iPad app review: Forger 1.0
Forger is a powerful, portable digital sculpting app for the iPad. If you’ve ever wished you could dive into ZBrush or Mudbox to do a quick sculpt on the go then this is the tool for you
- Multiple brushes
- Moveable lights
- Intuitive navigation
DEVELOPER: Javier Edo
In the 3D industry there is, more than in any other field, a constant search for extra power and tools that are simpler to operate, but which produce more and more sophisticated work. Looking for the best combination of CPU and graphics cards, with huge amounts of RAM to drive the latest versions of our favoured software, seems to take a large amount of our time, but in the background a few indie houses have spotted a gap in the market.
Smartphones and tablet PCs have reached a stage where they pack some serious power and can be used to run portable creative apps that can truly become part of a real creative pipeline.
Forger is one such app, and if you’ve ever wished you could dive into ZBrush or Mudbox to do a quick sculpt on the go then this is the tool for you. While not as feature-rich as familiar desktop sculpting packages, it’s powerful enough to enable you to create concept work on the go, quickly and intuitively.
The iPad app’s welcome screen provides you with one-touch access to base meshes and last saved files
Once downloaded to your iPad a quick touch of the icon boots up the app, which greets you with a load screen where you can choose between a number of preset base meshes, including full human, human head and some primitives. You can also load up a project you’ve worked on previously – something that’s still quite rare with iPad apps.
Choose a project and you’ll see the workspace, with menus for sculpting tools and settings. These are clear and easy to understand without cluttering the screen. Navigation is via multitouch gestures, using two fingers to both rotate and zoom in a very natural way – if you’ve not used it before it only takes a minute to learn.
The sculpting tools themselves are responsive and predictable, so you get what you expect. Unlike some 2D painting apps that aren’t always as precise as you’d like, the tools here work very well – and should you need to go back a few steps there are Undo and Redo buttons in the main menu bar (which also houses the brush, mesh and material settings, along with the app preferences).
While the number of tools doesn’t rival that of a more powerful desktop app, the basics are more than catered for, with simple Raise/Lower, Clay, Mask, Layer, Flatten, Smooth, Pinch, Inflate and Paint options. Each tool has a shared set of adjustments for size and strength.
If you’ve ever wished you could dive into ZBrush or Mudbox to do a quick sculpt on the go then this iPad app is for you
One pleasant surprise is the Mesh Settings palette, which enables you to use painted selections to hide/show parts of the mesh. Used in conjunction with the various tools and the zoom, you can really get to hard-to-reach areas and build in some serious detail.
The real test is getting your mesh onto a workstation to continue working. This is handled well with save, save incremental and export options. Sculpts are exported as OBJs, which can be opened in most 3D applications. Exporting is handled via iTunes file sharing and works smoothly.
Overall, working in Forger is a real pleasure and you can quickly develop ideas you have on the move. The app may only have basic tools but it enables most simple tasks to be completed, and the developer is working on future upgrades with enhanced capabilities.
- Low cost
- Exports OBJ files
- Export uses iTunes file sharing
- Limited toolset
Forger is already an excellent app for digital sculptors on the move – and more features are promised for a future update
About the author
3D World technical editor Rob Redman is a 3D veteran with an extensive client list, including Daft Punk, Red Giant Software, Ministry of Sound and many others
Want to know more about Forger 1.0?
We spoke to the developer when the new iPad app was first released. Check out our Javier Edo interview
Want to know more about the new iPad 3?
Head over to our sister site, TechRadar, to read the new iPad review.
on Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 10:35 am under Reviews.
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