View3Dscene

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View3Dscene can open and view VRML 1.0, VRML 2.0 (aka VRML 97), 3DS, OBJ (Wavefront) and MD3 scenesfiles created with 3D modeling programs without the need for having a 3D modeling program installed on your machine.

This free program offers a number of features including flexible navigation/viewing of objects, playing animations, raytracing, collision detection, as well as a command line operations.

View3Dscene provides a number of interesting navigation/viewing options.

It is particularly useful if you want to view a 3D file that you downloaded or somebody sent you without installing a full-fledged 3D modeling program such as Blender, Sketchup, or 3D Wings.

Here are some notes on what this program has to offer:

  • Navigation: the ability to move in and around the object using a variety of mouse and keyboard controls.
  • Viewing options: a rich variety here: the ability to change colors, including the color of the object and the background; also gives you the ability to switch a number of options on or off, including vector (vs. solid), smooth shading, fog, blending, texture, point size, etc.
  • Raytracing: if your file includes at least one source of light, you can perform raytracing on the object from View3Dscene (and I must say it seemed rather efficient at this in terms of performance).
  • Play animations: play, pause, and rewind (but no fast forward, apparently). Also provides the ability to make time pass slower or faster on display or loading. Note that I did not test this myself.
  • Command line operations: convert to/from the supported formats, as well as perform a number of custom rendering/viewing operations. (I did not test this).
  • Editing: allows you to inspect your objects (i.e. select an element and view its properties). Also supports limited editing capabilities.Another View3dscene Screenshot
  • Cross platform, unzip and run (no need for installation).

Possible uses for this program:

  • Enables you to use and interact with 3D objects without having to install a full fledged 3D modeling program. This is particularly useful if you are interested in exploring the numerous 3D modeled objects that are freely downloadable all over the internet.
  • If you create 3D models yourself, View3Dscene enables you to easily share your work with a large number of people who can use this small, 1-meg download to access and interact with your work.

For somebody, like myself, who is far removed from the world of 3D objects, I found this program easy to get into and play around with. It did occur to me that the user interface could have been more inspired, but this was eclipsed by the variety of nice tweaks and options that this program has to offer.

Version tested: 2.2.0

Compatibility: Windows, Linux, Mac, FreeBSD.

Go to the program home page to get the latest version (approx 1 meg).