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Mac3D News: PiXELS 3D studio 3.5 now shipping

19 Month 99.

Pixels 3D was first introduced to Architosh readers when it was discovered and featured on Apple's 3D Design website. At that time a free version was available and it was an older version, the idea being that if you tried it and liked the older version you would upgrade to the latest

Pixels 3D Studio 3.5 is the latest and greatest from Pixels Animations Studios, Inc.. The program was introduced at this last Macworld Expo SF 2000. The latest version features a new interface (preview it) a large number of new features, including: Texture mapping, interactive decal, much faster rendering engine with adaptive Anti-Aliasing, better support for complex polygonal models, multiple undos, improved 3DMF import capabilities, selective display of timeline Objects/Parameters, customizable interface, ShadeMaker for Lights, a Filet Tool, and Drag & Drop support, among others.

Pixels 3D is an advanced Spline/NURBS-based modeler, renderer and animator, with organic modeling abilities and fluid dynamics to simulate the feel of real objects. The shading languages support RenderMan by Pixar Studios, and include shading types; Flat, Gourad, Phong, Toon and Custom. Full Raytracing, displacement and true distributed processing. System requirements include a Power Macintosh with Mac OS 8.5.1 or higher, 64 MB RAM and 16 MB hard drive space. G3 or up highly recommended.

What is Pixels 3D Studio 3.5 for?

The program is used for a variety of uses, including 3D rendered and animated character animations or movies. One reader wrote in to say the program has the best character rendering short of Pixar's RenderMan software (the same software used in its award-winning computer animated movies like Toy Story 2). To view some of these really great QuickTime 4 animation movies go here.

Other uses for the software include industrial design 3D modeling and rendering (see this awesome example), general animations for presentations and broadcast quality video (see this really good but simple Mammogram TV commercial), humanoid modeling for fashion, hobbies, games and trade shows. Pixels 3D is also used for modeling and creating landscapes, plants, and even whole worlds including outerspace. In fact, their gallery is full of sci-fi like movies and images -- many of them very good.

Could it be used for Architecture and Engineering?

The gallery features no architecture examples (though earlier in the year we remember seeing at least one, and it was good) but if you look around you can see many creations that apply, including this very good vent animation which could be applied to an AEC application. If you can do this then 3D models animated which showed things like moving doors, windows, vents, dynamic sculpture, etc. could be done using this application for architecture and engineering. To really see what this application can do see this Compaq (was it a TV ad?) movie showing an aggressive fly-thru of a city toward a tower with multiple monitors showing individual video. Very cool!

Pricing for Pixels 3D Studio 3.5 is not cheap. The product goes for $699 in the regular version and $899 in the version with Particles. There is also a one year service plan and instructional video to buy as well. Of interesting note is that their company online store is modeled on the AppleStore -- complete with similar buttons and typography. There is even a link to with the Apple logo on it.

You can try it out for free by downloading a complete working trail version.

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