First Looks: Viewpoint Model Library

30 Jun, 2003 By: Patrick Davis

3D models add details to design.

Viewpoint Model Library
3D models
pros: Convenient; quality models; wide variety; fairly efficient polygon counts.
cons: Most models lack texture maps.
price: Varies



Digimation's Viewpoint Model Library is a collection of 20,000 well-constructed 3D models available on demand. They come in a variety of file formats for use with most 3D programs, including 3ds max. The library includes various character, anatomy, animal, industrial, military, automotive, and architectural models. You can search for an image via printed, CD-ROM, and online catalogs. Each model is displayed in wire frame, along with basic model properties such as number of points, polygons, and pricing.

All of the models in the collection go through Digimation's quality-assurance program to ensure that each one is technically correct, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing. Model polygon counts vary from a few hundred to more than 250,000. Though you'll find high-resolution polygon and NURBS models suitable for broadcast and low-resolution models optimized for interactive performance on the Web, most lie somewhere in between. Less than 25% of the models are textured because textures don't always translate well from one file format to another.

In the 100 or so models I've used as filler items in mechanical and architectural presentations, many of the polygon counts exceeded my needs. I use Polygon Cruncher to reduce the number of polygons by

Digimation’s Viewpoint models help you quickly create scenes.
roughly 35% and cut overall rendering times without affecting image quality. Though reducing the polygon count is an extra step, I like having that option instead of starting out with a low-polygon model, which may not provide the desired results.

Digimation offers several different licensing options. You can purchase models individually, but that's not the most economical option. For example, a single model may sell for $995, but if you buy the model as part of a Freedom Collection, you get three models for the same price.

The Freedom Collection lets you select a certain number of models from the model library and license them at a substantial discount off the single-model price. Your Freedom Collection can include any model with licensing costs less than or equal to the cost of the collection itself. With the Freedom Subscription option you can pick 20, 50, or 100 models over 12 months.

Digimation also offers the Viewpoint Collection for those who work in a specific 3D genre. You can choose from 17 different categories. The Viewpoint Libraries are for those with across-the-board projects. Four different libraries are available: Titanium, Platinum, Gold, and Silver. The Titanium Library consists of all the models in the library and retails for more than $100,000.

When you purchase a model from Digimation's Viewpoint library, there are no ongoing royalties. You can use the models in your own projects for one year. You essentially lease the model and are not granted permission to sell it to other parties. Every model comes with technical support and a quality guarantee.

In addition to models, Digimation offers geographic imagery, textures, and motion data for license. If you don't find what you need in the archives, Digimation provides a variety of custom content solutions.

Digimation is looking for contributors to participate in its Viewpoint Publishing Program. If you have models that are collecting dust, you could earn extra cash for work that you've already done. To learn more, contact vivians@

The Viewpoint Model Library is the largest collection of premiere models commercially available. It's a great way to quickly add accurate models to any project. You can request a CD-ROM and printed catalogs by calling Digimation or visiting its recently updated Web site.

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