shape3d is a graphic plugin for Paint.NET, the popular image editor. Its purpose is to generate 3D objects using 2D image, with plenty of options regarding texture, orientation and lightning.
The plugin has been on the market for a while, but began drawing attention from the first releases. This is due to the high level of control handed to the user and the dynamic rendering process that can be manipulated to the finest detail.
Much like any other Paint.NET plugin, this one is brought in a DLL form which you need to place inside the editor’s installation directory, into the folder named ‘Effects’. An application restart is required for the plugin to become active, provided that Paint.NET is running while you’re accommodating the filter.
shape3d becomes noticeable in the Effects menu of the editor, under the Render category. Before you trigger it though, you ought to load the 2D image to be processed, for the plugin to have a work basis.
The plugin will open an independent panel, which serves to customize the 3D shapes to your liking. There are three different tabs, each corresponding to a different shape: sphere, cylinder and box, which differ from one another only in what textures are concerned.
The common link between the three is represented by the placing of the 3D object in space. Parameters such as axis rotation, projection, camera angle, lightning (a pretty cool effect), direction and pan settings can be customized using the same panel, regardless of the shape of choice.
The result can be spectacular at times, provided that you’ve experienced with similar products before and have the necessary knowledge to understand the meaning of all the options. The overall impression is that of a professional toolset that produce marvelous effects based on a simple 2D image.