18 iPhone apps for 3D artists

There's more to Apple's phone than lightsaber simulations

10. Storyboard Composer - £11.99 / $19.99

Storyboard Composer is one of the priciest apps here. But this mobile storyboarding and pre-viz tool is aimed squarely at professionals. The app enables you to build a storyboard sequence using photos, directions and pre defined graphics. If you've taken location shots with your iPhone, you can import these images into the app, then drag them into a rough running order. Then you add in traditional storyboarding elements. You can export the storyboard and save it out as a PDF for distribution. It's all very impressive, but Cinemek has missed a trick by not letting users export the rough-cut video.

20 iphone apps for 3d artists

11. LuxGallery - Free

From the makers of modo comes this beautiful image-viewing app, which showcases renders created with the acclaimed modelling and rendering suite. If you're a modo user, the constantly updated Luxology Image Gallery might be a convenient way for you to explore what other modo designers and artists are producing. You can search through thousands of images; when you find one you like, you can add it to your favourites. You can browse and bookmark some exceptionally nice images, but there's nothing more to this particular app than that.

20 iphone apps for 3d artists

12. ReelDirector - £4.99 / $7.99

A full-blown video-editing app on a mobile device? Yes – with one catch: it's only available for the iPhone 3GS (and presumably the iPad). ReelDirector enables you to stitch together video clips with a intuitive drag-and-drop timeline, and you can add audio by importing your own music files or by recording a voiceover. So how useful is it? One satisfied customer comments: "I'm a DoP and last week I took some videos and stills on my 3GS whilst on a rekkie for a film location. In the half-hour Tube journey back to the office, I had a mini rough edit of the scene…"

20 iphone apps for 3d artists

13. SculptMaster 3D - £2.39 / $3.99

As its name suggests, SculptMaster 3D enables you to generate digital sculptures by manipulating virtual clay. Think of it as a sketch book, but with a Z-axis. It's an app that's perfectly suited to Apple's trio of mobile devices – the touchscreen interface makes it easy to zoom, rotate and pan the view as you build your 3D model. While the controls can be a little imprecise, extra tools such as the colour picker and eyedropper ease the creative process. Completed meshes can be exported as .obj files and shared by email. A free version is available.

20 iphone apps for 3d artists

14. Layers - £2.99 / $4.99

We look at SketchBook Mobile above, but Layers offers similar features, enabling you to incorporate up to five layers in each drawing you create. It features an array of familiar design options, including ten brushes, layer transparency, photo tracing, a smudge tool, an eraser and an eyedropper. You can pan and zoom, and export any finished artwork as a Photoshop file. Layers is overcomplicated for quick doodles, but perfect for more professional work.

20 iphone apps for 3d artists

15) Photoshop.com Mobile - Free

Rather than being a full-blown application in its own right, Photoshop.com Mobile is a customised iPhone front-end for Adobe's online photo sharing and editing website. The service offers rudimentary photo fiddling (crop, straighten, rotate, flip), plus a beginner's array of filters, effects, borders and colour balancing. The app simply takes the website data and filters it through an interface customised for Apple devices. It boasts more options than the Mill Colour app featured below– and more than makes up for the lack of decent photoediting functionality from Apple.

20 iphone apps for 3d artists

16) Mill Colour - Free

London's VFX outfit The Mill has produced a photo-editing app. Mill Colour is part calling card, part image-grading mini-tool. In the Mill's own words, it "emulates primary grading techniques used in a high-end digital suite". What this means in practice is that you can select an image from your iPhone's photo library or take a new one, then apply predefined styles to it – for example a warm golden tone, or a washedout 1970s palette look. If none of the supplied filters suits your needs, you can fiddle with Lift, Gamma, Gain or Saturation to spit-and-polish your favourite snaps.

20 iphone apps for 3d artists

17. iTracer - £1.79 / $2.99

3D modelling and rendering on an iPhone? Yes. Download iTracer and you can build simple 3D models or scenes and render them from any viewpoint. It lacks the extended feature set of a fatter desktop package, but iTracer boasts a material editor, opacity and refraction effects, while multiple light sources can be set up for complex shadowing. It's astounding to have even half of these features on a mobile device. The addition of a 2D curve editor and support for generic triangle meshes with per-vertex normals makes the price point an absolute steal.

20 iphone apps for 3d artists

18) Artisan - £0.59 / $0.99

Artisan's imagery is based on interacting with fractal webs that dance and swirl according to your touch (similar to EoD's particle-based app, Spawn Illuminati). You can control the number of 'breeders' to make the image more or less complex. However, if you slow the web movement down you can generate curvaceous, solid-looking 3D images, which can then be saved to your iPhone's gallery (as long as you're quick: the images are constantly evolving). More of a novelty than a real tool, but an aesthetically pleasing way to while away a few minutes.

20 iphone apps for 3d artists