Top 7 Features

It's difficult to cover all the features in Amorphium Pro. This thing is packed. So here's a quick look at what I think are some of the more important and unique tools available in Amorphium Pro.

1. Wax. This mode allows you to add geometry to an object interactively with a mouse or pressure stylus.

2. FX. In this mode, you can interactively deform mesh objects just by clicking your mouse on the object's window. Effects include 3D noise, bend, twist, taper,m bottle, etc.

3. Paint. The painting in Amorphium Pro is incredibly easy. It works on any object, and all you have to do is select a color and start drawing. You can also paint with symmetry or choose from a variety of brushes.

4. Masking. Now this is just a fantastic feature. I can paint a mask directly on an object and then work with just the unmasked areas—for both painting and modeling.

5. Interactive decimation and quad. You can add or subtract polygons on the fly with a click of the button. You can even add polygons just to unmasked areas of an object, and the increase in polygons will automatically feather out to the masked areas to keep from creating too stark a contrast in geometry. Impressive.

6. FX. I love the effects built into this program. All you have to do is click on the effect you want, edit the setting where appropriate, and apply the effect interactively in your object's window. Dragging the mouse left or right while doing so increases or decreases the depth of the effect. These effects include things like spikes, twists, bends, bulges, etc.

7. Animation. The timeline in Amorphium Pro is very easy to understand, especially if you have any experience whatsoever with Adobe After Effects. Control clicking (or right clicking) calls up the option to add a keyframe, which will record just about any change you can make to an object. You can even animate paint strokes over time.

 

REVIEW MARCH 21 , 2001
Electric Image Amorphium Pro 1.1

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How it models
To get a sense of what Amorphium Pro does and how it works—or, rather, how you work with it—you need only contrast it with the way most 3D programs work. Say you want to create a face and animate it. How would you model it in a traditional 3D program? You might build up polygons point by point. You might start with a cube and subdivide, removing polygons until you achieve your desired result. There are lots of ways to do it, none of them particularly intuitive for those who work primarily in 2D.

2D art is an additive process. You start with a blank canvas and add strokes. It's the same in Amorphium Pro, only you're doing it in three dimensions. For the face example above, you might start with a sphere, then use your mouse (or pressure tablet) to build up the object in some areas, reduce it in others, until you arrive at your desired shape. Your mouse or stylus becomes a sort of sculpting device. You can go into "Wax" mode, which allows you to "drip" geometry onto an object or scrape it away. You might use different tools that allow you to pinch or pull or poke the object to achieve your results. Or you might work with "Biospheres," which are strange objects like metaballs that sort of link themselves to one another in a way that resembles skin stretching from one object to the next.


Model in progress. Here you see a quad view of an unfinished model sculpted
from the sphere above. Essentially, it was a process of simply pushing and pulling
the sphere in the right places to make the face emerge. The hair was created
in three simple steps. First, I masked out the head except for a line on top.
Then I used the "Spikes" effect to pull spikes out, and the "Bend"
effect to stretch them into the shape you see.

You can work just as you would if you were sculpting clay, or you can turn on one of the many symmetry modes to save you a little time and ensure that eyes and ears are symmetrical, if that's what you want.

In addition to organic models, you have an equal amount of control over text. This mean you can not only make some 3D text that rotates, but you can also paint it, deform it, add spikes and noise, texture it and otherwise tweak it and animate it. You can even animate paint strokes over time.


Working with text in Amorphium Pro is like working with any other
object: You can paint, mask, distort and otherwise tweak text freely,
with each change keyframable for animation.

There's one more particularly cool tool available in the Composition mode. It's called Interactive Decimation and Interactive Quad. You can simply click on an object to increase or decrease its polygon count. Or, what's even more impressive, you can mask off an area of an object and then just increase or decrease the polygons of the unmasked areas. Amorphium Pro automatically increases the polygons in that area and feathers out the polygon count toward the masked areas to provide a smooth transition from low polygons to high polygons.


Amorphium Pro allows you to increase the polygon count of
unmasked areas of your object. Note the denser polygons around
the ears, nose and mouth, where more detail is needed.

You almost have to see the modeling process in action to appreciate it. We'll post some QuickTime demos in the near future to illustrate the point. Until then, you'll just have to take my word for it: This is so shockingly intuitive that you have to wonder why all 3D modeling didn't start out this way. (You really should, at the very least, download the demo to see how simple this whole process is. You can get it from http://www.amorphium.com.)

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