Software for creating TF2 items?
February 1, 2015 11:30 AM   Subscribe

My 12yo is interested in designing/creating items (weapons, accessories, etc.) for use in TF2. What is the cheapest (preferably free-est) software with the least steep learning curve for this sort of thing? Basically something powerful enough to accomplish what he wants to do without being overwhelming in terms of difficulty (or price). Thanks!
posted by mothershock to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The first link I found when searching "creating items tf2 tutorial" was this 3 part beginners tutorial using Blender, which is a free, open-source 3D modelling tool. Keep in mind that 3D modelling is kind of an inherently difficult arena, and programs that do it (Blender included) generally have a relatively steep learning curve, so I don't think you'll find much in the way of better options, especially if you're looking for free/low cost. That said, if your kid is still gung-ho about it even with the learning curve, I'd say let them give it a shot. There are worse things in the world than letting your kid try something and then learn from the outcome, regardless of success or failure.
posted by Aleyn at 12:32 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was just reading nice things about Wings 3d, a light-weight, open-source poly modeler. I haven't tried it myself and can't vouch for it personally, but at a glance it looks about as straightforward as these things get. (Blender is wonderfully feature-rich, but a lot of people regard its UI as impenetrable even by the standards of 3d modeling packages.)
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:56 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wings3d would definitely do most of what you want as far as modeling goes, and I agree that it's probably more approachable than Blender's difficulty cliff.

I'm unfamiliar with what, if any, animation-type-stuff one needs to do to prep models for use in TF2, but if you need much complexity there, Blender's probably the thing to look at. The good news is that I started trying to learn Blender when I was about your son's age, back in the dark pre-2.4 days of even more horrible UI, so it *can* be done (though at that point it took reading several books and a LOT of the manual, and I'll own up to being very motivated).
posted by Alterscape at 4:49 PM on February 1, 2015

You might find this list of 3D modelers handy.

Blender is the standard for free 3D software, but as someone who's used to stuff like 3DSMAX and Lightwave 3D I personally find the interface pretty bewildering. Even if he uses something else to create the models, he might have to use Blender a bit to convert them to a usable format.
posted by neckro23 at 1:01 PM on February 2, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks so much!
posted by mothershock at 4:29 PM on February 2, 2015

« Older Help me figure out what to do?   |   A rolling stone gathers no MOSS, EU VAT... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.