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Check out promising new NURBS modeller Plasticity

Wednesday, February 16th, 2022 | Posted by Jim Thacker

 
Tools developer Nick Kallen has released a public beta of Plasticity, a promising streamlined new NURBS modelling tool aimed at concept design work.

The software, which features a Blender-like UI, key bindings and selection modes, is intended to enable artists to create hard-surface assets quickly and intuitively.

A lightweight NURBS modelling app for concept art, not industrial design
In development for a year, and now available in public beta, Plasticity is a streamlined NURBS modeller.

The software is ultimately intended to provide a low-cost, artist-friendly alternative to tools like MoI – which Kallen describes as a “huge inspiration” – and Fusion 360, aimed at concept art rather than industrial design.

 

 
Streamlined, artist-friendly workflow, with a Blender-friendly UI
Plasticity features a streamlined UI, with on-screen clutter reduced by context-sensitive widgets and pop-up UI panels, and uses key bindings and selections modes that should be familiar to Blender users.

Users can quickly create complex hard-surface models by combining 2D curves and 3D primitives through Boolean operations, extruding faces, and chamfering or filleting edges, as shown in the video above.

It is also possible to arrange objects in arrays, although currently only radial arrays are supported.

Completed models can be exported in C3D, OBJ, STEP, IGES or SAT format for use in DCC or CAD software.

Kallen says that he plans to implement a modifier system in future builds, but that parametric modelling features are less of a priority, given the software’s focus on an artist-friendly workflow.

Pricing and system requirements
Plasticity is available in public beta for Windows and macOS: Kallen recommends the latest versions of both OSs, but says that the software “probably already works” on macOS 10.13. A Linux version is coming “soon”.

The source code is available under a LGPL licence. You can apply to join the beta by emailing Kallen at the email address listed on the GitHub repo.

Kallen hasn’t announced a final release date or pricing, but says that the software will eventually cost “something like $25 per seat” for a perpetual licence.

 
Download the source code for Plasticity from GitHub
(Also includes the email address to contact to become a beta tester)

Watch video tutorials for Plasticity on Nick Kallen’s YouTube channel
(Currently the best way to learn the software: there’s little written documentation)

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