Fix 1.1.2 Now Available

Unfortunately version 1.1.1 shipped with a bug that would affect new users shortly after launch. It made it both through our testing and through review with Apple.

Our analytics alerted us to the issue shortly after launched and we identified and fixed the problem shortly after that. Apple granted us an expedited review and processed our update in matter of hours. The whole process from alert to a fix being available in the store was about half a day.

So, a big thanks to Apple for the assistance and we’re happy to say that 1.1.2 is reporting as 100% stable.

If you have any feedback or would like to request a feature, let us know.

Update 1.1.1 Now Available

We’ve been really busy since since the launch of version 1.1 and our work on PBR, but we managed to squeeze in a much needed addition: a built in help manual. You can download the new update here.

We plan on extending this in the future to cover usage at a higher level as well, e.g., “how do I do x?”. This should make getting started with Model3D even easier for beginners.

If you have any feedback or would like to request a feature, let us know.

Early PBR Rendering for Model3D

This is our first test of our PBR renderer. There’s very little open source work (actually none) for PBR rendering for Metal, so we’ve had to work from some very helpful sources like learnopengl.com, codinglabs.net, the work of Epic Games and others. (Kudos to the authors.)

Here we’re testing a shader (a small program that runs on a GPU) that supports basic physically based rendering. Two of the most significant parameters that are sent to it are roughness and metalness. Below you can see a white (white albedo) cube with 50% rougness and 50% metalness.

You’ll notice that is looks like a gray translucent cube. That’s because it’s in an unrealistic environment (the test cube / skybox) with opposing sides that have the same color. Given a realistic environment map and a realistic surface color, the cube would look more like an actual plastic cube.

Metal, if you’re not familiar with it, is an Apple-specific GPU API. Metal is fun to work with and high performance (close to the metal) and helps give Model3D the high levels of performance that is has on iPads. But it’s also relatively new, so working with it is not as straightforward as, say, OpenGL.

Read more…

What We Have Planned for Model3D

When we started building Model3D, we originally planned to have it be a 3D modeler only – and to be joined by a companion product down the road called Paint3D. Paint3D would be texturing and rendering and would go together with Model3D like peanut butter and jelly.

But after launching Model3D and getting feedback from users, we realized we wanted to combine these two products into one and get these new features launched sooner rather than later.

Why? Good question.

Model3D is a 3D modeler on iPad, which means it acts as one part of a 3D pipeline. That means in order to use models created with Model3D, you currently have to export your meshes to desktop software and texture there (and add anything else you might want to).

While this is reasonable (a lot of iPad software are really companion apps not meant to replace their desktop counterparts) it would be a lot cooler if you could texture and render your creations without leaving the iPad.

So we’re currently working on what’s known as a Physically Based Renderer (usually PBR for short) and a set of texturing tools. Now, while PBR renderers are generally considered state of the art, we don’t plan on supporting photo-realistic rendering out of the gate. We do plan on having a solid PBR pipeline that will give Model3D the ability to export finished 2D renderings (for use, in say, Procreate, which is great 2D app) as well as 3D models, complete with textures / material definitions.

This is complicated stuff, but again, we’re not really aiming at replacing Maya anytime soon. We want to provide a smaller, easier to learn subset of capabilities that nevertheless will be capable of producing some really cool 3D art.

Check back here for progress.

Major Update Version 1.1 Now Available

We’ve been really busy since launch and we’ve just released version 1.1, which should be available in the app store now. You can download it here.

We’ve actually removed a number of features in version 1.1 because we believe it’s better to give lower-level features that are easy to learn and use than it is to give higher-level features that may be hard to learn or may not always give expected results.

Removed:

  • Carve – subdivide face can be used in may cases instead
  • Intersect – same as carve

Added:

  • Subdivide face (by edge centers or by the existing faces triangulation)
  • Flatten vertices (align by plane)
  • Distribute vertices (evenly, along a line)
  • Separate faces into new object
  • Join faces into single object

As well, extrude has been updated to not require dragging. This was changed so that faces could be extruded in a single step (as opposed to two). Extruded faces will now be set outward from the normal of the original face. They can be manipulated after that as before.

If you have any feedback about these changes or would like to request a feature, let us know.

And We've Launched Model3D!

Model3D is now available for sale in the App Store. You can download it here.

Development was a challenging and fun 8 months. We’re just getting started of course and looking forward to getting feedback from user as we continue to develop Model3D.

If you have an questions or feedback, feel free to contact us