Xara 3D Maker 7 Review
Xara 3D Maker offers top quality on-screen display, with full anti-aliasing, and real-time solid shading with optional error-diffusion dithering. A View Options panel gives additional advanced control over the X/Y position of an image against its background, allows you to precisely change the angle of rotation and viewpoint, and offers a new wireframe mode which can simplify the display and speed up animation viewing time.
Text headings can use any TrueType font installed on your computer. 64 fonts are included. Full control over every aspect of the appearance of the text, including alignment, sub & superscript, line spacing, tracking and kerning values for individual characters or over whole selections. Instant access to full character sets from within the text dialog. Create non-text headings by importing 2D graphics as Windows metafiles (WMF, EMF) or Xara Xtreme/Designer/Webster files (XAR and WEB) and extruding the outlines. An automatic design-making tool instantly adds a border to your text or turns it into a button, board or board with holes at the click of a button.
All the controls are full interactive - so for example you can change the 3D extrude depth by simply dragging on the side of the heading. And you can position the heading in real time around three axes by simply dragging the image on screen. The many attributes such as bevel, color, fonts, textures, animation and text settings can be applied to individual letters or whole headings. The Style Picker allows you to easily grab any or all of the settings of an existing image and apply them to another. There's no less than 33 different bevel types, and the bevel size can be adjusted by simply dragging the bevel edge on screen. The lighting is interactive and easy-to-use with three adjustable light arrows which can be dragged around the image on-screen. 400 textures are included and you can import your own GIF or PNG files to use as foreground or background textures. Textures can be scaled, rotated and colored. Images can have a soft-edged shadow, and an intuitive interface allows you to easily alter the shadow blur, transparency and color.
Images can be animated in many different ways, such as Rotate, Fade, Ripple, Pulsate, Step, Fade and Swing, using a simple interface. Headings can scroll in and out. Animations can be exported as AVIs and with transparent backgrounds in a special MAGIX format, compatible with MAGIX Photostory and MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, so that they can be superimposed as 3D animated captions on movies and slideshows created in those products. Easily apply different animations to individual characters or sections of text. Set the number of frames in a sequence, the rotation direction, the speed, pause and number of loops, all with simply, intuitive controls. Lights and text can be rotated separately. An animation time line allows you to step through each frame, pause and export a single frame. Xara 3D Maker is equally great for creating animated buttons.
IMPORT AND EXPORT
Xara 3D Maker can save images in all the formats you'll need for use on-screen, in presentations or for movie titles and credits, including JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG (including full PNG alpha channel), ICO (icon) and CUR (cursor). And for animations you can export as animated GIF, AVI and SWF (vector and bitmap). Any 3D animation can also be exported as a screensaver. The export dialog offers optional background transparency, so your 3D image can blend seamlessly into any page background. The export dialog also offers color reduction and palette optimization for maximum quality with the smallest file size, ideal for web pages. There is also complete control over the image size, including a handy Fit To Width feature (with pixel size shown on screen). Any 3D animation can also be exported as a screensaver. Your 3D image can blend seamlessly into any page background. Color reduction and palette optimization guarantee maximum quality with the smallest file size, which makes it ideal for Web pages.
- full anti-aliasing
- real-time solid shading
- error-diffusion dithering
- easy text editing
- full text controls
- design making tool
- real time positioning
- unlimited undo
- advanced transparency control
- add bevels to any object
- add contours around objects
- animated Flash, GIF export
Xara 3D Maker 7 is ideal for any type of 3D designing. We found the program extremely easy to use and within minutes we were able to produce our first 3D animation. We gave Xara 3D Maker 7 a SimplytheBest Gold Award without hesitation. So will you!
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