Home > Features > Product Review: Microspot Interiors 3.6

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I was very surprised to see that you can assign QuickTime movies to objects as textures that animate in your animations. In other words, you can experience a fly-thru of your home renovation project while something on the flat-screen television is playing -- and playing as smoothly as you would experience it in reality or on your computer. The results are impressive. (see image 05) You can also assign photos as textures to objects such as picture frames, televisions or walls. This makes the program suitable, very suitable actually, for exhibit, gallery or museum layout design.

05 - Finished QuickTime Flyby Animation Movie


Future Improvements

I'm not sure about the UK home remodeling market, but here in the United States it has been booming for years, and shows no sign of slowing down. Before we comment on specific shortcomings Microspot should be applauded for recognizing the giant vacancy in consumer-level 3D design software on the Macintosh. For that they deserve huge kudos. Yet at the same time, it is a real pity that this product is just focused on "interiors" because if you are serious about that room addition off the back of your house, you probably want to visualize how it looks too -- from the outside of your house. If you ask me, that is another Microspot product just begging to be made.

Now onto what can be better about this application. For starters, there are two many different sizes for palettes, which makes organizing them on the screen very difficult. The general interface itself is quite nice and will be familar to Adobe users. That's all good. But a little work in this department will go a long way. Additionally, the animation palettes will seem naturally very foreign to most users so we'd like to see some included QuickTime instructional movies that cover this territory.

Microspot Interiors doesn't ship with a printed manual. That's okay because its built-in PDF based manual could be printed out and comes with lots of screen shots. However, as stated previously many times on this site, developers have little excuse for not providing at least a few introductory QuickTime instructional animations with the software package. They do have one overview QuickTime on the site but it doesn't cover nearly enough and it doesn't touch on more complicated procedures such as generating an animation. More of these would be of great aid to newbies mostly who might get incredibly frustrated with certain operations.

Recommendations and Final Comments

If you get inspired from HGTV and all those makeover home design programs but can't afford to hire a professional architect or interior designer, then by all means grab a copy of Microspot Interiors and start creating and dreaming. Microspot Interiors 3.6 is relatively easy to use for an application of this type and on the Mac OS X platform it is in a class literally all by itself.

If you are a related professional such as a set designer, exhibit designer, gallery designer or similar, and you haven't used a 3D design program yet, Microspot Interiors might just be the perfect onramp into 3d design work. Coupled with Modeler you should be able to handle just about any interior situation. We also recommend this application for children interested in architecture and design. It is easy enough for them to jump right in, yet advanced enough to keep them busy for hours.

Again, Microspot Interiors is an interior-focused application. Contractors and remodelers who need the whole house should look elsewhere, unfortunately. But for everyone else who just need basics and the inside, this program will please you, especially as you master it over time. --- Anthony Frausto-Robledo, Editor-in-Chief. Published 14 June 2006.


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Home > Features > Product Review: Microspot Interiors 3.6




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