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5 3D tools for the ultimate designer toolkit

What resources and guides do you need to start creating 3D? Real-time graphics craftsman Simo Santavirta gives an insight into the tools and resources he uses.

FuseTools

What resources and guides do you need to start creating 3D? Real-time graphics craftsman Simo Santavirta gives an insight into the tools and resources he uses.

FuseTools

3D web graphics

For me the number one selection for 3D web graphics is Fuse (fusetools.com).  And yes, you can export WebGL with it. As a side product you’ll be able to produce native applications for mobiles as well, which makes a lot of sense for heavy duties like 3D. Fuse gives us a new programming language, called Uno, and it makes creating complex 3D renderers so much easier.

3D modelling

I do a lot of my 3D modelling in procedural fashion, with maths. But once in a while you need to work with actual models. Here I would select Blender blender.org, simply because it’s free, easy to use and has a big community behind it. It’s easy to find freelancers to help you in case of an emergency.

Textures and graphics

When it comes to textures and other graphics, it’s still Photoshop that wins (adobe.com/fi/products/photoshop.html).

3D and mathematics

I don’t think you need any more tools than that. But what you do need is more knowledge and skills (along with years as well). Creating 3D is a lot about mathematics and rendering techniques, so you better know your trigonometry. I would recommend refreshing your memory of it by watching Khan Academy’s videos about trigonometry by going to bit.ly/1FjSTEV (really wish I had resources like this when I was a kid!).
Also no matter what language or tools you’re using, the same rendering techniques will apply. When you reach a certain level, Nvidia’s GPU Gems can come in handy: bit.ly/1EBuXCo.

Inspiration

If you’re in need for inspiration try pouet.net. This has pretty much every real-time graphics demo ever made. A must-see for those looking to get into web 3D.

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