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04-15-2000, 04:39 PM
I'm not so sure about Swift 3D. After reading all the hype on FlashKit, I've been thinking about forking out the $140 for it, until a friend of mine got it.

First he couldn't even get it started after installation. On contacting support, he was told he needed a patch to update his advapi32.dll. He did that, and the program worked. Then on using the program, he could not seem to import the files he wanted, and which Swift3D was supposed to be able to import. Not only that, there is no help file with the software, and he was unable to access the customer only site. Apparently he is not the only person with all the above problems. Now, to add insult to injury, his Word97 will not work, because of the Swift3D patch. He uses Word constantly, so had to uninstall the patch. Now he has a $140 program which is useless.

To be fair, I know that the program is very new, but hell, have they ever heard of beta? One thing I know for sure, is that I'm not paying that money for a bag of troubles.

My question is: Is Vecta 3D worth getting? I'm pretty new to 3D, but really want to get a good 3D program, without having too big a learning curve. Can someone give me a very honest and knowledgeable opinion?

I'd appreciate the opinions.


- Rose

Pope de Flash
04-15-2000, 09:33 PM

The only other solutions that you have an option that you can do animation with will not do gradient shading, and requires a $2700. program to run the plugin. You get outlines that you have to clean up and hand fill if you want gradients. Vecta plugin for 3D studio Max Price $199. so that solution is around $3000.

If you buy the Vecta Standalone the animation output is just spining around in a circle. If you want to output animation through the standalone package you have to make a model for each instance of motion out of a seperate 3D package. That means if you have 100 frames of animation that the object is moving you have to make 100 models and then import them into Vecta. cost $59.00 + another 3D authoring system.

Swift will import your 3D studio models, Materials, Camara views, Lighting, and animations. You can build simple shapes and models in the program. This is not even an option in the other programs. Cost is $149.

I can say this I spoke with Nic and John at e rain just yesterday. I was telling them some other things they need to include in the package and finding the bugs. If your friend got a raw deal I find that hard to believe. the guys at e rain are standup guys. They want to make a good product great and want all the input they can get. You should have your friend call them or email them with his concerns.

Just to let you know I am running Word on my box and have had no problems. I want you to also know that I am not an employee of FlashKit or e rain. these are my opinions. By the sound of your post its like I was less than honest in my article an subsequent posts.

I can tell you this. If you email all the guys who are moderators in the 3D section and ask them what program they would buy. You'll find out its Swift. Check out Mano's review on Flashzone. Mano's Regards, Bill

Macromedians 1:1

In the beginning the web was without shape and color, and the hype covered the darkness of the net. Then there was a Flash and life came to the web and vision became reality.

04-15-2000, 10:54 PM
Bill, I'm sorry if you took offence to my post. None was intended ... really. I am very aware that not everyone is having the same problems as my friend, and I'm sure that for those who are not, the program is everything it's supposed to be. I'm also sure that you are one of the people for whom it works for, hence your glowing review. :)

My post was simply trying to explain why I'm put off buying Swift3D, and I genuinely want to know what other options I have.

On reading the great reviews on this site and others, I was really tempted to get Swift3D. But I have to tell you, seeing my friend go through his troubles, I was put off. It could be that I don't have the same problems, but I don't want to take the chance is all.

Also, I'm sure that my friend will work out the probs with E-Rain and that they will be very helpful.

Having said all that, thanks for your other advice. Sounds to me like I might just have to be happy with 2D for a while. :)


- Rose

Pope de Flash
04-16-2000, 07:57 AM
I just want you to know I am not upset. I just wanted you and everyone to know that I am not a hired gun. I hope you can find what your looking for in a 3D program. If anyone can help at the kit please call on us. If any of the other guys read this (Eric, Vince,Triadis,Mano) please post your opinions. People need more than just my word on this matter. Heck if anyone has anything to say please post. Have a great day. Sorry for the ugly tone in my earlier post if it came off that way. See you on the boards. Regards, Bill

Macromedians 1:1

In the beginning the web was without shape and color, and the hype covered the darkness of the net. Then there was a Flash and life came to the web and vision became reality.

[This message has been edited by Pope de Flash (edited 16 April 2000).]

04-16-2000, 10:23 AM
Hi again Bill,

Never did it occur to me that your review was anything less than honest, and I'm sure everyone else thinks the same. In hindsight, I should have made that clear from the start. I find you and the other people at Flashkit to be more than helpful and with your constructive and knowledgeable responses.

I'm really new to both Flash and 3D, and I have to admit, it's one hell of a learning curve. I just don't need any more problems with them than I have already, :), which is why I wanted some suggestions on alternatives for 3D. Like I mentioned before, it is probably unlikely that I would have the same problems as my friend, but I don't want to take the chance.

Keep up the good work you do, Bill. Everyone benefits from your knowledge.

- Rose

04-16-2000, 02:32 PM
Here is what I think based on my computer experiences:
No matter what I do, I'm goning to run in to problems. If the problem is not having to replace a system file, then it's somthing else. Or if a particular program won't export to the right file format or import the right file format, Then it's on to a differant program that can import/export to the program I want. Here is one that always gets me: My Diamond V770 gfx card is so sensative it can't handle most gfx intensive programs. So it's usually one thing or the other. Out of hundreds of possible problems. This must be why I have soooo many programs on my pc. I rememmber when I would want to get a 3D animation I would have to have Illustrator, Streamline, MAX, GifMovieGear, and Flash4 all open at the same time just to make one frame of a 3D object. But now I thank my lucky stars for Swift3D. Trust me, being a beta tester, I wanted the program to be as smooth as possible. Cause I am getting tired of having to hop from program to program just to do one thing. But I do belive the program is very smooth and does everything I need it to do and more. Anyway, that's just my 2 cents.


[This message has been edited by Triadis (edited 16 April 2000).]

04-17-2000, 08:10 AM
Hey, I remember at the show that Triadis was having difficulty in getting his copy of swift to run and I remember seeing the electric rain people messing around with DLL's... but really all that need to be done was to remake the shortcut in the start menu... the old one would crash the system... granted this might not be the same problem that someone else is having but I just thought it sounded similar.

04-17-2000, 01:24 PM
It's because (probably) that Cinema4D does not export the .3ds files properly. I know that Ray Dream Studio doesn't export it's .3ds files correctly... (In fact, if you import them into 3D Studio Max they're all messed up, if they open at all.)

I know this isn't very helpful, but I have seen it before.

04-18-2000, 12:00 AM
Hey I'm having a problem with Swift3D.

It not open my 3ds files which is one of the main features! I'm exporting from Cinema4D Go, can anyone help!?


04-24-2000, 06:26 PM
this is in response to Triadis' message.
He said that he was tired of hoping around from prog to prog trying to get simple things done. Well say you want some cool quick txt effects..some 3d..and other junk in flash.. you still need the three different programs to do that...Swish, Swift3d, and Flash4.
What I am getting at is do you think that Macromedia, in flash 5, will add built in text and 3d effects? I'm not sure they would not because the program would be massive but it would be pretty awesome if they did.
This may seem like a lot of junk to you, but, I'm just speaking(typing) my mind.

[This message has been edited by ShawnC (edited 24 April 2000).]

04-24-2000, 06:33 PM
I have an extra copy of Swift 3d.
Im selling it on www.eBay.com (http://www.eBay.com)

04-24-2000, 08:57 PM
I really, really doubt Flash5 will intergrate anything like a 3D engine or text effects render. But your totally right though. I still have to jump from program to program to get things done. And I find myself doing it more and more now. Even though I complain about it, I have excepted it as part of the process of bringing work together and completeing it.
With new products like Swift3D, LiveMotion, Swish, and others, the possibilites to create new things are increased. But this also allows for new ways to intergrate other existing programs in the process. And I thing that's what makes it fun. I don't think we will ever see a program that does everything possible in one package. Actually I don't think I would want that. Every company has there own expertise and I think that healthy compition in seperate fields is what drives these differant companys to make better products while at the same time supporting eachother's file formats. So for us, the product users, it can only get better. And I am happy. ;)

www.triadis.net (http://www.triadis.net)

[This message has been edited by Triadis (edited 24 April 2000).]

05-01-2000, 11:36 AM
A very interesting subject I have to say. And I think ppl arent being objective here.
one is because they dont understand the capabilities of the actual program and on the other side is expectation of the software for what you pay for it.
below is a link to some examples I have made with it.

Pope I hope you take no offense to what I'm going to say, what your signature says isnt right. There was colour sound animation,3d and a lot more then what flash can do before it came on the net. to me to say that is somewhat a sign of not knowing whats out there.

[This message has been edited by firestarter (edited 01 May 2000).]

05-01-2000, 01:37 PM
Jeez... 200 models!? (Altho, I can't seem to get anything other than a blue screen and the Quantum FLash logo. am I missing something.)

Firestarter, I hope YOU don't take offence to what I am about to say but, you're right that there was colour, sound, animation, 3d and a lot more then what flash can do before it came on the net, BUT it sucked. hahahahaha

05-01-2000, 04:15 PM
I'm not gonna stress the issue of which is a better program to use. I think flash is very limited to what you can do with it compared for example to Java.

I'll fix the issue with the examples I made, then you can have a look. Its a problem with the pre-loader.

and btw over 70% of the web still runs with over 90% non flash content... that should tell you something.

05-01-2000, 04:58 PM
God I love debating this stuff. (And please FireStarter, don't think that I think your opinion is wrong or whatever...)

You're right that most of the web is not Flash. And I suppose that Java can do a bit more than flash, but Java never seems to run quite right, not to mention I've never seen a completely java site. And sure, you can use MetaCreations MetaStream to put 3D on the web, and embed a wav file or something to put music and sound in, but... from a designer stand point, it's Flash that made the "average" designer have the ability to do all this stuff. Who the hell would want to program a site like NeoStream.com in Java?

"and btw over 70% of the web still runs with over 90% non flash content" - isn't that 63% of the web? and wouldn't that make 37% of the web Flash? Which to me, seems like alot.

05-01-2000, 05:19 PM
the preloader problem is fixed.
and what I meant by 70% is that they barely use any or not at all. (but then again who can tell. the web is much bigger then any statistics that you can read anywhere)

Note on those exapmples. The actual models were not generated from swift, they were imported from 3ds and dxf files.

[This message has been edited by firestarter (edited 01 May 2000).]

05-02-2000, 05:31 AM
i have a problem with swift 3d as well. the problem is i don't have it. does anyone know if their is a free download for this program, or am i gonna have to break the piggy bank? i would like to try 3d without the rendered surfaces.(line animation only)

05-02-2000, 10:37 PM
what about extreme 3d? does this program compare/similar to swift 3d? could i achieve the 3d line animations with extreme?

05-03-2000, 12:48 AM
e-rain will be releasing a demo version soon.
and they have released a patch for it also. But you would need the full version installed. It corrected some of the problems that the initial release had.

Jon Roobottom
05-03-2000, 09:03 AM
If you're talking about Macromedia's E3D, then no, you can't export vector animations for importing into Flash (which is what you need if you don't want to pump the file size up to stupid amounts).

Macromedia doesn't even make E3D anymore, I have a copy of V1, (I find it still to be quite useful, though progs like 3dstudioMax and bryce blow it out of the water).

Sorry if this was not the program you were on about.

If anyone else uses E3D, please feel free to contact me...

Visit Jon's Multimedia Site (http://www.jonsmms.co.uk) for everything multimedia, all for FREE !

05-07-2000, 11:06 PM
just wanted to state my opinion on swift 3d

I have just been using it for a short time but I noticed somethings that are kinda lame.
the refresh rate (real time) suuuuuuuucks. I'm on a 733 and it cant handle anything.
I found the drag and drop style interface is kinda lame. Granted I know this is just for the average user not a Softimage or maya guy, but this program is very annoying to use.
It does export a phong style render look (or gradient render) but it slows down most machines really bad when viewing it in swf format.
but I think for the price it's not bad and you do get your money's worth...But I think it's so watered down and sluggish it may turn off alot of people.


PS if you want a really kick ass 3d web client program go here http://www.cycore.com
and http://www.bde3d.com

[This message has been edited by bobspecker (edited 07 May 2000).]

[This message has been edited by bobspecker (edited 07 May 2000).]

05-08-2000, 06:43 AM
That Cult3D stuff is really fricken nice.

05-08-2000, 04:33 PM
another 3d option

as I stated above I don't care much for the interface of swift that much....however since you can import *.3ds files you can get a used copy of 3ds4 for like $50.00 (you will have to run a pif to run it in windows) but it's better then pushing out a ton of cash for a new max3 release..and honestly if all you need max for is to do flash animaion's it's kinda a overkill.
and this way you get real aniamtion and modeling tools for your Swift package.
3ds4 is an old program that is no where near as good as Max3 but it still alot better then Swift.

just an option :)

Yeah Pope I like that b3d alot its kinda like the realtime 3d version of flash :)

[This message has been edited by bobspecker (edited 08 May 2000).]

Pope de Flash
05-08-2000, 06:35 PM
In all fairness to electric rain, their whole intent was to give the little guy some tools. It was never to be a true full solution. But they did make sure you could bring in the animation,lights, etc from max. I'm sure over time they will include other packages for import. This is a V1. I have spent alot of time on the phone with John Soucie one of the owners letting him know the feed back from people. If you have ideas or features you would like to see in a future release send it to them. They do want to hear from people. Regards, Bill

Macromedians 1:1

In the beginning the web was without shape and color, and the hype covered the darkness of the net. Then there was a Flash and life came to the web and vision became reality.

Pope de Flash
05-09-2000, 12:32 AM
WOW!! I've seen the cult stuff before but the b3d stuff is nice. Wonder if MM will look into supporting it in flash. That would be awsome. Thanks for the tip. Regards, Bill

Macromedians 1:1

In the beginning the web was without shape and color, and the hype covered the darkness of the net. Then there was a Flash and life came to the web and vision became reality.

05-13-2000, 08:51 AM

I've just shelled out for Swift 3D and you guys are making me nervous. All this talk of windows problems and DLL adjustments, enough to give a guy nightmares.

I have a copy of 3DS MAX 4 and I want to import relatively simple 3D models. I may import more complex models as I gain more confidence with the program. All I know is that as far as 3D Vector programs come Swift seems very highly recommended.

Hopefully I have made the right choice, but with all you've said I'm not all that sure.

When the software arrives I'll install it and then decide myself how it works and then shout my opinion from the top of this board :D .

Anyways .. apart from all the negative feedback here are there any people (please tell me there are) who think Swift is exactly what they dreamed of ??

Pope de Flash
05-13-2000, 05:34 PM
I think if you look at the overall response to Swift 3D on this board you'll find there are much more supporters than detracters. I think the program is great for a first release. If you have any problems just contact erain and I know they will fix it. I think your gona like it. Regards, Bill

Macromedians 1:1

In the beginning the web was without shape and color, and the hype covered the darkness of the net. Then there was a Flash and life came to the web and vision became reality.

05-14-2000, 09:28 PM
If you have pruchased swift3d, then you can download the patch for it. e-rain has released the patch to fix minor problems and the dll issue. If you have registered your copy of swift3d then click on the help menu and goto the customer support site only. From there you can download the released patch.

05-25-2000, 06:17 AM
I really can't see the problem, I purchased, downloaded, installed and ran swift first time. I am doing my first flash site and needed an easy to learn and not expensive program that will export 3d images to flash and hey presto the boys at e-rain have done it. If your 3d is only for flash site images then you can't go wrong with this one.

05-25-2000, 07:32 AM
okay, okay ... okay!

I guess you guys have slapped my wrist enough now. I must be the only person to have seen problems with this "golden-haired software". Far be it for me to ask advice for an alternative program. I've seen the error of my ways.


05-25-2000, 09:00 AM
"Golden-haired software" hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha... you DID ask for people's OPINIONS, Rose... hahahahaha

05-25-2000, 11:31 AM
Please read my third post on this topic ... where I tried to make it very clear that what I was asking, was for "suggestions or alternatives". I also made it very clear that I wasn't "bashing" Swift.

Unlike most of you, it seems, I am unable to afford a lot of software. Flash set me back quite a bit, and I just didn't want to spend another $140 on a package that I had actually seen someone else have problems with.

I really was hoping that someone could offer me some good advice. That's all I was after.

However Vince, it seems that you believe that I should now offer up the other wrist for slapping.

- Rose

05-25-2000, 03:02 PM
Oh jeez.. relax there Rose, I didn't mean to offend.

Tell me what tools you DO have.(Photoshop, Illustrator, etc...) I'm sure there's got to be some way you can make 3D...

05-25-2000, 08:46 PM

You can read my initial post above, I took delivery of Swift 3D a few days ago and due to workload did not have a chance to install in until today.

Guess what?

Physical Memory Dump, ati2draa.dll seems to be bent on giving me an ulcer. It works fine on another PC running Win98 but not on my NT4.0 workstation (SP5). I can't access the e-rain customer only website because ironically you need the software installed first.

I am not impressed, to release software not fully beta tested seems crazy. Perhaps I should perhaps have listened to Rose after all.

[This message has been edited by awatson (edited 25 May 2000).]

05-26-2000, 04:50 AM

to answer your question, I'm running windows NT workstation 4.0, I actually tested swift3d on win95, win98, NT 4.0, NT 2000. And I didnt have much problems installing it.

The Physical Memory dump that you have is generated by your graphix dll. I suppose you have some sort of an ati graphics card.

A small test that you can do to see what is generating the problem is this.

Start NT workstation in vga mode, and run swift3d. If that works, it very simply means that the problem isnt with swift3d but with your graphix card drivers.

And I dont know how people assume that swift wasnt beta tested. Swift3d was beta tested by at least 3 flashers that were heavy on 3d. And http://www.onlinedj.com 3d's work was created in swift. and that site was released month before swift was.

Lets not jump into quick conclusions and blame every small problem we face on the actual program. And the fact that it runs on win98 but not NT should tell you something.
NT is on sp6.0a why dont you try to d/l the sp6.0a and the latest graphix drivers from ati, and try again.

05-26-2000, 09:02 AM
Hey, I was one of the Beta Testers and I did all the testing a work on a NT box... had NO problems... sometimes some of the builds mess up making the shortcut and you need to either click on the ACTUAL program or you need to make a new shortcut in your start menu... (It kept happening at the FF2k San Fran show... kinda funny.)


05-26-2000, 04:22 PM
I was a beta tester also. We started beta testing Swift3D a long time ago. We threw everything at the program Including the kitchen sink. Electric Rain would never have released it if they thought it was not ready.

Alex Hallajian

05-27-2000, 09:24 PM
Swift3D rocks the house of you need FAST 3d objects for Flash 4 (especially if you don't have the time to draw those frames by hand!).

The only problem I have with it is that it takes FOREVER to export your 3d movies to a .swf file...

Heck, I been waiting 20 minutes so far for a 3d text spin...this is ridiculous



05-30-2000, 10:59 AM
Yes, speed is the price you pay for good 3D with Swift... Eh, atleast you're not hand tracing it.

06-15-2000, 08:02 PM

Heh, downloaded the updated driven and everything works hunky dory now.

You can see the results at http://www.flashkit.com/movies/Detailed/1128.shtml

Thanks again!