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Subject: Re: FLASH: 3D Vector Program for MacOS
From: J. Lutes (pixelTwiddler)
Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 20:58:18 +0100

At 06:21 PM 5/30/00 +0000, you wrote:
>>I'm looking for a great 3D program for the MacOS -- any suggestions?

There are no great dedicated options, depending on what you consider
"great." There are plenty of great 3-D programs for the Mac, just few
which output to vectors.

Electric Rain has promised a future Mac release of Swift3D, which will be
your best option generally-speaking (for the range of possibilities).
However, until then...

If you have a technical drawing program, or a CAD package, which allows you
to write out HP-GL plotter files (Hewlett Packard Graphics Language) to the
hard drive, you could manually "animate" something, then open the frames
(saved as HP-GL -- .PLT), one at a time in Freehand (as a step toward Flash

Most of these visualization apps seem to have some sort of 2-D projection
option for contracting the 3-D space/objects onto a 2-D plane for .AI,
.WMF/.EMF, or .CGM output, though there is no shading output or animation
-- just lines. Form-Z is a good example of this.

Plugging my preference... For the PC, Rhinoceros (Rhino) is my all-time
favorite. Nothing beats it for clean, efficient vector line output. Nothing.

>The best two options I have found are KPT Vector effects (plugin for Abobe
>Illustrator) or Adobe Dimensions.

Dimensions is not a bad option, contrary to what the uninformed might tell
you. After all, many design studios (like hillmanCurtis.com) are using it.
The main highlight of this product for me is its ability to map vector
artwork to the contours of a 3-D object. Awesome! Many possibilities here.

Vector Effects from MetaCreations, now Corel, is also nice, but animation
is a manual process. Along the same lines, there is 3D Invigorator from
Zaxwerks, or the discontinued Vector Tools from Extensis, now CreativePro.
These are plug-ins you might already own, though Vector Effects has the
only PC flavor.

Freehand has been mentioned also. It has some interesting options for
creating 3-D -- the Perspective Grid menu option/tool(v.9), the ability to
animate layers upon SWF export, release to layers for blends, and 3-D rotate.

If you don't mind crunching through some questionably useful items
(especially without the accompanying explanation), you can download a 3-D
in Flash tools comparison that I was passing out at some presentations I
recently gave. It is approximately 116 Kb, in Word format, and the tools
comparison is at the end of the six-document compilation (pg. 15). There
is a useful list of links to tool developer Web sites in there too, for
getting more info on the products (pg. 2 & 3). It is at
http://www.grafikimagism.com. This document is somewhat outdated already,
and was not intended to be totally comprehansive, but it's a good start.
E-mail me with any questions or suggestions for improvement.


ICQ: pixelTwiddler (#18046724)
E-mail: jasonatgrafikimagism [dot] com

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  FLASH: 3D Vector Program for MacOS, Webmaster calypsostudios.
  Re: FLASH: 3D Vector Program for MacOS, Dixon

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