Xara 3D 6

[DTP Reviews]
[Vector Reviews]
[Bitmap Reviews]
[Web Reviews]
[3D Reviews]

[3ds max 6]
[3DSOM Pro ]
[Acrobat 7]
[Acrobat 6]
[Acrobat 5]
[Acrobat 4]
[Acrobat 3]
[Acrobat Capture 2]
[Advanced Render 2.5]
[Articulate Presenter 5]
[AutoEye 2]
[AutoEye 1]
[Avenue.Quark]
[Bryce 5.5]
[Camtasia Studio]
[Canvas X]
[Canvas 9]
[Canvas 8]
[Canvas 7]
[Canvas 6]
[Canvas 5]
[Captivate 1]
[Carrara 5 / Pro]
[Carrara 4 / Pro]
[Carrara Studio 3]
[Cinema 4D 9.5]
[Cinema 4D 9]
[Cinema 4D 8.5]
[ColorDrive 1.5]
[CompuPic Pro 6]
[CompuPic Pro 5]
[Contribute 2]
[Contribute]
[Corel Designer 12]
[Corel Designer 10]
[Designer 9]
[Designer 1/8]
[CorelDraw X3]
[CorelDraw 12]
[CorelDraw 11]
[CorelDraw 10]
[CorelDraw 9]
[CorelDraw 8]
[CorelDraw Office 9]
[CorelDraw Premium 9]
[Creative Suite 2]
[Creative Suite 1]
[Deep Exploration 3]
[Deep Paint 2]
[Deep Paint 3D 2]
[Digital Image Suite 9]
[Director MX]
[Director 8.5]
[Director 8]
[DreamSuite 1]
[Dreamweaver 8]
[Dreamweaver MX 2004]
[Dreamweaver MX]
[DrawPlus 8]
[Expression 3]
[Expression 2]
[Eye Candy 4000]
[Fireworks 8 ]
[Fireworks MX 2004]
[Fireworks MX]
[Fireworks 4]
[Fireworks 3]
[Fireworks 2]
[Fireworks 1]
[Flash Professional 8]
[Flash MX Pro 2004]
[Flash MX 2004]
[Flash MX]
[Flash 5]
[Flash 4]
[Flash 3]
[FlashCom MX]
[Flightcheck 3]
[Flix Pro]
[Fontographer 4.1]
[FrameMaker 6]
[FrameMaker 5.5]
[FreeHand MX]
[FreeHand 10]
[FreeHand 9]
[FreeHand  8]
[FrontPage 2003]
[FrontPage 2002]
[FotoFusion 3]
[Generator 1]
[Genetica 2]
[Genuine Fractals 3.5]
[Genuine Fractals]
[GoLive CS2]
[GoLive CS]
[GoLive 6]
[GoLive 5]
[GraphicXtras]
[Headline Studio 1]
[Hexagon]
[Illustrator CS2]
[Illustrator CS]
[Illustrator 10]
[Illustrator 9]
[Illustrator 8]
[Illustrator 7]
[Image Doctor]
[InDesign CS2]
[InDesign CS]
[InDesign 2]
[InDesign 1]
[ImageReady 1]
[ImageStyler 1]
[Intellihance Pro 4]
[Intellihance 3]
[KnockOut 2]
[KnockOut 1.5]
[KPT 7]
[KPT 6]
[KPT 5]
[KPT 3]
[LiveMotion 2]
[LiveMotion 1]
[Mystical Lighting ]
[Mystical Tint]
[Namo WebEditor 5.5]
[NetObjects Fusion 7.5]
[OnOne Photoshop Suite]
[PageMaker 7]
[PageMaker 6.5+]
[PageMaker 6.5]
[PagePlus 6]
[PagePlus 5]
[PagePlus 4]
[Paint Shop Pro X ]
[Paint Shop Pro 9]
[Paint Shop Pro 8]
[Paint Shop Pro 7]
[Paint Shop Pro 6]
[Paint Shop Pro 5]
[Paint Shop Pro 4]
[PSP Album 5]
[PSP Studio]
[Painter IX]
[Painter 8]
[Painter 7]
[Painter 6]
[Painter 5.5]
[Painter 5]
[Painter 4]
[Painter Essentials 3]
[Photo Album 6]
[PhotoArtMaster]
[Photo-Brush]
[PhotoDeluxe BE]
[PhotoDraw 2000 2]
[PhotoDraw 2000 1]
[PhotoFrame 1]
[PhotoGraphics 1]
[PhotoImpact 11]
[PhotoImpact 10]
[PhotoImpact XL]
[PhotoImpact 8]
[PhotoImpact 6]
[PhotoImpact 5]
[PhotoImpact 4]
[PhotoImpact 3]
[Photo-Objects 2]
[PhotoPaint 8]
[PhotoSEAM]
[Photoshop CS2]
[Photoshop CS]
[Photoshop 7]
[Photoshop 6]
[Photoshop 5.5]
[Photoshop 5]
[Photoshop 4]
[Photoshop Album 2]
[Photoshop Album]
[Ph/shop Elements 4]
[Ph/shop Elements 3]
[Ph/shop Elements 2]
[Photoshop Elements]
[PhotoSuite 7 ]
[PhotoSuite 5]
[PhotoSuite 4]
[PhotoSuite III]
[PhotoSuite II]
[PhotoTools 2]
[Picture Publisher 8]
[Piranesi 4 ]
[Piranesi 3]
[Portfolio 3]
[Poser 6]
[Poser 5]
[Poser Pro Pack]
[PrintOffice 2000]
[PrintOffice 1]
[PressReady 1]
[Publisher 2003]
[Publisher 2002]
[Publisher 2000]
[Publisher 98]
[Pxl SmartScale]
[QuarkXPress 6.5]
[QuarkXPress 6]
[QuarkXPress 5]
[QuarkXPress 4]
[Real-Draw Pro 3]
[Real Draw Pro 2]
[Sapphire Plug-ins]
[Satori 3]
[Satori 2.5]
[Sketch and Toon]
[SketchUp 5]
[SketchUp 4]
[SketchUp 3]
[SketchUp 2.1]
[SnagIt 6.2]
[Streamline 4]
[Studio 8]
[Studio MX 2004]
[Studio MX]
[Studio Pro 2 ]
[Swift 3D 4 ]
[Swift 3D 3]
[Swish 1]
[Swish 2]
[Test Strip 3]
[Texture Maker 2]
[Toon Boom Studio 3]
[Toon Boom Studio 1]
[Type Manager Deluxe]
[Vector Studio 2]
[Vector Studio 1]
[Ventura 10]
[Ventura 8]
[Ventura 7]
[Virtual Painter]
[Vue 5 Esprit]
[Vue 4 d'Esprit]
[Vue 5 Infinite]
[Vue 4 Professional]
[Web3D 2]
[Web3D 1]
[WebEasy Pro 5]
[WebPlus 8]
[WildFX]
[WildPresenter]
[Windows Draw 6]
[Windows Draw 5]
[Wright Design 1]
[Xara Xtreme]
[Xara X1]
[Xara X]
[Xara 2]
[Xara 1]
[Xara3D 6]
[Xara3D 5]
[Xenofex 2]
[Xfrog 3.5 / 4.x]
[XPress 6.5]
[XPress 6]
[XPress 5]
[XPress 4]
[xRes 2]


[Home / What's New]
[DTP / Publishing]
[Vector Drawing]
[Bitmap / Photo Editing]
[Web Design]
[3D Software]
[All Reviews]
[All Articles / Tutorials]
[Book Search / Shop]
[Site Map / Search]
[Contact]
 

you can help support the site with a direct donation or by shopping via the following links:

[Amazon.com]
[Amazon.co.uk]
[Amazon.ca]

Thank you!

 

 

Recommended

An improved interface, new design options, better integration and sheer speed make Xara 3D a pleasure to work with – but its range is strictly limited..

xara 3d 6

Xara, the company behind Xara 3D, is the developer of Xara X 1 the most efficient, creative and affordable 2D drawing package available. The same focus on speed, productivity, usability, creativity and value is apparent in the company’s 3D offering, Xara 3D.

But it’s important to keep things in perspective. At just $45 you can’t expect a full 3D modeler and you certainly don’t get one. Instead Xara 3D concentrates almost exclusively on handling 3D text. When you create a new file, it automatically appears with dummy text in place. Once you’ve replaced this with your own, Xara 3D’s speed becomes apparent by the interactivity it enables. You simply drag to reposition your text, shadows and lighting within 3D space, fully rendered and in real time. And now you can drag to manage the depth of extrusion and bevel too.

xara 3d 6

Xara 3D 6 provides a new interface and new design options.

This hands-on approach makes the whole process of creative experimentation intuitive and enjoyable, but you can’t make all edits directly on your graphic. Previously, other settings such as the choice of bevel type (there are now no less than 27 on offer), were handled via a series of idiosyncratic and ugly docker panels, but the interface has been completely reworked. Now the redesigned Option Bars – Colour, Extrude, Design, Bevels, Shadow, Texture and Animation – are all neatly docked down the right of the screen and are selected in turn by clicking on their title. It’s a lot neater and more streamlined than version 5, but it does mean that you are now limited to having just one Option Bar open at a time unless you undock them.

Apart from the new interface, the other immediately noticeable change is that the default 3D text is now surrounded by a default 3D oval border. This is part of a general move to incorporate a shape with your text to create a combined design. Beside the basic standalone text, there are four new options to choose from - Button, Board, Board with Holes and the new default, Border – depending on whether the text is flat on the object, embossed on it, drilled through it or surrounded by it. As you’d expect with Xara 3D as soon as you select an option the document window updates instantly and, as you have exactly the same formatting control over your object as you do for your text, you’ll be producing striking logos or web buttons in no time.  

Xara 3D 6 provides the most common and useful object shapes – rounded rectangles, ovals and so on – from a dropdown in the new Design Options Bar or, using the Design Picker you can choose from a number of more advanced options – spheres, crosses, splats and so on. You can also load your own files in XAR, WEB, WMF or EMF format and, when you register, Xara provides a free copy of its Webster 2 application (as sold for $49) to help you create them. Much the most convenient option is available to Xara X 1 users who can now simply copy and paste their vector shapes into Xara 3D. Even better, you can also copy and paste your 3D designs back into Xara X 1. The results look excellent – right down to partially transparent shadows – though this is only possible because the 3D object is pasted as a rasterized bitmap.

Once you’ve got your basic design looking the way you want it, you can bring it to life with the Animation Options Bar. Again this provides the most common options from a dropdown – rotate, fade, pulsate – while more advanced options – combined effects, individual character animation and so on – are available from the Animation Picker. There’s no keyframing capability so effectively you’re stuck with the preset animations on offer but there’s no question that these can be striking - particularly now when many of the animations involve different effects for the text and object. Especially impressive is the way that Xara 3D lets you interactively reposition text, object, shadows and lighting and even resize bevels and extrusions as the animation is playing onscreen!

Ultimately of course your 3D design or animation isn’t much use within Xara 3D itself so the final production stage is to export it. Xara 3D supports output to all the main web bitmap standards - JPEG, GIF, PNG and animated GIF - as well as to BMP format. Particularly impressive, especially at the price, is the program’s support for vector Flash SWF output although shadows and textures are automatically dropped and you can expect some pretty enormous file sizes depending on your choice of bevel.

For video-based output the choice is simple: AVI. However, with this latest release you can now choose any codec that you have installed on your system such as Cinepak or MPEG-4. This provides much greater flexibility and efficiency, but it does mean that, if you’re planning on distributing your AVI, the end user will need to have the same codec installed on their system for playback. You can also save your animation as a SCR screen saver though, as these are based on embedded AVI, the same advice regarding distribution applies.

xara 3d 6

When exporting animations to AVI format, you can now specify any installed codec.

3D by its nature is a demanding field but, with its simple approach, Xara 3D makes it child’s play to produce impressive results. Its range is strictly limited to logos, titles, shapes and buttons, but for many users this clear focus will be seen as another advantage.

Features
3
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
6
Overall
5

ratings out of 6

Xara X
Software (+ free trial)
Save $$!   Save ££!

Xara 3D
Software (+ free trial)
Save $$!   Save ££!

Xara WebStyle
Software (+ free trial)
Save $$!   Save ££!

Xara Fonts
Software (+ free trial)
Save $$!   Save ££!

System Requirements: Pentium 500 MHz or higher, 64/128MB of RAM , 50MB of hard disk space, Windows 98, Me, 2000 (SP2) or XP, 16-bit display

Tom Arah

April 2005

 

       
designer-info.com: independent, informed, intelligent, incisive, in-depth...
 


All the work on the site (over 250 reviews, over 100 articles and tutorials) has been written by me, Tom Arah It's also me who maintains the site, answers your emails etc. The site is very popular and from your feedback I know it's a useful resource - but it takes a lot to keep it up.

You can help keep the site running, independent and free by Bookmarking the site (if you don't you might never find it again), telling others about it and by coming back (new content is added every month). Even better you can make a donation eg $5 the typical cost of just one issue of a print magazine or buy anything via Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk (now or next time you feel like shopping) using these links or the designer-info.com shop - it's a great way of quickly finding the best buys, it costs you nothing and I gain a small but much-appreciated commission.

Thanks very much, Tom Arah


 
[DTP/Publishing] [Vector Drawing] [Bitmap/Photo] [Web] [3D]
[Articles/Tutorials]
[Reviews/Archive] [Shop]  [Home/What's New]

Copyright 1995-2005, Tom Arah, Designer-Info.com. Please get in contact to let me know what you think about a particular piece or the site in general.