Make 3-D letters out of gold blocks, drape them in fabric or fire them up like molten metal--then make them rotate, pulsate or turn on a dime with Ulead's recently released Cool 3D 2.0. The second incarnation of Cool 3D looks a lot like the first--you type your letters, decide on a size and font, then choose color, texture, angle and lighting effects. It's all point-and-click--no grappling with graphical terms. Get the right angle by spinning the word with your mouse and seeing what looks best. Add motion, and then save it for the Web, printing or a presentation. Version 2.0 includes plug-ins for animated explosions and fire.
Cool 3D is perfect for nonartists who want quick results. The boxed version includes 500 bonus textures, 25 bonus fonts, 5000 bonus Web objects, animations and Ulead GIF Animator 1.5. Remember to install the included Microsoft DirectX 5 drivers as well. You may want to download the DirectX 6 drivers from Microsoft's site (http://www.microsoft.com/directx./download.asp), since 6 is the version Ulead recommends. You can download a fully functional 15-day trial version of Cool 3D from Ulead's Web site.
Cool 3D 2.0
Est. street price: $49.95
Download price: $39.95
Requires: a Pentium processor (166 with MMX recommended), Windows 95/98/NT 4.0 (with service pack 3), 16MB RAM (32MB recommended), 24MB hard-drive space, a Hi-Color or True Color display, a mouse
Ulead Systems Inc.