Shark 3D

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Shark 3D
Spinor Shark 3D Logo.png
Original author(s) Spinor
Developer(s) Spinor
Initial release February 2000; 14 years ago (2000-02)
Development status Active
Written in C++, Python
Available in English
Type 3D computer graphics, game engine

Shark 3D is a 3D software and engine developed by Spinor for creating and running interactive virtual 3D worlds. It is used for video games, films, animated series, broadcasting graphics, and 3D industry applications.[1]

Usage areas[edit]

Shark 3D is mainly used for:


Animations are created by "playing" a scene as in video games within a simulated virtual world. This is different to software like Autodesk 3ds Max or Autodesk Maya where you create animations mainly by hand-animating all individual movements.

By recording different characters and objects in different tracks, the animator can create a full scene in multiple iterations. For example, the animator can first play one virtual actor, and then play another while replaying the first one. Recording is physics based, so that a character or vehicle controlled live can physically interact with previously recorded characters and objects.


Shark 3D contains:

  • A tool pipeline. Assets like meshes, textures and basic animations are not created within Shark 3D, but imported from separate tools like 3ds Max or Maya.
  • Authoring editor[5]
  • Physics based recording, replay and track editing
  • Shader editor
  • Renderer (live and render-to-file)
  • Sound system
  • Physics engine
  • Scripting

The core of Shark 3D is an authoring editor supporting templates and prefabs to reuse entities. Templates and prefabs can be nested to any level and edited live.[6] This allows building up complex scenes or objects with integrated behaviors (e.g. NPCs or complex camera systems based on simple building blocks in a flexible way).

Shark 3D is available for multiple target platforms like Windows and Linux based PC applications, mobile devices and consoles.

The software focuses entirely on real-time. For example, all soft lighting and shadowing in the Shark 3D renderer is completely real-time.[7] This is in contrast to other software packages like Autodesk Maya which are mainly non-realtime or various game engines like game engines as for example the Unity engine or Unreal Engine which use a mixture of realtime and precalculated lighting.

The software is highly modular and can be customized or extended on all layers.

Industry support[edit]

Screenshot from the engine

Companies using Shark 3D include Funcom,[8] Ravensburger Digital,[9] Marc Weigert,[10] Siemens, ARD/ZDF/Pro 7/Disney Junior.[11] In 2012 it was the second-most used real-time 3D engine in Europe after Unity.[12]

Awards given to products based on Shark 3D[edit]

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey

Third-party plugins[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]