Cheetah 3d for iOS


Active member
Well, it’s been eight years and there’s still no decent 3d app for iOS.

Well, I take that back — Shapr3d is pretty impressive but it’s a CAD program. It is a good source of inspiration for ways to do a highly usable 3d UI on the iPad though.

As of now, the iPad Pro absolutely clobbers lower end Mac laptops in performance across the board (single thread, multi thread, and GPU). With the pencil we now have an incredibly accurate pointing device. And for most 3d work a keyboard is not needed.
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I see some powerful programs coming to IOS. I would love to see this one.
Just as the original started small so could the IOS version. Maybe just modelling, to begin with, then move into other features.
Shapr3d looks kinda fun, but it still looks like a toy. Autocad 360 looks interesting.

I still think the 2 biggest issues are screen size and ports. Relying on the cloud storage / email etc for files that can be hundreds of MB's in size is not great. I have no idea why Apple is so anally retentive with expansion ports, especially on the laptops and iPads. Yes, I know they make adapters, but it seems like the modern day Apple cop out.
iOS should be low on the priority list IMO. Cheetah already runs on laptops, which are clearly portable, and for now, that should suffice. Given that Martin is a one man show, creating and maintaining priorities for Cheetah is key. Features are more important than iOS. For those who have been around for a while, we know that some features like SSS and Volumetric lighting have been a long time coming.
I believe the App Store maybe his biggest hurdle to overcome in the future not just the iOS port because Apple will technically do the port for C3D when they release macOS on their ARM AXX chips (Tim Cook already mentioned during an interview {sorry didn't save the bookmark for it on YouTube} that Apple's been testing their iOS AXX chips with Mac OS X now macOS for years).
iOS is an OS not a CPU...
You've made an assumption! Of course, iOS runs on Apples proprietary AXX chips & NOT AS the cpu itself. MacRumors has been following this topic as well as others discussing Apple's rumored research in this regard. IMHO I think its pretty obvious Apple is slowly adapting macOS to eventually run on a very powerful versions of its AXX cpu hardware thus its inevitable that macOS & iOS will share enough code between them that will allow for developers to only have to publish their app once that will conveniently be available across those environments.
Given that it is designed for pen and tablet input something like MoI would work well on an iPad Pro; Unfortunately the developer has no plans for developing an iOS version. That said I am fairly sure I have seen posts on the forum of people getting it to work on iPads.

I suspect to have Cheetah on an iPad would require, at least initially the develop and support two different code bases, and probably a great deal of duplicate effort.


New member
I think...
Everything from C3D will be work on iOS (regardless of whether use OpenGL or Metal or what else), but the question is - make that sense???
Is it the platform to create thinks (we are created) and what is with the storage???

So an iOS Device has 3-4GB as RAM - integrated graphic-cards (use the same RAM as V-RAM etc.) - so there is not enough space to create or publish an iOS device named »Cheetah3D« on mobile platforms.

Cheetah3D is a desktop application with the potential to run creating things for mobile platform :)

Just my 50Cent
Perhaps one way to reduce the effort of porting (and increase the workload in general ;) ) is to could consider the iPad as an input device. As such it would provide minimal rendering capabilities on the iPad, and then offload the rendering to "the cloud" either in the form of a cloud based render engine or to your dedicated desktop/laptop. In theory you could allow all Cheetah users to connect their "desktops" in a ad hoc fashion to allow for a decentralised render farm. At the end of the day rendering is the solving of a maths problem, and watching cheetah render I notice it spilts the scene into a number of blocks and attempts to farm these out to different cores. This could be extended to distribute the render over a number of nodes over the internet.
This would also be of benefit to the desktop version.

Of course the security of such a solution would be perfect and a random render packet would not cause your iMac Pro's keyboard to explode from excess voltage thus rendering the Mac and the internet totally dead ;)
Such solutions as encrypt mentions are already existing. And they cost hell of a lot, like Athena which starts at $ 5'000 a year (ending at 500'000. Yes, no zero too much. Half a million. US Dollars). While that's a little bit steep, it's understandable that it's expensive if you think about it. Because something like this means quiet a lot of trouble for the provider of such a service. And you have to make sure that everybody is happy even at peek times.

That said, sadly I think this will be the near future (as I somewhere stated more elaborately in another thread). You will have the use of super hardware at more cost than today buying and using it for some time. Not for the biggies, but for the small potatoes like us (if you look around, that's normal. The biggies get everything cheaper, we pay more).

I, for my part, don't like the idea of having my data and my apps in the cloud.

And yes, Cheetah is small enough to fit on an ipad. Though, for the new Ipad Pro this doesn't mean anything. They come with up to 1 terrabyte of memory. Yes, 1 terrabyte (still, the old 64 gb are available). They have enough power to render, too. The GPU comes with 4 GB of RAM, all in all a full fledged computer that hasn't to hide before anything else.

I don't like modeling with the pencil that much (with a small wacom), but the apple pen on an ipad pro is something else. You can really draw better than on paper, at least with less fuss. Well programmed, this could be a heck of a way to model away or to paint textures.

But it wouldn't be enough to just port cheetah for IOS. It would be necessary to create tools that are optimized for use with the pencil. and so on, quiet a lot of work. I doubt, Martin will have the time for that in the near future, while sooner or later the problem could solve itself with one OS for both worlds (where I sincerely hope it will be something that fits a desktop as well as the current OS).

Still, I'd like to get my hands on a real good, for IOS and pencil optimized modeler.
I've never seen an interface for 3D software more in tune with iOS conventions than Bryce. Since it ran well on my Centris 650, I'm sure it would run like a bat out of hell on an iPadPro. But like most 3D programs, using it was most efficient if you could right-click, and its most powerful object handling came from using handles on both the corners and the centers of the object bounding box (I really miss being able to move-on-axis, rotate, scale, scale from side/corner, and scale from opposite side/corner all by choosing the right handle). Unfortunately, it has a very old codebase, would ( by all accounts) take a complete rewrite to move forward, and Daz holds the rights and does not show any interest in pushing it forward any more.

A 3D iOS developer could learn a lot from that program.