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Thread: swift 3d versus plasma

  1. #1
    poet and narcisist argonauta's Avatar
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    swift 3d versus plasma

    Hi guys,

    well, i'm not pretty much a 3d animator, so i prefer to ask your opinion about this....

    Have you heard about plasma? a software for 3d animation (swf format) from discreet (the guys of 3d max studio). Have you tried it?

    Well, the demo shows pretty nice things....it seems easier to use than swift, although i believe that quality of animation that it can reach is not as high as swift's (specially the new version with shades and reflections and all that)....

    Anyways, i'd like to know what you guys think about plasma, vs swift 3d.....it doesn't compare....it's only for newbies, or does it represent a real contestant in the 3d flash animation market???

    [update]opps...just realized there's a whole forum about plasma [/update]
    Last edited by argonauta; 10-30-2002 at 11:15 PM.
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  2. #2
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    this thread might be a good place to start.

    it has a link to another impromptu comparison I made to then Swift3D 2.0 to Plasma 1.0... just add the nice things that 3.0 added to the mix - reflections, bitmaps, improved shadows, (and for me especially) improved stability.

    hope that helps.

    I'd personally like to see this discussed again though, especially since Swift3D 3.0 is out. the modelling stays the same... but the output differs now.

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  3. #3
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    Well Gerbick, I'll also like to see this discussed again.

    As the Plasma Contest is over and the Results were announced, Vatcher has done a very good job (& he is also in Love with Plasma )
    http://www.geocities.com/johnparron/main.html

    Vatcher has shown what exactly Plasma can do...

    But BlinkOk & other guys has also done some very good examples in Swift 3D V3, so it could might be difficuilt to compare both Plasma & Swift 3D V3.

    well everyone is having a different views...

    so let them explain what they feel...
    Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Creativity is...you have to Create it for yourself.

  4. #4
    holographic god Vatcher's Avatar
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    there is in my opinion one big difference besides animation tools, materials!...the only thing swift 3d has over plasma is reflections, plasma will get them, remember its only on version 1 so it has 2 versions to go to meet up with swift..by then plasma might as well be THE animation tool for 3d animators...plasma has its perks cause it is dedicated to 3d modeling and animation, almost anything can be made in some way in plasma, while swift 3d is held down with lathe and extrude modifiers, plasma has FFD and a whole load of things to edit your mesh

    final verdict: get 3DS MAX 5!

    but between plasma and swift 3d...get plasma
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  5. #5
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    vatcher, don't forget that swift3D 3.0 also has transparency, as well as bitmaps.

    plasma... sure it's a 1.0 program. one that I like. however, I'd love to see the included flash renderer be extended to include bitmaps, reflections, and definitely transparency.

    plasma can output Shockwave3D. but you will need Director. that's another $1000.00 or so.

    swift3D 3.0... it's improved lots. I've stated that. the modeller is limited... true enough. However, you can bring in any *.3ds file you wish... but, mesh editing it a must-have for me.

    both are limited only by imagination.

    they both have their pluses and minuses. buying educational versions only an option if you are indeed a student, and you're not going to make any money off of your projects.

    abusing the system for educational versions... I just don't condone it.

    I like both, use both. Will say that I will be updating my Swift3D plugin for 3ds max when it comes out

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  6. #6
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    The way I see it is mostly price. If money is not a problem and you want the best then you'll get the best modeling tool and renderer. 3dsmax/Maya etc are the best modeling tools and swift3d is the best rendering tool. If money is tight and you want an inexpensive modeling tool and renderer then you can't beat swift3d. Plasma is a good modeling tool and renderer, i just can't see where it fits a niche and I think in todays market it's all about specializing and being good at what you do.
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  7. #7
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    Here is an updated post on this subject now that v3 is released.

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Many users are curious what the difference is between the Swift 3D family of products (Standalone, Max, LW, XSI) and Plasma. Just to be upfront, we recognize our biasness toward Swift 3D, but we’ll try to be as objective as possible. That being said, here is an overview of the differences between the programs from Electric Rain’s perspective

    >>Swift 3D v3 - was specifically designed for the Flash user / designer to enable them to make quality 3D vector animations of text, logos and models for their Flash projects. Swift 3D was never designed to be an end all 3D tool for the web, video, and broadcast, but rather a specific tool that provides the most well rounded feature set need by the Flash designer.

    Pro's:
    - Lowest price ($169)
    - A feature set specifically made for the Flash designer
    - Easy to use - Timeline similar to Flash to easy the learning curve
    - Small file size
    - Realistic vector rendering (multiple shadows, reflections, transparency, advanced specular highlights)
    - Quality raster rendering (raster output and bitmap texturing of 3D Flash objects)
    - Quick rendering
    - Able to handle high polygon models
    - Powerful modeling tools (Primitives, and Lathe and Extrusion editor)
    - Ability to import complex 3D models (3ds and dxf files) and AI vector files
    - Flash MX importer with SmartLayer Technology (Separating components into 8 layers within Flash that reduces file size, improve workflow and more provides a whole new level of editing abilities in Flash)

    Con's:
    - Does not specialize in complex modeling (character animation, Booleans, etc)
    - Slower OpenGL internal screen renderer
    - No physics engine


    >>Plasma - designed for an experienced 3D user looking to create advanced 3D modeling and animation for Flash:

    Pro's:
    - Complex modeling abilities (Character animation, Booleans, etc)
    - Dynamics support (physics)
    - Bitmap rendering
    - Multiple shadows
    - Shockwave support
    - Flash MX Importer
    - Fast OpenGL internal screen renderer

    Con's:
    - High price ($650)
    - Steep learning curve (relative to Swift 3D)
    - Larger file sizes when using bitmaps
    - No support for vector reflectivity, transparency, and advanced specularity
    - Complicated interface
    - Flash MX Importer doesn’t import out as separate layers within Flash
    - If you already own 3ds max, you must purchase Plasma ($650) to get the Plasma plug-in for max


    >>Swift 3D MAX/LW v2 (TBR next month) - designed for the high-end 3D user looking to create advanced 3D modeling and animation for Flash that already own 3ds MAX or Lightwave 3D:

    Pro's:
    - Complex modeling with 3ds Max or Lightwave 3D
    - Low price for vector output of 3ds Max or Lightwave ($295)
    - Fast rendering
    - Small file sizes
    - Quality rendering
    - Vector realism features (transparency, multiple shadows, reflections and advanced specularity)
    - Bitmap texturing of objects exported into a SWF

    Con's:
    - Requires 3ds Max or Lightwave (Expensive programs)


    Again, we feel the major difference between these programs are that Swift 3D v3 is designed for a Flash users to create simple and basic 3D Flash, whereas, Plasma and Swift 3D MAX/LW are designed for experienced 3D users to make 3D Flash. We recommend Plasma to those people experienced in 3D looking for an advanced 3D modeling program and don't want to pay the high price of a high-end 3D modeling program, and where Swift 3D doesn’t provide enough flexibility and advanced features. However, for those that already own 3ds max, we recommend our Swift 3D Max Plug-in at $295, verses having to pay $650 for Plasma plug-in for max.

    You may wonder how does Swift 3D MAX v2 and LW v2 (to be released next month) fit into this picture? From our perspective, Plasma’s vector rendering technology has essentially caught up to Swift 3D v2 or RAViX II (our old rendering engine) with the bonus it renders multiple shadows. We feel that Swift 3D v3, Swift 3D MAX v2 and Swift 3D LW v2 with our new rendering engine, RAViX III, and SmartLayer technology are the premier 3D Flash tools with a feature set and new vector rendering capabilities unmatched by any 3D Flash product at any price. Furthermore, our Flash MX importer offers a variety advantages unfound in other 3D Flash products including smaller file size and enhanced workflow. We believe these innovations will probably push Discreet (and new competitors) to raise the bar for us to match or exceed. Electric Rain welcomes the challenge, and believes only the consumer will benefit.

    In closing, we don’t really see Plasma as a major competitor to Swift 3D v3, as much as we see it filling a niche that we don’t cater toward - Advanced 3D modeling and general web 3D via Shockwave. We believe Swift 3D to be an affordable 3D vector solution for the majority of Flash designers needs and we strive to continue to evolve the technology and bring a whole new standard for others to achieve. Only the consumer can decide which solution offers the right feature set that best fits their own needs, all we can do is listen and continue to innovate.

    Thanks for the opportunity to voice in.

    -CubedFlash

    Team Erain

  8. #8
    holographic god Vatcher's Avatar
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    swift 3d max version 2 eh?

    *puts on shopping list*
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  9. #9
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    plasma must be a really slow development tool too.
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  10. #10
    holographic god Vatcher's Avatar
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    its quite fast when you know what your doing
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  11. #11
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    it's just that you promised a sexy cd player a week ago and it's still not done yet! lol. But mabey swift is just as slow because gerbs promised something sexy a week ago as well, or mabey i just have to much fee time on my hands!
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  12. #12
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    Originally posted by BlinkOk
    it's just that you promised a sexy cd player a week ago and it's still not done yet! lol. But mabey swift is just as slow because gerbs promised something sexy a week ago as well, or mabey i just have to much fee time on my hands!
    lol. nope... I've been on business travel for the majority of this month.

    I've been home in the month of October for only 6 days out of this whole month... bleh!

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  13. #13
    holographic god Vatcher's Avatar
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    i also remember saying when i get plasma in the mail...still hasn't shown up
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  14. #14
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    no worries guy. it's just that i'm sufferin 3d withdrawals here! i'm fallin apart! everythings goin flat!
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  15. #15
    holographic god Vatcher's Avatar
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    withdrawls...whats happenin man?
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  16. #16
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    well maybe Plasma needs a seperate site like www.swift3d.com (Watcher any plans ?? )
    Erain has already impressed all the Flash Designers with this Excellent site, & the Tuts. on their site.
    Here Plasma needs a better Marketing materials, which can be able convience & impress Flash Designers... I hope they'll ...
    Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Creativity is...you have to Create it for yourself.

  17. #17
    holographic god Vatcher's Avatar
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    that would be cool, watcher? do you mean vatcher?..well if i had the chance i would make plasma a site but i don't think discreet would pay for such a thing
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  18. #18
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    Vatcher, why you think Discreet would not pay for this thing ?? of course they'll... in fact thats why they put your work on their site... gotchya?
    Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Creativity is...you have to Create it for yourself.

  19. #19
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    I say they would pay for such a site. however, I think that more users would need to make their stuff shown, like as of late, how the Swift3D users are making their stuff shown in the forums and sites here.

    so... I'm saying... share your work. it'll generate interest in the program.

    [ Hello ] | [ gerbick ] | [ Ω ]

  20. #20
    holographic god Vatcher's Avatar
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    i noticed the stuff they put on their site with my work was all screwed up...the text is all wrong from the original..and the sizing is wrong

    so i emailed them telling them about the problems and they said they would relay it to the plasma web designers..so discreet already has web designers set aside for plasma, no luck for me
    Chaos= Religion+Humanity

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