Free upgrade to bonzai3d v 2.0
AutoDesSys provides free upgrade to version 2.0 for existing bonzai3d users
Bonzai3d 2.0 brings a number of new features including six new NURBS modeling tools for extending, merging and blending curves and surfaces, which enhance bonzai3d’s smooth modeling capabilities; 5 new dimension tools including linear, angular, radial, leader lines and notes; walkthrough tool and 3D clipping planes (real time sections). The upgrade is free to all registered users who have purchased bonzai3d 1.x
The new RenderZone Plugin is available as an option for bonzai3d 2.0, providing photorealistic rendering with Global Illumination based on Final Gather, Ambient Occlusion, and Radiosity, for advanced simulation of lighting effects and rendering techniques. A trial version of the plugin is included with the bonzai3d 2.0 download. The RenderZone Plugin is included with the annual student edition.
My review of bonzai 3d 1.0 for Macworld
Auto•Des•Sys bonzai3d, while it is bound to inherit some of the functionality of form•z, has its own unique identity. Like Google Sketchup Pro, it offers support for Google 3D Warehouse, but ships with its own content library of trees, furniture, doors, and windows, which can be reused as symbols. It also has sketching tools. As you might expect, these are a bit of a mix between the ‘pickup and draw’ Sketchup variety and traditional primitive creation/manipulation tools found in most 3D packages, albeit with a cartoon look to the Modelling tool palette. Each row in the palette contains a suite of related tools, which pop open when the cursor is positioned over the icon, the complete tool suite pops-up to the right of the icon. Hovering over each tool or menu item brings up a description, and when the tool is clicked an options palette appears. This can adjust settings for the tool before or after objects are created.
The sketchy feel extends to doodle, a render plug-in that gives the model in the viewport a pencil-drawn look at the click of a button on the bar. There are also a number of other shading modes, including OpenGL-driven full shading with shadows. Object snapping is enabled, so it’s easy for example, to align a brick texture exactly to a wall and to orient the brick direction horizontally.
Bonzai3d supports NURBS curves and surfaces and a number of tools are worth a mention, for example the 2D Derivative tool, which can create a new face, line or edge derived from the surfaces of other objects. The 3D derivative tool begins by working in a similar fashion to Sketchup’s main extruding tool, but then adds options that allow for very fine-tuning. You can derive 2D and 3D walls in a similar fashion, while terrain models can be generated from a set of contour lines and a closed shape that represents the boundary of a site. You can choose to save models in bonzai3d format or as form•z models, and most common 3D formats are supported for import/export.
Though still in beta at the time of this review, Bonzai3d looks like a serious challenger to the likes of Google Sketchup Pro, which has made such a big impact in the affordable end of the 3D market. The app crashed once or twice, but once out of beta, it will definitely be worth a look.