Teddy – A Digital Illustrator’s 3d Modeling Toolkit

A friend of mine over on the Plan 403 Forums posted a cool program called Teddy. I saw this demo a while ago, but thought it was worth sharing here since it seems like it would be such a neat program to work with. Using a WACOM tablet or touch-screen laptop, the user can literally draw 3D models into existence. The interface is simple, seems elegant, and looks to be pretty powerful. I’d have a couple concerns before using it for any really big projects, though.

One worry would be the program’s technical limits. Usually when you are simplifying 3D modeling, it creates limits to what can easily be done. For instance, cloning sections of a model might not be possible. So, like with drawing, you might have to re-draw every tentacle on that sea monster you’re working on.

Another concern is optimization for animation. You may not end up with a very smooth model due to the hand-drawn nature of the program. Still-lifes may be the way to go with Teddy.

Finally, I would be worried that any models in Teddy may have the effect of all looking similar; that is, the user would be able to pick out the fact that the models are created in Teddy. Much like Flash or Poser, Teddy models tend to have a style that is very distinguishable from other 3D models.

All-in-all, Teddy looks like it would be great fun to use, and practical uses for it could include still-frame 3D design, creating characters for cartoony advertisements, or roughing out a model that you can then import into Lightwave and edit. I’d love to get my hands on this program and just play around, and if the video’s claim that a child could do it is true, then it is possible that we may start seeing it turn up in schools sometime in the future.