Virtual 3D clay for iPad

This ‘virtual clay’ app reminds me of Adobe’s presentation at MAX 2010, which showed us a demo of a companion app to work alongside Photoshop. Here, the iPad itself is the controller and displays only five dots, which represent your fingertips. The companion app runs on a Mac on the same WiFi network, which shows the actual model you are creating on-screen.

What the app does is it lets you sculpt virtual modeling clay with your fingers. It uses the iPad’s multi-touch capabilities. This is a really exciting application idea, because clay traditionally is a very hands on experience, and although this isn’t going to be exactly the same, it does give you more control on the iPad than on a Mac.

Just by using your fingers, you squish and shape the chunk of virtual clay in real time. You only have to push and pull it to get the shape you want.  Another amazing thing is that it reacts to you turning and moving the iPad. It makes great use of the built in accelerometers.

It could be that these types of programs are going to lead the way, and we have more exciting things to come.

The bad news, though, is that the only way currently to have this is to download the source code from the project page and compile it yourself. You will need an iOS developer account to load it onto your iPad. More information and other photos can be seen at the Beautiful Modeler site.

The video below is worth a watch, so you can see how easy it could be used by so many people who work with these types of programs. It shows us the process of making a lamp, and being able to use the iPad in this way does seem a step in the future.

The output from the app is STL, standard template library, which can be sent to a 3D printer directly — meaning you can print out your handiwork and have it as a solid object. You will need to find someone with a 3D printer, and these are pretty pricy, but your local college /  university may have one, and they might let you ‘demo’ this iPad app for them and net yourself a freebie print out too.

Article Via cgarchitect

Tip Via @dancole

Chatty Canadian in the UK. Dancing queen in my head. Digital Communications Lecturer. Mac computer fan. Mac makeup fan. iOS developer. Popcorn eater. Was producer & host of quirky app review show Apps & Hats.