What is 3DTop ?

Plug ins


Who are we ?

News Flash:

14 december 2004

Take a look at , there will be lots of audio-goodies to download in the future.
Luci is our newest pro audio product for broadcast, PocketPC-software for journalists to conduct interviews, edit and send wireless via Wifi , GSM, UMTS, bluetooth.

19 september 2004

Hi, all, here's Joost, creator of 3DTop.
I challenge you: work together with us on the first open-source 3-dimensional desktop of the future, for ALL OS'ses!
3DTop made quite a name for itself since 1999, i ask all enthusiastic developers and thinkers of 3d-desktops to join us and try to create something useful, wonderful and worthwhile. I've been quite busy with family( ) and earning my daily bread, and still am, so it's a good time to ask people if they are willing to work together with me on the future.

To start with discussion, i, myself, personally, am very sceptical about 3D-user-interfaces.... That's why 3DTop is so modest in its capabilities. While i consider myself neutral in the debate "is 3D good for us, analog, humans", 3-dimensional desktops have 3 main advantages in my opinion:
- It "opens up" your desktop, the idea of depth in the background makes your screen, and with that your 2-dimensional windows, "open".This will "open" up your mind also, this is very vague, i know, but it is something i experienced the first times i tried my programmingwork in practice.
- It will help you locate icons better. It's a classic thing, if you try to remember things, it's best to store things in a space in
your mind (second drawer on the left for instance). Visualisation in your mind works best, that's where the 3d-desktop comes to good use.
- You can shift the desktop in the background. In 3DTop's case, just look 'behind' the normal 2-windows to search for a program you want to start.

There are many more possibilities to use 3D, but i ask myself and others:" Objectively: is this useful, an addition to the current state of technology and presentation of information ?"
That's why it's a good thing to create an open-source project. Anybody can contribute it's thing and see if it's useful. What's not useful to me or to you, can be VERY useful to others. And please do not forget: FUN is useful also ! Anything that brings a smile to someone's face, is very useful ! SO, let's do something together , all 3d-developers. Ofcourse OpenGL is the way to go! Talking platform-independency-wise.

What i can offer :
-An open mind.

We'll not use 3DTop-code but create a whole new code-base. But how
can we make it platform-independant? Any ideas ? Let's hear them.
Any contra's, let's hear them and discuss at

9 June 2004
Hi again, if you're a big fan of us, you'll love this nice new feature: you can donate us some money for making this great little program freely available.
Just go to the download-page and press on the "make a donation"-button.

17 January 2004
Ok, here is the freeware 3DTop. Have fun !

16 January 2004
Hello again! After a long outage, is back again.
Biggest news, we decided to make 3DTop freeware !
Download is available tomorrow.
Updates are made by us when we feel like making updates :-) So if many people are nice to us we may reserve some precious time
for making updates. A fine way to be nice to us is to donate some money. Details about how to donate will be published soon.
This probably won't interest you, but the reason for the long outage was lack of time and maybe the birth of my first son had something to
do with it also :-)
Greetings, from the 3DTop team: Joost, Jean and Jos.
Maybe this guy will update 3dtop in a few years .....

15 October 2002
Hello! It has been a year, but we're still working on new 3DTop-related-stuff. What new stuff ? Hardware !
Here are some features of the thing to come:

30 September 2001
A new version of the 3D-model import plugin is uploaded. It solves some folder-problems when you're converting 3ds-files .When you got a message saying "view3ds.exe and glut.dll should be in the same directory ...etc " this new version will solve the problem or at least gets the message right, you don't need glut.dll anymore, but view3ds.exe and the plugin should be in the same directory .

9 September 2001
Here is some great new stuff to play with before you decide to buy 3DTop:

A new version of the 3D-model import plugin which enables you to load and display animated 3ds-models . Some other features have been included like transparency and use of shininess .Click with the right mouse-key in combination with the Ctrl-key to get a little menu for an imported model .
We changed the "view3ds"-program to enable it to import animated 3ds-objects . You can find the source-codes of it at the
home-page of Nick Porcino.

And a new 3DTop , ofcourse . Here are some new features we have included: 
- Animated 3dmodels can be imported and used for animation on opening a document (camera-movement also ! ) .
- 2 new light-types.
- improved specular lighting (" spot-effect ") in combination with textures, for video-cards that support it. It used to be that black parts of a texture did not      see any "highlighting" . If your video-card supports it, you'll now see black parts highlighted also if applicable, you may have to decrease the specular lighting of each light to get rid of too much brightness in the desktop .
- Stereo 3D with suitable LCD-glasses if your video-card supports it .
- You can now point a light in the same direction you're looking .
- Double-clicking on any object in combination with the Shift and Ctrl-key will show you the time it takes to draw that object .
- An updated manual .
- etc... etc..

Next on the list :
- Finally get rid of all those (sub-)menu's and think of something else that's part of the desktop, hopefully.
It has grown to be quite a mess there ;-)

Have fun !

10 June 2001
There's a new 3DTop on the way ! Including a significantly improved 3D-model-import-plugin. Yes, you can soon have animated 3DS-models....
If you have models with animation that you really would like to have on your desktop, send them to us at , so we can test it.
At the same time we introduce a variation on the Basic Model Format, called the Animated Basic Model Format (how original). It includes the animation-data of a 3ds-model and much improved lighting-behavior (use of the smooth-list, shininess , shininess-strength). And maybe source-codes of the new View3ds-program.

New features for 3DTop:
- Stereo 3D.
- More light-types (light-bulb, infinite light) and some other lighting-extras.
- use of abmf-models.

31 March 2001
Well, as nothing much is happening on the 3dfx-driver-front ( a bit of an understatement) we decided to work around a bug in the OpenGL-drivers of the Voodoo3 and higher. If 3DTop crashed while moving around, this new version is the one to get !
If you're interested, it had something to do with objects behind the viewer that had lighting disabled , like text and color-choosers etc.. But only for Pentium-processors, i believe AMD-processors worked Ok.... Sigh .
This new version of March 2001 also has GIF-support and some small bugs are solved : Like pressing Ctrl-V while nothing was selected ,which caused a crash, shame , shame.
Also, on a musical note we made a small excursion into the audio-plugin-world with Technica Del Arte. Look at the FlexEQ . Amazing, what you can squeeze out of a Pentium 133. But nothing beats developing dedicated boxes without compatibility-issues ;-)

22 December 2000
Surprise !
We have a new 3DTop:
- Now it finally has jpeg-support. Adds 25% extra codebytes though. But it's still only 325 K.
- Another handy little thing is that when you now start an application from 3DTop, you'll see an "activation"-light above its object as long as that program runs . No need for the "taskbar" anymore. The best way to enjoy this is to NOT make applications entirely full-screen and shift your desktop to the left and right on the background .
- Finally you can reload new pictures on to existing paintings, nice to convert all bitmaps to JPegs, hehehe.
- If you "Associate" *.dat-files with 3DTop you can double-click on an Icon3D.dat-file somewhere and that one will be used. When 3DTop is already running also.
- Movement-filtering and flag-movement is now linearized a bit....
- Eeeeh, the manual hasn't been updated yet, sorry.
- the sales-department is also not back until next year. So if you order 3DTop, it can take until 2 January, until you receive your version. This goes for the people who have bought 3DTop already also, please be patient for the registered update.
Check out also the plug-ins page, all Bones's plugins are updated with JPeg-support and more.
And the Import3D-plugin can use JPeg-texture-files also.

Have fun !

31 August 2000
Check out the plug-ins page:
-Back from vacation and Bones surprises us with a great new plugin !
Also, two of his plugins now do the opposite of what 3DTop does, instead of assigning shapes to shortcuts, you can now assign shortcuts to 3DScape (new!) and From8-80 .
-The import3D plugin has been updated, it now accepts folders and names with spaces in them. And a lighting-problem of this plugin has been solved, it used to be so that resized 3d-models were too dark upon start of 3dtop, until it was sightly resized again.

30 June 2000
Here they are. The new 3DTop web-pages, credit to Bones.
The new demo-version of 3DTop can also be downloaded here. It has some nice improvements:
- More Floor-tiling possibilities.
- More SkyPaper-tiling possibilities.
- Hide-able flags.
- No more bumping into the screen-edge with your mouse.
- Some Configurable mouse-control.
- Middle mouse-key functionality.
Read about it in the Manual.

17 June 2000
A bug ! someone found a bug ! Yes, that doesn't happen very often as 3DTop is so small it is quite bug-free, so it is considered to be news. The bug has been found and eradicated.
It involves pressing the "l'-key to leave a world when another world has a 3D-model as a shape, but only the second time......
The next version solves that, and will have a more luxurious tiling on the floor and the skypaper.

26 May 2000
It has been kind of slow these last months, that's because we're quite busy with all sorts of things that i can't mention here.
Until last year we've been making software and hardware for professional audio-purposes. 3DTop was the first thing "for the masses" and i must say it is quite pleasant. We get a lot of attention , many proud and enthusiastic registered users, and very little complaints, the last 3 months the only complaint heard is that 3DTop doesn't work with the 3dfx-chips for most people, and me .
The next demo-version is coming up !
So what does the future bring for 3DTop ?
More plugins, Bones promised to make some more.
Any suggestions ? Send them to
The Mind Connection will continue development on the Mindbender and other EEG-controlled 3D-games.

18 April 2000
And is now at the bottom again. Yes, registered users can enjoy, hopefully, the new 3DTop this week in which several options are present for modifying the way you move through 3DTop. Not things like left- mouse-button does this or that. More like " i want to move mostly horizontal" etc...
Curious ?

27 March 2000
The user-configurable mouse-control finally made it to the top of the list !

3 March 2000
Here is the latest version of 3DTop. It features:
- Adjustable movement-speeds
- Finally, the way running programs are presented made it to the top of the "todo"-list, and is now at the bottom of this circular list.
Download 3DTop !

It's still difficult to get used to a new year when you're copying and pasting dates....

29 February 2000
As these 3DTop-webpages are becoming quite popular : above you'll see another way to support 3DTop. Each time you search with it we'll get a commission, and you have a Begin-Search-Portal without the buzz, fuzz, and other stuff your eyes might get tired of.
And..... In a few days you can download the February-2000-try-out-version of 3DTop here also.

22 January 1999, oooooeps (that's Dutch for oooooops), 2000.
It's 2000, our company is still alive, without spending one cent or minute on the Y2K-problem. That's nice.
Have you ever tried using 3DTop as a Live Performance 3D-Animation package ? No ? Well, some people are doing that by jumping from flag to flag. For these purposes the newest 3DTop has adjustable speed-limits, which allows you to control the movement-speed to flags and of yourself. Also features our first human.....
Curious ? You could buy 3DTop for $10,- ofcourse. A lot of people went that way before you, secure, with their Visa or Eurocard/Mastercard.

23 December 1999
Here is our little end-of-the-year present. Hope you like it, it's the last try-out version of this 20th Century and there is still much to come, new things in this version are too much to mention here so these are the main things we think you should know about:
- Rotating objects is now done with the Alt-key instead of the Ctrl-key before. Why ? :
- You can now look up and down also by pressing the Alt-key while moving around.
- 3DTop will now automatically investigate applications for 3D-models inside them. For instance, if you have a shortcut to a program in 3DTop and the program that the shortcut (or "associated" program) points to, contains a 3D-Model in it's resource, 3DTop will load that model out of it's resource and uses that model to display the shortcut. This not only works for shortcuts but also for "associated" data-files of that program. Of course this only works when that program has a 3D-model inside it ! So, if you'd like to use that feature, write a nice and polite email to the makers of your favourite applications and ask them to take a look at this possibility. There is a slim chance that maybe someone will listen.
They can download a sample application , including the sources, that exactly does this here.

Other new stuff, like the possibility of creating several 3DTop-worlds, can be seen in the manual.
Have Fun.

16 December 1999
Next week ! Then the last try-out-version of 3DTop of this 20th Century, will be downloadable.

18 November 1999
Next update in the 3D-Model-import department.
The import-plugin now features a triangle-strip-detection algorithm which speeds-up model-drawing considerably. It is done in the true "simpletronics" 3DTop-fashion as you can see from the source-codes which is our contribution to the Open-source movement.
A Models complexity is reduced to 38 to 60% after triangle-strip detection.

5 November 1999
Major update in the 3D-Model-import department .
You can convert much more formats, and you can use textures now also! Thanks to a great shareware 3D-model converter called 3Dto3D. The model-import-plugin can interface to this program to convert all kinds of formats including their textures. Things can really look a lot more alive, while keeping the complexity relatively low. Take a look at this screenshot .
To download the latest version of 3Dto3D go to it's homepage at

30 October 1999
-"Bones" (TWFKAJ,The Wizard Formerly Known As Jean) must really be having fun (the main reason why we all do this anyway) with making plug-ins for 3DTop. Here is the next one called "Timezone". He did some research on timezones, earth-rotation, planets, moons etc. and there you have it: the Earth and Moon, lit by the sun, dependant of the timezone you're in, the time of day of your computer and the season you're in. Read more about it here .
-The 3d-model-import-plugin is also updated, you can now adjust some options of the "view3ds" 3d-model-converter and you can see how long it takes for your computer-system to draw a particular 3d-model in a real-life-situation (Warning: disappointment guaranteed).

14 October 1999
The Wizard of uz, CJ Jean, updated his "from8-80" plug-in so you can start it more than once. Go here to read how to do that.
Seems a busy month, October.
A week ago we distributed the 3DTop-"Worlds" version to all registered users also. It enables them to surf to other 3DTop-Worlds (Folders) from within 3DTop. The next try-out version will contain that feature also.

11 October 1999
Updated the 3d-model-import-plug-in, so you can get information on how complex a model is. The display-quality and -speed has been improved a little bit also.

8 October 1999
The Linux-programming-job-opening we had earlier, has been taken care of. But if you're interested you can still apply for a job , anyone who fits into our team will always be welcome.

1 October 1999
We now have some Dutch Fantasy-Flowers for you to cheer up your desktop. And yes, they are alive ! You'll have to give them water and they can die as easily as the flowers you have at home. Read all about it at the plug-in page.

15 September 1999
The Manual is Online !
As 3DTop is progressing nicely, the possibilities are growing endless and a lot of people are new to this unique application, we decided to put the manual online. We asked all registered users (except all new ones of the last three days), who paid for a year of free updates and a manual, for their approval and they fully support it.
We'll be making a walkthrough for all new users also. Available soon, together with the new September try-out version, which is the one that the new online-manual refers to.


Other archived news of 1999


Copyright 1999


The Official Home Page