Looking for opinions from artists and technical folks alike on 3d software features

Hello everyone, I’m a coder and I do a little bit of 3d on the side.  I’ve been writing a piece of 3d software for a while now and I’d like some input from you guys. I hope this is ok to post here :)

What are the shortcomings of the software packages you use according to your experience?  
What kind of features have you needed in the past but could not find?
What kind of features would you like added now and why?
Generally speaking, what kind of feature would you like to see in a 3D application? Anything that may seem impossible to implement is welcome to mention, I’m looking to get the creative juices flowing and any idea is more than welcome!  Thank you.


  • Mink
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    Mink null
    I wish blender had a better LOD workflow. That said, I highly doubt you can create a competing program worth anybodies time on your own, so don't worry about that right now.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe polycounter lvl 7

    shape recognition is missing.

    If a package can identify the primitive shapes that make up an object then it can do a huge variety of stuff with the information -  not least intelligently LOD and unwrap them.
  • Thanez
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    Thanez polycounter lvl 3
    In 3ds max, I would want the possibility of parameters being instances of others, to link them to other parameters.
    For instance in modeling this m84, I made it all out of booleaned primitives. 

    In making the LODS for the green housing I would love if I could go back to the pre-boolean state, switch a 6 for a 4, 2 or 1, and get out my LODS only requiring a re-uv of the affected part.
    in short: if the parameters are cells in excel, I would want to be able to refer them to others instead of having their own unique values.

    And another one from the top of my head. The ability to right-click a UI element to assign a hotkey to it. Most of the elements are very hard to find in the hotkey settings as there are so many with similar or identical names.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe polycounter lvl 7
    You can already hook parameters together like that in max
  • kio
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    kio polycounter lvl 9
    Our check out Houdini if you want to have an application Which is just built around this paradigm.

    At the op, if this is just for fun, maybe better look into adding a feature to blender than to create yet another application which probably doesn't have enough appel on its own.

  • poopipe
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    poopipe polycounter lvl 7
    I agree with that.. It is largely pointless trying to build a full 3d package - maya basically has it sewn up and has done for a long time. 

    It's far better to pick a niche, build something that does it well and make sure it talks to the big packages properly. 

    The biggest success stories in this vein include keyshot, substance and Zbrush but there are plenty more. 

    What they have in common is that they all either do something you can't do in maya/max or simplify something that's enough of a pain in the arse that you save more money than it costs to buy. 

  • FlippedPoint
    Thanks to everyone for your comments.
    As for whether this is feasible as a product or not, I’m yet to actually decide where to go with this, I’m merely exploring ideas for the sake of ideas themselves, I am fully aware I won’t be able to compete with Maya or Max, or heck even Blender.

    I simply wanted to know what people want in their packages as a way to give myself perspective as to what different people want and need, it’s something I’m enjoying, the journey is quite fulfilling.
  • CheeseOnToast
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    CheeseOnToast polycounter lvl 13
    Complex automated retopology still hasn't really been cracked yet, AFAIK. It's by far the most tedious part of my job and it feels like the tools to do it are lagging far behind those made for modelling, UV mapping and texturing/surfacing. The existing automated solutions are great for doing quick tests, optimizing geometry for further sculpting in a package like Zbrush or for organic, non-animated objects. They fall flat when you need to make precise edgeflow for animation, which always needs manual control. If you could create something that lets artists define the important parts of the mesh while automating the creation of the rest you'd have hit gold, IMO.

    Poopipe mentioned shape recognition above. If you could include this for sensible automatic retopology of hard surface models that would also be a big plus.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe polycounter lvl 7
    The frustrating part is that most of the maths for this stuff has already been worked out but it's languishing in scientific papers or PhD projects and never really finds its way out into the creative toolsets. 

    Eg. Something as simple as generating median curves (or whatever the 3d equivalent is called) of a solid mesh could inform rig building, topology, even uv layouts. 

    Similar algorithms in 2.5d  give you the foundation for safe autobevelling

    The problem is that the people clever enough to invent this stuff often don't realise how what they've invented can be bent into a tool - with that in mind, it's quite heartening to see a developer coming straight to the source
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