Whether you design homes for a living or simply fantasize about your dream house, the thought of actually seeing your vision come together is exciting. Now, the idea of seeing your dreams can become a reality with Home 3D by Black Mana Studios. Described as the “ultimate mobile tool for architects, home remodeling enthusiasts, interior designers and design hobbyists,” Home 3D allows users to create their own virtual dream home and then take a 3D tour inside once completed.
As the developer specifically notes, Home 3D focuses on building through three easy steps. The first is layout, in which users create their home’s floor plan by adding and positioning rooms as they see fit. When creating a floor plan, users must initially label it with a name and choose whether they would prefer their measurements in feet/inches or meters/centimeters. Home 3D will automatically generate your room’s windows and doors, which you can later add, remove or modify.
The only noticeable flaw with the layout stage comes when you begin to create and position rooms within the home. In attempting to rearrange the position of multiple rooms placed on the blueprint, the different blocks seemed to repel each other and push themselves to opposite ends of the design board. Also, when attempting to move one block, all others would move up or down along with it. While I’m sure this is simply a bug that can be easily fixed in their next update, it currently makes building an effective floor plan rather difficult and time consuming.
The second step involves placing furniture and fixtures around your home. While Home 3D comes with over 30 fixtures appliances and pieces of furniture, a wider selection is available for purchase with their convenient, built-in online content shop. Simply tap and hold on the room to access the various appliances, furniture and fixtures available upon immediate download to decorate your house and make it everything you’ve always dreamt about.
The third step then allows users to take the 3D virtual tour of their creation and set the floor and wall materials for their various rooms. New wall and floor materials may be purchased from the online shop as well, but if that doesn’t sound appealing, users can also use their iPhone’s camera or photos from their library and apply them as floor covering or wallpaper. The 3D graphics are certainly impressive, but it was hard to fully grasp.
Black Mana Studios also presents the most comprehensive and useful ‘Help’ section I have ever come across. Here, users have access to a step-by-step guide to every aspect of Home 3D explained to them in the form of a short video. These streaming tutorials are nicely divided into short demonstrations that actually show you how each step is done, making usage a breeze. However, because the videos are streamed, you must be receiving a 3G/WiFi signal to view them.
As any great developer would do, Black Mana Studios is already at work on improving their latest app. Amongst the changes, Black Mana hopes to add the ability to: rotate objects at a 45-degree angle; position objects in 3D mode, not just top view as is currently available; move objects between rooms.
While there are many other improvements on the way, Black Mana accepts that the potential for growth with such an innovative and creative app means they will continue working toward perfection by meeting users’ needs. But they can only accomplish this with your comments and feedback.
*This 50% discount is available for a limited time only.
Home 3D requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. A small fee was paid by the developer to expedite the publication of this review.