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Showing posts from October, 2009

Autodesk Project Cooper : free drawing tool (for now?)

Project Cooper is a new and user-friendly drawing and presentation application, which should appeal to casual users, people with no CAD background and home-users. But nothing prevents you from trying it out as professional architects. It actually contains enough precision for proper drawing on scale and uses the DWG format for interoperability with CAD software. As most Autodesk Labs projects, specifications and availability are subject to change and no info is given on later possible commercial pricing. Current release expires on April 30, 2010 and available in US and Canada only. Windows XP or Vista (32-bit) are required. More info on .

Free version of Balancer Polygon reduction

Atangeo Balancer is a tool that puts your 3D polygonal models in balance. With Balancer you can quickly and easily find your perfect balance between visual appearance and the number of polygons; optimize your models even further for best visualization performance depending on your rendering method. Limited in amount of polygons in the free version (which actually defeats its purpose, so you might need the full version to do real optimizations). Check the Atangeo website for details.

Open Source HDRI application

Initially, when I learned about High Dynamic Range Images, I looked at the HDRshop application, which was simple, but at the time more than welcome. I just found out about Qtpfsgui, which is an Open Source application to load bracketed images (with different exposure) and turn them into real HDR images. Cross-platform (Windows, Linux and OSX) and Open Source.

Pixelstruct - Open Source alternative to Microsoft Photosynth

Have you been impressed by Photosynth from Microsoft ? Well, the same underlying algorithms have now been used in an Open Source application, which has a similar goal: reconstructing the environment through combining several pictures. Points in the pictures are related and the more pictures you receive, the more complete the display becomes. Each picture is mapped to the same point-cloud-like reconstruction.

Open Source : Sweet Home 3D

I just read about through a Sourceforge mailing. Apparently, it is a cross-platform (Windows, OSX and Linux) and Open Source home modeling application, with the possibility of running online. The export to 2D drawings uses Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), which is slightly similar to PDF, but in an open XML-based format and the 3D model can be exported into an OBJ file (the old ASCII-format from Alias Wavefront software, before it became Maya).

List of free Vector-drawing programs

If you want to look at alternatives for CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator, this list gives a brief overview of some possible applications to look at. They all handle drawing, layout of (usually) single pages and insertion of bitmap images. Go to . I have used Inkscape twice, to create posters. Starting from a PDF and once starting from a PowerPoint template saved as a PNG file to use as background. Support of layers, snaps and grids is there and also insertion of images, clipping, Boolean operations and decent font support. While I still believe I am more flexible and productive in CoreDRAW (which I used quite a lot), it gets the job done. On Windows, OSX and Linux, no less. Native format is SVG, but it has decent support for other formats too. I don't know Xare Xtreme , but if it used to be commercial, it might have some good productivity laying behind it. I tried the 3.0.0 version of Draw once and it b