Swift 3D plug-in: Convert 3D animation to vector

Friends, thanks for your encouraging comments on my articles. Some ask that why I am not updating my blog regularly, one reason for not writing on regular basis is due to less time availability. Due to recession and heavy work pressure, I do not have much time to write research articles. I don’t want to write those news items which you easily gets on every website, I try to write article after doing complete research on the subject.
Wait for my next article which will most probably on interactive 3D model. I am doing research on the same, and already made a really cool interactive 3D model. So just wait for my new article.
Here we talk about software (plug-ins) which helps to convert 3D animation into vector animation (i.e. Flash SWF). Isn’t it sound interesting?
Electricrain, a company made a software plug-ins for LightWave 3D and 3ds Max  i.e.  ‘Swift 3D LW’ ; and  ‘Swift 3D MAX’. With the help of these plug-ins, users of 3ds Max and LightWave 3D can render their 3D scenes in high-quality, low bandwidth vector or raster Flash animations.


These plug-in are powered by industry-leading RAViX 4 vector rendering technology. Swift 3D plug-ins gives superior Flash integration and additional export formats including Adobe Illustrator, EPS, SVG and Toon Boom’s PNT format.
It is simple to use plug-in. You just need to install it (according to the installation manual), and it appears into your software as shown in below Figure.


You just select your output format i.e. swf, eps, ai etc. in the SWIFT 3D window and render it, you will get the desire output in vector format. WOW…quite easy and very useful. I have use lots of SWF files in my project and it is quite easy to show a 3D model/animation made in LightWave3D in Flash with full control. You just need to import the SWF (3D animation) file into your Flash project and your 3D animation would work perfectly in Flash without consuming much memory. Same thing happens with 3ds Max.

Just download a trial and enjoy it!

For more information, please check the link: erain dot com/products/plug-ins/

Reference/Image (First Image) courtesy: erain dot com

3D Arsenal™: Weapon to create your 3D visualization

Are you worried when your client wants hi-ended 3D animation for small section of your animation/video? Don’t you think that it would be great to have some amazing templates of 3D animation effects? A 3D animator knows how painful is to make a effective 3D Logo animation which has to be shown just for a second in an animation, for this he/she needs to develop all 3D background and other models with texturing, animations, effects and rendering. And above scenario is worst nightmare for a video editor who doesn’t know 3D.

Now, here is a tool which comes to rescue you and meets your tough deadlines. So don’t worry here comes a ‘Weapon of mass creation’ ….. 3D Arsenal™, by NewTek.

You can use 3D Arsenal™ with SpeedEDIT, TriCaster, VT. These are the other products by NewTek. But here I am only talking about using 3D Arsenal™ with LightWave 3D® as I am using it for my projects.

This is a kind of plug-in, which you can use with your LightWave 3D® software. You just need to install this plug-in into your system and you will find a 3D Arsenal™ tab in your LightWave 3D®. 3D Arsenal™ is having over 750 pre-built scenes which easily meet the needs of the video editor for the creation of 3D animation. It is a great tool for video editors to add dazzling 3D imagery to a project without the hassle of learning complex 3D software because 3D Arsenal™ does the work for you.

Once you find 3D Arsenal™ tab inside LightWave 3D®, just click that 3D Arsenal™ tab, and select a pre built 3D scene from template. Selected pre built scene loads into your LightWave 3D®. You just need to type text on Logo’s place so yours text become new logo. You can also edit textures, design of anything in the templates according to your needs. This has the facility to add videos into surfaces of 3D models such as backdrops, screen etc. You can place a dancing girl video with alpha channel in between the virtual sets. Take your video shots with blue/green screen and use pre-made customizable 3D environments provided in 3D Arsenal™. Map your video onto plasma screens, dancing TV’s, video walls and more, to give your productions a real primetime look.

After mapping logo or video into pre-built scenes you just need to render your project and you will get final 3D animation output… Isn’t it very easy. Instead of creating each thing in 3D you just need to map the required video/logo etc. into pre built templates.

As a multimedia expert and 3D designer, sometime I didn’t like all of the templates as I want to draw my own scenes through my creativity, but yes 3D Arsenal™ is really helpful for those who don’t know how to operate complex 3D software and want 3D scenes in their projects.

3D Arsenal™ is a product from NewTek company, maker of LightWave 3D®. For more information on 3D Arsenal™ please visit www dot newtek dot com/3DA/

Emergence of Director

Know Director? No No not a film director…I am talking about Macromedia Director (now Adobe). Yes, now that old Director which we all thought was dead, is making buzz in eLearning industries. After acquisition of Macromedia by Adobe, much software such as Director, Authorware, Fireworks etc. were not releasing their latest versions.

As a Director addict I thought that due to the power of Flash and emergence of Flex may force Adobe to dump the Director. But Adobe embed new Director version in eLearning bundle. I remember those old days during my learning time when people generally like 3D softwares i.e. 3ds Max & MAYA, but I love Director because that is quite tough to learn or you can say complicated but really good when you want to make 2D animations with cel(illustration on paper) which is bitmap base technique. I also learn Lingo language for Director. In my view Director was very nice tool in those days for interactive multimedia, you can easily make interactive multimedia applications, interactive games and touch screen kiosks. In 2004, Adobe stops it’s further up gradation. We saw newer versions of Flash, and new technologies such as Flex etc. but every one forget Director.

I remember one incident regarding to the Director, when I was with a big Learning Services company, which deals in eLearning, we got a project, which is done completely in Lingo language of Director. Now the problem is that no body knows Director, my company’s MD approached me for that project and even initially I was also hesitant to take that project because I had left Director practice long back, but due to my love towards Director I took that project and successfully completed that before the deadline which was really a great satisfying experience. Another reason for great experience for me is that Director project was completely written in Lingo script, so quite challenging for me to complete this project in very short deadline.



Adobe launched Adobe® Director® 11 on March 25, 2008. Latest Adobe launced Director 11.5. It is having some new features such as:

1.  Support more than 40 video, audio, and image file format, including SWF
2.  Timesaving user interface
3.  Script Browser
4.  Easy multiversion output
5.  Windows® support (now includes Windows Vista®
6.  Mac support (now includes Intel® processors)
7.  Cross-platform projector publishing
8.  JavaScript support
9.  Adobe product line compatibility
10.  XML parsing
11.  Text rendering engine

There are some bugs also, but Director fans don’t worry at least Adobe®Director® 11 is in the market. Hope we will soon get newer version of Director with fixed bugs and with more interesting and useful features.

LightWave 3D through my view

Love 3D animation, good that means you are also interested into the softwares used to make 3D stuffs. I am sure you heard about many softwares which is used to create 3D like 3ds Max, MAYA, Ligtwave 3D, etc.
Details about other softwares are easily available on Internet with good tutorials, but if we talk about LightWave 3D, we didn’t find good stuffs/tutorials on Internet. In India, LightWave 3D is not very popular and you hardly find people who worked on LightWave 3D. I got chance to work on LightWave 3D during my work assignment, still I am using the same. In starting of my project I had tried to search some good tutorials on LightWave 3D, but not succeeded. I got only Newtek company (makers of LightWave 3D) tutorial section, which was not working during that time. Luckily, I got some video tutorial on Newtek website and also with the copy of my LightWave 3D.

Approach of 3D in LightWave is little bit different as compare to 3ds Max and MAYA etc. Cost wise differences between these three softwares are:

Autodesk 3ds Max 2009: $ 3990 (with Subscription Electronic Download)
Autodesk MAYA Complete 2009: $ 2590(Windows with Subscription Electronic Download)
Autodesk MAYA Unlimited 2009: $ 6490(Windows with Subscription Electronic Download)
LightWave v9 Full with Printed Manuals: $ 995

In LightWave 3D software you will get two different section i.e. Modeler and Layout; one is for modeling and other one for Animation and texturing (advance use).

Let’s discussed about the Modeler first.

It meant for modeling and generation of 3D models and characters. 


This program has different sections such as ‘Create’, ‘Modify’, ‘Multiply’, and ‘Construct’, ‘Detail’, ‘Map’, ‘Setup’, ‘Utilities’ and ‘View’.
Inside theses sections you will find all options of creating a box, ball, toroid, gear etc., which will be useful for creating 3d models. Other useful actions such as Boolean, Bevel, Extrude, Lathe and others are also present.
In Modeler, you can also adds lots of Plugins, some useful plug-in such as ‘3D Arsenal’ (wait for my next article on 3D Arsenal). Inside Modeler, one can create models and apply textures of different kinds. Modeler has Surface preset, which is very useful and easy for texture mapping, you can assign textures with just a click, nice feature.


 A different approach of Lightwave 3D in comparison with other 3D softwares is layer systems just like Adobe Photoshop.

Create a 3D model, name it and also name its surfaces. After completing your model, you need to go to Layout. For Layout you need to click the button on the right side corner of the screen. On this menu, you will find options such as ‘Switch to Layout’; ‘Synchronize Layout’ and ‘Send Object to Layout’. After a click you will be into Layout….


Layout is meant for animation and effects purpose only. After coming here you can’t change the model or do alteration; if you want, than you need to go back to Modeler with the help of button on the top right side of the screen.



In layout mode you will not find layers, the new thing here is camera, lights, animation timeline and animation panel on bottom with other useful tools. Here you can use functionality such as Bones, IK etc. And with the Render tab you can render animation with different option settings available.

Tabs under Layout modes are ‘Items’, ‘Modify’, ‘Setup’, and ‘Utilities’, ‘Render’, ‘View’ and ‘Modeler Tools’. These tools help to provide lights, camera and dynamic objects settings in a scene. IK, Bone management and Pivot point positioning is also possible in Layout mode. Lightwave script and Plug-in support is available in Utilities tab.

Here, in this mode you will find surface editor same as Modeler. So you can change the surface color/texture at any time. Important point in Lightwave 3D as compare to 3ds Max and other tools is that, when you create any object give its surfaces name. This will solve lots of complexity during texturing. And if your surfaces are having names, just select any specific surface and you can change the texture or color for that particular surface.

Finally my view is that Lightwave 3D is cost wise very cheap as compare to other 3D software and also very effective. Important thing, you can get Cloth, Hair and other effects totally free, which is very costly and comes separately in other 3D softwraes.  This is just a small description of Lightwave 3D from my view. For more and specific details about Lightwave 3D please visit Newtek website: http://www.newtek.com

LightWave CORE

On February 4, 2009, NewTek Inc. launched new version of LightWave i.e. LightWave CORE. LightWave CORE is a completely new system offering a unified environment that allows anything to be animated in any number of ways. LightWave CORE is a node-based, multi-processing, unified application, designed to be as future-proof as possible, with a concentration on capacity and performance.

Jay Roth, president, 3D division of NewTek Inc., say that this is based on new architecture, which will be more flexible, forward-looking, high capacity and performance driven system than any 3D content creation environment currently in the market.

LightWave CORE offers a flexible user interface design with general access to most of the UI components available via CSS, including fonts, placement of controls and widgets, down to pixel-level accuracy. Users can also take advantage of snapping palettes to rearrange their screen at will and use the desktop management system to store their preferred layout in a per context fashion: settings for modeling, surface, rigging, animating, rendering and so on, all set and stored separately.

The SDK for CORE is C++-based and is the same for internal development as it is for external development. The architecture enforces full access to C++ SDK and scripting languages, featuring Python as the primary language, while remaining open to connection with a wide range of others through SWIG compliance. CORE is completely multi-threaded spawning as many threads as it needs. The system is both 64- and 32-bit compliant, and is capable of leveraging GPU power where applicable. It will be available on Windows, Macintosh OS X and Linux.

About pricing:
LightWave v9 owners gain access to LightWave CORE with their HardCORE membership for US$395 (charter price) through March 31, 2009. Beginning April 1, HardCORE annual memberships for LightWave v9 owners will increase to US$495.
For more information please visit: http://www dot newtek dot com/core/

Special Fx: VisionLab Studio

Filmmaking is not an easy task; it requires creativity and technical expertise. When you want to use some special effects in your movie/film or project etc. it requires lots of knowledge of difficult software’s (which are costly too), as well as their complicated interfaces.

If you had face the same situations anytime during your projects than here is a solution for you and that is ‘VisionLab Studio’ from Fxhome. You can get more details about this and other product on http://fxhome.com/. VisionLab Studio is all-in-one toolkit for visual effects, compositing and color grading. Other products by FXhome is ‘EffectsLab Pro’, which is used for advanced visual effects for low-budget filmmaking; ‘PhotoKey’, which is helpful to discover the creative possibilities of green screen photography; ‘VideoWrap’, which convert your video for iPods, mobile phones, YouTubes and more.

In this article we discussed about VisionLab Studio, with very easy to use interface and preconfigured effects library, VisionLab Studio makes endless possibility for your creativity.

Keying: VisionLab Studio has a wide variety of versatile keying abilities. As you were aware that keying is a technical feature, which is used to developed special effects scene from greenscreen video to photos and CGI.

Particles: You can create many effects such as weather, smoke, and fire and fantasy visuals with very sophisticated particle system.

Grade: Color grading for your movie or project is available in an easy way. You can use filters like bleach bypass, day for night and multicolorize.

Muzzles: Muzzles flashes are basically used for historical, modern and futuristic weapons. These flashes you can rotate in 3D with full control on each feature


Software screenshot
Software screenshot


Lightning: You can create good effects of lightning as well as effects for magical and sci-fi effects.

Optics: This feature helps to generate lens flares and lightning, which will be enhance the overall look of the scene.

Mask: With the freehand shapes you can mask any complicated areas for effects. This makes tidying composites garbage matting, simulating depth, layer interaction and area-specific grading quick and easy.

Neon Light: This feature gives you the power to develop Star Wars sword effects. With freehand tool you can directly draw shapes on the video that is very easy to work.

Compatible:  VisionLab Studio is compatible with other software’s such as Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere.

Lots of helpful tutorial videos are available on the Fxhome website, which helps you to learn this product.

Electrical wires will be history soon with advent of electricity broadcasting technology


A ground-breaking technology that broadcasts electricity may render electrical wiring ancient history, say its inventors.

The device called WiTricity beams power to laptops, mobile phones and stereos without cables or sockets.

It is being showcased this week in Las Vegas at the world’s biggest gadget trade show.

“We’re going to delete the word ‘recharge’ from the dictionary,” British tabloid The Sun quoted David Graham, co-founder of makers PowerBeam, as saying.

He has revealed that the technology converts electricity into an invisible heat laser, and shoots it across a room.

As soon as the laser hits a solar cell inside any electric appliance, according to him, it is converted back to electricity.

David says that, presently, the gizmo can beam 1.5watts of power to a solar cell 30ft away, and that can easily be scaled up.

In future, WiTricity is expected to operate like internet Wi-Fi with “hotspots”, where all gadgets would power up automatically.

Scientists deny that wireless broadcasts can trigger cancer.

James Holland, editor of gadgets website electricpig.co.uk, said: “You’d buy a desk that charged any gadget placed on it. You’d never need to hunt for the right charger again.” (ANI)


Reference: Yahoo News, ANI

Special Effects


What are special effects?

Types of special effects.

Technology used to create special effects.


What are special effects:


Special effects is both, an art and a science:  In this, science parts involves in understanding that how human begins perceive the world around us through sound and visual sensory part of body and brain.


Persistence of Vision: When related still image sequences are passed in front of human eye with a particular speed (min. 15 frames/sec.), human brain perceive that it is a single image with movement i.e. it perceive second, third images as a continuation of the first image. This phenomenon happens because nerve impulses are slow as compared to light speed. 


Principle of Motion Pictures: Persistence of vision is the base for principle of motion pictures. In motion pictures, camera, lights, audio, computer generated objects (CG) and other visual media exploit this phenomenon.


What is motion: Motion of an object is the continuous displacement of the object in space with reference to another object. This phenomenon is the basic for compositing technology.

Types of special effects:


Computer Effects:

  • Blue/Green screen
  • Computer Animation
  • Compositing
  • Morphing/Warping


Humanized Effects:

  • Use of Latex
  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Wind
  • Fire
  • Blood bags/Bullet Hits
  • Explosion


Computer Effects: These are those effects, which are generated with the help of computer technologies. Some effects are as follows:

Blue/Green screen: In this technique, blue/green screen is used as a background in a scene. This scene will easily overlap on another scene and blue/green background will be removed with the help of compositing software’s. Blue / Green Screen is a special kind of compositing, where the mask is calculated from the foreground image.


Figure 1.1


 Computer Animation: Computer generated animations are used with real footage (camera scene) with the help of compositing software. E.g. Gollum (which is totally CG character) in ‘The Lords of the Rings’.


Cartoons Frames: Here cartoon character is used with real footages (movies). Best example is ‘SpaceJam’.


Figure 1.2
SpaceJam movie

Physical Models: In this technique physical model (mechanical robots) should be used to depict the character.  Best example is ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Godzilla’ etc.


In this undated image released by Stan Winston Studio, Stan Winston is shown working on a dinosaur for the film, "Jurassic Park". Winston, the Oscar-winning special-effects maestro responsible for bringing the dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" and other iconic movie creatures to life, has died. He was 62. He died at his home in Malibu surrounded by family on Sunday, June 15, 2008, after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma, according to a representative from Stan Winston Studio.
In this undated image released by Stan Winston Studio, Stan Winston is shown working on a dinosaur for the film, "Jurassic Park". Winston, the Oscar-winning special-effects maestro responsible for bringing the dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" and other iconic movie creatures to life, has died. He was 62. He died at his home in Malibu surrounded by family on Sunday, June 15, 2008, after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma, according to a representative from Stan Winston Studio.


Compositing: It is a technique by which one shot is super-imposed on another, resulting in a composite shot.

Morphing: Morphing is a special-effects technique that creates a smooth, controlled transformation of one image or movie into another.


Morphing of a female face to male
Morphing of a female face to male


Morphing of Man face into Eagle
Morphing of Man face into Eagle

Warping: Warping essentially the same as morphing, except it uses only one image or movie.



Humanized Effects: Those effects, which are generated manually. Such type of effects are as follows: 


Use of Latex: Latex is a material which use to make monster out of human or simple for scars on the faces, extra eyes on monster head, it can make young people old and vice versa. Best example is movie ‘The Nutty Professor’, ‘Lord of the Rings’ etc.  


The Nutty Professor
The Nutty Professor


Orcs character in Lord of the Rings
Orcs character in Lord of the Rings

Rain: In special effect (computer generated) rain, you find it difficult to wet the cloths and other surroundings of a character. So film maker use original rain, production people use a long plastic tubes with tiny holes in the bottom, and attached it with water hose and with this setup they create a rain sequence. Isn’t it interesting? 

Snow: For snow, snow machines are available which help in creating snow for your shots.

Wind: For wind, production people use large fans with high speed and create good wind effects.

Fire: For those scenes, which require massive fires, production crew calls experts, which create huge fire shots with the fire machine, which easily turn on massive fire scene, but can also turned off it in a matter of pressing a button.

Blood bags/Bullet Hits: When a person hit by a bullet in movie, blood burst out from his/her body. It is achieve by a small explosive charge, which is triggered by a battery causing a blood-filled bag to burst outwards. 9V battery is used to burst a squib (Firework consisting of a tube filled with powder that burns with a fizzing noise), which has to place under the shirt of character. On a plate, a squib is place that is triggered by a 9V battery. And above this squib a blood pack with red color liquid is taped. Cable is run from the squib down the actor’s leg to a control box or nail board.

Explosion: Some times when CG (computer generated) explosion is not that much effective, and if you need realistic look than special machine i.e. Pyrotechnic machine is used to achieve this kind of effects.

 Technology used to create special effects (Softwares):

  • Autodesk Combustion
  • Autodesk Inferno
  • Autodesk Flame
  • Autodesk Flint
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Digital Fusion
  • Elastic Reality
  • Boris FX
  • Hollywod FX

     Why use special effects?

    • Movies would be really slow, boring & basic without special effects.
    • Society likes entertainment.
    • We can create endless possibilities and bring dreams, illusions, and fantasies to life.


    • Special Effects have revolutionized the way we are entertained, they have made movies almost seem so real.  
    • The Revolution of Special Effects in movies has  just begun; the best is yet to come.


Welcome all of you on my website. Here I share my experience and knowledge with you, on different topics such as Multimedia, Animations (3D, 2D), Innovative technologies, Management, and other creative arts. Make this site remarkably interesting I will post my relevant cartoons on different subjects. From here you have access to my personal website, cartoon website (under development), Tutorial (under development) …so wait for my new cartoons…and lots of content on Multimedia, Animation, and creative fields.

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