Issue: Volume: 33 Issue: 4 (April 2010)

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SOFTWARE

Game Development
Social 3D Solutions
During GDC, Dassault Systèmes (DS)?
announced the public beta of 3DVIA Studio and 3DVIA Scenes, applications that enable realistic, 3D online experiences. The new 3DVIA offerings combine social media with content creation apps and reusable 3D content to simplify the 3D content creation process.?3DVIA Studio is a 3D development environment for programmers and artists to create?complex, interactive games, simulations, serious games, and Web-based applications. 3DVIA Scenes, a Web-based, multi-user 3D application platform targeted at creative professionals and 3D enthusiasts, features a drag-and-drop interface enabling users to build online applications using 3D models and pre-programmed 3D “smart objects” developed and shared through the 3DVIA content warehouse. The two new applications are free for non-commercial use during the beta?period. Dassault Systèmes; www.3ds.com

Gamebryo LightSpeed
Emergent Game Technologies, a provider of 3D game development solutions, has updated its Gamebryo LightSpeed development engine. New features include the launch of LightSpeed’s “Kickstart” program, whiteboxing capabilities, additive animation blending, and support for the LightSpeed D3D11 renderer.?A starting point for evaluation, rapid prototyping, and development using LightSpeed, Kickstart includes tutorials, documentation, videos, sample game code, and game assets. The new whiteboxing tool helps game designers rapidly prototype simple, playable levels to test gameplay and then deliver the whiteboxed level to artists for texturing and lighting. Emergent also announced a new source distribution method for LightSpeed, giving developers access to three branches of engine code: Development, Beta, and Release.Emergent Game Technologies; www.emergent.net



New Nova
Vertice introduces its Nova 2010 real-time 3D engine with support for DirectX 10, shaders 4.0, and multi-touch technology, as well as compatibility with Nvidia’s 3D Vision technology. Nova 2010 also features a new physical engine, post-process?effects, and a real-time shadows engine. Nova Web Player?now works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Chrome. Nova 2010 also supports 64-bit systems, and FBX, DXF, OBJ, 3DS, DAE, and X file formats. Ambient occlusion through the attenuation of lights and shadows adds more realism to the scenes and rounds out Nova 2010.Vertice; www.vertice.fr

Character Modeling and Animation

Poser Pro 2010
Smith Micro Software’s Productivity and Graphics Group has launched Poser Pro 2010, for professional artists and production teams to add 3D characters to their projects. Poser Pro 2010 boasts more than 2.5gb of ready-to-use content, including pre-rigged, textured 3D characters. The 2010 version also features improved rigging, an enhanced user interface, a new content management system, and a variety of new tools, including: Dependent Parameter, Cross-Body Part, StuffIt Connect and Facebook image uploading, Physically Correct Light Falloff, Tone Mapping and Exposure, and Wardrobe Wizard. Poser Pro 2010 users gain the ability to integrate characters within other applications, such as Autodesk’s 3ds Max and Maya. Poser Pro 2010 is priced $500 with upgrades from the previous version of Poser Pro priced at $200.? Smith Micro Software; www.smithmicro.com



Real-time 3D
MachStudio Pro 1.4
StudioGPU has unveiled MachStudio Pro 1.4 with new features and functionality for real-time, 3D workflow, including physically-based cameras, the ability to export directly into layered Adobe Photoshop files, a materials ID renderer, procedural ramp texture generation on projected lights, and added Python programming functionality. MachStudio Pro also enables artists, designers, engineers, directors, and technical directors to manage and interact with complex lighting, caustics, cameras, shaders, materials, ambient occlusion, and color grading for real-time shot finaling and compositing. The company has unveiled a Softimage exporter for MachStudio Pro, a software-only version of MachStudio Pro, and support for leading workstation graphics accelerators. Customers now have the option to purchase Mach­Studio Pro in a value-added bundle with AMD’s ATI FirePro V8750 workstation graphics accelerator, enabling them to take advantage of MachStudio Pro features exclusive to ATI accelerators, such as real-time hardware tessellation and displacement mapping. Mach­Studio Pro supports Microsoft Windows 7, Windows XP Professional, and Windows Vista operating systems. MachStudio Pro software is now available in North America for $3999 or bundled with the AMD ATI FirePro V8750 3D workstation graphics accelerator card for $4999. StudioGPU; www.studiogpu.com



Facial Animation
Faceware for Games
Image Metrics, a provider of facial animation technology and services for the entertainment industry, has launched its Faceware facial animation technology platform. Faceware is designed to integrate into virtually any pipeline and game engine, deliver a streamlined animation process, and increase creative control, efficiency, and production speed. Faceware is now available for use with popular 3D software packages. Image Metrics also provides training for studios learning to use Faceware, as well as offers facial-animation services to developers preferring to outsource facial animation. Image Metrics; www.image-metrics.com

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