Software for displaying images on a cube

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Hi!

I'm searching for a software that allows me to display images on a cube.

I found quartzcube and Keynote to be capable of doing this to some extent, and Solidworks is also able to do it (but on windows and very high price).

I want to be able to show 3 sides of a cube with images taken from three directions in a report (metalography, if that helps).

Do you have any idea of free or cheap apps that would allow me to build such a cube?

Thanks in advance.

Best regards

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by future-ex-pc-user View Post


    Hi!

    I'm searching for a software that allows me to display images on a cube.

    I found quartzcube and Keynote to be capable of doing this to some extent, and Solidworks is also able to do it (but on windows and very high price).

    I want to be able to show 3 sides of a cube with images taken from three directions in a report (metalography, if that helps).

    Do you have any idea of free or cheap apps that would allow me to build such a cube?

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards



    Quartz Composer. Free as part of any Mac OS X distribution.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Well, Quartz Composer requires one to access developer tools, doesn't it? Actually asking, never had the occasion to delve into that.



    Another possibility is the $39 MacHeist bundle that's currently up, which includes the normally $300 Kinemac, which is a pretty great little 3D modeling program. Maybe a little overkill for just sticking images on cube faces, but you can't beat the price, and if anything else in the bundle is useful, that's just gravy.



    In case anyone is wondering, these MacHeist packages are worked out with the developers. While there is some controversy as to whether it makes any economic sense for the participants, it's all on the up and up.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    You can also do this with the free version of SketchUp-- just make a cube and import JPEGs to place on the faces, then export as a JPEG.



    Not sure if there's anyway to treat the resulting cube as a discreet, layerable object, however. SketchUp seems to want to treat the whole thing as a 3D "scene" that includes background.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Well, Quartz Composer requires one to access developer tools, doesn't it? Actually asking, never had the occasion to delve into that.



    It isn't that scary at all. DevTools are supplied with any Mac OS X. Installation is as easy, as that of Mac OS X itself. The cube will display videos and pictures, it will rotate,scale,pane etc. It will be far more cost-effective. :LOL:
  • Reply 5 of 13
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    It isn't that scary at all. DevTools are supplied with any Mac OS X. Installation is as easy, as that of Mac OS X itself. The cube will display videos and pictures, it will rotate,scale,pane etc. It will be far more cost-effective. :LOL:



    Well, I guess, but I just did what the OP wanted in (free) SketchUp in couple of minutes: made a cube, imported some images to put on some faces, and exported as a TIFF into Photoshop, with the transparent background option ticked so I could use it as a standalone layer.



    The transparent background part I wasn't sure about, per my last post, but seems to work great.



    No doubt Quartz Composer would work as well, I just suspect that for the average user downloading and using SketchUp (which is generally awesome, as a bonus) might be a bit less intimidating that breaking out the dev tools.



    But either way, couple of good free solutions!
  • Reply 6 of 13
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    No doubt Quartz Composer would work as well, I just suspect that for the average user downloading and using SketchUp (which is generally awesome, as a bonus) might be a bit less intimidating that breaking out the dev tools.

    But either way, couple of good free solutions!



    Sure. What's interesting, imo sketchup isn't easier than quartz composer. It isn't intuitive at all. It has so many bugs and is so unstable, that I personally would prefer anything else. Quartz Composer will allow much more than static pictures: animation, user input, exporting as a movie, whatever else presenter's creativity may require...
  • Reply 7 of 13
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    Sure. What's interesting, imo sketchup isn't easier than quartz composer. It isn't intuitive at all. It has so many bugs and is so unstable, that I personally would prefer anything else. Quartz Composer will allow much more than static pictures: animation, user input, exporting as a movie, whatever else presenter's creativity may require...



    I'll take your word for it-- haven't used Composer. And I agree SketchUp has its share of quirks (although, to be fair, the learning curve is pretty shallow compared to your average 3D modeling software), but for the task at hand it couldn't be easier: draw a square, pull it up into a cube, and import images which you apply to the faces of the cube with your mouse. You can change the size of the cube or your images or both, with simple dragging, to get things lined up how you like.



    I have no doubt that for a lot of things Quartz Composer would be a far better choice than SketchUp, which after all is intended for an entirely different set of tasks, but for this one it's pretty simple.



    BTW, where have you encountered stability issues? I use SketchUp quite a bit and it seems pretty stable to me.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    BTW, you have to love that the OP is long gone and we're left to hash out the relative merits of SU and QC.



    I'd also love to give QC a spin, but my main machine is a work supplied MacBook Pro which doesn't include the dev tools in the install.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    BTW, you have to love that the OP is long gone and we're left to hash out the relative merits of SU and QC.



    We haven't left the question unanswered. There're at least 3 recommendations above. That's our excuse. (We can quite rightfully rebuke OP too: there is Genius Bar forum specially dedicated to Q&A's )





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I'd also love to give QC a spin, but my main machine is a work supplied MacBook Pro which doesn't include the dev tools in the install.



    That makes things worse, sure...
  • Reply 10 of 13
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    draw a square, pull it up into a cube, and import images which you apply to the faces of the cube with your mouse. You can change the size of the cube or your images or both, with simple dragging, to get things lined up how you like.



    QC is exactly as complex as SketchUp is. Within QC you drag and drop a prefect cube patch (that is already a cube, without your pulling it up)



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    BTW, where have you encountered stability issues? I use SketchUp quite a bit and it seems pretty stable to me.



    In my installation it hangs and crashes regularly.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Thank for the replys!

    I actually installed the developer tools and like QC. It's a really easy way of programming and it did the job. Anyway, I will invest some more time to learn how to build a interface around it so I can just drag and drop my images onto the cube or something like that (I will have to do a lot of them in the coming time, so it justifies the work). The only problem was the size of DT... A big download for a small program, but that's not so important. It workes ;-)..

    Thanks!
  • Reply 12 of 13
    Thank for the replys!

    I actually installed the developer tools and like QC. It's a really easy way of programming and it did the job. Anyway, I will invest some more time to learn how to build a interface around it so I can just drag and drop my images onto the cube or something like that (I will have to do a lot of them in the coming time, so it justifies the work). The only problem was the size of DT... A big download for a small program, but that's not so important. It workes ;-)..

    Thanks!
  • Reply 13 of 13
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by future-ex-pc-user View Post


    Thank for the replys!

    I actually installed the developer tools and like QC. It's a really easy way of programming and it did the job. Anyway, I will invest some more time to learn how to build a interface around it so I can just drag and drop my images onto the cube or something like that (I will have to do a lot of them in the coming time, so it justifies the work). The only problem was the size of DT... A big download for a small program, but that's not so important. It workes ;-)..

    Thanks!



    You're welcome anytime. Drag image importer, connect its output to the cube face image input (it is still a little bit about programming). Then simply configure image importer (don't forget to turn on patch inspector ) by clicking the button "Import from file..." and choosing image file.

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