AC3D is a 3D design program which has been available since 1994. The software is used by designers for modeling 3D graphics for games and simulations - most notably it is used by the scenery creators at Laminar Research on the X-Plane (simulator). The .ac format has also been used in FlightGear for scenery objects and aircraft models
Initially developed on the Amiga
code was then ported to Silicon Graphics workstations which used the GL
graphics library. At that time, the user interface was implemented using
X-Window/Motif. A Linux port was released onto the internet in 1994 (the GL
graphics were replaced with OpenGL). A windows port followed when the
X-Window interface was dropped in favor of the portable Tcl
In 2002 Inivis Limited purchased the full intellectual property rights to
AC3D and continues to develop and market the software. They decided to keep
the name AC3D for the software.
In 2005, a Mac OS X version of AC3D was released.
AC3D's modeling is polygon/subdivision-surface based. Unlike some other 3D
software, AC3D refers to 'surfaces' rather than 'polygons'. An AC3D surface
can be a polygon, polygon-outline or line. An AC3D object is a collection of
AC3D can load and save a wide variety of 3D file formats but primarily uses
its own .ac file format which is ascii.
Inivis is the first 3rd party vendor to offer officially sanctioned support for the Second Life sculpted prim format; exporters for other 3D software packages exist, but are solely user-supported.
Scripting and plugins
Extra functionality can be added to AC3D via Tcl/Tk scripts and/or C/C++
dynamic libraries (plugins). A software development kit (SDK) is available
to licensed users.