The new Marmoset Toolbag (now in version 2.08) has come a long way. The original Toolbag was a gamer maker’s texturing and preview tool. Capable real-time rendering, and able to do glows like iClone can. But texture support was only for game makers, as TGA or PSD (aurgh!). Applying even those materials was a nightmare, and woe betide you if you wanted to move objects around the screen in real-time.
But the new Marmoset Toolbag 2 (summer 2015) is set up much more like a sort of real-time Keyshot (*), and most of the problems are gone. And with version 2.08 it’s now become a welcome contender in the “genuine real-time 3D” arena, though is still not a match for the similarly-priced iClone in terms of overall abilities and wide range.
The public renders made with Toolbag do tend to look better than you might see on a quick Google Images search for iClone pics. But my feeling is that’s due to the ultra high-quality game models being used in Toolbag, obviously of the very highest quality and probably destined for inclusion in commercial games or production portfolios.
As an instance of Toolbag’s features-lag against the likes of iClone, consider that with version 2.08 Toolbag has only just added real-time depth-fog volumes and full FBX import. But by version 3 (late 2016?) I’m thinking Toolbag may well have become very capable and polished. It’s one I’ll be taking a look at again, in about a year’s time.
* — although, arguably, Keyshot is very nearly ‘the real-time Keyshot’ 🙂