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Boxshot is intended for rendering 3D models and scenarios. It has a rather straightforward interface. Moreover, its layout with two tabbed panels on the sides definitely maximizes the working space in the center. Since working with tridimensional shapes can get a little tricky particularly when you do not have much experience, its quick start guide and tutorials may be highly appreciated.
Good news is you do not need to start from scratch. Instead, you can pick any of the multiple ready-made scenarios available. Likewise, it is possible to open an existing project or create a completely new one.
The panel on the left holds an extensive library, in which you can find a great variety of shapes, including bags, disc boxes, cans, buckets, mugs, cards and books, to mention but a few. What is more, these shapes are conveniently organized into categories, which makes them easier to find. Luckily, the application supports importing other shapes from external files. In this respect, such formats as FBX, 3DS, STL, PLY, DXF, OBJ and Collada are supported. Likewise, the other tabs of the same panel allow accessing a collection of materials, backgrounds, cameras and shadows.
Once inserted, the shapes can be easily moved, rotated and scaled by simple dragging operations. Likewise, their properties can be modified by assigning materials, colors and textures. The scenes can be given a more realistic feeling by adding shadows and light effects as well as placing cameras.
Since shapes are scriptable, Boxshot supports using code to control a scene and generate complex scenarios. Not only that, the application comes with sequence rendering features that let you animate scenes. In this regard, various types of animations, like turn-table, transition, and oscillation, are supported.
As to rendering, it is excellent that Boxshot supports batch rendering of the same scenes. Moreover, it can process complex scenarios. Finally, the results can be exported to standard files or uploaded to Twitter. An extra advantage is derived from the tool’s command-line support, which lets you totally avoid using the graphic user interface.
All in all, Boxshot creates very realistic 3D scenes and there are multiple examples online to support this statement. Although the application does not require hardware acceleration, it is quite demanding in terms of system resources. The product is not very affordable, for even its Home license, which has lots of limitations, costs 99 bucks. On top of that, free updates and support are only available for a year. With more features, but much more expensive, the Professional and Ultimate licenses are also available.
- Allows starting from a ready-made scenario
- Extensive shape library
- Supports adding colors, materials, textures, lights and shadows
- Scriptable shapes
- Supports animations
- Command-line supported
- Demanding on system resources
- Not very affordable