Amorphium Pro takes the original version of Amorphium to the next level while adding some professional features. An important new option is the ability to export 3-D animation as a Flash movie, broadening Amorphium's appeal to Web designers. The program also features better import-export functions. Amorphium includes tools for building models, adding texture, animating, and rendering out to a QuickTime, AVI, or Flash movie. Thus it works well as a complete standalone application for creating animated graphics. However, the application's import and export abilities allow Amorphium to work with other programs such as 3ds Max and Electric Image Universe, making it an excellent organic modeler that works in conjunction with these and other applications.
Amorphium works in modes, and only one portion of a model can be adjusted at a time. This is both good and bad, as it allows the modeler to focus on only one segment. Making changes to one section without seeing it in the context of the whole model can be difficult. For that, you need to switch back to the Composer mode, where all pieces are assembled. Composer is also the stage where models are arranged, lit, and animated. Other modes include Materials, where textures are applied, Painting, Mask (for protecting areas of a model), HeightShop (for applying bump maps), and Mapping (for adding decals to objects).
Output formats include QuickTime, still images, and, now, Flash animation. The Flash output options included settings for rendering with outlines, solid shapes, gradients, background color, and quality. File sizes for animation can be large if the animation isn't designed correctly, but there are some tips in the manual for keeping a lid on sizes.
For better or worse, the interface itself has changed only slightly, with the important addition of multiple views. A Windows button at the bottom of the screen will arrange the windows in a preconfigured quad view, single view, or two-window view. All windows can be resized. The unique interface, however, is also the weak spot of the application. It is inconsistent with other applications on either platform, and is even inconsistent with Electric Image's own Universe, the big brother to Amorphium. It's a good thing that the program is so easy to use and encourages experimentation, because the thin manual is of minimal help.
Still, Amorphium Pro offers an ease of use and a sense of immediate feedback that is unique to 3-D modeling programs. Flash output is a major strength, as is the interactive painting mode. There is something addictive about building things, and when you can build something and bring it to life through animation, the thrill is magnified. Amorphium Pro is an addictive little application, and an ideal introduction to computer modeling and animation. --Mike Caputo