Sweet Home 3D offers users a chance to see a remodeled room or a brand new home before a single nail has been driven. With a fairly simple premise and impressive results, this slightly flawed program is certainly something to get the imagination going.
Improved support for textured transparent models and transparency management in images computed with SunFlow. Changed how GMT time zones are displayed to avoid confusion. Improved 12/24 hour notation for English speaking users according to user country. Fixed a bug that computed wrongly the shape of some parallel joined walls. Fixed a bug in 3D viewer applet that prevented it to run. Added com.eteks.sweethome3d.no3D system property to disable 3D capabilities of Sweet Home 3D if needed. Updated Spanish, Portuguese Brazilian and Swedish help files. Replaced JRE 6u23 by JRE 6u24 in Sweet Home 3D installers bundled with Java. Other minor bugs fixes and enhancements.
- Create photorealistic images and videos with the ability to customize lights and control sunlight effect according to the time of day and geographic location.
- Import home blueprint to draw walls upon it, 3D models to complete default catalog, and textures to customize surfaces.
- Draw straight, round or sloping walls with precise dimensions using the mouse or the keyboard.
- Print and export PDFs, bitmap or vector graphics images, videos and 3D files in standard file formats.
- Extend the features of Sweet Home 3D with plug-ins programmed in Java, or by developing a derived version based on its Model View Controller architecture.
- Choose the language displayed in the user interface of SweetHome 3D and its rich help from 23 languages.
- Insert doors and windows in walls by dragging them in the plan, and let Sweet Home 3D compute their holes in walls.
- Add furniture to the plan from a searchable and extensible catalog organized by categories such as kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom…
- Change color, texture, size, thickness, location and orientation of furniture, walls, floors and ceilings.
- Annotate the plan with room areas, dimension lines, texts and show the North direction with a compass rose.
The program’s interface is very easy to use. The left side of the screen contains a file tree for every room in the house, and clicking on each room presents a list of all appropriate furniture you can drag into the adjacent box. The area is a grid with measurements corresponding to room size. Below the file tree is a space for each item in the room and its approximate size. At the bottom of the screen is a small box that provides the 3D view. Designing a room is very simple. By dragging furniture into the grid and positioning it as you envision your redesigned room, a clear picture appears below, providing an impression of space that two-dimensional sketches cannot. In addition, there is an exciting Virtual Visit option that lets you walk through your home and its rooms.
Sweet Home 3D offers more than 50 different pieces of furniture, ranging from beds to lamps and desks tables, but you can import even more from the developer’s website. To create your rooms, all you need to do is drag and drop elements into the grid view and you’ll see them building up 3D in the viewing screen below. Once you’ve done this, use the virtual visit tool to get a 3D preview of what it looks like and talk a walk around.
While the results of Sweet Home 3D were impressive, we were slightly disappointed with its control. Placing items in the room will take some patience, as it feels rather clunky. However, with a little practice, we are certain users will be able to use this free program to design something impressive.
The latest version adds a new level of realism to Sweet Home 3D. This includes a new ability to handle rounded walls, the possibility to store points of view, a new compass and even light and sun management to accurately show how your designs react under different conditions. They’ve also added a much needed auto recovery function if Sweet Home 3D crashes.