3D Software?

Hi everyone.  I tried to look for an area to submit this to, but I couldn't find a 'General Discussions' thread that didn't deal directly with Articulate.  There's a GD thread in the Building Better Courses forum, but that doesn't really apply.  So, I thought I'd come on here and ask the people that I know.

I'm looking for 3D software that I can create a video in and then put it into Articulate Presenter.  'm looking for something that my company can use.  Coding is not my specialty, though.  I like being able to create images on the screen, not put in code.  Can anyone suggest the best software out there that's fairly easy to use?  Obviously we'd have to pay for it, but I was hoping that people on here, fellow Articulate Presenter users, could recommend some software to me.

8 Replies
Garry Hargreaves

Hi Tammy,

Just about all 3D software has the ablity to create video files.  It does not sound like

 you really need 3D for what you are trying to do.  If you really want free 3D software try

Open source Blender (www.blender.org).  This is not 3D but it maybe what you are tryig to do

Try www.cu3ox.com

Hope that helps



Steve Flowers

The tool you pick for 3D outputs really depends on quite a few factors like target quality, staff skills, and type of output. If you are looking for a *does it all* tool and want something to play with to explore the depths, Garry's recommendation to try Blender is great. Blender has come a long way over the years and if you put in the time to learn the tool and hone skills, there's really nothing you can't do in Blender that can be done in any of the leading tools in the space (3DSMax, Maya).

If you're looking for a quick way to animate premade models with a Flash based output (a filetype that loads well into Articulate) you might try Swift3D.

There's a fairly steep learning curve to get great results with any of the model+texture+animate tools. Time to proficiency is around 2 or 3 years with regular dedicated practice. If you're looking for more specific output types (like people renders) there are some tools available that ease this curve a bit. Swift3D is in that class of tool. Poser is a tool in that class that focuses on human forms.

What types of output are you looking to produce? 

Garry Hargreaves

Steve's suggestions are on the money here.

I'm a 3DS MAX person but Maya is extremely powerful and I think has a better work flow

May I agree, Swift3D and Poser is where I think you should start  - I'm not entirely sure you are

really looking for the 3D solution. 

Here is a humble tutorial I wrote about getting 3D PDF models inside Articulate

Maybe of interest http://daveperso.mediaenglishonline.com/2011/04/29/3d-acrobat-and-articulate/

Regards Garry

Pete Brown

Hi Tammy

Like @Danny, I was thinking iClone. Out of the box the output is 'machinima' (a bit cartoon-like), but I think I'm right in saying that the pro package (which is remarkably inexpensive) comes with tools to enable you to grab a staggering array of 3d objects off Google's 3d marketplace. You can use these 3d objects in the blank/vanilla iClone environment and animate/rotate etc them which might be of interest.

If you're happy with the machinima look you can do some really good stuff, though. I've created some case study/role play things with it that would have been prohibitively expensive to film live.

Good luck.


Kat Fardian

Hey Tammy,

I'm with Danny and Pete. I have no 3D animation skills, I was on a very tight budget and I too needed to make videos. I checked out Bender and Maya and a few other options (many free open source) but they are so complicated unless you know how to build. iClone is amazingly simple and cheap. You simply drag and drop things onto the stage, add animations by selecting from a set of premade options or build your own. It also has a great set of tutorials and a market place where you can buy additional stuff.

I just showed the final result to my CEO and she loved it. It is still a lot of work to put scenes and animations together but worth the effort when you compare the price to filming your own videos or paying an animator.

Happy hunting!


Danny Simms

Again, for what it's worth, I sometimes use Moviestorm as well. It is in a similar vein to Iclone but much easier to use and create output depending on your need. Iclone has greater functionality but Moviestorm has a short learning curve.

If your budget is tight, they allow you to rent products. The actual purchase price for all their characters and themes are very reasonable as well. As Pete says, it is a bit cartoon-like, but I have used it to develop video scenarios for subjects such as discrimination, harrasment etc.

Hope it helps Tammy.

Kind regards