Almost everything I do with Mathematica has to do with polyhedra and space-fillings. Hence, the advent of real-time rotation using RealTime3D has been extremely welcome. I also use Jens-Peer Kuska's excellent (and free!) MathGL MathLink application, which is much more fully-featured than Mathematica's RealTime3D. Among the most valuable features of Kuska's MathGL is direct export to both POV-Ray format and to Apple QuickDraw3D .3dmf file format.
I use a one-year-old Blue & White PowerMac G3. Along with the newer G4 and iMac systems, this machine ships with a video acceleration card. Recently I downloaded a *wonderful* free QuickDraw3D viewer, Stefan Huber's Geo3D, at
and am astounded at its capabilities. It has a tiny "memory footprint," of less than 6 MB. It should be emphasized that Geo3D and SimpleText (another free QuickDraw3D viewer) are greatly enhanced by hardware acceleration, such as exists on all new Macs. Aside from a minor bug--one always has to choose "flip backfaces" in the Rendering settings--Geo3D offers the following, almost astounding features:
1. Real-time rotations and translations and camera zooms at resolutions of 1152 by 870 and above, in 24-bit color. I have brought Graphics3D polyhedra and space-fillings bounded by up to 10,000 polygons into Geo3D with excellent results.
3. Arbitrary background color, any number of direct lights of any color and position, ambients lights of any color and position, and more.
4. A series of rotations and zooms and translations of arbitrary length may be saved as an animation and played back.
5. The rendering window may be saved to PICT format, and the animation may be saved to a series of PICTs. One may specify the resolution of the PICT file and thus obtain nice anti-aliasing (just as in Mathematica, one can render a graphic at 200% and then com back to 100% magnification, to get smoother edges).
With the addition of one more (shareware) software component, Eduard Schuan's MooVer, at