Spacedraw is a new 3D modelling application available on the Android market and to this time it’s the only one which can be called full-featured. The application is developed by a company called Scalisoft and it’s compatible with almost all tablets and larger smartphones running the Android OS. This means that you can model, edit and even texture your models on the way and basically anywhere where you can use your device. It takes the full advantage of the multi-touch input and motion sensors and divides the screen to active areas where every area is intended for a different action. The interface is designed to be fast to learn for novices, and fast to relearn for experts. However, Spacedraw is a large program and introduces a multitude of novel concepts, so learning it may take some effort.
We will take a closer look on the application, the main functions and what it can offer to the user. Watch also the video at the end of this article for a better imagination how to work with this application.
Spacedraw is a full-featured 3D modelling application what means that you can not only create objects but also edit them on the level of face, edge, vertex and even apply materials together with textures or use the inbuilt 3D painting tool. Moreover, the editing options are very similar to options available in other 3D applications so adapting on Spacedraw shouldn’t take long time. The features included inside Spacedraw are making from the application a really unique product available on Android devices. The application is divided into two versions; the free and paid one. The free version allows you to use all the tools included inside the paid version but without the „undo“ history and with the limitation to export your model with up to 1000 vertices.
The interface of Spacedraw is very simple and the developers positioned all the menus and functions on the edge of the screen to make the visible and active area larger. The main menu is positioned on the left and every single menu have additional sub-menu in which are listed all the functions necessary to work with Spacedraw. Beside the menus the rest of the screen is the active area which is represented by default with a 3D perspective view and a grid. The navigation is made by a multi-touch input where the screen is divided into multiple active parts and different parts have different functions and allows you to zoom, move and rotate the view. The areas are divided by imaginary lines which are represented with small arrows on the edge of the screen and which are also editable and you can adjust the positions of them and so change the active areas to your purpose. Next to this option a menu called „View“ is present in the application where additional options of setting up the view can be changed or turned off. Overall the interface is very clear and easy to use but it will take you some time to get used to it.
Spacedraw allows you to create and edit different types of objects and model as in any other application. Between the main objects which you can create belongs the splines which can be draw either with the free-hand option or from point to point and a wide range of primitives like rectangle, box, n-gons, prism, pyramid, disc, cylinder, sphere etc... . Most of these objects have their initial settings where you can define additional parameters as height segments and so create the most desirable primitive with which you can later work. The creating is also supported by the multi-touch system where one area defines the place where you start creating the object and with the help of other two areas you define the parameters of the object. You can also use the snap function which allows you to create the next object by snapping him on areas of the already created object such as; face, vertex or edge.
Along with the creating functionality a selecting and polygonal modelling functionality is implemented inside Spacedraw featuring options and tools such as; selecting by type, loop, ring, grow and shrink, extrude, split and more. Using two fingers, you can intuitively shape, and simultaneously move a rectangular “lasso” to select multiple elements at once or a circular “brush” to "paint" a selection. You can select faces, edges or vertexes of your model together with the option to move, rotate and scale. The polygonal modelling is very similar to the modelling process in 3ds max „poly-modelling technique“ where you can start from a primitive or a singly poly and using different tools to shape your model.
An important part of Spacedraw is also his texturing and materials capabilities. The application comes with a bunch of pre-defined materials inside the material library where you can edit and also create and save your own materials. You can define diffuse & specular colour, shininess, emission, transparency, texture properties of the material and apply them to the whole object or individual faces using mapping and planar, box, cylindrical or spherical projection. Next to this you can even use the inbuilt 3D painting tool and paint directly on surfaces in the 3d-viewport where you can adjust brushes with custom, possibly colourful tip images, paint over different objects and much more.
Spacedraw is a very promising application which brings the capabilities of windows based 3D applications to your table or smartphone. The way how the developers used the areas and functions of a touch screen is very good and make the orientation, creating and editing very simple. However, the application is featuring so many options that we can call it “complex” and reading the manual is essential to understand the main and basic options of Spacedraw. If you read the reviews on Android market you will see that many people are complaining about the GUI and the lack of more tutorials. But, is this a reason for giving a bad review and rate it bad? For sure no, the GUI was made and optimized for a tablet, you don’t need any big buttons and colourful menus on your device, you need that it would be simple, clear and small to use the most of your screen space. Also, the manual is really very detailed and in some sections it’s something like a tutorial. Moreover, the modelling technique is in all application the same so you really don’t need a tutorial about creating a simple object. Still, the messages from the users are very important and I hope that the developers will work on the application and bring maybe a second GUI and more tutorials. Personally I like this application and working with it wasn’t a problem for me. I love the way and the idea to be able to model almost anywhere on the way and export the objects. This way I would like to thanks Scalisoft to letting us know about this product and the chance to review it.