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The latest version of Ray Dream Studio 5 can add powerful new tools to your 3D toolbox. This animation package uses Mesh Form modeler to manipulate models with precise control. The vertex-level modeler generates models via extrusion, lathing, lofting and sweeping, and uses a Sphere of Attraction tool to deform models by pushing and pulling an object's surface. Boolean operations let you add or subtract pieces of geometry, while volumetric and particle-based primitives (such as fire, fog and clouds) let you create and animate natural effects.
The program's NaturalMedia feature integrates ThinkFish's LiveStyles rendering technology to give 3D artwork a 2D look, substituting hand-drawn styles for photo-realism.
Full version, $449; upgrade, $99. MetaCreations, 800-846-0111, 408-430-4100. Winfo #591