Ulead Cool 3D version 2.0
By Lisa Casler

Uleads Cool 3D is a fantastic program for creating animated 3D text and objects. The included effects, textures, and templates makes creating your own 3D animation a snap. Cool 3D image titles can be placed as objects in programs that support Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) and in place editing. You can save your titles as a still image in BMP, GIF, JPEG and TGA formats and animated as GIF Animation or AVI. You can import WMF/EMF as graphic objects. Included are Plugins for Explode, Twist, Fire, other great effects and the ability to mount your text or object. Share your presets with friends or bring them home from work by importing or exporting thumbnails in EasyPalette. Multiple frame control makes creating simpler.

Created in Ulead's Cool 3D
I created this COOL animated gif in less than an hour.

The text box
First I created the text that will show. You can animate the text whole word or letter by letter. Any font you have installed can be used, however some are better for 3D than others. I usually stick to the blocky or thick rounded fonts. In this case I used a fun font for a bit of whimsy.

Cool 3D Program
The Cool 3D program at work showing the text I created in 3D. The highlighted wheel is the color I will be applying to the text. This color is included with Cool 3D. You can create your own color combinations, use textures, change the lighting, ambiance and specular. Animated colors and textures are also included and as with the colors, you can create your own.

After the color is applied
The text after applying the color.

Applying the explosion effect
Here I am applying an explosion effect. The one I have chosen is highlighted, all you do is double-click to apply. The explosion effect I chose explodes the letters from the center out one at a time.

Screen shot of the effect in motion
This is a screen shot of the finished animation in Cool 3D. You can export in GIF Animation or AVI formats or as a still in BMP, GIF, JPG or TGA format.

Another animation created in Cool 3D

Rating: 9

The Plus:
The paper manual is small, but is very concise on how to use Cool 3D. The help file has a nice tutorial. Very stable, I had zero crashes all the time I was using it. If you want an above average, easy to use 3D Text animation program, Cool 3D is it. Be sure and check Uleads web site for additional plugin's and updates.
The Minus:
The small manual.

Minimum System Requirements

Pentium 166 with MMX or above
Windows 95/98 or Windows NT
DirectX 5.0 or above (Windows 95/95)
DirectX 3.0 Driver for Windows NT 4.0
At least 16MB of RAM (32MB recommended)
At least 32MB of disk storage (64MB recommended)
CD-ROM Drive

You can buy Ulead COOL 3D online for $39.95 or upgrade if you have version 1.0 for $24.95.

Visit the Ulead web site for a demo on Cool 3D and a free Shadow plugin for Cool 3D.