News: Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 3: 3D Modeling

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 3: 3D Modeling

Today's segment of Making Art on Your iOS Device takes us into the third dimension. The below apps are suitable for beginners looking to venture into the world of 3d modeling, as well as pros who simply want the basics of Maya in their pocket.

Build models/3D mockups or smaller components for larger models. Use your touchscreen to sketch out ideas whenever they come to you—alter and create scenes and objects as you prod, pinch, push, carve and smooth virtual matter on-the-go.

1. SculptMaster 3D

SculptMaster 3D is a digital sculpting app available in two versions—the free version doesn't allow users to save; the $3.99 allows users to export saved mesh as .obj to your 3D modeling program of choice.

Virtually sculpt with your "fingers" by zooming/panning/rotating as you add, carve and smooth clay-like material. The pay version also includes an advanced color picker and eyedropper. Featured by Apple as "Staff Favorite".

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 3: 3D Modeling

Cost: Free version; $3.99
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

2. iDough

Based on features alone, iDough seems to stack up evenly to SculptMaster 3D. Again, your finished work can be exported as OBJ files for viewing with any OBJ mesh viewer, and reviews are about average.

Cost: $6.99
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

3. Sunny 3D

Sunny 3D is a Japanese-created 3D modeling app with the standard features—with mixed to poor reviews.

Warning: Though not disclosed in the app description, an iTunes commenter complains: "It turns out that to even save something you need to pay $7.99 which means it's more expensive that some non-free apps, and not useful as a trial version." Regardless, scroll down to see a few YouTube demos of the app in action; tips and tutorials available here.

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 3: 3D Modeling

(1) Tutorial #1, (2) Tutorial #2, (3) Tutorial #3

Cost: "Free"
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

4. Verto Studio 3D

Verto Studio 3D aims to deliver a fully-functional 3d modeling program comparable to a desktop studio program. It indeed offers more features than the aforementioned Sculptmaster 3D and iDough. In addition to smoothing/sculpting tools and the ability to export/import OBJ files, the app includes the following:

  • Image rendering support in: Planes, Cubes, Spheres, Toruses
  • Terrain generator (height field)
  • Polygon extrusion/subdivision
  • Vertex translation/rotation/scaling
  • Texture mapping and coordinate editing
  • Lighting editor
  • Multiple camera modes (top, bottom, left, right, front, back, free)
  • Orthographic projection mode for engineering and CAD applications

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 3: 3D Modeling

Cost: $13.99
Compatible: iPad

5. iSculptor

iSculptor doesn't project any illusions of being for beginners. A 3d polygon modeling application for iPhone/iTouch (a separate version called iSculptorHD is available for the iPad), the program allows users to "move vertices and polygons, create polygons using extrusion and split polygon tools and much more, to create 3d models" on-the-go. Export to your favorite 3D modeling program. Features include:

  • uses strengths of cursor and touch technologies
  • moving polygons and vertices
  • extrusion of polygons
  • scaling of polygons and vertex groups
  • splitting polygon loops
  • merging vertices
  • alignment of vertices
  • triangulation and quadrangulation
  • rotating, panning and zooming of camera

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 3: 3D Modeling

The company also offers many tutorials (1, 2); see a selection from their YouTube channel below:

(1) iSculptor: How to Model a Chair , (2) iSculptor: Part 1 - Navigation and Selection , (3) iSculptor: Part 2 - Selection, Modes and 45 degree Button, (4) iSculptor: Part 3 - Grow Selection, Vertex/Poly Convert and Undo, (5) iSculptor: Part 4 - Wireframe, Perspective/Ortho, Marquee Select, (6) iSculptor: Part 5 - Move, Move Along Normal, Align Vertices

Cost: $4.99
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

**Tune in tomorrow for Part 4, Cool Visual Effects & Tricks. Check out the past two segments on Drawing and Painting if you missed them.

Did we leave out a 3D modeling app you recommend? Please list in the comment section below.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

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