RealVue3D Designer Review
With the design process now focused on a digital workflow, having to provide printed proofs to clients is expensive and time-consuming. RealVue3D, from FFEI, is a modular plug-in for Adobe Acrobat which allows you to produce instantly detailed 3D proofs that can be browsed through on any machine with a 3D graphics card and a reasonably up-to-date implementation of Java.
It allows you to simulate a full range of paper textures and weights (from 80 to 400gsm), as well as simulate colours, including foil and metallic inks. You can set a variety of fold options (allowing you to position the bind of a perfect-bound magazine or book where it should be) and a variety of different finishes. You can then set the lighting position to reflect your end product being left in a park (the outdoors), or an office (indoors).
The end product is a Java file containing a 3D representation of your product. If you’re working from London for a client in Australia, you can make the file available to them via a secure website allowing them to approve a product really quickly.
This resultant file can be thumbed-through on screen. Granted it needs a reasonably high-spec machine to be able to make the most of the preview, and if it’s a PC your client is using it needs a capable 3D graphics card. If you have multiple projects for your client you can incorporate more than one into a single file; and using a Mac OS X-like dock they can browse through the pages.
It’s a little disappointing that you can only have a single colour behind your projects – being able to place magazines or books into real-world simulations would provide for a better visualisation for clients.
RealVue Designer answers a real need within a digital design studio. There’s no longer any need to produce a printed proof for sign-off, as it allows clients to easily and quickly pass a proof for publication. It’s not expensive given what it allows, and will quickly pay for itself in time saved. It has its issues, but answers a clear need and for that reason we have to recommend it.