The Shareware Review People

Action 3D Reducer

Type of Program: Polygon Reduction Tool
Supported Platforms: Win9x/ME/2000/XP
Company Name: Action 3D
Version: 1.1
Price: $50.00
Installed Size: 8MB


Working with 3D models is a fascinating work. When designing something from scratch to its final form, every step of the way you build your model, one polygon at a time. When you have reached the final stages and your model is complete it is then that you look down and realize that your perfect model is much to heavy! Heavy that is in polygons, faces and/or vertices.

Sure, your model looks great within the package it was created in. However, what happens when you need for that same model to be imported into another package? Will that perfect 3D model crash the application, or consume so much memory that you have to go back to the designing board?

When you work with 3D models you ultimately could end up with models that have so many polygons that it slows your end product down; whether it is your 3D game environment or your 3D Web site. Your model could conceivably end up with 50,000 polygons or more! The more polygons that are in your model can really hamper your desired output. Is there a better answer rather than redesigning? Now there is!

Action 3D Reducer is a super easy-to-use program that will crunch and munch most any polygon model to a size much more manageable. Action 3D Reducer will take your model and reduce its polygons at a few clicks of a button! When reducing your model you can adjust the percentage to scale down the polygon count and lose very little, if any of its original quality.

Let's take a look at how Action 3D Reducer works and you will see too just how easy and effortless this program really is when working with any .3DS or.X format. All in all, you will be reducing those heavy models down in five easy clicks! Here is how it works:

1 - Open your .3DS or .X model
2 - Convert the model to a progressive frame (PMesh)
3 - Reduce the count
4 - Convert the model to a retained mode mesh (a clone)
5 - Export your newly reduced model

By following the above steps I have taken a model that had 34,680 vertices (4.7MB) to 10,748 (279KB) in these five easy steps. I further tried taking a much heavier model that had 158,946 vertices (3.9MB) and reduced it to 10% of its original to 15,588 (526KB). Most of the tools you use to reduce your object will be found in the Progressive Mesh Reduction Toolbar (step 2). During step two I went to the Reduction Options to fine tune the final amount of vertices I wanted. Here you can use the Slider Control to adjust the vertices count as well as view the model in Wireframe, adjust the lighting as well as play with many more options. In essence you can reach just about any level of detail and optimization you want, or need. I might also mention that all the while you are reducing these heavy-weights you have a FPS displayed that shows you a rough estimate of what the model will be like or how it will react to an environment once reduced. You can also compare the model at any point to its original. You can view your model in Solid, Smooth, and Gouraud along with Textures or Wireframe modes while working with it.

Bottom Line: Action 3D Reducer is almost too easy (compared to all the time it takes to create your model). It will reduce all those needless polygons yet still retain every feature of your model (depending on how much you reduce). I would like to see a Batch Conversion in some future version, or even perhaps Tabs to go from one View Window to the next to speed things up while working with different models and Windows (instead of selecting Windows > World1, World2, etc). The biggest drawback to Action 3D Reducer at this time was how it rotates the object. Using the mouse to rotate does not work the best so it is best to use the arrow keys. In fairness, you can always use the Camera View buttons (Forward, Back, Left, Right, Top, Bottom) to look at any of the sides of your model. Action 3D Reducer does have many more options you have to see for yourself and I do not think you will be disappointed should you decide to add this program to your library.

User Friendly
Ease of Installation
Reviewed by Robert Hall

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