Shade 10: 3D Modeling Suite For Pro Modelers

Shade Professional is a complete suite for 3D art and animation, specially aimed to professionals of architecture, design, animation, films, and industrial design. Game developers will also benefit of the animation and modeling features of this package.

Shade allows you to create architectural visualizations fast, with RoomPlanner, a 2D room designer that can generate the 3D interiors automatically,being able to control wall depth and other parameters.


For 3D artists, Shade Pro includes Callisto, the render plugin that can create photorealistic images with photon mapping and micro polygon subdivision, and advanced camera effects like camera aperture controls, and lens flares.

Other plugins included in Shade Pro include particle effects capable of creating splashes of water, fire and animated fog.

Both in Shade Standard and Pro, the render engine is able to perform multipass rendering, VER KE KONO ES

Network and multicore rendering is also possible.

Radiosity, all kinds of light source, even turning any object into a source of light, global lightning, IBL, HRDI... you won't miss anything.

You can create parameterized textures with Shade, and the Pro edition includes 10 additional types.

The toon rendering settings include options for Manga and technical illustration.

The application has a Fur and Hair system with many advantages over other animation and rendering alternatives. For example, renders can deal with gravity and collision detection, or simulate the lack of gravity.

Hair can be styled using tools like comb, curl, and brow dry, that do obvious things as their name says. Also, a mirror tool can generate hair by symmetry, saving you lots of time.

In the animation aspect, Shade Pro can create physical simulations with spheres with the included plugin, Forced Balls. You can create planetary gravity systems, that attracts objects, and apply motion blur to an animation, animate fire, smoke, wind or explosions made with particles. The animation system includes inverse kinematics too.

Animations can be exported in the most popular video outputs, like Quicktime, AVI or Flash SWF.

Shade 10 includes new features in all the editions (Designer, Standard, and Pro) that improve the user's experience and the usability of the suite, like 3D manipulators on all objects (allowing to translate, rotate, scale or hide any object), or being able to create work planes along any axis, or make object snap to guides.

The four viewports can be completely customized (background, render settings, position, size...). Even more, you can define configurations for them and save them as a setting to load when you like. You can also use Shade's camera system to assign a camera to each viewport, which is a very useful feature to consider when making your own animation movies with this suite.

These cameras can, as any other object, be animated.

The multiple formats in which Shade Pro can export include Epix, for architecture, and Second Life sculpted prims (in all Shade editions), and Blue Mars, for building items and sceneries for virtual worlds. COLLADA, the main format of interchange between most modern 3D applications, is also supported.

The application can export in the most popular 3D formats like OBJ, 3DS and LWO, so compatibility with any 3D software is guaranteed.

In addition, it can export on many other common formats, like DXF, and VRML 2.0, and import BVH files.

When modeling, you can use Shade's curved surfaces to create organic characters or curved objects, that are surfaces defined by bezier curves. This way you get perfectly curved models, that are easily altered without loosing their smooth aspect.

If you want to, you can turn them to polygons, and export them to other 3D applications.

Other tools that Shade gives to the 3D professional modeler are boolean modeling with complete control over surface subdivision, and MetaMesh objects, that are blob objects that can interact and fuse with each other (as in blobs or meta balls modeling).

Or the Lattice tool that builds a cage around your model which translates deformations to your object, providing a neat way to alter its geometry. As this is a non-destructive tool, you just have to remove the model from inside the cage, and it will return to its original shape.

Also, the Fit Line, modeling tool that can make multiple objects conform to a surface, custom 3D text styles...Every 3D modeling tool is present in Shade 10.

Once modeled, you will also find a good UV mapping tool in Shade, that can adjust your textures interactively using 3D manipulators to fine-tune your maps.

Within this suite, you can build materials that are multi-layered using images, movie clips, or procedural materials, and adjust all of them using sliders. This makes possible to create very complex materials with ease.

Having said all this, the strong side of Shade comes when we talk about its compatibility with other rendering and animation suites.

Shade can, through the PoserFusion plugin included in their standard and pro edition, import animated Poser characters, directly in their source format, without conversion. Then Shade can render a complex poser animation, including dynamic hair.

On the other side, since version 8, Vue, another popular rendering and scenery creation suite, can directly import Shade files (.shd).

So if you're a digital artist who uses Poser and Vue often, you can communicate with both programs with Shade.

For 2D creators, Shade can also import Adobe Illustrator files, and export as PSD layers for Photoshop. This way you can turn Illustrator files (vectors) into 3D models, and render your 3D work into an image file with different layers, to be opened in Photoshop. Your work in Photoshop will be much more flexible, allowing you for example, to render a hill in a layer, a background in another, your main character in another, a tree in a different layer, and so on, and re-position all in the 2D postwork phase, or apply different effects to each layer, much easier and without having to render again.

Shade can also create VR Panoramas, and also export VR Cubic and VR Object formats, being this way a good tool to create immersive images.


All this is only an overview of what Shade can do. To discover all the wide range of possibilities it is capable takes some time, but the basic idea is that you can do whatever 3D work you want to with Shade.

Learning Shade may take some time, because of the many features and the technical power it posses. But the effort will be worth because of this same powerful potential.

Some professionals will specially enjoy using Shade: architects, game developers, animation movie designers, industrial designers. But also any 3D modeler who works in different areas, that may go from architecture to building content for virtual worlds, games, or 3D illustration using popular graphics packages like Vue or Poser in conjunction with Shade, or the powerful modeling features of Shade alone.

Some people prefer to have specialized programs for the different computer tasks they need to perform, while others prefer to have a more powerful application to achieve them all. These are the people that will enjoy Shade, because they only have to learn to use this fantastic suite, and forget all the rest.

As a buying advice, I would recommend Shade to all serious professional 3D modelers, and also to advanced hobbyists that want to have a complete suite for any 3D task they want to perform now or in a future. Your invest in this software will give you all that you need.

Get Shade 10 Professional



-Jordi R. Cardona-

© 2008 by Jordi R. Cardona. Link to this post without copying the text.

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