Every once in a while, you run into a new application that just puts a smile on your face because its so much fun to use and best of all… it's budget priced.
As with a lot of budget-priced software, you'll also wish it did more, but we'll get to that a bit later because… it does plenty… for the asking price of $10 (US).
A trip to Starbucks with friends can cost more. Of course, we don't have a Starbucks and I don't have any friends but… I imagine that is what it would be like. Cut out a supersized meal and you've got the cost covered plus you can eat it over and over.
This little jewel is FlowScape, a Unity-based not-sure-what-it-is landscaping tool that has little practical use in its present stage but provides loads of relaxation and creative fun. Another plus, what is super important to some of us creative types, instant gratification and I won't even tell your Mom on you for using it… because it seems… a little sinful it's so much fun.
Now I will admit to being easily entertained in some respects but not with a damned landscaping tool! What's worse is I'm recommending this thing to anyone with a creative streak when it comes to digital landscape-based artwork.
It's easy to use if you've had experience with this sort of thing in 3D. The interface is well thought out for what it offers. There is a lot of “click the button” tools available in sight which means you won't forget about them.
FlowScape - A Unity based digital landscaping application.
For this author, it is an intuitive program to a large degree as I have yet to seek out any documentation on it. In fact, I'm not sure what documentation exists for that matter. I've been so busy playing with the thing I haven't taken time to do anything else.
It's also easy to install as in “no installation”. It is a standalone Unity application, so you just start it up and go with it. In some ways, it reminds me of its older and much more expensive cousin, Lumion.
A Demo of FlowScape with Examples at the End
Now to the “you're going to wish it would do more part”… the sad part to this happy tale.
It's a limited use application at present. In fact… it's almost a “no use” application since it can only export images and not video. Plus the images are dumped in the folder the application is located in.
Let me just answer most of your question by providing the answer first.
The answer: No
• Can I import FBX?
• Can I import OBJs?
• Can I import… anything?
• Can I export video?
• Can I provide my own animation?
• Can I… ?
The answer is always a resounding "No."
Now that we've got that out-of-the-way let me step up and defend the developer, whom I don't know and haven't contacted. From what I've read it's a one-man operation… there is nothing wrong with that… it just comes with limitations that we have to be realistic about.
I'm not sure this dev even grasps what could be done with the tool if export were handled properly. Even now I've already heard of some intrepid digital artists trying to screencap the output and use it in compositions.
It appears this was never meant to be that kind of app but instead a more limited endeavor, and we need to keep in mind the very reasonable price of $10US.
Would I pay more with export features? Yes, as long as it stays reasonable. Is there a big enough market for it to make that feasible? Not sure of that one as that is above my pay grade but I do know it's fun, relaxing, pretty to look at and even stunning in some respects.
FlowScape provides you with animals, bugs, butterflies, fish and all sort of animated critters along with flowers and other fauna. Don't forget rocks, tree limbs, toadstools and other things necessary to create a gorgeous landscape that you can show off to all your friends.
With minimal learning curve too.
So… even if you aren't a digital artist… you can use FlowScape to act like you are.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.