Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

3Dflow ships 3DF Zephyr 4.3

3Dflow has released 3DF Zephyr 4.3, the latest version of its image-based modelling software, adding a ‘knife cut’ tool for cleaning up geometry and a new HTML/JavaScript exporter.

The top-of-the-range Aerial edition gets several features to improve workflow with external CAD tools, including the option to automatically generate blueprints for buildings and export them in DXF format.

All editions: new Knife cut tool helps to clean up scanned geometry
New features in 3DF Zephyr 4.3 – it’s actually the next stable release after 3DF Zephyr 4.0; the intervening updates were betas – include Cut Mesh With Plane, a ‘knife cut’ tool for cleaning up scan geometry.

Unlike the existing selection tools, it always generates a clean edge, reducing the need to export the raw geometry 3DF Zephyr generates to external DCC tools for editing.

The update also adds a new HTML/JavaScript exporter, making it possible to export models in a format that can be embedded directly on a website or social media.

Workflow improvements include a unified bounding box gizmo, removing the need to switch between three different widgets to control the viewport bounding box for a model.

Other than that, the changes are mainly under the hood: 3Dflow says that geometry reconstruction is now faster, and generates more detail, than in previous builds of the software.

Aerial edition only: generate blueprints or clean CAD models of scanned buildings
Although it isn’t intended for entertainment work, there are also some interesting new features in the Aerial edition of the software.

The most eye-catching is the option to have 3DF Zephyr automatically generate blueprints for 3D buildings reconstructed from photos, including both exteriors and interiors.

The plans can then be exported in DXF or SHP format for use in CAD or GIS software. The walls corresponding to the ground plan can be exported as mesh data.

For more manual control, the update also adds a planar surface drawing element, effectively making it possible to trace flat surfaces like walls and roofs in 3D scans, and export them as CAD elements.

There are also a lot of smaller changes in both editions, which you can find via the link below.

Pricing and availability
3DF Zephyr 4.3 itself 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 $2,700 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.

The latest update moves the software to CUDA 10, so to take full advantage of the GPU for processing, you’ll need a suitable Nvidia graphics card.

Read a full list of new features in 3DF Zephyr 4.3 on 3Dflow’s blog