Create 3D games and interactive applications
Consisting of a DirectX real-time 3D engine and a suite of editing tools, DX Studio is a 3D games and simulation development and authoring environment.
Its main aim is to simplify and speed up the process of designing and developing 3D interactive applications.
This release includes the addition of new features as well as some tidying up.
The headline features include a new ‘live’ display system for the 2D and 3D editors, terrain generation, reusable components, the latest Nvidia Physx engine and embedded players for Firefox and Google Chrome.
DX Studio provides a visual interface that is configurable to your own preferences, with docked tabbed palettes.
In the default view, a centrally located viewport is surrounded by palettes for layers, objects and meshes on the left, and properties, meshes and an Object Properties palette the right.
Creating and manipulating models and scenes is very much a visual process. DX Studio has an integral model editor that can be used to produced and shape primitives, has tools for extrusion, lathing and edge manipulation, and supports advanced features like UV mapping. Despite all this, it’s more useful as a means of tweaking and tidying models imported from more able applications. DX Studio can import 3D models in all commonly used formats.
You don’t have to script everything, though, as DX Studio includes the open-source Bullet physics engine. Physical interactions are easy to implement; simply enter values for an object’s mass, friction, bounce, rotation and gravity properties. Physics can also be configured to use an approximating shape for example, a box or sphere, rather than the object mesh.
The new terrain generator allows you to generate terrain with random shapes and texture it, but in the absence of sculpting tools (a realtime sculpting tool has been promised for the v3.1 update) and other advanced features, most users will likely create their terrain in another application and import it.
New 2D and 3D controls and modules make it easy to quickly develop more complex objects. The library contains a character control module that responds to keyboard input and has other configurable properties. Other examples are currently a bit thin on the ground, but given the vibrant DX studio community this isn’t likely to remain the case for long.
The new control makes in-position editing of objects much swifter; the three-axis handles incorporate adjusters for scale, position and rotation. You can scale the 3D Gizmo using the keyboard so that it’s an appropriate size relative to the view and the object you are manipulating. The 3D Gizmo’s appearance is owed much to the feedback of a DX Studio users forum that is well supported by Worldweaver staff.
This evolution of DX Studio has been well received by existing users and also addresses issues we had when we reviewed the previous version. For anyone looking to develop games and interactive simulations working alone, on a budget and/or to tight schedules, it remains a worthwhile proposition.
Pros: Inexpensive; easy to use; well supported Cons: Performance is sluggish with legacy files Overall: This latest version addresses previous issues, is easy to use and great value for money
£58.75 (non-commercial Standard Edition); £117.50 (non-commercial Pro Edition £100); other versions available
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