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Chapter 7. 3-D Tools

Chapter 7. 3-D Tools

3-D software is available in many flavors: simple utilities and plug-ins designed to create basic 3-D type and logos; more complex but low-end animation systems that provide modeling, scene-building, animation, and rendering capabilities; and specialized software that provides only part of the equation at both the amateur and professional levels. In addition, libraries of pre-built models, textures and texture-making tools are readily available, along with some oddball 3-D programs that don't fit into a particular niche.

In this chapter, I concentrate on programs that are well suited to Web animation. These programs include MetaCreations' LogoMotion and Crystal 3D Impact Pro, which are both optimized for creating animated GIF logos and splashy artwork for Web pages. At the other end of the scale are high-end professional 3-D products that provide highly detailed modeling, sophisticated animation effects and support for virtual-reality rendering formats such as QuickTime VR and 3-D world export in VRML. These products can do nearly anything you want to achieve in terms of Web animation, but they may be more complicated and more expensive than you can justify.


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