3DNY Master Series Modeler Master Disk is a two CD training application custom coded by the folks responsible for bringing you the New York digital artist community 3DNY.org--a professional group focused on 3D animation and visualization. Like the group, the new series of training CD's are focused on expanding knowledge in the 3D visualization market for professionals and hobbyist. The Modeler Master Disk is focused on Electric Image Universe 5 Modeler application (see our review of Electric Image Universe 5 for more information).
Disk 1 of the Modeler training application introduces the user to dozens of interactive QuickTime-based instructional videos with supplemental text instruction. However, unlike the typical movie-based instructional video application this one offers the user a completely immersive simulated environment in which to learn and run the videos (see 001).
The way this immersive environment works is you bring up a full-scale screen of the actual Electric Image Universe 5 Modeler application environment and begin to click on toolbar icons on the left--just like the real application. When this happens a series of sequential QuickTime videos will demonstrate the use of the tool in one of four default windows. The individual QuickTime videos are so well integrated into the interface the full effect is one of both total immersion and instructional simulation. This combination conspires to make one very slick way to learn an application.
The ideal set up for running this application would be a Mac with plenty of RAM and dual monitors: one for the training app, one for the actual EI Universe 5 Modeler app.
Disk 2 (see 002) is focused on longer instructional material and is comprised of some great full tutorial movies wherein particular modeling tasks are performed, like creating a snow shovel or tooth brush. In section two of Disk 2 a full architectural tutorial is available where you can really see how to use Universe Modeler 5's tools to create a house. (For more on architectural modeling with Electric Image Universe Modeler 5 see our review) The final section on the disk focuses on the creation of an automobile.
Closing Comments and Recommendations
3DNY Master Series Modeler Master Disk for Universe Modeler 5 is a great start in a series we look forward to seeing expand. In terms of where we would like to see improvements, we'd prefer an easier product installation and activation scheme. This CD appears to be based on Macromedia's Shockwave technology with additional coding on top, so we imagine other installer and license management technology would be a viable option.
The instructional videos have a graceful pace for digesting what can sometimes be perplexing instructions in complex software. What sets these two CD's apart are the way in which they simulate the actual environment that you are studying to master. If you are at all interested in Electric Image Universe Modeler then we can recommend this product for you with a lot of confidence. In fact, they are a perfect addition for a new Electric Image Universe user. We look forward to additional products in this series, hopefully one focused on Electric Image Animator.