling. It is an intuitive, easy to use and complete modeling tool, essential to any 3D artist/creator. If one needs more advanced modelers there is a large choice. Said that, other known and powerful 3D tools (Blender3D studio Max, Maya, ...) can be used as modelers since practically all of them export to formats compatible with Unity 3D.

Info prepared by Vitor Cardoso (aka vcard)

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