The 5 best new 3D tools for June

We select the best new tools for 3D and VFX artists this month.

We're alreay halfway through the year and developments in the world of 3D art don't show signs of slowing down any time soon. With plenty of tools and updates hitting the scene, let's dive in with the top 5 tools for June.

01. Laubwerks

3D tools June

Laubwerks are touted as the best foliage kits in the business

If you're into architectural visualisation or environment work then it's very likely that you will need foliage of some kind. Over the last few years Laubwerk have produced some of the best quality foliage packs around.

What makes them special is not just the excellent models and accompanying textures but the implementation. Not only doe they ship plugins for various host apps but the Laubwerk player also lets you dial in attributes for your plants, from age of plant to the season, with materials and meshes responding appropriately.

Now, Laubwerk have released their first shrub pack, as well as a new Maya player, bringing these top quality kits to an even bigger user base.

02. Modo 10.1

3D tools June

10.1 adds a large feature list to the previous release and will please modelers

Not that long ago the foundry announced their new model for development of modo and now we are seeing the results of the second edition in this series, 10.1.

10.1 is solidly focused on modelling and brings to the table far more than can be talked about here but the highlights are some huge additions and improvments to MeshFusion, the versatile Boolean system. With similarities to Zbrush's shadowbox it allows the user to create Booleans from different angles, making complex shapes far easier than traditional methods.

Also a big new feature, and one that joines forces with other areas of modo, is the procedural modelling system,. With many uses it's hard to describe fully here but see it as a way of creating and editing models non destructively, with operators able to be freely moved, adjusted and animated.

10.1 is a big release so head to the product page to read more and see some of the demo videos.

03. Guide to GPU rendering

3D tools June

In depth guide to rendering on the GPU is free to all registrants

The battle for rendering supremacy is raging away, with both GPU and CPU camps having good points to make. However understanding the benefits of one system over another is not always that simple but Chaos Group Labs have come to the rescue, with this in depth and best of all, free guide on how working with a GPU can make your life as a cg artist easier, or at least quicker.

Of course there's a slant towards V-Ray but that is in some ways irrelevant. The pros and cons are the same and the authors have put together a really comprehensive guide, covering everything from compute power background and history to what the future could hold.

04. Spline connect

3D tools June

The most efficient way of connecting spline segments is only $15

Default Cinema 4D installs don't provide a way of easily connecting spline objects but Mike Udin, has the answer. His new Fast Spline Connect plugin, available from cgtools, makes it about as simple as any command can be.

At just $15 it's impossible to resist if you ever work with splines and should really be a part of the standard feature set. Seeing as Cinema 4D has such a large user base we can certainly see this being a popular plugin.

05. Autodesk Industry collections

3D tools June

Autodesk's new collection is a rent only affair, although cheaper than pervious iterations

If you are a fan of Autodesk software but your budget prohibited signing up tho their subscription service there's some good news. The big 'A' have reshuffled their software suites into ne 'industry collections', which contain the same core products as before, although obviously not softimage, and they come out at a fairly substantial reduction in yearly cost (around $300 depending on your choices).

On top of this the new collections also sign you up to a new cloud service, for rendering, storage and other tools like the character builder.

There will no longer be the option to buy a perpetual license however, so if you really need to use the software plan ahead.


Rob Redman is a 3D artist working in VFX and motion graphics for print, TV and film.