3D Rad is a freeware development tool used to create 3D games, interactive 3D applications and physics-based simulations for Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7. Works created with 3D Rad can be delivered to the final user as stand-alone applications or web-based applets.
Specifically designed with computer graphics artists and non-coders in mind, 3D Rad aims to provide the simplest developing workflow possible, without sacrificing flexibility. The editor is based on a collection of components (called 'objects') that can be combined and configured to interact in various ways. Without writing any code, goals like opening a door when a character approaches or avoiding obstacles with a car while following a race track can be easily achieved.
By supporting physics as a ready-to-use property of certain object types, and by providing special 'event' objects to implement conditional and/or interactive behavior without having to learn a programming language, 3D Rad allows the creation of complex projects with minimal scripting.
In line with its extreme object-oriented design, 3D Rad supports scripting (via AngelScript). User-created scripts can be handled as re-usable modules which can be applied to and interact with other objects, including other scripts.
Visual editing is almost entirely mouse-driven. Object types that are based on geometry (static/animated meshes, physics objects) can be visually combined in a preview of the scene. Supplementary object types such as forces, joints, springs and wheels can also be visually configured by, for example, orienting an intensity vector or setting joint locations and axes. Visual editing is also supported for certain event-objects, tracing detection zones for example.
3D File Format
3D Rad supports 3D models in DirectX file format (.x file extension). Supported texture formats are BMP, JPG, DDS, PNG, TGA. 3D animations can be bone (skeletal) based or frame-by-frame based. Multiple animation sets are supported.
The object type 'SkinMesh' is the primary means by which user-created 3D models, from terrains to animated characters, can be rendered by using a full set of integrated shaders designed to seamlessly work together. Effects like reflection, refraction, glow, plasma and bump mapping can be enabled for imported geometry by selecting a shader from a drop down list and/or setting numeric parameters on the property dialog. The lighting model supports directional light, point lights, per-pixel shading, volumetric shadows, light-maps, shadow-maps and fog.
A variety of special effects such as fire, smoke, lens flares or animated water are supported by specialized object types (e.g. particle emitters, sprites) that are usually combined with user-created meshes or images. Post-processing effects like bloom, blur, can be enabled by configuring camera objects.
1st-person and 3rd-person view modes are supported. 3rd-person chasing cameras can automatically avoid obstacles and are implemented by being visually placing on the scene. Multiple switchable cameras, split screen and various built-in camera-shaking effects are available.
CPU controlled cars are natively supported as special objects that can be 'plugged' to user created virtual cars. Simple character A.I. can be achieved by visually combining objects. For more complex artificial intelligence behavior, scripting is advisable.
Network and Multiplayer
3D Rad supports a complete set of network functions (via scripting) that can be used in real-time on a remotely connected PC, a simulation processed on the local machine, to exchange textual strings between connected computers, to download artwork from a remote server and implement generic multi-player functions.
Sound Effects and Music
Sound files in .wav or .ogg format can be either used as 3D sound emitters in virtual space or as 'global' stereo sounds typically used for background music and interface sfx.
3D Rad features a powerful addon system that allows combinations of objects to be exported as ready-to-use addons. This means that even novice users can use complex objects such as aeroplanes or ragdolls without creating them from scratch.
A new version of 3D Rad is released every month. Donors, however, get releases six months in advance.