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Shapelab is a VR-only 3D design application primarily for organic modeling. The robust polygon-based engine and feature set allows for creating high-quality props, characters, and concepts for applications, games, and virtual worlds, as well as digital concept art and storyboards, and for 3D printing.
For beginner 3D artists and aspiring creatives, VR has the potential to shorten the learning curve and open doors to solve complex design problems needed to digitize and improve their traditional workflows and processes.
For 3D designers, VR can be a helpful addition to the workflow – for quickly creating concepts or blocking out characters that can then be imported to other programs for additional work. Moreover, VR can be extremely helpful when inspecting and cleaning up large 3D scan data.
The minimum requirements for Shapelab are:
- OS: Windows™ 10 or later
- Processor: Intel™ Core™ i5-4590 or AMD FX™ 8350, equivalent or better
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce™ GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon™ RX 480, equivalent or better
- Storage: approximately 800 MB available space
Shapelab supports HTC Vive, Valve index, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest/Quest 2/Quest Pro (with link cable) and Windows Mixed Reality devices.
Although all the officially supported headsets are listed above, any headset should be compatible with Shapelab that can run SteamVR.
For the best performance make sure to tether your headset to your PC via cable. Air Link connection can sometimes result in performance issues.
You can import and export in FBX, OBJ, GLB and STL. You can also save your projects as SL3D (Shapelab project file) to keep the settings of your scene.
Yes, you can export your designs in STL, OBJ and GLB formats, which are supported by almost every slicer software.
Tip: Take care of your creations’ topology in order to get a printable result. Use the smooth tool often, consider voxel remeshing and you can also automatically close holes on the objects.
Yes, you can export your work in FBX, OBJ, GLB and STL and use them in other programs, such as Blender, Substance Painter, Unity, etc.
Many VR design applications such as Adobe Medium have a voxel based engine, which is absolutely suitable for 3D modelling. However, for characters, mobs and digital props, mesh based sculpting is usually more optimal than voxel sculpting if you would like to avoid blocky, rasterized designs. Realistic voxel models require a higher number of voxels than a polygonal model would need in vertexes. Using voxel technology also means that you are dealing with not only the surface, but every internal “3D pixels/blocks” as well. This takes a lot of RAM and forces designers to treat the design as a solid object, which means a higher possibility of human errors. Such unwanted errors can be small inner holes or stray material blocks hovering in the holes, which can cause difficulties when you are trying to 3D print the object or use it in 3rd party game engines. Since mesh modeling just deals with the surface, it takes less RAM and there are no “inner space” pixels you have to worry about. Our technology also makes it possible to vary the polygon density and detail in the same mesh. For example, you can design a character with a very detailed face and a less detailed body. This kind of polygon control is crucial when it comes to 3D asset creation for animations, games and other apps.
The primary function of Shapelab is organic modelling, and some features that would help cleaning up 3D scans are still missing, however it is possible to delete parts of the geometry with Boolean operations and fix surface errors with the sculpting tools.
While Shapelab may not be suitable for accurate retopology in its current form, it does offer several tools to modify the topology of your mesh. These include the Decimate tool, Voxel Remesh, Subdivide, and Regularize. Additionally, you can eliminate duplicate vertices using the Merge Vertices by Distance command, or alternatively, delete polygons altogether.