Moving On From Hexagon

useroperatoruseroperator Posts: 247
edited August 2016 in Hexagon Discussion

So the title is a bit dramatic.  I do however feel that even though Hexagon is convenient, I am really at the limits of what I can make in it.  I've felt this way for some time, but its been very difficult finding something else as easy to use.  There's a lot of things I want to do that Hexagon makes exceedingly difficult, or doesn't let me do at all.  I'm making this thread to help point people to programs that might be a good painless segway from Hexagon.  Sure there's plenty of Options out there, like Sketchup and Blender....but neither ever felt quite right to me.  I think that's partly because of the specific work flow Hexagon delivers.   So I think that's a crucial part, at least for me, in what one move on to, because different programs may be more appealing at different times than others, depending on the work flow you came from.  

 Recently I tried out Autodesk's Fusion 360.....and I'm actually finding it quite intuitive, and the UI is clean and uncluttered.  I'm sure I will probably run into things I can't do or that are difficult to do in the way I want to in this program as well, but for now it seems to be going well.  It does have a sketch based modeling side to it like Sketchup, but it also has all the typical features you would find in Hexagon and more, all easily accessible.  Kind of more importantly, it looks good all around and is pretty stable at that.  Hexagon while still useful for specific tasks, feels more like a hurdle that I have to constantly work around and appease, rather than an extension of my imagination.  

 

The image I included is not really anything special, but it does immediately show that there is more potential in it, as I couldn't easily make this in Hexagon without either ending up with a crash or bad geometry or some kind of other artifacts like pinching that I would have to correct.  That's kind of the problem, I feel I'm spending a lot of time cleaning up after Hexagon. There's also much greater control in the starting shapes you use to mold into final objects.  

Post edited by useroperator on
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Comments

  • MorkonanMorkonan Posts: 215

    That's primarily a CAD/Simulation package. It should be just fine for producing inorganic, structural or mechanical models. But, its subdivision, sculpting and other more organically focused sorts of tools may be lacking, as that's not what it's intended to produce.

    Still, congratulations on finding something to suit your needs. And, if you encounter trouble spots, Hexagon is still there to help. (Note: I hate Blender, but I find myself having to learn it more often, these days. It's free, extremely powerful, and though its UI is terrible and nobody ever knows wtf version builds do what, where, or what tutes are still good... I'd recommend you start learning Blender rather than buying a product that may, in the end, not give you all the tools you would really want to have.)

    Good luck! Come back and tell us how it worked out for you.

  • useroperatoruseroperator Posts: 247
    edited August 2016

    I despise blender, I've probably installed it and uninstalled it a dozen times over the years.  The UI is just really a pain.  For example, if you hit render, you have to basically go through a menu to take the render off the screen (or press F11 or ESC, and sometimes even ESC doesn't work right away if you've selected another menu)....unlike hexagon where you can just move the display a little and the render goes away. It took me a while just to figure that out.  I just don't like those UI traps where you do something and there's no clear way to back out of it or cancel it out.  It's one of the reasons why I have an issue with programs like Zbrush, there are some UI traps that lock you between editing modes.  Not to mention the sheer number of options in Zbrush means you can spend too much time figuring out what does what, and that changes when you say configure the strength of a brush, it can give a different effect which may be more or less desirable. It's fun for free hand, but you kind of really need to have something sketched out beforehand to make the most of it and focus your work flow.  

    I typically don't model organic things though, so that's not primarily what I use hexagon for anyways and I wouldn't exactly say that's Hexagons strong suit either.  Its strong suit to me, is to simplify the basics along with relatively easy repetition.  But even though its features are still relevant, there has been a lot of progression in the feature sets of 3D modelling programs.  I use a bunch of different programs based on my needs though.  For Example, 3DS MAX has some really good plugins like its greeble plugin, that automates and randomizes certain tasks.  I could for example, turn a simplistic low poly set of shapes into a high quality star wars style spaceship in just a few minutes.  Pretty much everything I use are either free for hobbyists or under student licenses, so essentially free for non commercial.  

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    Post edited by useroperator on
  • You could give SILO a try.

  • MorkonanMorkonan Posts: 215

    ..Pretty much everything I use are either free for hobbyists or under student licenses, so essentially free for non commercial.  

     

    I agree about Blender. I can't stand it, either. But, I didn't know what options you had. More frequently, many 3D modeling packages are going to subscription based purchases or are out of the price range of hobbyists. At least the ones will all the "cool" features advanced hobbyists want to try. So, I wasn't sure what your range was. If you've still got a student ID, then you've got a lot of good options! (I have an ancient 3DSMax student copy. I haven't used it in years and don't even know if it'll still work.) One can still download XSI, by the way, from Turbosquid. There are even still sites out there that have scripts for it. (I did my first modeling in XSI.)

    There are a few packages I want to try out. I'm going to learn Blender, though. Not because I like it... Not because it's cool or the "next new thing." I'm going to force myself to learn it, to deal with it, to master it, not because I want to, but because it sits there and mocks me... It mocks me. IT MOCKS ME!

    :D

    Sorry, haven't had my coffee yet. ;)

  • useroperatoruseroperator Posts: 247
    edited August 2016

    I'm really liking some of the features I'm learning in Fusion.  Just looking through their youtube page gives you a good idea of what it's capable of.  After spending some time with it, while some things are quicker or simpler in Hexagon, Fusion does have some extensive sculpting and line based modelling tools, and they have some pretty neat and power features that you simply can't do in hexagon or is much more tedious to do in hexagon.  

    Here's an example of a sketch based model of a bottle using profiles to attach different sections, and the beauty of it is that it's all soo easily configurable at any point and is fairly easy to setup. 

    And here's a vehicle I was kind of just free forming it with to see what I could come up with.  

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    Post edited by useroperator on
  • useroperatoruseroperator Posts: 247
    edited August 2016

    Here's another example of just how easy and precise the work flow can be.  This shape is possiblle in hexagon, but not without its issues along the way.  I must reiterate my main point for this thread is to potentially point others looking to extend their capabilities to programs that are not just good, but good for people coming from hexagon, and I think Fusion 360 is that program.   

     

    Another issue with this shape in hexagon is it would be difficult to reconfigure after all the operations you perform on it, and I would expect it to crash at some point.  It would create messy polygons that would also make it difficult to add additional details.  For example, I could chamfer any edge on this entire model in fusion 360, then go back and edit the base sketch shapes, and everything would update, the shape, the chamfers, the booleans, etc. With one click of a button I can unapply any number of changes in real time, almost regardless of the order they were performed in. No bad or broken gemometry, no need to do the math to line up poly's for a clean boolean, etc.  And the final model?  A clean and reasonable 1296 faces, without having to specify any kind of efficiencies.  All made from these simple to create starting profiles.  It really is amazing how easy they've made it, while keeping the options powerful.  

     

     

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  • cdordonicdordoni Posts: 571

    Nurbs modeling with parametric functionality has many advantages over a polygonal modeler. However, if there is a need to export the model to a different rendering application, there are a few issues to deal with.

    - Triangulation (also known as tesellation) from nurbs models commonly produces long, spikey triangles which are prone to rendering artifacts. There's only one nurbs modeler that I am aware of that can export triangulated models with control over the ratio of the edges.

    - Materials or textures and UV coordinates don't transfer from the nurbs modeling app to a triangulated model. Unless there is a need to do any rendering in the nurbs modeling application, materials, textures and UVs should only be added in the rendering application to avoid doing it twice.

    Some nurbs modelers have a plugin or bridge to transfer to a specific rendering application, so it may be possible in that case to use the texturing tools in the modeling app. It's probably a good idea to compare the texturing functions between the two applications to see if theres an advantage of using one over the other.

     

  • As far as I can tell there shouldn't be issues, there is a great deal of control over how complex the final model is polygon wise if one desires to go that deep.  I haven't done anything but base rendering textures included in the program so far, so I can't speak to its UV mapping capabilities.  But it does have extensive sculpting tools, so if one wants to get down to the poly level, it's rather easy, although I find it's not necessary so far.  Fusion 360 has plugins to transfer to some 3D renderers livelinked, but it does have its own built in renderer with materials.  But if one really needs to texture and has issues, it is fairly easy to break up models into their lesser components, so that one could texture whole sections or areas or 'panels' of a model at once without having to fuss with individual polys.

     

     

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  • RectroRectro Posts: 35
    edited August 2016

    Hi guys.

    I found that for me there was no direct replacement for Hexagon, but if you want a seriouse modeller then MODO is my recomended software.  Its not cheap by no means, but its a modeller your stick with for life, more so as now its getting to be more parametric  in its non destructive workflows, and is becomming a big contender out there.  Of course your not just getting a modeller, but a great renderer.

    I got onto MODO back when it was a pure modeller while still using Hexagon, its become a much bigger all round 3d applciation now, so its still not cheap if its just the modelling you want to do.  Blender has grown up allot, and has many tutorials, user help, and is super powerfull.  Its worth another look.

    I guess the old time users may have al moved on now, as I was using Hexagon way back posting on the old forums.  I had a good time in Hexagon ove the years, and become very efficient with it also being a beta tester right up to its last release.  I can still work in Hexagon faster than in MODO, and for organic modeling I still turn to Hexagon.

    Dan aka Tez

    Post edited by Rectro on
  • Nice to see you still keep an eye on us (I still find myself recommending your tutorials, the 26 quickes are a must for newcomers) I do not think I'll ever move away from Hex, as an "old" timer I find it hard learning new software, Hex does what I want it to, so I will stick with it. May-be they'll do an upgrade for it one day (fingers crossed).  

  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 795

    ...as an "old" timer I find it hard learning new software...

    Heh!

  • A3DLoverA3DLover Posts: 170
    Ive tried alot of free and not free and teaser apps. Anyone remember apps like gmax, milkshape3d,aztec,hexagreat? Theres some obscure ones i cant remember and then theres blender the most reviled best hair puller app out there that some of coolest plugins ever. I think autodesks sole purpose is to put 3d out of reach of the hobbyist. Its ubuntu that comes with some of the best apps that are bassackwards to most windows apps like blender,gimp, some sound studio and few other good apps. I remember more than a few good modelers asking autodesk to free up export constraints on gmax but forum bosses always closed and deleted those threads. Seems like the "cloud movement" is all about kickbacks from isp's at&t stock anyone? But one really cool thing is that alot of high end ware functions and tutorials are compatible with hex.
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,232

    Isn't it sad that this conversation is even necessary?  Unfotunately, it is because Hex was left unloved by its owners for so long.  Obviously, MODO and Fusion are really great, but where does that leave us old fogies on a limited budget?  Silo is probably the closest to Hex in workflow, but isn't it in the same boat as Hex - unloved by the owners and development ceased?  Then there is Nvil - probably the only newer standalone dedicated modelling app out there.  Way too complex for me and no tutorials to speak of that I could find.  These two for around $100, which is affordable.

    A little over a year ago I was faced with the choice user.operator mentions - not to find an alternative to Hex, but to replace Carrara, which is also going nowhere if you aren't into playing dress-up with Daz dollies. The only affordable alternative to me was Blender and yes, I'd heard and felt all the horror stories but decided that if the many, many thousands of fans could learn it, so could I and gave myself a year to learn it.

    So glad I did - didn't take all that long to get into it - it really is a lot easier than the legends give it credit for and it is amazingly good.  So much so that I found Hex to be pretty awkward for me to use after a while.  All the nonsence one reads about multi-fingered hot-keys is just that - nonsence.  I found only one function that couldn't be accessed by a single-click dropdown and that function is so common it becomes second-nature in no time.  The multiple hot-keys are simply that - hotkeys to speed up workflow for those who make the effort to learn them.see in a couple of days

    I haven't been here for a while - moved to a smaller place in a retirement villiage and don't have the space for my desktop i7, so swapped for my daughter's i5 laptop with integrated graphics card.  Just settled in and haven't even loaded any 3D software, so don't know what this machine is capable of - obviously won't handle serious rendering, but I have an agreement with her that if I manage to model something, I can use my old machine for rendering.

    So, i'll see in a couple of days - is it back to Hex, or do I continue with Blender?

    Cheers, Tez - good to see you still keep up with the old forum:)

    My first Blender model

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  • Nice one Roygee :)

  • SweetleafSweetleaf Posts: 28
    edited September 2016

    As an old time hex user too, I'd like to chime in with the whole sad to move on, but had to thing.  I miss Hexagon a lot, but then I found that where it was crashing so often was such a massive problem and delayed me so much that it just became a common sense thing to move on, just to be able to create something without crashes slowing me down and finding other aspects that Hex just didn't offer, because that's where I've been going with my 3D.

    These days I've settled, though a bit uncomfortably with modo indie. It does what it supposed to, but trying to investigate it's functionality has taken a while and I'm still not as at home as I was with Hex.  For me Hex is the past, and Modo is the present.  I don't know where the future will lead me as I'm another with no real monetary resources to throw at software, but I still have Carrara on my computer just to test compatability with older software too :).

    Post edited by Sweetleaf on
  • I wish someone would strip the modeler out of Blender and make a Hexagon interface for it. I wonder if we could hire some programmers. It is too expensive to hire Opensource in US.

  • MattymanxMattymanx Posts: 6,000

    To each their own.  If it works for you then for it (and if you have the money)

    Personally speaking, I left Hexagon for Silo.  Only keep Hex for 3D text which is something Silo does not do (unless its really well hidden)

  • Just to chime in a little and add one more consideration to the mix. I purchased and upgraded Modo a couple of time in hopes that I would take to it as a replacement for Hexagon but on;y to be met with frustration.

    The new alternative for me is Zbrush believe it or not, it's not quite there in terms of what I really loved about Hexagon but ZModeler is proving to be very handy and I am sure as I practice and the software evolves as a hard surface modeler as well as an organic one it will suit my needs just fine. There is some pretty amazing hard surface models being produced with it.

    Plus working with Zbrush and DAZ via GoZ is awesome.

     

  • I SamuelI Samuel Posts: 232

    I have tried GOZ plugin with Carrara and DAZ to some extent and it worked great for me. Modo and many other were a frustration for me as well that is why I always come back to Carrara. Hexagon is fine as well and I am hoping if DAZ can merge it with Carrara.

  • I SamuelI Samuel Posts: 232

    So the title is a bit dramatic.  I do however feel that even though Hexagon is convenient, I am really at the limits of what I can make in it.  I've felt this way for some time, but its been very difficult finding something else as easy to use.  There's a lot of things I want to do that Hexagon makes exceedingly difficult, or doesn't let me do at all.  I'm making this thread to help point people to programs that might be a good painless segway from Hexagon.  Sure there's plenty of Options out there, like Sketchup and Blender....but neither ever felt quite right to me.  I think that's partly because of the specific work flow Hexagon delivers.   So I think that's a crucial part, at least for me, in what one move on to, because different programs may be more appealing at different times than others, depending on the work flow you came from.  

     Recently I tried out Autodesk's Fusion 360.....and I'm actually finding it quite intuitive, and the UI is clean and uncluttered.  I'm sure I will probably run into things I can't do or that are difficult to do in the way I want to in this program as well, but for now it seems to be going well.  It does have a sketch based modeling side to it like Sketchup, but it also has all the typical features you would find in Hexagon and more, all easily accessible.  Kind of more importantly, it looks good all around and is pretty stable at that.  Hexagon while still useful for specific tasks, feels more like a hurdle that I have to constantly work around and appease, rather than an extension of my imagination.  

     

    The image I included is not really anything special, but it does immediately show that there is more potential in it, as I couldn't easily make this in Hexagon without either ending up with a crash or bad geometry or some kind of other artifacts like pinching that I would have to correct.  That's kind of the problem, I feel I'm spending a lot of time cleaning up after Hexagon. There's also much greater control in the starting shapes you use to mold into final objects.  

    Have you given a try to Carrara?  It is on sale and has many other features that Hexagon does not have:

    https://www.daz3d.com/carrara-8-5-pro

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/155531/carrara-pro-8-5-can-now-be-purchased-for-45-50#latest

     

  • kenmokenmo Posts: 564
    Morkonan said:

    ..Pretty much everything I use are either free for hobbyists or under student licenses, so essentially free for non commercial.  

     

    I agree about Blender. I can't stand it, either. But, I didn't know what options you had. More frequently, many 3D modeling packages are going to subscription based purchases or are out of the price range of hobbyists. At least the ones will all the "cool" features advanced hobbyists want to try. So, I wasn't sure what your range was. If you've still got a student ID, then you've got a lot of good options! (I have an ancient 3DSMax student copy. I haven't used it in years and don't even know if it'll still work.) One can still download XSI, by the way, from Turbosquid. There are even still sites out there that have scripts for it. (I did my first modeling in XSI.)

    There are a few packages I want to try out. I'm going to learn Blender, though. Not because I like it... Not because it's cool or the "next new thing." I'm going to force myself to learn it, to deal with it, to master it, not because I want to, but because it sits there and mocks me... It mocks me. IT MOCKS ME!

    :D

    Sorry, haven't had my coffee yet. ;)

    Sorry I checked Turbosquid and could not find Softimage XSI anywhere there for download. Do you have a direct link it?

  • kenmokenmo Posts: 564
    Roygee said:

    Isn't it sad that this conversation is even necessary?  Unfotunately, it is because Hex was left unloved by its owners for so long.  Obviously, MODO and Fusion are really great, but where does that leave us old fogies on a limited budget?  Silo is probably the closest to Hex in workflow, but isn't it in the same boat as Hex - unloved by the owners and development ceased?  Then there is Nvil - probably the only newer standalone dedicated modelling app out there.  Way too complex for me and no tutorials to speak of that I could find.  These two for around $100, which is affordable.

    Just spent a few days trying to learn my way around Nvil/VoidWorld and it's too frustrating & confusing. Rocket 3F co-developed by the same person who does Nvil looks promising but does not have all the features and tools of Nvil. I asked on the Nvil forum what features and tools are lacking from Rocket 3F but was given a vague response which really turned me off. Looks like the Istonia (developer of Nvil & Rocket 3F) is only interrested in programming and not improving the UI or documentation/tutorials.

  • MorkonanMorkonan Posts: 215
    kenmo said:

    Sorry I checked Turbosquid and could not find Softimage XSI anywhere there for download. Do you have a direct link it?

     

    Sorry, I couldn't find it. :(  You can, however, get the "Softimage Mod Tool" which is a sort of stripped down version of XSI. (Freely distributed. There are a number of game-specific addons for it, around the 'net, if you're interested in working with that sort of thing.)

    Download here: http://www.moddb.com/members/varsity/downloads/autodesk-softimage-mod-tool-75

  • I need to get back to Blender, but my job has just been crushing.

    The thing I like about Blender is that its UI is infinitely customizable.  So when I hear people complain about the UI, I have to wonder if they really spent any quality time with it?  I do get the issue with right/left mouse clicks, and I'm not sure I'll ever get used to THAT; not fully.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,232

    I do get the issue with right/left mouse clicks, and I'm not sure I'll ever get used to THAT; not fully.

    I have blender set for left click - could never get used to right-clickk!

  • VyusurVyusur Posts: 1,546

    I use Blender as is, with a minimum of customization. It's a brilliant app! But in some situations Hexagon is a good add-on with some extra tools.

  • RectroRectro Posts: 35
    edited April 2017

    Having moved on from Hexagon to MODO, I never found MODO as intuitive, but as mentioned more powerfull, however during the last 6 months iv been using Cinema 4D.  I know for most this is way to expensive but it seems to fit between ease of use of Hexagon, and Modo. Iv not used MODO in about a year now.  There are cheaper versions of C4D that does mainly modeling, but you still have much more with it than Hexagon. Having said that I could still model way faster in Hexagon, if only it was as stable for others as it is for me.

    Here is a faily recent Timelapse set of videos that shows my first project in C4D.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLX3Exw-MrjLOyIin_KdQsyBm2T88ecPyk

    Dan/ aka Tez

    Post edited by Rectro on
  • MorkonanMorkonan Posts: 215

    Having said that I could still model way faster in Hexagon, if only it was as stable for others as it is for me.

     

    Hex's manipulator and it's easily accesible, yet powerful tools, really speed things along so one doesn't have to pause in order to punch yet another hotkey combo.

    Have you found a modeler that has similar "ease-of-use?" C4D is popular and I've looked at it, several times, as well as Modo. But, I really want a good manipulator and intuitive interface more than anything else.

  • Hi

    Try Rocket 3d or Moi3d.  Both are excellent and make modelling fun rather than a pain.  Both output good obj mesh.  I have both Hexagon and Carrara but now hardly use them.

    Best wishes 

    Keith

  • RectroRectro Posts: 35
    Morkonan said:

    Having said that I could still model way faster in Hexagon, if only it was as stable for others as it is for me.

     

    Hex's manipulator and it's easily accesible, yet powerful tools, really speed things along so one doesn't have to pause in order to punch yet another hotkey combo.

    Have you found a modeler that has similar "ease-of-use?" C4D is popular and I've looked at it, several times, as well as Modo. But, I really want a good manipulator and intuitive interface more than anything else.

    C4D is the closest iv found to Hexagon for a modeller, but id still rate Hexagon higher in some areas such as symmetry, lay on and snapping.

    Dan

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