lachdanan's picture

Professional 3d application

Hi all,

I just found this site and and I really like the stuff you guys are doing. Really impressive that I thought I might ask a question too :)

I plan to write a fully blown 3d application that is gonna be in the league of Maya, Softimage XSI, 3ds Max, LightWave, etc. I have some friends as part of the group. C# is our target language.

We are all professional 3d artists working in the film industry and some of us are more in the programming/art area.

Anyway the problem is we don't know which 3d framework to use as the base.

Right now these are on our list (some might be irrelevant due to our misinformation):

Managed DirectX

Please add others that we could use if we have missed them?

We included WPF because some people suggested that it has "serious" 3d capabilities, I doubt it, but haven't tried.

So if you guys can help us find the right framework to use, we would be most that grateful.

Thanks all.


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lachdanan's picture

Thanks guys for all the replies.

Let me address one by one:


You are right, cross platformity shouldn't be ignored with C#.

As for custom engine, you mean writing your own stuff on top of say OpenTK? If so, that we are gonna do, because we don't wanna be restricted by other software's workflows, etc.


For GUI, I plan for the minimal of controls, probably a schematic control for the major part and a 3d scene viewport or more (like 2x2 grid style)
As for which tech for the GUI, I didn't really look into this to be honest. But your advices seem very sensible.

The specific workflow that is dictated by a graphics engine might be a disadvantage for us, but it might also be close to what we designed, but I it's not very likely I think.

Or maybe I should stick to OpenGL only, as this would give me cross platformity, right?


It's not really a 3d modeler only, but a complete 3d modeling, rendering and animation package. It will most likely be open source as later on other people would add on it and we would moderate the changes as to what goes in. I mostly see the app fitting the film and game market. I have seen Golem3d here too, looks very nice. But our app's difference all lies in the workflow. Think of it like painting in Photoshop or in Combustion, which look the same (more or less) but very difference point of views, just a crude example.


We will possibly adopt a few standard file formats like fbx, since now that Autodesk owns all top 3 3d apps, they have and will have better fbx support between each other.

If OpenGL is not gonna be any slow say on windows and is gonna give us cross platformity, then I wouldn't mind using it.

One thing I read when I was reading some sites on the net that they mentioned OpenGL's API is very C like but I guess things like OpenTK provides a true OO and .NET style framework for it, right?

Also another note, is there an area that OpenTK doesn't cover? Like if it covers all there is that can be done with OpenGL then I think this should be enough for us. Because I don't really care about very extended specific functionality like things for games, etc.

Also when you said, Tao binds libraries for video playback, physics, are they OpenGL's or other libraries like PhysX, etc?

You are right, I don't think we will write a custom solution for DX or OpenGL. It's too much and yes a software this size is already a huge undertaking.

Our focus is making things as best as it could be done in 3d, once we have a stable and really solid design, even the app has the least functionality, then we succeeded as adding extra features will be not so hard. For other things like rendering, we won't write a brand new one. There are already really good renderers like Mental Ray or Vray, etc, it's best to say support for or more of these as they aren't very different from what we have built; workflow wise.

Thanks again guys, I am also doing more reading and research on the side for this topic.