Introduction, Installing, Running
Zanoza Modeler (ZModeler) is a software for creating and modifying 3D artwork (models) for variouse games. Comparing to advanced 3D Graphics packages, ZModeler is not intended to produce very detailed 3D models required for photo-realistic renderings, instead, ZModeler should be used for low or average-detailed 3D models for realtime rendering in games. The more accurate you create and texture 3D models, the better they look ingame. On the other hand, high-detailed models, even while they look much more impressively, can and usually cause slowdown of game's performance and sometime make gameplay unsatisfying. A proper balance of details, texture-work and polygons optimization is what 3D artist should be aimed to.
To show you an excelent images on the screen while playing 3D games, your computer performs hard computations, called Rendering. At this time, it translates 3D models to 2D image, using objects location, viewer location and different lighting and shading techniques. Modern games use dozen of rendering techniques to produce exciting result, but this result is, in general, based on a quality of models and textures used. All 3D environment is made of separate models, which are shown alltogether in game. Most of them are separate objects, models (and usually files). In ZModeler, your work is to create these separate models, put them in proper files and view result in game. ZModeler performs standard Direct3D-based rendering too, so you can see what you are modelling, but most of effects (like dynamic reflections and shadows, light glow and other game-specific effects can only be viewed when game engine performs it's rendering - simply, playing the game with your modified or created models.
ZModeler doesn't requir installation unlike most of software you use. The file you have downloaded (zmodeler2.zip) should be extracted (using WinZIP or WinRAR) into a folder you prefer. You can unzip it to Program Files/ZModeler2 or into any folder (even onto network drive in your LAN). ZModeler's configuration stored in ZModeler2_profile.xml file, so if you corrupt default settings or misconfigure ZModeler, you can restore this file from downloaded archive. After extracting ZModeler, make sure you have folders layout like on the image. Regardless Autosave and Update folders are empty, don't erase them. ZModeler is ready for first startup and configuration.
Double-click on ZModeler2.exe file to run ZModeler. A startup screen will pop up and then a configuration box should appear. This is the only configuration which requires your choice before zmodeler starts and, in general, all you have to select there is your Hardware adapter ("Hardware@RADEON 9800" on the image) and switch vertex processing mode to "Hardware". Note, some hardware does not implement all required techniques to be 100% compatible with ZModeler, and "Software" vertex processing mode might help in such a case. Click OK - main window will appear and ZModeler is ready.