Planet3DArt Feature Article
<b class="vrgrafixText">Realsoft 3D Version 4 Review
by Leonard Teo, 09
Realsoft Graphics is a 3D
software development company out of Finland.
Their latest software, Realsoft 3D version
4 is a 3D modeling/animation/rendering package
that rivals other high-end packages at a
very attractive price of US$700. Featuring
many heavyweight tools that are only available
in much more expensive packages, Realsoft
3D exuberates with true "bang for your buck"
The Realsoft 3D interface is similar to
Alias|Wavefront Maya's and discreet's 3ds
max. Large, colorful buttons line the top
of the screen, and a selection window on
the left allows you to control all of your
scene objects and attributes. Realsoft 3D
even has a mini version of the famous Maya
"Hotbox", which they call the "Compass".
This allows you to quickly switch views
or perform operations on objects without
having to go back to the command buttons
The Realsoft 3D user interface. Notice
the "Compass" that allows you
to quickly apply different views or actions
Surprisingly, the default UI configuration
is not a "four" layout (top, front, side,
perspective viewports), but a single, large
perspective viewport. With the Compass,
you can quickly change views, but most experienced
3D modelers prefer to work with a "four"
view. The good news is that the UI is completely
configurable, and there is a preset layout
for the "four" view.
I think that the area where Realsoft 3D
excels most is in modeling. Built into Realsoft
3D is some very powerful subdivision surface
and NURBS modeling features that are only
found in much more expensive packages. Realsoft
3D also throws in metaball modeling, for
creating interesting liquid-type, blobby
I was pleasantly surprised to find that
Realsoft 3D features true Subdivision Surface
modeling. Any time you render the SubD object,
it renders out smoothly subdivided. This
is unlike other packages where you need
to increase the subdivision levels to get
a smooth surface. The set of tools for SubD
modeling is very comprehensive, including
weighted points and edges, and also edge
creasing. There is also a "Tunnel" tool
that will punch a hole in a polygon or join
two faces together. SubD modeling furiously
fast, and once you get the hang of it in
Realsoft 3D, you can create many objects
or characters quickly and without fuss.
Realsoft 3D also comes with an impressive
set of NURBS modeling tools. From the basic
lathes, extrusions and lofts all the way
to surface trimming (punching holes in surfaces),
welding and fillets. For a $700 package,
that's pretty damn amazing.
An interesting tool is the Pen tool which
you can use to very quickly create NURBS
surfaces. It works by first creating a curve,
then using a Pen (options are Rail, Sweep
and Rotate) to interactively create the
resulting NURBS surface. As you lay down
the points on the new curve, you can already
see the surface taking shape and interactively
adjust the look of it.
This vase was created in a few seconds
by using the Pen tool to lathe an
existing curve interactively. Notice that
Realsoft 3D also has in-viewport
rendering for previews.
I found it a bit cumbersome to edit sub-objects
such as vertices and faces. While the user
interface includes large "manipulators"
that allows you to move, rotate and scale
objects constrained to an axis quickly in
3D space, sub-object editing does not have
these. No doubt, you can get around it quite
easily by switching the input plane to another
view or by locking an axis with keys, but
it's a little more tedious. It would have
been easier to grab the manipulators.