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Thread: Hello....Need help on 3D Programs

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  1. #1
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    Hello everyone,

    I am new when it comes to the 3D arena and I want to start adding 3D stuff into my web and Flash designs etc. I have been researching for the past few days on what 3D program to buy. I am looking for a 3D program that is good for a novice, not super hard to use, affordable ($300 and below, but maybe a little higher), and needs to be Flash compatible.

    I am a web designer and mainly work with the web, I don't plan on making any complex models like you would see on games etc. I would use this 3D program to add some spunk to my web designs. Because I do work with Flash, I am looking for a 3D program that is Flash compatible.

    So far I am trying to make a decision between Amorphium Pro and Swift 3d. It looks like I am going towards Amorphium because it is cheaper and by trying out the trial version it can do a lot more when it comes to modelling. Also, it does export in Flash format.

    Has anybody used or know about Amorphium Pro? Do you recommend?

    I wish there was a trial version for Swift 3D otherwise I would have an easier time making a decision about Swift 3D. Does anybody recommend Swift? If so, why?

    Can you use Swift 3D in other ways, besides Flash? For Example, making raster or still images to export into Photoshop or Fireworks. I looked on at the features etc. and it looks like it will do it. Just to make sure. Do you recommend this product?

    Also, Discreet is coming out with a new product, due in the next few months called Plasma. It is used for the web and I think more. If anybody checks this out, please let me know what you think.

    Thanks everyone for your time and assistance,

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Banned-ed-er-ing WMLeeBo's Avatar
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    I recommend to you Swift 3d. When you see 3d flash on the internet chances are it is Swift. It exports better looking models. Although it is more expensive it think it is all around better.

  3. #3
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    Hello WMLeeBo,

    I appreciate your input...much appreciated.

    Ok, do you have to use Swift 3D with Flash? Can you use it to make raster images to export into Photoshop or Firworks? Because yes I do want a 3D program to work with Flash, but I want a program to do other stuff as well. It seems limited in other stuff. If I am wrong let me know.

    Thank you again,

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Banned-ed-er-ing WMLeeBo's Avatar
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    Go to http://www.erain.com to find all you wanted to know. I will go there now and post again. And another thing I have to say is that Swift and Amphorium have a different type of render. It is hard to explain but if you will go to the websites and see the examples I think you will know what I mean.
    [Edited by WMLeeBo on 04-16-2002 at 10:08 PM]

  5. #5
    Banned-ed-er-ing WMLeeBo's Avatar
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    Export scenes to the widest variety of vector file formats

    Renders SWF, EPS, AI and SVG files

    Import popular 2D and 3D file formats

    Bring in 2D vector artwork from AI and EPS files while respecting colors

    Open 3DS files while respecting animations, cameras, lighting and colors

    Import DXF files for conversion to vectors

    Advanced internal modeling

    9 primitive objects to model with

    Extrusion Editor with Bezier pen tool for real-time 2D to 3D conversion

    Lathe Editor for complex modeling, plus rotation and smoothing controls

    Extrude any TrueType or PostScript font for creating instant 3D text

    Reshape objects over time with non-linear scaling

    Polygon reduction controls for objects

    Drag-and-drop materials allow easy object coloring

    Supports complex intersecting objects

    Enhanced level of object control

    Control pivot point locations

    Numerical positioning and scaling of objects

    Nudge objects with keystrokes

    Lock objects in place

    Constraint object movements along an axis

    Quick and Easy Animation

    Pre-built drag-and-drop animations

    Full keyframe-based animation timeline with tweening support

    Automated click-and-drag timeline scaling

    Animated materials allow for morphing of colors over time

    Sophisticated Cameras and Lighting

    Create free and targeted cameras for full control within the scene

    Use the lighting trackball for immediate lighting effects

    Add free and targeted lights directly in the scene for complete control

    Create animated lighting schemes and detailed camera animations

    Full Preview System

    Test rendering styles without leaving the interface

    Preview and edit complete rendered animations before exporting a file

    Broadest spectrum of vector output

    3 Outline levels Outline, Mesh and Hidden Edges for wireframe export

    5 Cartoon shading levels One, two, four, full, and average color fill

    2 Gradient shading levels Area (per-surface) and Mesh (per-polygon)

    Shadowing self, plane and object casting

    Specular highlights enhances cartoon fills and gradient shading

    Unmatched Rendering Power with RAViX II

    RAViX II rendering engine renders 10x faster than competing products

    Handles 250,000+ polygon models with ease

    Industry renown as the most accurate vector rendering engine available

    Maximum optimization of files

    Control over levels of detail and curve rendering

    Exports fully-optimized files ready for publishing without further editing

    System Requirements

    Windows 95, 98, 2K, ME, NT 4.0, XP or Macintosh System 8.1 or higher, OSX Classic

    200 MHz Pentium or Power PC processor

    64 MB of RAM (WIN) or 96 MB of application RAM (MAC)

    Video resolution 800x600x65k

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  6. #6
    Banned-ed-er-ing WMLeeBo's Avatar
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    Look I found this on the Swift site when I looked at the donwload.


    "Neither the Test Drive nor the full version of Swift 3D MAX can render bitmap textures."

  7. #7
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    Thank you again for the input. Actually I already viewed the specs on the site. I just needed somebody elses opinion on it. The hard thing is that since I can't try the product out I am having a hard time deciding. I might have to take a chance. Will see what happens.


  8. #8
    Senior Member RUSHVision's Avatar
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    mrje1 ~

    I just wanted to make it clear that Swift3D does not support any kind of raster output. This means no bitmaps, no textures...just vectors. If you want to pull the output into Photoshop the best way is to use the highest quality output (the Mesh Gradient Fill setting) and then take a screenshot which you can paste into Photoshop.

    Plasma looks promising, but it's kind of early to tell at this point.


  9. #9
    Information Architect Subway's Avatar
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    I'm looking into Carrara right now, great tool, easy to use,cheap and with a lot of great features.

    http://board.flashkit.com/board/show...hreadid=297970

    Fredi

  10. #10
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    Hello RUSHVision,

    I appreciate your input...much appreciated.

    You have definetly made it clear. With some of the responses I received I had an idea, but still wasn't sure. I need a 3D program that will Work/export in Flash format, but also can export in raster based images, so I can use in my designs for still artwork.

    Besides raster stuff...how would you rate Swift 3D? Do you own it? Do you know if they will come out with a trial version? Is it limited in what you can do? Meaning you can only make the primitive objects and not more complex models.

    What do you think of Amorphium Pro? It is cheap and it does export in Flash. I downloaded the trial and I kind of like it. If you have used this before, do you think the animations made from this program is good?

    From what you heard, researched, or used, what would you recommend?

    Thank you for the input on Plasma, I guess I will try the program out when it is released.

    Thank you again,

    Jeff

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Subway
    I'm looking into Carrara right now, great tool, easy to use,cheap and with a lot of great features.

    http://board.flashkit.com/board/show...hreadid=297970

    Fredi
    Hello Fredi,

    I Really appreciate your input...Thank you.

    From the research I did...I heard that Carrara/Amapi bundle was good. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I plan to today. The thing I am contemplating is that maybe in a couple of months I can afford more of the expensive 3D programs like Rhino or maybe Plasma (a new program by Discreet, which is web based) when it comes out. So to spend $300 or more might not be the right choice. What do you think?

    So I was thinking to buy something like Swift 3D or Amorphium for right now until I am ready to buy the more expensive one? By what has been said here in this thread about Swift 3D, what are your comments about this product? Also, what do you think about Amorphium Pro?

    Thank you again,

    Jeff

  12. #12
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    Jeff,

    Let me tell you my experience on the subject. I own both Swift V.1 and Swift V.2. I also own 3D Studio Max with the Swift MAX plug-in which allows you to export an SWF file directly from MAX. After using MAX along with this plug-in the standalone Swift program becomes obsolete in my eyes. Swift standalone is not very user friendly, and it cant do very complex things. Personally i do not recommend it. As for Amorphium, i cant tell you much, ive never used it.

    I personally cant wait for plasma, and Swift V.3 should be coming out soon, with the Flash MX 3D importer. that might be another option for you. good luck.

    -Nathan

  13. #13
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    Hello Nathan,

    Thank you for dropping by and your input...much appreciated.

    I think I am probably going to pass on Swift. Because I need a 3D program to do raster along with other stuff. I rather wait and see about Plasma. The thing is I need a 3D program to use now. I probably will use some of the free programs outthere or maybe purchase Amorphium Pro in the mean time. Will see what I will do in the next week.

    Thank you again,

    Jeff

  14. #14
    AXEL wonderboy
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    Just wandering...You guys ever heard of Axel?
    -It does textures (like bmp or png with transparency)
    -It does quicktime and swf movie textures (my favorite)
    -It does cartoon and realistic shading
    -It can model simple & complex objects & imports
    -It does interactivity & physics without coding
    -It exports at a tenth of normal file size
    -It does character animation
    -It works on mac & pc
    -It has a great looking interface (ok, it's no vital I agree...but still)
    -It starts at something like 200$


    I've personaly never seen the kind of stuff they do anywhere else on the web
    http://www.mindavenue.com/en/showcase/

    -=Long live technology=-

  15. #15
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    yes i just dowlnloaded the axel trial version. Its kind of odd. looks as if it can be a very powerful tool but it will probably take some time to learn the program. im not sure if im willing to invest the 900 dollars or whatever for the full version when i only have 15 days of a trial to become aquainted with it. we'll see i guess. anybody else have experience with axel??? enlighten us please. what are its strong points/ weak points?? benefits??? what can be achieved with this tool???

    -Nathan Scherneck

  16. #16
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    what do you think

    hey guys what do you think about ANIMATION MASTER, i've seen what it can do and in my opinion it kicks 3D STUDIO's butt. It's located at http://www.hash.com

  17. #17
    AXEL wonderboy
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    Well, I think it's actually pretty easy to learn 'cause I felt right at home since I come from a Lightwave background.

    I agree that 15days is not enough though but I'm not making a big fuss about it.

    IMO, the pros n cons of Axel are that it's easy to use but may take a little time to get accustomed to the quadview interface if you're a 3d beginner. It's highly powerful for producing 3d content but still lacks the finesse of the basic 2d stuff like quality text and stuff. Since it works with 3d geometries and everything can be streamed, the file sizes are really low but once downloaded, the framerate may suck at times if your graphic card is like 5 years old. I could go on and on like that but I'm passing the mike to anyone else who wants it...

    As for the purpose of that tool, I think the showcase from their site shows the many different usages with/without flash. I personaly use it for abstract navigation and interactive ecommerce banners...I bought AXELedge and absolutely love it 'cause it allows me to do character animations in half the time it takes me to render stick man animations in swift.
    Here's another site using it.
    http://www.transientmind.com/002/index.html

  18. #18
    Information Architect Subway's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mrje1
    Originally posted by Subway
    I'm looking into Carrara right now, great tool, easy to use,cheap and with a lot of great features.

    http://board.flashkit.com/board/show...hreadid=297970

    Fredi
    Hello Fredi,

    I Really appreciate your input...Thank you.

    From the research I did...I heard that Carrara/Amapi bundle was good. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I plan to today. The thing I am contemplating is that maybe in a couple of months I can afford more of the expensive 3D programs like Rhino or maybe Plasma (a new program by Discreet, which is web based) when it comes out. So to spend $300 or more might not be the right choice. What do you think?
    Of course Carrara is not a tool for everything. It's a good start into the 3D world, cause lightning, textures, and modelling is very easy, the renderer is very fast and the interface is a typical Metacreations. But it is not a product like 3DS Max or Lightwave and really not as powerfull as Maya. So if you really wanna go deep into 3D I would say start with 3DS Max. It's not that difficult to use and has a good third party support for Flash.

    Fredi

  19. #19
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    Hello Fredi,

    Thank you again. Well, 3Ds Studio Max is way too expensive otherwise, it probably would be my choice. Carrara is definitely on my list to start off with. Will see what happens.

    Jeff

  20. #20
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    Soverytall and Nathan,

    I checked out Axel, it seems not bad and the price is right, but do they have a trial version. It seems you guys found it. I went to the downloads section and nothing is there...maybe I overlooked. I will try again. Does the Animation export in Flash format?

    ---------------------------

    Hello leonardourich,

    I haven't used or tried it out yet, but I was recommended and heard that Animation Master is a good program. I checked their web site and I seem to not find a trial version. I emailed them to see.

    Jeff


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