Thursday, November 16th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

3DFlow ships 3DF Zephyr 3.5

3Dflow has released 3DF Zephyr 3.5, the latest version of its image-based modelling software, improving its accuracy, and adding a new custom shader editor, support for 32-bit textures, and 4K video export.

Improved speed and accuracy when reconstructing geometry from source images
The update also improves the accuracy of both 3DF Zephyr’s key pipelines for reconstructing real-world geometry from photographic source images: Structure from Motion (SfM) and Multi-view Stereo (MvS).

MvS, used where the original camera positions are known, gets support for hyperplane matching, which 3Dflow says improves the accuracy of reconstruction.

SfM, used where camera positions are not known, as with images sourced from online libraries, gets improvements in both calculation speed and accuracy, as discussed in this forum post.

Better texture extraction and shader support
The software’s shading system has also been overhauled, with new default shaders for both stereo and textured meshes, and the option to write your own custom shaders.

It is also now possible to export textures in 16-bit EXR format, and as 32-bit TIFFs.

Other changes include improved frame extraction from source videos; the option to export video at 4K resolution; and improvements to the UI when displaying it on HiDPI monitors.

Other new features for users of 3DF Zephyr Aerial
Users of the top-of-the-range Aerial edition of the software also get new CAD drawing tools, including a new option to generate a CAD drawing of the geometry being reconstructed from a single view.

Instead of having to draw elements like walls and window frames manually onto two source images to create a CAD file, the new system enables the process to be done from a single view, as shown in this forum post.

Pricing and availability
3DF Zephyr 3.5 is available for 64-bit Windows Vista and above.

The free version includes a basic range of tools, works with up to 50 source images or video frames, and runs on a single GPU; the $149 Lite edition supports up to 500 source images and two GPUs.

The higher-end editions, the $3,200 Pro edition and the $4,200 Aerial edition, support unlimited source images and multiple GPUs, and add a range of advanced features. See a comparison table here.

Read a full list of new features in 3DF Zephyr 3.5 on 3Dflow’s blog