Real-time 3D animation & video production – iClone5

3D animation program, iClone, has released its latest version 5.3 with some new updates, from developers Reallusion. iClone allows you to create stunning 3D animations either from scratch or you have the option to work from various templates or pre-made designs.

This latest version includes a variety of new features including Seamless Motion Connection, creating more fluid, vivid and realistic movements with your 3D characters, and Ambient Occulism, a lighting feature in the program that adds a wealth of realism to your designs. The attention to detail with iClone’s features are what make it an ideal program for 3D animation, and is worth giving time to explore the 30 day free trial and seeing if it’s the right choice of software for you.

Trust us, you will need to give the trial a great deal of attention as the full software clocks up a price in the region of $80 for the Standard version and $200 for the Pro version, so make sure you know what you are getting. There are other options for the software; however they do not come with as many features. There is also a great deal of add on tools and content available from Reallusion, if you’re looking to expand the software’s capabilities but these, of course, do not come free. As a result of this, iClone limits its users to animation professionals and bigger companies that would use the software.

iClone 5.3 is an impressive piece of software and it’s worth checking out the free trial at the very least. If you’re working in the field of 3D design and animation then iClone is definitely something of interest.

Download iClone

 

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Create “film quality” images and 3D graphics with NVIDIA Gelato

Gelato was a program designed by US tech company NVIDIA, most noted for their work on graphic processing units (GPUs). First released in 2008, Gelato is a high quality rendering software designed for creating stunning “film quality” images and 3D graphics.

Gelato runs quite fast. You can render your images with great ease and simplicity, making it an ideal image rendering program for everyone from graphic designers to students, or even if you just like toying around with images.

As NVIDIA themselves put it, the software is “fully featured” including their own Sorbetto interactive relighting technology as well as Network Parallel Rendering.

What may be of particular interest to students and freelance designers is that NVIDIA’s Gelato is free of charge, so unlike some of its counterparts, you’re getting a high quality program for nothing.

Gelato is a little outdated now however. NVIDIA have removed it from their site and released Optix instead . As a result, NVIDIA haven’t released any updates for the program and will not be issuing any new updates to the Gelato software in the future. Since then, there have been various new image rendering programs that have emerged.

Gelato has a number of system requirements needed in order to get started, including two other NVIDIA products – the workstation GPU Quadro FX and NVIDIA’s GPU GeForce 5200, or a GPU of a higher standard, are both needed.

NVIDIA’s Gelato is a solid piece of software, built for the purpose, but with it no longer being available through NVIDIA and no longer being updated, it can easily be left behind by some of the more recent image rendering programs that are out there, free or otherwise.

download NVIDIA Gelato

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3D Animations? No problem!

Have you ever tried to write a text, your name or your company’s name, or something else in 3D and to get it to spin and to whatever you want? I’ve searched the internet over and over to find a 3D text generator, and found many websites that do that, but none of them would really rise at my expectations, until I found Swift 3D.

This application it the most easy to use 3D modeling software I’ve ever seen! I have never worked in a 3D Modeling software, and I started to make 3D texts and shapes and anything I wanted right away! Swift 3D creates the 3D models for Adobe Flash, but you can export the files in many other formats ( gif, jpg, bmp, avi, swf, flv, tga 3DS). In the software gallery you already have many objects and materials to fill your creations, so, if you want to let your imagination fly, try it out and build anything you want! Set the lights, angles, and make your dream room or any scene you want!

 

 

Most of the objects that you will work with in this program are the primitives to be found along the toolbar at the top. These consists in a variety of shapes such as cubes, spheres and pyramids etc. These are the basic building blocks of most 3D objects, and are able to be re-shaped to make the exact shape you are trying to achieve. If you have learned drawing you will know that circles, squares and triangles are the basic blocks of most illustrations. These elements are the main objects in Swift 3D.

 

 

I really have to mention that the tricky part is the animation of the objects. But I’m sure that after you watch some tutorials you can animate whatever you want!

Once you figure out how to work with the animation feature, you can make every object to move as you like, when you like! And of course, if you use the 3D model for flash you can export it and in flash to make it open the door when you click it, etc.

Download Swift 3D

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Create 3D building and landscape exteriors and interiors with Envisioneer Express

There are a large number of products which enable 3D architectural modelling; Envisioneer Express is just one of many. It has been available for a number of years, is mature and stable, but often does not attract the highest praise. It is written and supported by the Cadsoft Corporation, specialist in building information modelling (BIM), whose stable hosts a group of larger, more capable products, each with progressively more impressive feature lists and associated costs and so we should not be fooled by the restrictions of Envisioneer Express into thinking it is any way inferior or ineffective. In fact, not having all the functionality is a blessing for those who need to be able to finish a simpler task or who lack familiarity with the entire range of technologies available.

So if you are in the market for a tool to help you design a building with walls, doors, windows, openings, flat floors, stairs, roofs and ceilings and view and navigate these in 3D, or if you have been sent a more complex architectural design and wish to walk through it you may save yourself some time and money as Envisioneer Express will do all these things.

Before you begin it is worth spending some time in the Settings section, as there are dozens of impactful parameters to view and understand. The main facility – the design part is intuitive and quite exciting to use.

This is an entry level product which users may grow out off in time. Coming from a large software enterprise with expertise in the industry sector there is a good deal of ‘self-help’ material to refer to if you get stuck or need assistance, and indeed an upgrade path, if you need. We think it is a great way of sketching out the house we would like to have built; a great communication tool.

Download Envisioneer Express

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Make your room a real 3D cinema with Stereostopic Player

It’s never been easyer! We all know that we live in the time of 3D technology, and I’m quite sure that anyone of us was shocked when we saw for the first time a 3D demo in a supermarket or cinema. Well, while the prices for special 3D devices and TV’s are still high, I found a way to watch my favourite movies, at home, in front of my normal monitor, all of them in real 3D mode with Stereostopic Player!

Later I connected the PC to a bigger TV to enhance the “feeling” (combined with a 5.1 surround sound). And so, my normal TV became a full HD 3D Tv for all my movies. All you need is a cheap pair of glasses (red-cyan; red-magneta; polarized; etc), and you’re ready! Stereostopic Player is the best 3D rendering software for movie playback and it supports a lot of filetypes (DVD,AVI,MPEG,MKW,DTS, etc), but like most programs, it has some weaknesses.

Stereostopic Player it’s a simple and easy-to-use software, but it’s quite a challenge to configure the right type of 3D render for your glasses…But after you manage to set it up, you can enjoy the full 3D experience in your room!

download Stereostopic Player

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View DVD’s on your computer with this must have Windows-based DVD player

Back in the day, I remember that playing DVD’s on your Windows based PC wasn’t always cut and dry. While Windows media player could actually display the content, it didn’t by default, as it didn’t have the appropriate video codecs installed for it by default.  In order to do that on Windows XP and any version of Vista other than Vista Ultimate, you needed a third party DVD player installed.  That’s when I found and fell in love with WinDVD Pro. It’s one of the best soft DVD players available for your Windows PC.


WinDVD Pro is advanced 2D, 3D, AVCHD and Blu-ray player software. The newest version supports not only 3D playback technology, but 2D to 3D conversion, and HD upscaling. If you’re into the 3D experience, its conversion capabilities allow you to convert and enjoy your movies in full 3D definition.

2D to 3D conversion is supported for DVD-Video and standard and high-definition video files. WinDVD Pro provides you not only with support for Blu-ray 3D, NVIDIA 3D Vision Shutter Glasses and XpanD Polarized Glasses, it also includes anaglyph 3D glasses the box version of the software.


You can use WinDVD Pro to quickly search online video sites and find your favourite movies at the best prices with the new Corel FlixFinder. With it, you can browse videos by category, compare prices, and bookmark and select your favorites, all from its convenient search screen.

read full review | download WinDVD Pro 11

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Blender – Fully integrated 3D graphics creation suite

You can get an idea of Blender’s capabilities by listing some of the projects that have used it. For example, the makers of ‘Spiderman 2’ used Blender for 3D and character animation; it was used for the special effects in the film ‘Vendredi ou un autre Jour’, movies ‘Elephants Dream’, ‘Big Buck Bunny’, ‘Sintel’ and ‘Plumiferos’ a 3D CG feature film were made in Blender; as was the 3D game ‘Yo Frankie!’

Blender comes from the not-for-profit Blender Foundation. It is open-source, free to download and use but requires a considerable investment of time and effort from the serious user and rewards her with the flexible software and skills to model in 2 and 3D, animate, render and process images and videos to an award-winning professional standard. It includes related functionality: a game engine, fonts, motion capture and many, many more.

A good place to start is to become familiar with the interface which has been reworked in the recent version. Support comes in the way of texts, models and tutorials from the official website. A CMS gathers background information and lists many websites and groups maintained by Blender followers, (Blender Art Magazine, Blender Nation, and so on). If that is not enough a shelf of specialist commercial books offers guidance through the Blender product.

Read full review | Download Blender

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Make all your photos the best they can be with Photoshop CS5

With the holidays here and gone, it’s likely that most everyone has more digital pictures than they know what to do with. Once you’ve gone through all of them, you’ve likely found the ones that you’ll keep, the ones you’ll delete, and the ones you want to tweak. This is why I really like tools like Adobe Photoshop Extended CS5. It’s the premier photo editing tool for PC, and it’s a must have, if you can afford it.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended delivers all the state-of-the-art editing, composition, and graphic design capabilities of Photoshop CS5.  It also adds breakthrough tools for 3D design and motion editing. Now, it can also be used with creativity-boosting, mobile apps. Working with your pictures away from your computer with CS5 just got easier.

If you’ve ever had a really tricky shape or area you wanted to select, but had trouble getting it just right, you’re going to like what you see in Photoshop CS5 Extended.  Now you can get better-than-ever results when selecting these tricky image elements, such as hair. You can also eliminate background color around selection edges and automatically vary selection edges and perfect masks using PS’s new refinement tools. You can also create photo-realistic, high dynamic range (HDR) images quickly and with unprecedented accuracy. You’ll get stunning results thanks PS’s automatic ghost removal; and have greater control of  tone mapping and adjustments.

Photoshop CS5 Extended is perhaps the most advanced image editing tool available on the internet today. With it, you can do almost anything that you can imagine with your digital photos. Its tools are state of the art and top of the line, which provide not only its strength, but its weaknesses as well. As much as EVERYONE will want to use it, the tools are often not the easiest to learn and use.  Many of its features require a great deal of skill and a steep learning curve to master. However, once you do master them, you’re going to find that this is THE tool to have, provided you can afford to purchase it in the first place.

read full review | download Adobe Photoshop Extended CS5

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