I am done with Hexagon - any alternatives?

XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
edited December 1969 in Hexagon Discussion

Hello!

I have spent some hours to model a nice armor belt and a pantie. Now it looks nice and I am trying to apply shading domains. But this is simply not possible. Every time I try it crashes. Tried 100 times, 100 crashes are the result. Something is terribly wrong here. I even cannot select a single face on the belt without having a crash. So all the time and work was useless.

Now I think I am done with this crappy Hexagon. I really liked it, the useage is easy and it´s fun to work with. But it is much too unstable. Sorry, this is not acceptable. I wonder how DAZ dares to take money for this piece of .... This is not even beta software in my eyes.

Sorry, but I am really a bit upset in the moment :-)

So, who can suggest me a good alternative software to Hexagon, which is also easy to use and does not cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Oh, and please don´t say Blender. I know it is free, but hard to learn and not really useable without learning many many keyboard shortcuts, which is definitely not working for me. I am used to work with mouse or tablet only, and I don´t want to change that.

Thank you!

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Comments

  • JimmyC_2009JimmyC_2009 Posts: 8,244
    edited December 1969

    What OS are you using?

    I am using Hex on Win 7, and it runs OK for me. There are settings in Preferences that can help with crashes, have you tried any of them?

    Have you tried resetting Preferences to the Default first of all, then you can set the 3D Display > OpenGL Optimisation to 'No Optimisation' which can help in most circumstances. Then in User Interface > Misc, make the Undo Levels up to at least 50.

    See if that helps any.

    You could also try Silo (cheap) which is similar to Hex, and there is also Wings 3D (free), the other ones that I know of are quite expensive, like Cinema 4D, Lightwave and Modo.

  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the answer!

    I am using Win 7 64 bit on an Intel Quad Core Cpu, 16 GB RAM, ATI 7750 GPU.

    Yes, I have tried all the optimisations that I found here on the forums. I have also tried to enable LAA (Large Adress Aware) and I have tried to disable Dynamic Geometry. Nothing seems to help. Hex works like a charm as long as I play with some simple primitives. But as soon as I model something a bit more complicated it crashes all the time.

    I have read about SILO, looks nice, but has the same problem as Hex. No more development, no more updates or fixes.

    It is really a shame that all serious modelers are that expensive. How could a hobbyist like me, with an average paid job and a family, afford that? I am willing to pay for good software, but not that much. It´s simply impossible.

    Maybe I should really take some holidays, lock myself in an empty room for 2 weeks and learn Blender :-)

  • patience55patience55 Posts: 6,162
    edited December 1969

    I've encountered that problem as well. If you can't even touch a face normal without the program crashing, it means that there is an unwelded line "somewhere" in the object. Hexagon sporadically unwelds lines. Face extractions may also somehow contribute to the problem ... have had to ditch more than one project myself for these reasons.

    The only way around ... is to go back to the last known good save for the project where you can touch the face normals without it crashing and continue from there again. And save out "pieces" of the garment. For example if making a tunic with a belt and a buckle is crashing the program. Make the buckle and if it is working correctly, save out the .obj. Then the belt, then the tunic. Then close and reopen Hexagon and import in the "tunic, belt and buckle" and hopefully it'll all work.

    I also cannot justify spending 4 digits on a software program so have learned how to do the best we can with what we've got.

    Blender is the choice of many ... but it's not for everybody. No program is.

  • wweswwes Posts: 444
    edited December 1969

    Blender is getting better all the time, it may be worth some effort. ;)

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    This sounds very much like a twisted N-gon. Try this - With the mesh selected in the scene panel, and without touching it, go to the top menu, Selection -> Select over-4-points-faces. If it does select an N-gon without crashing, keep that selected and without touching the mesh, go to Utilities -> select the second from top icon (split into triangles, etc...). That should fix it.

    If it does crash when you try to select N-gons, try exporting it as .obj, Open in Daz studio and without doing anything to it, export as .obj under a different name and import into Hex. Studio is the only app I've come across that can fix that particular problem - even Meshlab crashes with a twisted N-gon.

    If none of that fixes it and you don't have an earlier saved version, your only hope is to edit the text file - about which i know nothing:)

    Pity Afreaginame seems to be MIA - he is very good at finding errors and fixing them in a text editor:)

    As far as other apps are concerned, the only stand-alone modeler in active development I know of is Nvil - cost $78, although there is a free version which is limited to saving less than 1 000 polys. Last I tried it was like Blender on steroids!

    Blender is seriously good, but does take some getting used to - not really that bad to learn if you look at a lot of tuts.

    Wings 3D is pretty good, as is Anim8or, which is probably the easiest modeler to learn in, both free.

    Hope it all comes right for you :)

  • Steve athomeSteve athome Posts: 348
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    As far as other apps are concerned, the only stand-alone modeler in active development I know of is Nvil - cost $78, although there is a free version which is limited to saving less than 1 000 polys. The free version as no limitations. But it is an old version no longer updated, although it is very stable. (It is the trial version of the latest full release that is limited to exporting 1,000 polygons.)

    Last I tried it was like Blender on steroids!
    Not sure why the ref to Blender.

    Blender is seriously good, but does take some getting used to - not really that bad to learn if you look at a lot of tuts.

    The hardest part is finding what tools are available and where they are/how to call them. I have been looking at Blender, but still having to find shortcuts/tools (I have used Blender for quite a while, but mainly only for rendering).

  • Steve athomeSteve athome Posts: 348
    edited December 1969

    XoechZ said:
    Something is terribly wrong here. I even cannot select a single face on the belt without having a crash.

    It sounds like bad geometry. If you could upload the model and give me a link, I will have a look to see if I can find any errors in the model that could be causing the crash.

    The last update to Hexagon was mainly for the DS bridge, and better MAC compatibility. Unfortunately that (IMHO) brought in more issues on the PC version.
    I do still use Hexagon from time to time, but certainly not the latest version, I use an older version 2.1, which is far more stable on my PC setup(win7 64) than the later versions.

  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    Hello!

    Wow, thanks for all your answers and suggestions. So it seems we are all in the same boat with Hexagon and I am not the only one with these problems and that they are well known. This does not fix or cure it, but maybe makes it easier to live with them. It´s just very frustrating to see a project go poof after many hours of work - just because of one of your described reasons. Unfortunately I have deleted this broken project, but I will take care in the future and try to avoid such problems.

  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 5,992
    edited December 1969

    wwes said:
    Blender is getting better all the time, it may be worth some effort. ;)

    All of my products are modeled, sculpted, UV mapped and morphed in Blender (also used to create baked displacements).

  • bighbigh Posts: 5,406
    edited December 1969

    XoechZ said:
    Hello!

    I have spent some hours to model a nice armor belt and a pantie. Now it looks nice and I am trying to apply shading domains. But this is simply not possible. Every time I try it crashes. Tried 100 times, 100 crashes are the result. Something is terribly wrong here. I even cannot select a single face on the belt without having a crash. So all the time and work was useless.

    Now I think I am done with this crappy Hexagon. I really liked it, the useage is easy and it´s fun to work with. But it is much too unstable. Sorry, this is not acceptable. I wonder how DAZ dares to take money for this piece of .... This is not even beta software in my eyes.

    Sorry, but I am really a bit upset in the moment :-)

    So, who can suggest me a good alternative software to Hexagon, which is also easy to use and does not cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Oh, and please don´t say Blender. I know it is free, but hard to learn and not really useable without learning many many keyboard shortcuts, which is definitely not working for me. I am used to work with mouse or tablet only, and I don´t want to change that.

    Thank you!

    list to look at - some are old ( but have newer version ) -

    http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/25-free-3d-modelling-applications-you-should-not-miss/

  • bighbigh Posts: 5,406
    edited December 1969

    you might want to look at this one too ( on sale today ) -

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/31375/

  • Bobeagle77Bobeagle77 Posts: 153
    edited October 2013

    Roygee said:
    This sounds very much like a twisted N-gon. Try this - With the mesh selected in the scene panel, and without touching it, go to the top menu, Selection -> Select over-4-points-faces. If it does select an N-gon without crashing, keep that selected and without touching the mesh, go to Utilities -> select the second from top icon (split into triangles, etc...). That should fix it.

    If it does crash when you try to select N-gons, try exporting it as .obj, Open in Daz studio and without doing anything to it, export as .obj under a different name and import into Hex. Studio is the only app I've come across that can fix that particular problem - even Meshlab crashes with a twisted N-gon.

    If none of that fixes it and you don't have an earlier saved version, your only hope is to edit the text file - about which i know nothing:)

    Pity Afreaginame seems to be MIA - he is very good at finding errors and fixing them in a text editor:)

    As far as other apps are concerned, the only stand-alone modeler in active development I know of is Nvil - cost $78, although there is a free version which is limited to saving less than 1 000 polys. Last I tried it was like Blender on steroids!

    Blender is seriously good, but does take some getting used to - not really that bad to learn if you look at a lot of tuts.

    Wings 3D is pretty good, as is Anim8or, which is probably the easiest modeler to learn in, both free.

    Hope it all comes right for you :)

    Roygee, thank you very much this solved my problem I had with a hole in the wall. :lol:

    Post edited by Bobeagle77 on
  • VaskaniaVaskania Posts: 5,108
    edited October 2013

    This might cheer you up. It's a Silo3D vid. ;)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9nKqOZjPjk

    The dialog in the center is a crash message.

    Post edited by Vaskania on
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for clearing that up, Steve - the reference to Blender was tongue-in-cheek :)

    Glad you got sorted, Bobeagle.

    I'm using Hex 2.5.1.79 on Win7 64bit and until recently on Win XP 32bit. Nearing completion on my most ambitious project yet - a scale, full-detail model of the Cutty Sark. Haven't counted, but there must be close to a hundred separate meshes in it and nary a crash.

    It really comes down to knowing what can be done and constructing good mesh. Hex isn't good at error detection and will crash instead of telling you that what you are trying can't be done. There are some rules to constructing mesh that must be obeyed, or you end up with a mess.

    A lot of the problems folk experience is that they don't study what is actually a pretty complex subject which takes a long time and a lot of effort to get any good at. Of course, having stable software helps a lot, but most CG software will give problems to the uninitiated - you simply need to have the patience and determination to work through it to get results.

    Here's something I feel is required viewing for all aspiring modelers http://vimeo.com/user904568

    Enjoy :)

  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:

    It really comes down to knowing what can be done and constructing good mesh. Hex isn't good at error detection and will crash instead of telling you that what you are trying can't be done. There are some rules to constructing mesh that must be obeyed, or you end up with a mess.

    Thanks for that explanation, it sounds quite logical. But what are these rules you have to obey? How is "good" mesh constructed?

    Could you please tell us some of these rules? I think I am not the only one who wants to know this!

    What I always do is box modeling. So, starting with a simple cube or cylinder and then making something complex from it, by dividing and adding geometry, smoothing and making everything flow around my models body. Extruding and adding thickness is also in my workflow. Anything wrong about this?

  • VaskaniaVaskania Posts: 5,108
    edited October 2013

    XoechZ said:
    How is "good" mesh constructed?

    http://cgcookie.com/blender/cgc-courses/learning-mesh-topology-collection/

    It's on BlenderCookie, but topology is universal.

    Post edited by Vaskania on
  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the link. I did a quick look and it´s some good information. But it is about body meshes. I am creating mostly any types of clothing. Do I use the same principals on clothes?

    Any other tips? I am willing to learn it all :-)

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    :)

    Yes, all those methods are valid techniques - but they must obey the basic rules.

    You could start off by taking a look at the videos on the link I posted above - these are nice and simple to get to grips with. For more detailed explanations of the rules, try this https://www.googledrive.com/host/0B2iAZL5Uq_C8Yk1VVFhpMXZEczA/US/html/__tut_41798.html

    Then simply Google something like "polygonal modeling rules" - I got 1.67 million results - the links on just the first page should keep you occupied for a while:)

  • GeddGedd Posts: 2,444
    edited December 1969

    XoechZ said:
    What I always do is box modeling. So, starting with a simple cube or cylinder and then making something complex from it, by dividing and adding geometry, smoothing and making everything flow around my models body. Extruding and adding thickness is also in my workflow. Anything wrong about this?

    Some tools, (such as add thickness often) will flip normals. Most tools offer a method to sort this out. In Blender it's on the 'tool panel' under 'Normals' called 'Recalculate.' Backwards facing normals and surfaces with normals facing in alternating directions can both cause problems.

  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    Thank you very much for all your input!

    Much to read and to learn :-)

    Btw, what do you guys think of ZBrush? ZBrush is far away from being cheap, but still more affordable than other products.
    I know, ZBrush has much more features than Hexagon, but when it comes to modeling - especially modeling clothes oven an existing figure - could it be an alternative to Hexagon?
    Unfortunately I can´t find a Demo or Trial version on their website, so I can´t try it.

  • Kalen555Kalen555 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    For the longest time, the version I was using was running perfectly. I hadn't had a crash in months. I remember it was really buggy, someone suggested updated to the latest version, so I did and I couldn't get it to stop crashing immediately, so I reverted back to an old version and it worked great for a long time. Whenever it would freeze up, I'd let it sit and it would just eventually fix itself.

    I've been busy and haven't been using it for the last 6 months. I made the mistake of updating to the latest version and it's worse than ever. There is a really stable version of Hex out there. I don't understand the reasoning behind this buggy as hell version and why it continues to screw up. It's like as soon as Daz got a hold of it., they killed a decent program.

  • GhostmanGhostman Posts: 211
    edited December 1969

    XoechZ said:
    Thank you very much for all your input!

    Much to read and to learn :-)

    Btw, what do you guys think of ZBrush? ZBrush is far away from being cheap, but still more affordable than other products.
    I know, ZBrush has much more features than Hexagon, but when it comes to modeling - especially modeling clothes oven an existing figure - could it be an alternative to Hexagon?
    Unfortunately I can´t find a Demo or Trial version on their website, so I can´t try it.

    I can highly recomend ZBrush for anyone who can afford it. I think it's the best buy I've ever made, plus all the updates are free.
    I work in it on a more or less daily basis and even though it looks like it's even worse to learn than Blender it really isn't. ;)
    The GUI scares some people away but once you've started to go through all the basic tutorial at the main site it all clicks and makes sense.
    Works great for making clothes for Poser and DS. Go for it if you can.

  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 5,992
    edited December 1969

    Zbrush is on my "To Get When I Can Afford" list. It is part of many multi-programmatic workflows and a lot of DAZ artists use it. :-)

  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the info!

    I can´t afford it in the moment, but it´s not long until Christmas. We will see :-)
    Just too bad that there is no trial or demo of ZBrush available. I would really like to test it out.

  • bighbigh Posts: 5,406
    edited December 1969

    XoechZ said:
    Thanks for the info!

    I can´t afford it in the moment, but it´s not long until Christmas. We will see :-)
    Just too bad that there is no trial or demo of ZBrush available. I would really like to test it out.

    there is a 30 day trial .

  • patience55patience55 Posts: 6,162
    edited December 1969

    bigh said:
    XoechZ said:
    Thanks for the info!

    I can´t afford it in the moment, but it´s not long until Christmas. We will see :-)
    Just too bad that there is no trial or demo of ZBrush available. I would really like to test it out.

    there is a 30 day trial .

    where?

  • VaskaniaVaskania Posts: 5,108
    edited October 2013

    bigh said:
    XoechZ said:
    Thanks for the info!

    I can´t afford it in the moment, but it´s not long until Christmas. We will see :-)
    Just too bad that there is no trial or demo of ZBrush available. I would really like to test it out.

    there is a 30 day trial .

    where?


    There is no actual Zbrush trial. They stopped doing trials and took them down like a year or so ago.

    Post edited by Vaskania on
  • patience55patience55 Posts: 6,162
    edited December 1969

    Vaskania said:
    bigh said:
    XoechZ said:
    Thanks for the info!

    I can´t afford it in the moment, but it´s not long until Christmas. We will see :-)
    Just too bad that there is no trial or demo of ZBrush available. I would really like to test it out.

    there is a 30 day trial .

    where?


    There is no actual Zbrush trial. They stopped doing trials and took them down like a year or so ago.

    That's what I thought too. Was hoping maybe they'd reinstated it.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    What about 3D Coat? It has a trial period. I've not tried either because there is no point in trying what i can't afford to buy.

    I really enjoy using Sculptris, which is free. Don't know about clothing - Sculpting then retopoing clothing does seem a bit extreme and a long way around :)

    This little feller started as a doodle in Sculptris - liked the way it was going, so completed it, retopoed in Blender, finished in Hex and rigged in Daz Studio.

    bubbles.jpg
    800 x 566 - 106K
  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 5,992
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    What about 3D Coat? It has a trial period. I've not tried either because there is no point in trying what i can't afford to buy.

    I really enjoy using Sculptris, which is free. Don't know about clothing - Sculpting then retopoing clothing does seem a bit extreme and a long way around :)

    This little feller started as a doodle in Sculptris - liked the way it was going, so completed it, retopoed in Blender, finished in Hex and rigged in Daz Studio.

    I have 3dCoat. I wouldn't call it a good total 3d solution, and definitely not when it comes to base modeling and UV. Where it's very strong is in sculpting multires meshes, retopology, and seamless texturing. For me work in 3dCoat is a finishing step - the project has to start elsewhere.

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