Touting a new 3-D remix capability, Dassault Systemes has released the latest version
of Shape, its free 3-D modeling
software, which also lies at the core of the newest release of Microsoft's Virtual
The new Shape 2.0, aimed at consumers who want to get their
feet wet building 3-D models and similar to Google SketchUp, will now allow users to
construct or "remix" 3-D scenes using models contributed by other users on the
3DVIA.com community's content library. By entering a search term, users can
pick from an array of previously developed models and insert their find into
any of their 3-D projects to more easily complete their design, according to
David Laubner, director of product marketing for 3DVIA. For example, someone
building a 3-D representation of their house to publish online could complete
and accessorize their site with furniture, cars or other types of models posted
by any of the 45,000 registered users of the 3DVIA site, Laubner says.
"This is designed to be the YouTube of 3D or the Flickr of
3D," says Laubner, explaining the 3DVIA community. "(With Shape 2.0), we're
trying to make it as easy as possible to get going in 3D. Things are moving
forward every week, there's a new virtual world and people want to experience
things in 3D. This is designed to give them a jumpstart."
Building on a partnership
announced last October, Microsoft this week announced its latest version of
its Virtual Earth platform, which will feature the Shape 2.0 technology.
Laubner says the pair had conducted focus groups, which showed consumers'
desire for a simple 3-D sketch tool, hence the impetus for useability
enhancements such as interactive tutorials with videos and improved user
navigation tools along with the remix feature of this latest version.
Virth Earth-3DVIA is designed for both professionals and
consumers looking to create realistic 3-D scenes.