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Comdex coverage by CNN and

Amorphium offers 3D modeling for the rest of us

November 17, 1998
Web posted at: 3:10 PM ET

by Harry McCracken

(IDG) -- If you can squish, squash, or smoosh clay, you shouldn't have much trouble learning how to use Play's Amorphium, a new graphics software package announced on Monday at Comdex.
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While most 3D modeling software is notoriously complicated to learn and use, this new product -- from the company best known for the popular Snappy video digitizer -- brings radical simplicity to the process. The package is scheduled to hit store shelves in January at a list price of $149.95

You model objects in Amorphium by starting with a primitive shape such as a sphere or cylinder, or some text, then simply use the mouse to grab the shape and pull, push, or twist it into a new look. You can also paint colors or textures right onto surfaces, and everything's rendered in realistically shaded 3D on the fly, so there's no guesswork about how your creations will look.

Despite the slick real-time 3D interface, Play says that the software doesn't require a 3D graphics card.

While Amorphium lets you add some basic motion to scenes, it's not a full-blown animation package along the lines of Kinetix's 3D Studio Max. However, you can export Amorphium objects for use in other 3D packages, as well as create simple animated GIFs for use on Web sites.

Play expects Amorphium to appeal to a wide range of users: amateur artists, graphics professionals who aren't experienced with 3D tools, and animators who'd like to add another tool to their arsenal.

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