3D V4.5 Review - Page 2
      by Nathan aka DDD

This Page 2 of this review, so if you arrived here without reading the first page, click here to go back to Page 1.

Should I buy Swift? And what good is it?
If you use Flash for your development or plan to in the near future, I would fully recommend this program. Its 3d to flash integration is unlike, and unmatched by any other 3d program out there. If you use Adobe Illustrator or any other comparable vector program, I would fully recommend this program. The vector output from Swift makes quick work of objects that would normally take hours to create in Illustrator alone. If you use Lightwave or 3d Studio Max, I would fully recommend this program. Erain has two awesome plug-ins that take advantage of the enhanced modeling abilities of Lightwave and 3d Studio Max and allows you to import those meshes into Swift for the Swift treatment and vector and video rendering.

While this program is ideally aimed at the 2d artist looking to add some 3d elements to flash or illustrations, it is very capable of satisfying the palette of the traditional 3d artists.

The Cons
One thing that I still find a little cumbersome is the lighting setup. Positioning the lights and having them interact with your object and obtain the desired results is one of the big things that I find myself spending the most times on. The lighting system is not really a realistic one in terms of real lighting (3d) so that in itself is an acquired art in Swift. And the trackball takes a little time to master and get used to.

Another thing is while Swift is still growing by leaps and bounds, you will find yourself having to create work-a-rounds for lots of things which are fairly simple in traditional 3d programs. But this passes in time. Coming from a more traditional 3d background I found it really difficult to predict the results of the lights and their placement. But once you do get it, the results can rival that of some major programs and their output. Also I noticed that soft selection in Advanced Modeler is a little fickle in how it behaves.

Working with tris (3 sided polygons), I find also is a bit cumbersome as well. Not only does it mean extra polygons when rendering but it also means more vertices to move or pay attention to. Maybe in the future Swift will make the jump to quads, but I was told don't hold my breathe waiting. But hey if it is not broke don't fix it right? With a few work flow adjustments Swift has a place in just about all production pipelines. In these times where the line between television, hand held devices and internet are fast becoming blurred. Swift 4.5 is a necessary tool in anyone's tool box, from the casual hobbyist to large creative services shops. There is a little something for everyone in this new release of Swift.

All in all there is not much missing in terms of functionality in Swift v4.5. It does exactly what it sets out to do. As with any program out there, there is a learning curve associated with it. But the beauty of Swift is that while you are learning the program you can also find new ways to take it beyond it's limits (just ask Rainman and Jfoley from the forum boards).

Afro  Nathan aka DDD
just when thought it was safe to go back in the pixel pool



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