ABSTRACT
The paper presents the results of tests and assessment of tools, user interface and functionality of 3D modeling freeware applications (modelers). The following four 32-bit applications, which on 1.12.2009 received the highest rating on www.dobreprogramy.pl website, were chosen for testing: Blender 2.49b, TrueSpace v7.6, 3D Canvas 8.1.7, Build 1418 and Google SketchUp v7.1.6860. Advanced modeling of an object with dimensions of 42.5 30.5 10.5 m was performed based on 16 photos, recorded with a non-metric Olympus E510 digital camera (10 MP). Precise data for modeling was obtained by direct field measurement and project documentation of the object. The paper describes the various stages of modeling, an assessment of efficiency and time needed to create a 3D model in the applications tested. The application Blender 2.49b proved to be the most advanced freeware tool with expanded functionality for creating a realistic 3D model of the object. Among tested applications the modeler Google SketchUp v7.1.6860 was classified at the second position, first of all thanks to short image data processing time and the best 3D modeling learning opportunities. The extensive library and easy adjusting light and camera positions make TrueSpace v7.6 the best application for creating and visualization of photorealistic 3D scenes. Freeware version of 3D Canvas 8.1.7 Build 1418 is considered to be the least effective and functional application due to limited access to certain tools and features. The tested freeware 3D modelers: Blender 2.49b, TrueSpace v7.6, 3D Canvas 8.1.7 Build 1418 and Google SketchUp v7.1.6860 are recommended for users starting work in 3D modeling environment. The expanded sets of modeling tools allow creating photorealistic 3D models of close-range objects of any size and spatial structure.