fastest 3D software for linux

Linux 3D
interactive ray-tracing
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Version history

v0.9.7 (2017-01-18)
  • Modeling
    • Extrude along Spline (loft) tool can take multiple path Splines and multiple instances of the same Spline. Very helpful for simplifying your hierarchies and speeding up updates. For example, you can create a single Mesh to cut out all the windows on a car or airplane (one profile Spline, one "snap to" surface, but multiple path Splines). You can do a single boolean cut without having to do all the extrudes, then merging them together.
      Extrude along Spline (loft) with multiple input paths.
      "Raw" fuselage. Created as:
      - low-res Mesh ->
      - Mirror
      - Subdivision surface
      - Extrude Mesh (to add wall thickness)
      - Boolean subtract for the landing gear doors.
      Extrude along Spline (loft) with multiple input paths. Extrude along Spline (loft) with multiple input paths.
      Extrude along Spline (loft) with multiple input paths.
      Boolean cut of the extruded shapes (single Extrude along Splines for all windows).
      Note that the Splines don't need to be perfectly fit to the surface. The Extrude along Spline tool can "snap" the resulting shape to a surface. See "Snap to surface" checkbox.
      The glass for the windows were cut with the same cutting geometry, but from an Extrude Mesh with thinner walls, then split into a separate PolyGroup, and the Material was changed to glass.

    • Fixes and improvements in Extrude and Extrude along Spline. Support for non-closed contours in face exteriors and holes, sides can be turned off, etc.

    • Improved Mirror tool. Added "Last segment linear" option when mirroring Splines, fixed mirror-plane point removal issue.

    • Merge Meshes tool can merge PolyGroups that share Materials, with configurable texture coordinate tiling.
      Extrude along Spline (loft) with multiple input paths.

    • Greatly improved Clone along shape (Spline) tool, with Orient along, Make Models visible and Visible only options, and animatable Offset! See the bulldozer's tracks (Orient along - ON) and the escalator (Orient-along - OFF):
      Improved Clone along shape. Bulldozer track chains - Orient along - ON.
      Improved Clone along shape. Escalator - Orient along - OFF.

    • Improved automatic texture layout tool.

  • Animation
    • Constrain Models to a shape (Spline or Mesh surface) tool:
      Allows yout to keep a Model on a Spline, or on a surface, as you move it interactively (similarly to Clone along shape, but when moving a Model by hand).
      Constrain to shape

    • Improved / fixed animation curve editing view
      For example, you can insert a new key directly on a specific animation curve, with a midle-click (similar to Spline editing).
      Keyframe animation

  • Rendering
    • Further improved importance sampling, used on all shaders now.
    • "Apply to all" option in the window / rendering settings copies background color as well.

  • File I/O
    • You can save a Model (left screenshot), or a branch (right screenshot) from within a hierarchy. You don't need to copy or disconnect the branch any more! It's super-convenient!
      Save just a Model from a hierarchy Save just a branch from a hierarchy
    • Mesh Edge attributes (Visible, Selected, Hardness) are saved into / loaded from .dae files.
      Mesh Edge attributes are saved.
    • More robust .dae loading.

v0.9.6 (2016-11-11)
  • Rendering
    • Greatly improved importance sampling for any BRDF (faster rendering / better quality), thanks to a new BRDF visualizer / debugger plugin. It even handles strong Fresnel terms well (see ivory ball) and it's multiple-importance sampling friendly (e.g. BRDF + HDR environment light).
      Before and after (Same rendering time. Low quality setting, no anti-aliasing or post-processing):
      BRDFIS-old BRDFIS-new
    • RGB / hyperspectral fresnel term (refractive indices) for Blinn shaders (vs. the old monochrome).

    • "Apply to all" option for window / rendering settings: you can set grids, anti-aliasing etc. for every window at once.
      Apply to all

  • User interface
    • Hugely improved manual with a clickable table of contents.
    • Major picking and selecting speed improvements, especially with large Scenes / complex Models.
    • GUI speed improvements, better looks, more icons and more consistency.

  • Modeling
    • Arbitrary transform list GUI for Models (e.g. when read from a COLLADA file):
      Transform list
      EQUINOX-3D has had internal support for arbitrary transform lists (e.g. rotate, rotate, translate, scale, rotate...) for a while, but now you can see them in the GUI.

  • Animation
    • Major vertex skinning and skeleton animation improvements, faster wireframe update, more visible/colored skeletons, bone width auto-scaling, "Draw over" option for bones and more.

  • File I/O
    • New Panda3D (.egg) exporter with robust mesh, skinning and animation support!
    • New .md5mesh and .md5anim import plugin (Doom 3D file format with vertex skinning and animation).
    • Fixes in the .obj reader.
    • Greatly improved COLLADA 1.4.1 material / shader support.

  • Bug fixes.

v0.9.5 (2016-09-14)
  • Rendering
    • Physically accurate volume effects and more accurate caustics (click on images to play movies).
      VolumeFan CausticsBox
    • VR (HMD) support:
      • Side-by-side stereo 3D rendering.
      • Lens distortion correction.
      • Lens chromatic aberration correction.
      • Lens offset (IPD) correction.
      • You can create a "detached" 3D window, make it full-screen (Ctrl-F) and move it to the screen of the VR headset.
      • VR

  • Modeling
    • Advanced hierarchy connection editing with single-step Model and Object reparenting, Add Object to all Models of a picked Object (Multi-instance object replacement) and more!

    • Powerful 3D text tool!

      It can use any TrueType or Type1 fonts and it generates (Spline) Faces that you can extrude, to get thickness as well.
      I had to invent a fast and powerful Spline-inside-Spline graph generation algorithm, so it supports any levels of faces with holes, inside other faces with holes (see Japanese characters and chess symbols in the image).
      Still working on international text entry, so there's no UI to enter international characters yet...

    • Undo/redo works for hierarchy editing!

    • Merge Meshes and Merge Splines tools are modifiable, on the fly! You can see the source component list, activate/deactivate/add/remove components!
      Super useful when building / testing final comCameraposite objects for export, 3D printing etc.!

    • Menu->Hierarchy->Expand selected expands selected Models in the Schematics view

    • The Duplicate tool has options for Generate unique names for Models and Generate unique names for Objects. (See left vertical menu).

  • Animation
    • General Aim constraint (orient a Model toward another Model):

  • Exporting
    • EAGLE CAD exporter lets you specify the layer.
    • COLLADA exporter: "Triangles" option.

  • User interface
    • Insanely fast parallel processing when loading large 3D files!
      8,16,32 (or more) times faster (depending on how many CPU cores / threads you have).
      Huge files with tens of thousands of Objects and millions of polygons, can load in seconds!
      And EQX was already orders of magnitude faster than most other 3D applications!

    • Customizable Mesh Edge colors.

    • Optimized change propagation in the in the dependency graph. Much faster updates when complex multi-level construction history is used.

    • Improved preferences settings. Consolidated global Camera settings into main Preferences dialog box.

    • Mouse wheel camera zoom/dolly direction configurable.
    • Camera zoom to pointer option (2D views, front, right, top, schematics etc.).

    • Improved Materials dialog box. Faster re-render (ray-traced sample / thumbnail images), selected Material highlight, fixed layout issues etc.

    • Internal improvements, faster UI, better text anti-aliasing support etc.

    • Preliminary international text support (directory / file lists can show international text (UTF8), when using unicode fonts. See your home/.equinox/.EQUINOX-3D file). Click image for a bigger version.

    • Workflow improvements. Model/Object dialog boxes put keyboard focus on name field and select name automatically.

  • Fixes
    • NumLock fixes. Keyboard and numerical keypad works on the main 3D windows now.
    • More robust font search for the Schematics view.
    • Transmitted caustics fix for the ray-tracer.
    • Dialog box Widget layout fixes, major UI code internal cleanup.

v0.9.4 (2015-11-01)
  • 3D printing, CAD/CAM
    • Several new modeling functions and file format support for 3D printing and general CAD / CAM! : Subdivision surfaces, Extrude Mesh and so on (see details below).

  • Renderer
    • Physically accurate dielectrics: glass etc. (yes, this is an EQX rendering :) ):

    • Physically accurate metals:

      Silver, Aluminium, Steel, Titanium and gold (dragon)

    • Depth of field:

      It works for cube-map cameras too! Great for "baking" blurry environment maps for "brushed metal" type materials!

    • Motion blur:

    • Interactive frameless rendering (random-order pixel updates, then anti-aliasing).
      EQUINOX-3D is fully usable while the image is being refined.
      More interactive than before (fewer pixels need to be recalculated to get an idea of the image).

    • HDR environment lights : millions of times faster than before, thanks to Importance-sampling!

    • Area light sampling is much faster for area lights with many polygons.

    • Normals and tangents are properly handled when non-uniform scaling is present.

  • Cg renderer
    • Tangents are automatically generated (when the geometry doesn't have them) for anisotropic shaders.

  • Modeling
    • Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces!

      • Properly interpolated texture coordinates.
      • Edge sharpness control.
      • Correct handling of boundary Edges.
      • Robust and intuitive handling of concave Polygons and Polygons with holes.
      • Subdivision levels are instantiated as separate Meshes, so they can be visualized simultaneously and moved around independently.
      • Editing can be made at any subdivison level and changes automatically propagate to higher levels.

    • Mesh Edges are selectable and their 'hardness' is adjustable (shown as thicker Edges) for Catmull-Clark subdivision.

    • Edge attributes are preserved through Polygon editing (add Edge, delete Vertex etc.).

    • More intelligent undoable adding/deleteting of Mesh Polygons, Edges and Vertices.

    • More intelligent hierarchy walking via cursor keys.

    • Realistic grass:
      • Procedurally generated geometry over mesh surface (terrain).
      • Translucency support
      • Multiple texture maps to specify density, height and color variation over terrain.

    • Extrude Mesh tool : Add thickness to surfaces:

    • Extrude along Spline tool:
      • "Snap to surface" option:

      • "Scale by Spline" options: 1, 2 or 3 scaler Splines (X, Y and U):

      • "Fixed normal" option.

    • Layers: Named states of visible/hidden objects.

    • Offset Spline tool: Create a Spline that maintains a given distance from another Spline, from a surface, or from another Spline and along a surface at the same time (see highlighted Splines below).
    • Constrain to Spline + surface: Constrain Nodes along spline and surface, position and/or orientation (see screws below).

    • Change and Show input buttons for tools with construction history.

    • Interactive Merge Meshes and Merge Splines tools with construction history.

    • You can select Mesh Edges directly with "paint-select", just like for Polygons.

    • (Mesh) Edges to Splines tool works for selected Edges or all Edges.

    • Splines can have normals (at CVs) and Extrude Along Spline can use those.

    • (Mesh) Edges to Splines tool preserves Mesh Vertex normals into Spline CVs.

    • Fix Polygon directions tool.

    • Circle/Disc tool can generate spiral.

    • Un-triangulate tool.

    • Volume and surface area are shown for Meshes.

    • Extrude tool has "twist" and "scale".

    • Duplicate with repeat tool can duplicate Models along Splines, with optional X and Y scaling (guide) Splines.

    • Gears with precisely meshing involute curve teeth.

    • Extrude tools have better UV layout.

    • Simple automatic UV layout for any Mesh (see PolyGroup dialog box).

    • Individual Spline segments can be hidden and the Extrude tools selectively generate sides.

    • Mirror tool works with Splines (as well as Meshes).

    • Mirror tool can mirror along X,Y or Z axis now.

    • "Flood-fill selecting of Polygons : selects connected Polyons with a single click (hold down "L").

    • "Group objects" tool (Ctrl+G)

    • Undo/Redo works for add/delete Mesh Edge.

    • Negative scaling (e.g. mirroring a whole hierarchy with instancing) works properly with all renderers.

  • User interface
    • Full-screen mode

    • Camera and aim-point shown in Schematics view and its state (branch expanded etc.) are saved.

    • Other objects can be attached to camera and aim-point Nodes.

    • Greatly improved, ray-traced material preview:

  • File I/O
    • Read/write support for STL files (handy, if you use EQUINOX3D for CAD / 3D printing!).
    • Splines and Faces can be exported to EPS (Embedded PostrScript) and SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphics) files, so you can laser cut them, CNC mill them etc.!

v0.9.3 (2008-10-12)
  • Fast, physically accurate global illumination renderer:
  • All images were rendered with EQUINOX-3D:

    Before (direct light only)


    Now (direct + indirect light)


    Sponza atrium

    3D model by Marko Dabrovic

    • Intuitive user interface. No arcane parameters to tweak. In fact, there's only one extra parameter:

    • Unrestricted shader support: any new or existing ray-tracer shader will automatically work for indirect light as well!

    • More accurate Ward's anisotropic shader with importance-sampling.

    • Reflected and transmitted caustics:

    • Programmatically verified against multiple reference data, including the official Cornell box and Smits & Jensen's reference scenes.

    • Nearly zero memory overhead.

    • More accurate transparent objects with physically accurate volumetric absorption (Beer-Lambert law).

    • The interactive, multi-threaded ray-tracer is much more stable and faster on multi-core CPUs (its speed scales better with the number of cores).

    • The ray-tracer uses automatically optimized KD-trees, which is MUCH FASTER, and no more voxel grid resolution "tweaking" necessary!

    • All texture blending modes work.

  • Manipulators (3D widgets for transforms)!

  • Better-looking user interface, including global-illumination rendered 3D icons, thanks to a new shader "Constant with shadow":

  • Box-primitive generates default UVs (apply UV texture mapping):

  • Hierarchies: the order of children under a parent and the order of root Nodes within the Scene may finally be changed:
  • Animation key-frame can be added separately for Model translate and rotate.

  • Transform-compensation now works for Node / Branch disconnect (from hierarchy).

  • Rectangle-select works for Nodes and Objects on 3D views.

  • In multi-select mode (Shift key), rectangle-select now starts from the previous selection (as opposed to an 'empty' selection). This is much more useful.

  • "Freeze rotations and scaling" tool.

  • Duplicate with repeat has interactive construction history:

  • Duplicate and Duplicate with repeat preserves Node custom data.

  • Cardinal Spline "tension" is now adjustable.

  • Tooltip delay is adjustable.

© 1992-2017 By Gabor Nagy