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Get some 3D Models:
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Get some ideas.
3D Bacteria
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3D by Kids
Dinosaur renderings(136) and animations in Lightwave(58) and Bryce(78).

WebGuru Xara
WebGuru Xara

Get your divx codec for Mac or Windows players.

With the divx codec, view our animation
made with Lightwave by Adam, a fifteen year old whiz kid.
640x480 pixels, 30 fps, 86k. That's right jellybean. 86k.

Bryce by Corel
Features: Dedicated to designing, rendering, and animating breathtaking natural 3-D worlds and abstract 3-D sculptures. Extremely easy to use and comes loaded with libraries of presets. Lets you create your own surface materials, skies, and more. Now includes multiple import and export formats and a new sky lab. Instantly turns free USGS data into 3-D models. If, as a graphic artist creating off-planet scenes, you find that your needs run toward rendering fly-bys, Bryce 4's interactive movie previewer is for you. With the newest version of this popular software, you can render a thumbnail preview or a storyboard-style interface, making the process of keyframing animation much easier. Top Selling 3D application world wide:

Product Description:
Product Description Bryce 4 is dedicated to designing, rendering, and animating breathtaking natural 3-D worlds and abstract 3-D sculptures. Bryce is a perfect application for both beginners and advanced users because it is extremely easy to use and it comes loaded with libraries of presets to use in your own work. As you become more proficient, Bryce allows you to easily create your own surface materials, skies, and more, while making the creative process every bit as entertaining as the final output. Start by building your scene, using basic objects such as mountains, seas, rocks, balls, and blocks, then assign different textures to the objects, adjust the sky, place lights within the scene, and render. You can even use the animation controls to create breathtaking movies. Simply edit these shapes to create exactly what you want. Bryce 4 now includes multiple import and export formats, a new sky lab, and instantly turns free USGS data into 3-D models. Also shipping with Bryce 4 is an extra disc full of tutorials and presets for you to use and learn from and will quickly get you started in creating wonderful 3-D worlds. Import Index (3D): 3D Studio (.PRJ)/(.3DS), AutoCAD (.DXF), Heightfield (.HF), LightWave (.LWO)/(.LWS), Portable Greyscale Map (.PGM), TrueSpace (.COB)/(.SCN), USGS DEM (.DEM), USGS SDTS (.DDF), VideoScape (.VSA), VistaPro DEM (.DEM), VRML1 (.WRL), Wavefront (.OBJ), World Construction Set (!ELEV) Import Index (2D): BMP, JPEG, PICT, Photoshop, Targa, TIFF Animation Export: Sequential PICT, QuickTime (.MOV), RealMovie (.RM), AVI (.AVI) Export (Textured Terrain Objects): 3D Studio (.3DS), AutoCad (.DXF), Heightfield (.HF), Infini-D 4.0 (.ID4), LightWave (.LWO)/(.LWS), MetaStream, Portable Greyscale Map (.PGM), RayDream Studio (.RDS), RayShade Height Field Export, trueSpace (.COB), USGS DEM (.DEM), VideoScape (.VSA), VRML1 (.WRL), Wavefront (.OBJ) Export (2D): BMP, HTML, Photoshop, PICT, TIFF

Tokyo, Mt Fuji
3D Map example from USGS data with Bryce.Click for larger image.

Bryce by Corel
Both Mac and Windows are on the same CD.

Poser by MetaCreations
Features: 3-D character animation software. More options for shading models. Facial structure and final appearance can be completely customized. More than 60 fully textured 3-D figures.
"Product Description: Poser is an easy-to-use animation tool, with dozens and dozens of prebuilt models of men, woman, children, animals, props, and assorted clothes and objects. Unlike many 3-D animation programs, though, Poser doesn't require massive amounts of memory or a warp-speed processor. It runs well on machines with modest amounts of RAM and 200 MHz processors, although it does consume quite a bit of disk space (about 600 MB on a Mac and about 350 MB on a PC). Poser can output to a variety of common formats, such as QuickTime on a Mac or AVI on a Windows PC, and it can import models in DXF and OBJ formats. It's possible to build models in other programs and import them. Poser's strongest feature is the natural media render engine. MetaCreations has built on its experience from the wonderful program Painter and brought that handmade look into Poser. The number of variables one can tweak is impressive: sketch style, line density, line width, paper texture, etc. Poser is a great tool for getting into computer-animation rendering of 3-D humans. --Mike Caputo"
Affordable, $99
Mac and Windows
versions on same CD.

Poser World

StrataVision 3D Pro
Product Description: Strata 3D is a high end yet easy-to-use 3-D creation package that enables you to quickly create 3D renderings and animations. Drench your imagery with realism. New export features allow you to port stunning content to the Web for e-commerce solutions. Within minutes, create 3-D models, apply sophisticated textures, and add dramatic lighting to render stunning 3-D effects. $440


Click for Screen shot

Strata 3d

And for the BIG BOYS...

Universe by Electric Image

Sun/Solaris platform
Windows/PC platform
Macintosh 9+ platform

Lightwave 3D is a powerful animation-production package for professionals. It is built upon the fast, accurate 3-D Inverse Kinematics (IK) engine. With radiosity, caustics, subdivision surface animation, Skelegons, thousands of enhancements, and an unsurpassed workflow, LightWave is everything you need in an animation system. With LightWave you own a robust tool set for manipulating these revolutionary surfaces, including interactive modifiers that allow you to model in multiple "soft" modes. LightWave also allows you to sculpt "digital clay" by directly manipulating it at the vertex level, controlling groups of points or polygons with an extreme list of operators. Real-time subdivision surfaces, extensive texturing tools, character animation tools, HyperVoxels, and ray tracing are all incorporated into an extremely powerful animation system.$2,655

This software package is intended for use with hardware systems costing three to twenty times the software price. As with most software costing in this range, between $1,500 to $3,000 or more, there is a dongle key which must be used whenever the application is used. There are skads and skads of dialog boxes full of options. Each option may lead to further dialog boxes with more options. This software is for professionals. You would not have a clue as to what the terms mean if you were to start with this software to try to learn 3D rendering and animation. There is an associated meta language with its own vernacular. Formal instruction classes would be the best bet. Could you get really proficient with it quickly? Not in a week. Not even in a month. But once you were able to master it you could really make professional work. It will of course do things which other applications can not do. And you can visualize your scenes while setting them up much more easily. Motions and path motions are as automated and intuitive as drawing a line. Here are some screen shots:

Modeller with head mesh, nothing selected.
Click images to enlarge.

Modeller with mesh and vertices
selected for modification and sculpting.

Renderer, a head in scene with options

Rendered of object.

We asked our neighborhood 3D Guru what three apps He first thought of or maybe even would recommend if He were us and had up to $3,000 to spend on a professional application package irrespective of operating platform. He rolled His eyes with an air of annoyance. We bowed apologetically and assumed the air of fawningly servile sycophants. We had our pencils ready and our tape recorder running. But the microphone wasn't working. It was making a loud noise so three of us had to try to fix it. Two of us gripped the plug with a pair pliers while two of us pulled on the microphone cord. That didn't work so we had to try to turn it off. Two of us held the off-button tightly with a set of pliers while the two of us pulled the tape machine away from the pliers. For some reason, he rolled his eyes upwards again. He pulled the electrical cord out of the wall. All by Himself. With only one hand. Wow. What a dude, man.
He ran so fast through a litany of things which we didn't quite get.
He did say broadcast quality was important only 3D. He impressed us that He was an instructor of commercial 3D animation at two universities. We bowed obsequiously once again and assured Him that we were duly impressed and begged Him to tell us what He had taught this week. We got two names, Maya and Electric Image, so we jotted them down and nodded, feigning intimate knowledge, hoping he would show us on the computer how the magic was done.
He flatly stated the names of the three apps and with an effeminite caesar-like wave of His hand He turned around and left, pushing the door closed behind Himself.. Our interview was finished. Because none of us could figure out how to get a good grip on the door to turn it clockwise. Heck we couldn't even figure out how to get a good grip on the doorknob with the pliers.

True Space
It looks good too. Price is $100-300.

Caligari has TrueSpace with Shockwave3D output and other web output capabilities.
Caligary says, "trueSpace is used widely by 3D artists and animators and has gained industry recognition for advanced capabilities such as hybrid radiosity rendering and direct manipulation user interface. Now with trueSpace5, we are adding features to satisfy two new markets: Design market and 3D Web content creation."
Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D

Pricing is complex: First time buyers $1695
Competitive upgrades from: Qualified packages: Maya, Softimage, Lightwave, 3DS Max, Electricimage, Strata, Raydream, Infini-D, Carrera - inquire for others $1295.

Mac and Windows versions are on separate CDs.

Company says, "With Inspire 3D, you can model, animate and render 3D elements in any style and complexity. By adding texture, motion, lighting effects and more, your print materials will almost pop off the page. Use the images you create as single frame print graphics or as lower resolution animation files for multimedia or the web."
Inspire is a NewTek product from the company which also produces LightWave. Special deals appear to be available on some of their products direct from the website. Website has alive forums and tuts.

3D Interactive:
Inspire 3D comes with a tutorial CD made by 3D Interactive. This is the official web page of 3D Interactive and includes free 3D models, more tutorials, and more.

Inspire Joy Computer animation student Scott Tygett's casual tutorials for Inspire 3D, the student's Lightwave 3D, are thumbnailed and include a "tipathon."

Mary Gypsy wrote: Hello 3D World Builders, Futurists and Visionaries, Here is your latest update from

COMING SOON TO GEO-METRICKS - NEW SPEC, LOW POLYGON 3D MODELS 3D Studio Max realtime, low polygon models coming soon. Soft skinned seamless (continuous mesh) 3D avatars/game characters. Ready to go 3D character models - parent/child hierarchy, pivot points, bones, single patchwork UV texture maps. Typical polycount : from 1000 to 2500 trangulated polygons Single ‘Star’ 3D models aswell as new ‘special offer bundles’ CURRENT PRODUCTS - LOW POLYGON 3D CLIP ART COLLECTIONS: 1. Humans Pack 2 - 12 TX Avatars - Multi-Cultural 2. Humans Pack 1 - 24 Interchangeable 3D avatars 3. Cyber Gothics - 10 weird elongated 3D avatars 4. Cyber Punks - 14 night time futuristic street people 5. 101 Interiors - Modern furniture - 20 different styles 6. 101 Space - (‘Super Prims’) spaceships, structures, spacestations, satellites etc. 7. 101 Historical Structures - (‘Super Prims’) castles, temples, ruins etc. 8. 101 Trees - Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter - 2D Tree collection.

For the nuts and bolts types there is a free ray tracer called POV-Ray at: The Persistence of Vision Raytracer is a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows 95/98/NT, DOS, the Macintosh, i86 Linux, SunOS, and Amiga. The source code is available for those wanting to do their own ports. For an example of the top-quality output that POV is capable of, check out IRTC, particularly,

First Strike at Pearl


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