COMS W4172 (Spring 2013) TA PAGE

A lot of the information on this page comes from the TA pages from previous semesters created by Steve Henderson and Nicolas Dedual.


Mengu Sukan

I work in the CGUI lab most of the time. I prefer to only host students during office hours. However, I will try to answer emails as soon as I can. Email: mengu [dot] cs [dot] columbia [dot] edu.

Office Hours

Tues/Thu - 6:00-7:00pm in the CGUI Lab (6LE3 Schapiro)


Lab: 212.939.7101

UI Design


3D Math


Goblin XNA

Installing the Goblin XNA Development Environment

Creating a new Project Tutorial

Check out this simple tutorial, which expounds on what's in the user's manual, for creating a new project.

Goblin XNA Discussions

If you're having an issue, chances are that someone else had the exact same problem and the question is already answered on the Goblin XNA Discussions. Please search for an answer there before coming to the office hour.

Goblin XNA Documentation

3D Modeling

3D Model Sources


  • Lots of great models, many free


  • Provides a list of sites that have free 3D models, many of which are in .3ds, or .max format.
  • You can convert these to .x if you have access to Maya or 3ds Max, or to an appropriate format converter.

XNA Creators Sample Models

  • You can also find a couple of nice .fbx models from the XNA creators club website under their samples section
  • The model files come with the sample code.


  • Large selection of free models
  • Models are in a variety for formats (but not fbx or .x) – but you can convert these

Google Sketchup 3D Warehouse

  1. You can open these models in Sketchup then Export as 3DModel, Google Earth model (.kmz)
  2. Change then extension on the google earth model (.kmz) to (.zip)
  3. Open the archive and extract the model file (.dae) under models folder
  4. Convert to .fbx using the Autodesk FBX Converter

3D Model Converters

Autodesk FBX Converter

  • “Transfer project data from one application to another quickly and easily with the FBX Converter. This utility lets you convert OBJ, DXF™, and 3DS files to and from the FBX format.” -
  • Note: When running the convert, ensure you choose a FBX format version compatible with your end application. As far as I know, XNA 4.0 can handle the latest format. However, if you are using an older modeling package (e.g., Maya 8.0) then you need to pick an older fbx format (082006 version).

3D Object Converter

3D Modeling Software

Use these programs to create your own models!

Autodesk Student Center

  • One of the industry leading 3D modeling software providers
  • Powerful package with large community of users
  • Free downloads for students

Blender Open Source 3D Modeling tool

Trimble Sketchup (previously Google Sketchup)

  • Free download (non-pro version)
  • Large community (tutorials, plugins, etc.)
  • Easy to get started

3D Model Viewers

Autodesk FBX Model Viewer for Quicktime

  • View any fbx model in Quicktime
  • Once installed, start Quicktime and open a model

Lynx3D Viewer Lite

  • Use this to debug model scaling, origin, normals, etc

Texture Sources for Models

Personal Tools