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Ray Dream Studio

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Ray Dream Designer/Studio is an easy-to-use, low-cost 3D modeling program that has been marketed primarily to illustrators and other users with a non-3D background.

The original product, Ray Dream Designer, featured only modeling and rendering features. Ray Dream Designer 4.0 added a plug-in architecture that makes it possible to add features and effects. The first plug-in from Ray Dream Designer was an animation tool; the tool and Ray Dream Designer are sold as the Ray Dream Studio package.

The modeler in Ray Dream supports lathing and extrusion , and you can create multiple cross-sections of an extrusion, as well as adjust the shape along which the extrusion is made (it’s effectively a sweep tool). 2D surfaces are drawn using a Bézier pen tool, but after the shape has been created, you cannot edit the individual surfaces—you can only go back and edit the basic cross sections and paths in the models.

Surfaces and libraries of models are accessed from separate windows. Surfaces are dragged from the surface window onto the surface of models. Ray Dream also supports rotoscoping (applying QuickTime movies as a texture to an object).

Designer also has Wizard tools that help you quickly create basic shapes and scenes.

The new animation tool is surprisingly powerful, supporting such features as inverse kinematics and point at (which causes an object to always face another object as it is animated). Ray Dream offers some additional plug-in modules that include layered fog and additional cameras lenses (including a panoramic lens).