|★ APPLICATIONS ★ CREATION GRAPHIQUE ★ Model Universe (c) ARNOR ★|
|Arnor - Model Universe|Amstrad Action)||Applications Creation Graphique|
Recently there has been a spate of drawing and design programs for the Arnold. Most are artistic paintboxes, providing an electronic canvas to doodle on. Amor has a reputation for the case and power of its products - like Maxam. Does this latest offering have anything novel as well?
Yes, it certainly does. Mode! Universe is an introduction to three-dimensional graphics. It enables you to create 3D objects and to animate them in mode 1.1 can't think of another program that does anything like this.
The program can accept input from the AMX mouse, a joystick or keyboard to move the various cursors and pointers which control exactly what happens on screen. Nearly everything the program does is menu-controlled - typing in data from the keyboard is kept to a minimum.
After making your choice of data entry, the main menu gives access to the design and display menus. First of all a design has to be created. This means drawing the outline of an object, using edges and vertices. (It's best to do a sketch of what you want before attempting to recreate it on Arnold.)
A vertex is a point where two or more edges meet. A cube has twelve edges and eight vertices. This may sound a bit complicated, but it's just 'joining the dots'in 3D. If you make a mistake, simply edit backwards to remove it. Tubes and pnsms are accomplished by drawing one face and 'extending' away from it.
The program will happily accept any old scrawl; nobody will get any brilliant results at the first attempt. After a while you suss out what is going on - the manual helps a lot here. One of tlie welcome features is that the main cursor (a small arrow) is 'intelligent'. It starts moving slowly and accelerates the longer you keep pressing the button.
Up to 255 edges and vertices can be used for each design. This should be adequate for most needs - a circle requires about 30 of them. Some complex effects are possible, but if you want to see something like the Eiffel tower, this just can't do it.
Bear in mind that a complicated object will take longer to display than a simple one. Also, all of the objects are 'wire frame1, as if made of coat-hangers. If you are not happy with your object, you can easily toggle back to the design menu and alter it.
The packaging is a plastic box with no actual disc case. This is very annoying, because either you have to keep opening and closing the box or (like most people) you have a collection of disks exposed to dust, gnt and coffee. Large boxes may look nice but they are not as practical as proper cases.
Only a provisional manual was supplied for review but this, I have been assured, has exactly the same contents as the real manual. These chapters were laid out in a very logical manner, taking you through the various stages step by step.
The only real drawback to the whole package is the price. It's a good idea, it's easylo use and it's educational. But £16 really is a bit steep for a product that only introduces you to 3D graphics.
PM , AMSTRAD ACTION #16