Type of Program: 3D Model/Editor
Supported Platforms: Windows 95/98/2000/XP
Company Name: Inivis
Installed Size: 5MB (Including All Plugins for Registered Users)
When you think of modeling and rendering 3D images you might
think that it is too difficult and far too expensive to contend with. In many
instances (to be fair), it can be intimidating and in some cases, such as using
other modeling programs, they can be expensive. But once you take a good look at
AC3D you will soon see how polygons, meshes, splines, vertices and algorithms
all become easy to use. So easy in fact that you may soon consider rendering and
creating 3D images much less than just "work" and instead, more play.
AC3D was one of the first few 3D modeling programs introduced on the Internet.
It has been around for awhile and seems to be an on-going development (during my
review of it, the program went from version 3.4 to 3.5), in a short time. So you
can rest assured that AC3D will meet most your needs now, and in the future. If
you canít find your answer in the 44-page PDF manual that can be downloaded,
email support is fast and dependable.
So what really makes AC3D better than other programs of like nature? For one,
the price! Donít let the price mislead you. AC3D is a full fledged 3D editor
that has most everything you would need to create 3D images and visualizations.
Especially if you are a game designer on a low budget. When you register the
program you will be able to export your models using various plugins in formats
such as .3DS, .POV, VRML, .OBJ, DirectX (.X), and more. Because it has this
flexibility to create 3D models that you can insert and use in game development,
AC3D shines. Secondly, the ease of use. AC3D is so easy to use, whether you are
a beginner or experienced user, you can be up and running within an hour, making
3D masterpieces! I personally have tried a number of 3D applications similar to
AC3D but found so many of them either lacking in features, far too cumbersome to
use, too high priced, lacked any decent Help files, so hard to use, or so slow,
I just quit using them altogether! And some of these "other" programs were
supposed to be the "top of the line," "name brand" programs!
As with most programs of this nature when you launch it, you will be presented
with the four views (Front, Side, Top and Perspective). You can easily setup the
grids and gridsnap to begin building 3D images with the various shapes from its
Control Panel. You will essentially be interacting with models through the
orthographic views and view the model in the 3D window (Perspective). What I
really liked was the feature of being able to expand any of the windows to full
screen with the click of the mouse. In this way I could zoom in and out, rotate
the image, place coordinates precisely, and go back to the four views quickly.
AC3D gives you the ability to work with Objects, Surfaces, Vertices, Faces,
Materials, Textures, 1-Sided or 2-Sided figures along with a host of other
features. In short, most everything one would need to build 3D images! AC3D
seems to expand as you expand. The better you become, the more it will do. In
this way you should be able to use the program for months, if not years to come.
When you become more experienced you will soon be working easily through
Normals, Extruding objects, Lights, Fragmenting, Sub-dividing Surfaces and more!
If what you need is a program for creating 3D images for game development, AC3D
may be what youíve been looking for. You can create an endless amount of
objects, textured and exported in either the .3DS or .X format (Registered
Version only). If what you need is a 3D-modeling program just to play around
with, you canít go wrong with the price here. If what you want is a program that
is easy enough to begin with but expands as you gain knowledge, AC3D will be
ready. Although AC3D can be used for scientific and/or general data
visualization as well, I found it to be very useful for game development. If
there were one item I could put in my wish list for AC3D, that would be the
ability to create animated .X objects. . .and, given enough time, Iím confident
the author will find a way to work this in as an added feature for a future
Bottom line: If you need a program to aide you in your development of 3D images
for insertion into your 3D engine, one that is easy to use and least expensive,
AC3D should fit right in with your other programs. You can, if preferred, design
your 3D image in AC3D and if needed render them in-depth with another program
(itís default is ready to work with PovRay via the Menubar), but can be setup to
work with a number of other rendering applications in this same manner.
When the Help file says that AC3D was designed to make the designing and
building of 3D objects fast and easy, that is the most accurate statement I have
seen about a program in a long time. If you donít think you can master 3D
modeling, you may want to think again and then try AC3D. . .one of the grand
daddyís of 3D modeling.
Ease of Installation
Reviewed by Robert Hall
Purchases can be made online from their Web site.