3Dvia Shape just got better

Anthony Marshall
Anthony Marshall
14 Apr 2008
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Here at Earthware we have been using Shape for a while now in our interactive mapping and V-scapes products but we have yet to see any updates in the software until now. There have been several new features and a new tool added to shape of which I  will give brief overview of below

Texturing was one area that I felt needed improvement in the original version and I had the opportunity to voice my concerns to the team at 3Dvia when I was collaborating with them on the Virtual Earth Eos Generali project.

The principal improvement that has been added is a non uniform scale tool similar in function to the toolset in Google Sketchup. The texture manipulation tool now allows the user to stretch a texture vertically and horizontally in addition to original uniform scale There is also a new tool for texture manipulation which brings up 4 pins positioned on the texture and a central button which has the unique function of filling your polygon with what is contained within the 4 surrounding pins. The process is demonstrated in the images below.

 3Dvia 1 3Dvia 2

The pins can also be moved manually in an advanced mode that will allow the texture to be stretched in a non uniform manner. It works in a similar way to the push pins in Google Sketchup but is set up in a different way and personally I find it much easier to use and understand.

Manipulate has also changed slightly. Previously it produced a set of slightly confusing directional indicators when the user clicked on the element that was to be moved. Now you receive a helpful marker to shows where you have selected which has a number of arrows attached to it clearly indicating the directions or movement available.

 3Dvia 3

With the existing simple but strong tool set I think that these additions further strengthen the unique offering from 3Dvia.

If you have read the previous post you will also be aware of the 3D cities that Microsoft is pioneering in Virtual Earth. They look really good and also allow for embedding of new models within the existing cities. Once they are uploaded it also provides for manipulation, allowing you to ensure it is exactly where you want it :@)

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