The Shareware Review People


Type of Program: Image Editing
Supported Platforms: Win 98/NT4 SP5+/2000/XP
Company Name: Digital Element
Version: 1.0
Price: $149 (Downloadable) - $169 (CDROM)
Installed Size: 2MB


Here's a nice PlugIn for all of you that use, or maybe are thinking of using PhotoShop. What ModelShop does is give you the ease and power to insert many 3D models into any of your flat images. Utilizing ModelShop gives you this ability without many of the hassles that may be normally needed when working with 3D packages. You can take any flat, 2D image and insert a 3D model anywhere in that image to give it some special effects and more. Let's say that you have a picture of a storefront and you'd like to see how the scene would look with some 3D trees. Fire up ModelShop and PhotoShop and soon your new scene will come alive!

The ModelShop interface is straightforward and easy to work with:

ModelShop allows you to work with .3ds, .obj, .lwo, and .dxf file formats. Once you import any of these objects into your image you can then move, rotate and scale the 3D model against your Photoshop image background. So why not mix your two talents together? If you already have the tools and talents to make your own 3D models imagine all the power you could have! Using ModelShop's light tools you can define your 3D image even further by projecting shadows from your 3D object right onto the background itself! Once you have your scene ready you can save it in many popular formats such as BMP, GIF, IFF, JPG, PCX, PICT, RGB, TGA and TIF.

So just how easy is ModelShop to work with? If you can point and click, you can easily work with this program. The harder part may be deciding how perfect you want your final picture to be or how you create your own 3D models to be used! Once you have your 3D models (many are freely available), it's just a matter of a few simple steps. Below I will walk you through these steps and you decide how easy it is.

Once you have the picture you want to work with, load the ModelShop PlugIn through the PhotoShop Toolbar. In this example I will be using a scene I first created with Digital Element's World Builder program (also available from their site). Creating a ModelShop image is straightforward. Here's how I made one in a few minutes:

Open the picture that you want to work with and select the ModelShop PlugIn from the PhotoShop Toolbar.

Step two involves opening and inserting your 3D model into the picture:

Through ModelShop you import the model you want to be in your picture. Here I imported my 3DS horse model.

In step three you position your 3D model where you want in the scene:

Here I used some of the ModelShop Toolbar Icons to Rotate, Scale and position my 3D model exactly where I wanted it in my scene.

Step four in this case was to apply a shadow and I'm done!

In ModelShop I simply clicked "Add Shadow Plane" and made the shadow visible. I rotated the shadow and positioned it to be aligned with my 3D model and finally rendered it in Production Preview Mode. Since I was now pleased with my results I clicked on the "OK" button and ModelShop created my final image, ready to be saved! I could if needed adjust many of the attributes such as Intensity, color, Ambient Light and so forth. Using the graphical display for my Light Placement greatly simplified where and how I wanted my shadow to be.

Make any picture come alive with 3D using ModelShop. Add 3D realism to static 2D images! ModelShop is easy to work with, comes with a few models to get you started and since it is produced by an already award winning company, what could be easier?

The only hint I feel worth mentioning here is that after loading a 3D image format in ModelShop and before using any of the Toolbar options, the program works faster if your are in Wireframe Mode or Preview Rendering Mode before Rotating, Panning, etc. otherwise if you are in Production Rendering Mode you may have to wait for ModelShop to update the Preview window. For example, loading a single 3D image and then deciding to Pan the Preview you click, wait for the update, click again, wait again, etc. The other two are much faster in real-time mode so be sure to use them for faster workflow and finally do a Production Render when you are where you want to be with the image and picture.

User Friendly
Ease of Installation
Reviewed by Robert Hall

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