Issue: Volume: 27 Issue: 3 (March 2004)

Products - 3/04 - Part 2




Simulation

Win — Turbo Squid announced that Stitch has been updated as a Discreet Certified 3ds max plug-in called clothfx. A cloth simulation system for 3ds max, clothfx assists users in creating realistic fabrics and tailored clothing for digital characters and creatures. In fact, professionals have the option of applying the clothfx modifier to objects modeled in 3ds max that represent cloth or designing virtual clothing patterns and stitching to-gether virtual panels into a complete garment. Clothfx includes more than a dozen preset cloth types, including silk, wool, and cotton, and is priced at $595.
Turbo Squid; www.turbosquid.com

Middleware

Win — Criterion Software has made available RenderWare Physics as a stand-alone application or as a component of the Render-Ware Platform. The new release provides the game development community not only realistic, multi-platform physics modeling, but also the ability to add real-time behavior to game objects with enhanced rag-doll and rigid-body dynamics.
Criterion Software; www.csl.com

Modeling

WinMac Linux Irix — The Pixel Farm has introduced its new image-based modeling application, PFBarn 1.0. Targeted at the game development and CG previsualization industries, PFBarn enables users to place geometry, reconstruct meshes, and extract, map, and rebuild textures from 2D still or moving sources. Users can import data from PFTrack and PFMatch to build 3D environments. Its image modeling algorithms calculate camera perspective and movement, and then match them to any placed geometry. PFBarn requires only a single image or sequence, although it accommodates single or multiple sources. Able to match the geometrical characteristics of a background, PFBarn can extract texture information from an image and map it to the geometry. PFBarn 1.0 is pric-ed at $750 and is available bundled with PFMatch at a cost of $1700.
The Pixel Farm; www.thepixelfarm.co.uk





Motion Capture

Polhemus has amended its line of 6 Degree of Freedom (6-DOF) motion capture, tracking, and digitizing solutions with the Patriot electrotracking product. Patriot's state-of-the-art digital signal processors operate at 60hz per sensor, offering clean signals and high stability. Improved signal-to-noise ratios enhance Patriot's stability and resolution, whereas an intuitive Windows 2000/XP GUI ensures ease of use. Pricing for the dual-sensor Patriot, complete with serial I/O RS-232 and USB interfaces, begins at $2500.
Polhemus; www.polhemus.com





Graphics Card

Nvidia unveiled its Quadro NVS 280 PCI, a 2D graphics board designed for multi-display applications. Nvidia's latest release comes bundled with the company's Unified Driver Architecture (UDA) and nView multi-display desktop and application management software. The Nvidia Quadro NVS 280 PCI, able to function as the main graphics head for PCI-only systems or in conjunction with other PCI and AGP 8X boards, can drive up to 16 high-resolution digital flat-panel displays from a single computer. The new dual-head graphics board incorporates a single, high-density DMS-59 connector for dual-analog and 1600x1200-resolution digital flat panels. PNY also is selling the Nvidia Quadro NVS 280 PCI in the US and Europe.
Nvidia; www.nvidia.com

Training

Desktop Images has announced the availability of two new training DVDs for the creative community: Texturing Concepts and Texturing Details. Well suited to game-development professionals, the two new tutorial titles feature Christian Bradley, a freelance model, texture, and animation artist in the PC/console game industry. Texturing Concepts instructs viewers on creating and modifying textures with Adobe Photoshop, whereas Texturing Details offers techniques for adding realism and depth to any texture. Among the topics discussed are borders, grunge effects, custom brushes, texture sets, and lighting effects. Complete with project files, Texturing Concepts and Texturing Details each are priced at $59.95.
Desktop Images; www.desktopimages.com

Video Editing

Customers who purchase Matrox Video Products Group's Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro real-time editing solution also will receive five free Artbeats clips. In addition to the Artbeats clips, customers can select one free clip that retails for $149 from Artbeats' stock footage library and receive a 50-percent discount on a collection of their choice priced at $229 or more. Those purchasing Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro will receive a CD containing five DV clips from the following Artbeats collections: Cloud Fly-Thrus 1, Kids of Summer, Light Alchemy, ReelFire 2, and Timelapse Landscapes 2.
Matrox Graphics; www.matrox.com/video

Call For Entries

Together with Nokia, Orange, Intel, IBM, In-Fusio, Criterion, Ideaworks3D, Fatham-mer, Nvidia, and Kaolink, Discreet has unveiled the first international 3D mobile gaming competition. Launched during Imagina 2004 last month, the international competition targets independent mobile gaming artists and developers, traditional PC/console game developers, and 3D freelance artists. Designed to drive 3D.mobile game development, the contest divides 3D and 2.5D mobile gaming submissions into two main categories: downloadable and non-downloadable. Entries should exploit the cutting-edge technologies and gaming hardware of high-end, next-generation phones, the Nokia N-Gage Platform, and Java phones. The deadline for registration is March 31. For information and to register, visit www.3dmobilegamingcontest.com.
Discreet; www.discreet.com

Georgia's Savannah College of Art and Design has announced the 2004 Savannah Film Festival, to be held from October 23 to 30. For the festival, the college has issued a call for entries to filmmakers around the world. The competition's categories are: Animation, Documentary Feature and Short, Narrative Feature and Short, and Student. The deadline for entries is July 1. For details and an entry form, visit www.scad.edu/filmfest.
Savannah College of Art and Design; www.scad.edu

Alias Systems has partnered with Hewlett-Packard and Gnomon 3D with the launch of the first Maya Personal Learning Edition Contest. Open to computer graphics industry professionals, students, and hobbyists, the contest requires entrants to download a free rigged character from the Alias community Web site, and animate, texture, and pose it. The new competition ends on April 28.
Alias; www.alias.com/community/contest


Book Corner

Sybex introduces Flash MX 2004 Savvy, a new book covering both the Standard and Professional versions of Macromedia's Flash MX 2004. The text employs hands-on tutorials to explore the many digital content creation tools and nuances of the latest Flash release. Designers learn to use Flash to create compelling Web sites populated with animation, audio, and effects, whereas developers learn to build advanced Web applications with Flash through scripting, forms, and server-side connectivity. The book, accompanied by a CD, is priced at $44.99.
Sybex; www.sybex.com

Charles River Media announces the release of 3ds max 6 Animation and Visual Effects Techniques by Sanford Kennedy, author, animator, and designer. The book details the new and enhanced features in 3ds max 6 and provides tutorials on the modeling of buildings, environments, humans, and aliens. Next, animation techniques—including character setup with bones, lip sync, facial expression, and walk cycles—are discussed. Also explored are detail lighting and rendering features, such as radiosity and global illumination, skylight and light tracer, visual effects lighting, and network rendering. Kennedy's 3ds max 6 Animation and Visual Effects Techniques is offered at a price of $49.95.
Charles River Media; www.charlesriver.com

Lancom Technologies has made available a comprehensive course on Linux: Hello Linux! A new, 1020-page book, Hello Linux! serves as a step-by-step introductory companion and reference for all professionals working with the Linux operating system. Roughly 300 pages provide the reader with hands-on exercises or labs. Also included with the text are the Linux OS on two CDs and lab data files on a single CD. Hello Linux! is now available at a cost of $99.95.
Lancom Technologies; www.lancom-tech.com



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