3D Toolkit on its way

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dvGarage, a company dedicated to training the next generation of visual media artists, is now shipping its 3D Toolkit, a Mac only application that the Garage's Alex Lindsay told MacCentral will give Mac users "unparalleled access" to learning 3D.

The 3D Toolkit, which will be US$199, is made up of five parts: the tools, an overview, basic tutorials, advanced tutorial and bonus materials. The tools include an animation system (essentially Electric Image 2.9.2) and a modeler. Each application will have a 20-minute overview. Electric Image was chosen because it's relatively straightforward to learn and has a lot of power under the hood, Lindsay said.

Lindsay, a former member of Industrial Light and Magic's Rebel Unit, designed the Toolkit, which ships with a full version of Electric Image 2.9 Software and over 20 tutorials. Shipping with a full production level application (used in movies like "Star Wars: Episode 1") and by using animated explanations and detailed step-by-step training, the 3D Toolkit provides an "on-ramp" for 2D professionals and even hobbyists who have put off entering the world of 3D, Lindsay said.

Customers will receive one CD immediately and either a DVD or multiple CDs in another month. 3D Toolkit was originally slated for release in July.

"As we started testing our product, we found holes that we felt beginners would fall through," Lindsay explained. "They're probably the same holes others who are building training have run across, except we decided to fill them. In the process, 75 minutes of basic training became 5 hours of animated tutorials. We could have simply shipped the original product, but by making the adjustments, we feel we are truly creating a groundbreaking product that will finally fulfill on our promise to make 3D accessible to everyone."

The CD version comes with software, animated overviews of the Animator and Modeler, and 20 tutorials and project files. dvGarage is also preparing to provide in-depth customer support on their Web site (http://www.dvgarage.com) in the form of discussion forums and additional training files. See MacCentral's June 12 article for more details on the 3D ToolKit.

This story, "3D Toolkit on its way" was originally published by PCWorld.

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