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Sponsored App Review: d3D Sculptor

July 16, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: d3D Sculptor is an app for Android that allows users that are familiar with 3D modeling  to create 3D models of things while they’re on the move. The idea is that these simple models can then be exported and used on more powerful Desktop-class apps like Maya or 3DS Max or to be used in 3D Printing. With d3D Sculptor, users can push, pull, extrude, move, rotate, stretch, or otherwise manipulate things like they were clay. More than that though, they can tweak the UV coordinates, scale the object and more. There are lots of video tutorials that can be found on YouTube and you can export your OBJ files for use on a more powerful piece of equipment.

How it Works: To get started creating your own models, you’ll first need a device with a powerful processor, something like the Snapdragon S4 Pro and above will do, but if your device has at least a dual-core processor, then you shouldn’t come across issues. If your smartphone or tablet meets the requirements, then you can go ahead and download the app from the Play Store.

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Unsurprisingly, starting a new project will bring you into the 2D to 3D wizard, which has you draw a shape on a number of grids to then be transformed into 3D objects. Starting a new project brings you to an object selection screen. The 2D-to-3D wizard is a feature designed for advanced users that know what they’re doing.

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With the 2D-to-3D wizard, you can take images like the below table and turn them into 3D. More vertices equal smoother results, but Android devices can only use as many as 10,000 vertices, unlike desktop computers.

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In d3D Sculptor you can easily manipulate these objects in 3D and smooth things out or increase the vertices.

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Once you’ve created your 3D image, you can take a look at advanced features like the UV BumpMap and more, of course these sort of features are for those familiar with 3D modeling.

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However, more seriously, yo can do some pretty advanced things with d3D Sculptor, laying the ground work for further model work to be done on your main PC.

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Opinion: As with other apps like d3D Sculptor, that offer a lot of technical goodness, the app itself is pretty rough. The menus are fairly barebones and the UI is a mess, really. However, if you can get passed all that and you know what you’re doing when it comes to 3D modelling, you should find some value in d3D Sculptor. There’s no doubt that the underlying engine here is nice and powerful and can do a whole bunch, but it’s pretty rough to use and unless you know what you’re doing in the 3D sort of space, then it’s probably a good idea to take a look at the many YouTube videos like this one.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – Despite the fact it’s a demanding app, I didn’t experience any issues with it on my tablets.
  • Features (4/5) – No doubt about it, the underlying engine here is good, it supports lots of manipulation and allows for exporting projects for further work to be done on them.
  • Theme (3/5) – The UI does need some work and it can be awkward to use, this is the biggest letdown here and hopefully it gets fixed soon, but those experienced in 3D modeling shouldn’t find it too difficult.
  • Overall (3.5/5) – It ticks the right boxes when it comes to the nitty gritty, but it’s hard to use and as a result it takes a long time for anything to really form when using d3D Sculptor.

Pros

  • Great for those that know their stuff and just want a simple editor for when on the move.
  • Use the OBJ format for easy transfer back and forth to your main machine.
  • Makes the most of these new and powerful mobile chips we’ve been using for some time.
  • With patience, you can create some very good models indeed with this.

Cons

  • Android devices are limited to just 10,000 vertices which can make detailing difficult and extruding some functions is limited to 700 vertices.
  • UV editor doesn’t autogenerate UV unwrap maps and there aren’t any edge manipulation options, either.

Conclusion: It’s a shame that the UI lets d3D Sculptor down here, as it hides some pretty impressive stuff behind it. Still, if you can somehow get to grips with everything, which isn’t too difficult as there are a lot of tutorials online, then those that know what they’re doing will be able to create some good stuff. The free version allows for exports with less than 1000 vertices, but the paid version isn’t too expensive and both versions allow for OBJ exporting to a more powerful machine for proper editing.

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